AG NEWS SPECIAL REPORT–
**Beloved Theologian Dr. Stanley M. Horton Passes
Rev. Stanley Monroe Horton, 98, of Springfield, Missouri, died
Saturday, July 12, 2014. Dr. Horton, recognized as the premier
Pentecostal theologian, was a renowned scholar and prolific
writer. Influencing the Assemblies of God through teaching
generations of ministers and missionaries personally and
through his works, Dr. Horton was highly regarded and loved by
leaders and students throughout the world. AG General
Superintendent George O. Wood referred to Dr. Horton as a
“bridge linking the Azusa revival to the present day.”
Visitation and funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
**BELOVED THEOLOGIAN DR. STANLEY M. HORTON PASSES
Rev. Stanley Monroe Horton, 98, of Springfield, Missouri, died on
Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Maranatha Village in Springfield.
Son of Harry Samuel Horton and Myrle May Fisher, Dr. Horton was born
on May 6, 1916, in Huntington Park, California. His maternal
grandparents Elmer Kirk Fisher and Clara Daisy Sanford participated
in the historic Azusa Street Revival of 1906, leading the nearby
Upper Room Mission. As a child of the Azusa Street Revival and
Mission, Horton has served, in the words of Assemblies of God
General Superintendent George O. Wood, as a “bridge linking the
Azusa revival to the present day.”
Dr. Horton received his educational training at Los Angeles City
College (A.A., 1935); University of California-Berkeley (B.S.,
1937); Gordon College (now Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
(M.Div., 1944); Harvard University (S.T.M., 1945); and Central
Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.D., 1959). He was Distinguished
Professor Emeritus of Bible and Theology at the Assemblies of God
Theological Seminary (AGTS), where he taught from 1978-1991. Prior
to that, he served as chair of the Bible Department at Central Bible
College from 1948-1978 and professor at Metropolitan Bible Institute
from 1945-1948. He wrote the Assemblies of God “Adult Teacher” Sunday
School curriculum for over 25 years. In 1980 he served as president
of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Upon his retirement from
teaching in 1991, he held the position of general editor of the
Pentecostal Textbook Series/”Logion Press” in Springfield until 2000.
Dr. Horton has been recognized as the premier Pentecostal
theologian. A renowned scholar and prolific writer, he continued to
travel the world until age 92, visiting 25 countries as a lecturer.
He authored dozens of books — many of which have been translated
into multiple languages, book chapters, and manuals and published
more than 250 articles and book reviews. He was listed in “Who’s Who
in Religion and Outstanding Educators of America.” His writings have
appeared in publications as diverse as “The Encyclopedia Americana
and the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements.”
He served as chair of the editorial committee for “The Full Life
Study Bible” and its 2003 revision titled “Life in the Spirit Study
Bible.” Foreign translations commonly refer to this as “The Fire
Bible.” His book, “What the Bible Says about the Holy Spirit” (Gospel
Publishing House, 1976), has long been the definitive text on that
topic in universities and seminaries around the world. Dr. Horton
served as the official translator of 1 and 2 Corinthians from Koine
Greek to modern Messianic Jewish vernacular for the “Tree of Life”
Bible, an undertaking done in cooperation with the Messianic Family
Bible Project and now the official Bible of The King’s University.
Stanley Horton’s devotion to the salvation of “All Israel” and
biblical translation abilities did not weaken with his length of
Dr. Robert Cooley, Horton’s student at Central Bible Institute in
1949 and later his colleague on the faculty there, would later
comment about his writing, “He modeled a biblical scholarship that
was practically applied. So if you read the adult quarterly for 25
years, you can see that the lesson material grew out of an academic
understanding of Scripture but was very practical. It was the same
with his articles and other books — a technical understanding of the
biblical text but a remarkable way of translating that into a body
of applied theology. This is the meaning of his life, that he had a
wonderful way to do that. His scholarship was never esoteric; it was
for everyone. To be able to go from an exegetical theology to an
applied theology was a real gift.”*
Horton’s life of service has been characterized by a unique
combination of Pentecostal fervor, a commitment to biblical
scholarship, and Christ-like character.
In 2010 AGTS honored Dr. Horton as a “Legacy Leader” — one who
displays “fierce biblical faithfulness … long tenure … a high level
of confidence but no appearance of arrogance or haughtiness … [who]
accepts the responsibility for [his or her] ministry … [who] shows
unconditional love for those he or she serves … is persistent … has
a vision that always includes evangelistic passion … and [who] makes
decisions that will benefit the church … well beyond their own
tenure or even lifetime.”** Part of that legacy was Dr. Horton’s
support of women in leadership as well as his commitment to racial
reconciliation. “Scripture makes it clear that we’re all one in
Christ, and we need each other,” he said.
Committed to a sense that following Christ means being a “lifelong
disciple,” Dr. Horton continued to serve the Church well into his
nineties, on the Assemblies of God Commission on Doctrinal Purity,
an adviser for AGTS doctoral participants, and an original board
member of Israel’s Redemption — a role in which he served to the end
of his life.
In 2009 AGTS established The Dr. Stanley M. Horton Scholarly
Resources Endowment (http://agts.edu/more/horton/) in his honor. In
lieu of flowers, donations may be made to this endowment by
contacting the AGTS Development Office at 417-268-1000.
In 2009, Gospel Publishing House released Dr. Horton’s biography,
“Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology.” As an addendum
to the biography, a full bibliography of works by and about Dr.
Horton up to the present time, and video interviews with him are
available at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website (click
here to view: http://s2.ag.org/hortonbib).
Stanley M. Horton was predeceased by his parents, his loving wife
Evelyn Gertrude Parsons, and siblings Donald, Harold, David, Evelyn
May, and Gertrude. He is survived by two sisters, Esther and Ruth of
California; two sons, Stan, Jr. (Linda Self) of Springfield,
Missouri; and Ed (Diana Dykes) of Branson, Missouri; and a daughter
Faith (Brent Stilts) of Springfield, Missouri. He is also survived
by three grandchildren: Matthew (Darci Stonebreaker), Monica
(Matthew Bryant), and Zachary Andrew Horton Stilts as well as six
great grandchildren: Cale, Aven, Asher, Noah, Lila, and Seth.
Visitation and funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
*Robert Cooley, telephone interview by Lois E. Olena, Springfield,
Missouri, August 28, 2008.
**Thom S. Rainer, “Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap”
(Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan 2010), 66-67.