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“C” is for Charismatics

“C” is for Charismatics. Charismatics are mainline Christians who speak in tongues and practice such gifts of the Holy Spirit as prophecy and healing. While some Episcopal and Roman Catholics sponsor regular charismatic prayer services, a more visible outgrowth of the movement is large independent congregations described as “full-gospel” or “charismatic.”

The movement began in the 1960s in California among Episcopalians and in the mid-west among Catholics. Southern Baptists strongly opposed speaking in tongues. At Evangel Cathedral in Spartanburg, the congregation practices healing,  exorcism, prophecy, and other gifts. The Evangel Fellowship of Ministers and Churches International has a missionary training center in Walhalla. By the mid-1990s there were about a dozen Catholic charismatic prayer groups across the state. Among other charismatic congregations in South Carolina are Mount Zion Christian Fellowship and St. Francis Episcopal Church in Greenville and Independent Resurrection Lutheran Church in Greer.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.