I would heartily commend to you a new book by Keith Malcomson (School of Christ International, Ireland) on “Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered” (published by Xulon Press, USA). It is an excellent publication, especially in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain and Ireland. It gives powerful insights into many of the early Pentecostal preachers and leaders. The first part has to do with "Moulding Influences," going back to Pentecost, then reflections on such as William Booth, D.L. Moody, A.B. Simpson, the Keswick Convention, Welsh Revival and Azusa Street. In the second part, "Pentecostal Pioneers" Keith gives at least 26 personal portraits of outstanding men of God whose lives and ministries made an outstanding impact not only on their own generation but affecting us today through their teachings. The final part of the book with “Foundation, Heresies, Departures and Restoration.” The Foreward is written by that dear, godly and impassioned servant of God, Rev. B.H. Clendennen, and still very active at 86 years of age – Founder of “School of Christ International”, who expresses his conviction:
“Since truth, mercy, and the knowledge of God, in the nations, is the responsibility of the Church, it naturally follows that there is no hope apart from a God sent revival that will renew the Church, and for her to again become the ‘Vessel of Recovery’.”
You will not be disappointed. Reading of these anointed men of our Pentecostal history will encourage you and stir you to believe God to visit us again.
God bless you richly,
(First General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain. Also served as the principal of Commonwealth Bible College, Australia)
FLOWER PENTECOSTAL HERITAGE CENTRE, USA
This book commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain and Ireland, 1907-2007. The author has a burden for present-day revival, and he hopes that the testimonies of early Pentecostal pioneers will inspire the next generation. He calls attention to their strong emphasis on the baptism of the Holy Spirit with signs following, their belief in healing for the sick, and their belief in the authority of Scripture (which includes testing and proving all things). These are important principles for today’s generation.
The book is divided into three sections: Moulding influences; Pentecostal pioneers; and Foundation, heresies, departures, and restoration. Background topics covered include the Brethren Movement, the Keswick Convention, the Welsh Revival, and the Azusa Street Revival.
Most of the book is a collection of short testimonies and biographical sketches of a number of “fathers of the faith” in the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain and Ireland. Some of these include: T.B. Barratt, A. A. Boddy, Arthur Booth-Clibborn, Robert A. Brown, W. F. P. Burton, Howard Carter, John Carter, Mrs. Eleanor Crisp, Stanley Frodsham, Donald Gee, Harold Horton, Edward Jeffreys, George Jeffreys, Stephen Jeffreys, James McKeown, Thomas Myerscough, J. Nelson Parr, Cecil Polhill, James Salter, Douglas Scott, and Smith Wigglesworth. Most of these pioneers were born in Britain and Ireland and ministered there, yet their ministries deeply affected the entire world. In addition to the biographical sketches, the author includes additional comments and sidebars regarding some of the better-known individuals.
The last section includes sketches on the Apostle Paul, W. O. Hutchinson, A. E. Saxby, David du Plessis, and B. H. Clendennen. Each of these men has a unique message which is worthy of exploration as they forged ahead in ministry, although not always with the mainstream. Lessons can be learned from each example given in the book, and the testimonies should inspire the present generation of Pentecostal believers. There is also a helpful bibliography.
Reviewed by Glenn W. Gohr
Written in an easy-to-follow style, it looks at early precursors (Moody, Keswick, the Welsh Revival), characters who represent all branches of early British Pentecostalism, and some of the problems faced in those early years. Written with a strong commitment to preserve the best, and to warn against anything that would detract from ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’.
Reviewed by Desmond Cartwright
(Pentecostal Historian & Author of The Real Smith Wigglesworth)
The Great Men of Faith--what are their stories? How did they come to faith in Christ? How did they find a place of Grace in which they were endued with Pentecostal power? What did they do right, and where did they miss God's best? Keith Malcomson has researched and collected the stories of the Early Pentecostal men and women of old, and presents the answers to these questions in his new book, Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered.
The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, Keith begins the journey by explaining the influences of the Keswick Convention, the Welsh Revival, and other forces that preceded the Pentecostal Outpouring of 1900. I know of no other book that draws the connections between these various revivals and the Pentecostal Outpouring in the way that is done in this book. Keith examines the ministers whose lives led up to, or flourished within, the Pentecostal Move. We are told fascinating accounts of the ministries of D.L. Moody, Hudson Taylor, William Booth, and others who seemed to prepare the fallow ground for the new Pentecostal Move to spring up from the dry earth.
Then in Part II, the book gives the accounts of Smith Wigglesworth--of whom volumes have already been written--but Keith writes also of men of equal stature whose inspiring stories have seldom been told before: John and Howard Carter, Stanley Frodsham, the Jeffreys Brothers, James Salter, WFP Burton and other men and women of whom the world was not worthy.
In Part III, Keith then demonstrates how the early Pentecostals recognized and rejected some of the very errors that plague us today in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. He tells of how a personal prophecy wrecked the ministry of more than one man of God in his prime. He shows how easily it was, even for these remarkable men of God, to get sidetracked or misled by aspects of spiritual life that we deal with today. This helps to bring home to us the lessons we must learn from our forefathers in the Faith if we are ever to reach their stature.
Although this book belongs in the library of every scholar and Bible School, Keith writes in a simple and easy-to-read manner that will bless any saint who sincerely desires to understand the deep things of God and our Pentecostal history. I believe with time "Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered" by Keith Malcomson will be recognized as a classic similar to "Questions and Answers on Spiritual Gifts," by Howard Carter, and "Christ the Healer," by F.F. Bosworth.
Rev. Mel C. Montgomery
Rediscovering Pentecost Ministries
Joplin, MO USA
There's a great sense of feeling to hold in your hands a piece of work into which you know many, many years of detailed research, love and commitment have been poured. That's the feel you get with this book - a weighty tome in every sense of the word. Indeed, this is one of the finest histories of the Pentecostal movement in Britain and Ireland ever to come into light -history brought to spiritual life - in the form mainly of biographical accounts of the main players.
Some are already well known to many believers - Smith Wigglesworth, George Jeffreys, etc - but many others are lesser known figures whose lives, until now, have been inadequately researched, or not at all. Keith Malcomson puts paid to that - and gives loads of fascinating material hitherto unknown. It is extremely difficult, for example to obtain information about Andrew Murdoch, one of the main leaders of the early Pentecostal movement in Scotland. But the author comes up with a fine short study of the key elements in his life. The same is true of many other individuals whose life-stories prove well worth reading about.
The author helpfully keeps personal opinions out of these biographies, and only includes his own thoughts in a short `Author's Notes' at the end of each piece. I confess, I don't think he's always critical enough, but he certainly makes some very relevant insights.
The book makes a great read from start to finish (though it'll take you a while - it's nealy 500 pages long!); but it can also be picked up and opened at almost any point for an interesting short-read. Moreover, the book acts as an excellent reference source on the British Pentecostal movement - one that I'm sure I'll turn to again and again. Very occasionally, a small textual change (grammatical) might have improved quality. But there's no question - this is a beautifully researched piece of work, it deserves a wide and longstanding circulation, and I'm honoured to have a copy in my possession.
By Tom Lennie
(Author of Glory in the Glenn - A History of Evangelical Revivals in Scotland 1880-1940)
When I began reading "Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered", I expected another interesting and informative history. But to my pleasant surprise, this book went far beyond history alone and stirred me deeply and spiritually. In my 37 years of Pentecostal ministry, I have rarely read anything outside the Bible that has impacted me and motivated me like Keith Malcomson's book.
My wife and I have been crying out to God in prayer for a renewed Pentecost in our day; for a double portion of God's Spirit upon today's Church; for a daily, personal anointing of "fresh oil" of the Holy Spirit. That spiritual thirst was greatly enlarged by these inspiring stories of Christians just like many of us -- believers who in some cases had little formal education, but who went forth full of God's Word and God's Spirit and with Pentecostal power preached Jesus Christ in His fullness.
This book will leave you a changed person! No matter how few years or how many you have been a Christian, "Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered" will challenge you to new levels of prayer, of love for the Lord, of seeking more of Him, and of dedication to the work of God. Read this book at your own risk! You'll never again be content with anything less than 100% of God's plan and of the Holy Spirit's power for your life.
James H. Feeney, Ph.D.
Retired pastor and Bible college Dean.