By Roscoe Barnes III, PhD
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind "Christ the Healer"
Dr. H. Vinson Synan
(December 1, 1934 – March 15, 2020)
Dr. Vinson Synan, world-renowned lecturer and author, will undoubtedly be remembered as the premier historian of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements. His legacy includes his service as a professor, administrator, editor, and champion of ecumenism. He was also a husband and father.
Synan, who was born on December 1, 1934 in Hopewell, Va., died on a Sunday morning, March 15, 2020, at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, Okla. He was 85. He is survived by his wife, Carol Lee Fuqua Synan, and their children. He and Carol were married 59 years.
When news of his death appeared on Facebook and other social media platforms, a wave of tributes poured in from friends, family, students, colleagues and church leaders from across the United States and other nations. Many posted selfies and some shared memories. Everyone offered tributes that showed deep respect and gratitude for Synan as a person and scholar.
It was in the fall of 2004 when I reached out to Synan with a question about Bosworth and John G. Lake. At the time, I was doing research for a book on Bosworth. When I called Synan's office, he picked up the phone after the first ring, which surprised me. He seemed very interested in my project. He asked if I was working on a degree. I said no and explained that I was writing the book because of my personal interest in the topic. He asked if I had considered doing a PhD on Bosworth. At the time, it had not crossed my mind. But I told him I would entertain the idea. He suggested it would be a good topic for doctoral research. He also recommended Regent as a good school to consider.
Synan was a leader in the Pentecostal Holiness Church, where he served as director of evangelism. He published or edited more than 25 books. His many titles included The Century of the Holy Spirit and The Holiness Pentecostal Movement in the United States. Fifteen of his books are related to Pentecostal and charismatic history. Synan was a Scholar in Residence at Oral Roberts University. He also once served as the director of the Holy Spirit Research Center at ORU. In October 2018, the Virginia History Series name Synan to its Historical Hall of Fame.
Ecumenism in the Charismatic Renewal
|This document from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, identifies Dr. Vinson Synan as one of the external examiners of my doctoral thesis on F.F. Bosworth.|
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