Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada - History - Early History (1906-1925)

Early History (1906-1925)

The origin of Pentecostalism is widely considered the 1906 Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California. Within months of the outbreak of revival at Azusa Street, Pentecostalism had reached Canada, and by 1910, there were Canadian Pentecostals on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, with sizable congregations in Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. A majority of Pentecostals were found in the prairie provinces due in part to the large numbers of United States immigrants who brought their faith with them. Because of these influences, Canadian Pentecostals maintained close ties to their American counterparts.

A 1909 attempt to organize the Pentecostal Movement in the East failed because of opposition against institutionalization. In 1918, however, a decision was made to form the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. At the time, the PAOC adhered to the non-Trinitarian Oneness doctrine and there were plans to join the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), another Oneness Pentecostal denomination based in the U.S. However, those plans never materialized, and the Canadian body remained an independent organization with no formal US ties. Around the same time that eastern Pentecostals were creating the PAOC, Pentecostals in Saskatchewan and Alberta were joining the US based General Council of the Assemblies of God instead.

In 1920, the PAOC chose to join the Assemblies of God as well. Pentecostals in the West were incorporated into the PAOC, which continued to function as a distinct sub-division of the Assemblies of God. As a result, the PAOC united most Canadian Pentecostals in one denomination. The Assemblies of God, however, was a Trinitarian fellowship, and the PAOC was required to repudiate the Oneness doctrine and embrace the doctrine of the Trinity. This action resulted in the first major split within Canadian Pentecostalism and the creation of the Apostolic Church of Pentecost in 1921 by former PAOC members.

For the next five years, the PAOC experienced growth. It began a national paper, The Pentecostal Testimony, in 1920 and established a centralized overseas missionary policy for improved effectiveness. In 1925, the PAOC asked to be released from the Assemblies of God over differences in missionary vision. This was granted and was an amiable parting, and the two groups have continued to maintain close ties.

Read more about this topic:  Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada, History

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