Archives Dedication: Celebrating two leaders in the Charismatic movement

Written by Sara Baron, Ed.D., Dean of the University LibraryRev. Dr. Dennis J. Bennett

You may have read about the Charismatic movement in your classes or heard about it in your church. Perhaps you have even been blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But there was a time in America when people did not celebrate these gifts or talk about them. The Charismatic movement in mainstream Christian churches began in the late 1950s and consisted of people manifesting the gifts of the Holy Spirit out in the open. Two great leaders of the movement are being honored by Regent University on October 24, 2013.

Dr. William Standish ReedRev. Dr. Dennis J. Bennett is considered by many the “first Charismatic.” His brother-in-law, Dr. William Standish Reed, is considered by many the “first medical evangelist.” The archives of both men reside at the Regent University Library. The Rev. Dennis J. Bennett Papers and the William Standish Reed, M.D. Collection will be dedicated and celebrated on this day with a number of speakers, video tributes, remarks from their spouses, Dr. Rita Bennett and Mrs. Jo Ann “Coppi” Reed, and an exhibit of artifacts from their archives. Speakers include Dr. Vinson Synan, Visiting professor of Church History, who will discuss the history of the Charismatic movement and the importance of Rev. Bennett in its earliest days. Dr. Kimberly Alexander, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, will discuss the Charismatic movement’s emphasis on healing and the Holy Spirit and how Dr. William Standish Reed was instrumental in spreading the Word as a prominent medical doctor. Video clips of both men during the heights of their ministries will be shared along with video tributes from Stephen Strang, founder and editor of Charisma magazine; John and Elizabeth “Tib” Sherrill, writers and historians from the Charismatic movement; and Kenneth Copeland, Pentecostal leader and friend of both men.

Regent University Founder and Chancellor Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson will offer remarks and formally dedicate the archival collections. As the Charismatic movement receives more and more attention from historians of Christianity, this event is a wonderful opportunity to hear about and from people who lived during the origins of the movement, people who shaped the movement, and people who, above all, shared the Good News of Christ with others. We hope you can join us for this wonderful event!

Event Details:

Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
Regent University Library Gallery
RSVP Stephanie Lowell, 757-352-4185 or
For more information, visit the
Archives Dedication webpage.