I will be heading through Topeka KS the first of October and could try to get some recent digital pictures of the old Bethel Bible College where Charles Parham taught. This is where Agnes Ozman began to speak in "tongues" in 1901 when hands were laid on her and then from there the phenomena spread to Texas and then to Azuza. Topeka is from the root Tophet- which is where we trace the word Gehenna (hell). it is interesting to note that the local college there has named their mascot Ichabod.
Another good resource to get is the:
Zondervan's "New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements". (The Revised and Expanded Edition)
Much of the scholarship was done by an AG professor from Spfld, MO. I have this and it is a tremendous (and very large) resource that covers the history and peoples associated with pentecostalism and charismatic movements.
Zondervan Stanley M. Burgess, Editor, and Eduard M. van der Maas, Associate Editor ISBN/ASIN : 0310224810
Here is an interesting article by the Topeka Journal...
Kansas State Historical Society
The Rev. Charles Parham, a former Methodist minister and holiness teacher who founded Bethel Bible College in Topeka, developed the theological framework for what has become the modern Pentecostal movement.
Shortly after Ozman received the gift of speaking in tongues, newspaper reports began to surface of the "strange" happenings at Bethel Bible College, which was in a castle-like mansion called Stone's Folly, near present-day S.W. 18th and Stone.
Today, the property is owned by Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
He said a leader in a charismatic Catholic prayer group, which continues to meet at Most Pure Heart of Mary, once told him that more than 5,000 people had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues at meetings in the church.
Just more than a century ago, the religious landscape was far different than it is today.
Whereas Pentecostal and charismatic churches are commonplace across the nation and the effects can be seen in nearly every other denomination, Parham was breaking new ground. As a result, many ridiculed him and his followers, who moved ahead undeterred.
Parham seemed to revel in the publicity and attention he was getting as more of his students received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues.
Some outsiders said the language resembled gibberish. Others said it was an exact language or dialect.
Convinced the second coming of Christ was at hand, Parham believed the gift of speaking in tongues would help spread the Christian message to people in other nations. In so doing, the gift of speaking in tongues would fulfill biblical prophecy that all people will hear the gospel before Christ returns.
Not long after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place, Parham and his students were evicted from Stone's Folly, which was turned into a road house at its spot west of what were then the city limits. As he and his students left, Parham predicted God would destroy Stone's Folly in the near future. Within a year, fire burned the building to the ground.
By then, Parham had moved on to Kansas City, then other towns, picking up new followers along the way. He finally landed in Houston, where a young, black holiness pastor named William Seymour became acquainted with Parham.
Because of segregation laws, Seymour was made to listen to Parham outside the door of the room where he would be speaking. But the message sank in, and by 1906 Seymour was in Los Angeles, leading the Azusa Street Revival.
Credited with being the impetus that catapulted the Pentecostal movement around the world, Azusa Street was marked by interracial meetings and boisterous services where people would shout and sing.
Parham, who by then was trying to wrest control of another Pentecostal community in Zion, Ill., was slow to come to Azusa Street, despite repeated requests from Seymour.
When Parham finally got to Azusa Street, the revival was in full swing. This time, it was Parham standing on the outside looking in, and he didn't particularly like what he saw, especially the interracial aspects and emotionalism of the gatherings.
After a series of personal setbacks -- including a charge of sodomy that was never proved -- Parham returned to southeast Kansas and started an apostolic ministry in Baxter Springs, where he died in the 1920s and is buried. His tombstone is in the shape of a pulpit.
For years, Parham's name was virtually omitted from Pentecostal historical books, perhaps because his image had been tarnished beyond repair.
However, in recent years, Parham has been accepted on a much wider scale by Pentecostals and religion historians alike. Much of this, no doubt, is owed to the ongoing explosion of Pentecostalism throughout the world.
By far the fastest-growing segment of Christianity, Pentecostalism has been the topic of many scholarly books and articles. Among the assertions: Pentecostalism is the only segment of Christianity to have success in attracting new followers in nations where Islam is the predominant religion.
Synan said Islam's rapid growth is based largely on demographic birth rates in many Third World nations. However, Pentecostalism's growth is owed to birth rates and conversion rates.
Reinhard Bonnke, a German evangelist, regularly attracts 1 million to 2 million people at mass open-air meetings in Africa -- what Synan describes as a "sea of humanity."
Bonnke has had up to 1 million conversions to Christianity at some of the meetings, and many of the converts have crossed over from Islam.
In spite of persecution against Christians in many African nations, Pentecostals have been successful in planting churches and subsequently expanding the growth of Christianity. If churches are shut down, Synan said, various forms of "covert evangelism" then take place. In any event, the gospel message continues to be spread.
The Pentecostal movement also is growing at an exponential rate in South America and Latin America.
With the continued presence of Pentecostalism worldwide, historians often trace the movement back to its roots. It is there that two names and two cities are most-often mentioned: Parham and Seymour, Topeka and Los Angeles.
"There is a continuing discussion about the differences between Topeka and Azusa," Synan said. "I came down on the side that Parham and Seymour were co-founders.
"You'd have to say Parham was the doctrinal father of the Pentecostal movement. Seymour was a student of Parham's. What Seymour did at Azusa was based on Parham's teachings.
"Without Parham, there's no Seymour."
The modern Pentecostal movement also marked the first time blacks and whites gathered as equals in a religious setting, which previously had been as segregated as other parts of society.
However, the interracial tone of the Pentecostal movement is owed largely to Seymour, as Parham held what modern scholars say were racist views.
Some of the interracial cooperation that marked the early stages of the Pentecostal movement faded away in subsequent years, and by 1914, separate denominations were formed: the Assemblies of God for whites and the Church of God in Christ for blacks.
Today, both denominations have millions of members.
"Parham planted the seeds," Synan said, "and Seymour reaped some of the harvest."
And, historians agree, it all began in Topeka.
Robert Wurtz II