Fresh Ground Theology

“Trouble Coming for Oswego. The ‘Fire Baptized Holiness association’ has been organized at Oswego.” Thus read the advertisement in the Kansas newspaper, the Baxter Springs News, in 1904. It was not without warrant either. This strange organization was spreading like wildfire in the South and Midwestern states. It was known for one thing: craziness. Five years earlier in 1899, the Alexandrian Gazette reported:

[A farmer named] Musser is so taken with the fire baptized doctrines that he believed he could fly by faith, and in the attempt had a disastrous fall on the barn floor. At one of the meetings Musser asserted that he had buried the devil in a hole, but that the evil one was not yet dead.

Yet out of this organization birthed one of the largest churches of all times, the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, which has shaped much of Christianity today. And the IPHC’s doctrine…

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