Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Pentecostals and the pulpit: A case study of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa

Marius Nel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 2 | a4664 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i2.4664 | © 2018 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2017 | Published: 30 April 2018

About the author(s)

Marius Nel, Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism, Unit for Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


In general, early Pentecostals did not use any pulpits in their halls in order to underline their emphasis that each believer is a prophet and priest equipped by the Holy Spirit with gifts for the edification of other members of the assembly. All participated in the worship service by way of praying, prophesying, witnessing and bringing a message from God. From the 1940s, Pentecostals in their desire to be acceptable in their communities formed an alliance with evangelicals, accepted their hermeneutical viewpoint and built traditional churches in accordance with the Protestant tradition. From the 1980s, the pulpit started disappearing from the front of Pentecostal churches. This is explained in terms of new alliances that Pentecostals made with neo-Pentecostalist churches and a new hermeneutical viewpoint. The hypothesis of the article is that the Pentecostal stance towards the pulpit was determined by its hermeneutical perspectives. It is described by way of a comparative literature study and applied to a specific case study, the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa.


Pulpit; hermeneutics; liturgy; message; sermon; democratisation


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