In 2003, Lowell Nystrom published a short report on the beginnings and growth of the Pentecostal movement in Fosston. In the next few weeks, we will be releasing short installments of this report. The following paragraphs are Lowell's own introduction to the narrative.
God's Major Revival
The modern-day Pentecostal revival started to occur in the late 1890's and early 1900's. History shows that people in many places throughout the world - including the Fosston area - began to experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit similar to that of the early church as recorded in Acts. People experienced intense conviction of sin and the need to repent and commit their lives to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, followed by an experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, accompanied by the ability to speak in unknown tongues and to exhibit other gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12-14. A strong interest in reading the scriptures, fervent prayer, holy living, and witnessing to others resulted. Typically, four basic doctrinal positions were emphasized, including personal salvation, baptism in the Holy Spirit, divine healing and Christ's second coming. Most Pentecostals still maintain these core beliefs.
The Pentecostal movement has not been a revival led by major or well-known leaders, but rather occurred among small groups of people, often in remote areas where they had no communication with others experiencing similar blessings from God. From these beginnings, the Pentecostal and Charismatic revival has spread quickly and broadly throughout the world to where it is estimated that over 500 million people were involved by the year 2000. The Charismatic (Pentecostal) Movement has had significant impact on most denominations over the last 50 years. This has truly been and continues to be God's doing.
People in and around Fosston were very early pioneers in this major revival. Early history is difficult to establish because these events were not well documented. However, there are various accounts indicating that the Pentecostal message was being preached in Fosston, possibly before 1900. By 1903, a group was forming that could be referred to as an "assembly" or "church." After 100 years, it is time to commemorate and celebrate what God has been doing!