Furman, Charles Truman (1876-1947)
Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) missionary in Guatemala
Furman, along with fellow Pentecostal T. A. Pullin, was trained in the Missionary Training Institute, Nyack, New York. He arrived in Guatemala in 1916 under the auspices of the Pennsylvania United Free Missionary Society. Initially they collaborated with C. Albert Hines, an independent Pentecostal, and Charles F. Secord, a Plymouth Brethren missionary, who had previously gathered several congregations in the department of Tontonicapán. In 1919 Furman married Nyack alumna Carrie Smith, an evangelist in her own right. Released by their mission in 1922, the couple did not resume their work in Guatemala until 1929, when they returned with the Primitive Methodists. Shortly thereafter, their church experienced a spontaneous revival in San Cristóbal, El Quiché. Leaving the Primitive Methodists in 1934, the Furmans affiliated with the Church of God (CG), accompanied by fourteen of the Primitive Methodist churches. For the next 14 years Furman served as the general overseer of the CG mission, which became one of the denomination’s largest overseas efforts. When Furman died in Guatemala, he was mourned as the patriarch of a movement with eighty churches and 3,000 members.
Everett A. Wilson, “Furman, Charles Truman,” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 231-2.
This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Furman, Charles Truman. Guatemala and the Story of Chuce. Cleveland, TN: Church of God Pub. House, 1940.
Conn, Charles W. Where the Saints Have Trod: A History of the Church of God Missions. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 1959.
_____. Like a Mighty Army: A History of the Church of God, 1886-1995. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 1996.
Pullin, Alice. In the Morning, Sow. Cleveland, TN: Church of God Foreign Missions, [195?].
Waldrop, Richard E. A Historical and Critical Review of the Full Gospel Church of God of Guatemala. Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1993.
Wilson, Everett A. “The Central American Evangelicals: From Protest to Pragmatism.” International Review of Mission 77 (January 1988): 94-106.
Waldrop, Richard E. “The Social Consciousness and Involvement of the Full Gospel Church of God of Guatemala.” Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research. No pages. See especially the paragraph about Carrie (Smith) Furman in the section titled “Theological and Historical Antecedents.”
“A Brief History of the Church of God.” An article on the denomination’s website.
“A Chronology of Protestant Origins in Guatemala, 1824-1980.” Compiled by Clifton L. Holland.