The World Assemblies of God Fellowship

The Assemblies of God prefers to be referred to as a cooperative fellowship instead of a denomination. It grew out of the Pentecostal revival that began in the early 20th century in places such as Topeka, Kansas, and the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles and quickly spread around the world. During times of prayer and Bible study, believers received spiritual experiences like those described in the Book of Acts. Accompanied by "speaking in tongues", their religious experiences were associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2) and participants in the movement were dubbed "Pentecostals". From those early beginnings, there are an estimated 560 million Pentecostals in the world today.

According to Wikipedia:

The Assemblies of God, officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination. With over 384,000 ministers and outstations in over 212 countries and territories serving approximately 67.5 million adherents worldwide, it is the fourth largest international Christian group of denominations and the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. As an international fellowship, the member denominations are entirely independent and autonomous; however, they are united by shared beliefs and history. The Assemblies originated from the Pentecostal revival of the early 20th century. This revival led to the founding of the Assemblies of God in the United States in 1914. Through foreign missionary work and establishing relationships with other Pentecostal churches, the Assemblies of God expanded into a worldwide movement. It was not until 1988, however, that the world fellowship was formed.

In 1919 Pentecostals in Canada united to form the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, which formally affiliated with the Assemblies of God USA the next year. The Assemblies of God in Great Britain formed in 1924 and would have an early influence on the Assemblies of God in Australia, now known as Australian Christian Churches. The Australian Assemblies of God formed in 1937 through a merger of the Pentecostal Church of Australia and the Assemblies of God Queensland. The Queensland AG had formed in 1929; though, it was never formally affiliated with the AG in America. The Assemblies of God of South Africa, founded in 1925, was also not initially aligned with the US fellowship.

In 1988, the various Assemblies of God national fellowships united to form the World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship at the initiative of Dr. J. Philip Hogan, then executive director of the Division of Foreign Missions of the Assemblies of God in the United States. In 2018, the organization had 144 National Fellowships in 190 countries, 375,310 churches and 69,200,000 members.

312 Azusa Street
The mission at 312 Azusa Street

Along with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the A/G believes the Bible is God's inspired Word to man, that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ, that divine healing is made possible through Jesus' suffering and death on the cross, and that Jesus Christ will return for those who love Him.

A/G leaders credit their church's rapid and continuing growth (20.4 % in US adherents in the decade between 1989-99) to its acceptance of the New Testament as a model for the present-day church. Aggressive evangelism and mission zeal at home and abroad characterize the church. Brazil has the largest number of A/G adherents with over 15 million.

Yoido Church
Yoido Full Gospel Church

The largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, is an A/G congregation. As of 2007, membership stands at 1 million with seven Sunday services translated into 16 languages. Its pastor, Dr. David Yonggi Cho, was chairman of the World A/G Fellowship from 1992 to 2000. As we remember the impact a fledgling group of Spirit-filled believers had on the 20th century, we believe that God can send a fresh outpouring of His Spirit today in the 21st century.

Some well-known Assemblies of God members worldwide - either current or former or associated are:

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Table 1: A/G (current or former) members

Name Role
Smith Wigglesworth (UK) (1859-1947) Healing Evangelist, the "Apostle of Faith," instrumental in founding future Elim and Assemblies of God national fellowships. He held credentials with the Assemblies of God USA from 1924 to 1929.
F.F. Bosworth (USA) (1877-1958) American evangelist, an early religious broadcaster. He was one of the founders of the Assemblies of God in 1914 and was with them until 1918 when he had a disagreement on the initial evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and withdrew.
Lillian Trasher (USA) (1887-1961) Missionary to Asyut, Egypt, as well as the founder of the first orphanage in Egypt, which also assisted widows and the blind. When she returned to the US in 1919 she joined the Assemblies of God movement. By her death in 1961, the orphanage had grown to some 1200 children. Today, the institution is entirely the responsibility of the Assemblies of God of Egypt.
Aimee Semple McPherson (Canada) (1890-1944) Former Assemblies of God church planter and evangelist who later became the founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
David du Plessis (South Africa) (1905-1987) One of the founding fathers of the charismatic movement outside of the traditional Pentecostal churches. Formerly with the AFM in South Africa, he later relocated and held preaching credentials with the A/G in the US. He surrendered them in 1962 under pressure from denominational leadership who opposed his ecumenical efforts. He remained a member of an Assemblies of God church in Oakland, California, and in 1980 his credentials were restored.
Nicholas Bhengu (South Africa) (1909-1985) Leader and 20th century apostle in the A/G in South Africa, Nicholas Bhengu was the founder of the Back To God movement.
Kenneth E. Hagin (USA) (1918-1956) Founder of Rhema Bible Training College, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, which now has training centers in 14 different countries, and has planted over 1,500 congregations worldwide. In 1937, Hagin became an A/G minister and during the next 12 years he pastored five A/G churches in Texas.
Jack Coe (USA) (1918-1956) An evangelist, nicknamed "the man of reckless faith". He was one of the first faith healers in the US with a touring tent ministry after World War II. Coe was ordained in the Assemblies of God in 1944 but expelled in 1953.
Fred Mullan (South Africa) (d.1981) The general chairman of the A/G in South Africa for many years.
James Mullan (South Africa) (d.1987) Pioneer in the A/G South Africa, Jim Mullan was undoubtedly one reason why the A/G in South Africa grew so rapidly in the 20th century.
Samani Pulepule (Samoa, based in New Zealand) (1923-2013) General Superintendent of the Samoan Assemblies of God Worldwide Fellowship since 1967. Also Senior Pastor of the largest Samoan congregation in the World, Auckland Samoan Assembly of God. Regarded as the eldest serving pastor and superintendent in the Assemblies of God Worldwide.
Gene Scott (USA) (1929-2005) Internationally known preacher, former president of University Network and helped found Oral Roberts University.
David Wilkerson (USA) (1931-2011) Former Assemblies of God evangelist. Founder of Teen Challenge, founder and pastor of independent Times Square Church in New York City from 1987 until the time of his death on April 27, 2011. Famous for his book "The Cross and the Switchblade," instrumental in conversion of Nicky Cruz.
Samuel Ennis (Northern Ireland/South Africa) (1932-2016)Sam Ennis took an active role in the establishment of the Assemblies of God Fellowship (AGF) in South Africa.
Paul Crouch (USA) (1934-2013) In 1961, he was appointed by the Assemblies of God to organize and operate their newly formed Department of Television and Film Production in Burbank, California. Later became co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world's largest Christian television network. The network has grown to 47 satellite stations and 12,500 affiliates, reaching nearly 100,000,000 households globally.
Mehdi Dibaj (Iran) (1935-1994) An Iranian Christian convert from Shia Islam. He joined the Jama'at-e Rabbani Church, the Iranian branch of the Assemblies of God and later became a pastor. He was tried by an Islamic court in Sari in 1993 and sentenced to death on charges of apostasy.
Loren Cunningham (USA)(1936-) Founder of YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and the University of the Nations. His parents, Tom and Jewell Cunningham, were itinerant Assembly of God pastors who planted churches across the Southwest US. Loren studied at Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, a school affiliated with the Assemblies of God.
Nicky Cruz (USA) (1938-) Former gang member; now Assemblies of God minister. Author of autobiography Run Baby Run
John Hagee (USA) (1940-) Founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 19,000 active members. John Hagee received his theological training from Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
Haik Hovsepian Mehr (Iran) (1945-1994) Haik was a bishop of the Jama'at-e Rabbani church (part of the Assemblies of God church movement). After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, he was one of the few Christian leaders to continue to evangelize. In 1994, he disappeared after protesting the Iranian government's treatment of converts to Christianity and is generally assumed to have been murdered by the state.
Benny Hinn (USA) (1952-) Televangelist, hosts "This Is Your Day" on TBN, was ordained by the Assemblies of God in 1994, and subsequently resigned his ordination in 1996.
Steve Hill (USA) (1954-2014) Evangelist who led the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida in the 1990s
Jimmy Swaggart (USA) (1935-) Former Assemblies of God evangelist. Televangelist, founder of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and gospel music artist. Cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley, began performing at the Ferriday First Assemblies of God church (Ferriday, Louisiana).
David Yonggi Cho (South Korea) (1936-) Senior Pastor of the largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea
Jim Bakker (USA) (1940-) Founder of The PTL Club
Bill Wilson (USA) (1948-) Leader of Metro Ministries International.
Ray McCauley (South Africa) (1949-) Senior Pastor of Rhema Bible Church, President of International Federation of Christian Churches IFCC, author and former champion body builder (former Mr South Africa and 3rd in Mr. Universe). Ray McCauley was saved in the A/G in Norwood. After attending Kenneth Hagin's Bible College in the US, he came back to South Africa and started Rhema Bible Church.
Brian Houston (Australia)(1954-) Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and former national superintendent/president of the Australian Christian Churches (the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God) from 1997 to 2009.
Danny Nalliah (Australia) (1964-) Pastor of The Fire Ministries in Melbourne, Victoria
Alan Chambers (USA) (1972-) President of Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" organization in the world

Fiction Author
Frank Peretti (USA) New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and The Oath (1995). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God.

Elvis Aron Presley (USA) "King of Rock & Roll," singer, actor, born in Tupelo, Mississippi, sang in choir at First Assemblies of God (Tupelo) and at camp meetings.
The Jonas Brothers (USA) The father of these pop stars, Paul Kevin Jonas, Sr. is an ordained Assemblies of God Minister and former pastor in Wyckoff, New Jersey
Gary Chapman (USA) Singer/songwriter.  Parents (Mary [1936-2002] and Terry) were both ordained Assemblies of God ministers and pastored an Assemblies of God church in Texas.
Toni Childs (USA) Pop singer, raised in the Assemblies of God.
Kate Gosselin (USA) Kate Plus 8 show.
Phil Keaggy (USA) Guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of rock band Glass Harp. Two weeks after Keaggy's mother died in 1970 he became a Christian and attended a small Assemblies of God church in Boardman, Ohio.
Jerry Lee Lewis (USA) Rock-and-roll star, pianist, singer. At age 8 sang for Ferriday First Assemblies of God church (Ferriday, Louisiana), played at tent revivals. Cousin to Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley.
Scott Perkins (USA) Radio personality. Known as the "Country Parson" to country music listeners in the Topeka, Kansas market. He pastors the FarmHouse Cowboy Church in Topeka, Kansas.
Kristy Starling (USA) Contemporary Christian music artist, former participant in Assembly of God National Fine Arts Festival competition.
Guy Sebastian (Australia) Pop, R&B, and soul singer-songwriter who attended Paradise Community Church. He was the first winner of Australian Idol (2003) and is a judge on the Australian version of The X-Factor. Has sung with the then Paradise Community Church Youth Conference Planetshakers.
Moya Brennan (Ireland) Grammy award winning Irish singer

John Ashcroft (USA) Known as the first Assemblies of God congressman, former US attorney General, Missouri senator (1995), and Missouri Governor (1985-93).
Sarah Palin (USA) Former Governor of Alaska and GOP Vice President Candidate. Attended Assemblies of God Church for 2 decades until 2002.
Todd Tiahrt (USA) U.S. Representative from Kansas 4th District, graduate of Evangel College Springfield, Missouri.
Doug Wead (USA) Former special assistant to George H.W. Bush and author. Once an Assemblies of God evangelist.
Vern Clark (USA) Admiral (United States Navy, Retired) - Former Chief of Naval Operations, graduate of Evangel College Springfield, Missouri.
Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope (South Africa) Former leader of the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana and current leader of the United Christian Democratic Party, a minor political party based in the North West province of South Africa. Mrs Mangope was a devout Christian elected to head the women's movement of the Back to God Crusade. Lucas Mangope was a member and patron of the Assembly of God at Motswedi, his home village.
Andrew Evans (Australia) Previously Senior Pastor of Paradise Church. Founder of the Family First Party and Member of the South Australian Legislative Council

Sources: Lillian_Trasher Haik_Hovsepian_Mehr Mehdi_Dibaj Yoido_Full_Gospel_Church Assemblies_of_God Hillsong_Church List_of_Assemblies_of_God_people Frank_E._Peretti Paul_Crouch F._F._Bosworth Aimee_Semple_McPherson Jack_Coe Kenneth_E._Hagin

Compiled and edited by Gavin Paynter