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Before the Illinois District Council of the Assemblies of God was officially formed on May 4, 1923, the winds of Pentecostal revival had been blowing across the Prairie State since the early 1900’s.

  • Zion City. In 1901, a resident of Zion (then called Zion City), a Mrs. Waldron, visited Lawrence, Kansas, where Rev. Charles Parham was ministering. While there she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In due time, Parham was invited to speak in Zion City by some of its citizens, an invitation which over the years led to several hundred ministers and evangelists going forth from Zion with the Pentecostal message. Some of these included F.F. Bosworth, D. C. Opperman, W. H. Piper, F. A. Graves, E. N. Richey, and Fred Vogler.
  • Chicago. In 1906, W. H. Durham, pastor of the North Avenue Mission in Chicago, was invited to Azusa Street by a former member of his congregation who had relocated to California. When Durham returned to Chicago with his new anointing, a revival of unusual proportions broke out. Some of the alumni of those early experiences at North Avenue Mission were Eudorus Bell of Texas, who went on to become the first General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, and Aimee Semple McPherson.
  • Urbana. In 1901, Barney Moore, a Methodist, received a glorious infilling of the Holy Spirit during an intercessory prayer meeting. This motivated him to enter the ministry. During his first pastorate, the power fell in great measure, with one woman speaking in classical Hebrew and Latin, a phenomenon verified by university professors.
  • Palos Heights. In 1906, William Piper, a former assistant of Zion City healing evangelist John Alexander Dowie, moved to Chicago and started a new church, still known today as The Stone Church. Initially, the congregation resisted Piper’s attempts to introduce the Pentecostal message, but after three visitors from Zion City witnessed about their Holy Spirit baptism, the church was swept into Pentecost.

On May 4, 1923, twelve churches met in Mattoon and formed the first Illinois District Council. Previously, sections of the state had been divided into the Southern Missouri District (formed in 1916) and the Central District, which also included Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Reverend C. M. O’Guin was elected District Superintendent, John F. Bryan as Secretary, and three men—Arthur Bell of Mattoon, S. A. Jamieson of Chicago, and A. W. Kortkamp of Alton—were elected Presbyters.

Since those early days, the Illinois District has grown to 294 churches of great diversity—large, small, and in-between, urban, suburban, and rural. Illinois has been a leader in building ethnic churches, particularly in the Chicago area, as well as inner-city churches and churches for the deaf. The District currently has 910 credentialed ministers.

The history of the Illinois Assemblies of God has been detailed in two books. Both are now out of print.

  • Ministry Aflame by Herbert V. Knight, 1972, printed by Palmer Publications, Inc., Amherst WI (out of print)
  • Revival on the Prairie, 1997, commissioned by the Illinois Assemblies of God, printed by Kingery Printing Company, Effingham IL (out of print)


District Superintendents of the Illinois Assemblies of God

Carl M. O’Guin
A. W. Kortkamp
Arthur Bell
1938-1942 (2nd term)
Carl M. O’Guin
W. R. Williamson
E. M. Clark
Richard W. Dortch
Ernest J. Moen
Paul R. Martin
Larry H. Griswold
Phillip B. Schneider
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