Annual Meeting Brings 7,000 To D.C. for Fellowship, Praise
Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2002
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 3, 2002; Page B09
The spreading appeal of Pentecostalism was evident this week as about 7,000 members of one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the United States gathered at the Washington Convention Center for their annual convention.
The eight-day conference, which concludes today, drew members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World for fellowship and worship. The denomination’s leaders also decided at the convention to accept women in the highest position below that of bishop.
Based in Indianapolis, the denomination has its roots in the 1906 Azuza Revival in Los Angeles, which is regarded as the first major expression of modern Pentecostalism. PAW formally became a denomination in 1919 and now has 1.5 million members, most of them in the United States. The denomination has a presence in 38 other countries, Wagner said.
Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity marked by an emotional, spontaneous worship style in which faith healing and speaking in tongues are regarded as evidence of having received the Holy Spirit. Most Pentecostals also believe in baptism by immersion. Pentecostalism is widely recognized by religious scholars as the fastest-growing Christian movement in the world, reaching into many different denominations.