The 47th Annual Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) and 53rd Annual Wesleyan Theological Society conference met March 8-10, 2018, in Cleveland, Tennessee. For 20 years now, the two societies have held joint conferences every five years. Host for the 2018 conference was the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS), a Church of God (Cleveland, TN) institution. Some sessions were held at Lee University and the North Cleveland Church of God. The Church of God seminary first hosted SPS in 1983. At that time Dr. Harold D. Hunter was the SPS program chair and a member of the host seminary faculty.
The group photo taken in the lobby of the Hollis Gause building at PTS shows all the IPHC participants except for Dr. Paul Oxley and Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns. Dr. Oxley presented a paper during the conference and chaired a session. Dr. Bridges Johns, a professor at PTS and former president of SPS, was honored with the SPS Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Hollis Gause, founder of PTS, never forgot his IPHC roots. Dr. Vinson Synan presented a paper to the conference and served on a panel. Dr. Synan, scholar in residence at Oral Roberts University, is the only surviving founder of the four scholars who launched SPS at the 1970 Pentecostal World Conference in Dallas, Texas.
An SPS panel convened to discuss Dr. Tony Moon’s massive biography of Bishop J.H. King. Dr. Moon has served on the faculty of Emmanuel College for many years. Southwestern Christian University was represented by Dr. Adrian Hinkle, vice president for Academic Affairs, who presented a paper and Dr. Rebecca Webster, director of Graduate Studies, who chaired a session. Boston University Ph.D. student Alex Mayfield chaired a session and presented a paper on the famous IPHC missionary Anna M. Deane. Mayfield’s graduate studies are focused on the IPHC early years in Hong Kong.
Mrs. Karen Lucas, IPHC North Carolina Conference archivist, took an active role in various parts of the conference in particular, the lunch that brought together a wide range Pentecostal archivists and librarians. Dr. Harold D. Hunter presented a paper on the impact of the early IPHC (Fire-Baptized Holiness Association of America) on the emerging Church of God (Cleveland, TN). A past President of SPS, Dr. Hunter served an additional term on the SPS Executive Committee and has twice moderated the SPS archivists and librarians group.
By Dr. Harold D. Hunter
Director, IPHC Archives & Research Center
*Featured Image Credits:
Group photo in the lobby of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary:
Pictured L to R: Dr. Tony Moon, Dr. Adrian Hinkle, Dr. Rebecca Webster, Mrs. Carol Synan, Dr. Vinson Synan, Dr. Harold D. Hunter, Rev. Alex Mayfield, Mrs. Karen Lucas.