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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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This week in AG history -- January 15, 1916

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 - 2:17 PM CST

Early Assemblies of God publications regularly identified missions as central to the identity of the church. The January 15, 1916, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel included the following admonition to future generations of Pentecostals:

"It is of the greatest importance that the Pentecostal people retain their missionary zeal. A missionary church is a praying church, a paying church, and a church on fire for God and souls. May the missionary spirit increase among us."

Read the article, "Special Notice to Missionaries," on page 12 of the January 15, 1916, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* "Manifestations of the Holy Spirit in Post-Apostolic Times," by William G. Schell

* "Tongues in History," by B. F. Lawrence

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Authors: Darrin Rodgers

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