For the first fifty years of the 1900’s, most communities viewed Pentecostals as undesirables. This group of folks claiming a spiritual experience that had been outside mainstream Christianity for years were springing up everywhere and nobody knew what to do with them. One thing was certain: their experience did not mesh with most churches’ worship traditions. Claiming that baptism in the name of Jesus was the only correct formula was the final straw. Those who embraced this “new” doctrine found themselves unwelcome in most mainline and community churches.
The church I pastor started as a tent revival in 1916. When the evangelist took down his tent and moved on, the new Pentecostal congregation began meeting in the local Community Church – a building that all faiths shared and used to hold their worship services. Things were fine for a while, but one day the Pentecostals arrived at church to find that the locks had been changed and they were no longer welcome to use the church that the whole community shared. Their noisy worship, speaking in tongues, and baptizing folks in Jesus name wasn’t going to be tolerated any longer.