Dr. John Christopher Thomas will present the seventh annual
Azusa Lecture, "'In the Spirit on the Lord's Day': The Holy Spirit
in the Book of Revelation." The lecture will be Tuesday, Oct.
30, at 7 p.m. in the North Cleveland Church of God's Bryant
Following Thomas' presentation, Dr. French L. Arrington will
receive the Spirit of Azusa Award for his life-long contribution to
the Pentecostal movement as a scholar and teacher of the
Thomas is the Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the
Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS) and serves as Associate
Pastor of the Woodward Avenue Church of God in Athens, Tenn.
A founding editor of the "Journal of Pentecostal Theology," Thomas
edits the journal's supplemental series of books and is general
editor of the Pentecostal Commentary Series.
Thomas regularly contributes articles and chapters to books and
periodicals about the New Testament and its application to the
contemporary church. Among the seven books he has authored is
his newly released commentary on the Book of Revelation, "The
Thomas' earned his PhD from University of Sheffield
(England) where he studied New Testament, a ThM from Princeton
Theological Seminary (New Testament), an MDiv from Ashland
Theological Seminary (Old and New Testament), his MA from Church of
God School of Theology (Christian Ministries), and a BA from Lee
College (Biblical Studies).
Both Ashland Theological Seminary and Church of God Theological
Seminary honored him with their Alumnus of the Year award, and the
Church of God Theological Seminary presented him with their
Distinguished Faculty Award in 1998.
An internationally recognized Bible scholar, Thomas directs the
Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University
in Wales as well as the Centre for Pentecostal Theology in
In addition to numerous colleges and universities in the United
States, he has lectured in Canada, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala,
Korea, Philippines, Romania, and England, including Cambridge
University on four occasions.
Following the lecture, the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center
(DPRC) will honor Biblical scholar Dr. Arrington with the Spirit of
Azusa Award and a reception. Arrington is Professor Emeritus of New
Testament Greek and Exegesis at the PTS, having served for 21 years
on that faculty as well as 17 years at Lee College.
While at Lee, Arrington was chairman of the Bible and Theology
Department and honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award. A
former pastor, he has written extensively for ministerial and lay
enrichment in the local church. His latest book is "The
Greatest Letter Ever Written: A Study of Romans."
The Azusa Lecture is sponsored by the Dixon Pentecostal Research
Center in partnership with the North Cleveland Church of God.
This year's lecture is also being supported by the Pentecostal
Theological Seminary as part of their annual Heritage Week.
Dr. Henry Hawthorne Knight will speak Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the seminary.
Knight is the Pearl Wright Professor of Wesleyan Studies at
Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. On Tuesday and
Wednesday his lectures will be "Heaven Below: From Aldersgate to
Azusa Street" and "What does it mean to be Wesleyan?" During
the seminary's chapel service on Thursday, he will preach on the
topic "Reaching God's Destination: The Means of Grace."
Founded by Charles W. Conn on the campus of Lee University, the
DPRC is one of the world's most significant collections of
Pentecostal materials as well as the archives of the Church of
God. In addition to students at Lee University and the PTS,
numerous scholars visit the center to study about the
Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. Dr. David G. Roebuck is
director of the DPRC.
North Cleveland Church of God is host of the Azusa
Lecture. Established in 1906, the congregation has served as
a "mother church" to the denomination and provides ministries for
worship, evangelism, education and service. The congregation's
International Prayer Center is a witness to the importance and
power of prayer. Mitchell Maloney serves as Senior Pastor.
The purpose of the Azusa Lecture is to highlight the rich
heritage of the Pentecostal movement and to provide the Cleveland
community an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the Pentecostal
revival. The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center launched the
annual lecture in 2006 on the occasion of the centennial of the
revival at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles.
Conn, a Church of God Historian, noted that the Los Angeles
revival, which lasted from 1906 to 1909, "is universally regarded
as the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement." The
revival began when the African-American preacher William J. Seymour
preached a message of Spirit baptism following salvation.
What started as a home prayer meeting attracted throngs of seekers
and was moved to an abandoned church building at 312 Azusa
Street. Hundreds traveled to the Azusa Street Mission,
received a personal baptism of the Holy Spirit, and took that
message to their homes, churches and communities. The
Pentecostal movement quickly became a great missionary movement,
and the twentieth century came to be called the "Century of the
The lecture and a reception for Arrington are free and open to
For more information about the Azusa Lecture contact the Dixon
Pentecostal Research Center at 423-614-8576.