Pentecostal Reception History

This week, my first edited volume, Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal Tradition, was published with CPT Press (Centre for Pentecostal Theology). Together with my friends and co-editors, Rick Wadholm and Martin Mittelstadt, we assembled twelve essays on a topic that is emerging in popularity in Pentecostal scholarship: Reception History. Traditional biblical scholarship has often focused … Continue reading Pentecostal Reception History

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and the Pentecostal Origins of Desegregation

In 1954, the Supreme Court decided the famous Civil Rights case, Brown Vs. Board of Education, which argued that segregation in public schools violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. This led the way for the 1964 decision to permanently desegregate schools in America. What many people do not know is that a … Continue reading Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and the Pentecostal Origins of Desegregation

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and Oral Roberts University

One of the most iconic speeches in American history took place when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. In it, Dr. King shared his dream that America would live up to its creed that "all men are created equal." In … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and Oral Roberts University

The Architectural Inspiration for Oral Roberts University

One of the most common questions I have been asked in my role as a historian and archivist at Oral Roberts University is, “Why the futuristic look of the university?” Some architecture scholars have studied the campus trying to divine its secrets, noting it as a classic example of Mid-Century Modernist style.[1] But where did … Continue reading The Architectural Inspiration for Oral Roberts University

Oral Roberts University vs. Bob Jones University: Two Different Responses in History to Racial Moments

There is an interesting article in Politico  that demonstrates how Oral Roberts University's history is different than other conservative Christian universities on racial justice. In the article, Professor Randall Balmer of Dartmouth College notes that one of the galvanizing issues that helped to eventually form the religious right of the 1980s was the debate over … Continue reading Oral Roberts University vs. Bob Jones University: Two Different Responses in History to Racial Moments

Bishop Travis B. Sipuel: A Pentecostal Survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

During my research on the history of the Pentecostal movement in Tulsa, I discovered the story of a Church of God in Christ pastor, Bishop Travis B. Sipuel, who survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. His story we know because of his daughter Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the famous Oklahoma Civil Rights leader. This is … Continue reading Bishop Travis B. Sipuel: A Pentecostal Survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Oral Roberts: The (almost) Missionary to Palestine

Oral Roberts has a famous life story.  In fact, he rehearsed this story over and over in his preaching and in his five autobiographies.  But there is one story that has never been told. Oral Roberts was almost a missionary to Palestine. Oral Roberts was ordained in the Pentecostal Holiness Church  by Bishop Dan T. … Continue reading Oral Roberts: The (almost) Missionary to Palestine

Aimee Semple McPherson and the Spanish Influenza In Tulsa

In conducting my earlier research on Pentecostals and the Spanish Flu in 1918-1919 (that has since gone viral around the world through Influence Magazine ), I had wondered if there was anything about the epidemic tied to Tulsa. At that point, my searches had come up empty. However, I decided to look back on some … Continue reading Aimee Semple McPherson and the Spanish Influenza In Tulsa