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Alamo, Susan (25 April 1925–08 April 1982), independent Pentecostal minister and television and radio evangelist, was born Edith Opal Horn in Dyer, Arkansas, the daughter of Edward Horn and Geneva McAlster. Edith Horn converted from Judaism to evangelical Protestantism as a child. After some high school and a brief early marriage (to Tom Brown), she moved to Hollywood to try to make a career as an actress. There she met and, around 1940, married Solomon Lipowitz, with whom she had one daughter, known as Christhaon Susan. This marriage officially ended in 1966, though the couple had separated sometime before. As Susan Lipowitz she worked sporadically as an actress but mostly traveled around the country with her daughter as an evangelical minister and tent missionary. In 1965, while working as a street evangelist in Hollywood, she met Tony Alamo (born Bernie Lazar Hoffman in 1934), a talent promoter in the music business. She soon converted Alamo, who also was born Jewish, to her strand of Protestantism, and they were married in 1966, once in Tijuana and twice in Las Vegas, to be “triple sure.” It was the third marriage for both....

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Bell, Eudorus Neander (27 June 1866–15 June 1923), first chairman (a position now designated "general superintendent") of the Assemblies of God, first chairman (a position now designated “general superintendent” ) of the Assemblies of God, was born in Lake Butler, Florida, one of twin sons born to George Bell and his wife (name unknown). Bell’s father died in 1868, and scant references to his childhood indicate that the family was not financially secure. He worked his way through Stetson University in De Land, Florida, where he received his B.A. in 1900. After attending the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, during the academic year 1900–1901, Bell enrolled at the University of Chicago Divinity School where he was awarded the bachelor of divinity degree in 1903. Given his later involvement with Pentecostals who questioned the doctrine of the Trinity, the topic of his thesis merits notice: “The Significance of the Term ‘Son of God’ in Romans and Galatians.” While at the University of Chicago, Bell preached twice each week at the Baptist church in the small town of Chenoa, about 100 miles south of Chicago....

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du Plessis, David Johannes (07 February 1905–02 February 1987), ecumenical Pentecostal minister, was born in Twenty-four Rivers (near Cape Town), South Africa, the son of David J. du Plessis, a carpenter and lay preacher, and Anna Cornelia (maiden name unknown). One of twelve siblings, du Plessis was raised in the Pentecostal movement, the Christian movement that claimed to receive the “gifts of the Spirit”—including speaking in tongues, prophecy, and miraculous healings—that had been granted to the first-century church on the day of Pentecost. He had a religious conversion at the age of eleven but, according to his testimony, did not receive the distinctive Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit until two years later because he had failed to confess a lie that he had told his parents. He became a boy preacher at the age of fifteen for the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM), the largest Pentecostal group in South Africa....

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Seymour, William Joseph (02 May 1870–28 September 1922), Pentecostal minister, was born in Centerville, Louisiana, the son of Simon Seymour and Phillis Salabarr, former slaves. Few specific details are known about Seymour’s early life. There is no extant data on the family’s occupation(s) or Seymour’s formal education, but denominationally, Seymour’s roots were in the Methodist and Baptist traditions....

Article

Tomlinson, A. J. (22 September 1865–02 October 1943), Pentecostal evangelist, cofounder of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee, and founder of the Church of God of Prophecy, was born Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson near Westfield, Indiana, the youngest child and only son of Milton Tomlinson (1820-1899), a farmer and road contractor, and Delilah Hiatt (1826-1909). Milton, a nonpracticing Quaker prominent in local business circles and active in the Republican Party, groomed his son for the largely secular world of small-town commerce and civic duty. A gifted student, A. J. graduated from Westfield's Union High School and later performed in the drama troupe of a local literary society. After graduation he, like his father, combined farming with enterprise, partnering with a friend to launch a well-drilling business....

Article

Woodworth-Etter, Maria Beulah (22 July 1844–16 September 1924), Holiness-Pentecostal evangelist and pastor, was born in New Lisbon (later Lisbon), Ohio, the daughter of Samuel Underwood, a farmer, and Matilda (maiden name unknown). Woodworth-Etter’s early years were marked by personal struggle. One of eight children, she received no formal education. Her family joined the Disciples of Christ in 1854, and her father died two years later. In 1857, she professed conversion and expressed a call into church ministry. After a one-month courtship during or shortly after the Civil War, she married Philo Harrison Woodworth, an injured veteran. Settling near Lisbon, the couple farmed unsuccessfully. Five of their six children died by early childhood....