The aim of this chapter is to review select studies on the history of Pentecostalism in Colombia and to identify important contributions by its followers and significant challenges that the movement faces. The beginning of the Pentecostal movement was shaped partially by the socio-political turmoil and intense periods of violence that Colombian society has experienced over the last half century. I will concentrate on the historical background of classical Pentecostal churches in Colombia in the 1930s–1970s, looking particularly at the following denominations: Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal Church International (Iglesia Pentecostal Unida), International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). We proceed in three sections: an overview of the historical and socio-political background in Colombia; a sketch of the development of classical Pentecostal groups in the country; and an assessment of the important contributions of and current challenges confronting the movement.
Dr. Cuartas is originally from Cali, Colombia and spent a number of years in mission and church planting in his home country before continuing his ministry in North America. Cuartas replaces Dr. Mike Barnett (who passed away in the summer of 2015) as the Elmer V. Thompson chair of church planting. Cuartas comes to CIU after teaching missions at Regent University for the last ten years. His other books include Empowering Hispanic Leaders, available in both English and Spanish.