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God's General Williams J Seymour and the Azuza street revival




The Azusa Street Revival was a historic revival meeting that
took place in Los Angeles, California , and is the origin of

the Pentecostal movement.[1] It was led by William J.
Seymour , an African American preacher . It began with a
meeting on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915.
The revival was characterized by spiritual experiences
accompanied with testimonies of physical healing
miracles , [2] worship services and speaking in tongues. The
participants were criticized by the secular media and
Christian theologians for behaviors considered to be
outrageous and unorthodox, especially at the time. Today,
the revival is considered by historians to be the primary
catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th
century.
Background
Los Angeles
William J. Seymour , leader of
the Azusa Street Revival
In 1905, William J. Seymour, the one-eyed 34-year-old son
of freed slaves, was a student of well-known Pentecostal
preacher Charles Parham and an interim pastor for a small
holiness church in Topeka, Kansas .[3] Neely Terry, an
African American woman who attended a small holiness
church pastored by Julia Hutchins in Los Angeles, made a
trip to visit family in Houston late in 1905. [4] While in
Houston, she visited Seymour's church, where he preached
on receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in
other tongues, and though he had not experienced this
personally, Terry was impressed with his character and
message. Once home in California, Terry suggested that
Seymour be invited to speak at the local church. [5] Seymour
received and accepted the invitation in February 1906, and
he received financial help and a blessing from Parham for
his planned one-month visit. [4][6]
Seymour arrived in Los Angeles on February 22, 1906, [7][8]
and within two days was preaching at Julia Hutchins' church
at the corner of Ninth Street and Santa Fe Avenue. [5] During
his first sermon, he preached that speaking in tongues was
the first biblical evidence of the inevitable infilling in the
Holy Spirit . [9] On the following Sunday, March 4, he
returned to the church and found that Hutchins had
padlocked the door. [10] Elders of the church rejected
Seymour's teaching, primarily because he had not yet
experienced the blessing about which he was preaching.[4]
Condemnation of his message also came from the Holiness
Church Association of Southern California with which the
church had affiliation. [6] However, not all members of
Hutchins' church rejected Seymour's preaching. He was
invited to stay in the home of congregation member
Edward S. Lee, and he began to hold Bible studies and
prayer meetings there.
North Bonnie Brae Street
Seymour and his wife, Jennie
House on Bonnie Brae Street
Seymour and his small group of new followers soon
relocated to the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry at 216
North Bonnie Brae Street. [7] White families from local
holiness churches began to attend as well. The group would
get together regularly and pray to receive the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. On April 9, 1906, after five weeks of Seymour's
preaching and prayer , and three days into an intended 10-
day fast , [10] Edward S. Lee spoke in tongues for the first
time. [11][12] At the next meeting, Seymour shared Lee's
testimony and preached a sermon on Acts 2 :4 and soon six
others began to speak in tongues as well, [6][11] including
Jennie Moore, who would later become Seymour's wife. A
few days later, on April 12, Seymour spoke in tongues for
the first time after praying all night long. [13][14]
News of the events at North Bonnie Brae St. quickly
circulated among the African American, Latino and White
residents of the city, and for several nights, various
speakers would preach to the crowds of curious and
interested onlookers from the front porch of the Asberry
home. Members of the audience included people from a
broad spectrum of income levels and religious
backgrounds. Hutchins eventually spoke in tongues as her
whole congregation began to attend the meetings. Soon the
crowds became very large and were full of people speaking
in tongues, shouting, singing and moaning. Finally, the front
porch collapsed, forcing the group to begin looking for a
new meeting place. [12] A resident of the neighborhood
described the happenings at 216 North Bonnie Brae with the
following words:
Azusa Street
Conditions
The Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa
Street, now considered to be the
birthplace of Pentecostalism
The group from Bonnie Brae Street eventually discovered
an available building at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los
Angeles, which had originally been constructed as an
African Methodist Episcopal Church in what was then an
impoverished part of town. [12] The rent was $8.00 per
month. [15] A newspaper referred to the downtown Los
Angeles building as a "tumble down shack". Since the
church had moved out, the building had served as a
wholesale house, a warehouse, a lumberyard, stockyards, a
tombstone shop, and had most recently been used as a
stable with rooms for rent upstairs. It was a small,
rectangular, flat-roofed building, approximately 60 feet
(18 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide, totaling 2,400 square
feet (220 m 2 ), sided with weathered whitewashed
clapboards. The only sign that it had once been a house of
God was a single Gothic-style window over the main
entrance. [12]
Discarded lumber and plaster littered the large, barn-like
room on the ground floor.[16][17] Nonetheless, it was
secured and cleaned in preparation for services. They held
their first meeting on April 14, 1906. [11][14][18] Church
services were held on the first floor where the benches were
placed in a rectangular pattern. Some of the benches were
simply planks put on top of empty nail kegs. [10][12] There
was no elevated platform, as the ceiling was only eight feet
high. [18] Initially there was no pulpit. Frank Bartleman , an
early participant in the revival, recalled that "Brother
Seymour generally sat behind two empty shoe boxes, one
on top of the other. He usually kept his head inside the top
one during the meeting, in prayer. There was no pride
there.... In that old building, with its low rafters and bare
floors..." [6]
The second floor at the now-named Apostolic Faith
Mission[11] housed an office and rooms for several
residents including Seymour and his new wife, Jennie. It
also had a large prayer room to handle the overflow from
the altar services below. The prayer room was furnished
with chairs and benches made from California Redwood
planks, laid end to end on backless chairs.[6]
By mid-May 1906, anywhere from 300 [4] to 1,500 people
would attempt to fit into the building. Since horses had very
recently been the residents of the building, flies constantly
bothered the attendees.[18] People from a diversity of
backgrounds came together to worship: men, women,
children, black , white , Hispanic , Asian , rich , poor , illiterate ,
and educated . [14] People of all ages flocked to Los
Angeles with both skepticism and a desire to participate. [4]
[18] The intermingling of races and the group's
encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable, as
1906 was the height of the " Jim Crow " era of racial
segregation, [11] and fourteen years prior to women
receiving suffrage in the United States.
Services and worship
Worship at 312 Azusa Street was frequent and spontaneous
with services going almost around the clock. Among those
attracted to the revival were not only members of the
Holiness Movement, but also Baptists , Mennonites,
Quakers, and Presbyterians . [15] An observer at one of the
services wrote these words:
The Los Angeles Times was not so kind in its description:
The first edition of the Apostolic Faith publication claimed a
common reaction to the revival from visitors:
Azusa Street Historical Sign in Los
Angeles, CA
Among first-hand accounts were reports of the blind having
their sight restored, diseases cured instantly, and
immigrants speaking in German, Yiddish , and Spanish all
being spoken to in their native language by uneducated
black members, who translated the languages into English
by "supernatural ability".[9]
Singing was sporadic and in a cappella or occasionally
there would be singing in tongues . There were periods of
extended silence. Attenders were occasionally slain in the
Spirit . Visitors gave their testimony , and members read
aloud testimonies that were sent to the mission by mail.
There was prayer for the gift of tongues. There was prayer
in tongues for the sick, for missionaries, and whatever
requests were given by attenders or mailed in. There was
spontaneous preaching and altar calls for salvation ,
sanctification and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lawrence
Catley, whose family attended the revival, said that in most
services preaching consisted of Seymour opening a Bible
and worshippers coming forward to preach or testify as they
were led by the Holy Spirit. [19] Many people would
continually shout throughout the meetings. The members of
the mission never took an offering , but there was a
receptacle near the door for anyone that wanted to support
the revival. The core membership of the Azusa Street
Mission was never much more than 50–60 individuals with
hundreds and thousands of people visiting or staying
temporarily over the years. [5]
Charles Parham
Main article: Charles Parham
By October 1906, Charles Parham was invited to speak for a
series of meetings at Azusa Street but was quickly un-
invited. Parham had personality conflicts with Seymour and
wanted to be the chief authority figure of the movement
that was taking place, but the presiding leaders of the
Apostolic Faith Mission were slow to make any changes to
their methods or leadership. [20]
Criticism
In a skeptical front-page story titled "Weird Babel of
Tongues", [18] a Los Angeles Times reporter attempted to
describe what would soon be known as the Azusa Street
Revival. "Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a
creed which it would seem no sane mortal could
understand", the story began, "the newest religious sect has
started in Los Angeles".[21] Another local paper reporter in
September 1906 described the happenings with the
following words:
The attendees were often described as "Holy Rollers ", "Holy
Jumpers", "Tangled Tonguers" and "Holy Ghosters". Reports
were published throughout the U.S. and the world of the
strange happenings in Los Angeles.[13]
LA Times article criticizing the behavior of the
revivalists at Azusa Street.
Christians from many traditions were critical, saying the
movement was hyper-emotional, misused Scripture and lost
focus on Christ by overemphasizing the Holy Spirit. [11]
Within a short time ministers were warning their
congregations to stay away from the Azusa Street Mission.
Some called the police and tried to get the building shut
down. [12]
Apostolic Faith publication
Headline of the first ever publication of the Apostolic
Faith , from September 1906
Also starting in September 1906 was the publication of the
revival's own newsletter, the Apostolic Faith .[22] Issues
were published occasionally up until May 1908, mostly
through the work of Seymour and a white woman named
Clara Lum, [14] a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
The Apostolic Faith was distributed without charge, and
thousands of laypersons and ministers received copies
worldwide. Five thousand copies of the first edition were
printed, and by 1907 the press run reached over 40,000. [4]
[6][23]
The Apostolic Faith publication reported the happenings at
the Azusa Street Mission to the world. Its first issue's lead
story was titled "Pentecost has Come". It contained a letter
from Charles Parham, an article on Pentecost from Acts ,
and a series of anecdotes of people's experience within the
revival. [24] One edition in 1907 wrote, "One token of the
Lord's coming is that He is melting all races and nations
together, and they are filled with the power and glory of
God. He is baptizing by one spirit into one body and making
up a people that will be ready to meet Him when He
comes". [4] The Apostolic Faith brought increasing attention
to the happenings at Azusa Street and the fledgling
movement that was emerging from the revival. [23]
Legacy
By 1913, the revival at Azusa Street had lost momentum,
and most of the media attention and crowds had left by
1915. Seymour remained there with his wife, Jennie, for the
rest of their lives as pastors of the small African American
congregation, [16] though he often made short trips to help
establish other smaller revivals later in life. After Seymour
died of a heart attack[5] on September 28, 1922, Jennie led
the church until 1931, when the congregation lost the
building.[9]
Sending of missionaries
As The Apostolic Faith and many secular reports advertised
the events of the Azusa Street Revival internationally,
thousands of individuals visited the mission in order to
witness it firsthand. At the same time, thousands of people
were leaving Azusa Street with intentions of evangelizing
abroad. [16][18] Reverend K. E. M. Spooner visited the
revival in 1909 and became one of the Pentecostal Holiness
Church 's most effective missionaries in Africa, working
among the Tswana people of Botswana .[7][25]
A. G. Garr and his wife were sent from Azusa Street as
missionaries to Calcutta, India , where they managed to start
a small revival. Speaking in tongues in India did not enable
them to speak the native language, Bengali. The Garrs later
traveled to China where they arrived in Hong Kong and
began to spread Pentecostalism in mainland China. They
did this by working through other Protestant churches and
organizations that had already been established. [26] Garr
significantly contributed to early Pentecostalism through his
later work in redefining the "biblical evidence" doctrine and
changing the doctrine from a belief that speaking in
tongues was explicitly for evangelism to a belief that
speaking in tongues was a gift for "spiritual
empowerment". [5]
Missionary Bernt Bernsten traveled all the way from North
China to investigate the happenings after hearing that the
biblical prophecy of Acts 2:4 was being fulfilled. Other
visitors left the revival to become missionaries in remote
areas all over the world. [4][14] So many missionaries went
out from Azusa (some thirty-eight left in October 1906) that
within two years the movement had spread to over fifty
nations, including Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland,
Egypt, Syria, Palestine, South Africa, Hong Kong, China,
Ceylon and India. Christian leaders visited from all over the
world. [10]
Birth of Pentecostal movement
The leaders of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
Seymour is front row, second from the right;
Jennie is back row, third from left.
By the end of 1906, most leaders from Azusa Street had
spun off to form other congregations, such as the 51st
Street Apostolic Faith Mission, the Spanish AFM, and the
Italian Pentecostal Mission. These missions were largely
composed of immigrant or ethnic groups. The Southeast
United States was a particularly prolific area of growth for
the movement, since Seymour's approach gave a useful
explanation for a charismatic spiritual climate that had
already been taking root in those areas. Other new missions
were based on preachers who had charisma and energy.
Nearly all of these new churches were founded among
immigrants and the poor. [ citation needed ]
Many existing Wesleyan-holiness denominations adopted
the Pentecostal message, such as the Church of God
(Cleveland, Tennessee) , the Church of God in Christ, and
the Pentecostal Holiness Church . The formation of new
denominations also occurred, motivated by doctrinal
differences between Wesleyan Pentecostals and their
Finished Work counterparts, such as the Assemblies of God
formed in 1914 and the Pentecostal Church of God formed
in 1919. An early doctrinal controversy led to a split
between Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostals , the latter
founded the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in
1916. [27]
Today, there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and
charismatic believers across the globe, [28] and it is the
fastest-growing form of Christianity today. [9] The Azusa
Street Revival is commonly regarded as the beginning of the
modern-day Pentecostal Movement. [16][29][30]
References
1. ^ Corcoran, Michael. "How a humble preacher ignited
the Pentecostal fire" . Cox News Services . Retrieved
November 19, 2011.
2. ^ Tommy Welchel, True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa
Street and Beyond: Re-live One of The Greastest
Outpourings in History that is Breaking Loose Once Again,
Destiny Image, 2013
3. ^ Cloud, David. "AZUSA STREET MISSION" . Retrieved
2007-05-24.
4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Azusa History" . International Center
for Spiritual Renewal. Archived from the original on May
11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
5. ^ a b c d e f Hayford, Jack W.; Moore, S. David (2006).
The Charismatic Century: The Enduring Impact of the Azusa
Street Revival (August 2006 ed.). Warner Faith.
ISBN 978-0-446-57813-4 .
6. ^ a b c d e f McGee, Gary. "William J. Seymour and the
Azusa Street Revival" . Enrichment Journal. Archived
from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
7. ^ a b c "IPHC Azusa Street Links – 1901 to Present" .
International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Archived from
the original on June 5, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
8. ^ Cline, Austin (February 22, 2004). "This Date in History:
Azusa Street Revival" . atheism.about.com. Archived from
the original on October 24, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
9. ^ a b c d e Newmann, Richard; Tinney, James S. (1978).
Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the
Twentieth Century . G. K. Hall & Co. ISBN 0-8161-8137-3 .
10. ^ a b c d e MacRobert, Iain (1988). The Black Roots
and White Racism of Early Pentecostalism in the USA.
London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 0-333-43997-X .
11. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Marshall (April 15, 2006).
"Pentecostal Movement Celebrates Humble Roots" . The
Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
12. ^ a b c d e f g Synan, Vinson (2001). The Century of the
Holy Spirit: 100 years of Pentecostal and Charismatic
Renewal, 1901–2001 . Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
pp. 42–45. ISBN 0-7852-4550-2 .
13. ^ a b "Billy Wilson: The Miracle on Azusa Street" . The
700 Club. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
14. ^ a b c d e Blumhofer, Edith (2006-03-07). "Azusa
Street Revival" . religion-online.org. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
15. ^ a b Bartleman, Frank (1980). Azusa Street . Bridge-
Logos Publishers. ISBN 0-88270-439-7 .
16. ^ a b c d "Azusa St. and modern Pentecostalism – The
100 year celebration of what?" . Let us Reason Ministries.
Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved
2007-05-17.
17. ^ "Azusa Street Revival (1906–1909)" .
lutherproductions.com. Archived from the original on
June 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
18. ^ a b c d e f Strand, Paul. "The Lasting Impact of the
Azusa Street Revival" . CBNnews.com. Archived from the
original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
19. ^ Dove, Stephen (2009). "Hymnody and Liturgy in the
Azusa Street Revival, 1906-1908". Pneuma. 31 (2): 242–63.
doi :10.1163/027209609X12470371387840 .
20. ^ Burgess, Stanley M.; McGee, Gary B. (1988).
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements .
1415 Lake Drive, SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:
Zondervan Publishing House. pp. 31–36.
ISBN 0-310-44100-5 .
21. ^ Ted, Olsen (1998-04-01). "American Pentecost" .
ChristianityTodayLibrary.com. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
22. ^ "Azusa Street Mission" . The Latter Rain Page.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
23. ^ a b "William Joseph Seymour: The father of
Pentecostalism | Azusa Street: The Impact" . 2001-04-17.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
24. ^ "Page 1 Reprint" . Archived from the original on
July 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
25. ^ "REVEREND JOHN W. BROOKS" . Mighty Moments.
Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-21.
26. ^ Espinosa, Gaston. William J. Seymour and the Origins
of Global Pentecostalism. Duke University Press, 2014, p.89.
27. ^ Synan, Vinson (1997). The Holiness–Pentecostal
Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century .
Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company . pp. 71, 125, 153–164. ISBN 978-0-8028-4103-2 .
28. ^ "Spirit and Power: A 10 Country Survey of
Pentecostals" . Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
October 6, 2006.
29. ^ "Azusa Street revival (Pentecostal movement)" .
Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
30. ^ Poloma, Margaret M. (1982). The Charismatic
Movement: Is there a new Pentecost? . G. K. Hall & Co.
ISBN 0-8057-9701-7 .
Further reading
Campbell, Marne L. "'The Newest Religious Sect Has
Started in Los Angeles': Race, Class, Ethnicity, and the
Origins of the Pentecostal Movement, 1906-1913," The
Journal of African American History 95#1 (2010), pp. 1–25
in JSTOR
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Azusa Street Revival
They shouted three days and three
nights. It was Easter season. The
people came from everywhere. By the
next morning there was no way of
getting near the house. As people
came in they would fall under God's
power; and the whole city was stirred.
They shouted until the foundation of
the house gave
way, but no one was hurt.
 The group from Bonnie Brae Street eventually discovered
an available building at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los
Angeles, which had originally been constructed as an
African Methodist Episcopal Church in what was then an
impoverished part of town. [12] The rent was $8.00 per
month. [15] A newspaper referred to the downtown Los
Angeles building as a "tumble down shack". Since the
church had moved out, the building had served as a
wholesale house, a warehouse, a lumberyard, stockyards, a
tombstone shop, and had most recently been used as a
stable with rooms for rent upstairs. It was a small,
rectangular, flat-roofed building, approximately 60 feet
(18 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide, totaling 2,400 square
feet (220 m 2 ), sided with weathered whitewashed
clapboards. The only sign that it had once been a house of
God was a single Gothic-style window over the main
entrance. [12]
Discarded lumber and plaster littered the large, barn-like
room on the ground floor.[16][17] Nonetheless, it was
secured and cleaned in preparation for services. They held
their first meeting on April 14, 1906. [11][14][18] Church
services were held on the first floor where the benches were
placed in a rectangular pattern. Some of the benches were
simply planks put on top of empty nail kegs. [10][12] There
was no elevated platform, as the ceiling was only eight feet
high. [18] Initially there was no pulpit. Frank Bartleman , an
early participant in the revival, recalled that "Brother
Seymour generally sat behind two empty shoe boxes, one
on top of the other. He usually kept his head inside the top
one during the meeting, in prayer. There was no pride
there.... In that old building, with its low rafters and bare
floors..." [6]
The second floor at the now-named Apostolic Faith
Mission[11] housed an office and rooms for several
residents including Seymour and his new wife, Jennie. It
also had a large prayer room to handle the overflow from
the altar services below. The prayer room was furnished
with chairs and benches made from California Redwood
planks, laid end to end on backless chairs.[6]
By mid-May 1906, anywhere from 300 [4] to 1,500 people
would attempt to fit into the building. Since horses had very
recently been the residents of the building, flies constantly
bothered the attendees.[18] People from a diversity of
backgrounds came together to worship: men, women,
children, black , white , Hispanic , Asian , rich , poor , illiterate ,
and educated . [14] People of all ages flocked to Los
Angeles with both skepticism and a desire to participate. [4]
[18] The intermingling of races and the group's
encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable, as
1906 was the height of the " Jim Crow " era of racial
segregation, [11] and fourteen years prior to women
receiving suffrage in the United States.
Services and worship
Worship at 312 Azusa Street was frequent and spontaneous
with services going almost around the clock. Among those
attracted to the revival were not only members of the
Holiness Movement, but also Baptists , Mennonites,
Quakers, and Presbyterians . [15] An observer at one of the
services wrote these words:
The Los Angeles Times was not so kind in its description:
The first edition of the Apostolic Faith publication claimed a
common reaction to the revival from visitors:
Azusa Street Historical Sign in Los
Angeles, CA
Among first-hand accounts were reports of the blind having
their sight restored, diseases cured instantly, and
immigrants speaking in German, Yiddish , and Spanish all
being spoken to in their native language by uneducated
black members, who translated the languages into English
by "supernatural ability".[9]
Singing was sporadic and in a cappella or occasionally
there would be singing in tongues . There were periods of
extended silence. Attenders were occasionally slain in the
Spirit . Visitors gave their testimony , and members read
aloud testimonies that were sent to the mission by mail.
There was prayer for the gift of tongues. There was prayer
in tongues for the sick, for missionaries, and whatever
requests were given by attenders or mailed in. There was
spontaneous preaching and altar calls for salvation ,
sanctification and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lawrence
Catley, whose family attended the revival, said that in most
services preaching consisted of Seymour opening a Bible
and worshippers coming forward to preach or testify as they
were led by the Holy Spirit. [19] Many people would
continually shout throughout the meetings. The members of
the mission never took an offering , but there was a
receptacle near the door for anyone that wanted to support
the revival. The core membership of the Azusa Street
Mission was never much more than 50–60 individuals with
hundreds and thousands of people visiting or staying
temporarily over the years. [5]
Charles Parham
Main article: Charles Parham
By October 1906, Charles Parham was invited to speak for a
series of meetings at Azusa Street but was quickly un-
invited. Parham had personality conflicts with Seymour and
wanted to be the chief authority figure of the movement
that was taking place, but the presiding leaders of the
Apostolic Faith Mission were slow to make any changes to
their methods or leadership. [20]
Criticism
In a skeptical front-page story titled "Weird Babel of
Tongues", [18] a Los Angeles Times reporter attempted to
describe what would soon be known as the Azusa Street
Revival. "Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a
creed which it would seem no sane mortal could
understand", the story began, "the newest religious sect has
started in Los Angeles".[21] Another local paper reporter in
September 1906 described the happenings with the
following words:
The attendees were often described as "Holy Rollers ", "Holy
Jumpers", "Tangled Tonguers" and "Holy Ghosters". Reports
were published throughout the U.S. and the world of the
strange happenings in Los Angeles.[13]
LA Times article criticizing the behavior of the
revivalists at Azusa Street.
Christians from many traditions were critical, saying the
movement was hyper-emotional, misused Scripture and lost
focus on Christ by overemphasizing the Holy Spirit. [11]
Within a short time ministers were warning their
congregations to stay away from the Azusa Street Mission.
Some called the police and tried to get the building shut
down. [12]
Apostolic Faith publication
Headline of the first ever publication of the Apostolic
Faith , from September 1906
Also starting in September 1906 was the publication of the
revival's own newsletter, the Apostolic Faith .[22] Issues
were published occasionally up until May 1908, mostly
through the work of Seymour and a white woman named
Clara Lum, [14] a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
The Apostolic Faith was distributed without charge, and
thousands of laypersons and ministers received copies
worldwide. Five thousand copies of the first edition were
printed, and by 1907 the press run reached over 40,000. [4]
[6][23]
The Apostolic Faith publication reported the happenings at
the Azusa Street Mission to the world. Its first issue's lead
story was titled "Pentecost has Come". It contained a letter
from Charles Parham, an article on Pentecost from Acts ,
and a series of anecdotes of people's experience within the
revival. [24] One edition in 1907 wrote, "One token of the
Lord's coming is that He is melting all races and nations
together, and they are filled with the power and glory of
God. He is baptizing by one spirit into one body and making
up a people that will be ready to meet Him when He
comes". [4] The Apostolic Faith brought increasing attention
to the happenings at Azusa Street and the fledgling
movement that was emerging from the revival. [23]
Legacy
By 1913, the revival at Azusa Street had lost momentum,
and most of the media attention and crowds had left by
1915. Seymour remained there with his wife, Jennie, for the
rest of their lives as pastors of the small African American
congregation, [16] though he often made short trips to help
establish other smaller revivals later in life. After Seymour
died of a heart attack[5] on September 28, 1922, Jennie led
the church until 1931, when the congregation lost the
building.[9]
Sending of missionaries
As The Apostolic Faith and many secular reports advertised
the events of the Azusa Street Revival internationally,
thousands of individuals visited the mission in order to
witness it firsthand. At the same time, thousands of people
were leaving Azusa Street with intentions of evangelizing
abroad. [16][18] Reverend K. E. M. Spooner visited the
revival in 1909 and became one of the Pentecostal Holiness
Church 's most effective missionaries in Africa, working
among the Tswana people of Botswana .[7][25]
A. G. Garr and his wife were sent from Azusa Street as
missionaries to Calcutta, India , where they managed to start
a small revival. Speaking in tongues in India did not enable
them to speak the native language, Bengali. The Garrs later
traveled to China where they arrived in Hong Kong and
began to spread Pentecostalism in mainland China. They
did this by working through other Protestant churches and
organizations that had already been established. [26] Garr
significantly contributed to early Pentecostalism through his
later work in redefining the "biblical evidence" doctrine and
changing the doctrine from a belief that speaking in
tongues was explicitly for evangelism to a belief that
speaking in tongues was a gift for "spiritual
empowerment". [5]
Missionary Bernt Bernsten traveled all the way from North
China to investigate the happenings after hearing that the
biblical prophecy of Acts 2:4 was being fulfilled. Other
visitors left the revival to become missionaries in remote
areas all over the world. [4][14] So many missionaries went
out from Azusa (some thirty-eight left in October 1906) that
within two years the movement had spread to over fifty
nations, including Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland,
Egypt, Syria, Palestine, South Africa, Hong Kong, China,
Ceylon and India. Christian leaders visited from all over the
world. [10]
Birth of Pentecostal movement
The leaders of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
Seymour is front row, second from the right;
Jennie is back row, third from left.
By the end of 1906, most leaders from Azusa Street had
spun off to form other congregations, such as the 51st
Street Apostolic Faith Mission, the Spanish AFM, and the
Italian Pentecostal Mission. These missions were largely
composed of immigrant or ethnic groups. The Southeast
United States was a particularly prolific area of growth for
the movement, since Seymour's approach gave a useful
explanation for a charismatic spiritual climate that had
already been taking root in those areas. Other new missions
were based on preachers who had charisma and energy.
Nearly all of these new churches were founded among
immigrants and the poor. [ citation needed ]
Many existing Wesleyan-holiness denominations adopted
the Pentecostal message, such as the Church of God
(Cleveland, Tennessee) , the Church of God in Christ, and
the Pentecostal Holiness Church . The formation of new
denominations also occurred, motivated by doctrinal
differences between Wesleyan Pentecostals and their
Finished Work counterparts, such as the Assemblies of God
formed in 1914 and the Pentecostal Church of God formed
in 1919. An early doctrinal controversy led to a split
between Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostals , the latter
founded the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in
1916. [27]
Today, there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and
charismatic believers across the globe, [28] and it is the
fastest-growing form of Christianity today. [9] The Azusa
Street Revival is commonly regarded as the beginning of the
modern-day Pentecostal Movement. [16][29][30]
References
1. ^ Corcoran, Michael. "How a humble preacher ignited
the Pentecostal fire" . Cox News Services . Retrieved
November 19, 2011.
2. ^ Tommy Welchel, True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa
Street and Beyond: Re-live One of The Greastest
Outpourings in History that is Breaking Loose Once Again,
Destiny Image, 2013
3. ^ Cloud, David. "AZUSA STREET MISSION" . Retrieved
2007-05-24.
4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Azusa History" . International Center
for Spiritual Renewal. Archived from the original on May
11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
5. ^ a b c d e f Hayford, Jack W.; Moore, S. David (2006).
The Charismatic Century: The Enduring Impact of the Azusa
Street Revival (August 2006 ed.). Warner Faith.
ISBN 978-0-446-57813-4 .
6. ^ a b c d e f McGee, Gary. "William J. Seymour and the
Azusa Street Revival" . Enrichment Journal. Archived
from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
7. ^ a b c "IPHC Azusa Street Links – 1901 to Present" .
International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Archived from
the original on June 5, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
8. ^ Cline, Austin (February 22, 2004). "This Date in History:
Azusa Street Revival" . atheism.about.com. Archived from
the original on October 24, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
9. ^ a b c d e Newmann, Richard; Tinney, James S. (1978).
Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the
Twentieth Century . G. K. Hall & Co. ISBN 0-8161-8137-3 .
10. ^ a b c d e MacRobert, Iain (1988). The Black Roots
and White Racism of Early Pentecostalism in the USA.
London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 0-333-43997-X .
11. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Marshall (April 15, 2006).
"Pentecostal Movement Celebrates Humble Roots" . The
Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
12. ^ a b c d e f g Synan, Vinson (2001). The Century of the
Holy Spirit: 100 years of Pentecostal and Charismatic
Renewal, 1901–2001 . Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
pp. 42–45. ISBN 0-7852-4550-2 .
13. ^ a b "Billy Wilson: The Miracle on Azusa Street" . The
700 Club. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
14. ^ a b c d e Blumhofer, Edith (2006-03-07). "Azusa
Street Revival" . religion-online.org. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
15. ^ a b Bartleman, Frank (1980). Azusa Street . Bridge-
Logos Publishers. ISBN 0-88270-439-7 .
16. ^ a b c d "Azusa St. and modern Pentecostalism – The
100 year celebration of what?" . Let us Reason Ministries.
Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved
2007-05-17.
17. ^ "Azusa Street Revival (1906–1909)" .
lutherproductions.com. Archived from the original on
June 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
18. ^ a b c d e f Strand, Paul. "The Lasting Impact of the
Azusa Street Revival" . CBNnews.com. Archived from the
original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
19. ^ Dove, Stephen (2009). "Hymnody and Liturgy in the
Azusa Street Revival, 1906-1908". Pneuma. 31 (2): 242–63.
doi :10.1163/027209609X12470371387840 .
20. ^ Burgess, Stanley M.; McGee, Gary B. (1988).
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements .
1415 Lake Drive, SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:
Zondervan Publishing House. pp. 31–36.
ISBN 0-310-44100-5 .
21. ^ Ted, Olsen (1998-04-01). "American Pentecost" .
ChristianityTodayLibrary.com. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
22. ^ "Azusa Street Mission" . The Latter Rain Page.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
23. ^ a b "William Joseph Seymour: The father of
Pentecostalism | Azusa Street: The Impact" . 2001-04-17.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
24. ^ "Page 1 Reprint" . Archived from the original on
July 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
25. ^ "REVEREND JOHN W. BROOKS" . Mighty Moments.
Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-21.
26. ^ Espinosa, Gaston. William J. Seymour and the Origins
of Global Pentecostalism. Duke University Press, 2014, p.89.
27. ^ Synan, Vinson (1997). The Holiness–Pentecostal
Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century .
Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company . pp. 71, 125, 153–164. ISBN 978-0-8028-4103-2 .
28. ^ "Spirit and Power: A 10 Country Survey of
Pentecostals" . Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
October 6, 2006.
29. ^ "Azusa Street revival (Pentecostal movement)" .
Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
30. ^ Poloma, Margaret M. (1982). The Charismatic
Movement: Is there a new Pentecost? . G. K. Hall & Co.
ISBN 0-8057-9701-7 .
Further reading
Campbell, Marne L. "'The Newest Religious Sect Has
Started in Los Angeles': Race, Class, Ethnicity, and the
Origins of the Pentecostal Movement, 1906-1913," The
Journal of African American History 95#1 (2010), pp. 1–25
in JSTOR
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless
otherwise noted.
Terms of Use • Privacy • Desktop
Azusa Street Revival
They shouted three days and three
nights. It was Easter season. The
people came from everywhere. By the
next morning there was no way of
getting near the house. As people
came in they would fall under God's
power; and the whole city was stirred.
They shouted until the foundation of
the house gave way, but no one was
hurt. [12]
No instruments of music are used.
None are needed. No choir- the angels
have been heard by some in the spirit.
No collections are taken. No bills have
been posted to advertise the meetings.
No church organization is back of it.
All who are in touch with God realize
as soon as they enter the meetings
that the Holy Ghost is the leader. [9]
Meetings are held in a tumble-down
shack on Azusa Street, and the
devotees of the weird doctrine
practice the most fanatical rites,
preach the wildest theories and work
themselves into a state of mad
excitement in their peculiar zeal.
African Americans and a sprinkling of
whites compose the congregation, and
night is made hideous in the
neighborhood by the howlings of the
worshippers, who spend hours
swaying forth and back in a nerve
racking attitude of prayer and
supplication. They claim to have the
"gift of tongues" and be able to
understand the babel. [5]
Proud, well-dressed preachers came to
"investigate". Soon their high looks
were replaced with wonder, then
conviction comes, and very often you
will find them in a short time
wallowing on the dirty floor, asking
God to forgive them and make them as
little children. [10]
[11/9, 8:36 PM] Dr Loyalty: Among first-hand accounts were reports of the blind having
their sight restored, diseases cured instantly, and
immigrants speaking in German, Yiddish , and Spanish all
being spoken to in their native language by uneducated
black members, who translated the languages into English
by "supernatural ability".[9]
Singing was sporadic and in a cappella or occasionally
there would be singing in tongues . There were periods of
extended silence. Attenders were occasionally slain in the
Spirit . Visitors gave their testimony , and members read
aloud testimonies that were sent to the mission by mail.
There was prayer for the gift of tongues. There was prayer
in tongues for the sick, for missionaries, and whatever
requests were given by attenders or mailed in. There was
spontaneous preaching and altar calls for salvation ,
sanctification and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lawrence
Catley, whose family attended the revival, said that in most
services preaching consisted of Seymour opening a Bible
and worshippers coming forward to preach or testify as they
were led by the Holy Spirit. [19] Many people would
continually shout throughout the meetings. The members of
the mission never took an offering , but there was a
receptacle near the door for anyone that wanted to support
the revival. The core membership of the Azusa Street
Mission was never much more than 50–60 individuals with
hundreds and thousands of people visiting or staying
temporarily over the years. [5]
Charles Parham
Main article: Charles Parham
By October 1906, Charles Parham was invited to speak for a
series of meetings at Azusa Street but was quickly un-
invited. Parham had personality conflicts with Seymour and
wanted to be the chief authority figure of the movement
that was taking place, but the presiding leaders of the
Apostolic Faith Mission were slow to make any changes to
their methods or leadership. [20]
Criticism
In a skeptical front-page story titled "Weird Babel of
Tongues", [18] a Los Angeles Times reporter attempted to
describe what would soon be known as the Azusa Street
Revival. "Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a
creed which it would seem no sane mortal could
understand", the story began, "the newest religious sect has
started in Los Angeles".[21] Another local paper reporter in
September 1906 described the happenings with the
following words:
The attendees were often described as "Holy Rollers ", "Holy
Jumpers", "Tangled Tonguers" and "Holy Ghosters". Reports
were published throughout the U.S. and the world of the
strange happenings in Los Angeles.[13]
LA Times article criticizing the behavior of the
revivalists at Azusa Street.
Christians from many traditions were critical, saying the
movement was hyper-emotional, misused Scripture and lost
focus on Christ by overemphasizing the Holy Spirit. [11]
Within a short time ministers were warning their
congregations to stay away from the Azusa Street Mission.
Some called the police and tried to get the building shut
down. [12]
Apostolic Faith publication
Headline of the first ever publication of the Apostolic
Faith , from September 1906
Also starting in September 1906 was the publication of the
revival's own newsletter, the Apostolic Faith .[22] Issues
were published occasionally up until May 1908, mostly
through the work of Seymour and a white woman named
Clara Lum, [14] a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
The Apostolic Faith was distributed without charge, and
thousands of laypersons and ministers received copies
worldwide. Five thousand copies of the first edition were
printed, and by 1907 the press run reached over 40,000. [4]
[6][23]
The Apostolic Faith publication reported the happenings at
the Azusa Street Mission to the world. Its first issue's lead
story was titled "Pentecost has Come". It contained a letter
from Charles Parham, an article on Pentecost from Acts ,
and a series of anecdotes of people's experience within the
revival. [24] One edition in 1907 wrote, "One token of the
Lord's coming is that He is melting all races and nations
together, and they are filled with the power and glory of
God. He is baptizing by one spirit into one body and making
up a people that will be ready to meet Him when He
comes". [4] The Apostolic Faith brought increasing attention
to the happenings at Azusa Street and the fledgling
movement that was emerging from the revival. [23]
Legacy
By 1913, the revival at Azusa Street had lost momentum,
and most of the media attention and crowds had left by
1915. Seymour remained there with his wife, Jennie, for the
rest of their lives as pastors of the small African American
congregation, [16] though he often made short trips to help
establish other smaller revivals later in life. After Seymour
died of a heart attack[5] on September 28, 1922, Jennie led
the church until 1931, when the congregation lost the
building.[9]
Sending of missionaries
As The Apostolic Faith and many secular reports advertised
the events of the Azusa Street Revival internationally,
thousands of individuals visited the mission in order to
witness it firsthand. At the same time, thousands of people
were leaving Azusa Street with intentions of evangelizing
abroad. [16][18] Reverend K. E. M. Spooner visited the
revival in 1909 and became one of the Pentecostal Holiness
Church 's most effective missionaries in Africa, working
among the Tswana people of Botswana .[7][25]
A. G. Garr and his wife were sent from Azusa Street as
missionaries to Calcutta, India , where they managed to start
a small revival. Speaking in tongues in India did not enable
them to speak the native language, Bengali. The Garrs later
traveled to China where they arrived in Hong Kong and
began to spread Pentecostalism in mainland China. They
did this by working through other Protestant churches and
organizations that had already been established. [26] Garr
significantly contributed to early Pentecostalism through his
later work in redefining the "biblical evidence" doctrine and
changing the doctrine from a belief that speaking in
tongues was explicitly for evangelism to a belief that
speaking in tongues was a gift for "spiritual
empowerment". [5]
Missionary Bernt Bernsten traveled all the way from North
China to investigate the happenings after hearing that the
biblical prophecy of Acts 2:4 was being fulfilled. Other
visitors left the revival to become missionaries in remote
areas all over the world. [4][14] So many missionaries went
out from Azusa (some thirty-eight left in October 1906) that
within two years the movement had spread to over fifty
nations, including Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland,
Egypt, Syria, Palestine, South Africa, Hong Kong, China,
Ceylon and India. Christian leaders visited from all over the
world. [10]
Birth of Pentecostal movement
The leaders of the Apostolic Faith Mission.
Seymour is front row, second from the right;
Jennie is back row, third from left.
By the end of 1906, most leaders from Azusa Street had
spun off to form other congregations, such as the 51st
Street Apostolic Faith Mission, the Spanish AFM, and the
Italian Pentecostal Mission. These missions were largely
composed of immigrant or ethnic groups. The Southeast
United States was a particularly prolific area of growth for
the movement, since Seymour's approach gave a useful
explanation for a charismatic spiritual climate that had
already been taking root in those areas. Other new missions
were based on preachers who had charisma and energy.
Nearly all of these new churches were founded among
immigrants and the poor. [ citation needed ]
Many existing Wesleyan-holiness denominations adopted
the Pentecostal message, such as the Church of God
(Cleveland, Tennessee) , the Church of God in Christ, and
the Pentecostal Holiness Church . The formation of new
denominations also occurred, motivated by doctrinal
differences between Wesleyan Pentecostals and their
Finished Work counterparts, such as the Assemblies of God
formed in 1914 and the Pentecostal Church of God formed
in 1919. An early doctrinal controversy led to a split
between Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostals , the latter
founded the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in
1916. [27]
Today, there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and
charismatic believers across the globe, [28] and it is the
fastest-growing form of Christianity today. [9] The Azusa
Street Revival is commonly regarded as the beginning of the
modern-day Pentecostal Movement. [16][29][30]
References
1. ^ Corcoran, Michael. "How a humble preacher ignited
the Pentecostal fire" . Cox News Services . Retrieved
November 19, 2011.
2. ^ Tommy Welchel, True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa
Street and Beyond: Re-live One of The Greastest
Outpourings in History that is Breaking Loose Once Again,
Destiny Image, 2013
3. ^ Cloud, David. "AZUSA STREET MISSION" . Retrieved
2007-05-24.
4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Azusa History" . International Center
for Spiritual Renewal. Archived from the original on May
11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
5. ^ a b c d e f Hayford, Jack W.; Moore, S. David (2006).
The Charismatic Century: The Enduring Impact of the Azusa
Street Revival (August 2006 ed.). Warner Faith.
ISBN 978-0-446-57813-4 .
6. ^ a b c d e f McGee, Gary. "William J. Seymour and the
Azusa Street Revival" . Enrichment Journal. Archived
from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
7. ^ a b c "IPHC Azusa Street Links – 1901 to Present" .
International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Archived from
the original on June 5, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
8. ^ Cline, Austin (February 22, 2004). "This Date in History:
Azusa Street Revival" . atheism.about.com. Archived from
the original on October 24, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
9. ^ a b c d e Newmann, Richard; Tinney, James S. (1978).
Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the
Twentieth Century . G. K. Hall & Co. ISBN 0-8161-8137-3 .
10. ^ a b c d e MacRobert, Iain (1988). The Black Roots
and White Racism of Early Pentecostalism in the USA.
London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 0-333-43997-X .
11. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Marshall (April 15, 2006).
"Pentecostal Movement Celebrates Humble Roots" . The
Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
12. ^ a b c d e f g Synan, Vinson (2001). The Century of the
Holy Spirit: 100 years of Pentecostal and Charismatic
Renewal, 1901–2001 . Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
pp. 42–45. ISBN 0-7852-4550-2 .
13. ^ a b "Billy Wilson: The Miracle on Azusa Street" . The
700 Club. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
14. ^ a b c d e Blumhofer, Edith (2006-03-07). "Azusa
Street Revival" . religion-online.org. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
15. ^ a b Bartleman, Frank (1980). Azusa Street . Bridge-
Logos Publishers. ISBN 0-88270-439-7 .
16. ^ a b c d "Azusa St. and modern Pentecostalism – The
100 year celebration of what?" . Let us Reason Ministries.
Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved
2007-05-17.
17. ^ "Azusa Street Revival (1906–1909)" .
lutherproductions.com. Archived from the original on
June 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
18. ^ a b c d e f Strand, Paul. "The Lasting Impact of the
Azusa Street Revival" . CBNnews.com. Archived from the
original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
19. ^ Dove, Stephen (2009). "Hymnody and Liturgy in the
Azusa Street Revival, 1906-1908". Pneuma. 31 (2): 242–63.
doi :10.1163/027209609X12470371387840 .
20. ^ Burgess, Stanley M.; McGee, Gary B. (1988).
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements .
1415 Lake Drive, SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:
Zondervan Publishing House. pp. 31–36.
ISBN 0-310-44100-5 .
21. ^ Ted, Olsen (1998-04-01). "American Pentecost" .
ChristianityTodayLibrary.com. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
22. ^ "Azusa Street Mission" . The Latter Rain Page.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
23. ^ a b "William Joseph Seymour: The father of
Pentecostalism | Azusa Street: The Impact" . 2001-04-17.
Retrieved 2007-05-17.
24. ^ "Page 1 Reprint" . Archived from the original on
July 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
25. ^ "REVEREND JOHN W. BROOKS" . Mighty Moments.
Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
Retrieved 2007-05-21.
26. ^ Espinosa, Gaston. William J. Seymour and the Origins
of Global Pentecostalism. Duke University Press, 2014, p.89.
27. ^ Synan, Vinson (1997). The Holiness–Pentecostal
Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century .
Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company . pp. 71, 125, 153–164. ISBN 978-0-8028-4103-2 .
28. ^ "Spirit and Power: A 10 Country Survey of
Pentecostals" . Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
October 6, 2006.
29. ^ "Azusa Street revival (Pentecostal movement)" .
Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
30. ^ Poloma, Margaret M. (1982). The Charismatic
Movement: Is there a new Pentecost? . G. K. Hall & Co.
ISBN 0-8057-9701-7 .
Further reading
Campbell, Marne L. "'The Newest Religious Sect Has
Started in Los Angeles': Race, Class, Ethnicity, and the
Origins of the Pentecostal Movement, 1906-1913," The
Journal of African American History 95#1 (2010), pp. 1–25
in JSTOR
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless
otherwise noted.
Terms of Use • Privacy • Desktop
Azusa Street Revival
They shouted three days and three
nights. It was Easter season. The
people came from everywhere. By the
next morning there was no way of
getting near the house. As people
came in they would fall under God's
power; and the whole city was stirred.
They shouted until the foundation of
the house gave way, but no one was
hurt. [12]
No instruments of music are used.
None are needed. No choir- the angels
have been heard by some in the spirit.
No collections are taken. No bills have
been posted to advertise the meetings.
No church organization is back of it.
All who are in touch with God realize
as soon as they enter the meetings
that the Holy Ghost is the leader. [9]
Meetings are held in a tumble-down
shack on Azusa Street, and the
devotees of the weird doctrine
practice the most fanatical rites,
preach the wildest theories and work
themselves into a state of mad
excitement in their peculiar zeal.
African Americans and a sprinkling of
whites compose the congregation, and
night is made hideous in the
neighborhood by the howlings of the
worshippers, who spend hours
swaying forth and back in a nerve
racking attitude of prayer and
supplication. They claim to have the
"gift of tongues" and be able to
understand the babel. [5]
Proud, well-dressed preachers came to
"investigate". Soon their high looks
were replaced with wonder, then
conviction comes, and very often you
will find them in a short time
wallowing on the dirty floor, asking
God to forgive them and make them as
little children. [10]
...disgraceful intermingling of the
races...they cry and make howling
noises all day and into the night. They
run, jump, shake all over, shout to the
top of their voice, spin around in
circles, fall out on the sawdust
blanketed floor jerking, kicking and
rolling all over it. Some of them pass
out and do not move for hours as
though they were dead. These people
appear to be mad, mentally deranged
or under a spell. They claim to be
filled with the spirit. They have a one
eyed, illiterate, Negro as their
preacher who stays on his knees
much of the time with his head
hidden between the wooden milk
crates. He doesn't talk very much but
at times he can be heard shouting,
"Repent," and he's supposed to be
running the thing... They repeatedly
sing the same song, "The Comforter
Has Come." [4]

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