Quest to Restore God’s House – A Theological History of the Church of God

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Charles Page |


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00041]Volume I, 1886-1923, R.G. Spurling to A.J. Tomlinson, Formation-Transformation-Reformation Authored by Wade H. Phillips

In this first volume of a projected three-volume set, Bishop Wade H. Phillips offers the most comprehensive examination to date of the origins, early history, and theological development of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). Meticulously researched, this work breaks new ground at nearly every turn. Offering the most extensive analysis of the ministry and thought of Richard Spurling, Phillips places Spurling’s emerging thought and identity within the context of his theological influences. Along the way he demonstrates Spurling’s indispensible role in the creation of the Church of God while identifying never before revealed details about his ministry, including the fact that he helped establish not one but at least four Christian Union congregations.

Turning his attention to A.J. Tomlinson, Phillips offers what is clearly the most detailed examination to date of Tomlinson’s life and ministry through 1923. Identifying his Quaker origins, Phillips traces and documents Frank Sandford’s direct influence upon Tomlinson and the developing Church of God. Drawing on a vast array of resources, including thousands of pages of legal depositions and over one hundred photographs, Phillips carefully unravels the events that led to the disruption of 1923. Offering a sympathetic, though critical, analysis of Tomlinson’s role in the rise of the Church of God, Phillips’ study brings clarity to a number of ecclesiological dimensions of early Church of God thought. Phillips’ work is destined to be the starting point for all future historiographies and theological analyses of the origins and early history of the Church of God.

John Earp [07/21/2015 10:16 PM]
That is from a group called “The Church of God” (with emphasis on the “The”). They split off of the CoGoP in the early 1990s from what I’ve heard.

Charles Page [07/21/2015 10:35 PM]
I had this confused with the Church started by Wade Phillips.

John Kissinger [07/22/2015 1:03 PM]

A J Tomlinson Last Lost Interview (1943)

Lee Roy Martin [07/22/2015 1:21 PM]
See Wade Phillip’s new history of the COG —

Charles Page [07/22/2015 1:36 PM]
I like Wade Phillips! I’ll have to wait till his book goes on “used” sales!

John Kissinger [07/22/2015 1:57 PM]
For years Charles W. Conn’s Like a Mighty Army has been the definitive history of the Church of God. Conn’s book offers an excellent telling from the perspective of an officially sanctioned publication. Mickey Crews’ The Church of God: A Social History offers a more critical telling of the early years of the Church of God movement. But neither can compare to the exhaustive volume produced by Wade H. Phillips – Quest to Restore God’s House: A Theological History of the Church of God.

Charles Page [07/22/2015 3:20 PM]
just ordered Crews book for $.38 on Amazon. that meets my retirement budget.

John Kissinger [07/22/2015 3:35 PM]
kindle or paper?

Charles Page [07/22/2015 3:42 PM]


  • Jim Price
    Reply July 23, 2016

    Jim Price

    While I have spent a lot of time in Monroe & Polk Co., Tn as well as in the S. W. part of N C the culture of the late 1800’s is still very elusive and it was that culture that influenced R. G. Spurling. Recently I discovered, Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe that depicts life in that region and was written in the 1920’s, it’s a good overlay to Phillips book.

  • Jon Ray
    Reply August 4, 2016

    Jon Ray

    Charles Page I hold that since the late J. Roswell Flower who served as the first secretary-treasurer of the Assemblies of God in 1914 the Assemblies have not have a dissent historian of their movement’s history stateside Terry

  • Varnel Watson
    Reply August 4, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    I dont know about that now

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