Global Pentecostal Summit 2023 Branding Logo

History of the Movement

A distinguishing phenomenon of the twentieth century is the growth of the Pentecostal movement which started at the turn of the century. It became one of the most exciting global movements in the history of the world. Over three decades ago, Pentecostal scholars Douglas Petersen, Byron Klaus, and Murray Dempster, decided to write a book that gave Pentecostal theologians the opportunity to speak for themselves, instead of allowing social scientists to define them. Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective was a huge success when published in 1991, becoming a standard textbook in colleges and seminaries around the world.

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(L-R) Murray Dempster, Byron Klaus, & Doug Petersen were each honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

In June 1996, the three scholars reconvened to organise a summit in
San Jose, Costa Rica.

Funded by Vanguard University of Southern California, the event focused on Global Pentecostalism. It was held during a period when social scientists, noticing the massive growth of Pentecostals worldwide, were offering fascinating analyses on why Pentecostalism was having an impact on societies in previously unconceived ways.

This event became a microcosm of Pentecostalism’s explosive growth in Latin America. It signalled the beginning of Pentecostals speaking for themselves about issues that impact all of Christianity. Special guests, such as Harvey Cox (Harvard University), Vinay Samuel (Oxford Centre of Mission Studies), and Jose Miguez Bonino (foremost Latin American Protestant theologian) interacted with presenters who came from around the world. The result of this event was a book entitled The Globalisation of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made to Travel that was published in 1999.

This Year’s Global Pentecostal Summit

Twenty seven years have passed since the last summit. This year’s “Voices Loud and Clear” Global Pentecostal Summit 2023 unites Western and Majority World Pentecostal scholars to engage in transformative dialogue surrounding key issues faced by global Christianity today, as well as the future role of Pentecostal scholarship in discerning the implications of the Spirit’s movement globally.

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Both secular scholars and Christian missiologists recognise that the centre of Christianity

has shifted from Western Christianity to the Majority World, and Pentecostals are central to that present reality. The Global Pentecostal Summit 2023 will seek to bring scholarly focus on issues that are critical to sustaining the Pentecostal vibrancy of Majority World Christianity, bridging the divide between academia and ministry, and creating a symphony of wisdom, knowledge, and action.

This pivotal event, resourced by a Majority World ministry, is intentionally held in a local church in the Majority World. A compilation of the proceedings of this event will be published by Regnum Publishers (UK), in hardcopy, as well as in an open access format, so that the world will have access to these Pentecostal resources. In addition, video recordings of the sessions will be made accessible, further broadening the reach and influence of the summit.

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