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August Davis and the Free-Free

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Pentecostal Phenomena among the Swedish Evangelical Free

August Davis (1852–1936) led a group of Swedish Free Mission Friends in America known as the Free-Free, an early branch of what is today the Evangelical Free Church of America. Davis and his followers were known for such phenomena as falling down in the Spirit, having ecstatic visions, uttering unintelligible sounds, communicating the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, and teaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace. Such activities occurred mostly in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout western Minnesota between 1885 and 1900. Davis and the Free-Free had direct organizational ties in the Scandinavian Mission Society U.S.A. to emerging Swedish-American Pentecostals in Minnesota and South Dakota such as John Thompson, Mary Johnson, and Jacob Bakken. This group known pejoratively as the Free-Free is another of several impulses that birthed a distinctly Pentecostal form of Christianity in America.

Affiliations: 1: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois


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