Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The fire of the Holy Spirit fell on us. “That’s the picture painted by those attending the Azusa Street Revival, which took place in Los Angeles
in the early 1900s.

William J. Seymour, an African American preacher, became pastor of the Azusa Street Mission in April 1906. The mission was nothing more than an abandoned church building with apartments upstairs and a stable for horses below. It measured about forty by sixty feet.

Seymour, whose preaching stressed the gifts of the Holy Spirit, gave special attention to speaking in tongues (or glossolalia) as a sign that believers had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. The worship was devout and intense. People “fell back” under the power of God, and it times, worshippers would break into spontaneous singing in unscripted harmonies. Some claimed miracles and healings.

Fact: Some observers told newspaper reporters that God’s presence was so heavy on the Azusa Street Mission that people were knocked to the ground blocks from the mission building itself.

For the next three and a half years, the crowds continued to visit Azusa Street, staying around the clock despite the hot, smelly, fly-infested surroundings. As many as fifteen hundred people reportedly jammed the old stable, covering windows and doors and stifling every trace of a breeze. But the worshippers were undeterred.

Some claimed the meetings seemed to run themselves while Seymour knelt, deeply engrossed in prayer. The revival was multiracial and multidenominational and featured the poor and women prominently. Many who visited Azusa Street carried the flame of revival back to their own congregation, starting the modern Pentecostal movement.

[Jesus said] “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.Acts 1:8