The Dream Center

Spirit-Infused and Socially Engaged Urban Ministry


  • Richard Flory University of Southern California
  • Donald Miller University of Southern California



love, service, social outreach, experience, urban ministry


In this article we investigate the Dream Center, a large-scale Pentecostal social outreach ministry and church, located in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. We ask three questions related to the development and forms of “Godly love” at the Dream Center. First, as a formal organization, how does the Dream Center facilitate and model the development of different forms of Godly love? Second, what forms of Godly love are found at the Dream Center? Third, what is the impetus to these forms and how are they activated into the practical action of helping others? We argue that the Dream Center represents a twenty-first-century expression of Pentecostalism that is both Spirit-animated and socially engaged with the world, rather than being other-worldly and inwardly focused on spiritual perfection. We argue further the Dream Center successfully embodies, animates, and motivates its members to pursue lives of love and service to others, through their experiences at the Dream Center. We conclude by suggesting that the Dream Center represents an emerging cultural desire by Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians for a faith that is both personally meaningful and engaged with today’s economic and social crises.


Anderson, Allan. 2004. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, Candy Gunther. 2011. Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing. New York: Oxford University Press.

Henry, Carl F.H. 1947. The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Horn, Ken, and John Cockroft. 2001. “LA Dream Center, Angelus Temple Make History, Reach More with Merge.” Today’s Pentecostal Evangel, 16 December. See http:// (accessed 5 October 2008).

Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. 2009. The Spirit in the World: Emerging Pentecostal Theologies in Global Contexts. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Lee, Matthew T. and Margaret Poloma. 2009. A Sociological Study of the Great Commandment in Pentecostalism: The Practice of Godly Love as Benevolent Service. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Miller, Donald E. and Tetsunao Yamamori. 2008. Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement. Berkeley, CA and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

Poloma, Margaret and John C. Green. 2010. The Assemblies of God: Godly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism. New York: NYU Press.

Poloma, Margaret, and Ralph Hood Jr. 2008. Blood and Fire: Godly Love in a Pentecostal Emerging Church. New York: NYU Press.






How to Cite

Flory, R., & Miller, D. (2012). The Dream Center: Spirit-Infused and Socially Engaged Urban Ministry. PentecoStudies, 11(1), 9-26.