The Assemblies of God presented SAGU alumna Verna M. Linzey a Certificate of Appreciation for 50 years of active ministry as an Assemblies of God minister and pastor. Rev. George Fessler, representing the Southern California Network of the Assemblies of God presented the honor on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at 11:30 am at the Southern California Network of the Assemblies of God in Irvine, California.
Rich Guerra who is the district superintendent could not be present due to a death in the family. But he stated in writing:
You have been a faithful Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 50 years and have been blessed by God during that time! You've seen so many changes in the world over the past 50 years as a Pastor with the Assemblies of God, and the words in Isaiah 38:3 remind me of your faithfulness: "Remember, Lord, how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in Your eyes." It is with humble admiration and respect that we from the SoCal Network of the Assemblies of God, acknowledge and honor you. Thank you for your unwavering devotion and service to the Kingdom of God.
Verna became a minister with the Assemblies of God in 1945 though she began ministering before that date in crusades with her brother Franklin Hall and other reputable church leaders. She is now 96 years of age and is still active.
Born in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1919, Verna was impacted by those who were at the historic Azusa Street Revival. She herself ministered at the Azusa Mission site and in the historic Bonnie Brae Street house in 2012 where revival broke out, as documented on footage. The theology and teachings of Ernest S. Williams and P.C. Nelson have influenced Verna's doctrine. She has developed a highly effective way to teach the central message of the Pentecostal Movement called the baptism in the Spirit. As a result, with her late husband Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., who she led into the experience, many thousands have received the experience and pressed on toward maturity in Christian living.
Verna's book, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit, has been used in 100 Bible schools with the help of Wonsuk Ma, Ph.D., who is the director of the Oxford Centre for Missions Studies. This work won her the 2006, "Best Non-Fiction of the Year" Award from the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verna_M._Linzey ).
Verna attended Southwestern Bible School (now SAGU) when P.C. Nelson was the president, later audited the entire Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller Theological Seminary, and later received a Doctor of Divinity degree at Kingsway Theological Seminary. Verna has been certified as an Assemblies of God Church Planter. Accolades include "Leader of the Year" award presented at the 2011 Leadership Summit at the Heritage Foundation. She also received the "National Bible Teacher of the Year" award in 2012.
The Rev. Dr. Robert H. Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral once wrote to Verna, saying, "You really are a most remarkable person and tremendous inspiration to all of us. God has truly blessed you with not only wisdom and insight, but with a beautiful spirit as well."
Verna has written several book on the Holy Spirit. Her greatest work has undoubtedly been as a member of various Bible translation committees, working on translations such as the Modern English Version and as chief editor of the New Tyndale Bible.