Doctrinal Fad – The Adam Doctrine

On this chilly Tuesday morning feeling inspired to write another short summary.
In the 70’s an umbrella group was formed firstly called the Apostolic World Congress then the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship. It became a loosely association of close to 160 different Oneness groups (although oddly some are not Oneness). Many groups might be as small as a couple of churches. Actually their only criteria was preaching Acts 2:38.

this movement was formed by W. G. Rowe of South Bend, Indiana. His father had been a very influential man in the early Oneness movement and a contemporary of Bishop G. T. Haywood and Samuel Hancock. He had served early on the board of the PAW then later was licensed with the UPC. A prolific teacher among his peers. In the early 50’s Bishop Rowe began teaching a novel doctrine he claimed a revelation called “The Adam doctrine.” In a nutshell (nut is a good term for it) Jesus was the reincarnated Adam that had fallen in the garden of Eden. He came to die for the sin He committed in the garden. Thus His baptism washed away that sin and he became God at the river of Jordan. He later revised the teaching that He became God at the resurrection then later realized Jesus was the Son of God and not God at all. Some may argue with my statement but I pastored several family members and this is what they were taught. The UPC dis-fellowshipped the Rowes and those who followed their teachings.

When the AWCF was formed they tried to minimize their teaching. Letting others claim they no longer believed this fruitcake doctrine but I truth it was not so. In fact I personally was at a conference when a noted Oneness leader told the conference that the Rowes no longer believed that teaching. Leaving the meeting I passed a table representing their church and on the table laid a pamphlet teaching the Adam doctrine.

Bishop Samuel Hancock accepted Rowe’s theory on the Godhead and also was forced out of the PAW to form his own the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith PCAF. The late Bishop Robert Little of Louisville, Ky. became the secretary of the AWCF and served for decades. I questioned Bishop Little on the Godhead and he dodged every question. In fairness since the deaths of Hancock and Little the group has become in line doctrinaly with the Oneness movement hoping that no one will remember their early history.

Bishop Samuel Smith took the leadership of the AWCF and no one doubts his doctrinal veracity to the Oneness movement. Most associated with the group would be considered liberal as far as “holiness issues” are concerned. Under their umbrella are many who hold strange doctrinal teachings not in line with the body of Apostolic doctrine taught by the Apostolic movement.

A little Apostolic history this morning.

— SE