Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Dr. Charles W. Crawford

Committee Member

Dr. Janann Sherman

Committee Member

Dr. Walter Brown

Committee Member

Dr. Douglas Cupples


The Assemblies of God organized in 1914, but forewent formulating a formal confession of faith due to its constituency's abhorrence of creeds. When these Pentecostals adopted denominationally binding tenets of faith with the passage of the Statement of Fundamental Truths in 1916, its decision was reluctantly reached in response to an internal doctrinal crisis precipitated by an anti-Trinitarian faction. The Statement of Fundamental Truths' theological framework was free will Baptist in orientation, with this overlaid with Pentecostal doctrinal distinctions. Restorationism and free will views from Presbyterian factions influenced the development of Assemblies God views as well. The Statement of Fundamental Truths' adoption and implementation institutionalized a stronger national church structure than the Assemblies of God constituency desired at the time of their organization in 1914. This research effort will begin with examining the beliefs of Baptists adhering to free will in both early seventeenth-century England and America in the late eighteenth century. Acceptance of free will and Restorationism within Presbyterianism will be studied next, focusing on Cumberland Presbyterians, Oberlin Theology, D. L. Moody and his associates. The Holiness, Higher Life and Pentecostal movements also helped shape a milieu favorable to the creation of new denominational bodies. A number of ministers instrumental in founding the Assemblies of God were originally Baptists, which resulted in the formation of a Pentecostal fellowship that was non-Wesleyan and quite similar to free will Baptist denominations except for Pentecostal beliefs.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.