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The Largest Assemblies of God Communities


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The religious fellowship known as the Assemblies of God is the principle organized heir to the Pentecostal movement. Modern Pentecostalism began in Topeka, Kansas, in January 1901, and soon spread to Los Angeles and other parts of the United States.

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
Assemblies of God Communities, 1990

RankStatePercentNumber
1California0.88% 263,059
2Texas1.19 202,082
3Florida1.04 134,297
4New York0.53 95,872
5Oklahoma2.82 88,780
6Washington1.74 84,765
7Missouri1.65 84,193
8Illinois0.71 80,656
9Pennsylvania0.63 74,616
10Ohio0.64 69,349

Top 10 U.S. States With the Highest Percentage
of Assemblies of God Members in the Population, 1990

RankStatePercent
1Oklahoma 2.82%
2Arkansas 2.24
3Montana 2.03
4Washington 1.74
5Oregon 1.65
6Missouri 1.65
7Alaska 1.60
8North Dakota 1.48
9New Mexico 1.38
10Idaho 1.37

Top 25 U.S. Counties With the Highest Percentage
of Assemblies of God Members in the Population, 1990

CountyPercentNumber
Wheeler, OR13.18% 184
Thomas, NE12.34 105
Hooker, NE9.71 77
Crawford, AR9.16 3,893
Le Flore, OK8.82 3,815
Santa Rosa, FL8.58 7,000
Holmes, FL8.40 1,326
Jefferson, OK8.36 586
Pushmataha, OK8.27 910
Deuel, NE8.27 185
Kent, TX7.92 80
Loup, NE7.61 52
North Slope, AK7.61 455
Knox, MO7.41 332
Geneva, AL7.05 1,666
Jasper, MO6.85 6,199
Pope, AR6.71 3,079
Eaton, MI6.29 5,842
Logan, AR6.21 1,277
Cochran, TX6.10 267
Carroll, AR6.08 1,135
Carter, OK5.95 2,555
Bowman, ND5.95 214
Washington, FL5.94 1,005
Wibaux, MT5.88 70


States in this list are: Nebraska (4), Arkansas (4), Oklahoma (4), Florida (3), Texas (2), Missouri (2), Alabama, Alaska, Oregon, North Dakota, Michigan, and Montana.

Top 25 U.S. Counties with
Largest Assemblies of God Communities, 1990

CountyNumberPercent
Los Angeles, CA55,1070.62%
Maricopa, AZ30,3471.43
Dallas, TX27,9001.51
Harris, TX25,8920.92
Oklahoma, OK23,2753.88
Sacramento, CA21,0222.02
Tarrant, TX19,7481.69
King, WA18,5861.23
New York, NY16,2881.09
San Diego, CA15,9820.64
Cook, IL15,8860.31
Orange, CA15,4260.64
Fresno, CA14,2002.13
Kings, NY13,7680.60
Pierce, WA13,4852.30
Polk, FL13,1973.26
Orange, FL12,7371.88
Tulsa, OK12,1122.41
Greene, MO12,0685.80
San Bernardino, CA11,5190.81
Erie, NY11,2101.16
Cuyahoga, OH10,8500.77
Jackson, MO10,8121.71
Kern, CA10,7341.98
Alameda, CA10,5670.83


NOTE: Some of these counties are simply very populous counties, and are likely to show up on many similar lists for other denominations.

Source: Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990, published by the Glenmary Research Center, P.O. Box 507, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Principle investigator: Church Growth Research Center, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. This data source was obtained from the American Religion Data Archive.

Assemblies of God
"Statement of Fundamental Truths"

Two years after forming the Assemblies of God, its leaders wrote the 16-item "Statement of Fundamental Truths," which, with few changes, has remained the central declaration of Assemblies of God beliefs in the 80+ years since that time.

The following is a condensed version of the "Statement of Fundamental Truths" (Revised 1983 General Council) document:

  1. The Scriptures Inspired - The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.

  2. The One True God - The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent "I AM," the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Terms defined: The terms "Trinity" and "persons" as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture.)

  3. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ - The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.

  4. The Fall of Man - Man was created good and upright. However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.

  5. The Salvation of Man - Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.

  6. Ordinances of the Church - (a) Baptism in Water and (b) Holy Communion

  7. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost - All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire.

  8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost - The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

  9. Sanctification - Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord".

  10. The Church and Its Mission - The Church is the Body of Christ. The priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: (a) To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world; (b) To be a corporate body in which man may worship God; (c) To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son

  11. The Ministry - A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church

  12. Divine Healing - Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.

  13. The Blessed Hope - The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church

  14. The Millenial Reign of Christ - The second coming of Christ

  15. The Final Judgment - There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

  16. The New Heavens and the New Earth - "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness"

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.


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Created April 23, 1999. Last updated 30 September 2005.