The Assemblies of God is the world's largest Pentecostal Protestant denomination.
As of 2004, they have approximately 15 million members worldwide 1, with 12,277 churches in the United States and 268,022 churches worldwide. Its biggest international branch is the Brazilian Assemblies of God, with 3.5 million members 2. National headquarters are in Springfield, Missouri, where the administration building, Gospel Publishing House, and International Distribution Center are located. The Assemblies of God is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
They hold to a conservative Protestant theology, as well as to the core Pentecostal doctrines such as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and faith healing. Congregations are independent and autonomous from each other and the national headquarters; however, the national headquarters has sole authority to ordain ministers and revoke their credentials.
The faith requires adherence to the Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths.
The Assemblies of God had its beginnings in 1914 at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Representatives from 20 states and a few foreign countries gathered to discuss the possibility and advisability of forming a cooperative fellowship of Pentecostal believers. A fellowship emerged that was incorporated as the General Council of the Assemblies of God. E. N. (Eudorus Neander) Bell (1866-1923) was elected the first chairman. Central Bible College was started in the basement of the Central Assembly of God church in Springfield in 1922.
The Assemblies of God has forerunners in groups that existed before its incorporation in 1914. In April of 1906, the Apostolic Faith Movement began in Orchard, Texas. A group of 20 ministers organized as the Church of God (not connected with the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee movement) near Slocumb, Alabama in February 1911. This Church of God and the Apostolic Faith Movement united around 1912. It was this group, now called Churches of God in Christ, that issued the call for a general council to meet in Hot Springs in 1914. The Holiness Baptist Churches of Southwestern Arkansas (org. 1903), under the leadership of William Jethro Walthall (1858-1931), united with the Assemblies of God in 1917.
- David B. Barrett - World Christian Encyclopedia (2001)
- IBGE (Brazil Institute of Geography & Statistics) - Census 2001