I’m a Pentecostal

Posted by: in Inspirational on November 29th

The following is an adaption of a speech given by Hannah Loyd to her eighth grade class.

Why do you wear skirts all the time? Aren’t your legs cold? How long is your hair? I have been asked these questions—plus many more—countless times over the years. I’m sure many of you in this class have asked me at least one of these questions before, and for those of you who haven’t asked but may be secretly curious, I hope to provide you with some answers today.

As many of you may know, I am of the Pentecostal religious denomination. Although there may be just a few Pentecostals in this school and town, according to the United Pentecostal Church International website (UPCI.org), there are over three million United Pentecostal Church members like me worldwide and over 279 million Pentecostals in various denominations. I’m thankful to say my family is among these members. Both sides of my family have been Pentecostal for many years, making me a sixth-generation Pentecostal. My dad currently pastors our church in Vienna, and my grandfather pastored before him. My great-grandfather pastored the UPCI church in Ozark, Illinois.

So what does it mean to be Pentecostal? Webster’s Dictionary defines a Pentecostal as someone who emphasizes the activity of the Holy Spirit, stresses holiness of living, and expresses their religious feelings uninhibitedly. However, the only definition of a Pentecostal many students have here is just of me, and it’s most likely just based on the way I look on the outside.

Although part of being a Pentecostal relates to how I dress on the outside, allow me to explain the biblical principles on which my outward appearance is based. To answer the question about the way I dress, I would like to quote a scripture from the Bible where the distinction of sexes is based. It is found in Deuteronomy 22:5 and states, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

God has always desired a distinction between male and female, not only in the way we look but also in our talk, actions, and behavior. Before the early 1940s, it was difficult to find a woman not wearing a skirt or dress. World War I, along with the feminist movement, brought along the acceptance of women wearing men’s apparel. Even in department stores today you will not find a dress or skirt in the men’s department. Public restroom signs worldwide indicate which restroom is for women and which is for men. I, as a Pentecostal, still believe God’s desire for women not to wear men’s apparel holds true today, and this is why I have made the choice in my life not to wear men’s apparel.

I’m also asked often about my hair. How long is it? Why haven’t I cut it? My reason for this is also based on a principle found in the Bible in I Corinthians 11:15. It reads, “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” In this chapter the apostle Paul was teaching the church at Corinth God’s order for the family. For a women to cut her hair was to dishonor the authority God placed in her life. It would be an act of rebellion. As Paul concludes in verse 15, a woman’s hair is given to her for her glory. I’ve often been complimented on my hair as being beautiful, and it is often said by men that they prefer their wives or girlfriends to have long hair because of its beauty. The reason I keep my hair uncut is because I want to submit myself to the authority God has placed in my life and to please Him. According to His Word, I believe my long hair gives me favor and power with God.

Being Pentecostal is more than the outward experience I have described so far; it is so much more than wearing skirts, having long hair, and even not wearing makeup. To say you are Pentecostal means you have experienced the Spirit of God in the same way it was given on the Day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts in the Bible. On the Day of Pentecost, God poured out His Spirit to 120 believers who gathered together praying for this promise. In each instance where the Holy Spirit was given in the Bible, speaking in tongues was the evidence of receiving it. In Pentecostal churches—and even other denominations today that believe in this experience—speaking in tongues is the norm when we experience the Spirit of God. This belief in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is also what sets apart the Pentecostal movement from many other denominations.

Unfortunately, many people just define Pentecost by a list of dos and don’ts, but it is an experience and a lifestyle. I would like to share a short clip with you. This song called, “I’m a Pentecostal” performed by Christian Life College, a Bible college in Stockton, California, demonstrates the way we worship and how we feel. Listen to the lyrics as they describe Pentecostals.

youtube 75

At this point, some of you may be thinking we are totally insane and crazy. If I were seeing this for the first time, I would totally agree with you, but this is what it is like at my church and at many of our conferences and conventions. This expression of worship is life-changing and very important to me, and like I said before, it is an experience.

It’s easy to see how we could be judged. Everyone is always being judged no matter one’s religion, race, or background. I’m sure many of you here have been misjudged based on your looks or actions, and throughout my life, I too have often been misjudged. I do the things I do to please God. We may wear things differently or act differently, but when it comes down to it, it’s important that we stand up for what we believe. At times we may all be discouraged from being our own person out of fear of being judged, but take me as an example: I’m thankful to be Pentecostal. I don’t see these sacrifices as holding me back from things I would like to do, but I see them as opportunities to tell others about what I stand for, just as I’m doing today.

I hope sharing some of my personal views and ideals has helped answer some of the many questions about me and my lifestyle. Thank you.

2011 Annette Tomlinson-6716

Hannah Loyd is a freshman and proud Pentecostal at Vienna High School in Vienna, Illinois. She is class president, a member of the National Beta Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and participates in Pep Club and Scholar Bowl. She loves music, drama, and hanging out with friends and family. Her Dad pastors Shawnee Worsip Center in beautiful southern Illinois, and her desire and future goal is to be involved in student ministries.

23 Replies to “I’m a Pentecostal”

  1. Lubia choco says:

    That’s great! I wish God’s blessing upon your life.it’s good to encourage the youths. Because most of our youths now are lost up in this worldly life they need to accept Jesus as their personal saviour so that they learn to walk in the truth.as it is stated in John 10:10 God came to seek that are lost.I’m belizean pentecostal also.I enjoyed reading your speech.

  2. Hailee Daniels says:

    I am an upcoming Pentecostal senior in High School and although it is easy to get shaken up in your faith I Praise God for the ability to Stand on his word and overcome every mistake and trial that comes my way. We all need to continue being the light in this corrupt world and spreading Gods word! 😉 Well spoken!

  3. keijo leppioja says:

    Yes for to living in the church to growing to mature life with faith and that will take time and years to be like Jesus and be fild of the Holy Spirit are our desire and will of God and be thanksgiving person in sound the doctrine in whole the bible in our hands to undestanding the truth in Christ,thanks and bles,keijo sweden

  4. JOHN STEPHENE says:

    keep to teach youth so as they can change way of thinking

  5. Jonathan Cruz says:

    Wow 🙂 i liked your speech , I feel the same way . I’m a senior now in school and I’m one out of 2 upci there… And I get asked a lot too . people can see and have told me that our upci is noticed better than other Pentecostal students there because they look like “the world ” and we don’t 🙂 .

  6. Eunice says:

    WOW OH WOW!!! How awesome was that speech!! Were you nervous in presenting your speech to the class?
    May God Bless you!

    1. Hannah Loyd says:

      Surprisingly not haha I was more nervous about forgetting something and stumbling on my words. My class yet them still being other students is actually quite small and I know most of them on a personal level. Couldn’t have been more excited though that’s for sure!

  7. Daniel Livingston says:

    I know her Dad is a proud Father. I, too, am proud to be a Pentecostal and I believe it is past time that we let the world know it.

  8. lorna Sebastian says:

    Thank you for being an inspiration and being strong during a challenging time in your life as a teenager. I will be sharing this wih my 8th grade daughter who hears the same questions as you.

  9. Ethan says:

    Some good points. She needs to emphasize more scripture and her personal relationship with Christ and how she was saved. She talked about how being a Pentecostal is about more than what she wears, but all she discussed was what she wore… Also the Deut. 22 chapter goes on to talk about how we are not supposed to have clothes made of wool and linen. She needs to make a point of that and why verse five is different than verse eleven. Very good that she is speaking up for herself and taking a stand in what she believes.

  10. Lori Mccraw says:

    Correction on the scripture John 11:25…

  11. Lori Mccraw says:

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have Pentecostal friends and have no problem with the skirts and long hair. It is when you tell others Christians they are not saved until they change their outside appearance or speak in tongues. If you cause them to fall away I believe their blood will be on your hands..Cor 11:25 Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me even tho he must die..he will live again.” I say all this in love and if u believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He is your personal Savior then you are my sister in Christ..I do not judge u as I pray u do not judge me.

    1. Pentecostal to the bone says:

      Awesome Speech. Stand!!
      However, Lori the Bible does go into detail as to how one is to be saved. There isn’t anywhere in the bible that states you should ask Jesus into your heart. It’s not that a Pentecostal is judging one who doesn’t believe the same as us, it is that they care about each and every soul and want people to understand there is more to being saved that simply asking God into your heart or believing on him, although those are essential. The Bible gives specific instructions in Acts 2 verse 38 that you must “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and after that ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This is a commandment, it is essential to repent from our sins and turn completely away from them in order to be saved. It is essential that you have the Holy Ghost and are baptized in Jesus Name. The bible states that “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”
      You are correct, God is the only judge and should be the only one judging, however we are held responsible to tell people the truth and show them what the word of God says that they might have a chance to be saved. With love and conviction we have to tell because we want people to be saved and not to perish.

  12. Ashleigh says:

    great speech! very inspiring!!

  13. Brenda sprague says:

    We are so proud of you!
    Joe and Brenda Sprague

  14. I love see our youth stand up more than just saying, this is what my church believes. No this is what I believe and standing on truth without compromise. These are big shoes to fill the way this young lady stood up. Keep up the good work because this May open up a great ministry for you. Don’t expect it to stop by just a testimony. God intends more. God bless you so much in your endeavor. Pastor Chandler

  15. just had to say it is so nice to see a young person speak so eloquently about her faith and show others from the Bible why she believes and lives how she lives and believes. i would just say one thing: it is not my beliefs, we stand upon the word of God. And that is the only place we can stand and be sure we are standing on the Rock.

  16. Skyla says:

    I am pentecostal girl in 10th and I love being pentecostal. I like the way you put all of this in words. Often I get ask the same questions about religion and I explain it about the same way. I am glad theyre some true pentecostal girls our age that take the Lord serious.

  17. angelina campos says:

    Oh Praise God!!!!! That is awesome Hannah! People need to have the courage that you do and not be ashamed! Keep it up girl!!

  18. Sharnita Henderson says:

    I too am a female pentecostal – thanks for sharing this!

  19. EJ Johnson says:

    You go girl, you will be rewarded with a great life and great friends.

  20. Steven Gobble says:

    One of my heroes. Hallelujah

  21. Helen says:

    You are not alone. I get a lot of those questions too since I was in High school and way up to college, and even at work. I get judged most of the time (especially in High school), but then, I was once told by a male friend at church that he appreciated us, female pentecostals, for following what the bible says about hair and female attire because it is not only a lifestyle or way of “fashion,” but it is also a form of witnessing to other people. And with your blog, I have been reminded of it again that our labour is not in vain, we are being a witness of our faith, and we are evangelizing simply just by the way we look. Great blog. Keep it up my sister in Christ!

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