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Pentecostalism is a 20th-century movement that arose from the Holiness movement. Taking its name from the work of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, Pentecostals believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by the gift of tongues, should be a part of the church today.

Like the Holiness movement, Pentecostals emphasize the second work of grace, known as entire sanctification. This means that people are first saved, justified, and born again. After this period, a Christian should experience a period of growth, in which time he becomes increasingly holier in the way that he lives his life. Ultimately, this leads to the second work of grace, in which the Holy Spirit cleanses his heart of original sin, and then dwells within, empowering the individual to live a perfect Christian life.

This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and when a Christian has prepared himself, becoming holy, the baptism of the Holy Spirit may come instantaneously. Seeking and receiving the gift of tongues is viewed as a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and is a requirement for membership in some Pentecostal churches. For most Pentecostals, however, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues are encouraged, but not required.

Other spiritual gifts, such as healing, joy, love, prophecy, and answers to prayer, also play a role in the religious experience of Pentecostals.

Like many other Christians, Pentecostals believe in physical healing through prayer. Not everyone receives healing when they pray, however, as God either grants or withholds it. They do not generally teach that all illness is caused by personal sin. God may have other reasons for withholding healing.

Pentecostals are Protestant and largely evangelical, although there may also be influences from the Fundamentalist movement.

Pentecostals usually hold to a belief in original sin, passed on from the time of Adam's sin, as well as in salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth and deity of Christ, and the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible. Most Pentecostal denominations take a pre-millennial outlook, believing that Christ will return to earth, beginning a thousand-year reign on earth.

Most Pentecostal churches practice baptism of believers, usually by immersion, and in the Lord's Supper, although they tend to regard them as ordinances rather than as sacraments. Some Pentecostal groups also practice foot washing.

Pentecostals are usually Trinitarian, although they place a greater emphasis on the direct action of the Holy Spirit, manifest in a baptism in the Spirit and the accompanying gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Spontaneity is a characteristic element of Pentecostal worship. This was particularly true in the early years of the movement. Although most Pentecostal church services have become more organized and formal, the concept of spontaneity continues to be significant to Pentecostalism.

The Pentecostal movement was originally strongest in the rural regions of the US South and Midwest, but the movement found a home among the urban poor in the 1920s and 1930s. Pentecostalism is now represented in all fifty states and among most segments of American society.

Many Pentecostal churches have no particular educational requirements for clergy. Evidence of the Holy Spirit in the lives and ministries of the preacher is more significant than a seminary education. Many denominations have associations that serve as accrediting bodies for freelance pastors and evangelists and are likely to have more clergy than churches.

After World War II, the Pentecostal movement spread from the United States to Africa and Latin America, and later to Asia, Australia, and Europe. As most Pentecostal denominations have a loose structure, churches can be formed quickly when there is an enthusiastic leadership.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, Pentecostal traits, such as speaking in tongues, began to penetrate some mainline Christian denominations, including Catholicism. These worship practices are sometimes referred to as Neo-Pentecostalism but are more commonly known as charismatic.

For the purpose of categorization, charismatic Catholic, Episcopal, or other church bodies will be listed within the category representing the parent denomination.

The focus of this category, or any subcategories, will be on the denominations and other church bodies that are identified as being primarily Pentecostal in their formation and nature.

Denominational sites and those representing affiliated associations, national or international ministries, fellowships, publishing companies, or organizations are appropriate for this category. Those representing local congregations and ministries should be submitted to the Local & Global category representing their geographical location.


Apostolic Church

Apostolic Church of Pentecost

Assemblies of God

Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ

Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)

Church of God in Christ

Church of God of Prophecy

Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith

Church of the Living God, Christian Workers for Fellowship

Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith

Congregational Holiness Church

Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God

Independent Assemblies of God International

International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies

International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Open Bible Standard Churches

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Pentecostal Church of God

United Holy Church of America

United Pentecostal Church International



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