“Mr. Pentecost” Dies At 81

David J. du Plessis, widely known as “Mr. Pentecost,” died of cancer at his home in Pasadena, California, on February 2, just five days short of his eighty-second birthday. A South African native who was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1949, du Plessis was considered by many the foremost spokesman for the Pentecostal movement.

He was also regarded as an ecumenist years ahead of his time. He had attended all ecumenical conferences sponsored by the World Council of Churches since 1954. He was the only Pentecostal invited to attend the third session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1964. And he served as cochair of the International Roman Catholic/Pentecostal Dialogue from 1972–82.

An Assemblies of God minister, du Plessis was the organizing secretary of the World Pentecostal Fellowship (now the World Pentecostal Conference). He also played a major role in establishing the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, and the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

du Plessis spent his later years at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Fuller President David Allan Hubbard called du Plessis “one of the distinguished world Christians of our era.” In 1985, the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality was established at Fuller. Last year, the center hosted the International Roman Catholic/Pentecostal Dialogue. The meeting is traditionally held in Europe, but met in Pasadena to honor du Plessis.


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