past illustrious men and ministries


Rev. Richard Allen

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists. Allen was consecrated its first bishop in 1816. It began with 8 clergy and 5 churches, and by 1846 had grown to 176 clergy, 296 churches, and 17,375 members The 20,000 members in 1856 were located primarily in the North. AME national membership (including probationers and preachers) jumped from 70,000 in 1866 to 207,000 in 1876

The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society (FAS), which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and other free blacks established in Philadelphia in 1787. They left St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church because of discrimination. Although Allen and Jones were both accepted as preachers, they were limited to black congregations. In addition, the blacks were made to sit in a separate gallery built in the church when their portion of the congregation increased. These former members of St. George’s made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although the group was originally non-denominational, eventually members wanted to affiliate with existing denominations.

Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodist. They formed the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1793. In general, they adopted the doctrines and form of government of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence, Allen successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an institution independent of white Methodist congregations. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities also encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia in 1816 to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the “African Methodist Episcopal Church” (AME Church).

The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique history as it is the first major religious denomination in the western world that developed because of sociological rather than theological differences. It was the first African-American denomination organized and incorporated in the United States. The church was born in protest against racial discrimination and slavery. This was in keeping with the Methodist Church’s philosophy, whose founder John Wesley had once called the slave-trade “that execrable sum of all villainies.” In the 19th century, the AME Church of Ohio collaborated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, a predominantly white denomination, in sponsoring the second independent historically black college (HBCU), Wilberforce University in Ohio. Among Wilberforce University’s early founders was Salmon P. Chase, then-governor of Ohio and the future Secretary of Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln.

Other members of the FAS wanted to affiliate with the Episcopal Church and followed Absalom Jones in doing that. In 1792, they founded the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, the first Episcopal church in the United States with a founding black congregation. In 1804, Jones was ordained as the first black priest in the Episcopal Church.

While the AME is doctrinally Methodist, clergy, scholars, and lay persons have written works that demonstrate the distinctive racial theology and praxis that have come to define this Wesleyan body. In an address to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett reminded the audience of blacks’ influence in the formation of Christianity. Bishop Benjamin T. Tanner wrote in 1895 in The Color of Solomon – What? that biblical scholars wrongly portrayed the son of David as a white man. In the post-civil rights era, theologians James Cone, Cecil W. Cone, and Jacqueline Grant, who came from the AME tradition, critiqued Euro-centric Christianity and African-American churches for their shortcomings in resolving the plight of those oppressed by racism, sexism, and economic disadvantage.


The AME motto, “God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family”, reflects the basic beliefs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The basic foundations of the beliefs of the church can be summarized in the Apostles’ Creed, and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion, held in common with other Methodist Episcopal congregations. The church also observes the official bylaws of the AME Church. The “Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church” is revised at every General Conference and published every five years.


The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, physical development of all people. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy. It is also the duty of the Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training. The ultimate purposes are: (1) make available God’s biblical principles, (2) spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and (3) provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people. In order to meet the needs at every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2)Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) the history and significance of the AME Church, (5) God’s biblical principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.

1. preaching the gospel,
2. feeding the hungry,
3. clothing the naked,
4. housing the homeless,
5. cheering the fallen,
6. providing jobs for the jobless,
7. administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens’ homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed,
8. encouraging thrift and economic advancement., and
9. bringing people back into church.


past illustrious men and ministries


Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556)

He was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.
uring Cranmer’s tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England. Under Henry’s rule, Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers. However, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany.

When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms. He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. With the assistance of several Continental reformers to whom he gave refuge, he developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints. Cranmer promulgated the new doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications.

After the accession of the Roman Catholic Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy. Imprisoned for over two years and under pressure from Church authorities, he made several recantations and apparently reconciled himself with the Roman Catholic Church. However, on the day of his execution, he withdrew his recantations, to die a heretic to Roman Catholics and a martyr for the principles of the English Reformation. Cranmer’s death was immortalised in John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and his legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, an Anglican statement of faith derived from his work.


past illustrious men and ministries

Richard Baxter
1615 – 1691

RICHARD BAXTER One of The best known of the Puritan authors . He has been called “the most successful preacher, winner of souls, and nurturer of souls that England has ever had.” Edmund Calamy called him “The most voluminous theological writer in the English language.” Baxter wrote 160 books. George Whitefield, John Wesley, C. H. Spurgeon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones regarded him highly.

Born in Shropshire into a somewhat poor family, he never attended a university and was always physically weak. Yet he was self-taught, acquiring great learning on his own. He became the pastor in Kidderminster, a town near Birmingham, in 1647. The people there were very wicked. The pastor he replaced was a drunkard who preached only once every three months! Hardly any of the church members were converted when he became the pastor. During his years at Kidderminster he visited all of the 800 families in his church every year, teaching each person individually. He put forth his method of ministry in his well-known book, The Reformed Pastor, the greatest book on pastoring that has ever been written.

The outstanding feature of Baxter’s preaching was his earnest zeal. In his writing and preaching he shows his belief that pastors need “the skill necessary to make plain the truth, to convince the hearers, to let in the irresistible light into their consciences, and to keep it there, and drive all home; to screw truth into their minds and work Christ into their affections.”
He had “no Calvinistic axe to grind,” and sought to mediate between Arminianism and Calvinism. He attempted to soften some points of Calvinism by advocating “free will.” Baxter’s method was a middle way, which he called “mere Christianity” (C. S. Lewis used this phrase from Baxter as the title of his famous book).

His great strength lay in his pastoral ability and in his evangelistic preaching. The main purpose of his sermons was to see the lost converted. His book, A Call to the Unconverted, is a hard-hitting plea for the lost to come to Christ.
Although he preached before the King, in Parliament, and in Westminster Abbey, his favourite pulpit was in his own church, speaking to the poor people of Kidderminster.

After the Act of Uniformity, he was put in prison in the Tower of London for eighteen months because he was unwilling to stay in the Church of England. While in prison, he was often visited by the great commentator Matthew Henry.

Written in 1657, Baxter’s Treatise on Conversion is a great book. But it is too lengthy, and the wording is too difficult, for most people today. I have condensed it and rearranged it, and have changed difficult words to simpler ones, to reach the less literate mind of modern man. I hope these sermons from Baxter are a blessing to you. They indeed correct the shallow “decisionism” of our day – which is damning millions to eternal torment.


illustrious past men and ministries

 william durham

Rev. William Han Durham


Durham was born in 1873 in rural Kentucky and joined his family’s Baptist church; however, he would only experience conversion later. He joined the Holiness movement  and by 1901 founded the North Avenue Full Gospel Mission, a store-front church in Chicago.

When the influence of the Los Angeles Asuza Street Revival  spread to Chicago, one member of his congregation was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Initially, Durham was dubious about the new Pentecostal movement, but when he visited the Azusa Street Mission for himself, he had his own experience of Spirit baptism with speaking in tongues and was convinced. Upon returning to Chicago, Durham transformed his North Avenue Mission into a centre to disseminate the Pentecostal revival in the Midwest and among ethnic minorities. Durham started publishing a periodical, The Pentecostal Testimony, and travelled extensively to diffuse the Pentecostal message.

Raised in a Reformed tradition, Durham found difficult to accept the then-widespread Wesleyan doctrine of a three-stage salvation process held by most Pentecostals. Durham began preaching the Finished Work doctrine  that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit comes after salvation . Quickly Durham acquired supporters among Pentecostals of Reformed, Baptist, and Christian Missionary Alliance backgrounds, and many missionaries abroad, but entered at odds with the older Pentecostal preachers, such as William Seymour, Charles Parnham, and Florence Crawford..

Durham planned to systemize his theology in order to explain his point of view and published drafts of it in his periodical, but he would not complete it as he died of pneumonia in Los Angeles in 1912.


Durham was a mentor to a whole generation of Pentecostal leaders: Loiis Francesson,  who preached among Italians in North America, Argentina, Brazil, and Italy; F.A. Sandgren, a pioneer among Scandinavians in the Midwest, one of them Daniel Berg, a Swedish Pentecostal missionary in Brazil; Andrew Urshan, a leader in the Persian, Assyrian, and Oneness Pentecostalism; Andrew H. Argue, pastor in Canada; Eudorus N. Bell, a leader in the Assemblies of God; Aimee semple McPherson, evangelist and church founder; John C. Sinclair, pastor in Chicago and church founder; and Frank Ewart and Howard Goss, leaders in the Oneness Pentecostalism.

Although he was a staunch Congregationalist and against denominationalism, there are many denominations that trace their roots from Durham’s work: General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States of AmericaInternational Church of the Foursquare GospelOpen Bible Standard ChurchesNew Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc.; the Scandinavian-American Fllowship of Christian Assemblies and the Independent Assemblies of God, International;the Italian-American International Fellowship of Christian Assembliesand its counterparts abroad, like the Christian Copngreation in Brazil; the Assemblies de Deus of Brazil; Pentecostal Church of God’; the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada; the Oneness United Pentecostal Church; and many independent Pentecostal congregations, mainly in the Northeast United States.


illustrious men and ministries


Rev. Paul  Cain

Paul Cain (born 1929) is a Pentecostal Christian minister involved with both neo-charismatic churches and the Charismatic Movement. As a young man he was one of the Voice of Healing revivalists of the 50s. Cain currently resides in California and ministers monthly at a local church in Santa Maria, California.


Paul Cain was born in 1929 in Garland, Texas. His mother Anna had been seriously ill with cancer, tuberculosis, and other difficulties, and was not expected to live. Her case was so severe that she was the subject of special medical attention. To the astonishment of doctors both Cain and his mother survived the birth; his mother was subsequently healed. Cain attributes this to an angelic visitation his mother had at that time, and to the fervent prayers of his family. It was during this visitation that Cain was given the name “Paul” and his mother became sure of his calling to preach.


Cain began to minister publicly around age 18, making him the youngest of the ministers in a religious movement that is now known as the Voice of Healing Revival of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Cain drew crowds of 30,000 in Switzerland and Germany with his meetings. His ministry Cain’s ministry at this time used a very large tent, like most other ministers’ of the time, such as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and Jack Coe. His meetings were often punctuated by calling out several people from the audience and giving very detailed information about their lives. Chuck Smith founder of Calvary Chapel was Cain’s campaign manager and was influenced by his unique prophetic and healing ministry. Cain’s abilities took him around the world and brought him a measure of notoriety and financial success. Cain, however, eventually became disgusted with what he saw as the corruption of a once-pure movement into a circus of hype and greed. In the late 1950s, he claimed that he was “challenged by the Lord” concerning such excesses of various leaders in that movement, and suddenly disappeared from public view.


Beginning in 1987 he was associated with the Kansas City Prophets, and shortly afterwards with the ministry of John Wimber. By the time Cain resurfaced the landscape had dramatically changed. Most of the other healing revivalists had disappeared from the scene. Some older ministers such as William Branham and A. A. Allen had died or had moved into retirement like Oral Roberts.

He began to travel around the world, proclaiming the gospel and calling the church back to purity and holiness. He served as a consultant to Central Intelligence Agency—Paranormal Division, a consultant to the FBI and was a Presidential Consultant and Special Envoy for three presidents. He ministered to many national and international leaders. During the Clinton Administration, Cain went to Iraq to meet with Saddam Hussein. He also met with spiritual leaders, including key church and denominational leaders.


In April 2004, Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, and Mike Bickle, three ministers who had long-held, close ministerial relationships with Cain, met with Cain to confront him about a homosexual relationship and several incidents of public drunkenness. He denied these accusations which lead to Joyner, Deere and Bickle releasing a statement in October stating that he was unwilling to participate in the restoration process. However, in February 2005, Cain stepped down from ministry and issued a letter of confession, posted on his website and excerpted in Charisma Magazine, Cain admitted, “I have struggled in two particular areas, homosexuality and alcoholism, for an extended period of time.”

In response to this confession, David Andrade of Reclaiming The Valley International Ministries formed a restoration team. Some of those providing collaboration during the restoration and emergence process include, Steve Dittmar, John Sanford, Cal Pierce, Rick Taylor, Kari Browning, Jerry Bowers, David and Donna Diaz, Randy Demain, David Andrade & Olivia Cook TP.

In April 2007, he re-emerged into the public eye and resumed speaking at meetings throughout the U.S and abroad. His rehabilitation was questioned by Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, and Mike Bickle, stating that they lacked confidence in his rehabilitation and did not consider him restored. By September 2007 Andrade was able to claim that Cain was restored and able to minister again freely.







past illustrious men and ministries


Rev. Paris Reidhead 1919-1992

Paris Reidhead devoted his life to communicating the message of the Gospel in America and throughout the world. A student pastor in rural Minnesota at age eighteen, Mr. Reidhead felt led of the Lord to overseas mission work. In 1945, Paris Reidhead and Marjorie, his wife of two years, travelled under the auspices of the Sudan Interior Mission to the Sudan-Ethiopia Border where they surveyed and analyzed tribal languages in preparation for evangelism and education in this area.

Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Reidhead was appointed Deputation Secretary of the Sudan Interior Mission in the Southeastern United States. He was soon a nationally recognized spokesman for missions.

In 1953 Mr. Reidhead began his national Bible Conference ministry for the Christian and Missionary Alliance which brought him, in 1956, to pastorate of the Gospel Tabernacle, the New York City church where the C & M A was first established by Dr. A. B. Simpson in 1887. While in New York, Mr. Reidhead drew on informational resources at the United Nations to pioneer a program through which government and private funds were used for economic development in the Third World; his efforts to implement local programs on this model took him to mission fields in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Third World development became his full-time commitment in 1966. Mr. Reidhead’s vision of public-private funding for economic development led, in 1971, to the formation of the Institute for International Development, Inc. which has served as the model for about ninety evangelical organizations which have, in turn, channelled more than 100 million dollars into Third World development. In 1984, Mr. Reidhead founded Enterprise Development International, a service agency devoted to aiding Third World church and evangelical agencies in creating job opportunities for destitute families.

Since Mr. Reidhead’s death in 1992, Bible Teaching Ministries, Inc. continues under the leadership of his wife, Marjorie, and daughter, Virginia Teitt, a dedicated Board, and the many people who have donated time and talent after being changed by God’s Word through this message. The message of the Gospel is reaching an ever-widening audience all over the world.


past illustrious men and ministries


Rev. Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917) was an early twentieth-century Scottish Baptist and Holiness Movement[1] evangelist and teacher, best known as the author of the devotional My Utmost for His Highest.


Born to devout parents in Aberdeen, Scotland, Chambers moved with his family in 1876 to Stoke-on-Trent when his father, Clarence Chambers, became Home Missions evangelist for the North Staffordshire Baptist Association, then to Perth, Scotland when his father returned to the pastorate, and finally to London in 1889, when Clarence was appointed Travelling Secretary of the Baptist Total Abstinence Association. At 16, Oswald Chambers was baptized and became a member of Rye Lane Baptist Chapel. Even as a teenager, Chambers was noted for his “deep spirituality,” and he participated in the evangelization of poor occupants of local lodging houses. At the same time, Chambers also demonstrated gifts in both music and art.

From 1893 to 1895, Chambers studied at the National Art Training School, now the Royal College of Art and was offered a scholarship for further study, which he declined. For the next two years he continued his study of art at the University of Edinburgh, while being greatly influenced by the preaching of Alexander Whyte, pastor of Free St. George’s Church. While at Edinburgh, he felt called to ministry, and he left for Dunoon College, a small theological training school near Glasgow, founded by the Rev. Duncan MacGregor. Chambers was soon teaching classes at the school and took over much of the administration when MacGregor was injured in 1898.


While teaching at Dunoon, Chambers was influenced by Richard Reader Harris, KC, a prominent barrister and founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer. In 1905, Reader introduced Chambers as “a new speaker of exceptional power.” Through the League, Chambers also met Juji Nakada, a Holiness evangelist from Japan, who stimulated Chambers’ growing interest in world evangelism. In 1906, Nakada and Chambers sailed for Japan via the United States. In 1907, Chambers spent a semester teaching atGod’s Bible School, a Holiness institution in Cincinnati, then spent a few months in Japan working with Charles Cowman, a co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society.

Arriving back in Britain by the end of the year, Chambers found the Holiness movement divided by the advocates and opponents of founding a new denomination and by supporters and detractors of the tongues movement. Chambers did not oppose glossolalia but criticized those who made it a test of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Sailing back to the United States in 1908, Chambers became better acquainted with Gertrude Hobbs, the daughter of friends, whom he had known casually. They married in May 1910; and on 24 May 1913, Gertrude (whom Chambers affectionately called “Biddy”) gave birth to their only child, Kathleen. Even before they married, Chambers considered a partnership in ministry in which Biddy–who could take shorthand at 250 words per minute–would transcribe and type his sermons and lessons into written form.


In 1911 Chambers founded and was principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham Common, Greater London, in an “embarrassingly elegant” property that had been purchased by the Pentecostal League of Prayer. Chambers accommodated not only students of every age, education, and class but also anyone in need, believing he ought to “give to everyone who asks.” “No one was ever turned away from the door and whatever the person asked for, whether money, a winter overcoat, or a meal, was given.” Between 1911 and 1915, 106 resident students attended the Bible Training College, and by July 1915, forty were serving as missionaries.


In 1915, a year after the outbreak of World War I, Chambers suspended the operation of the school and was accepted as a YMCA chaplain. He was assigned to Zeitoun, Cairo, Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops, who later participated in the Battle of Gallipoli.[18] Chambers raised the spiritual tone of a centre intended by both the military and the YMCA to be simply an institution of social service providing wholesome alternatives to the brothels of Cairo. When he told a group of fellow YMCA workers that he had decided to abandon concerts and movies for Bible classes, they predicted the exodus of soldiers from his facilities. “What the sceptics had not considered was Chamber’s unusual personal appeal, his gift in speaking, and his genuine concern for the men.” Soon his wooden-framed “hut” was packed with hundreds of soldiers listening attentively to such messages such as “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Confronted by a soldier who said, “I can’t stand religious people,” Chambers replied, “Neither can I.” Chambers irritated his YMCA superiors by giving away refreshments that the organization believed should be sold so as not to raise expectations elsewhere. Chambers installed a contribution box but refused to ask soldiers to pay for tea and cakes.
Death and influence[edit]

Chambers was stricken with appendicitis on 17 October 1917 but resisted going to a hospital on the grounds that the beds would be needed by men wounded in the long-expected Third Battle of Gaza. On 29 October, a surgeon performed an emergency appendectomy, but Chambers died 15 November 1917 from a haemorrhage of the lungs. He was buried in Cairo with full military honours.

Before he died, Chambers had proofread the manuscript of his first book, Baffled to Fight Better, a title he had taken from a favourite line by Robert Browning. For the remainder of her life—and at first under very straightened circumstances—Chambers’ widow transcribed and published books and articles edited from the notes she had taken in shorthand during the Bible College years and at Zeitoun. Most successful of the thirty books was My Utmost for His Highest(1924), a daily devotional composed of 365 selections of Chamber’s talks, each of about 500 words. The work has never been out of print and has been translated into 39 languages.


illustrious past men and ministries

Jerry Falwell

Rev. Jerry Falwell – Sr

Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. (August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American evangelical Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and a conservative political commentator. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967, Liberty University in 1971, and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979.


Falwell and twin brother Gene were born in the Farview Heights region of Lynchburg, Virginia, the son of Helen and Carey Hezekiah Falwell. His father was an entrepreneur and one-time bootlegger who was agnostic. His grandfather was a staunch atheist. Jerry Falwell married the former Macel Pate on April 12, 1958. The couple had two sons and a daughter (Jerry Falwell, Jr., a lawyer; Jonathan Falwell, a pastor; Jeannie, a surgeon).

He graduated from Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Va., and from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1956. This Bible college was unaccredited until 2001. Falwell was later awarded three honorary doctoral degrees. The honorary doctorates were Doctor of Divinity from Tennessee Temple Theological Seminary, Doctor of Letters from California Graduate School of Theology, and Doctor of Laws from Central University in Seoul, South Korea.


Main article: Thomas Road Baptist Church
In 1956, at age 22, Falwell founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, where he served as pastor. The Church went on to become a megachurch, and is now run by Jerry Falwell’s son Jonathan Falwell, who serves in the same capacity as his father. The original church was located at 701 Thomas Road.


Main article: Liberty Christian Academy
During the 1950s and 1960s, Falwell spoke and campaigned against the U.S. civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and the racial desegregation of public school systems by the U.S. federal government. Liberty Christian Academy (LCA, founded as Lynchburg Christian Academy) is a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, which was described in 1966 by the Lynchburg News as “a private school for white students.”
The Lynchburg Christian Academy later opened in 1967 by Falwell as a segregation academy and as a ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
The Liberty Christian Academy is today recognized as an educational facility by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the Virginia State Board of Education, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Association of Christian Schools International.


Main article: Liberty University
In 1971, Jerry Falwell founded Liberty University, the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. Liberty University offers over 350 accredited programs of study, with approximately 13,000 residential students and 90,000 online.

Falwell strongly advocated beliefs and practices he believed were taught by the Bible. The church, Falwell asserted, was the cornerstone of a successful family. Not only was it a place for spiritual learning and guidance, but also a gathering place for fellowship and socializing with like minded individuals. Often he built conversations he had with parishioners after the worship service into focused speeches or organized goals he would then present to a larger audience via his various media outlets.


Falwell found the Vietnam war problematic because he felt it was being fought with “limited political objectives,” when it should have been an all out war against the North. In general, Falwell held that the president “as a minister of God” has the right to use arms to “bring wrath upon those who would do evil.”


On his evangelist program The Old-Time Gospel Hour in the mid 1960s, Falwell regularly featured segregationist politicians like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. About Martin Luther King he said: “I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations.”

Falwell set out in his Christian ministry as a Fundamentalist, having attended a conservative Bible college and following strict standards of ecclesiastical and personal separatism; he was thus known and respected in IFB circles, being praised in far-right publications such as The Sword of the Lord. Though he never officially stated his rejection of this movement, the evidence of his life from the late 1970s onwards indicates he moved toward a conservative Evangelical standpoint to the right of mainline Protestantism or “open” Evangelicalism but to the left of traditional, separatist Fundamentalism. It was reported that he had refused to attend parties at which alcohol was served early in his life, but relaxed this stricture as he was increasingly invited to major events through the contacts he developed in conservative politics and religion.

His foray into national politics appears to be a catalyst for this change; when he established the Moral Majority which joined “Bible Christians” (Independent and conservative Southern Baptists) in a political alliance with Charismatics, Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons and others he rejected the level of separation preached by most movement Fundamentalists. Bob Jones University declared the Moral Majority organization “Satanic”, holding that it was a step toward the apostate one-world church and government body as it would cross the line from a political alliance to a religious one between true Christians and the non-born-again, as forbidden by their interpretation of the Bible. David Cloud’s Way of Life Literature also criticizes Falwell for associations with Catholics, Pentecostals and liberal Christians, tracing his alleged “apostasy” back to his role in the political Religious Right.

Though he never wavered in his belief in the inerrancy of the Bible (except for moderating its alleged view of racial differences, significance of baptism, and other concepts relative to his theology) and the doctrines conservative Christians widely see as essential to salvation, his rhetoric became generally more mellow, less militant and comparatively more inclusive from the 1980s onward. Cultural anthropologist Susan Friend Harding, in her extensive ethnographic study of Falwell, noted that he adapted his preaching to win a broader, less extremist audience as he grew famous. This manifested in several ways: among them were no longer condemning “worldly” lifestyle choices such as dancing, drinking wine, and attending movie theaters; softening rhetoric of apocalypse and God’s vengeful wrath; and shifting from outright Biblical patriarchy to a complementarian view of appropriate gender roles. He further mainstreamed himself by aiming his strongest criticism at “secular humanist”, pagans or various liberals in place of the racist, anti-Semitic or anti-Catholic rhetoric common among Southern Fundamentalist preachers but increasingly condemned as hate speech by the consensus of American society.


past illustrious men and ministries

vernon mcgee

Rev. J. Vernon McGee

John Vernon McGee was born in Hillsboro, Texas, in 1904. Dr. McGee remarked, “When I was born and the doctor gave me the customary whack, my mother said that I let out a yell that could be heard on all four borders of Texas!” His Creator well knew that he would need a powerful voice to deliver a powerful message.

As a student pastor, Dr. McGee’s first church was located on a red clay hill in Midway, Georgia. It was there that he received his greatest compliment: “It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, ‘I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!’ He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, ‘Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.'”

After completing his education (earning his A.B. from South-western University in Memphis, Tennessee; his B.D. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia; his Th. M. and Th. D. from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas), and after pastoring Presbyterian churches in Decatur, GA, Nashville, TN, and Cleburne, TX, he and his wife came west, settling in Pasadena, where he accepted a call to the Lincoln Avenue Presbyterian Church. He recalls this period as the happiest in his life, with a young family and a young congregation whom he loved.
Dr. McGee’s greatest pastorate was at the historic, Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles, where he served from 1949 to 1970. There he began a daily radio broadcast called “High Noon Bible Class” on a single station.

In 1967 Dr. McGee began teaching the Thru the Bible radio program as we know it today. After retiring from the pastorate, he set up radio headquarters in Pasadena, and the radio ministry expanded rapidly. Today the program airs on over 800 stations each day in the United States and Canada, is heard in more than 100 languages around the world and is broadcast worldwide via the Internet.

During his last few years, failing health demanded the cancellation of many speaking engagements. This was extremely distressing to him. There was no recurrence of an earlier bout with cancer during this time, only a weakening heart. Back in 1965, after radical surgery, the doctors had given him 6 months to live. The Lord gave him 23 years.

Dr. McGee and the Board of Directors planned in advance how the program would continue in the event of Dr. McGee’s home-going. The message would remain the same and the “voice” of Thru the Bible Radio would continue to be Dr. McGee, through the use of the taped 5-year program, except for those foreign language broadcasts, where the producers use the printed 5-volume Bible study to translate and produce the program.

On the morning of December 1, 1988, a few minutes after a visit with the then Associate Director of Thru the Bible, alert and in conversation centred around his concern for the continuance of the radio ministry, Dr. McGee fell asleep in his chair and quietly passed into the presence of his Saviour.


past illustrious men and ministries


Rev. Garfield Thomas Haywood

Garfield Thomas Haywood (July 15, 1880 – April 12, 1931) was an African-American pastor and song writer who served as Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World from 1925 to 1931


Haywood was born to Bennett and Pennyann Haywood in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1880 and moved to Haughville, a neighbourhood in Indianapolis, at the age of three. As a child, he attended School 52 and then Shortridge High School. Haywood was employed by the Indianapolis Freeman and Indianapolis Recorder news papers as a cartoonist.


In 1909, Haywood founded Christ Temple church.[1] Haywood’s influence crossed ethnic boundaries; by 1913, Christ Temple had a bi-racial membership of 400 to 500 and later grew to 1500. Around 1915, Haywood received a copy of Frank Ewart’s paper Meat in Due Season which argued for Jesus’ Name doctrine. In response, Haywood invited the evangelist Glenn A. Cook to preach at Christ Temple, resulting in Haywood and his congregation converting to Oneness Pentecostalism and facilitating the spread of Oneness Pentecostalism throughout Indiana.

The third general council of the Assemblies of God convened in October 1915 on the agenda was a debate on the merits of the new Jesus’-name doctrine vs the traditional Trinitarian doctrine. Haywood and E. N. Bell spoke on behalf of the Jesus’ Name doctrine and Collins and Jacob Miller spoke against. The result was a draw and it was agreed to readdress the topic at the fourth general council in October 1916. At the fourth general council a statement of faith was enacted which soundly rejected Jesus’-name doctrine causing just over one fourth of the ministers including Haywood to leave the Assembles of God. In 1911 Haywood had become affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) and after his conversion helped convert the origination to Oneness Pentecostalism. Many of the former Assemblies of God ministers that left in 1916 formed the General Assembly of the Apostolic Assemblies which at the start of WWI merged with the PAW in order for its minsters to obtain non-combatant statues. The new and interracial organization appointed Haywood as its general chairman. By 1924 the PAW split on racial lines due to logistical and social problems created by Jim Crow laws and Haywood was appointed Bishop of the newly reorganized PAW.

Haywood composed many gospel songs including “Jesus, the Son of God”, “I See a Crimson Stream of Blood”, and “Do All in Jesus’ Name”. Many of his songs were published in The Bridegroom Songs, which was published by Christ Temple. His songs are known for Oneness Pentecostal themes.[5]Haywood was also an author and Oneness apologist. He wrote tracts, such as “The Victim of the Flaming Sword” and “The Finest of Wheat” as well as published The Voice in the Wilderness, a publication that became the official organ of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1925.

After his death in 1931, Haywood was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, and in 1980, the city of Indianapolis renamed the segment of Fall Creek Drive where Christ Temple is located Bishop Garfield T. Haywood Memorial Way.


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