An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


The term refers to a wide variety of churches and movements that claim to re-experience the spiritual gifts associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, most notably the gift of tongues (see Acts 2:1-11). The experience is usually referred to as “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Although instances of these gifts recur throughout church history, the roots of the modern movement lie in the Wesleyan holiness movement of Methodism. In 1901 a Methodist evangelist, Charles Parham, began a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas. In 1906 a controversial African American Pentecostal preacher, William Seymour, began a series of revival meetings on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Most modern Pentecostal denominations derive from these two sources. Since most of the converts were from conservative evangelical or holiness roots, the fundamentalist theology of these bodies became typical of Pentecostalism. However, there is no necessary connection between the experience of the spiritual gifts and fundamentalist theology. See Charismatic Renewal, or Neo-Pentecostalism.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.