Followers: 115 million worldwide
Date Founded: 20th century
Location Founded: United States
Founders: Charles Parham, William Seymour
Books Outside the Bible: None
Pentecostal Christianity is actually a modern denomination which began around the late 19th century to early 20th century. The earliest known event of this movement was January 1, 1901, when Charles Parham began teaching speaking in tongues at Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas. One of Parham’s students was William Seymour (see picture above), a one-eyed African-American who moved to Los Angeles who led the Azusa Street Revival which began in 1906.
Pentecostals are known for their focus on the spiritual gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12-14 including prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues. Although these are valid gifts, Pentecostals take them to the extreme. They believe that everyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit can speak in tongues and that it should be used on a daily basis to worship God. However, the Bible clearly states that speaking in tongues is only to be used for interpreting God’s word and that one must have an interpreter so that others can understand. Also, the Holy Spirit can impart wisdom in many ways aside from speaking in tongues.
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