Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Darden Asbury Pyron

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kirsten Wood

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Hilary Jones

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Pentecostalism, South Africa, History, Transatlantic, Religion, Missions, US History, Periodicals, Christianity, Print Culture

Date of Defense



Exploding on the American scene in 1906, Pentecostalism became arguably the most influential religious phenomenon of the twentieth century. Sparked by the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, the movement grew rapidly throughout the United States and garnered global momentum. This study investigates the original Los Angeles Apostolic Faith Mission and the subsequent extension of the mission to South Africa through an examination of periodicals, mission records, and personal documents. Using the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa as a case study, this study measures the significance of print media in the emergence and evolution of the early Pentecostal movement.

Based on historical analysis of more than 260 issues of the mission’s periodical, “The Comforter and Messenger of Hope,” this dissertation demonstrates how the publication served a variety of functions critical to the establishment of Pentecostalism in South Africa. As a work of cultural history, it situates the periodical within larger trends in South African culture and society. It illustrates how the periodical functioned simultaneously at the local and international level to standardize Pentecostal discourse and formulate an early Pentecostal identity. Finally, this dissertation argues that Pentecostal periodicals formed a transnational network of Pentecostal thought, connections, and support in the early twentieth century that influenced the development of Pentecostalism in the South African context.





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