Pentecost Bands as Advocates for Social Purity

Historically, Free Methodism was tied to numerous social causes (and still is to this day). Its founding principles emphasized care and inclusion for everyone, strong abolitionist ties, and an emphasis on returning to the “old time Methodist” principles, such as entire sanctification. However, like any social movement, as Free Methodism transitioned from a movement to a denomination, the interpretation of those founding principles began to vary widely. As my research on women’s ordination and the Free Methodist Deaconess order has illustrated, there wasn’t universal agreement about what radical Holiness living and social action looked like. The Pentecost Bands are just … Continue reading Pentecost Bands as Advocates for Social Purity

Michigan Pentecost Bands Cause Local Uproar in 1886

Because the Pentecost Bands were essentially traveling revivalists, their members had the opportunity to influence countless individuals, It wasn’t unusual for a young adult to attend a band meeting, become saved, and then feel called to become a band member. However, the religious enthusiasm the bands fueled wasn’t without controversy. In this blog post, I’ll share some accounts of controversies surrounding their ministry in St. Joseph and Lawrence, Michigan in 1886. The Influence of the Bands When young adults felt called to join the bands, it didn’t always go over well in their local communities, particularly when young women felt … Continue reading Michigan Pentecost Bands Cause Local Uproar in 1886

Pentecost Band Initial Organizational Guidelines

  While the Pentecost Bands did eventually branch into overseas mission work (Africa, India, and Europe) in the mid-1890s onward, from 1885-1889 the bands ministered in the midwestern United States, traveling around Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.   Guidelines for band membership and the purpose of the Pentecost Bands were outlined in 1885 by Band One in Parma, Michigan. This is the first organizational step that set the bands apart from the Free Methodist Church, where their founder Vivan Dake was an ordained elder.   Purpose of the Bands & Basic Organizational Structure   Guidelines for Membership Membership in any … Continue reading Pentecost Band Initial Organizational Guidelines

A Brief History of the Pentecost Bands

In 1882 Free Methodist elder Vivan Dake along with his wife Ida, J.B. Newville, Henrietta Muzzy Abbie Dunham, and J.L. Keene formed an evangelistic outreach group they named the Pentecost Band. The six were based in Iowa at the time, and God called them to devote their lives to winning people to Christ. Unfortunately, the band was short-lived, dissolving in less than a year as members were pulled in various directions. However, in 1885 while appointed the Michigan Conference evangelist, Dake restarted the bands as a tool to encourage young adults to devote themselves to ministry.[i]   The 1885 Pentecost … Continue reading A Brief History of the Pentecost Bands

Expressing Faith Through Fashion: Choice, Legalism or Both?

In many Christian traditions such as the Mennonites,  Quakers, Amish and various holiness movements dress was an outward expression of faith. However, there was and continues to be a fine line between an individual embracing dress as a form of religious expression and being forced to dress a certain way as a form of legalism. Playing with the Free Methodist history of dress in the late nineteenth and early 2oth century, I’ll explore some of these tensions in a multi-part series. Free Methodist women, especially those who chose to preach and teach publicly  faced numerous barriers to acceptance- not least among them their attire, … Continue reading Expressing Faith Through Fashion: Choice, Legalism or Both?