at Bethel Bible College
whose sudden outburst of unintelligible
speech in 1901
kicked off the modern Pentecostal
movement within Christianity
. Believing that they had been visited by the Holy Spirit
in the manner of the Apostles
(who on the day of Pentecost
were miraculously able to preach
in many languages), school founder Charles Parnham
claimed that local language experts had identified Agnes's languages as Chinese
- though this was never confirmed outside the movement and there is no evidence of such experts ever being called in. Doubts as to the validity of Ms. Ozman's experience (and later, other students at the school) from both secular
quarters didn't dampen the zeal of these believers - other students began to lapse into tongues while worshiping and the movement soon spread like wildfire.
The attempts of Pentecostal missionaries to "speak in tongues" to native peoples in hopes of being understood resulted in blank looks and general embarassment. These days, few claim that the phenomenon has any connection to earthly language.