The Reverend Dr. French L. Arrington received the Spirit of Azusa Award this past October 30 following the seventh annual Azusa Lecture at the North Cleveland Church of God. The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center presents the award each year to a person whose life and ministry reflect the legacy of what is one of the best known revivals in Christian history. A reception in honor of Arrington followed the award presentation.
A resident of Cleveland, Tennessee, Dr. French L. Arrington is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He served for 21 years on the PTS faculty as well as 17 years at Lee University. While at Lee, he was chairman of the Bible and Theology Department and honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award. He was also on the faculty of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and has taught courses and presented lectures at many schools, local churches and conferences.
A scholar of the New Testament and the Greek language, Arrington’s academic degrees include a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chattanooga, a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy from St. Louis University. Before beginning his academic career, he had served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953.
The Church of God ordained him in 1968. In addition to preaching in numerous churches around the world, he served as Assistant Pastor of the East Atlanta Church of God and as Pastor of the Tower Grove Church of God in St. Louis. Along with his preaching ministry the denomination has appointed him to many boards and committees such as Pathway Press’s Literature Review Committee, the Ordained Bishop’s Examining Board for the state of Tennessee, the Church of God Commission for Doctrine and Polity, and the Committee to Evaluate Bible Curriculum for Christian Day Schools.
Arrington has authored 14 books and contributed to numerous other publications. Some of his books include Divine Order in the Church; The Ministry of Reconciliation; The Acts of the Apostles; the three-volume Christian Doctrine: A Pentecostal Perspective; Exploring the Declaration of Faith; Encountering the Holy Spirit; Unconditional Eternal Security: Myth or Truth?; The Spirit-Anointed Church; and The Spirit-Anointed Jesus. His latest book, The Greatest Letter Ever Written: A Study of Romans, is available at Pathway Press.
In receiving the award, Arrington noted the extraordinary contribution of his late wife, Frances, in his writing, academic study and ministry. He was married to the former Frances Treadaway Arrington until her death in 2011, with whom he has two children: Athena Hicks and Lee Arrington. He is now married to Joyce McKinney Arrington.
The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center presents the Spirit of Azusa Award each year to honor a person who represents the ongoing revival that began in Los Angeles in 1906. According to Roebuck, “Among the characteristics of that revival was an emphasis on Pentecost, a hunger and expectation for revival in the last days, a sense of global mission, and a commitment to the Scriptures. They saw God restoring among them what they had previously only read about in Scripture. So they searched the Scriptures to understand what to believe and how to live.” In presenting the award, Roebuck commended Arrington for his scholarship, teaching, preaching, writing, and service to the church. Roebuck stated, “French Arrington continually integrates the Word of God with the faith and practice of the church. Like many of you my life has been enriched beyond measure through his ministry.”
The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center established the Azusa Lecture and Spirit of Azusa Award in 2006 on the occasion of the centennial of the Los Angeles revival. North Cleveland Church of God hosts the lecture each year. The Pentecostal Theological Seminary co-sponsored this year’s event as part of their Heritage Week. Seminary President Dr. Steven J. Land welcomed those attending, and Dr. John Christopher Thomas presented the annual Azusa Lecture entitled “‘In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day’: The Holy Spirit in the Book of Revelation.” Irma and Eddie Williams led attendees in singing “The Comforter Has Come,” which was a favorite song sung at almost every service according to historical accounts of the Azusa Street revival. Bishop J. David Stephens prayed the benediction. Stephens serves as Assistant General Overseer of the Church of God and Executive Committee Liaison to the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center.
Located on the campus of Lee University, the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center is one of the world’s most significant collections of Pentecostal materials as well as the archives of the Church of God. In addition to students at Lee University and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, numerous scholars visit the center to study about the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. Audio and video recordings of the lecture and award presentation are available from the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center at 423-614-8576.