Raising funds to keep our Pentecostal history alive
Regents Theological College have become the custodians for four substantial Pentecostal archives.
The Institute for Pentecostal Theology (IPT) at Regents was launched last year to promote and support Pentecostal research in the areas of theology, history, and biblical studies.
Located on Regents campus at the Elim International Centre in Malvern, the IPT houses the Elim Pentecostal Church archives, and a number of special collections.
This collections of books, magazines, and church records provide the most comprehensive history of the Elim Pentecostal Movement in the world outside of America.
We spoke to John Usher, a former Regents Research Fellow and archivist who initiated the new focus on the archive collections.
"It's been an absolute privilege over the last year or so be working in the archive here at Regents Theological College, where Elim's history is lovingly tended by a team of volunteers and archivists.
"It's a wide and varied range collection of thousands of items; minutes, correspondence, periodicals, photographs, magazines, musical records, church and minister files, and rare books.
"Access is limited sensitively, but they are a unique resource for students and researchers engaged in Pentecostal research."
Lambeth Palace, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, have recently very kindly donated state-of-the-art shelving and rolling stacks worth tens of thousands of pounds, so the ever increasing collection of material can be properly catalogued and presented.
Over the last eighteen months the archive has also received significant collections that have made their way to Malvern, including The Desmond Cartwright collection, The New Frontiers collection, The Donald Gee Centre collection (formerly at Mattersey Hall), and the Cauchi collection, from a private lifelong Pentecostal collector.
Maldwyn Jones, Elim's Historian, said "It's almost impossible to over-estimate the importance of such an archival centre to Elim. It has been invaluable to my recent research and publication."
Regent's Theological College really is the place to come for Pentecostal and charismatic primary source research.
John continued "It's difficult to join a discussion if you come in at the end with no real appreciation of how it started and developed. Regents takes it's responsibility of stewarding these fascinating and valuable sources very seriously.
"We are looking to invest a little bit more, to be active in our duty of care, and to expertly steward these gifts for the benefit of the future of our movement and for the church more widely.
"I want to ask you to choose to remember, to choose to be inspired, and to choose to inspire others through these precious books."
If you would like to donate to help keep the Elim story alive, the archive has set up a JustGiving page here.
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