Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dr. Anthea Butler pays visit to NYTS 'Global Pentecostal Movement' class

Dr. Dale Irvin's THU2271 class (The Global Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement) class was visited by Dr. Anthea D. Butler, author of "Women in the Church of God in Christ" on Monday, Oct. 18th. Approximately 25 class students and visitors were present for the special session, wherein Dr. Butler discussed the writing of her book and the significance of recording Church of God in Christ history holds.

"There is no archive for this church," she said. "The archive for the Church of God in Christ consists of some big containers holding copies of documents I have at my house." During the research for her premier 2007 work, Dr. Butler said it was a challenge to collect COGIC history. Unlike other Pentecostal denominations, like Assemblies of God, for instance, COGIC's history has not been brought together. Consequently, its source documents are still in attics around the country, and in unpreserved, private collections.

Dr. Butler said that, as early COGIC church members age and die the significance of these documents is usually lost upon those who inherit them.

During her visit, Dr. Butler also discussed the historic and contemporary role of women in COGIC. While denied power from the pulpit, historically COGIC women found success through the Women's Department. However, today, the very survival of the Women's Department is threatened as COGIC contemplates absorbing this department into the church itself.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity, multiculturalism, social justice and religious tolerance. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every background, for careers in ministry.

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