Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa

Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa
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The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM) is a classical Pentecostal Christian denomination in South Africa. With 1.2 million adherents, it is South Africa's largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest religious grouping in South Africa representing 7.6 percent of the population. Dr. Isak Burger has led the AFM as president since 1996 when the white and black branches of the church were united. It is a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission International, a fellowship of 23 AFM national churches. It is also a member of the South African Council of Churches. The AFM is one of the oldest Pentecostal movement is South Africa with roots in the Azusa Street Revival, the Holiness Movement teachings of Andrew Murray and the teachings of John Alexander Dowie. The AFM had an interracial character when it started, but, as in American Pentecostalism, this interracial cooperation was short-lived. The decades from the 1950s to the 1980s were marked by the implementation of apartheid. After 1994, the white AFM moved rapidly towards unification with the black churches. By 1996, all the AFM churches were united in a single multi-racial church. The constitution of the AFM blends at the national level the elements of a presbyterian polity with an episcopal polity. Decentralization is a major feature of its constitution, which allows local churches to develop their own policies. The Apostolic Faith Mission displays a variety of identities and ministry philosophies, including seeker-sensitive, Word of Faith, Presbyterian, and classical Pentecostal.
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