Dr. J. Gordon Melton of Baylor University has published a book that will undoubtedly become the essential go-to source for research on Pentecostalism in Texas. The book is titled, Resource Guide for the Study of Pentecostalism in Texas (Institute for Studies of Religion, 2020). It is a compilation of vital resources (annotated notes and bibliography) that Melton gathered in his research for "the formal narrative" he is writing about the Pentecostal movement in Texas. He published it with the hope that it might benefit "colleagues who are studying either Pentecostalism in general or Texas religious history."
Melton’s Resource Guide covers the Pentecostal movement in Texas from the 1900s to the present. He presents a list of books, articles, and websites by and about numerous pioneers and important leaders in the movement. He features notes and commentary for such pioneers as F.F. Bosworth, Raymond T. Richey, W.V. Grant, David Nunn, Gordon Lindsay, Kenneth E. Hagin, H.C. Noah, R. W. Schambach, A.A. Allen, T.D. Jakes, John Osteen and Joel Osteen, among others. Some of the people featured are lessor known leaders in the movement. Fortunately, his work is not limited to the contributions of men. Some of the women featured are Elizabeth Sisson, Sandra Pratt Martin, C.F. W. Loftis, Helen Chandler, Maude Dulaney, Dorothy Deaddrick, Arizona Juanita Dranes, Lucy Farrow, Naomi Dowdy, and Sarah Larson.
For many of the people mentioned, Melton includes biographical material. He also provides snippets of commentary for some of the books and other sources. For example, he shares a brief note after Reuben Armstrong’s book, Snakes in the Pulpit (2007), which appears under the “Prosperity Gospel” section. Melton describes the book as a “poorly researched attack on T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Eddie Long and Creflo Dollar.”
Melton devotes an entire section to African Americans and the Church of God in Christ. He also highlights the contributions of Mexican Americans and Spanish-Speaking Pentecostals in Texas. One interesting feature of the Resource Guide is the section on the Pentecostal preachers who published their own study Bibles. The list of Bibles includes:
Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition (Kenneth Copeland)
The Life Plan Study Bible (John Hagee)
Rhema Study Bible (Kenneth E. Hagin)
Revival Study Bible (Steve Hill)
The Master’s Healing Presence Bible (Benny Hinn)
Women of Destiny Bible (Cindy Jacobs)
The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible (T.D. Jakes)
The Wisdom Bible (Mike Murdock)
Hope for Today Bible (Joel and Victoria Osteen)
Melton lists resources for many important topics in Pentecostalism, such as the prosperity gospel, divine healing, the new apostolic reformation, Spirit baptism, speaking in tongues, gifts of the spirit, etc.
According to Melton, he became interested in the topic of Pentecostalism in Texas when he began to see the importance of the movement -- and the impact it was having -- throughout the Lone Star State. There was also a need for new research, as that there was no history written about the movement in this area. Melton notes the closest thing written on the topic to date is a centennial book published by the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God and a book about the Church of God in Christ.
As he began his research, he found himself "becoming aware of the vibrant phase into which Pentecostal historical studies has presently entered, both nationally and internationally." As other historians have observed, Melton suggests the Pentecostal movement has continued to grow from its inception in the United States. However, in the 1980s, he writes, it "entered a spectacular growth trajectory that led a number of religious historians to label the last century the 'Century of the Holy Spirit.'" Texas, in Melton's view, is "where Pentecostalism has enjoyed its greatest success."
Melton explains the emphasis of his work in the Introduction. He writes:
The main focus of this guide is a list of the more prominent people who have played a key role in the founding and/or development of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement in the state of Texas. For those with a more mobile career, I have been most concerned about their in-store contributions but note that Texas continues to supply significant leadership nationally and internationally to the still expanding Pentecostal movement.
This Resource Guide, which is published in an 8 1/2 x 11 format (with coil binding), is 165 pages in length. It is well organized and reader friendly. Here's a look at the Table of Contents:
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Texas, Why Pentecostalism?
I. General Sources for the Study of Pentecostalism in Texas
Prosperity Gospel Movement
New Apostolic Reformation
II. Pentecostal Ministers in Texas in the Pre-World War II Era, 1900-1945
III. The Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement in Texas in the Post-World II Era, 1945-Present
Pentecostal Charismatic Ministers in Texas, 1945-Present
The Critique of Pentecostalism and Its Theology
Bibles with Annotations by Pentecostals
IV. African American Participation in the Pentecostal Movement in Texas
A Timeline, 1900-1955
The Jurisdictional Prelates (Bishops) and Supervisors of Women of the Church of God in Christ
African American Pentecostal Leadership in the Post World War II Era, 1945-Present
V. Mexican American and Additional Spanish-Speaking Pentecostals in Texas
* * *
"Dr. J. Gordon Melton, Baylor Professor, is Doing Research on F.F. Bosworth: His investigation has taken him to the First Assembly of God Church in Dallas." See here.
Reminder: "F.F. Bosworth History" is now on Twitter. Follow @bosworth_fred
Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind "Christ the Healer," can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: BOSWORTH25.
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