Providing Biblical & Theological Resources for Christ Followers

Our Heritage

Global Christian Learning Center (GCLC) is an online Christian educational training institution connected to its Pentecostal/Charismatic/Holiness heritage. A brief overview of each of these spiritual movements is provided in the following three sections.

Our Pentecostal Heritage

Global Christian Learning Center’s pentecostal heritage has its roots in the Word of God. In Jesus’ last appearance to His disciples (Acts 1:4), before His ascension from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-11), Jesus told his disciples not to “…leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about” [Acts 1:4 (NIV)].

The Father’s promise was the pouring out and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The fulfillment of the Father’s promise came upon about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ, including the Twelve Apostles (Acts 1:15), on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

There are a total of five biblical references in the book of Acts in which people/persons were baptized in the Holy Spirit: The day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Samaritan revival converts (Acts 8:12-17), Saul (Paul) of Tarsus (Acts 9:17-18), Cornelius’ home (Acts 10:44-48, 11:15-17), and the Christ followers at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6).

Our pentecostal heritage spans a period of about 2000 years. During this period the pentecostal experience was marked by four main characteristics, three major truths and three supernatural phenomena (Gordon F. Atter. The Third Force, “Pentecostal Revivals in Church History”. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada: The College Press, p. 10:

The pentecostal experience was marked by four main characteristics:

1. Conviction for sin
2. Conversion from sin
3. Miracles
4. Speaking with other tongues

The pentecostal experience was signified by emphasis upon three major truths:

1. The fall of man, and his lost condition
2. The redeeming work of Christ
3. The provision by the Holy Spirit of “Power from on High”

The pentecostal experience was experienced with three supernatural phenomena:

1. Miraculous healings
2. Miraculous prophecies
3. Miraculous speaking with tongues

Personal Observation

Dr. Leslie E. Bartley’s  personal observation, the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit

The Pentecostal Movement in the Early Church

The very first recorded experience of pentecostal expressions within Church history dates to about AD 34. This first recorded experience describes the found of the Apostolic Church. The founder of this church was Jesus Christ. The Apostolic Church came into existence when Jesus call his first disciples (later apostles), but was spiritually empowered on the day of Pentecost.

Reliable church historians agree that the Church gradually ceased to experience supernatural phenomena due to a steady increase in worldliness. This phase of church history culminated toward the end of the Dark Ages. This spiritual apathy spans about a thousand years (500 to 1500 AD) beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire and culminating with the Italian Renaissance. The Dark Ages corresponds roughly with the Middle Ages.

Church history does record periods of spiritual revival during the Dark Ages. During periods of spiritual apathy, God has always raised up an individual or individuals to lead spiritual revivals marked by the pentecostal experience identified above. Such spiritual revivals occurred through the ministries of Tertullian (second century), Augustine (fourth century), Chrysostom (late fourth century), The Waldensans (twelfth and thirteenth centuries), Mendicant friars (thirteenth century), the Jansenists, early Quakers, the Carmisards of the Cevennes (Huguenots – French Protestants) in early 1700s, converts of Wesley (1750) and Whitefield 1739-70), Methodists, Sweden (1841-43), Ireland (1859), Charles Finney (1825-35), the Irvingites (1830s), D.L. Moody (1873), and Second and Gift Adventists (1824 – late 1870s).

The pentecostal movement in the United States began in the late nineteenth century and at the turn of the twentieth century. This pentecostal revival is mark by the spiritual experiences of Charles Parnham (Azusa Street church), students at Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, Bishop W.J. Seymour, a black holiness preacher (Azusa Street Revival, 1906), Gaston Barnabas Cashwell (early 1910s), and others.

The Pentecostal movement adheres to sixteen (16) basic doctrines. The user/learner may access these doctrines from our website. These doctrines are located on the website’s main menu, under the About Us tab, sub-topic Philosophy; then follow the right pointing arrow, scrolling down to the topic: “Statement of Faith”.

Our Holiness Heritage

From about 1870 there was a spiritual awakening within the fabric of the United States that called for a holy change within the individual. This Holiness awakening became known as the Holiness Revivals or Movement.

The holiness movement has its roots in the teaching and preaching of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, Charles Wesley, John Fletcher, 18th century Methodists, Quakerism and Anabaptism. Also, the 19th century Methodist churches continued the interest in Christian holiness.

By the 1840s a new emphasis on holy living and Christian perfection arose within the United States. This was brought about by revivalism and camp meetings fostered by the Second Great Awakening (1790 – 1840). Phoebe Palmer and her husband, Dr. Walter Palmer were prominent Holiness leaders during this period. A Wesleyan style journal, The Guide to Holiness, was found during this time. The Palmers, in 1865, purchased this publication and at its peak had a circulation of 30,000.

In addition to the Palmers, other noted leaders of the Second Great Awakening and the Holiness movement were James Caughey, Henry Clay Morrison, Orange Scott, B.T. Roberts, John Wesley Redfield, Thomas Upham, Asa Mahan, Albert Benjamin Simpson and others.

Dwight L. Moody, an American Evangelist, in 1871 had an experience he called an “endowment with power”. He didn’t align himself with the Wesleyan-Holiness movement, but continued to be interested in progressive sanctification.

D.S. Warner, in 1881, founded the Church of God Reformation Movement, known today as the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). He want to bring Restorationism to the Holiness community.

Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army, was influenced by Palmer’s The Promise of the Father, which advocated women in ministry. The practice of ministry by women was common but not universal within the denominations of the Holiness movement.

Overseas missions or world evangelism became a central focus within the Holiness movement around the 1870s. One major leader of this emphasis was Martin Wells Knapp, founder of Pilgrim Holiness Church.

As the Holiness movement grew, dissension began to arise, particularly within the Methodist ranks. Holiness teachings was not universally popular with the Methodist leadership. By the 1890s it is noted that only one-third to one-half of the Methodist leadership were committed to the idea of sanctification as a second work of grace. There was bitter divisions within the Methodist church causing many to leave its fellowship. These ministers were influential in founding new Holiness denominations and organizations, such as the Free Methodist Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Salvation Army and the Church of the Nazarene.

Throughout the early Twentieth century the Holiness movement participated in local revivals and the traditional camp meetings.

The Holiness movement spread throughout every English speaking country of the world. Toward the end of the nineteenth century a rising tide of evangelism swept the English speaking world, leading to a number of Holiness groups being birth. The Holiness movement sparked revivals which brought deep spiritual blessings to many hungry hearts.

The Holiness movement is Wesleyan-Arminian in doctrine with an emphasis on the doctrine of a second work of grace (sanctification) leading to Christian perfection (Quakerism). The Holiness movement also emphasizes the teaching that the individual is changes by the spiritual cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ at the new birth experience and the individual also receives the Holy Spirit to guide their spiritual walk.

This movement emphasized the need for followers of Christ to seek a deeper spiritual life and personal piety, separating oneself from worldly values and influences. The Holiness movement maintained that outward holiness was a direct result of the inward holiness of the individual.

In addition, Holiness standards included the belief that the moral aspects of God’s Word are pertinent for the world today, therefore, a holy people must not conform to the ways of the world. The outgrowth of these standards gave rise to Holiness adherents obeying, often legalistically, behavioral rules – the wearing of modest clothing, refraining from the use of profanity, abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, gambling and certain entertainments such as dancing and theater-going.

At first the Holiness movement spread within existing denominations. But, the Holiness message soon became more and more unwelcome. Finally, between 1893 and 1907 twenty-five separate Holiness denominations came into existence.

Our Charismatic Heritage

The charismatic movement began around 1960. This movement basically adopted beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostalism. Fundamentally, the manifestation of spiritual gifts were emphasized in worship and in the believer’s spiritual walk.

Prior to 1955, mainline denominations had failed to embrace Pentecostal doctrines. Followers of the Pentecostal movement were ridiculed and often socially ostracized. The Charismatic moment saw a reversal of this adverse behavior. The1960s heralded the acceptance of many charismatic teachings by Christians within mainline Protestant denominations.

Before 1955, those individuals who had been influenced by Pentecostal spirituality, either voluntarily or forcible, left their mainline denomination, but after 1960 they were remaining within their original denominations.

This greater acceptance of charismatic teachings and ideas are linked to healing revivals that occurred from 1946 to 1958. Many revivalist of the times, such as William Branham, Oral Roberts, and A. A. Allen, held large interdenominational meetings which emphasized the gifts of the spirit.

The beginning of the charismatic movement is usually dated to Sunday, April 3, 1960, when Dennis J. Bennett, rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California shared his Pentecostal experience to his congregation at three sequent Sundays, including Easter (April 17), during which many of his congregation became interested or shared his experience. Other mainline spirit filled pastors began sharing their pentecostal experience publicly.

Some charismatic ministers began holding special meetings for seekers. In addition, Charismatic healing services which included anointing the sick with oil and the laying on of hands with prayer.

In contrast to the Pentecostal traditions of world wide evangelism, the Charismatic movement places it emphasis on being a force for revitalization and renewal within their own church traditions.

We at GCLC communicate to each learner from a Pentecostal/Charismatic/Holiness point of view. Each learner must respect our doctrinal and heritage position.