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Led by The Spirit: The History of the American Assemblies of God Missionaries in the Philippines, Preface and Introduction

This excerpt from Led by the Spirit is the Preface and Introduction. Missionary-scholar Dave Johnson has brought together a chronicle of over 300 Pentecostal missionaries serving in the Philippines from 1926 through the first decade of the new Millennium.



Like many other books, this volume was written to fulfill a perceived need. While serving as country moderator in the Philippines for the Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) from 2002 through 2003, I sometimes asked myself how my predecessors might have handled similar situations to those I was facing. Then, looking around at the churches and institutions that former missionaries had built and passed on, I found myself asking who these missionaries were. I had few answers to my questions. My wife, Debbie, and I both began to sense that God was directing us to do something about it. The book you hold in your hands is the result.

My intent here is to describe what God has done through the United States (U.S.) Assemblies of God missionaries who served or are serving in the Philippines, with the understanding that God accomplishes His purposes through flawed people. The philosophy used in writing this book is to present an accurate, comprehensive, and balanced account of the work of the Assemblies of God Missionary Fellowship in the Philippines that neither lionizes nor libels those involved in order that God is revealed as the Hero of the story.

“After reading through the pages of this very exhaustive and interesting history of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines, you will note three elements that are essential for church building. Our forefathers had the foresight to establish correct, biblical missiology. In most cases, this was practiced by our early pioneers. You will see the wisdom of this missiology as you read through the pages of this great work. David Johnson has done much research and has been able to blend in these elements …” –From the Foreword by Rev. L. Bueno, Executive Director, Assemblies of God (USA) World Missions

Since the work of the U.S. missionaries entailed a great variety of responsibilities and because their history intersects with other Assemblies of God entities in the Philippines, it is necessary to set forth the scope and limitations of what will be covered in these pages. The book will focus on answering the questions who, what, when, where, how, and why regarding the missionaries sent out by the U.S. Assemblies of God World Missions and their work in the Philippines. It will be as exhaustive as possible from the research available. While most missionaries were involved in a number of ministries, the focus will be on their main work portfolios. Occasional family issues and many personal anecdotes will be added to give some color to their stories.

The limitations are numerous. The personnel and policies from the AGWM home office in Springfield, Missouri, will only be included as they relate to the work in the field. The activities of the missionaries while home for itineration or other reasons are beyond the scope entirely. The relationship between the missionaries and the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God (PGCAG) was and remains symbiotic and, therefore, has some overlap. Since the history of the PGCAG is not the focus of this story, its history will only be recorded in places where it intersects with that of the U.S. missionaries. The rest of their story will have to be told elsewhere. Also not included here is the work done by Assemblies of God missionaries from other countries.

Additionally, a number of international ministries such as the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS) are all based in the Philippines. Since the focus of the book is limited to the Philippines, the activities that missionaries assigned to these ministries engaged in outside of the country are beyond the scope of this book. The valued work of missionary associates is not included mostly because of space limitations but also because of lack of research materials available.

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Category: Church History, Summer 2019

About the Author: Dave Johnson, M.Div., D.Miss. (Asia Graduate School of Theology, Philippines), is an Assemblies of God missionary to the Philippines. Dave and his wife Debbie have been involved in evangelism, church planting, and Bible school and mission leadership. Dave is the Managing Editor of Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, the director of APTS Press in Baguio City, Philippines and coordinator for the Asian Pentecostal Theological Seminary's Master of Theology Program. Facebook Twitter

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