United Pentecostal Church History
The United Pentecostal Church is a fairly newer organization, established in the mid 1900s. In the forward of their manual, a little background is given which I will quote in part.
"During the last 21 days of the 19th century, a band of earnest, hungry-hearted ministers and Christian workers in Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, called a fast, praying earnestly for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which, to their joyful surprise, came upon them in the early hours of the morning on January 1, 1901. The people were heard speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance, just as it had happened on the day of Pentecost in the year 30 A.D. A great revival immediately broke forth, which soon reached to the State of Texas, and thence west to Los Angeles, where in the year 1906 it centered in an old building on Azusa Street......
Below are links which give the history of different aspects of the Pentecostal or Apostolic movements. It is interesting to learn that not all early Apostolics held to the same strict ideas over issues of salvation as currently expressed by the UPC, Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship & some others.
Above, Loren Yadon delivers his "The Tragedy of War" sermon at the Landmark Conference in Stockton, California on January 25, 1993. Hear him share how things were when the two groups came together to form the UPC in 1945 and how some of the history isn't all shared now. He mentions books on Andrew Urshan being edited to remove certain information and shares that one minister, I assume L.E. Westberg, said that with the resolution he wanted to clean the heretics out of the movement. Yadon stated that intolerance had grown in the UPC. His words about the affirmation resolution start at around the 22 minute mark.
You may want to check out The Apostolic Archives International, the Historical Center of the Assemblies of God and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Some 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 Asuza Street revival from September 1906 through May of 1908.
I acquired a copy of the 1952 Manual/Directory and share much of it on this site. View the list of ministers from 1952 here and a complete listing of United Pentecostal Churches here. A list of districts from 1952 are here and the Articles of Faith are here.
Thomas Fudge, former UPC member whose father still holds license in the UPC, has written a scholarly book about the history of the United Pentecostal Church which is sure to cause some shaking within the organization. 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. Some believed a person was saved when they came to God in repentance. This can be seen in the very first edition of their official publication, The Pentecostal Herald, where they invite differing articles on the "new birth." (See the UPC Beliefs page for an exact quote.)
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. This page contains links to reviews and an interview.
Thomas Fudge released a second UPC related book in March 2014, Heretics and Politics: Theology, Power, and Perception in the Last Days of CBC (Conquerors Bible College). CBC 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." Former UPC minister Don Fisher is featured in the book as he was one of the presidents of the college.
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.
You may read Daniel Lewis' book, The Journey Out of the United Pentecostal Church, referenced several times in Heretics & Politics, in PDF or Word formats. Much thanks to Dan Lewis for his permission to distribute the book.
A series of lectures by Fudge on church history are available on YouTube below:
Below are links, favorable and unfavorable to UPC, Apostolic, Oneness, and general Pentecostal history.
Posted March 22, 2003 & Updated January 16, 2017
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August 23, 1997
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