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Myron Noble: And They Yet Speak

And They Yet SpeakE. Myron Noble, And They Yet Speak: Historical Survey of African American Pentecostal-Holiness Churches in the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C., 1900-2006 (Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 2006), 437 pages, ISBN 9781877971280.

I have been a history buff for much of my life with a particular emphasis on the history of the Holiness Pentecostal Tradition. I remember the weekend when I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit on July 4, 1964 at the Belleville Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia as a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International  convention came to a close.

There were several women standing at the bottom of the ornate staircase in that hotel lobby as I came down the stairs as the weekend began. One of those ladies said “lets get out of here; the place is full of holy rollers.” I had come 100 miles in the hope that I would “get” what they fled. I prayed for them as they made their hurried exit, and always wonder if my prayer came to avail for them.

I soon began to read about the Spirit-filled life, and that quest for more knowledge recently included Rev. Myron Noble’s And They Yet Speak. Noble has given us a labor of love. His book includes a snapshot of the history for each black Pentecostal church that came into existence in our nation’s capitol since the late 1890’s.

Noble interviewed the leadership of each of those churches in depth and attended a service at each church, a process that took 25 years to complete. Through that great effort, we get to meet 93 congregations, some large, some tiny but all Godly. I enjoyed the names—white people like me are no good at names but Noble’s people can name a church like the “Tried Stone Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas” or the “United House of Prayer For All People Church on The Rock of The Apostolic Faith” and the “Gospel Ark Temple Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ Bible Way World Wide.” Such lovely names.

I read through these vignettes, noting the names and humble beginnings, and was touched by the Love of God who came down from Heaven and inhabited the praises of those who gathered in His name. Every time one of these churches opened for worship, miracles occurred as the heavenly choir joined in the refrain offered by the congregation and heaven and earth came together for precious life changing moments of hope.

I was friends with one of those congregations forty years ago, and Rev. Noble described that church in detail, and I learned some things that I did not know. The church when I knew it was called Evangel Cathedral and its white pastor at that time was dismissed from his denomination because he had a mixed congregation. I cannot comprehend how we, the church of God, chose such an unloving path for so long.

Myron Noble has compiled a history that will bless you as you read it. His writing style is different than most but I finished his work with a deep respect for a man of God that loves his past and well he should.

Reviewed by H. Murray Hohns

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Category: Church History, Pneuma Review, Winter 2010

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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