Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus
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|Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus|
|Region||United States of America, Mexico, The Caribbean, Latin America, Italy and Spain|
|Founder||Francisco F. LlorenteBishop A.C. Nava|
|Separated from||Pentecostal Assemblies of the World|
The Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus (Apostolic Assembly) is the oldest Spanish-speaking Oneness Pentecostal denomination in the United States. It is also the oldest primarily Hispanic denomination in the world and is also the eighth fastest growing Hispanic denomination. It was founded in 1925 and incorporated in California on March 15, 1930, and is currently headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Most of its congregations are in the United States, but the Apostolic Assembly also has a significant number of churches in Mexico and Central and South America.
The Apostolic Assembly is one of many denominations that grew out of the Azusa Street Revival movement that emphasized unconventional and expressive forms of worship such as glossolalia or speaking in tongues. A novelty of the Azusa Street Revival was its initial multiracial character. Unfortunately, this type of racial integration could not be sustained thereafter within the confines of one organization. This denomination is of all races.
Membership and statistics
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
As noted above, the Apostolic Assembly arose to meet the need to reach out to Mexican immigrants who were largely ignored by other Pentecostal denominations.(UPCI) Whereas this situation led to the development of a self-governed movement, this history also has presented severe challenges that continue to this day.
One recurrent challenge is connected to the composition of its membership. Since most of its members have historically been Mexican immigrants, Church growth has been subject to fluctuations in migration trends. Because of its mobile nature, immigrant communities are hard to count and keep as stable groups. But while challenging, the reliance on immigration has also helped membership in recent times. The Apostolic Assembly, like most Christian denominations in the United States, has problems retaining members, especially younger generations. A continued flow of immigration has undoubtedly kept membership figures from falling drastically, although there are no figures to actually track membership changes over time.
Another concurrent challenge has been the requirement to minister to both Spanish- and English-speaking members. Historically, Spanish has been the de facto language of the denomination, but newer generations do not always share the same cultural values and language as old and new migrant members. In response, there is an emergent trend of English-speaking congregations, along with a more deliberate attempt to reach Hispanic-Americans who do not speak Spanish.
The denomination is also challenged by its organizational capability. Early leaders supervised a relatively small number of congregations established along migrant routes. As the church has grown, it has become more difficult to oversee a larger number of congregations. A manifestation of this problem is the lack of reliable membership data. A recent official document acknowledges these and other related problems and provides a roadmap of strategies to enhance membership growth (please browse official page for more information)..
Finally, the Apostolic Assembly is challenged to raise its educational and theological levels. This is due to that initiation and ordination rules are not as demanding in this area as they are in other Oneness Pentecostal Denominations, thus raising the probabilities of ministerial unpreparedness to congregational and spiritual needs. To this point, the Apostolic Assembly currently has in most of its districts a CBAN (Colegio Biblico Apostolico Nacional or a National Apostolic Biblical College) College and it is now necessary that all deacons seeking ordination must attend courses in their District's CBAN, if there is one available to attend.
- Apostolic Assemblies of Christ
- Apostolic Brethren
- Apostolic Church of Christ (Pentecostal)
- Apostolic Church (denomination)
- Apostolic Church (Pentecostal)
- Apostolic Faith Church
- Apostolic Gospel Church of Jesus Christ
- Apostolic Pentecostalism
- Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost
- International Apostolic Fellowship
- List of Christian denominations#Apostolic Churches – Irvingites
- List of Christian denominations#Oneness Pentecostalism
- Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God
Cox, Harvey (2001). Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the 21st Century. Da Capo Press. Note: Harvey Cox is a professor at the Harvard Divinity School.
Gaxiola-Gaxiola, Manuel J. (1970). La serpiente y la paloma;: Análisis del crecimiento de la Iglesia Apostólica de la Fe en Cristo Jesús de México. Calif., W. Carey Library. Note: Gaxiola-Gaxiola, an expert on Latin American Pentecostalism, is former president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.
Martinez, Juan et al. (2004). Iglesias Peregrinas en Busca de Identidad: Cuadros del Protestantismo Latino en los Estados Unidos. Ediciones Kairos and CEHILA. Note: Juan Martinez is a professor at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Ramirez, Daniel (2002). "Antonio Castaneda Nava: Charisma, Culture, and Caudillismo" in James R. Goff and Grant Wacker, editors. Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders. University of Arkansas Press, pp. 289–309. Note: Ramirez is assistant professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University.
Martin del Campo, Ismael. Cosechando en el Field. Norwalk: Editorial Nueva Vision, 2004. Note: Author is the Bishop of Los Angeles and wrote the History of the Apostolic Assembly in the book Iglesias Peregrinas en Busca de Identidad: Cuadros del Protestantismo Latino en los Estados Unidos this book is his expanded version.
- Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus (Official Website)