From Legacy Charles Fox & Eleanor Parham


One would expect that since Christ followers do everything in the name of Jesus Christ, baptizing in His name would be natural – not controversial.1023 However, since 1914 baptizing while invoking the name of Jesus Christ has become synonymous with controversy. Among the lesser publicized doctrines promoted by Charles Parham was baptism invoking the singular name of Jesus’ Christ (circa 1900).

In 1915 nearly everyone was being baptized or even re-baptize invoking baptism in the

single name of Jesus Christ. This was nothing new for the Apostolic Faith Movement as Charles, and Sarah Parham had been baptized in Jesus’ name since about 1901.1025 Charles Parham wrote as much in his book in 1902.1026 Despite the fact that Charles Parham and the AFM had championed Jesus’ name baptism as opposed to the Roman triune formula,1027 for some of the new Pentecostals baptism in Jesus name was a revelation. Good for them! As the new wave of Jesus name baptism seized the country, many of the new Pentecostals were swept up in the

wave. Howard Goss, who had already been baptized in Jesus’ name by Charles Parham got baptized again in Jesus’ name.1028 This was obviously a publicity stunt to impress his Texas Syndicate friends and their new AG.1029

1023 Colossians 3:17. 1024 Parham. A Voice Crying in the Wilderness. 22-24; Blumhofer, Restoring the Faith. 47 n. 23: Anderson, Disinherited, 176. 1025 The Apostolic Faith. June 1912. Charles F. Parham. 1026 Voice Crying in the Wilderness. Charles F. Parham. Water Baptism. Chapter 2. Page 7. 1027 Parham’s position on this, never wavered. He wrote explicitly about this in this 1902 book, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness and made additional ref erences throughout his lif e in preaching and in a revisit of the topic in print in The Apostolic Faith 1912. He made the point of saying that neither he nor his wif e Sarah had ever participated in Triune baptism. Thus, one is lef t to conclude that the thousand or tens of thousands that Parham baptized were all in the singular name of Jesus Christ. 1028 Goff. Fields White unto Harvest., 153 n. 24. 1029 From Gary W. Garrett, PhD f ounder of Apostolic Archives. “Ihave been asked many times where the historical proof is that Howard Goss was ever baptized in Jesus’ name by Charles Parham. Historical Facts Their Story, 20th Century Pentecostals. Fred Foster. Howard Goss was baptized in Jesus’ name in 1903 by Charles F. Parham. (P. 98). Howard Goss was rebaptized in Jesus’ name by E.N. Bell on August 15, 1915. (P. 98). E.N. Bell and Rogers were baptized in Jesus’ name by L.V. Roberts in the Summer of 1915. (PP. 95-96). 

Restoring the Apostolic Faith, by J.L. Hall. Charles F. Parham used the Jesus’ name f ormula when he baptized Howard Goss in 1903. (P.29). Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements by Burgess & McGee. E.N. Bell was rebaptized in Jesus’ name by L.V. Roberts in the Summer of 1915. (P. 645). E.N. Bell rebaptized Howard Goss in Jesus’ name in 1915. (P. 343). Anointed to Serve by William W. Menzies. E.N. Bell and H.G. Rogers were baptized in Jesus’ name by L.V. Roberts in July 1915. (P. 114). Early Interracial Oneness Pentecostalism by Talmadge L. French. Howard Goss was baptized twice in Jesus’ name! (PP.57-58). 1903 by Charles F. Parham. 1915 by E.N. Bell Page | 331

Texas Syndicate adherent and Chairman, E. N. Bell, of the newly formed Assemblies of God got baptized in Jesus’ name and wrote a marvelous tract about the experience. The Jesus name baptism was going quite well until Warren Fay Carothers, leader of the Texas Syndicate

and powerful member of the AG Executive Board had a meeting with the AG leadership. He pointed out that most black and other minority ministers were already baptizing in Jesus’ name. These had learned this mode of baptism from Carothers’ enemy, Charles F. Parham. Carothers’ was very concerned that this would bring a new wave of interest and inquiry to the all-white AG from those they had already dismissed as undesirables.

Carothers understood that Jesus name baptism was a cornerstone of Charles Parham’s AFM. The embracement and endorsement of the same by AG leaders proved that they were a counterfeit movement, just as Charles Parham had presented. While the AG loved to pretend

and even published that Parham was irrelevant, everyone understood that Parham was still the senior leader in the Apostolic and Pentecostal movement.

E. N. Bell General Superintendent of the A ssemblies o f G od said that God spoke to him about being baptized in the Name of Jesus.


The conviction was so irresistible that he called for Eva ngelist L .V. Roberts to baptize him.1031 He then published an article strongly supporting Jesus’ name baptism and his Christocentric position. The letter would be so strong that Flower (Assistant Editor) severely edited the content before printing the letter. Bell is forced to resign as Superintendent of the Assemblies of God and A r ch P. Collins is temporarily appointed.1032 Bell makes it clear that he supports Baptism in Jesus name. He also encourages the ministers not to make this a point of contention. However, history proves that neither side of the argument was willing to listen. Bell quickly found himself persona non grata with his Assemblies of God ‘friends’.


1030 The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. 2002. Zondervan. Pg. 326 1031 _Pent/_Qtv7gJMIFUC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq =PAJC+CONVENTION+1941&pg=PT2809&printsec=f rontcover 1032 Brumback, Suddenly, p. 198. 1033 The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. 2002. Zondervan. Pg. 326 Page | 332

Carothers brought his Texas Syndicate to bear, forcing E. N. Bell out of leadership. Bell then writes in his Word and Witness that baptism in Jesus’ name is just a fad and will fade away.1034 The AG began to call baptism in Jesus’ name, “the New Issue”. Of course, this was falsehood. There was nothing new about baptism in Jesus’ name. First, it was in the Bible and second, Charles Parham and the AFM had baptized in Jesus’ name for more than a decade. E. N. Bell began to due penitence to his all-white brotherhood. Four years later after the successful organizing of the Pentecostals Assemblies of the World, Bell attempted to do damage control over his repudiation of his baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.1035

For cover, the AG began publicizing their “New Issue” and created a back story that the whole thing started at a camp meeting in Arroyo Seco California in 1913. Sounds good, if you don’t ask questions. However, th e Apostolic F aith World-Wide Camp-Meeting was the event and those there were not in opposition of baptizing in Jesus’ name. No one there thought much of the subject at the time as the AFM had baptized in Jesus’ name for more than a decade. The only thing “NEW” was the AG claiming it was new. 

The Apostolic Faith Worldwide Camp Meeting was organized by R. J. Scott and George Studd. They spoke directly to the subject of who was to be given credit for the meeting. “ This camp m eeting b elongs to the Apostolic F aith p eople.”1 0 3 6 One thing that was new as that the new Pentecostals attempted to take the credit for the success of the meeting.1037 George Studd attended the AFM Camp Meeting. He was a strong proponent of baptism in Jesus’ name and later served on the board of the Original Pentecostal Assemblies of the World when it organized in 1919. The organizers, R. J. Scott and Studd said, “God is gathering His saints together in this city of Los Angeles, where he first set down his power in such a mighty way in 1906. We stand squarely for the whole Word of God, and the full Gospel –

1034 Word and Witness. July 17, 1915. 1035 The Great Controversy and Conf usion. Pentecostal Evangel. E. N. Bell. September 6, 1919. 1036 Word and Witness. Malvern Arkansas. Vol. 9. No. 3. March 20, 1913. Page 1. 1037 Word and Witness. Malvern Arkansas. Vol. 9. No. 3. March 20, 1913. Page 1. Page | 333

Jesus Christ crucified, risen and ascended, and the baptism with the Holy Ghost with the seal of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. (Acts2:4).” 1038 This statement speaks volumes. The doctrinal position outlined is clearly Apostolic Faith Movement. The point about full Gospel

is in direct opposition to William Durham and his finished work. Besides, Mrs. Woodworth Etter was the Camp Evangelist. The new Pentecostals only gave lip service to women ministers, barring them from licensure and offices. Those in attendance at the Apostolic Faith Camp Meeting did not promote any of the dogma’s that the AG accused. No one at this meeting claimed to be “Oneness”. This was a slur offered by AG apologists and antagonists. Later, some who were maligned by the AG began to use the term like a Red Badge of courage.

The Texas Syndicate’s goal was the same as when they initially attacked Parham. Also, the same as when they sent their friend William Durham to attempt to wrest the Apostolic Faith

Gospel Mission away from William Seymour. Now there was even more at stake. Another Apostolic Faith minister was making serious waves and he pastored one of the largest and growing churches in the country. What was even more reprehensible to the Texas Syndicate was that this man was BLACK. This was not a Parham or a Seymour, Garfield Thomas Haywood was a powerful preacher in his own right. This was a real challenge to the all-white Assemblies

of God. Their response must be firm.

The new Pentecostals or Holy Rollers if you prefer, rejected Jesus’ name baptism not because it was “new”. 

Rather, they were just continuing their campaign of attacking and distancing themselves from the AFM and Charles Parham (Father of the Modern Pentecostal Movement)1039 and those associated with Parham. 

Among the many strategies was claiming Parham was not part of the Los Angeles Outpouring at the Apostolic Faith Gospel Mission. They intended to rename the wonderful outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Bishop William J. Seymour’s Apostolic Faith Gospel Church after a street (the Azusa Street revival). These claim to trace their


Word and Witness. Malvern Arkansas. Vol. 9. No. 3. March 20, 1913. Page 1 1039 Page | 334

roots to the outpouring in Los Angeles. 

This has resulted in a horrible mischaracterization of the Los Angeles Outpouring as though it all took place at one location rather than a city-wide outpouring. Then, they claimed it was a Pentecostal revival steering the credit to their new

Pentecostal group that was not even in existence in 1906. Ironically, this theory is the work of obliviousness as what they call the Azusa Street Revival was an Apostolic Faith Movement. These postulate that Azusa Street became independent. There is half-truth to the latter point but when the Apostolic Faith Gospel Mission became independent, they did not change their church name.

Those who adopted the opposition to Parham because of his racially and gender inclusive doctrine have systematically rewritten or distorted historical accounts to their liking. 

Ironically, while they renamed H o w P entecost came to Los A ngeles, the Azusa Street Revival, the catalyst for their renaming of the Azusa Street Revival1040 was himself a minister of Parham’s Apostolic Faith Movement. He was one of Charles Parham’s spiritual sons, William Joseph Seymour.

1041 The new Pentecostals brought to the fore a display of smoke and mirrors never seen in religious circles before. In time they would parade channelers, shaman and prominent members of the KKK in front of their congregations with the full endorsement of the AG leadership and of

course their Texas Syndicate founders.

When the Assemblies of God was formed as an all-white group in 1914. The white men

who led the effort to start the Assemblies of God ignored the key leaders of the legitimate Apostolic Faith Movement to set up their new all-white enterprise. The legitimate leaders were at the time, Charles Fox & Sarah Eleanor Parham, Charles H. Mason, Florence Crawford, Lilian

Thistlethwaite, William J. Seymour and many more black, Hispanic, native American men and women of God. These were not welcome among the new Pentecostals in the all-white Assemblies of God.

1040 1041 ox-parham Page | 335

In short order even some of these white men found themselves persona non grata to the new Pentecostals because they dared have an unsanctioned opinion. The new Pentecostals claim the difference was doctrinal. Yet, many of the white men on both sides had in some

measure or fashion embraced what they called the “New Issue.

” So, it is fair to ask who created the “New Issue”? The so called “New Issue” was born in shadow of The Texas Syndicate. Charles Parham rightfully called them the new Pentecostals. In this light everything could be labeled “new” to the AG. Their decade long experiment to seize control of the Apostolic Faith Movement was only partially working. 

Parham warned them that no man or group of men could control this movement, but they would try anyway. AG leaders in the persons of J.

Roswell Flower, E. N. Bell, Howard Goss, Carothers and others used nearly every politically motivated ruse they could to pry people away from the legitimate leaders of the Apostolic Faith Movement. As these politically motivated men moved their agenda forward, they chose to resurrect not a new issue but an old one.

These claim that at the Apostolic Faith Camp Meeting in 1913 the supposed “New Issue” began. Yet, key leaders that were at the meeting did not know there was a “New Issue”. From the beginning the Apostolic Faith Movement baptized in Jesus’ name. There was no change in

their camp. From the perspective of the Apostolic Faith Movement, “There was nothing unusual about this gathering.”1042 “Even a message about various methods applied historically was clearly presented as not an attempt at suggesting innovation on current baptism methods.”1043 “

Apologist for this ’new issue’ controversy make the Apostolic Faith camp the watershed moment for controversy but there are serious gaps in the evidence.1044 Two key leaders that were present give some insight but not in support of such a controversy. First, the Camp evangelist and main speaker, Maria Wood-worth Etter makes no mention of a water baptism

1042 Christianity Without the Cross. Thomas Fudge. Page 45. 1043 James Craig. Robert Edward McCallister. Canadian Pentecostal Pioneer. Eastern Journal of Practical Theology 3. Spring 1989. 6-24. 1044 Fudge. Pg. 45. Page | 336

controversy.1045 Second, Andrew Bar-David Urshan was a participant in the camp meeting and wrote extensively as well. However, he did not reference a baptism controversy connected with the Apostolic Faith Camp meeting.1046 The explanation is rather simple. This was not a new issue

in the Apostolic Faith Movement. Andrew Urshan certainly had a position on the subject. However, he was less energized about what the AG thought about the subject and more interested in the practical application. Urshan wrote: “The foolishness of the practice of baptizing or pouring water on a person in three names, and calling it baptism, is too obvious to need comment. A person ignorant of the gospel is no subject for baptism. Those who practice sprinkling or pouring can certainly have no proper knowledge of the gospel. Their irregular use

of water is in keeping with their irregular faith, and the whole accompaniment of a swarm of errors. The man who comprehends the glorious gospel, needs not be told that he must be buried in water…”1047 Urshan was apparently baptized in the name of Jesus Christ by a Senior Elder in the Ukraine.1048

For more than a decade Charles Parham and other Apostolic Faith ministers were baptizing simply using the name of Jesus Christ rather than the tri-theist formula used by most Protestants.1049 “In the early stages of his ministry, Charles Parham struggled with the

absoluteness of water baptism as it related to regeneration. But soon he had a clearer understanding, that not only did Jesus expect it from a believer, but that water baptism would be the imminent response of a believer’s faith in Christ, and one of the identifying marks of the Apostolic faith. In his theology, Parham realized that as believers, we are buried with Christ by baptism into His death. In his book entitled, A V oice C rying in The W ilderness, which he first

1045 Woodworth-Etter. Lif e and Testimony of Mrs. M. B. Woodworth-Etter, Evangelist and Woodworth-Etter, Marvels and Miracles God wrought in the Ministry of Forty-Five Years. 1046 Stephen R. Graham. Conservative American Protestantism and the Origins of Pentecostalism A Case Study A Case Study of Andrew D. Urshan. Unpublished M. A. Thesis. 1983. Wheaton College. Pg. 45. 1047 Urshan. T

he Almighty God in the Lord Jesus Christ (Portland, OR: Apostolic Book Publishers, 1983. Pg. 55. This is a reprint of a book originally printed in 1919. 1048 Personal conversation with Bishop Samuel Smith, Bishop Barney Phillips with the Author, Bernie L. Wade, PhD. 1049 The Apostolic Faith. Baptism. The Apostolic Faith Publishing Company. Baxter Springs, Kansas. March 1912. Page 7. Page | 337

published in 1902, Parham deals with the subject of water baptism as it pertained to the doctrines of his Apostolic Faith Movement.”1050

Parham writes, “For years after entering the ministry, we taught no special baptism of water, believing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be the only essential one; having been marvelously anointed from time to time, and received the anointing that abideth, we put the

question of water baptism aside. One day, while meditating alone in the woods, the Spirit said, ‘Have you obeyed every command you believe to be in the Word’. I answered, yes; the question repeated, and the same answer was given. The third time the question was asked, I answered, no! for like a flood, the convincing evidence of the necessity of obedience rushed in upon me, how Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ’. Was not this one baptism?”1051

“Then came the second; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Again, Peter preceded at once to baptize Cornelius, and all his house, who had received the Baptism of the

Holy Spirit, with the Bible evidence of speaking with other tongues. Thrusting aside all arguments, Peter replied, ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we’. 

Paul did not recognize the baptism of John to repentance as sufficient, but rebaptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ before he would lay hands upon them that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These and

other Scriptures were so convincing that the next day we were baptized by single immersion”.

Parham continues by saying, “I can well r emember when we sought G od in th is cleansing,

h o w some of the teachings we h ad believed to be so S criptural, and some we h ad loved so d early were wiped from our m inds. A mong them was triune immersion; we could n ot afterward f ind a single argument in its f avor. One d ay a t th e Bible S chool we were waiting u pon G od that we m ight know the S criptural teaching o n water b aptism. F inally, the Spirit o f G od sa id: ‘ We are

1050 1051 The Apostolic Faith. Baptism. The Apostolic Faith Publishing Company. Baxter Springs, Kansas. March 1912. Page 7. Page | 338

b u ried b y b aptism into H is d eath’. A lthough we had known that for years, again the S pirit said: ‘ G od the Father and the H oly G host n ever d ied.” Then h ow quickly we recognized the f act that we co uld not be buried b y b aptism in the n ame o f the F ather, and in the name o f the H oly

G h ost, b ecause it stood for nothing, a s they n ever d ied o r were r esurrected. So, if you d esire to witness a public confession of a clean conscience toward God, a nd m an, f aith in the d ivinity of J esus Christ, you will b e baptized b y single immersion, signifying the d eath, burial, a nd r esurrection: b eing b aptized in the name o f J esus Christ”.

AG leaders saw this as another opportunity to pilfer followers away from Parham and the AFM. The so called “New Issue” was actually the same old issue – discredit Parham and anyone connected to him or his doctrinal positions so that we can be in charge. 

“In the end, it didn’t matter, nor did the words of John McAlister who merely taught an historically accurate Bible class on baptism.