What's the difference between a Pentecostal and a Charasmatic church? Is AoG Pentacostal? I thought it was. A lady at the store said it wasn't. She said Foursquare is Charasmatic. She didn't really say what she thought AoG was. She said they were conservative. Just made me wonder.


The terms Pentecostal and Charismatic can almost be used interchangeably.

Pentecostal comes from what happened on the Day of Pentecost 40 days after the Resurrection: i.e. speaking in tongues etc.

Charismatic comes from the Greek word _charisma_ which means "gift" and refers to the gifts of tongues, prophecy etc.

In 1906 the Pentecostal Revival hit the US beginning in Los Angeles on Azusa street. During the next 20 years several Pentecostal denominations started, beginning with the AoG. Foursquare was started in the 1930s by Aimee Semple McPherson and was a Pentecostal Church.

The Charismatic Renewal was the same kind of outbreak of charisma starting again in Los Angeles with an Episcopalian Priest named Dennis Bennet. The movement arose in Protestant and Catholic churches. Out of that came a lot of charismatic nondenominal churches often using the name Christian Center or something like it. My first church was called Shiloh Chapel. Later I affiliated with Foursquare.

Often, modern people are prejudiced against the term Pentecostal because of perceived (and sometimes actual) excesses within those denominations. They think Charismatics are more refined.

AoG and Foursquare are certainly Pentecostal churches. However, as time goes on and the actual practice and display of charismatic gifts decreases (which historically always happens) some like avoid the Pentecostal term and are more comfortable with Charismatic.