Origin of Glossolalia in Relation to the COGIC Church
Speaking in tongues is an interfaith phenomenon that has roots in the bible, but also has branches in the environment I was raised in. Growing up in a Church of God in Christ church, which is the third largest pentecostal denomination in the world, every Sunday morning and Friday night I would witness people ecstatically break out into tongues after catching the holy spirit. This piqued my interest in its origin and meaning to the pentecostal church. Glossolalia, also known as speaking in tongues, is a vital aspect of the pentecostal COGIC church. Looking into glossolalic origins such as where it came from and its purpose can provide insight into the practices of the pentecostal COGIC church.
The Church of God in Christ started as a black sect of the Holiness movement in the Mississippi Valley. The black Holiness movement began in response to the Great Migration of blacks moving from the rural south to the urban north after changes in the agricultural economy. It gave African Americans an emotional release through the practices of shouting. Shouting is generally known as a loud outburst in church after being overwhelmed with the spirit of the Lord combined with fast dance similar to stepping. Baer says that this practice was popular in the black community as it provided a temporary spiritual relief from frustrations on racism and poverty. Overall, the goal of the Holiness movement was to promote sanctification of