Dake, Vivian Adelbert (1854-1892)

Holiness pastor, evangelist, and founder of Pentecost Bands

Born in Oregon, Illinois, to parents who were charter members of the Free Methodist Church, Dake attended Chili Seminary (present-day Roberts Wesleyan College) and the University of Rochester (New York), before returning to the Midwest. In 1882 at Mankato, Minnesota, Dake organized the first “Pentecostal Band” for short term evangelistic work. In 1885, while he served as a Free Methodist pastor in Michigan, the enterprise took permanent form. At a time when church-sponsored activities for young people were rare, the notion of groups of holiness youth traveling to evangelize and plant churches at home and abroad soon became popular, and Dake found himself at the head of a movement.

Although Pentecost Bands gained the blessing of B. T. Roberts, founder of the Free Methodist Church, the movement resisted denominational control. Dake traveled widely in the United States and overseas, promoting and encouraging the efforts of the various bands. At the time of his death in Sierra Leone, Pentecost Bands were active in Europe, Africa, India, and the United States. Afterward, the organization drew further away from the Free Methodist Church. In 1925, it changed its name to Missionary Bands of the World. Due to aging personnel and declining funds, it merged with the Wesleyan Methodist Church (the present-day Wesleyan Church) in 1958.

Gary B. McGee, “Dake, Vivian Adelbert,” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 166.

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.



Dake, Vivian A. Hymns and Songs of Pentecost. Chicago: Thomas H. Nelson, 1895.

_____. Kindling Watch-Fires: Choice Extracts. Waukesha, WI: Metropolitan Church Association, [189?].


Jones, Charles Edwin. Perfectionist Persuasion: The Holiness Movement and American Methodism, 1867-1936. 1974.

Nelson, Thomas Hiram. Life and Labors of Rev. Vivian A. Dake, Organizer and Leader of Pentecost Bands: Embracing an Account of His Travels in America, Europe and Africa, with Selections from His Sketches, Poems and Songs. Chicago: Thomas H. Nelson, 1894.

Parsons, Ida Dake. Kindling Watch-Fires, Being a Brief Sketch of the Life of Rev. Vivian A. Dake, Together with a Compilation of Selections from His Writings, Sermons, and Poems, to which is Appended a Few of His Best Songs with the Music. Chicago: Free Methodist Publishing House, 1915.

Snyder, Howard A. Radical Holiness Evangelism: Vivian Dake and the Pentecost Bands. Dayton, OH: Howard A. Snyder, 1990.

_____. Aspects of Early Free Methodist History. Dayton, OH: Union Theological Seminary, 1994.

_____. Populist Saints: B. T. and Ellen Roberts and the First Free Methodists. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub., 2006. See, especially, “A Fresh Impulse: Vivian Dake and the Pentecost Bands,” 700-07.

Dake, Vivian A. “Soliloquy of a Lost Soul.” Tract No. 4. N.p.: n.p., n.d. A tract that begins with a poem in which a damned sinner laments “the infinite years in torment must I spend.” The second page is a plea to the sinner to repent before finding himself in hell.

We’ll Girdle the Globe.” Sheet music (PDF). Lyrics by Vivian A. Dake, 1891. Music by Ida Mae Campbell Dake.

Kline, Kay and Bruce Kline. “Vivian A. Dake: Early Free Methodist Evangelist and Founder of the Pentecost Bands.” In Free Methodist Historical Society Newsletter 6 no. 2 (Winter 2006): 2-3. Includes photo portrait.


Accessed June 14, 2011, at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/e/l/wellgird.htm.