Howard Archibald Goss (1883~1964)
United Pentecostal Church International
Reverend Howard A. Goss was born on March 6, 1883, near Steelville. Missouri. He was the fifth of seven sons born to Clinton and Margaret Goss who had moved to Missouri from Tennessee. His early childhood was spent on a farm, and the forests around the homestead abounded in wild game. In his own words, Brother Goss stated, “Books we had, but no shoes. They had to be made in our locality. Only the older boys had shoes bought for them. I was 12 years old when I got my first pair.” In those days it was common for people to work from the peep of day until the darkness had settled down. Christmas and the fourth of July were their only holidays.
In 1898, Clinton Goss sold the farm, and moved to Galena, Kansas, where a boom was surging in the lead and zinc mines. Howard was a practicing infidel until he met Charles F. Parham. In 1902, he was invited by his school teacher to visit the revival that was taking place under the direction of Brother Parham. After hearing some young girls speaking in tongues, he was converted to Christianity and accepted the Apostolic faith message.
Soon afterward, he began to feel a call to the ministry. In 1905, he sold all his belongings, and went with Brother Parham and a group of twenty-two workers to Houston, Texas. In 1906, a band of workers in Houston boarded a train to conduct a revival in nearby Alvin. As they traveled and worshipped God, He began to pour out His Spirit. As the train was pulling into the Alvin depot, Howard began speaking in tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance. It was during that same year that Howard was ordained into the ministry.
On February 24, 1907, Howard married Millicent McClendon, a well-known evangelist at that time. She died in 1910 due to complications during child-birth. In the fall of 1911, Howard married Ethel Wright, who died December 3, 1963. They were the parents of six children – three boys and three girls. In 1912, he took his gospel tent to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and then settled there as pastor. In the fall of 1913, he rented the Grand Opera House and moved his congregation into it.
In November of that year, together with E.N. Bell, Howard issued an invitation to hold a convention in order to organize the Pentecostal work. E.N. Bell was elected Chairman and Howard Goss, Secreary. Out of this meeting came the organization known as the Assemblies of God.
It was about this time that the truth of baptism in the name of Jesus and the Oneness of God was revealed. Howard Goss, along with many other ministers, accepted this truth. In 1919, he moved to Canada, where he was instrumental in organizing the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, orginally a Jesus’ name movement. In 1920, he founded Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle in Toronto. He pastored this church until 1937.
In 1939, Howard Goss returned to the United States, and was elected General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Church Incorporated. In 1945, he was elected the first General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, and held this position until 1951. Following this, he labored as a Bible teacher and spiritual advisor. Though almost 80 at the time of his death, he was active in the work of God until illness prevented.
Brother Goss’ long and useful life in the service of God came to an end on July 13, 1964, at his home in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.