Heaver, Willis Collins
- ( 1856-19 36 )American Pentecostalist missionary in ChileWillis Collins Hoover, the father of Pentecostal-ism in Chile, was born in Freeport, Illinois, and grew up as a Methodist with strong Holiness leanings. His wife, Mary Louise Hilton, shared his Holiness beliefs. After becoming a physician, he had a call to the mission field and found support from the William Taylor Building and Transit Fund. William Taylor had spurred the missionary cause within the Methodist Episcopal Church by arguing for self-supporting missions. Chile had been one his chosen targets.Hoover joined the staff of the English College in Iquique, Chile, in 1889, and was soon pastor-ing the nearby Methodist congregation. When the newly created South American Conference in 1893 disenfranchised the female workers and the Chilean native workers who had previously worked as equals with the American male missionaries, Hoover remained one of the most indi-genized of the missionaries.In 1907, Hoover first learned of the Pentecostal revival from a friend of his wife. Two years later, the couple experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying speaking in tongues. Hoover introduced the baptism to his own congregation and several closely related ones. opposition to his Pentecostalism led to his withdrawal in 1910; with his supporters he founded the Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile. Hoover left that church in a 1932 controversy and founded the Evangelical Pentecostal Church. The original body would go on to seed two other groups, the Pentecostal Church of Chile and the Pentecostal Mission Church. Between them, the four churches that arose from Hoover's original work claim more than 1 million members in Chile.Hoover remained active until his death in 1936. Shortly before his death, he published an account of his life and ministry (1934).Further reading:■ M. G. Hoover, Willis Collins Hoover: History of the Pentecostal Revival in Chile (Santiago, Chile: Imprenta Eben-Ezer, 2000)■ Willis Collins Hoover, Historia del Avivamiento Pentecostal en Chile (Valparaiso, 1934)■ Jean Baptists August Kessler Jr., A Study of the Older Protestant Missions and Churches in Peru and Chile (Goes, The Netherlands: Oostervaan & Le Cointre, 1967).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.