American Methodists walked along a watershed in the 1890s. On the one side ran rivers that flowed gently but steadily toward mainline Protestantism. These waters, which many middle-class Methodists had already begun to explore, followed the contours cut by the forces of Western civilization: progressive politics, scientific authority, rationalized planning, modernist theology, systematic bureaucracies, industrial capitalism, American nationalism, and a belief in progress. The Methodist routes merged with deeper tributaries cut by denominations such as the Episcopalians, the Congregationalists, and the Presbyterians to form the indomitable river of the American Protestant establishment, which would continue to wield significant cultural influence through the first half of the twentieth century.1
Waters on the other side rushed toward the holiness movement and Pentecostalism. Originating as small, barely recognizable streams, they grew quickly, rushing over rapids and not a few waterfalls to produce movements based on supernaturalism, primitivism, apocalyptic eschatology, pragmatic methodologies, modern media techniques, democratized authority, multiracial and mixedgendered leadership, and fragmented religious bodies. The tributaries of these rivers not only flowed from American Methodism to holiness and Pentecostal bodies, such as the Nazarenes and the Assemblies of God, but they also eventually joined the wildly rushing torrents of African, Latin American, and Asian Pentecostalism. Since they did not usually follow the broad channels cut by the dominant forces of Western civilization, these rivers looked unpromising at first. By the late twentieth century, however, they had forged a complex series of interlocking waterways with worldwide reach.
The evangelical missionary enterprise played a critical role in the emergence of these worldwide movements. This role was not, however, one of simply transplanting American holiness overseas. In the 1880s and ‘90s, the American holiness movement, through its zealous pursuit of conversions, began ignoring key signposts of “civilization,” disregarding dominant conventions of race, gender, class, national identity, rationalized planning, materialism, and millennial progress. This disregard for civilization infused the holiness movement with forms of