This Week in AG History -- Jan. 31, 1931
He was a Presbyterian minister and church planter who encountered the Holy Spirit and became one of the Assemblies of God's founding fathers.Samuel A. Jamieson (1857-1933), one of the founding fathers of the Assemblies of God, previously served as a denominational leader in the Presbyterian church in Minnesota. Despite having all the outward signs of ministerial success, Jamieson felt that inside he was spiritually dry. Jamieson shared his testimony in the Jan. 31, 1931, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Jamieson, a graduate of Wabash College and Lane Theological Seminary, was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1881. A pastor and church planter, he also served as superintendent over home missions for five Minnesota counties. He organized 35 Presbyterian congregations and 25 new churches were built under his direction.
Jamieson appeared to be a model minister, but he continued to grow more and more spiritually weary. What could he do? Jamieson and his wife, Hattie, had reached a point of desperation when they heard about the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909) in Los Angeles, which was a focal point of the emerging Pentecostal movement. They believed it might be an answer to their prayers.
In 1908, Hattie Jamieson went to Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended services at the Pentecostal Mission for over three months. She was Spirit-baptized, and she testified that “He [God] flooded my soul with peace and joy.” She returned home and encouraged her husband to resign his position and also seek the Baptism.
Jamieson rejected his wife’s plea, fearing that identifying with the Pentecostals would be costly. “For me to give up my position of honor and my good salary,” he wrote, “would eventually lead me to the poorhouse.” Hattie continued to reason with him, saying that he needed to be “willing to pay the price” to follow God.
Finally, after three years, Jamieson relented. He began praying earnestly and, he recalled, “the Lord soon removed from my mind all hindrances to tarrying for the Baptism.” In 1911 he resigned his position in Duluth, Minnesota, and joined with Florence Crawford’s Apostolic Faith Mission in Portland, Oregon. The following year, they moved on to Dallas, Texas, where Jamieson was Spirit-baptized under the ministry of healing evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter.
Jamieson attended the organizational meeting of the Assemblies of God in April 1914, and he became a noted pastor, educator, and executive presbyter in the Fellowship. He served as principal of Midwest Bible School (Auburn, Nebraska), which was the first Bible school owned by the General Council of the Assemblies of God. He also authored two books of sermons published by Gospel Publishing House: The Great Shepherd (1924) and Pillars of Truth (1926).
Jamieson, in his 1931 article, wrote that the baptism in the Holy Spirit changed his ministry in the following three ways. First, Jamieson realized that he had been relying upon his academic training rather than upon the Holy Spirit in his sermon preparation. He literally burned up his old sermon notes, humorously noting, “they were so dry that they burned like tinder.” Second, Jamieson wrote, “After I received my Baptism the Bible was practically a new book to me. I understood it as I never had done before. Preaching under the anointing became a delight, and my love for souls was very much increased.” Third, Jamieson wrote, “It increased my love for God and my fellow men, gave me a more consuming compassion for souls, and changed my view of the ministry so that it was no longer looked upon as a profession but as a calling.”
Samuel A. Jamieson’s testimony beautifully captures the early Pentecostal worldview. This worldview, at its core, included a transformational experience with God that brought people into a deeper life in Christ and empowered them to be witnesses. Jamieson concluded his 1931 article with the following admonition: “To those who would read this narrative I would suggest that if you want to succeed in your Christian work you should seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Jamieson hoped that his testimony would spur others to seek what he had found.
Read the article, “How a Presbyterian Preacher Received the Baptism,” by S. A. Jamieson, on page 2 of the Jan. 31, 1931, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “The Thrilling Experience of a Congo Missionary,” by Alva Walker
• “The Pentecostal People and What They Believe,” by Stanley H. Frodsham
• “After Twenty Years in Egypt,” by Lillian Trasher
And many more!
Click here to read this issue now.
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.