Jul 22, 2014

What A.J. Tomlinson first had in mind

Interviewer: "Back in 1903, A.J. Tomlinson, did you have in mind that you would stir up a religious movement? Did you have anything like that in mind."

A.J. Tomlinson: "No, I didn't have anything of that kind in mind. I thought I'd do pretty well if I stirred up the neighborhood."

This interview was done in 1943. Tomlinson died in October of that year. Tomlinson was the first General Overseer of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). Under his leadership, a collection of Southern holiness churches were organized and then, later, accepted the Pentecostal teaching that speaking in tongues was evidence of sanctification, the doctrine which was coming out of Azusa Street revival.

In 1923, the church split over the question of Tomlinson's management. Those who followed Tomlinson separated and formed the Church of God of Prophecy. Today the Church of God reports 6 million members in 170 countries. The Church of God of Prophecy reports 1.5 million members in 130 countries. Both are headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee.