Charismatic Movement

The Charismatic Movement is the international trend of historically mainstream Christian congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostalism. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts (charismata). Among mainline Protestants, the movement began around 1960. Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967.

Tarxien erwieh
Praise and Worship during a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Healing Service.


The classic Pentecostalism movement usually traces its origin to the early twentieth century, with the ministry of Charles F. Parham[1] and the subsequent ministry of William Joseph Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival.[2] Its unique doctrine involved a dramatic encounter with God, termed baptism with the Holy Spirit. The evidence for having received this experience was interpreted by some as speaking in tongues.[3]

Before 1955 the religious mainstream did not embrace Pentecostal doctrines. If a church member or clergyman openly expressed such views, they would (either voluntarily or involuntarily) separate from their existing denomination. However, by the 1960s many of the characteristic teachings were gaining acceptance among Christians within mainline Protestant denominations.[4] The charismatic movement represented a reversal of this previous pattern as those influenced by Pentecostal spirituality chose to remain in their original denominations.[5] The popularization and broader acceptance of charismatic teachings and ideas are linked to the healing revivals that occurred from 1946–1958. The revivalists of the time, including William Branham, Oral Roberts, and A. A. Allen, held large interdenominational meetings which emphasized the gifts of the spirit. This global revival led to greater awareness and acceptance of pentecostal teachings and practices.[6]

The high church wing of the American Episcopal Church became the first traditional ecclesiastical organization to feel the impact of the new movement internally. The beginning of the charismatic movement is usually dated to Sunday, April 3, 1960, when Dennis J. Bennett, rector of St Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California recounted his Pentecostal experience to his parish, doing it again on the next two Sundays, including Easter (April 17), during which many of his congregation shared his experience, causing him to be forced to resign.[7] The resulting controversy and press coverage spread an awareness of the emerging charismatic movement. The movement grew to embrace other mainline churches, where clergy began receiving and publicly announcing their Pentecostal experiences. These clergy began holding meetings for seekers and healing services which included praying over and anointing of the sick. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in 1967 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[8]

Despite the fact that Pentecostals currently tend to share more in common with evangelicals than with either Roman Catholics or mainline Protestants, the charismatic movement was not initially influential among evangelical churches. C. Peter Wagner traces the spread of the charismatic movement within evangelicalism to around 1985. He termed this movement the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit.[9] The Third Wave has expressed itself through the formation of churches and denomination-like organizations. These groups are referred to as "neo-charismatic". The Vineyard Movement and the British New Church Movement exemplify Third Wave or neo-charismatic organizations.


Charismatic Christians believe that the gifts (Greek charismata χάρισμα, from charis χάρις, grace) of the Holy Spirit as described in the New Testament are available to contemporary Christians through the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit, with-or-without the laying on of hands.[10] Although the Bible lists many gifts from God through His Holy Spirit, there are nine specific gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 that are Supernatural in nature and are the focus of and distinguishing feature of the Charismatic Movement: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Miraculous Powers, Prophecy, Distinguishing between Spirits, Speaking in different Tongues (Languages), and Interpretation of Tongues.

While Pentecostals and charismatics share these beliefs, there are differences. Many in the charismatic movement deliberately distanced themselves from Pentecostalism for cultural and theological reasons. Foremost among theological reasons is the tendency of many Pentecostals to insist that speaking in tongues is always the initial physical sign of receiving Spirit baptism. Although specific teachings will vary from group to group, charismatics generally believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit occurs at the new birth and prefer to call subsequent encounters with the Holy Spirit by other names, such as "being filled".[10] In contrast to Pentecostals, charismatics tend to accept a range of supernatural experiences (such as prophecy, miracles, healing, or "physical manifestations of an altered state of consciousness") as evidence of having been baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit.[11]

Pentecostals are also distinguished from the charismatic movement on the basis of style.[12] Also, Pentecostals have traditionally placed a high value on evangelization and missionary work. Charismatics, on the other hand, have tended to see their movement as a force for revitalization and renewal within their own church traditions.[13]

Detractors argue these sign and revelatory gifts were manifested in the New Testament for a specific purpose, upon which once accomplished these signs were withdrawn and no longer function.[14] This position is called cessationism, and is claimed by its proponents to be the almost universal position of Christians until the Charismatic movement started.[14] The Charismatic Movement is based on a belief that these gifts are still available today.

Denominations influenced


In America, the Episcopalian Dennis Bennett is sometimes cited as one of the charismatic movement's seminal influence.[15] Bennett was the Rector at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California when he announced to the congregation in 1960 that he had received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.[16] Soon after this he ministered in Seattle, where he ran many workshops and seminars about the work of the Holy Spirit.[17]

In the United Kingdom, Colin Urquhart, Michael Harper, David Watson and others were in the vanguard of similar developments.

The Massey conference in New Zealand, 1964 was attended by several Anglicans, including the Rev. Ray Muller, who went on to invite Bennett to New Zealand in 1966, and played a leading role in developing and promoting the Life in the Spirit seminars. Other Charismatic movement leaders in New Zealand include Bill Subritzky.

As of the early 21st century a "charismatic evangelical" wing or school of thought is commonly identified in the Church of England, contrasted with the conservative evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and other tendencies. An influential local church in this movement has been London's Holy Trinity Brompton, and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury since 2013, has a background in charismatic evangelicalism.[18]


The movement led to the creation of independent evangelical charismatic churches more in tune with the revival of the Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California was one of the first evangelical charismatic churches, founded in 1965.[19] In the United Kingdom, Jesus Army, founded in 1969, is an example of the impact outside of the United States.[20] Many other congregations were established in the rest of the world.[21]


Larry Christenson, a Lutheran theologian based in San Pedro, California, did much in the 1960s and 1970s to interpret the charismatic movement for Lutherans. A very large annual conference was held in Minneapolis during those years. Charismatic Lutheran congregations in Minnesota became especially large and influential; especially "Hosanna!" in Lakeville, and North Heights in St. Paul. The next generation of Lutheran charismatics cluster around the Alliance of Renewal Churches. There is currently considerable charismatic activity among young Lutheran leaders in California centered on an annual gathering at Robinwood Church in Huntington Beach. Richard A. Jensen's Touched by the Spirit published in 1974, played a major role of the Lutheran understanding to the charismatic movement. Another Lutheran charismatic leader is Morris Vaagenes.


When the Methodist movement was initiated, "many individuals in London, Oxford and Bristol reported supernatural healings, visions, dreams, spiritual impressions, power in evangelizing, [and] extraordinary bestowments of wisdom".[22] John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, "firmly maintained that the Spiritual gifts are a natural consequence of genuine holiness and dwelling of God's Spirit in a man."[22] As such, Methodist Churches hold to the theological position of continuationism.[22] With its history of promoting holiness and experiential faith, Methodist Churches permit charismatic worship.[23]

Charismatics in the United States allied with the Good News caucus and those in Great Britain have been supported by the Lay Witness Movement,[24] which works with Methodist Evangelicals Together.[23] In the United Methodist Church, the charismatic apostolate Aldersgate Renewal Ministries was formed "to pray and work together for the renewal of the church by the power of the Holy Spirit".[25] It runs events at local United Methodist churches, as well as the Methodist School for Supernatural Ministry.[25]


In congregational and Presbyterian churches which profess a traditionally Calvinist or Reformed theology, there are differing views regarding present-day continuation or cessation of the gifts (charismata) of the Spirit.[14][26] Generally, however, Reformed charismatics distance themselves from renewal movements with tendencies which could be perceived as overemotional, such as Word of Faith, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival and Lakeland Revival.

Prominent Reformed charismatic denominations are the Sovereign Grace Churches and the Every Nation Churches in the United States, in Great Britain there is the Newfrontiers churches and movement, founded by Terry Virgo.[27]


A minority of Seventh-day Adventists today are charismatic. They are strongly associated with those holding more "progressive" Adventist beliefs. In the early decades of the church charismatic or ecstatic phenomena were commonplace.[28][29]

Roman Catholicism

In the United States the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was focused in individuals like Kevin Ranaghan and others at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, which was founded by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, a Catholic religious community, began hosting charismatic revivals in 1977.

In a foreword to a 1983 book by Léon Joseph Cardinal Suenens, at that time the Pope's delegate to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the prefect comments on the Post Second Vatican Council period stating,

At the heart of a world imbued with a rationalistic skepticism, a new experience of the Holy Spirit suddenly burst forth. And, since then, that experience has assumed a breadth of a worldwide Renewal movement. What the New Testament tells us about the Charisms—which were seen as visible signs of the coming of the Spirit—is not just ancient history, over and done with, for it is once again becoming extremely topical.


to those responsible for the ecclesiastical ministry—from parish priests to bishops—not to let the Renewal pass them by but to welcome it fully; and on the other (hand) ... to the members of the Renewal to cherish and maintain their link with the whole Church and with the Charisms of their pastors.[30]

In the Roman Catholic church, the movement became particularly popular in the Filipino, Korean, and Hispanic communities of the United States, in the Philippines, and in Latin America, mainly Brazil. Travelling priests and lay people associated with the movement often visit parishes and sing what are known as charismatic masses. It is thought to be the second largest distinct sub-movement (some 120 million members) within global Catholicism, along with Traditional Catholicism.[31]

A further difficulty is the tendency for many charismatic Catholics to take on what others in their church might consider sacramental language and assertions of the necessity of "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," as a universal act. This causes difficulty as there is little to distinguish the "Baptism" from the sacrament of confirmation.[32] In this regard, a Study seminar organized jointly in São Paulo by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Bishops Conference of Brazil raised these issues. Technically, among Catholics, the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" is neither the highest nor fullest manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Thus "Baptism of the Spirit" is one experience among many within Christianity (as are the extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit in the lives of the saints, notably St. Francis of Assisi and St. Teresa of Avila, who levitated), and thus less dogmatically held by Catholic charismatics (than by Pentecostals).[33] Possibly, Padre Pio (now St. Pio) provides a modern-day Catholic example of this experience. Describing his confirmation, when he was 12 years old, Padre Pio said that he "wept with consolation" whenever he thought of that day because "I remember what the Most Holy Spirit caused me to feel that day, a day unique and unforgettable in all my life! What sweet raptures the Comforter made me feel that day! At the thought of that day, I feel aflame from head to toe with a brilliant flame that burns, consumes, but gives no pain." In this experience, Padre Pio said he was made to feel God's "fullness and perfection." Thus a case can be made that he was "baptized by the Spirit" on his confirmation day in 1899. It was one spiritual experience among many that he would have.[34]

The Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

160. What are Charisms? 799–801. Charisms are special gifts of the Holy Spirit which are bestowed on individuals for the good of others, the needs of the world, and in particular for the building up of the Church. The discernment of charisms is the responsibility of the Magisterium.

Eastern Orthodoxy

Although most Laestadians are Lutheran and they are often termed Apostolic Lutherans, it is an interdenominational movement, so some are Eastern Orthodox. Eastern Orthodox Laestadians are known as Ushkovayzet (article is in Russian).[35] Laestadian charismaticsm has been attributed to influences from the shamanistic ecstatic religious practices of the Sami, many who are Laestadians today.

The charismatic movement has not exerted the same influence on the Orthodox Church that it has on other mainstream Christian denominations. Individual priests, such as Fr. James Tavralides, Fr. Constantine Monios and Fr. David Buss, Fr. Athanasius Emmert of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, Fr. Eusebius A. Stephanou of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, founder of the Brotherhood of St. Symeon the New Theologian and editor of "The Logos", and Fr. Boris Zabrodsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, founder of the Service Committee for Orthodox Spiritual Renewal (SCOSR) which published the Theosis Newsletter, were some of the more prominent leaders of the Charismatic Renewal within Orthodoxy.

Theologians and scholars

See also


  1. ^ Reid, Linder, Shelley, Stout (1990) Dictionary of Christianity in America, InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-1776-X pgs. 241-242
  2. ^ Robeck, Cecil M. (2006) The Azusa Street Mission And Revival: The Birth Of The Global Pentecostal Movement, Thomas Nelson. ISBN 9780785216933 pgs. 2,12
  3. ^ Michael G. Moriarty (1992) The New Charismatics, Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 978-0-310-53431-0 pgs. 20,70
  4. ^ Reid et al. 1990, pp. 241-242.
  5. ^ Menzies & Menzies 2000, pp. 38–39.
  6. ^ Moriarty, Michael (1992). The New Charismatics. Zondervan. p. 40-51. ISBN 978-0-310-53431-0.
  7. ^ "DENNIS BENNETT BIOGRAPHY". Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Menzies & Menzies 2000, pp. 38–41.
  9. ^ Menzies & Menzies 2000, pp. 43–44.
  10. ^ a b Menzies & Menzies 2000, p. 39.
  11. ^ Poloma, Margaret M; Green, John C (2010), The Assemblies of God: Godly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism, New York: New York University Press, p. 64, ISBN 978-0-8147-6783-2.
  12. ^ Saunders, Theodore 'Teddy'; Sansom, Hugh (1992), David Watson, a Biography, Sevenoaks: Hodder, p. 71.
  13. ^ Menzies & Menzies 2000, p. 40.
  14. ^ a b c Masters, Peter; Whitcomb, John (June 1988). Charismatic Phenomenon. London: Wakeman. p. 113. ISBN 9781870855013.
  15. ^ Balmer, Randall (2004), "Charismatic Movement", Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism: Revised and Expanded Edition (2nd ed.), Waco: Baylor.
  16. ^ Dennis J. Bennett Nine O'Clock in the Morning (Gainesville; 1970. Reprinted 2001, 2004)
  17. ^ "Anglican Pioneer in Renewal". Telus. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  18. ^ Sherwood, Harriet; Siddique, Haroon (January 21, 2019). "I pray in tongues every day, says archbishop of Canterbury". The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement, Baker Academic, U.S., 2005, pp. 150–51
  20. ^ Simon Cooper, Mike Farrant, Fire in Our Hearts: The Story of the Jesus Fellowship/Jesus Army, Multiply Publications, England, 1997, p. 169
  21. ^ "Understanding the Charismatic Movement". The Exchange – A Blog by Ed Stetzer. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  22. ^ a b c Živadinović, Dojcin (2015). "Wesley and Charisma: An Analysis of John Wesley's View of Spiritual Gifts". Andrews University Seminary Student Journal. 1 (2): 53–71.
  23. ^ a b Blumhofer, Edith Waldvogel; Spittler, Russell P.; Wacker, Grant A. (1999). Pentecostal Currents in American Protestantism. University of Illinois Press. p. 171. ISBN 9780252067563.
  24. ^ Methodist Evangelicals Together, Lay Witness Movement. Retrieved July 19, 2017
  25. ^ a b Richey, Russell E.; Rowe, Kenneth E.; Schmidt, Jeanne Miller (October 1, 2012). American Methodism: A Compact History. Abingdon Press. p. 232. ISBN 9781426765179.
  26. ^ Masters, Peter; Wright, Professor Verna (1988). Healing Epidemic. London: Wakeman Trust. p. 227. ISBN 9781870855006.
  27. ^ "Presbyterian and Reformed Churches". Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  28. ^ Patrick, Arthur (c. 1999). "Early Adventist worship, Ellen White and the Holy Spirit: Preliminary Historical Perspectives". Spiritual Discernment Conference. SDAnet AtIssue. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
  29. ^ Patrick, Arthur (c. 1999). "Later Adventist Worship, Ellen White and the Holy Spirit: Further Historical Perspectives". Spiritual Discernment Conference. SDAnet AtIssue. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
  30. ^ Suenens, Léon Joseph (1983). Renewal and the Powers of Darkness (Malines document). Darton, Longman & Todd. ISBN 978-0-232-51591-6.
  31. ^ Barrett, David, "Christian World Communions: Five Overviews of Global Christianity, AD 1800–2025", International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 33 (1): 25–32.
  32. ^ McDonnell, Killian; Montague, George T (1994), Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries, Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier Books.
  33. ^ "Study Seminar organized in Brazil", L'Osservatore romano (Italian ed.), p. 4, November 4, 2005.
  34. ^ Ruffin, C Bernard (1991), Padre Pio: The True Story, Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, pp. 312–13.
  35. ^ Karelian religious movement Uskhovayzet


  • Menzies, William W; Menzies, Robert P (2000), Spirit and Power: Foundations of Pentecostal Experience, Zondervan, ISBN 978-0-310-86415-8.

Further reading

  • Clement, Arthur J. Pentecost or Pretense?: an Examination of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Milwaukee, Wis.: Northwestern Publishing House, 1981. 255, [1] p. ISBN 0-8100-0118-7
  • Fiddes, Paul (1980), Charismatic renewal: a Baptist view: a report received by the Baptist Union Council with commentary, London: Baptist Publications.
  • Fiddes, Paul (1984), Martin, David; Mullen, Peter (eds.), The theology of the charismatic movement, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 19–40.
  • Parry, David (1979). "Not Mad, Most Noble Festus": Essays on the Renewal Movement. London: Dartman, Longman & Todd. 103 p. N.B.: Approaches the Charismatic Movement from a Roman Catholic perspective.

+ John and Elizabeth Sherill, They Speak With Other Tongues, Chosen Books, 2011.

External links

Assemblies Jehovah Shammah

The Assemblies Jehovah Shammah are an Evangelical Christian network of churches that originated in India, which is still home to the great majority of them. The Evangelical publication Operation World estimates their numbers, as of 2010, at 310,000 adults and children in 910 assemblies, as their churches are generally known. Other sources estimate upwards of two thousand congregations, with a large presence in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The movement was founded in 1942 by evangelist Bakht Singh, whose theology and ecclesiology were much influenced by the Open Brethren. Although historically distinct from the Indian Brethren movement, which originated from missionary endeavours, the Assemblies Jehovah Shammah have a lot in common with it and are sometimes (but not always) considered a part of the Brethren movement worldwide.

British New Church Movement

The British New Church Movement (BNCM) is a neocharismatic evangelical Christian movement. Its origin is associated with the Charismatic Movement of the 1960s, although it both predates it and has an agenda that goes beyond it. It was originally known as the "house church movement", although this name is no longer relevant as few congregations meet in houses. Gerald Coates, one of the early leaders, coined the name New Churches as an alternative. It is also restorationist in character, seeking to restore the church to its 1st century equivalent. While the Charismatic Movement focused on the transformation of individuals, the BNCM (like Brethrenism, Baptists, Anabaptists and the Restoration Movement in the US) focused also on the nature of the church. For the BNCM since 1970, this has focused on the renewal of the fivefold ministries, particularly apostles, which for others might resemble a charismatically ordained and functioning episcopate.

The British New Church Movement numbered roughly 400,000 people in the year 2000. It has two major aspects: those who believe in the role of apostles, where churches relate together in "streams", and independent charismatic churches, where they generally do not. Those in streams represent about 40% of the BNCM. Since its origins, it has grown to include many networks of churches, with individual congregations found throughout the world.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a spiritual movement within the Catholic Church that incorporates aspects of both Catholic and Charismatic Movement practice. It is influenced by some of the teachings of Protestantism and Pentecostalism with an emphasis on having a personal relationship with Jesus and expressing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.Parishes that practice charismatic worship usually hold prayer meetings outside of Mass and feature such gifts as prophecy, faith healing, and glossolalia. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a Catholic church describes charismatic worship as "uplifted hands during songs and audible praying in tongues." It further distinguishes a charismatic congregation as one that emphasises complete surrender to Jesus in all parts of life, obedience to both the Gospel and Catholic teaching, as well as Christ-centred friendships.Perceptions of the Charismatic movement vary within the Catholic Church. Proponents hold the belief that certain charismata (a Greek word for "gifts") are still bestowed by the Holy Spirit today as they were in Early Christianity as described in the Bible. Critics accuse Charismatic Catholics of misinterpreting, or in some cases violating, Church teachings on worship and liturgy. Traditional Catholics, in particular, argue that charismatic practices shift the focus of worship away from reverent communion with Christ in the Eucharist and towards individual emotions and non-liturgical experiences as a substitute.

Charisma (magazine)

Charisma (also known as Charisma + Christian Life) is a monthly Christian magazine based in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. It is aimed at Pentecostals and charismatics. Its perspective is influenced by the charismatic revivalism and other contemporary streams of charismatic Christianity such as the Toronto Blessing, International House of Prayer, and the Apostolic-Prophetic movement.

Charismatic Christianity

Charismatic Christianity (also known as Spirit-filled Christianity) is a form of Christianity that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and modern-day miracles as an everyday part of a believer's life. Practitioners are often called Charismatic Christians or Renewalists. Although there is considerable overlap, Charismatic Christianity is often categorized into three separate groups: Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement and Neo-charismatic movement. According to the Pew Research Center, Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians numbered over 584 million or a quarter of the world's 2 billion Christians in 2011.

Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand

The Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand is the name by which churches in the Open Brethren movement in New Zealand are publicly known. It is not a denomination in the organizational sense, but a loose network of like-minded autonomous local churches, or "assemblies", as Brethren churches are generally known. According to the Evangelical publication, Operation World, there are 202 Brethren congregations in New Zealand with 16,164 in regular attendance (including children). Some Brethren sources claim this number to be an underestimate, with internal surveys indicating as many as 38,000 adults and children attending Brethren assemblies — almost one percent of New Zealand's population.


Crypto-Protestantism is an historical phenomenon that occurred on the territory of the Habsburg Empire and elsewhere in Europe and Latin America. It describes the attempt made after the Protestant Reformation to regain for Catholicism parts of the Empire that had become Protestant. The Protestants in the areas that were re-Catholicised by force strove to retain their own confession inwardly while they outwardly pretended to accept Catholicism. With the Patent of Toleration (1781) Protestantism was again permitted, and from that time on most Protestants could live their faith openly once more.

El Shaddai (movement)

El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Fellowship International, popularly known as El Shaddai (Hebrew: אֵל שַׁדַּי‎, IPA: [el ʃaˈdːaj], Hebrew for God Almighty, which is one of the names of God in Jewish faith) is the biggest Catholic charismatic movement in the Philippines. The movement is led by Brother Mike Velarde, a real estate developer and preacher. Manila auxiliary bishop Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr. serves as its spiritual adviser.

Evangelical Presbyterian Church (United States)

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) is an American church body holding to presbyterian governance and Reformed theology, expressed in an orthodox, conservative vein.

The motto of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is "In Essentials, Unity. In Non-Essentials, Liberty. In All Things, Charity; Truth In Love."

The Office of the General Assembly is in Orlando, Florida.

Evangelical charismatic movement

The Evangelical charismatic movement represents the evangelical churches that have an emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit. Started in the United States in the 1960s, the "second wave" has influenced churches of all Christian denominations and contributed to the creation of many independent evangelical churches. The movement is distinguished from Pentecostalism by not making the speaking in tongues (glossolalia) a necessary evidence of Spirit baptism and giving prominence to the diversity of spiritual gifts. According to figures from Pew Research Center in 2011, the movement identifies 305 million believers.

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI) is a Charismatic Baptist fellowship. It advocates the operation of spiritual gifts in church, in reaction to the teachings of many Baptist bodies. The FGBCFI was founded by Bishop Paul S. Morton, separating himself from the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., with others following the charismatic movement in 1992.Bishop Joseph W. Walker III is the current Presiding Bishop. The FGBCFI has an Executive Council, a Bishops Council, and several auxiliary bishops. The FGBCFI has an annual 6 in 1 Conference that convenes in various locations (e.g., Atlanta, Georgia; New Orleans, Louisiana) typically in July. 25,000 attended the first conference in 1994. The FGBCFI was reported to have over 10,000 active members in 1993 and 20,000 in 1995; in 1997 it claimed 1 million members and 5,000 churches throughout the United States.

Healing Revival

The Healing Revival is a term used by many American Charismatics in reference to a Christian revival movement that began in June 1946 and continued through the 1950s. The period of revival gave rise to the modern evangelical and charismatic movement.

Jesus movement

The Jesus movement was an Evangelical Christian movement beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before subsiding by the late 1980s. Members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Jesus freaks.

Its predecessor, the Charismatic Movement, had already been in full swing for about a decade. It involved mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics who testified to having supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. Both of these movements held that they were calling the church back to a closer Biblical picture of Christianity, in which the gifts of the Spirit would be restored to the Church.The Jesus movement left a legacy that included the formation of various denominations as well as other Christian organizations, and it also influenced the development of both the contemporary Christian right and Christian left. Jesus music, which grew out of the movement, was very influential in the creation of various subgenres of contemporary Christian music during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, such as Jesus Culture and Hillsong in both America and the UK. This also led to the inclusion of new musical instruments in churches all over the world, such as guitars and drums, in addition to traditional musical instruments such as pianos and organs. Music in other parts of the world was also greatly influenced by the Jesus Movement, such as music in Central America and the UK. In Central America, Pentecostal churches under the Charismatic Movement began to compose spiritual music called "coros" (fast-paced hymns) which is normally accompanied by dancing in the Spirit.

John F. MacArthur

John Fullerton MacArthur Jr. (born June 19, 1939) is an American pastor and author known for his internationally syndicated Christian teaching radio program Grace to You. He has been the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since February 9, 1969. He is also the current president of The Master's University in Santa Clarita, California, and The Master's Seminary in Los Angeles California.

MacArthur is a Calvinist Baptist and a strong proponent of expository preaching. He has been acknowledged by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of his time and was a frequent guest on Larry King Live as a representative of an evangelical Christian perspective.MacArthur has written or edited more than 150 books, most notably the MacArthur Study Bible, which has sold more than 1 million copies and received a Gold Medallion Book Award. Other best-selling books include his MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series (more than 1 million copies), Twelve Ordinary Men (more than 500,000 copies), and the children's book A Faith to Grow On, which garnered an ECPA Christian Book Award. A critic of what he describes as the social gospel, MacArthur was a founding signatory of the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, or simply the "Dallas Statement". Of the social gospel, MacArthur has said "Over the years, I’ve fought a number of polemical battles against ideas that threaten the gospel. This recent (and surprisingly sudden) detour in quest of “social justice” is, I believe, the most subtle and dangerous threat so far."

List of the largest evangelical churches

This list of the largest evangelical megachurches contains only evangelical Christian megachurches related to the following currents: baptism, pentecostalism, evangelical charismatic movement, neo-charismatic movement and nondenominational Christianity. Large churches from other denominations, like catholic, are not included as they are not deemed to belong to the megachurch phenomenon which by definition is part of Protestantism. The list is not exhaustive, there are large annual changes, and there are difficulties to compare the churches as different methods to count can be used.

Livets Ord

Livets Ord, literally Word of Life, is a megachurch in Uppsala, within the Swedish Word of Faith movement. Livets Ord is the foremost example of the Neo-charismatic movement in Sweden, closely related to Word of Faith, and it may be viewed as a Swedish expression similar to Pentecostal elements in American Christianity.

Neo-charismatic movement

The Neo-charismatic (also third-wave charismatic or hypercharismatic) movement is a movement within evangelical protestant Christianity. The Neo-charismatic movement is considered to be the "third wave" of the charismatic Christian tradition which began with Pentecostalism (the "first wave"), and was furthered by the evangelical charismatic movement (the "second wave"). Neo-charismatics are now believed to be more numerous than the first and second wave categories, combined, as a result of the growth of postdenominational and independent charismatic groups. As of 2002, there were estimated to be approximately 295 million adherents or participants in the neo-charismatic movement.


Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. It is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism. Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or Full Gospel to describe their movement.

Pentecostalism emerged in the early 20th century among radical adherents of the Holiness movement who were energized by revivalism and expectation for the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Believing that they were living in the end times, they expected God to spiritually renew the Christian Church thereby bringing to pass the restoration of spiritual gifts and the evangelization of the world. In 1900, Charles Parham, an American evangelist and faith healer, began teaching that speaking in tongues was the Bible evidence of Spirit baptism and along with William J. Seymour, a Wesleyan-Holiness preacher, he taught that this was the third work of grace. The three-year-long Azusa Street Revival, founded and led by Seymour in Los Angeles, California, resulted in the spread of Pentecostalism throughout the United States and the rest of the world as visitors carried the Pentecostal experience back to their home churches or felt called to the mission field. While virtually all Pentecostal denominations trace their origins to Azusa Street, the movement has experienced a variety of divisions and controversies. An early dispute centered on challenges to the doctrine of the Trinity. As a result, the Pentecostal movement is divided between trinitarian and non-trinitarian branches, resulting in the emergence of Oneness Pentecostals.

Comprising over 700 denominations and a large number of independent churches, there is no central authority governing Pentecostalism; however, many denominations are affiliated with the Pentecostal World Fellowship. There are over 279 million Pentecostals worldwide, and the movement is growing in many parts of the world, especially the global South. Since the 1960s, Pentecostalism has increasingly gained acceptance from other Christian traditions, and Pentecostal beliefs concerning Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts have been embraced by non-Pentecostal Christians in Protestant and Catholic churches through the Charismatic Movement. Together, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity numbers over 500 million adherents. While the movement originally attracted mostly lower classes in the global South, there is an increasing appeal to middle classes. Middle class congregations tend to be more adapted to society and withdraw strong spiritual practices such as divine healing.

William M. Branham

William Marrion Branham (April 6, 1909 – December 24, 1965) was an American Christian minister and faith healer who initiated the post–World War II healing revival. He left a lasting impact on televangelism and the modern Charismatic movement and is recognized as the "principal architect of restorationist thought" for Charismatics by some Christian historians. At the time they were held, his inter-denominational meetings were the largest religious meetings ever held in some American cities. Branham was the first American deliverance minister to successfully campaign in Europe; his ministry reached global audiences with major campaigns held in North America, Europe, Africa, and India.

Branham claimed to have received an angelic visitation on May 7, 1946, commissioning his worldwide ministry and launching his campaigning career in mid-1946. His fame spread rapidly as crowds were drawn to his stories of angelic visitations and reports of miracles happening at his meetings. His ministry spawned many emulators and set in motion the broader healing revival that later became the modern Charismatic movement. From 1955, Branham's campaigning and popularity began to decline as the Pentecostal churches began to withdraw their support from the healing campaigns for primarily financial reasons. By 1960, Branham transitioned into a teaching ministry.

Unlike his contemporaries, who followed doctrinal teachings known as the Full Gospel tradition, Branham developed an alternate theology that was primarily a mixture of Calvinist and Arminian doctrines, and had a heavy focus on dispensationalism and Branham's own unique eschatological views. While widely accepting the restoration doctrine he espoused during the healing revival, his divergent post-revival teachings were deemed increasingly controversial by his Charismatic and Pentecostal contemporaries, who subsequently disavowed many of the doctrines as "revelatory madness". Many of his followers, however, accepted his sermons as oral scripture and refer to his teachings as The Message. In 1963, Branham preached a sermon in which he indicated he was a prophet with the anointing of Elijah, who had come to herald Christ's second coming. Some followers of his teachings placed him at the center of a cult of personality during his final years. Branham claimed to have made over one million converts during his career. His teachings continue to be promoted through the William Branham Evangelistic Association, who reported in 2018 that about 2 million people receive their material. Branham died following a car accident in 1965.

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