Howard A. Goss was part of the Pentecostal movement since the very early 1900s. He helped to organize the Assemblies of God. He became the General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Church Incorporated, which later merged with another organization to form the United Pentecostal Church. Goss became the first General Superintendent of the UPC in 1945.
In the late 1950s, his wife, Ethel E. Goss, wrote a book with his input on the early years of the Pentecostal movement from 1901 to 1914. It is called The Winds of God.
There are many people involved in Oneness Pentecostal churches who are yet unaware of how things were different in the earlier days of their movement. There wasn’t the same emphasis on outward standards and there were differences in beliefs concerning when a person was saved. Goss himself believed that both Trinitarians and Oneness believers were saved and believed that water baptism was performed after a person was saved.
In regard to outward standards, below is what Mrs. Goss wrote on page 69 (of the revised version and page 38 of the original version):
We did not wear uniforms. The lady workers dressed in the current fashions of the day…silks…satins…jewels or whatever they happened to possess. They were very smartly turned out, so that they made an impressive appearance on the streets where a large part of our work was conducted in the early years.
It was not until long after, when former Holiness preachers had become part of us, that strict plainness of dress began to be taught.
Although Entire Sanctification was preached at the beginning of the Movement, it was from a Wesleyan viewpoint, and had in it very little of the later Holiness Movement characteristics. Nothing was ever said about apparel, for everyone was so taken up with the Lord that mode of dress seemingly never occurred to any of us.
Galatians 2:4 came to mind as I posted this quote. While it may not fully fit, to me it does at least in part: “But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.” (NASB) Could it be that a reason why so many today are now overly concerned with the outward is because they may not be “so taken up with the Lord”?