History of WAGF

The World Assemblies of God Fellowship:

United in the Missionary Spirit

By William Molenaar

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“The Holy Spirit is the missionary Spirit.”
— Melvin Hodges, Assemblies of God missiologist1

A life-transforming encounter with God, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, has always been central to the missional identity of the Assemblies of God. As a result, the Assemblies of God is one of the largest families of Christian churches in the world. In 2009, the worldwide Assemblies of God claimed over 63 million adherents in 346,108 churches.2 However, many may not understand the nature of this global fellowship.

How is the worldwide Assemblies of God family organized and how does it cooperate in the mission of God? Most Assemblies of God (AG) members probably are unfamiliar with the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF), which is the global cooperative body of over 140 AG national churches. This article introduces readers to the WAGF, providing an account of its origins and development over the past two decades.

The WAGF (originally called World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship) was established on August 15, 1989, at the International Decade of Harvest Conference. Founding delegates represented various national Pentecostal churches that were historically and theologically connected to the AG and in fraternal relationship with each other.3

Most national churches which hold membership in the WAGF emerged from the missions efforts of the AG USA. However, it is important to note that some national churches began separately from the AG USA. For example, the largest national church, the Assembléias de Deus in Brazil, dates its beginning to 1911, three years before the founding general council of the AG USA in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

A history of the AG from a global perspective, tracing the development of the various national churches, has yet to be written. The story of the worldwide AG should be told in a way that includes the diverse histories, themes, and identity markers found in the Fellowship. However, the pivotal role of AG USA and its missions enterprise in the development of the WAGF cannot be ignored.

Roots in the AG USA

The AG USA, officially known as The General Council of the Assemblies of God, was formed in 1914. Rather than creating a new denomination with complex hierarchical structures and creeds, its founders intended to form a grassroots Pentecostal organization designed to effectively fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28).4

This purpose was clearly demonstrated in the initial call for the April 1914 founding General Council, which sought to unify various Pentecostal churches and networks of ministers for greater effectiveness in ministry and missions.5 Delegates to the second General Council in November 1914, in a breathtaking display of missional confidence, unanimously passed a resolution committing the young Assemblies of God “to Him for the greatest evangelism that the world has ever seen.”6

In the next several decades, the AG USA set out to do just that through an aggressive missions program. At first many missionaries imitated the colonial model of other denominations — establishing mission stations as beachheads in other nations, led by missionaries, and with national pastors on their payroll. At the same time, other missionaries implemented indigenous church principles of developing self-supporting, self-governing, self-propagating national churches.7

The indigenous church model became the official AG USA foreign missions policy in 1921, under the direction of Missionary Secretary J. Roswell Flower.8 However, it took the AG USA missionaries a number of years to more fully embrace the indigenous church principles.9 As a result, the AG fellowship around the world consists of indigenous or national AG organizations which operate autonomously.

The AG has always had an international presence. As the various national churches became stronger, leaders realized they needed to cooperate more closely on missions endeavors. This need was partly met with the formation of the Pentecostal World Conference (PWC) in 1947. Many AG national church leaders participated in the PWC and formed closer relationships. Still, an international body of AG churches was needed to develop a more unified platform for those who identified themselves with the Assemblies of God.

First Attempt to Form a World Fellowship

AG historian Gary McGee noted that the AG USA made a previous attempt at forming an international AG fellowship. The 1957 General Council adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, The outreach of the Assemblies of God is resulting in the establishing of national groups of Assemblies of God churches, and whereas these groups of churches, while established through our missionary efforts, are yet self-supporting bodies, and whereas it seems desirable to develop some organizational plan whereby these groups may be more closely integrated into a world-wide fellowship of the Assemblies of God, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Foreign Missions Department be instructed to take such steps as may seem expedient to develop plans for the establishing of an International Assemblies of God Fellowship by which authorized representatives of national Assemblies of God groups may meet together at regular intervals for fellowship and conference in the interests of world evangelism by the closer co-operation of national Assemblies of God groups.10

Proposals for this international organization were further explored in the 1960s.11 Unfortunately these plans never materialized, partly because the various national churches feared domination by the Americans.12 Nevertheless, in the 1960s a number of regional conferences consisting of AG constituencies and other fraternally-related groups began to convene, which strengthened cooperation among the national churches.13

Formation of the WAGF

When the vision for an international AG body was finally actualized over thirty years later, it was the result of an evangelism initiative, the “Decade of Harvest, launched by the AG USA. This initiative aimed to encourage American churches to intensify evangelistic efforts during the decade leading up to the year 2000. The Division of Foreign Missions (DFM) expanded this initiative to include a vision for unity among the various national AG churches. AG USA missions leader J. Philip Hogan invited international church leaders to convene for a Decade of Harvest Conference in Springfield, Missouri, on July 13-14, 1988. Hogan gave two main reasons for this meeting:

For a number of months now, we have been awakened by the Lord to convene a body of world Assemblies of God leaders to discuss and pray about two important matters.

The first of these, brethren, is that, by God’s grace, we are now numerically around 20 million strong in this world. I am speaking of the fraternal fellowship we call the Assemblies of God. God has not brought us to this place to be boastful but rather to be challenged with the fact that we must use our numbers and strength to confront this

century with the mightiest evangelism and church planting surge the world has ever known. The year 2000 looms before us. From many quarters of the world there comes the cry, “Let the real church of Jesus Christ rise up together and finish the Great Commission and make possible the return of our blessed Lord.”

Secondly, we need to prayerfully explore together how we may unite ourselves in a simple but effective worldwide fellowship that will help us to attain this goal.14

At this historic meeting, Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea, was one of the first to take the floor. He proposed to form a “world Assemblies of God fellowship.” Discussion followed, and delegates expressed an openness to either a loose or strong organization, if it would further their goal of world evangelism. A provisional committee was appointed and described the consensus which developed:

… a need for some kind of a loose and yet effective world-wide Assemblies of God structure … [that] should have a coordinating and consulting function. It would not take away in any way from the sovereignty and autonomy of the national churches. It would not hinder but rather enhance the Pentecostal work in its many forms in various cultural, political, and religious context[s] around the world. It would not dictate but serve and lead by serving.15

This committee also summarized the six purposes for which such an organization would exist:

  1. Promote and facilitate world evangelization.

  2. Coordinate world relief.

  3. Coordinate the use of media and other technological resources to promote the cause of Christ in a way pleasing to Him.

  4. Provide a strong international platform to speak out on behalf of the suffering and persecuted churches.

  5. Coordinate theological education.

  6. Produce an international directory of Pentecostal churches, missions and other Pentecostal agencies to help share information.16

Another provisional committee was asked to explore the details of how to best craft an international organization and to present a proposal to the delegates when they would meet again one year later.17 At the end of the meeting, delegates signed a covenant statement called the

“Declaration of a Decade of Harvest,” committing the national churches to work together for world evangelization.18

The elected provisional committee met May 15-16, 1989, in Springfield, Missouri.19 Discussion revolved around Australian leader Andrew Evans’ proposed constitution, which the committee modified throughout the course of the meetings.20 Committee members settled upon the name “World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship.”21

Whether the new fellowship should have a strong or loose organizational structure became a significant point of discussion. Immanuel Lazaro, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Tanzania, advocated a strong organizational identity:

… I think, we should stand strongly about how we can form this one strong fellowship … we need to have a strong fellowship in order to be able to accomplish our goals, we shouldn’t be afraid of men thinking that we are trying to form something like the Roman Catholics are doing. We know that are not to do so, but we shouldn’t be afraid of actually coming together to do something so that we can strengthen our fellowship.22

The provisional committee did not develop a proposal to develop a complex organizational system for the fellowship.23 Instead, the committee proposed a simple structure which called for at least one meeting of the world fellowship every three years, and the election of a twelve- member executive committee, which would be comprised of regional representatives.24

While the new fellowship’s structure stirred much debate, its doctrine did not. The provisional committee members decided, without much discussion, that the short doctrinal statement published in the Pentecostal Evangel would suffice.25 This statement was later included in the first constitution of the WAGF in 1989.26

The international representatives gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 14-15, 1989, at the Decade of Harvest Conference and discussed the provisional committee’s proposal for a worldwide Assemblies of God fellowship. AG USA General Superintendent G. Raymond Carlson gave the keynote sermon at the conference. When the sermon was finished, and before the business began, American missions leader Loren Triplett delivered a word of knowledge:

Surely the foundations of the earth are in place by the decree of the Almighty. So His promises are forevermore. Behold, if thou shalt trust in the Lord thy God, the ways of man will be set aside and the ways of Divine ordinance shall be set in place. For it is the Lord, it is the Word of the Lord God Almighty that shall lead thee. Open thy heart. Attune thy ears that the voice of God may direct thy ways and His promises shall be thy foundation.

Immediately after this word, J. Philip Hogan proclaimed“Hallelujah. Brethren, there is no rank among us. We are brethren. We are brethren.”27 Hogan, who served as missions director for the AG USA, repeatedly made the point that the world fellowship would not be a vehicle of control for the American church. He indicated that the structure of the new organization had not yet been determined. He introduced the provisional committee and noted that the agenda for the meeting should not be “dominated by those of us in the West or in the American infrastructure.”28 After the provisional committee shared its proposal to the delegates, Hogan explained:

Those of us in the Assemblies of God, U.S.A., and Division of Foreign Missions, our founding fathers committed us to do exactly what we have done, and you are here as a proof of the fact that in some cases we must have done it quite well, because you are here representing great sovereign, individual movements around the world. We do not dominate you. We coordinate with you. You do not take orders from us. We don’t want you to. You stand among us. We are not patrons as against peers. We are all peers, one with another. We respect your sovereignty and well we should. I don’t think any of us ever entertained for one minute the idea of a worldwide western dominated, or any other kind of dominated, world structure.29

The next morning, discussion centered around the name of the new organization. Following some confusion over the meeting’s procedures, delegates unanimously voted to strike all motions and proposals and to start over after the lunch break.

During the lunch break, the provisional committee met with Carlson and Hogan and hammered out an amendment to the provisional committee’s proposal for the structure of the organization. Peter Kuzmic, as the representative of the provisional committee, presented the proposal to the delegates. The proposal created an executive committee, consisting of elected members from various regions of the world. The amendment added two AG USA leaders (general superintendent and executive director of DFM) as ex officio members of the executive committee.30

Guillermo Fuentes of Mexico requested clarification whether the American ex officio members would be the representatives from North America. Kuzmic responded:

… we did not change anything in regional representation that is elected regionally. We only added the two executive officers as ex officio members of the committee. The two regionally elected, that remains as it was originally proposed. Now, the additional proposal was to bring about a more effective, harmonious working relationship. I think it is clear to all of us, or most of us, that without the Assemblies of God U.S.A. and DFM, what we are talking here cannot happen around the world, because you brethren in North America have the technology, the expertise, the organizational structures, and every other blessing, and this is behind reason, not me. I’ll not elaborate this further. I think it is self- evident.31

After further discussion, delegates unanimously approved the provisional committee’s amendment. They also voted to recognize the provisional committee as the first executive committee of the WAGF, which was charged with “representing our world interest in the Decade of Harvest and the development of the World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship.”32 In the end, the delegates did not substantially modify the provisional committee’s initial proposal, apart from the addition of the ex officio positions.

Apparently, the WAGF leaders felt these ex officio positions were needed because of the AG USA’s significant role as an organizational support and resource for the WAGF, but at the same time they wanted to be careful to not suggest any sort of American dominance.

While details surrounding the inclusion of ex officio members may seem insignificant, they are important because they both explain the AG USA’s level of involvement and demonstrate how the WAGF leaders carefully navigated possible tensions over leadership issues.

Purpose and Activities

What was the purpose of the WAGF? The first constitution of the WAGF stated:

The purpose of this Fellowship shall be to pursue the fulfillment of our Lord’s command to evangelize the lost in the shortest possible time, providing them the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel in all of its fullness, by encouraging and assisting one another, promoting harmonious relationships, and seeking the most effective means of its accomplishment under the dynamic leadership of the Holy Spirit.33

The constitution also provided for a General Assembly, consisting of representatives of each member church, to meet at least once every three years, while a smaller Executive Committee was to meet at least yearly.34

Initially, the WAGF cooperative efforts consisted of more intentional communications between the national churches through correspondence, periodicals (UpdateWorld ReportWorldlinkWAGRA World Report), and prayer initiatives. Formal cooperative programs developed more slowly. At a 1991 meeting, Executive Committee members brainstormed about ways to better publicize the WAGF and to attract more member churches. The minutes recorded the following suggestions by Peter Kuzmic:

… strengthening leadership, having more brethren involved representing this movement around the world. He also suggested working groups to deal with specific issues, serving as resources to Pentecostals everywhere. For instance, a theological group, also a missiological strategist group who could give us the media, which persons, which dates, and so forth for a particular country’s emphasis. He felt we should have the literature prepared for it in advance. He also felt a media or communications group could channel technological resources where there are experts and visionaries to help us. Why not a prayer working group to pray for specifics and to notify the other area of pertinent dates and needs to pray for? We must mobilize all of our resources.35

Some reservations were expressed concerning how to finance these suggestions. Still, many of these proposals were implemented in the strategic planning for the 1992 and 1994 conferences, and more recently by the creation of the theological and missions commissions in 2009.

One of the WAGF’s most significant cooperative programs — the World Assemblies of God Relief and Development Agency (WAGRA) — was created in 1993 by the Executive Committee. The WAGF leaders intended to create a mechanism through which members of the AG family who were in need might be aided by other members with abundance. The four objectives of the WAGRA are: 1) Crisis and Disaster Response, 2) Health and Community Services Programs, 3) Development and Maintenance Programs, and 4) Environmental Concerns.36

Another major function of the WAGF is to provide a unified global voice to advocate for AG members experiencing persecution. In its early years, the WAGF wrote to various governments and ambassadors on behalf of persecuted individuals and churches. The WAGF’s Commission on Religious Liberty, formally established in 1999, works with other human rights agencies and engages governments on behalf of church members who are suffering persecution, oppression, or restriction.

In 2009, the Executive Council formed a theological commission to oversee doctrinal matters and a missions commission (International Committee on Emerging Missions and Unreached People) to encourage the formation of strategic partnerships among missions organizations. A number of international ministries also serve as instruments of unity within the worldwide AG family of churches, including: Teen Challenge, Convoy of Hope, Global University, Global Initiative, Center for Holy Lands Studies, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Royal Rangers International, Healthcare Ministries, Life Publishers, Network211, Global AIDS Partnership, Sustain Hope, and others.37

Conclusion

Since its formation in 1989, the WAGF has attempted to bring greater unity among the various AG national churches for the purpose of world evangelization. In the years following the formation of the WAGF, the AG has experienced unprecedented growth. From 1989 to 2009, the AG family expanded from 16 million to 63 million adherents, from 109,645 to 357,727 ministers and missionaries, and from 117,450 to 346,108 churches and preaching points.38

The formation of the WAGF was achieved in 1989, despite previous attempts, because its founders successfully navigated tensions involving organizational structure, power, identity, and finances. Remarkably, the minutes do not reflect any theological tensions arising from the cross- cultural interaction of the AG national churches at the international level.

In some ways, the WAGF and the AG USA were formed with similar values. In both cases, the founding members valued independence and autonomy, while realizing the need for mutual dependence and unity for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission. Similar motivations inspired the founders of both organizations: 1) a desire to work together in Spirit-empowered evangelism, 2) a sense of eschatological urgency, 3) the practical need for organizational unity, 4) the need for more effective missions and education, and 5) a suspicion of hierarchical institutions.

The WAGF has brought greater unity and a sense of structural identity to the broader AG family. However, organizational adjustments and closer cooperation between the various national churches may be needed to better fulfill the WAGF founding vision for a dynamic international missions organization. The WAGF offers an opportunity for the AG to become known as a people of reconciliation across all racial, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic boundaries for “we were all baptized in one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free

— and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor. 12:13).

William Molenaar (M.Div., AGTS) is Special Projects Coordinator at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Missouri.

Published: November 10, 2011. Adapted and taken with permission from William Molenaar,

“The World Assemblies of God Fellowship: United in the Missionary Spirit,” Assemblies of God Heritage (March 2011): 40-47.

 

Notes

 


 

Melvin L. Hodges, A Theology of the Church and its MissionA Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1977), 132.

Current Facts and Highlights, 2011 Issue 1 (Springfield, MO: AGWM Research Office), 1. For more information on these statistics, see footnote 41.

The World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship (WPAGF) was renamed the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF) on September 16, 1993 by the Executive Committee, a decision ratified by the General Assembly on August 7, 2000.

Edith L. Blumhofer, Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism, and American Culture (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 116.

E. N. Bell, “General Convention of Pentecostal Saints and Churches of God in Christ, Hot Springs, Arkansas, April 2 to 12, 1914,” Word and Witness, December 20, 1913, 1. See also: General Council Minutes, April 1914, 2.

General Council Minutes, April-November 1914, 12. Evangelism and missions was initially the primary organizational focus for the AG USA. John W. Welch, a founding member of the Executive Presbytery and later Chairman (1915-1920; 1923-1925) and Secretary (1920-1923) wrote, “The General Council of the Assemblies of God was never meant to be an institution; it is just a missionary agency,” in “A Missionary Movement,” Pentecostal Evangel, November 13, 1920, 8.

For a history of the AG’s implementation of indigenous church principles, see Gary B. McGee’s definitive two-volume work, This Gospel — Shall Be Preached: A History and Theology of Assemblies of God Foreign Missions (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986, 1989).

8 General Council Minutes, 1921, 60-61.

9 AG missiologist Melvin Hodges’ writings were instrumental in the AG USA’s implementation of the “three selfs” of the indigenous church model. See: Melvin Hodges, The Indigenous Church (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1953).

10 General Council Minutes, 1957, 31-32.

11 McGee, This Gospel — Shall Be Preached, Vol. 2, 108.

12 Ibid., Vol. 1, 245. More information on why this initial fellowship did not materialize in the 1960s can be found in Vol. 2, 109-110.

13 Ibid., Vol. 2, 108-109. Examples of regional conferences include: the Central American Fellowship (Dec 1960, Matagalpa, Nicaragua) which became the Committee of Executives of the Assemblies of God,

representing Central America and the northern republics of South America. Other examples are the Committee of the Assemblies of God of South America (1961, Santiago, Chile), the Pan-African Conference (Sep 2-9, 1964, Nigeria), and the Far East Fellowship (1960, Hong Kong). Research is needed on the origin and formation of these various conferences.

14 J. Philip Hogan, letter to Decade of Harvest (DOH) delegates, November 17, 1987, 1. FPHC.

15 Transcript: “DOH Committee Meeting, Springfield, Missouri, July 13-14, 1988 Minutes,” 40. DOH Files, FPHC. This was taken from the summary of the morning session on July 13, 1988, which was given by Peter Kuzmic. Kuzmic chaired the 1988 provisional committee appointed by J. Philip Hogan. The provisional committee consisted of the following appointees: Peter Kuzmic of Eurasia (chairman), Paul Cho Yonggi of Asia Pacific, Jean Pawentaore Ouedraogo of Africa, John Bueno of Latin America, and Dr. Andrew Evans of Australia. Gary McGee served as recording secretary. Gary McGee rightly noted, “The opportunities that such an international fellowship present are enormous. Closer cooperation, even while preserving the independence of each organization, could make important advances in coordinating the activities of national churches, their missionaries, and the endeavors of the Assemblies of God (U.S.A.) for evangelism and discipleship training. Overlapping efforts, including the sometimes redundant expenditure of resources, could be diminished as the participants close ranks to pursue their common objectives. The conception of the international Decade of Harvest initiative, with its fraternal basis and commitment to Pentecostal spirituality, may herald the final triumph of the venerated indigenous church principles, long held and implemented by the Assemblies of God” (McGee, This Gospel — Shall Be Preached, Vol. 2, 278).

16 Most of the delegates of the meeting approved of the provisional committee’s summarized proposal by a show of hands. See transcript: “DOH Committee Meeting minutes, July 13-14, 1988,” 41-42. FPHC. The provisional committee used language which envisioned a strong worldwide AG organization and identity (“coordinate,” “provide a strong international platform,” and “produce”). Yet, in the first constitution, as well as later revisions, the descriptive language shifts by reflecting a loose or weaker organizational structure (“promote,” “encourage,” “support,” “affirm,” and “provide non-legislative means”). See: World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship, Constitution and Bylaws, 1989, 1. FPHC.

17 The provisional committee was made up of representatives who were elected by the 1988 Conference delegates from their respective regions of the World: From Asia, Andrew Evans (Australia) and Prince Guneratnam; from Eurasia, Daniel Munshi (Bangladesh) and Peter Kuzmic (Yugoslavia); from Latin America, John Bueno (CELAD organization & Northern area), Jose Wellington da Costa (Brazil and Southern part), and Errol Bhola (Caribbean); from Africa, Immanuel Lazaro (Tanzania), and Jean Pawentaore Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso); and from North America, William Cornelius (Canada), and J. Philip Hogan (USA). Yonggi Cho was unanimously added to this provisional committee, and J. Philip Hogan was appointed chairman by the international delegates.

18 The Declaration was technically signed on July 14, 1988, although the document states the date of the last day of the meeting. See transcript: “DOH Committee Meeting minutes, July 13-14, 1988,” 105-108. FPHC. Delegates discussed whether to use the word “Fellowship” in the declaration statement, or to instead use the terms “Association” or “Network.” One commented that Fellowship “does not seem to denote the kind of aggressive stance we want to take on accomplishing the purpose for which we were gathered” (p. 114). The minutes indicate that most delegates believed the term Association would be misinterpreted and would be perceived as threatening the autonomy of various member churches. In the end, delegates favored the term Fellowship by an almost unanimous vote (p. 115).

19 “International DOH Provisional Committee Meeting minutes, May 15-16, 1989,” 1. DOH Files, FPHC.

20 Nancy Pope on behalf of Andrew Evans, letter to J. Philip Hogan [received May 1, 1989]. DOH Files. FPHC.

21 There were a number of factors at play in this determination: 1) identification as AG, 2) identification as “Pentecostal,” 3) inclusivity, 4) cultural sensitivities, and 5) linguistic sensitivities. For this discussion see transcript: “International Decade of Harvest Provisional Committee Meeting, May 15 and 16, 1989, Ramada Hotel, Hawthorn Park Springfield, Missouri, U.S.A.,” 19-27. DOH Files, FPHC.

22 Ibid., 18-19. The transcriber of the committee meeting minutes was unable to complete the missing words. See similar comments by Peter Kuzmic on page 17.

23 For Hogan’s comments on this see: Ibid., day two, 6-8.

24 See the provisional committee’s final proposal to the 1989 delegates in: Notebook: 1989 International Decade of Harvest Conference. FPHC.

25 Ibid., 35.

26 World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship, Constitution and Bylaws, 1989, 1. FPHC. The WAGF’s Statement of Faith was expanded in 2000.

27 Transcript: “Decade of Harvest Conference, Westin Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 14-15, 1989,” 7. DOH Files, FPHC.

28 Ibid., 10.

29 Ibid., 83. G. Raymond Carlson later echoed this sentiment (p. 88). Francesco Toppi of Italy also gratefully affirmed both Hogan and Carlson’s comments (p. 90).

30 “International DOH Conference minutes, August 14-15, 1989,” 12. FPHC.

31 Transcript: “DOH Conference, Westin Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 14-15, 1989,” 108. DOH Files, FPHC.

32 “International DOH Conference minutes, August 14-15, 1989,” 13. FPHC. The WAGF dropped the ex officio positions from its Executive Committee in 2000. However, the WAGF General Assembly reinstated the director of AG USA World Missions as an ex officio member of the Executive Council in 2008. See: “WAGF minutes, 2008,” 3. FPHC.

33 World Pentecostal Assemblies of God Fellowship, Constitution and Bylaws, 1989, 1. FPHC.

34 Here is a listing of the WAGF general assemblies and congresses: provisional meeting 1988 (Springfield, MO, USA); 1989 (Indianapolis, IN, USA); 1992 (Oslo, Norway); 1st Congress 1994 (Seoul, Korea); 1995 (Jerusalem, Israel); 2nd Congress 1997 (São Paulo, Brazil); 3rd Congress 2000 (Indianapolis, IN, USA); 4th Congress 2005 (Sydney, Australia); 5th Congress 2008 (Lisbon, Portugal); 6th Congress 2011 (Chennai, India). The Executive Committee was renamed the Executive Council in approximately 2003.

35 “International DOH Executive Committee Meeting, Hong Kong, February 13-14, 1991 Minutes,” 13.

36 Constitution and Bylaws of the World Assemblies of God Relief and Development Agency, September 28, 1994. FPHC.

37 George O. Wood, “World Assemblies of God Fellowship: Uniting to Finish the Task,” in Toward Pentecostal Cooperation: Emerging Power for the World Evangelization, ed. by Grant McClung and Arto Hamalainen (forthcoming 2012).

38 The WAGF does not keep statistics on the number of adherents in its member churches. The statistics in this article are taken from the Worldwide Assemblies of God Constituency Report, compiled by AG USA World Missions. The worldwide AG constituency includes “Pentecostal elements with which Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) has a fraternal relationship even though they may not use the term „Assemblies of God’ to identify themselves.” In 2009 the Assemblies of God had constituents in 213 nations and territories; 140 of those nations had organized national churches that formally affiliated with the WAGF. See “Official Statistics Assemblies of God Division of Foreign Missions, 1989” (Springfield, MO: DFM, 1989) and “Worldwide Assemblies of God Constituency 2010 Report” (Springfield, MO: AGWM, 2010).

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