Pentecostalism is a faith within Evangelical Christianity. It believes in a personal experience with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38); the same as in the Biblical account on the Day of Pentecost. Pentecostalism is similar to the Charismatic groups, but it came about earlier and separated from the main church branches. Charismatic Christians, at least in the beginning, tended to stay in their denominations and did not divide away.


There are different types of Pentecostal churches.[1] Most believe that you must be saved by believing in Jesus as their Savior; to be forgiven for their sins and to be pleasing to God. Pentecostals also believe, like most other evangelicals, that the Bible is true and must be obeyed in decisions of faith. In this majority group, speaking in tongues is the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and is not required for salvation.[2] To this group, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural gift for ministry that one receives after they have become a Christian.

Other groups believe in an "Acts 2:38" based salvation. This means a person needs to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. They then receive the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). In this belief, the Holy Spirit is required for salvation; which includes speaking in tongues.[3] In this group, some Pentecostals churches baptize in the name of Jesus only, and some baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost/spirit.

Pentecostal churches believe that Jesus still heals the sick, with the power of the Holy Spirit. They also believe in other gifts such as speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, supernatural knowledge, mainly about sickness or spiritual matters, and prophesy about future spiritual happenings. Many also practice exorcism, that is, casting out evil spirits.


See also: List of Christian denominations by number of members
This list indicates that there may be 150 million Pentecostals. The largest Pentecostal denominations are:

Denomination statistics

While not as large as some of the above organizations the following have made quite an impact on Pentecostalism:

Geographical distribution


Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, 2000, unless otherwise indicated.



Early history

  • Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844 - 1924)
  • Smith Wigglesworth (1859 - 1947)
  • Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate (1879 - 1930) - Mother of Holiness. Founder of the Church of the Living God and its dominion churches.
  • Charles Fox Parham (1873 - 1929) Father of Modern Pentecostalism
  • William J. Seymour (1870 - 1922) Azusa Street Mission Founder (Azusa Street Revival)
  • Bishop R.A.R. Johnson (1876 -1940) Founder of the House of God, Holy Church of the Living God, The Pillar and the Ground of the Truth, The House of Prayer for All People. A Commandment (Sabbath) keeping Pentecostal organization.
  • George Jeffreys (1889 - 1972) Founder of the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance and the Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship in Britain
  • Aimee Semple McPherson (1890 - 1944) American Female Evangelist and organizer of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
  • Joseph Ayo Babalola (1904 - 1959) Oke - Ooye, Ilesa revivalist in 1930. Also, spiritual founder of Christ Apostolic Church
  • David du Plessis (1905 - 1987) South-African Pentecostal church leader, one of the founders of the Charismatic movement
  • Kathryn Kuhlman (1907 - 1976) American female evangelist who brought Pentecostalism into the mainstream denominations
  • William M. Branham (1909 - 1965) Healing Evangelists of the mid 20th century
  • Jack Coe (1918 - 1956) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s
  • A. A. Allen (1911 - 1970) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Oral Roberts (1918 - 2009) Healing Tent Evangelist who made the transition to televangelism[4]
  • Rex Humbard (b.1919) The first successful TV evangelist of the mid-1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s and at one time had the largest television audience of any televangelist in the U.S.

Pentecostalism Media

Related pages


  1. "Speaking in Tongues: Is it Essential to Salvation?".
  2. "Assemblies of God 16 Fundamental Truths".
  3. "Question of the Week Archive: Is Conversion Possible Without Tongues?". Archived from the original on 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  4. "Evangelist Oral Roberts dies in Calif. at age 91". Retrieved 2009-12-15.[dead link]


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