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The Largest Assemblies of God Communities
Participants of the early Pentecostal movement were usually not welcomed back into their churches and they formed separate, independent congregations throughout the country. Despite their sincerity, Pentecostalists were frequently derided as heretical and non-Christian by ministers of older Protestant denominations.
In 1913 a Pentecostal publication, the Word and Witness, called for the various Pentecostal churches to band together for fellowship, doctrinal unity, and to share resources for missionary work, religious training, etc. A national meeting of representatives from independent Pentecostal churches was held in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in April 1914, at which the name "Assemblies of God" was adopted. In this meeting, a somewhat loose organizational structure was conceived in which most aspects of church life are controlled by the local church, yet many key doctrines and practices are standardized throughout the fellowship. (For example, all assemblies are required to adhere to the "Statement of Fundamental Truths".)
Most of the earlier anti-Pentecostal fervor died down in the latter half of the 1900s, as Pentecostal Christians grew in numbers and gained respect for the strength of their movement, and as certain elements of the movement were integrated into some older churches.
Today, the Assemblies of God is the largest, most widespread Pentecostal denomination in the world. Members reside in every state in the United States. The majority of members live outside the U.S.
The Assemblies of God constitute the fourth largest international Christian religious body in the world. It claims 32 million total members and adherents.
The Assemblies of God have successfully implemented tithing among much of its membership. In the United States, AOG members are ranked as the second most generous in financial support of their church (Latter-day Saints are first). [Source: "Financing American Religion" by Monica Seaberry, © 1999 by Religion News Service; original URL: http://www.religionnews.com/arc99/b_062899.html. Other source: "Churches Lagging in Collections" by Julia McCord, Omaha World-Herald, 23 April 2000]
In General Social Survey studies, Assemblies of God members ranked first among all religious groups in the percentage of their adherents who believe in Biblical literalness (combined 1984 and 1985 GSSs data. Source: Classifying Protestant Denominations, Tom W. Smith, October 1986, GSS Methodological Report No. 43. General Social Survey project directed by James A. Davis and Tom W. Smith. A later version of this paper was published in Review of Religious Research, 31 (March, 1990), 225-245).
Top 10 U.S. States with Largest
|Le Flore, OK||8.82||3,815|
|Santa Rosa, FL||8.58||7,000|
|North Slope, AK||7.61||455|
|Los Angeles, CA||55,107||0.62%|
|New York, NY||16,288||1.09|
|San Diego, CA||15,982||0.64|
|San Bernardino, CA||11,519||0.81|
The following is a condensed version of the "Statement of Fundamental Truths" (Revised 1983 General Council) document:
The two items in the Assemblies of God creed which most clearly distinguish them from conservative Protesetantism in general are 8 and 12: emphasis on speaking in tongues (glossalia) and faith healing. These elements are used in some non-Pentecostal denominations, and not used in others. But as a Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God places a distinctly high emphasis on these. The Assemblies of God use of tongues and faith healing is follows standard Pentecostal norms.
In addition to their highly organized world fellowship, certain practices distinguish the Assemblies of God from some other Pentecostal denominations. These include strong emphasis on tithing, denominational expansion and taboos against tobacco, alcohol and gambling.