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Alumnus Authors History of Pentecostalism in North Dakota

Darrin J. Rodgers ('98 AGTS alum, M.A.T.S.) authored Northern Harvest: Pentecostalism in North Dakota, published in March 2003 by the North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God. The 354-page hardcover book, the result of eight years of research, contains the first significant study of Scandinavians who practiced healing and tongues-speech in Minnesota and the Dakotas prior to the Azusa Street revival.

The book's focus, however, is a grassroots account of how the Pentecostal movement touched communities across North Dakota. With histories of over 400 churches and outstations, it is possibly the most comprehensive survey of Pentecostal churches across an entire state.

book cover, click image to view it larger
(click image to view it larger)

Meticulous reconstruction of long-forgotten histories allowed the compilation of statistics, such as the number of churches pioneered by female ministers (e.g., 29% of the state's Assemblies of God churches and outstations started prior to 1941 were pioneered by women).

Rodgers also addresses issues in Pentecostal historiography, including Pentecostal origins in Scandinavian pietism, early Pentecostals' community and political involvement, and Pentecostal proclivities among ethnic groups (Anglos, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, Native Americans, African Americans, and Slavs). The study identifies two dozen Pentecostal denominations or groups in the state and traces the development of each. Northern Harvest is well-documented (containing 1,732 footnotes), its indices tally 497 cities and 2,843 personal names, and nineteen pages of tables and charts contain extensive statistical data regarding Pentecostalism's development across North Dakota.

In an endorsement of Northern Harvest, AGTS Professor Dr. Gary B. McGee wrote:

"Historians have long known that the origins of early twentieth-century Pentecostalism were far more complex than the revivals in Topeka, Kansas and Los Angeles, California have suggested. In an impressively thorough study of North Dakota Pentecostalism, Rodgers maps the people, spiritual and cultural dynamics, churches, and denominations that made it happen. He also breaks new ground in showing the influence of Scandinavian pietism on the early believers, a reminder that the roots of the movement go deep into the heritage of evangelical revivalism. Northern Harvest provides students and scholars with a new insightful study of one corner of American Pentecostalism. For people in the pew, he shows them how they got to where they are on the pilgrimage of faith."

North Dakota District Superintendent Rev. Leon Freitag wrote:

"Heritage is a gift from one generation to another. Northern Harvest reveals God's working in the hearts of people in the towns and across the prairies of North Dakota. Darrin Rodgers, through his love of history and his years of research, has created a legacy that will be enjoyed by future generations. This book will evoke memories for those who lived the history and belongs in the library of every pastor, church, and member who has an interest in their Pentecostal heritage."

Darrin J. Rodgers, a fourth-generation North Dakotan Pentecostal, is the son of John and Patricia Rodgers. With his family, as a youth he attended two Grand Forks churches: Calvary Temple Church of God and Valley Christian Center Assembly of God. He earned his B.A. in History and Religion (Hillsdale College), M.A. In Theological Studies (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary), and J.D. (University of North Dakota School of Law). In addition to authoring Northern Harvest, he wrote articles published in Assemblies of God Heritage and the New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Rodgers resides in Bismarck, where he works for the State of North Dakota and attends Evangel Temple Assembly of God.

Northern Harvest may be ordered from the North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God for $14 for the first copy and $12 for each additional copy shipped to the same address (prices include postage and handling to U.S. addresses). If shipping to a foreign address, please include an additional $5 per book for postage. Send payment to: North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God, P.O. Box 896, Bismarck, ND 58502.

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Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010 4:45 PM


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