Mülheim Association of Free Churches and Evangelical Communities
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Mülheim Association of Free Churches and Evangelical Communities (in German: Mülheimer Verband Freikirchlich-Evangelischer Gemeinden, formerly Christlicher Gemeinschaftsverband Mülheim adRuhr/CGV) is a German Pentecostal fellowship.
The German Pentecostal movement arouse out of revival meetings hel yearly by the Gnadauer Verband in the Ruhr area by the turn of twentieth century. Many of evangelicals leadears visited and experienced Pentecostal charismata at Thomas Barratt mission in Oslo in 1906-1907.
In the revival held in Mülheim in 1907 reportely 3,000 conversions occurred over a six-week period, under guidance of Emil Humburg. Sixty evangelical leaders reacted to the Pentecostal manifestation and issued a condemnation, the Berlin Declaration in 1909.
The Pentecostal leaders Emil Humburg, Jonathan Paul, Eugen Edel, Octavious Voget continued to hold Pentecostal conferences, with attendance of 1,700 in 1909 and 2,500 in 1910, drawing people from Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Hungry, Scandinavia, and Russia.
Soon disagreement made many leave the Mühlheimer Association to organize the Freie Pfingstgemeinden in 1911. In 1914 the Pentecostals led by Jonathan Paul were incorporated as the Christlicher Gemeinschaftsverband GmbH Mülheim/Ruhr, as a fellowship of members within the Lutheran, Reformed state churches as well as within the Free Churches. During the Nazi regime and the War the Mühlheimer Association suffered pressure and lost many members. The movement experienced membership decline between 1960-1990.
The Mülheimer Association is organized into local communities, with equality among members, presided by an ordained or lay leader acting as primus inter pares. Today there are 45 communities and 3,700 members, most of them holding dual membership with the State and Free churches.
Since 1981 the Mülheimer Association is a full member of the Association of Evangelical Free Churches (VEF) and from 2002 is member of the Mülheim Association of Evangelical Free Church-Communities of Pentecostal Churches Forum (FFP Ret). Since 2007 the Mülheimer Association is full member of the Christian Churches Council in Germany.
Beliefs and Praxis
The Mülheimer Association does not believe in tongues as initial evidence. It allows infant and adult baptism. It has a critical scholarship reading of the Bible, rejecting verbal, plenary inspiration doctrine.
- Hollenwegger, Walter The Pentecostals. 1972.
- Vetter, Ekkehart. Jahrhundertbilanz: erweckungsfazinierend und durststreckenerprobt: 100 Jahre Mülheimer Verband Friekirchler-Evangelischer Gemeinden. Bremen, Germany: Missionsverlag des Mülheimer Verbandes, 2009.