The World Assemblies of God Fellowship | AGF Brakpan

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 n 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:

AG-members LICENSE: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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

Name Role
Pastor/
Evangelists
Smith Wigglesworth (UK) Healing Evangelist, the "Apostle of Faith," instrumental in founding future Elim and Assemblies of God national fellowships. Spoke at Assemblies of God conferences but never joined the organization.
Loren Cunningham (USA) 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.
David Wilkerson (USA) 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.
Alan Chambers (USA) President of Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" organization in the world
Paul Crouch (USA) 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.
Nicky Cruz (USA) Former gang member; now Assemblies of God minister. Author of autobiography Run Baby Run
John Hagee (USA) 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.
Steve Hill (USA) Evangelist who led the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida in the 1990s
Benny Hinn (USA) Televangelist, hosts "This Is Your Day" on TBN, was ordained by the Assemblies of God in 1994, and subsequently resigned his ordination in 1996.
Aimee Semple McPherson (USA) Former Assemblies of God church planter and evangelist who later became the founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
Gene Scott (USA) Internationally known preacher, former president of University Network and helped found Oral Roberts University.
Jim Bakker (USA) Founder of The PTL Club
Jimmy Swaggart (USA) 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).
Bill Wilson (USA) Leader of Metro Ministries International.
Brian Houston (Australia) 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) Pastor of The Fire Ministries in Melbourne, Victoria
David Yonggi Cho (South Korea) Senior Pastor of the largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea
Samani Pulepule (Samoa, based in New Zealand) 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.
Nicholas Bhengu (South Africa) Leader and 20th century apostle in the A/G in South Africa, Nicholas Bhengu was the founder of the Back To God movement.
David du Plessis (South Africa) 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.
James Mullan (South Africa) 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.
Samuel Ennis (South Africa)Sam Ennis took an active role in the establishment of the Assemblies of God Fellowship (AGF) in South Africa.
Ray McCauley (South Africa) 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.

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.

Entertainers
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

Politicians
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:

http://www.azusabooks.com
http://www.agcongress.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoido_Full_Gospel_Church
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblies_of_God
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsong_Church
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Assemblies_of_God_people
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_E._Peretti
https://religionnews.com

Compiled and edited by Gavin Paynter