Bethel Bible College

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For other uses, see Bethel Bible College, Guntur.

Bethel Bible College or Bethel Gospel School was a Bible college founded in 1900 by Charles Parham in Topeka, Kansas. The school is credited with starting the Pentecostal movement due to a series of fasting days that ended in what was interpreted as speaking in tongues on January 1, 1901.[1] Although the school would close later in 1901 after less than two years of operation, the movement itself grew substantially to tens of millions of people around the world.[2]

Bethel Bible College

Pentecostalism begins[edit]

Forty students including Agnes Ozman had gathered to learn the major tenets of the Holiness Movement from Parham.[3] Parham wondered about the New Testament evidence for baptism in the Holy Spirit. He went on a three-day trip and asked his students to ponder this question while he was gone. They concluded that glossolalia or speaking in tongues was proof that the Holy Spirit had fallen on an individual. Ozman was the first student to speak in tongues. Parham would take this message and hold special meetings in Joplin, MO and Houston, TX. In Houston, a black man named William Seymour heard the message and would take this teaching to Los Angeles where he would start the Azusa Street Revival. Today many Pentecostal denominations trace their beginnings to Bethel and Azusa Street.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joyful Ministry Pentecostal History, 1901
  2. ^ Topeka Capital Journal by Phil Anderson, August 17, 1997
  3. ^ Spiritual Base United Pentecostal Church History
  4. ^ Balmer, Randall Herbert (2002). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-664-22409-1.