Beginnings of the Southern Work

History Book
History Book
History Book

In the early years of the development of the Apostolic Faith headquarters work in Portland, God was using men who had been impacted by William Seymour and the Azusa revival to pioneer Gospel work in the southland. Two of these were young ministers who had been saved in the early 1900s—Cato Bush of Carlton, Alabama, and Hugh C. White of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. These men had never met nor corresponded with each other, but their efforts eventually resulted in many people uniting under the umbrella of the Apostolic Faith work.

The “sawdust trail” tent church in Century, Florida, which was the first meeting place of the Apostolic Faith Church there.

Another leader was Richard Barney, a man who was entering the world of professional boxing when he received an Apostolic Faith paper and was converted. Reverend Barney and Reverend Bush eventually met in Century, Florida, and though they worked in different parts of Alabama, they would occasionally get together with others for meetings in Century, Florida, or nearby Flomaton, Alabama.

Pearl Lockett Sr., Cato Bush, and Richard Barney making plans for the Century campground.

Reverend Barney had continued to get literature from the Apostolic Faith organization in Portland, and in 1934, a group decided to visit the Portland camp meeting. They started out in their Model T Ford on a Tuesday. The trip was very difficult—before they had gone fifty miles of the 3000-mile trip, they had five flat tires—but the Lord blessed them, and they arrived in Portland on Saturday. There they received a warm welcome from Florence Crawford and others at the camp meeting.

Cato Bush (right) and Richard Barney (left) with Raymond Crawford at a camp meeting in Portland.

The following year, Reverend Barney felt led to Anniston, Alabama, where he started an Apostolic Faith Church, faithfully serving as pastor there for fifty-five years. During that time, he visited emerging churches in Birmingham and Talladega, Alabama; Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia; and several others.

The group that gathered for the Century camp meeting in 1955.