Howard Carter (Pentecostal pioneer)

Howard Carter

circa 1960-1970
Born (1891-01-03)January 3, 1891
Birmingham, England
Died January 22, 1971(1971-01-22) (aged 80)
Springfield, Missouri
Spouse(s) Ruth Steelberg

Alfred Howard Carter (3 January 1891 22 January 1971), better known as Howard Carter, was a pioneer in the Pentecostal Christian faith.[1]

The Crown Mission

Carter was born in Birmingham.[2][3] He took over England's first Pentecostal Bible School.[4] In 1913 an organization called the Crown Mission began in the city, and shortly afterwards Carter became the leader of this group. By 1916 he became involved in a second Pentecostal work, and had to quit his regular work to maintain leadership of the two churches.

In prison

In World War I, Carter was imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs as a conscientious objector, and then spent time in Princetown Work Centre in the former Dartmoor Prison. While in prison he claimed to have received the revelation of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. These teachings, based on the text of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, are still used today as the primary teaching on the gifts of the Spirit within all major Pentecostal Christian belief systems.[5]

From 4 September 1918 to 11 June 1919 he was a 'brother' on the staff of Wallingford Farm Training Colony, an institution run by the National Union for Christian Social Service for 'difficult' boys mainly referred by Boards of Guardians.[6]

Hampstead Bible School

In 1921, Carter was handed over leadership of Hampstead Bible School, originally to be on a temporary basis until a more suitable person was available to fill the opening. That never happened, as he held this position for some twenty seven years. Under Carter's leadership the school grew so much that they had to purchase a nearby house, and two more Bible schools were opened up.

He took his work so seriously at the school that he did not receive any of the money donated to the school for his own use unless it was marked specifically for him, and he paid his own room and board to the school out of his salary.[7]

Assemblies of God

Howard Carter later became a founding member of Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland.[8] He served on the General Council of these groups as vice-chairman 1929-1934, and as chairman 1934-1945.

His final days

Howard Carter left the Hampstead Bible School in 1948[9] and moved to the United States where he eventually married Ruth (Fisher) Steelberg. She was the daughter of Elmer Kirk Fisher, who was the founder of the Upper Room Mission in Los Angeles, California. She had previously been married to Wesley Rowland Steelberg, who was general superintendent of the Assemblies of God U.S.A. Steelberg had died while on a trip to Wales in 1952. Carter spent the rest of his life in the U.S., and began to travel extensively as a preacher until his death in Springfield, Missouri, in 1971. His final days lasted 23 years.

Lester Sumrall

Howard Carter and Lester Sumrall first met in Eureka Springs, Arkansas when Carter was in his forties and Sumrall was in his early twenties. They formed an immediate relationship and traveled the world together as missionaries preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sumrall has written about Carter in his books Adventuring with Christ and Pioneers of Faith. Sumrall also expounds on Carter's teachings of the nine gifts of the Spirit in his book The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit.[1][10]


The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (possibly published by Springfield MO: Gospel Publishing House [AG USA], c1920s) New York Tokyo Moscow - c 1934 Spiritual gifts and their operation (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1968)


  1. 1 2 Sumrall, Lester (1995). Pioneers of Faith. Harrison House (publisher). ISBN 0-89274-742-0.
  2. Malcomson, Keith. "Alfred Howard Carter". Pentecostal Pioneers. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Howard Carter was born in Birmingham into an unsaved but religious Anglican home. He had one younger brother called John. From an early stage he was marked by a speech impediment, which brought ridicule at school. Their godly mother took them to church but it was not until he was nearly 20 that he began a real heart search for God and truth.
  3. "Howard Carter: A Man of Whom The World Was Not Worthy". Jonas Clark. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Howard Carter was born in Birmingham, England in 1891. His British father married his mother a descendant of French nobility. Growing up Howard Carter had a speech impediment and suffered much embarrassment in school. Even with speech therapy he still had difficulty throughout his life pronouncing r's. Still, Howard had a passion for study and a love for art. He entered art school where he studied portraiture and life drawing. At twelve his work was displayed in the London Gallery of Art.
  4. "Questions and Answers on Spiritual Gifts". Harrison House (publisher. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Howard Carter pioneered a quest for revelation of this supernatural subject and was regarded as an authority on the gifts of the Spirit. He took over England's first Pentecostal Bible School and helped to establish a major denomination in that country.
  5. "Howard Carter's Story". Brother Mel. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Prison was a difficult test and trial, but rather than causing him to lose faith in God, it drove him closer to God. And God honored Carter's convictions, by visiting him in prison. God began revealing to Carter deep truths concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  6. Register of Brothers, Turners Court Youth Trust Archive, Oxon County Record Office
  7. Malcomson, Keith. Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered.
  8. John Nelson Parr, Incredible (published by the author, Fleetwood, Lancs., England, 1972), Chapters 6 and 7, and Appendix A.
  9. Bundy, David D. (2002). "Carter, Alfred Howard". In Stanley M. Burgess. The new international dictionary of Pentecostal and charismatic movements. (Rev. and expanded ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House. p. 456. ISBN 0310224810.
  10. Although Carter played such a significant part in the expansion of the Pentecostal message throughout the world, few of his recorded sermons exist to today. One sermon is available for sale through the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, of the Assemblies of God, in Springfield, Missouri. Other rare recordings of Carter are available to listen to, by download for free, at In these recordings, Howard Carter is preaching at the First Assembly of God in Pasadena, Texas in 1964.

External links

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