1 ­ Mother is an official title granted to older churchwomen who have exhibited
years of consistent spiritual and orga­nizational leadership. According to
C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, “the phenomenon of the ‘church ­
mother’ has no parallel in white churches; it is derived from the kinship net-
work found within black churches and black communities.” Black Church, 275.
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes gives a detailed analy­sis of the role of church ­mothers
across Black denominations, particularly Black Holiness, Pentecostal, and
Apostolic churches. “If It ­ Wasn’t,” 103–4. For a denominationally specific study,
see Butler, ­ Women, 43–48.
2 I use the King James Version for all scriptural references, as do the members of
the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc.
3 Cox, Fire from Heaven; Murphy, Working the Spirit; Hurston, Sanctified Church;
Paris, Black Pentecostalism; and Raboteau, Slave Religion.
4 The church’s theological roots go back to John Nelson Darby’s late nineteenth-­
century Bible conferences and to Keswick movement revivalists Dwight L.
Moody and Cyrus I. Scofield. James I. Clark Jr. argues that the Scofield ­
Reference Bible significantly ­shaped African American Apostolic Pentecostal
theology. Published in 1909, “it was the only Bible for my tradition and most,
if not all, African-­American Apostolic Pentecostalists from 1919 to the last ­
de­ c ade of the 1950s.” “Christian Religious Education,” 85. During the late twen-
tieth ­century, alternate versions, most often the Thompson Chain Reference
Bible, came into use.
5 See also 1 Thess. 4:16–17: “For the Lord himself ­ shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ ­shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain ­ shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so ­
shall we ever be with the Lord.”
6 “The absolute deity of Jesus” is one of the church’s core princi­ p les of faith and is
printed in weekly church bulletins. The princi­ples are detailed in chapter 1. For
doctrinal distinctions between Charismatics, Classical and Neo-­ P entecostals,
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