Sunday, April 16, 2006

100th Anniversary of Azusa Street

The Azusa Street revival had it's humble beginnings in a converted stable. They were united around the belief that the Holy Spirit still worked miracles.

The Pentecostal and charismatic Christians roots are in those very revivals. And, there are about 600 million believers who are among the fastest growing segment of Christianity.

The 100th anniversary will be celebrated worldwide, with thousands expected to participate in an Azusa Street Centennial in Los Angeles from April 25-29.

What hasn't been known widely is the humble beginnings of the movement. It first began in 1906 in a small house on Azusa Street. A black pastor, named Wiliam Seymour preached for 3 weeks on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which empowers them to heal, prophesy,and speak in tongues. The crowd soon became so big, he had to move to his front porch and used it as his pulpit. It soon was moved to an old building that held livestock.

This was at the height of the Jim Crow era, but these meetings included blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians from Los Angeles.

The crowd was very rowdy and soon got the names "Holy Rollers", "Holy Jumpers", "Tangled Tongues", and "Holy Ghosters".

News of this revival soon got around the world. It brought people from around the world to the meetings. The Azusa Street Mission published their own paper and it was distributed to 50,000, some overseas.

Synan points out that having a black man, Seymour, in charge "with white men under his authority" was considered miraculous.

"From that day on I would say Pentecostalism has had more crossing of ethnic boundaries than any movement in the world in Christianity."

Linked at Conservative Cat

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