Scope and arrangement
The DuPree African-American Pentecostal and Holiness Collection consists of original and secondary material documenting the history, beliefs, and activities of hundreds of Pentecostal and Holiness denominations, congregations, and individuals. The collection is arranged in four series: Denomination and Congregations, Individual Clergy and Evangelists, Subject Files, and Non-Pentecostal Material, and consists of news clippings, newsletters, journals, yearbooks, sermons, bulletins, brochures, programs, articles, theses, book excerpts, and other printed material. There is virtually no correspondence.
The greatest amount of material is represented by the Church of God in Christ, the largest Pentecostal denomination. Other denominations for which significant bodies of material exist include Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, United Holy Church of America, and Bible Way Churches Worldwide.
The Individual Clergy and Evangelists series contains articles, chapters of books, news clippings, programs, sermons and other printed material documenting lives of Pentecostal ministers as well as independent evangelists, such as Father Divine (a.k.a. George Baker), William S. Crowdy, Prophet Jones (a.k.a. James Francis Jones), Robert C. Lawson, Arenia C. Mallory, Charles H. Mason, Lucy Smith, and Smallwood Williams.
The Subject Files series contains primarily articles, excerpts from books, theses and other printed matter concerning Pentecostal and related topics such as glossolalia, charismatic movement, gospel music, and whites in Pentecostalism. The fourth series, Non-Pentecostal Material, contains general bibliographies and articles on the black church, black Hebrews, and race and religion.
The African-American Pentecostal and Holiness collection is arranged in four series:
The DENOMINATIONS AND CONGREGATIONS SERIES, 1930-1989, (4 linear feet)contains clippings, newsletters, journals, yearbooks, bulletins, brochures, programs, articles, and other printed material documenting the history and activities of the scores of African-American Pentecostal and Holiness denominations. There is virtually no correspondence. The larger denominations, particularly Bible Way Church World Wide, Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Church of Christ (Holiness), Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Church of the Living God (CWFF), Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and United Holy Church, include a wider range of material than the smaller ones which are primarily limited to miscellaneous clippings from the African-American press.
The larger denominations with multiple folders are arranged by format, such as publications or programs. In the case of COGIC, by far the largest denomination represented, there are also separate folders for individual congregations arranged by state and for subjects. The size of the COGIC material reflects both its considerable growth and the donor's membership in a COGIC congregation in Florida. Small independent congregations for which there are single items are arranged by state.
Those denominations whose folders contain anniversary yearbooks or journals with a comprehensive denominational history and financial and personnel information include Bible Way Church World Wide; Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth; Church of God by Faith; Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith; Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God; Pentecostal Assemblies of the World; COGIC; Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith; and United Holy Church of America.
Denominations whose folders containing church newspapers or other assorted manuals of historic significance dating from the 1930s include Bibleway Churches Worldwide, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, COGIC, Church of God by Faith, Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God, and Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. The newspapers often reprint sermons, discuss reports from congregations or committees, document the activities of church leaders, give wide coverage to annual conferences and anniversary celebrations, and comment on current events.
The clippings scattered throughout the collection are primarily from the African-American press dating from the 1940s to the 1970s. The newspapers which predominate are the Chicago Defender,the Los Angeles Sentinel,the Indianapolis Recorder,and the Kansas City Call.The clippings record the activities of the congregations documenting musical events, speakers, conferences, organizational changes, and obituaries. There are some references to secular political events such as Emmett Till's funeral held at Roberts Temple COGIC in Chicago in 1955 and Martin Luther King's final speech at the COGIC Mason Temple in Memphis in 1968.
Similarities in names of denominations are often the result of historic divisions, such as those occurring in the Apostolic Faith Church of God, the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, and the United Holy Church of America. The “Church of God” folder may include several different denominations as there are more than ten separate Churches of God whose congregations are often difficult to distinguish, particularly in newspaper articles.
The INDIVIDUAL CLERGY AND EVANGELISTS SERIES, 1902-1989, (.5 linear feet)contains articles, chapters of books, clippings, programs, sermons, and other printed material documenting the lives of Pentecostal/Holiness ministers associated with particular denominations, as well as independent evangelists including Father Divine, Reverend Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II), Prophet Jones, and Lightfoot Solomon Michaux.
Material relating to denominations led by one individual for many years may be found in the DENOMINATIONS AND CONGREGATIONSSeries as well the INDIVIDUAL CLERGY AND EVANGELISTSSeries. The latter is primarily biographical in nature. For example, researchers interested in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith should consult the denomination folders as well as that of the founder Robert Lawson; material relating to Bible Way Church World Wide may also be found in the Smallwood Williams folders; for COGIC see also Charles H. Mason; for United House of Prayer see Daddy Grace. For Apostolic Faith Church of God (Washington, D. C.) or its Middle Atlantic Regional Gospel Music Festival see also E. Myron Noble, and for All Nations Church (Chicago) and its gospel broadcasts, see Lucy Smith.
Particularly unique biographical material, including sermons and writings often copied from private collections, is included in the folders of William S. Crowdy, Robert C. Lawson, and Charles Harrison Mason. Mason's folder also contains copies of court documents and his FBI file.
The SUBJECT FILES SERIES, 1876-1989, (4.5 linear feet)consists primarily of articles, excerpts from books, theses, and other printed material concerning Pentecostal and related topics. The general History and general Pentecostalism folders include articles and book excerpts that refer to the overall history, beliefs, and practices of Pentecostals, both black and white, whereas the White Pentecostals and Holiness subject files contain material concerning only white denominations or individuals. When a separate black denomination was formed from a formerly integrated one, as in the case of the Fire Baptized Church in 1908, material relating to its general Church history is located in the DENOMINATIONS AND CONGREGATIONSseries. Articles and theses mentioning multiple denomination such as James Daniel Tyms's 1938 “A Study of Four Religious Cults Operating Among Negroes,” which discusses Father Divine, Daddy Grace, and others, are located in the History folders.
The White Pentecostals folders include articles and publications on denominations such as the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), Church of God (Anderson, IN), Assemblies of God, and Church of the Nazarene. There are also copies of memoirs or excerpts from memoirs of various independent evangelists and missionaries, one dating from 1876, but most from the first decade of the 20th century.
There is considerable printed material concerning the musical traditions of Pentecostal and Holiness churches, including programs, songsheets, articles, book excerpts, and clippings highlighting gospel music and its roots in the spiritual. The clippings document performances and broadcasts such as those by Lucy Smith's All Nations Pentecostal Church and Clarence Cobb's First Church of Deliverence, both in Chicago.
Several folders contain information concerning the Charismatic or Neo-Pentecostal movement which has grown in mainstream Protestant and Catholic churches worldwide since the 1950s. The movement, with its emphasis on the deeper spirituality manifested in spirit baptism and its enthusiastic worship, has attracted middle as well as working class members. The material consists almost entirely of articles and chapters from books.
Another extensive collection of articles, largely from scholarly journals, discusses the psychological and sociological aspects of Pentecostal churches, their members, and communities.
The NON-PENTECOSTAL MATERIAL SERIES, 1914-1989, (1.5 linear feet)includes folders for the African-American Church which contain general articles and excerpts from books on denominations such as Baptists, Methodists, and Black Hebrews, as well as individual clergy. Community Studies relates to general church or African-American studies in specific communities including St. Louis, Jersey City, and Franklin, Louisiana. The Worldwide Church of God folders are not directly related to the rest of the collection. It appears that a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI for “Church of God” information resulted in the receipt of these files which concern the independent California organization founded by the radio evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong.