Releasing the Life of the Holy Spirit into the life of the Church!
Aldersgate Renewal Ministries: History and Impact
By Gary L. Moore
“…wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but…you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” Jesus Acts 1:4, 8.
Aldersgate Renewal Ministries (ARM) was conceived at the Conference on Charismatic Renewal in the Christian Churches (CCRCC) in July 1977. It was birthed in the fall of 1977 as The United Methodist Renewal Services Fellowship, Inc. (UMRSF) and held its first national conference on the Holy Spirit, Aldersgate ‘79, in Louisville, Kentucky in August of 1979. Although the legal name is still UMRSF, the working name of the ministry was changed to Aldersgate Renewal Ministries (ARM) in 1995.
This is the story of ARM’s birth, growth, and maturing, from the author’s perspective. Much of the early history is drawn from an unpublished paper entitled, A Brief History of the UMRSF prepared in 1994 by William P. Wilson, MD and Ross Whetstone. As much as possible, the accuracy of dates and events have been verified.
Before ARM was fanned into flame, the wind was already blowing through:
The Pentecostal / Charismatic Movement;
The Lay Witness Movement;
Development of ;
CCRCC, Kansas City, July 1977.
In the Preface of his book, , Dr. Vinson Synan says, “Beginning with a handful of students in Topeka, Kansas, on New Year’s Day, 1901, Christians around the world have experienced a renewal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that dwarfs anything seen since the days of the early church. This movement, which now constitutes the second largest family of Christians in the world (after the Roman Catholic Church), is found in practically every nation and ethnic group in the world. By the end of the (twentieth) century, over 500,000,000 people were involved in this revival which continues its massive growth into the new millennium.” 1
Synan goes on to describe the basic distinctions between the Pentecostals and charismatics. “The Pentecostals”, he says, “were the people who pioneered and popularized the idea of a baptism in the Holy Spirit with the necessary sign of speaking in tongues. In the early days of the century they were expelled from the mainline denominations and forced to found their own churches. Some scholars now call them ‘classical Pentecostals.’”
“The term ‘charismatic’ was first used around 1963 to denote those ‘neo-Pentecostals’ in the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches who also spoke in tongues but who did not see tongues as the necessary evidence of the Pentecostal experience.” 2
Some key dates and events related to the charismatic renewal and United Methodists include:
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Copyright © 2005, Gary L. Moore and Aldersgate Renewal Ministries. All rights reserved.