Roebuck Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

The Society for Pentecostal Studies honored Dr. David G. Roebuck with their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Society’s fifty-third annual meeting, which convened at Candler School of Theology on the campus of Emory University.

Roebuck is director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center in Cleveland, Tennessee. The Research Center is the Church of God archives and a library of Pentecostal/Charismatic resources. An ordained bishop, Roebuck has served on the Church of God Historical Commission since 1996 and as church historian since 2004. His academic appointments include Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Lee University and adjunct instructor at Pentecostal Theological Seminary.

The Society for Pentecostal Studies began in 1970 and is an organization of scholars dedicated to providing an academic forum of discussion as a spiritual service to the kingdom of God. The Society publishes Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and holds an annual meeting for members and friends.

Society for Pentecostal Studies President Sammy Alfaro (right) presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. David G. Roebuck

In receiving the award, Roebuck recalled that Dr. Horace S. Ward gave him his first student membership while Ward was president of West Coast Bible College. Ward was a founder of SPS and serving as executive secretary at that time. Reflecting on the first annual meeting he attended, Roebuck noted, “Then as now, SPS offered a place for students, emerging scholars, and seasoned professionals to interact with each other and learn from one another. Through the years, I have found mentors, conversation partners, encouragers, people who pointed me in good directions for my research, and life-long colleagues and friends.” He continued, “I have benefited from organizations and conferences related to religion, history, librarianship, and archives. While those opportunities have been important and helpful, there is no society that has nourished my mind and spirit like the Society for Pentecostal Studies.”

Roebuck earned a B.A. from West Coast Bible College, M.Div. from Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Christianity from Vanderbilt University. His research interests are holiness and Pentecostal movements with particular emphasis on minority voices. He has published for academic and general audiences including editing a Church of God Evangel column since 1999.

Roebuck has been a member of Society for Pentecostal Studies since 1979, attending his first meeting in 1984 on the campus of Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He has presented, responded, and served as chair in numerous paper sessions and participates serves on the society’s Library and Research Committee. He was appointed interim executive secretary in 2003 and then elected to serve until 2011. During his tenure, the title of the office was changed to executive director.

Among other professional activities, Roebuck chairs the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives and has served the Tennessee Theological Library Association as secretary, vice-president, and president. In 2002, he was the founding president of the Historical Society of Church of God Movements, which fosters scholarly dialog among the various Church of God denominations. He returned to the office of president in 2022 following a tenure as first vice president.

In addition to the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Roebuck has presented his research at the American Academy of Religion, Bradley County African American Historical Society, Bradley County Historical Society, Christian Library Association, Empowered 21, Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion, Southern Historical Association, Tennessee Conference of Historians, and Tennessee Theological Library Association as well as conferences at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Regent University, University of the South, and Western Kentucky University. He also has lectured at schools in Ecuador, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, and Romania. In 2004, he inaugurated the annual Azusa Lecture and has presented that lecture on three occasions.

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