Nearly a century and a half ago, Thomas Phillips struggled to write a history of the Welsh revival of the mid-1800s. He summarized his dilemma with these words, “The difficulty has been to select and abridge, and so to arrange the materials as to avoid sameness and repetition on the one hand, and incompleteness on the other.” I can identify with his struggle.
When the decision was made to produce a book documenting the 100-year history of the Apostolic Faith work, a content committee was convened. As we delved into our organization’s past, we were challenged by accounts of those early pioneers who led the way on the path of righteousness in which we walk today. As we relived events that took place decades before some of us were born, we were moved by the zeal of our spiritual forefathers. Each story, each photo, each personal recollection was compelling in its own way. What should be selected? What could be left out?
Now, with a series of difficult decisions behind us, we acknowledge that this account is by no means comprehensive. The events, places, and people described on these pages were chosen because they represent the much bigger picture. They are, in fact, just a microcosm of a work whose dimensions will only be made clear in eternity.
Every attempt has been made to provide a true and factual accounting of early events, but many details of our history were never recorded on paper. For that reason, we have had to draw from the personal recollections of old-timers in the faith in a number of instances.
This book is the work of many hands. It goes without saying that the final product could only become a reality through the efforts of scores, even hundreds, of different people.
We are grateful to the guardians of our history for their diligence, without which this book would have been impossible. A special thanks goes to the many who provided us with personal recollections, articles, and photographs. The book is more complete because of their generosity.
As you retrace the events that shaped the Apostolic Faith work and review its method of operation today, we pray that reading about God’s guidance of this organization will create a hunger in your heart. May you be inspired, challenged to a deeper walk of holiness, and motivated to seek God for a greater anointing of the Pentecostal fire that blazed on Azusa Street in 1906.