In the early 1960's, the Holy Spirit breathed new life into hundreds of millions of Christians and their churches worldwide.
The Holy Spirit, not shy about crossing man-made theological and ecclesiastical boundaries, brought renewal to believers in virtually every branch of Christendom, including Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox. The roots of our own particular movement are in American Baptist Churches of the USA. American Baptist pastors and churches — from Kingston, New York to Chula Vista, California; from Salem, New Hampshire to Wichita, Kansas; and from Arcata, California to Sioux Falls, South Dakota — were greatly blessed, renewed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, and miracles began to happen. Churches grew, people found Christ, the Kingdom was expanded, worship came alive, missions increased, new life in the Spirit became a dynamic reality.
"... hundreds still gather at Green Lake for a week every summer for incredible conferences of inspiration, worship, teaching, and ministry that celebrate and experience the life of the Holy Spirit."
The desire to link up with others experiencing the renewing of the Spirit gave birth to an informal fellowship in the early to mid-seventies called American Baptist Charismatic Fellowship. The first leader of this movement was the Rev. Ken Pagard of First Baptist Church of Chula Vista, CA. Baptists, both pastors and laypeople, began gathering at Green Lake Christian Conference Center in 1975 (hundreds still gather at Green Lake for a week every summer for incredible conferences of inspiration, worship, teaching, and ministry that celebrate and experience the life of the Holy Spirit). This loosely-knit and growing fellowship of pastors and churches began impacting others, including pastors and denominational leaders within the American Baptist family, holding special breakfast meetings at Biennial conventions and offering regional opportunities where those who hungered for more of God's presence and power could hear about and experience what God was doing to bring new life to His churches.
In 1982, under the leadership of Rev. Gary Clark, pastor at First Baptist Church of Salem, New Hampshire, the American Baptist Charismatic Fellowship became Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries in American Baptist Churches. We formed a national service association and incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable religious organization. Since that time, HSRM has been actively involved in fostering Holy Spirit renewal in many churches and regions across the country.
In Recent Years
The ministries and fellowship of HSRM have broadened to include not only American Baptists, but also believers from many other Christian churches and denominations. Our conferences have attracted a growing number of leaders and laypeople from a wide range of church affiliations — including Methodists, Roman Catholics, Assemblies of God, non-denominational churches, and many others as well as Baptists. God's family is beautiful, and walls that have separated us are falling down.
On June 27, 2007, our HSRM members made a momentous, strategic, and unselfish decision: We voted officially to broaden our mission focus and fellowship base. Without leaving behind our commitment to foster renewal in American Baptist churches in every way available to us, we came to recognize that we needed to catch up with what the Holy Spirit is doing among us. By an overwhelming majority, we voted to change our name to simply Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries, and we changed the bylaws as well, enabling American Baptists and non-American Baptists alike to find full inclusion in our movement which is dedicated to empowering Christians and churches to change their worlds for Christ.
"God is strengthening our organization for expanded ministry. Currently, our HSRM leadership is strong, our vision is large, and our future is as bright as the promises of God. Great roots . . . Great heritage . . . Much to live up to . . . Much ground to gain . . . The best is yet to come!"
In July 2006, HSRM elected Dr. Clay Ford as their new chairman, replacing Dr. Gary Clark, who served faithfully and effectively in that role for more than 25 years. Gary and Joe Atkinson, HSRM Vice-Chairman for 25 years, were honored at the annual Green Lake Conference on June 29, 2007 in a wonderful celebration of their long and fruitful ministry.
In our 40th year, 2015, HSRM Executive Committee and National Service Committee began to implement several changes. To effectively go forward we reorganized our leadership team to include National Co-Directors and Assistant Director positions. God is strengthening our organization for expanded ministry. Currently, our HSRM leadership is strong, our vision is large, and our future is as bright as the promises of God. Great roots . . . Great heritage . . . Much to live up to . . . Much ground to gain . . . The best is yet to come!