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Across the Lines: Charles Parham’s Contribution to the Inter-Racial Character of Early Pentecostalism, by Eddie Hyatt

Although Pentecostals have made positive changes in recent years, they have come in the wake of a changing American culture, not as the result of any prophetic voice or vision.

And Parham? It seems obvious that he is not deserving of the criticism that has been heaped upon him. Although he was no crusader for civil rights, he did express a racial openness that transcended the times in which he lived. Parham’s example at this early stage was critical for what followed. It is for this reason that he deserves credit for helping set the tone of inter-racial openness and harmony that prevailed for a time in early Pentecostalism.





1 This information was given to the author by a friend who was present at this gathering in Kansas City, KS.
2 W. F. Carothers, “The Race Question in the South,” Apostolic Faith vol. 1, no. 8 (Dec. 1905).
3 See B. F. Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored (St. Louis: Gospel Publishing, 1916), 64.
4 See Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored, 66.
5 James R. Goff, Jr., Fields White Unto Harvest (Fayetteville, AR: Univ. of Arkansas Press, 1988), 108.
6 Sarah Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham (Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1977), 154.
7 Charles F. Parham, The Apostolic Faith, no. 3 (April 1925): 10.
8 Sarah Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham, 246.
9 Robert Mapes Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited (New York: Oxford, 1979), 123.
10 David Lowe, Ku Klux Klan: The Invisible Empire (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.).
11 James R. Goff, Jr., “Charles F. Parham and His Role in the Development of the Pentecostal Movement: A Reevaluation,” Kansas History (Autumn 1984): 236.
12 Lowe, Ku Klux Klan: The Invisible Empire, 18.
13 See Lowe, Ku Klux Klan: The Invisible Empire 19, who says, “Truman had joined during a judgeship campaign, but quickly withdrew and did not receive Klan support when he ran—and lost—the next time.”
14 Lowe, Ku Klux Klan: The Invisible Empire, 19.
15 Parham, The Apostolic Faith, no. 3 (January 1927): 3.

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Category: Church History, Fall 2004, Pneuma Review

About the Author: Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min. (Regent University), M.Div. and M.A. (Oral Roberts University), serves the body of Christ around the world by teaching with academic excellence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He has authored several books, including 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. His passion is to see authentic spiritual awakening transform the Church and impact the world in the Twenty-first century.

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