chapter  8
They ‘made a Pentecostal out of her’
Fire-baptised Holiness
WithGlen O’Brien
Pages 21

The chapter describes how the Church of God (Cleveland) first emerged in Australia in the 1970s. Other North American churches that came to Australia, such as the Wesleyans and Nazarenes, saw acceptance and growth, partly through transfer growth from other Evangelical churches. They would do this, however, only at the cost of becoming more generically Evangelical and less distinctively Holiness. The Church of God (Cleveland), on the other hand, would identify almost exclusively with Pentecostalism at the cost of becoming less distinctively Holiness. The Church of God (Cleveland) would not be furthered by its American identity so much as by the diversity of its immigrant communities who came to Australia already identifying with the Church of God in their home countries. For a while, and in its formal doctrinal statements, the Church of God (Cleveland) sought to be both Holiness and Pentecostal. However, as time went on and the non-Wesleyan form of Pentecostalism dominated the religious landscape, it became more difficult for the Church of God to remember its Wesleyan roots. Not wanting to remain aloof from other Christians, but finding Wesleyan churches suspicious of their Pentecostalism, the Church of God (Cleveland) left its Wesleyan roots behind and embraced a Pentecostal orientation.