THE AUSTRALASIAN PENTECOSTAL STUDIES CENTRE
The Australasian Pentecostal Studies (APS) Centre was officially launched in its new facility in the Cowper Street (Parramatta) campus, on 6th July 2015, by Rev Dr Andrew Evans, former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Australia and former Member of the Legislative Council in South Australia.
The Centre, according to a Community Heritage assessment, gathers, maintains and develops a collection of “national significance”. According to the independent 2011 National Church Life Survey of Australia, Pentecostals are the second largest group of church attenders behind Catholics, so the need to preserve and research the historical foundations of this movement are vital. Originally established, in 2001, by Prof Mark Hutchinson and colleagues, the Centre physically and digitally stores Pentecostal archives and encourages research and scholarship into the history and impact of Pentecostal and charismatic movements in the Christian churches of Australasia.
The APS Centre has received a number of grants, including two Community Heritage Grants funded by the Australian Government and managed by the National Library of Australia. The first grant also included a one-day Heritage Workshop and two-day Significance Assessment of the APS Centre collection by Dr Roslyn Russell, while a more recent grant saw Kay Soderlund carry out a further Workshop, and provide advice on preservation and development needs.
Watch the official Launch here.
Since its foundation, AC has gone through substantial growth in student numbers, faculty, international influence and liberal arts offerings. So, there became a need to create the APS Centre, to incorporate a much wider range of research disciplines. In 2012, the collection was moved under the oversight of its new Director, Rev. Assoc. Prof. Denise Austin, when the College relocated from Chester Hill to Parramatta. The Centre was moved into a purpose-built archival and museum centre made to expert specifications. This includes fireproof walls, controlled temperature and lighting, as well as a 20 bay Compactus to store the archives. The APS Centre has gathered one of the largest collections of Australasian Pentecostal and charismatic materials, including an extensive living repository of oral sources and collections of early literary materials. As such, it is the only one of its kind in the world.
The Official Launch in 2015 featured many special guests, including: Dr Geoffrey Lee, State Member for Parramatta; Councilor Andrew Wilson, Parramatta City Council; Dr Mark Robinson, State Member for Cleveland in Queensland and Rev Dr Harold Hunter, Director of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church Archives and Research Center in Oklahoma.
Besides preservation, the goal of the APS Centre is also to encourage inter-institutional research projects in Pentecostal scholarship which will benefit the wider community locally, nationally and internationally. We welcome donations of church archives, sermons, artefacts, denominational magazines, photographs and any other memorabilia.
Professor Mark Hutchinson
Director, Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre.