Books on Specific Groups/Teachings

Heretics and Politics Theology, Power, and Perception in the Last Days of CBCHeretics and Politics Theology, Power, and Perception in the Last Days of CBC (Conquerors Bible College) by Thomas Fudge- Thomas Fudge has written a second UPC related book. Conquerors Bible College closed abruptly in 1983. The UPC attributed the failure to financial causes. Fudge "argues that the financial crisis was rooted in theological controversy, church politics, conflicting models of education, and sustained suspicions of heresy." This book not only goes into the demise of CBC, but also informs the reader of events that transpired at JCM (Jackson College of Ministries- another closed college) since its has a focus on Don Fisher, who headed CBC college when it folded & was also part of JCM. Some have shared they especially liked learning some details of what happened at Jackson College of Ministries. Directly below are two books that Fudge references, both written by former UPC people.

You may read thoughts and opinions about the book from Joseph Howell, Dan Lewis, Tim Landry (all former UPC ministers) and others. Ronna Russell, one of Don Fisher's daughters, has shared her personal reflections in this blog.

The Journey Out The Journey Out of the United Pentecostal Church by Daniel J. Lewis- The Journey Out of the United Pentecostal Church is referenced several times in Heretics and Politics. Dan was born into the UPC, his father having been a minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. His dad helped establish and pastored the first UPC church in Billings, Montana. Dan taught at some of their endorsed Bible Colleges. He was an ordained minister and left voluntarily in 1981, when he could no longer support their teachings. Rumors went wild as he joined evangelical Christianity. Dan is the retired Senior Pastor at Troy Christian Chapel in Troy, Michigan and lectures in the USA and overseas. A number of his writings may be found on the website. In chapter five of this book, Lewis shares the thoughts of several former UPCers: Donna Fisher, Jeffrey Gill, Robin Wentworth, Jerry Peden, Esther Peden, Mark and Beverly Roberts, another Mark Roberts, James Wilkins, Dan Scott, and Skip Paynter. Much thanks to Dan Lewis for his permission to distribute his book for free in PDF and Word formats. The Kindle version linked to at the beginning is $9.99.

Under The Blood Under The Blood by D.L. London (pseudonym)- Under The Blood appears to be a combination of fiction and non-fiction that deals with a well known 'name' in the United Pentecostal Church, in particular the family of one of the sons of the late Nathaniel Urshan who has long had a church in Florida. The author appears to be sharing in part a personal account of her interaction with them. The book may cause you to smile at times as you read the beginnings of a romance between a young couple and then will be gut wrenching as you watch a middle-aged mother intent on destroying two marriages. She creates havoc and turmoil in her family as well as others and ruins the chance of the young couple's future together. I would not spend the $29.99 for the paperback as there are literally dozens and dozens of typos, wrong and missing words, and punctuation omissions and errors. For a lengthier preview than what is on Amazon, see Google Books. A sequel titled Under Grace was released in early 2016, which appears to be more fiction than not.

Imprisoned in the Brotherhood Imprisoned in the Brotherhood: A search into the fundamentalists' "web of tradition" by Don C. Marler- Former UPC member and brother of UPC minister, O.C. Marler. This is a small hardback book originally published in 1973 which had been out-of-print for decades until February 2016. Thomas Fudge references this book in Heretics & Politics (see above) as did Dan Lewis in The Journey Out, which generated some renewed interest. After Marler's death on January 30, 2016, it was republished in paperback and Kindle form through Amazon. Marler had been working with Stacy Webb since at least 2014 on getting his books republished. Not a very good job was done with the new release. Both the collectible original hardback and the new paperback are presently available through the Amazon link provided.

Below is from the original dust jacket:

"As a member of the United Pentecostal Church, Don Marler seeks to challenge, to criticize, and to question the religious systems in which we have imprisoned ourselves. Having lived and worked in the South, the so-called Bible Belt, Mr. Marler concludes that those of fundamentalist belief are more alike than they are different. He directs his book, Imprisoned in the Brotherhood, specifically to all fundamentalists, and, in General, to all Christians.

"The author examines a great number of issues, and in his observations and his pursuit of truth, he finds himself treading on shaky and tenuous ground: "One learns that security based upon ignorance, prejudice ... and blind tradition is a false security indeed." However, "the illusion of security is more tempting than the fearful journey into the unknown."

"This "fear of the unknown" keeps the individual firmly enmeshed in a "web of tradition," indeed, a "prisoner in the brotherhood." But freedom has its price: "It takes its toll in the demands of responsibility and not all can bear it." In the final analysis, the individual must decide whether he chooses freedom and responsibility or "the illusion of security."

"The author's primary purpose here is to present his readers with a number of opportunities to expand their awareness- to begin an escape from the prison of the brotherhood. If the reader finds himself faced with such questions as "How free is free?" or "How free do I want to be?" then Don Marler will have fulfilled his purpose.

"Here is an intelligently refreshing book that will enlighten those readers who are open to a stimulating and innovative viewpoint on man and the religious systems of our time."

Christianity Without The CrossChristianity Without the Cross A History of Salvation in Oneness Pentecostalism by Thomas Fudge- Thomas Fudge, former UPC member whose father holds license in the UPC, has written a scholarly book about the history of the United Pentecostal Church which has caused some shaking within the organization, even prompting a response from David Norris at a UPC symposium in 2004. Mr. Fudge interviewed over 200 people and thoroughly documents information concerning their history. One thing you rarely see mentioned is the fact that one of the two groups which formed the UPC was not as hard line in beliefs as the UPC is today. They believed a person was saved when they came to God in repentance. The title of the book, Christianity Without the Cross, refers to the absence of any mention of the cross and atonement in the UPCI Fundamental Doctrine and Articles of Faith. Finally in 2012, eight years later, the UPC added a mention of atonement to their AOF. To view the first 25 pages of his book at no charge, click here. To view much more of his book at no charge on Google, click here. Click here to read an article from a Canadian newspaper which describes the then forthcoming book. Click here to read an article written by Thomas Fudge concerning why he wrote the book.

A series of lectures by Fudge on church history are available on YouTube below:

A Love Like This: The true story about the Life, Love, and Ministry of B. H. and Mary Hite - by Shirl Hite Sieli. B. H. Hite played a part in the merger between the PCI & PAJC and served on the board when the United Pentecostal Church first organized. Before the merger he was a member of the PCI. Shril's book includes some early history of the Oneness Pentecostal movement from 1913 through 1948. You will find that how it was in the early days is not how it is portrayed today. The author shared in a Facebook post that her father, "left it up to the individual to use their own common sense for how to dress, wear their hair, etc. I have pictures in my book proving that I and my siblings cut our hair, and wore jewelry. And I never owned a long sleeved dress or blouse my entire young life." It was after the passing of B.H. Hite in 1948 that changes in the UPC started taking place. The book is just over 100 pages and sells for $15, which includes postage to the USA. She accepts checks as well as Visa and MasterCard. For every four books purchased, a free one will be included. Shirl may be contacted at

Early Oneness Pentecostalism, G. T. Haywood, and the Interracial Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (1901-1931) by Talmadge Leon French- Thesis written in 2011 by UPC minister Talmadge French, who for a spell left the UPC when the WPF (Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship) formed after the UPC voted in television advertising. He returned around 2009. The first link is a PDF file. The book release of the thesis, "Early Interracial Oneness Pentecostalism," came out July 2, 2014 according to Amazon at a price of over $30.

Joseph Howell, via another book on Amazon, says this about French's book: "French, an Atlanta pastor and former Bible college instructor, offers an astounding amount of information I have never seen before about the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World-both before and after its embrace of Jesus' name baptism and the "one God" message. The short-lived movement of the New Issue men into the PAW after their exit from the Assemblies of God in 1916, their subsequent departure, and the ensuing independent trajectory of the PAW's history (in contrast with the predominantly white Oneness organizations we are familiar with through Arthur Clanton's "United We Stand") are all eye-opening. The dividing power of race and the impact of Jim Crow laws and attitudes among southern Pentecostals make for an interesting backdrop of controversy in contrast to the tales of "unity out of confusion" that are usually told not only in the denominational "histories" (hagiographies), but also in William Menzies' thesis of white Oneness consolidation and black Apostolic diffusion. In French's hand, the founders of Oneness Pentecostalism become three-dimensional men that show shortcomings amidst greatness and greatness amidst shortcoming. He has produced a very readable work despite the often confining form of a dissertation. (This book is adapted from French's 2011 doctoral dissertation from the University of Birmingham.) While I do not agree with every detail of these two works, [Note: he was referencing David Reed's book as well] I endorse them wholeheartedly as well-documented, thoroughly informative works and as the springboards for all such future research. Whatever shortcomings you might find, their benefits will far outweigh any reservations you might have."

The Black Oneness Church In Perspective by Elaine A. Brown Spencer- PDF File. "The Black Oneness Church In Perspective" is Ms. Spencer's thesis from 2009. "This qualitative study examines the social, spiritual and political role the Black Oneness Churches play in Black communities. It also provides an anti-colonial examination of the Afro-Caribbean Oneness churches to understand how it functioned in the formation and defense of the emerging Black communities for the period 1960-1980. This project is based on qualitative interviews and focus groups conducted with Black Clergy and Black women in the Oneness church of the Greater Toronto area. This study is based on the following four objectives: 1. Understanding the central importance of the Black Oneness Pentecostal Church post 1960 to Black communities. 2. Providing a voice for those of the Black Church that are currently underrepresented in academic scholarship. 3. Examining how the Black Church responds to allegations of its own complicities in colonial practices. 4. Engage spirituality as a legitimate location and space from which to know and resist colonization."

God's Peculiar People: Women's Voices & Folk Tradition in a Pentecostal Church by Elaine J. Lawless- Some might be interested in a book by Elaine Lawless, one of the people involved in the documentary, Joy Unspeakable, about Oneness Pentecostal churches. From Amazon: "Folklorist Elaine Lawless draws on fieldwork among Pentecostal congregations in the limestone region of southern Indiana to offer a sympathetic view of the Pentecostals as a special group distinguished by their own folk traditions and religious expression."

In Jesus Name - The History and Beliefs of Oneness Pentecostals In Jesus Name: The History and Beliefs of Oneness Pentecostals by David Reed- David Reed is a former UPC minister. It can be found on CBD much cheaper than Amazon at just under $35. In an announcement from when the book was first released, it stated, "In Jesus' Name tells the story of the third stream of Pentecostalism that emerged during the formative years of the Pentecostal Revival. This is the first comprehensive study of the origins, history and theology of Oneness Pentecostalism, the movement expelled from the Assemblies of God in 1916 for its rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity and insistence on water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reed traces the movement, now estimated at 14 million world-wide, to its Pietist and Evangelical roots. But it developed during the years 1913-1916 within the still formative period of early Pentecostalism. Theologically, this study views the Oneness doctrine of the Name of God as part of its Pentecostal identity." This book is more sympathetic to Oneness Pentecostalism. Detailed reviews of Reed's book may be read in PDF format here and here. Reed plans to write at least two more books on Oneness Pentecostals.

A Review of the Apostolic Faith Movement and Their Key Doctrines: Are They Biblical? A Review of the Apostolic Faith Movement and Their Key Doctrines: Are They Biblical? by Quintin W. Wingate- Wingate is the pastor of a church in Detroit, Michigan called Power Hope & Grace Bible Church and is a former member of The Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith Association, Inc. The author appears to briefly cover all the main teachings of Apostolic churches, including water baptism, tongues, the Godhead & holiness (it does not appear he covers individual standards). He includes some of his memories as well as some Apostolic history.

I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult by Wendy Duncan- "I Can't Hear God Anymore is an inspiring and instructive example of how normal people caught in the skillful manipulations of an abusive cult can find their way back to spiritual and psychological health. This fascinating book is the first book written about the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation. The author was a former member of Ole Anthony's group and writes about her experience with the group and describes the cultic nature of the group and its charismatic leader. Duncan's personal struggle to return to psychological wholeness, as well as insights from Dr. Margaret Singer and other researchers who have explored the cult phenomenon, are included in this important new book." Wendy J. Duncan, LBSW, M.A. has worked in the mental health field for over twenty years. She holds a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a former member of a Bible-based cult.

The Azusa Papers The Azusa Papers by William Seymour- Some who are interested in Pentecostal history may want to take advantage of this Kindle book that is only .99. This collection features the newsletters from William Seymour, "The Azusa Papers," that were published during the famed Asuza Street revival from September 1906 through May of 1908.

The Light That Was Dark The Light That Was Dark by Warren Smith- A good book to use for someone involved with the metaphysical or new age movement. Warren recounts his journey from readings to channeling and "A Course in Miracles," all leading to a frightening encounter when the evil behind his beliefs surfaced.

Holy Ghost Girl Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir by Donna M. Johnson- From Amazon: "As Terrell became known worldwide during the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of the several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cult like communities. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet/healer went to prison."

Damaged Disciples Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement by Ron & Vicki Burks- Though not involved in a shepherding church, I found myself getting angry as I read this book, seeing how people were abused in this system. Some things were helpful, even though I came from a different church. I wish they'd gone into more detail with the experiences given. A follow-up book was said to be planned, but I don't think it ever happened.

Angels Can Fall Angels Can Fall by Sandra Anderson- Sandra Anderson was the wife of an elder in the Community Chapel Church, a Oneness Pentecostal type church in Washington state. It is a non-fiction account as compared to June Summers' fictionalized novel, "ocCULT: They Didn't Think It Could Happen In Their Church." (see the fiction section) To those unaware, this church became experience based, with an almost blind obedience to the leadership by many. There was first the teaching about demons and many members went through "deliverances." Due to the freedom some felt came with these, the teaching of dancing before the Lord started. This then led to the next step of "spiritual connections," which eventually lead to adultery and divorce among a great number of church members. People would pair up with members of the opposite sex, not their own spouses, and many would start to become intimate to varying degrees. It also occurred to some extent between those of the same sex. Reading her book and June's book together, will give the reader a better idea of what happened at this church. It serves as a warning to all. We cannot afford to be blind to unhealthy signs in leadership or in any church we may attend. Experience must never come before Scripture.

Why We Left a Cult Why We Left a Cult: Six People Tell Their Stories by Latayne C. Scott- Delves into the lives of six people, all former Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists and New Age followers. In the first section of the book, the experiences don't always get in depth with details or their struggles. The second part I found more helpful, especially where these former members give their advice for reaching others involved in their former groups. One can observe similarities in each of the differing groups. If you know someone involved in one of these, you may find some valuable information as each former member is given a fair amount of space to share their experiences and thoughts.

Free in Christ Free in Christ: Freeing from the Web of Legal Works and Ritualistic Details into the Peace and Security that Grace Offers by Cecil Hook- Written from a Church of Christ perspective, I found similarities between his situation and mine, so don't let this hold you back if you weren't from this organization. Besides dealing with main areas of legalism, the author will leave you with some things to think about. You may also read this book online for free here.

A Time to Laugh A Time to Laugh: The Holy Laughter Phenomenon by B.J. Oropeza- From the book cover: "...offers a sympathetic but candid examination of the so-called Holy Laughter phenomenon, and its accompanying manifestations..."

Bewitchment: You Foolish Galatians Bewitchment: You Foolish Galatians by Timothy & Carla Williams- A book about the International Church of Christ A.K.A. The Boston Movement. From Amazon: "God put Timothy and Carla Williams in such a place and time where they could watch the faulty foundations of ICoC being laid. This book not only speaks of that history (before 1979), but the reasons this group started out wrong and the part that the mainstream church of Christ played."

Any Evidence? Refuting The Pentecostal Doctrine Of Initial Evidence Any Evidence? Refuting The Pentecostal Doctrine Of Initial Evidence by John Shane Vaughn- The author is a former Apostolic minister who turned to following William Branham. Caution is advised due to the erroneous teachings of Branham as I don't know how much of that has bled into the book. He is also known as John Stephen Vaughn. (It appears he is currently serving jail time. From online news and police reports, he has been in trouble with the law for taking on a false identity and more.) A quote from the book: "This story has a very sad ending! Adam tried for two years to receive the promise that we kept telling him about. He always felt like the less spiritual among us because he had never spoken in tongues. The truth is, Adam was not less spiritual, he was actually our example of godliness and biblical character. ...Adam would cry in my office until I was all out of answers. One day he told me, "Pastor, it must not be for me." after that conversation we never saw Adam again."

The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century by Vinson Synan- From Amazon: "Called "a pioneer contribution" by Church History when it was first published in 1971 as The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States, this volume has now been revised and enlarged by Vinson Synan to account for the incredible changes that have occurred in the church world during the last quarter of the twentieth century." Mr. Synan spoke at the 2011 United Pentecostal Church Annual Symposium.

The International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements by Stanley Burgess- From Amazon: "One thousand entries provide the most extensive information available on Pentecostal, charismatic, and neocharismatic movements. The diverse topics covered include, as a small sample, glossolalia, black and Hispanic Pentecostalism, prophecy, the role of women, faith healing, music, sociology, missions, church growth, and different historic and contemporary revivals. With its unique international and historical perspective, this completely revised and expanded second edition of the acclaimed Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements offers features that no other reference of its kind approaches."

Updated June 25, 2016

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August 23, 1997
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