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Pillar of Fire (1917 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Holiness
Religious Tradition: Evangelical Protestant
Description: The Pillar of Fire is a Holiness church founded in 1902 by Alma White, the wife of a Methodist minister who preached in revivals and in her husband's pulpit. As her success grew, she organized her converts into independent missions, formally incorporating the missions in 1902 as the Pentecostal Union. The name Pillar of Fire was adopted in 1917, and came from the church's widely-known magazine with the same name.
Official Site:

Maps: Pillar of Fire1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2010)

Congregations (2020)

Top 4 Pillar of Fire States (2010)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 New Jersey 1 1,500 0.17
2 Colorado 2 200 0.04
3 Ohio 1 125 0.01
4 California 2 275 0.01

Top 5 Pillar of Fire Counties (2010)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Somerset County, NJ 1 1,500 4.64
2 San Mateo County, CA 1 225 0.31
3 Adams County, CO 1 125 0.28
4 Hamilton County, OH 1 125 0.16
5 Denver County, CO 1 75 0.13

Top 5 Pillar of Fire Metro Areas (2010)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Pillar of Fire, Members (1929 - 1949)2

Pillar of Fire, Ministers & Churches (1929 - 1949)2

Pillar of Fire, Trends (1929 - 1949)2

1929 2,950 126 62
1931 2,950 126 62
1935 2,442 48
1936 4,044 61
1937 10,000
1948 5,100 61
1949 5,100 61


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

2 All data on clergy, members, and churches are taken from the National Council of Churches’ Historic Archive CD and recent print editions of the Council’s Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The CD archives all 68 editions of the Yearbook (formerly called Yearbook of the Churches and Yearbook of American Churches) from 1916 to 2000. Read more information on the Historic Archive CD and the Yearbook.

Membership figures are "inclusive." According to the Yearbook, this includes "those who are full communicant or confirmed members plus other members baptized, non-confirmed or non-communicant." Each denomination has its own criteria for membership.

When a denomination listed on the Historic Archive CD was difficult to identify, particularly in early editions of the Yearbook, the ARDA staff consulted numerous sources, including Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions and the Handbook of Denominations in the United States. In some cases, ARDA staff consulted the denomination’s website or contacted its offices by phone. When a denomination could not be positively identified, its data were omitted.

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