Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ

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Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ

(1931 ~ present)

It was decided that the Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World would meet to work out a merger of their respective groups, and consequently, their efforts in the work of the Lord.

In November of 1931 in the city of St. Louis, a conference was convened for this purpose. The merger was adopted, and they took part of each of their names to appropriately name the new organization. This new name was The Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, commonly known as the P.A. of J.C.

The leadership was composed of a Board of Presbyters who, in turn, would elect one from their body to preside at each General Conference. J.A. Frush was the Editor; Karl F. Smith (african american) was Secretary.

This merger did not work as planned, because almost from the start, hindrences arose to hamper the proposed idea. The organization forged ahead, gaining strength and ground, but the same type of difficulties encountered in the old Pentecostal Assemblies of the World were again run into.

Bishop Grimes, (a prominant black leader), did not accept the idea of the merger, so he left the conference and renewed the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World charter before its expiration. This caused quite a bit of unrest, and several decided to go along with him.

Then it was perceived that the same distasteful experiences as before, concerning the races, was to be gone through. Due to segregation in the South, a General Conference could not be held below the Mason-Dixon line with all in attendance, and the re-enactment was on.

It was decided, though, that a conference would be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1937. This proved to be the undoing of relationships with the arrangement worked out in 1931 at St. Louis. Only the white ministers were able to attend, and only legislation of a minor order was to be passed upon, and that to be sanctioned the next year in a conference held again in the North, with all members present.

This could not work out harmoniously. Some felt that they were being discriminated against, even though this was not the spirit of the happenings at all. Nevertheless, the P.A. of J.C. lost several, with most of the black brethern going back to the old Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

The next convention in 1938 was held in Columbus, Ohio, with O.F. Fauss presiding. It was decided that the organization would return to the governmental General Chairman again. W.T. Witherspoon was selected to be the General Chairman and the Secretary-Treasurer’s position was filled by Stanley R. Hanby. This proved to be very strengthening and workable, and the P.A. of J.C. “moved ahead in a progressive manner.”

In the year 1945, the P.A. of J.C. and the Pentecostal Churches Inc (P.C.I.) merged together forming what is now called the United Pentecostal Church (U.P.C.I.). According to Dr. Bernie L. Wade, in August 1946, a group of brethren became dissatisfied with the U.P.C.I., and revived the original charter of the P.A. of J.C. and reorganized the group. There were a number of reasons for the dissatisfaction but the late Bishop M.E. Golder believed that the primary issues were related to the treatment of the United Pentecostal Church of black ministers.

In the spring of 1948 the Churches of the Lord Jesus Christ met with the brethern of the P.A. of J.C. and proposed a merger. In August, 1948 the merger became complete. At that time a proposal was issued to the new secretary, J. Frank Wilson, to make an amendment that both charters be dropped. This action was never taken and both charters lay idle until the reviving of the charter came about forming the Assemblies of Jesus Christ.

The old charter of the P.A. of J.C. again lay idle until the year of 1955. Then a group of ministers led by Bishop Carl Angle (Nashville, TN), Bishop Ray Cornell (Cleveland, OH) Bishop C.B. Gillespie (Fairmont, WV) went to the State of Ohio and took out a charter known as the P.A. of J.C, Inc. The P.A. of J.C. Inc. is still chartered in the state of Ohio.

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