I am reading Gary Wilkerson’s David Wilkerson, chapter 3, which implies that in the 1950s, the Assemblies of God started to lose its spiritual fervor, because it joined the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). A Michal spirit of “respectability” (2 Samuel 6:16) and anti-“wild Pentecostal zeal” entered into the denomination. It was in 1957 that this dry spiritual climate ousted Wilkerson into independent ministry, led by the Holy Spirit and a good conscience. But Wilkerson was conditioned by AG theology up until that point. Here are some books by Gospel Publishing House (GPH) from that era. It seems that if there ever were spiritual “glory days” of the AG, it was during the 1920s and 30s. In the 40s they started taking a census and boasting of their numbers.
1928 – Donald Gee’s Concerning Spiritual Gifts
1932 – Donald Gee’s Pentecost
1934 – P. C. Nelson’s Bible Doctrines
1937 – Myer Pearlman’s Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible
1946 – Stanley Frodsham’s With Signs Following
- 1949 – Frodsham left the AG for similar reasons as Wilkerson
1953 – Ernest S. Williams’ Systematic Theology (3 vols)
- 1906 – Visited Azusa Street Revival
- 1929-1949 – The AG General Superintendent
- At the end of the interview in above link, Williams says he would have revised his Systematic Theology when he speaks against Calvinism. He says, “When you read Paul’s epistles, you see a lot of Calvinism.” So, apparently, by the year 1979, he became a OSAS Calvinist Pentecostal. He also said he thought Wigglesworth was eccentric and he didn’t want anything to do with his ministry; he said Seymour wasn’t much of a preacher, either. He said they didn’t let black pastors in the AG, for fear that the southern AG churches would split away. Ehh…I don’t know about this Williams guy…I take him for a dry piece of wood.
- I’d stick with Gee, Nelson, and Frodsham for orthodox, godly AG theology.