menu
Origins

Parham was one the first of the early Pentecostal leaders to meld together Spirit baptism and speaking in tongues.  Parham's solution was to suggest that there was another experience after sanctification that all Christians should earnestly seek after as a sign that they have received "power from on high" as described in the Book of Acts. The baptism in the Holy Spirit was evidenced by speaking in tongues.  This is called the doctrine of initial evidence.  For Parham, tongues were known languages that were given to people to enable to go out onto missions.  This phenomenon, xenoglossia, was not generally accepted beyond Parham's initial discussion of it.  What was accepted was the idea that you knew that you had been baptized in the Holy Spirit when you spoke in a language that you did not know. 

Parham's ministry after the Topeka, Kansas event seems like a blur of activity during which Parham built up networks of churches of the Apostolic Faith, attempted to take over Seymour's Azusa Mission, and in 1907, was arrested on a charge of sodomy.  Parham's reputation never recovered and he spent the rest of his ministry days in relative obscurity focused seemingly on biblical themes of race, white supremacy, and eschatology.


Back to Religion Library