Why Know Your History?

Over the last several weeks we have been “having a time” with Lighthouse University. In the class I have been privileged to teach we have been going over the history of the Church. Not just the global body of Christ, but also our local assembly. To some, that might seem unnecessary, or how it fits in with the other amazing classes that were going on, but let me explain why I think it not only fits in, but is one of the best classes you can take (definitely not because of the teacher).

Diane Ravitch published “Why Study History” in American History Illustrated in March/April 1991. In her review of history, Ravitch stated that “the simplest and truest answer is that the study of history makes people more intelligent.”
Now, at first that may seem like a rather odd statement. But when we actually do learn from our past, we see a lot more about our present and future. History makes us more aware of the world around us.  “History is an investigation of causes,” Ravitch wrote, “it is a way of finding out how the world came to be as it is. Without history, we are without memory and without explanation.”  Imagine experiencing amnesia and not knowing where you come from or where you live. You would have no past and no idea of where you are going.

When we look at the birth of the Church and the years that followed, we saw great revivals and great persecution. If you follow the Church through the ages, You see the pattern for revival. Weeks and months of persecution and prayer, prayer and fasting, and more prayer was followed by an outpouring of God’s presence that changed the course of of people, cities and even nations. Seeing that pattern in the past, can show you the pattern we need to follow for the future. Our Past Influences Our Future.

If Charles Parham wouldn’t have learned the truth about Holy Ghost baptism, the revival at Topeka, Kansas would never have happened and he wouldn’t have been able to take that message to Texas and teach it to a man named William J. Seymour. If William Seymour hadn’t taken that message to Los Angeles, the Bonnie Brae/Azusa Street outpouring wouldn’t have taken place. If Glenn Cook had not taken the message of of the new birth from Azusa St to Indianapolis, Frank Curts wouldn’t have went on to build one of the first Apostolic mega churches in the USA, let alone the fact that it was in Cincinnati. The influence of Frank Curts inspired Ulysses “Pop” Pennington to start a storefront mission in Newport, Ky. From that Apostolic Temple came a young minister with a passion for souls who would start a church in Silver Grove in 1981. Thirty-one years and two locations later, Bro Wayne Smith still pastors the Lighthouse.

We can see our bright and rich history. It is clear and defined. Built upon the message of Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ Name and Receiving the Holy Ghost and living a holy and separated lifestyle. As long as we can look back at these landmarks as beacons, we will continue to have a bright future.