Simpson, Albert Benjamin

( 18 4 3 - 1919 )
   missionary activist and evangelist
   Albert Benjamin Simpson was born on December 15, 1843, on Prince Edward Island, but grew up in Ontario. Accepting a call to the ministry in 1858, he attended Knox College in Toronto (1861-65). He subsequently served as a pastor in Hamilton, Ontario, Louisville, Kentucky (1874-80), and New York City. He developed a passion for evangelism and world missions, which prompted him to begin a periodical, The Gospel in All Lands, after moving to New York City in 1880.
   In August 1881, Simpson was healed of a heart disorder under the ministry of Episcopal layman Charles E. Cullis (1833-92). In reaction, he soon came to identify as a Baptist (he was rebaptized by immersion) and to launch an independent evangelistic ministry. In 1882, he founded Gospel Tabernacle Church in New York City, where he held Friday afternoon meetings for consecration and healing. As the tabernacle grew, Simpson spun off several rescue missions, a healing home, and a training school. He also organized the Missionary Union for the Evangelization of the World.
   At this time, he forged ties with the Keswick movement in England, reformulating the Keswick teaching as the four-fold gospel, a Christ-centered theology that emphasized Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King.
   In the mid-1880s, Simpson began to call for an alliance of Christians to promote world missions. In 1887, his followers voted to form two organizations, the Christian Alliance and the Evangelical Missionary Alliance. The latter agency immediately moved to send its first missionaries to China and India. Both alliances grew into national organizations over the next few years. By 1897, more than 300 missionaries had been commissioned and sent to various countries around the world. That same year, the Christian Alliance merged with the Evangelical Missionary Alliance to form the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
   After 1906, Simpson lost some followers to Pentecostalism, including leaders such as Carrie
   Judd Montgomery. The last years of Simpson's life were marked by the slow but steady growth of the mission fields and the maturing of his association of congregations into a new denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Simpson died on October 29, 1919.
   Further reading:
   ■ Pat Dys and Linda Corbin, He Obeyed God: The Story of Albert Benjamin Simpson (Camp Hill, Pa.: Christian Publications, 1986)
   ■ David F Hartzfeld and Charles Nienkirchen, eds., The Birth of a Vision: Essays on the Ministry and Thought of Albert B. Simpson, Founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada: Buena Book Services, 1986)
   ■ Albert Benjamin Simpson, A Larger Christian Life (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour, 1988)
   ■ ----, The Spirit-Filled Church in Action (Harrisburg, Pa.: Christian Church, 1975); , Wholly Sanctified (New York: Christian Alliance, 1993).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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