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The Pneuma Foundation started as a dream of some brothers in the Lord to see an increase in balanced biblical teaching from a Pentecostal/charismatic perspective. The founders and the early participants in the ministry were friends in the Western Michigan area who met through occupational and ministry settings. Through growing friendship they realized that although they disagreed on secondary issues, they were unified on the entire core of evangelical belief. Together they saw that there were not many biblical resources that emphasized the gifts of the Spirit for today. Pentecostal/charismatic studies existed, but they were predominately aimed for an academic audience.

Raul Mock, one of the founders of the ministry, says that his burden for starting the Pneuma Foundation was instilled in him primarily through the influence of Jim Dettmann, his former pastor and mentor. “While my father, Roger Mock, was most influential in imparting to me a love for God’s Word and a solid foundation in theology, the Lord used Pastor Jim to expose me to the charismata and gave me a love for theological study. While Pastor Jim longed for biblical defenses of the gifts of the Spirit for today, we were often disappointed with the lack of sound teaching coming from the Pentecostal/charismatic movement. Those materials we could find were often denominationally oriented, they were not relevant to the average pastor, or they had doctrinal weaknesses. We knew there was some great stuff being produced by Pentecostal and charismatic scholars, but church leaders either didn’t know about these works or they were over their heads. Jim and I both longed for solidly biblical, relevant materials that were not ashamed or afraid of the full ministry of the Spirit today.”

Jim and Raul began encountering Christians in classical Pentecostal churches that saw the same need for solid biblical materials. As friendships grew with these leaders, ideas were gleaned from local ministries and advisors. In 1997, an informal association called the Pneuma Foundation was born. Incorporating in 1998, the Foundation set out to connect church leaders and interested Christians with biblical teaching and empowered ministry.

In 1998, Raul began writing to Pentecostal/charismatic pastors requesting articles and permission to reprint past work. Many friendships were forged early on with leaders from all over the United States and later, around the world. By the summer of 1998 work began on the premier issue of the Pneuma Review, which was published in the Fall of that year. For sixteen years, this journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders has been mailed to subscribers every quarter.

As we remain yielded to the voice of the Spirit, we trust that He will guide us into tomorrow—boldly proclaiming the love, power, and forgiveness found only in Jesus the Messiah.

In 1999, a quarterly E-mail bulletin was started that connected the editors and writers together. This bulletin would eventually become the monthly email newsletter known as the Pneuma Informer, published from March 1999 till June 2012.

The online presence of the Pneuma Foundation began in early 2000 due to the efforts of Webmaster Dave Driggs. The limitations of the original website were alleviated when in October 2000, a business in the St. Louis area began hosting (now the legacy website for our parent organization). The family that owns this ministry-oriented web service was befriended by the Pneuma Review book and periodical review editor, Mike Dies, as he was on-line gathering information for a periodical review.

In early 2013, it became apparent that the Pneuma Foundation could not continue to publish Pneuma Review as a print journal. After much prayer and with the help of a dedicated team of developers, was launched in August of 2013 as an all new platform for online and digital publication of the journal.

Ronald Messelink, one of the contributing editors to the Pneuma Review, has shared how Western Michigan, the birthplace of the Pneuma Foundation, has a rich spiritual heritage. It is no mere coincidence that this ministry began in the fertile spiritual soil of this region. Ron has said that the Dutch pioneers who landed in “New” Holland had a vision for a spiritual community to not only be a light on a hill but also a community that would send workers and ministers to share the good news of Jesus Christ worldwide. West Michigan is today headquarters for several traditional denominations (primarily Reformed), it has a high congregation-per-capita percentage, and is known as the Christian book capital of the world. Some of the prominent publishers that have been headquartered in the area include Baker Book House, Zondervan Publishing House, Kregel Publications, and Eerdmans Publishing Company. There are a number of respected Christian colleges in Western Michigan including Hope College, Calvin College and Seminary, and Cornerstone University (formerly Grand Rapids Baptist College). Several international ministries operate out of Western Michigan, one of them being Our Daily Bread Ministries. The Pneuma Foundation was certainly not born in a vacuum. The founders and early participants who came from the Western Michigan area appreciate the diverse Christian heritage they have inherited, while they also desire to move past the traditionalism that so easily ensnares any organized worship of God. As we remain yielded to the voice of the Spirit, we trust that He will guide us into tomorrow—boldly proclaiming the love, power, and forgiveness found only in Jesus the Messiah.

Dave Driggs, Mike Dies, Joe Joslin, and Raul Mock on July 5, 2014.

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