Dr. Louis F. Morgan recently completed a history of the Church of God in Mississippi. Entitled Streams of Living Water, Morgan wrote the book on the occasion of one hundred years of Church of God ministry in Mississippi. This is the first known Church of God history published as an e-book. It is available free of charge on the World Wide Web and can be read online or downloaded here.
Streams of Living Water begins the story of the Church of God in Mississippi with a revival. Memphis pastor L.P. Adams preached at Cascilla in April 1909 in the outdoor tabernacle of the Stonefield Holiness Church. His first sermon was from Acts 2: 1-4, and hearers immediately began to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
According to Dr. Morgan, the book “highlights the missional focus of consecrated apostolic followers of Christ during the formation and development of the Church of God in Mississippi from 1909 through the mid-1940s… This work is the culmination of more than twenty years of personal research and interviews… My goal is to preserve the story of how the Church of God began in Mississippi and to encourage discussion about its continued development.” By publishing the book online, Morgan hopes to be able to expand and update it in the future.
Dr. Morgan currently serves as Assistant Professor and Librarian for Public Service and Learning at Lee University. A faculty member at Lee since 2003, he previously served as archivist at the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center (Church of God archives) and also as Curatorial Assistant at the Museum Center at Five Points in downtown Cleveland, Tennessee. He earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia) in 2009.
A native of Mississippi, Dr. Morgan has served thirteen years as a licensed minister with the Church of God. He is a published author, including two books and more than thirty academic and inspirational articles in national and international publications. He frequently speaks at local churches, and was recently appointed chairman of the historical commission for the Church of God in Tennessee.
Dr. David Roebuck, Church of God Historian and director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center, recently conducted a series of oral history interviews with Black ministers and laity. Dr. Roebuck traveled to Florida where he conducted eleven interviews regarding the history of black ministries in the Church of God. Roebuck will use the interviews as part of a research project he is doing on the history of the Church of God in Florida.
This particular research trip was funded by a Lee University research grant. According to Roebuck, “Lee has been very generous in supporting my research. This is the third grant I have received from the university to support my research on the history of Black ministry in the Church of God. These have included one summer travel grant and two research grants.” Roebuck continued, “I expect that these interviews will be helpful not only to my research but for that of many who scholars and students of the Pentecostal movement.
These interviews will become part of an ongoing “Voice of a Legacy” project. Voice of a Legacy is an oral history and dissertation acquisition project at the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center. The oral history aspect of the project is attempting to capture the voices of men and women who have been instrumental in shaping the history of the Church of God. The dissertation acquisition aspect of the project collects the best works of scholars who are doing groundbreaking research about the Pentecostal movement.
New historical exhibits are now in the display cases at the Church of God International Offices in Cleveland Tennessee. Each of the three buildings contains one exhibit that tells about the birth of ministries represented in that building along with a display case that features changing exhibits.
The permanent historical exhibits are “Birth of a Movement,” “Fulfilling the Great Commission,” and “Equipping the Saints.” “Birth of a Movement” in the Leadership and Communications Center conveys the early history of the Church of God from Barney Creek in 1886 to the first meeting of the Elders Council in 1917. The exhibit features photos of Richard and R.G. Spurling, the house where the first Church of God General Assembly met in 1906, the first General Overseer, A.J. Tomlinson, and the first Elders Council. Stones from the Barney Creek site where the Church of God began in 1886 are also part of the exhibit. “Fulfilling the Great Commission” in the World Evangelization Center relates our early emphasis on evangelism and missions. “Equipping the Saints” in the Church Ministries Center recounts the earliest history of some of the departments that provide resources for local congregations.
Each building also has an exhibit that will change about twice a year. “A Century of Missions” celebrates the centennial of Church of God World Missions, “Publishing the Gospel” honors the one-hundredth anniversary of the Church of God Evangel, and “Women in the Harvest” includes photographs and stories of a few of the many women who have served as evangelists and missionaries.
The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center designed and produced the exhibits. The exhibits may be viewed during regular office hours Monday through Friday at the corner of Keith and 25th Street in Cleveland.