By: Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., LPC President
God told us to Dream BOLD this year and so we are pleased to host 300 of the nation’s premier Pentecostal scholars on our campus for the 45th annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS). LPC joins other prestigious Pentecostal institutions such as Evangel University, Lee University, and Oral Roberts University among others who have been past-hosts of the SPS annual meeting.
When the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) first responded positively to our invitation to host their Annual Meeting, we were honored but wondered if we could pull it off. Past hosts typically boast larger, more prestigious campuses and attendance at the meeting typically involves 300 of the nation’s premier Pentecostal scholars.
God told us to Dream BOLD this year and so we humbly accepted the invitation, and, I am glad we did!
LPC is uniquely positioned as the host campus this year. We are one of only two regionally accredited Pentecostal colleges in the State of California, the cradle of Pentecostalism some 110 years ago. Scholars in attendance will take the short drive to downtown Los Angeles and visit the North Bonnie Brae House where, in 1906, the Azusa Street Revival broke out and established Pentecostalism in modern American Christianity.
Our guests will also visit Angelus Temple, the birthplace of The Foursquare Church and Life Pacific College, and the parsonage of LPC Founder Aimee Semple McPherson. SPS member Mel Robeck, author of The Azusa Street Mission and Revival, has provided a visitor’s guide of local Pentecostal historical sites, written exclusively for this meeting.
The SPS Annual Meeting takes place during our LPC Spring Break but many of our students have already committed to serve as event staff. This means, they will work hard at their respective event duties while enjoying the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the leading scholars in their fields of study. Students in the biblical studies and transformational ministry programs will particularly appreciate opportunities to interact one-on-one with SPS scholars.
By special request of the SPS, our own past Foursquare and LPC President, Pastor Jack W. Hayford, will be on hand to interact with the Society during this meeting. Christianity Today named Pastor Jack the “Gold Standard in Pentecostalism” in 2005, and his lifetime of Pentecostal influence in the areas of Pentecostal scholarship and especially the field of spiritual worship continue to make him a highly sought after mentor and presenter at events such as the SPS annual meeting.
The theme of the 2016 meeting is “Worship, the Arts and the Spirit,” and we believe it is significant that Pastor Jack will be one of our Foursquare representatives on campus during the meeting. The theme represents both a historical and emerging element of Pentecostalism and the Sprit-filled church. Historically, Pentecostalism always found vibrant and passionate worship a common denominator among our fellowships. Today, redeeming or engaging the arts in new and creative ways for worship, teaching, preaching, and outreach continues to gain ground worldwide.
In addition to hosting the SPS 45th annual meeting, we are pleased to mention that Foursquare scholars will be among the distinguished presenters, respondents, or panel participants. They include Michael Salmeier, Terry Samples, Jim W. Adams, Karen Tremper, Andy Opie, Steve Overman, David Moore, Tammy Dunahoo, Derek Geerlof, Leah Payne, Alicia Jackson, James Henderson, and Aaron Friesen. Some of these presenters are LPC graduates and many are current LPC faculty.
One of the little known facts about our LPC faculty is the wealth of experience each one brings to our students both in the realm of biblical understanding and also as outstanding research scholars. The involvement of our faculty with the SPS annual meeting will expand the influence of their wisdom and insight to an entirely new and extended audience of scholars.
As He always does, God has prepared us to effectively host this event and serve the 300 Pentecostal scholars who will convene here this Spring. We are grateful, honored, and privileged to welcome the Society and its members to Southern California and to our beautiful campus. Please pray with us for the attending presence of the Lord with unique manifestation as we host this influential gathering and do our part to expand the Kingdom of God throughout the world.
By: Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., Life Pacific College President