The United Pentecostal Church
1952 Articles of Faith
Through the years, the United Pentecostal Church has made changes to their Articles of Faith. These articles spell out their main beliefs and all licensed ministers must state they agree with them.
According to David Bernard in his book, Understanding the Articles of Faith (1999), "Most of the language came from the PCI. Of the seventy-two paragraphs in the 1999 Articles of Faith, fifty-four came from the PCI only, six came from the PAJC only, and one came from both. Four paragraphs were newly written for the merger. Seven paragraphs have been added since the merger, in 1948, 1954, 1972, 1982, 1984, and 1989 (two)." (The PCI and PAJC are the two groups which joined to form the UPC in 1945.)
The 1952 version of the Articles of Faith differs from today in several areas. You will find changes in the following sections: repentance, fundamental doctrine, divine healing, the grace of God, conscientious scruples, marriage and divorce, and public school activities. You will also note that there was no religious holiday section in 1952.
While many changes are minor, the most significant change is found under 'holiness.' It appears in their earlier days, the organization didn't feel the need to spell out holiness standards. All they did was quote Bible passages in the statement. While those passages are quoted today, they have also added stipulations with regard to television, theaters, dances, women cutting their hair, make-up and more.
Regarding changes in the Articles of Faith, David Bernard further stated in his book, "There have also been nine other amendments since the merger: one passed in 1949, one passed in 1973, and seven (for clarification) passed in 1994 and ratified by the districts in 1995 under a new amendment process. Most of these amendments deleted phrases or sentences deemed unnecessary or ambiguous. In addition, minor stylistic changes were made administratively in 1994, primarily to conform to current Word Aflame Press house rules for punctuation, capitalization, and Scripture citation." There have been additional changes since his book was written.
In the original form of the fundamental doctrine (it is seen in the 1952 version as it has only been changed once since 1945) when it speaks of water baptism, the words "for the remission of sins" were not added until 1973, almost 30 years after the formation of the organization. Some said that the words were left out of the original 1945 statement as "an oversight." Others like Bro. Greer and Hardwick stated that those words had been deliberately left out and if they had been included in 1945 there would have been no merger.
According to Stanley Chambers in an article published in the Pentecostal Herald (UPC Publication), when the two groups merged to form the UPC, "one of the greatest problems for them to consider was the Fundamental Doctrine." What many UPCI members today do not realize is that some people who came together to form the organization believed that a person was saved upon repentance, but should go on to be water baptized in the name of Jesus and speak in tongues. Today you would likely not hear such a teaching in a UPCI church.
This is why there is a mention in the fundamental doctrine concerning not contending for one's individual beliefs. Two groups were able to agree to come together and not cause division over when a person was considered saved.
When the resolution to add "for the remission of sins" was presented in 1973, Bro. Greer agreed to second the motion for acceptance as long as there was no official interpretation of the word 'for' in the phrase "for the remission of sins." The word can be understood to mean "because of" or "in order to obtain."
On page 154 of Thomas Fudge's book, Christianity Without the Cross, he mentions that there was a resolution proposed at one time to remove the word "full" from the term "full salvation" in the fundamental doctrine statement. On page 186 he mentions how there was a submission to the resolution committee to add the words, "and a life of Holiness according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God and described in the Articles of Faith of the UPCI" to the fundamental doctrine as part of the plan of salvation. These resolutions never passed.
Below is a PDF file showing the 1952 UPC Articles of Faith for you to compare for yourself. To view today's Articles of Faith, click here. I want to thank Jim Ellis for some of the information used in this article.
1952 Articles of Faith
To view the list of ministers from 1952, click here.
To view a complete listing of United Pentecostal Churches from the 1952 directory, click here.
To view the list of districts from 1952, click here.
To read the 2005 version, click here. To read the 2012 version, click here.
You may write Lois at the email address displayed in the image. No correspondence that seeks to debate will be answered as I have no desire to debate. Understand that due to the volume of mail, not every email may be acknowledged.
Page added January 26, 2007 - Revised February 25, 2017