Azusa Street Mission

Many trace the roots of the Latter Rain revival at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles California, even calling it the early rain of the last days. It was at this address in an abandoned warehouse that the Apostolic Faith Mission first welcomed the people in 1906. This same month an earthquake almost levelled San Francisco but the LA rumble from Azusa Street is still being measured on God's Richter scale.

The pastor of the Azusa Street Mission was William J. Seymour. Publishing a well-known newspaper called "The Apostolic Faith" beginning in September of 1906, it was one of the principal ways that the Azusa Street revival was spread. People from all over the country came to see what was happening and were led to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Visiting pastors would return from Azusa Street Mission to their own churches and spread the fire. Newspapers sent their reporters to the scene and the whole world heard what was going on, not only the faithful but even con artists, frauds and charlatans would come like Simon the magician to see if they could get a piece of the action.

Even though it lasted only three years, Azusa Street became a revival of major proportions and many thousands were converted and many nominal Christians became filled with the Spirit. For Pentecostals, the events of Azusa Street marks the beginning of modern Pentecostalism, many denominations date their beginnings to this original prayer meeting. Charles H. Mason received his baptism of the Spirit at the Azusa Street Mission and founded the Church of God in Christ. Gaston B. Cashwell returned to his southern home and witnessed several of the Holiness churches turn to Pentecostalism. The Assemblies of God, and the Church of God sprouted into full-fledged denominations almost overnight. Jennie Evans Moore was said to be the first woman in Los Angeles to speak in tongues, she became a minister at Azusa Street and an evangelist and she and William Seymour were later married.

"Don't go out of here talking about tongues; talk about Jesus," Seymour would say. Unfortunately for the church, these words were not heeded.

We should be glad that we have signs and wonders and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. We should praise God for every person that prophesies and speaks with tongues and interprets, for every one that heals and gets healed. The five-fold ministry is for today and every day, for each pastor, each evangelist, each bishop, each member of His body, thank God for all these things. But hear me now end-time church; if you can't put away your divisive ways toward other Christians, God will pass you by even in these last days and choose the ones who can. Please heed my words because I love you and have ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the churches.

The Apostolic Faith newspaper contains many accounts of spiritual manifestations similar to other revivals. Reports of shaking, being drunk in the spirit, falling and holy laughter are reported at Azusa Street as well as other places that this revival fire had spread. God is about to pour out His Holy Spirit more abundantly than at any other time in history; the great and wonderful news is that the fires of Azusa Street are still burning.

What we need today is to learn the lessons, what happened at Azusa Street divided more churches than it united. The ongoing refreshing of the Latter Rain must reach out beyond the conservative traditionalism that has tried to quench the spirit and we must speak with one voice before we can ever attain to the unity of the faith. Jesus will not return until we do. Speaking as one does not mean that we compromise with puritanism, legalism, charismatic confusion or make friends with the compromised church, but rather win them over by our own oneness, love and truth. As it has been said many times before: Guard the gifts of the spirit, brothers and sisters; protect them from corruption and abuse and put them in order.


Apostolic Faith Newspaper

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