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The Azusa Street Outpouring's 100-Year Birthday Celebration
Aimee Herd : Feb 28, 2006 : Azusa Street Centennial official site
Almost a century ago now, the Holy Spirit touched-down in Los Angeles in an amazing outpouring that sparked revivals in many other U.S. cities - even around the world.
The 1906 revival that came to be known simply as "Azusa Street" did much more than just renew the "Pentecostal movement" - it was a rebirth of hunger-for-the-Lord that continues to be expressed in congregations across denominational lines. It was a time of unity in prayer, worship and fellowship that is an example for us today, of the fact that, in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, black nor white; but just fellow Believers in the Lord.
Below is information on some of the 100th anniversary activities planned in the Los Angeles area, as well as some of the history behind the Azusa outpouring.
Beginning on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 the centennial celebration of the Azusa Street revival will begin with a procession and rally starting at the Bonnie Brae house and ending at the historic Azusa Street site.
Monday April 24th will begin many different sessions of prayer, training, speaking and equipping, in conjunction with the Azusa centennial, held in various venues including the Los Angeles Convention Center. The week-long celebration will conclude on Saturday April 29th at the Memorial Coliseum.
To find out more about the Azusa Street Centennial Celebration, log onto: www.azusastreet100.net .
A Little History
The outpouring of healings, spiritual renewal and salvations on Azusa St. began when African American pastor William Seymour was asked to preach at a small holiness congregation in L.A., pastored by Julia Hutchins. Seymour's message of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues was not appreciated by Hutchins however, who later locked the church doors on the pastor she had invited. (Pictured: William Seymour)
But Seymour remained steadfast in what he believed God was doing and, joined by others in the congregation who were hungry for a move of God, he began conducting prayer and worship services out of a couple's home on Bonnie Brae street. The official Azusa street centennial website has the account of what happened next…
…On April 9, 1906, a breakthrough occurred as Edward Lee was baptized with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues after Seymour had prayed with him. The two then made their way to the Asbery home. There they had a song, prayers and testimonies, followed by Seymour's sermon using Acts 2:4 as a text. Following the sermon, Lee raised his hands and began to speak in tongues. The Spirit of God moved upon those attending and six others began to speak in tongues that same evening. Jennie Moore, who would later marry William Seymour, was among them. She became the first woman in Los Angeles to receive the Spirit-baptism. She then began to sing in tongues and play the piano under the power of God, having never played the piano prior. (MORE...)
A few days later, on April 12, William Seymour finally received his baptism at about four o'clock in the morning, after having prayed all night long. One eye-witness, Emma Cotton, later reminisced about those experiences: They shouted three days and nights. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning, there was no way of getting near the house. As the people came in they would fall under the power, and the whole city was stirred. They shouted there until the foundation of the house gave way, but no one was hurt. During those three days, there were many people who received their baptism, who had just come to see what it was. The sick were healed, and sinners were saved just as they came in.
Due to the overwhelming response of the people to the gatherings, the meetings had to be moved to a larger venue, eventually landing at a building used for housing hay and livestock at 312 Azusa Street. From there the meetings grew exponentially and the press published newspaper accounts around the world, of this powerful move of God.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things that took place during the revival was the "color-lines washed away by the blood" of Jesus. According to the website:
Thousands learned of the revival and were drawn to the meeting. They all came together in worship: men, women, children, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, rich, poor, illiterate, and educated. They flocked to Los Angeles with both skepticism and spiritual hunger.
Effects of the Azusa Revival
The Azusa Street revival had many lasting effects on those who were touched there...
As a direct result of the Azusa Street outpouring, thousands of individuals were led into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. People began to study the Word of God, become convicted of sin, and surrender their lives to Christ. They were baptized with the Holy Ghost, who led and guided them into greater spiritual truths found in the Word of God. The Spirit of God empowered them with boldness to fulfill the great commission. Signs and wonders followed those who believed, such as blinded eyes being opened, deaf being able to hear, mute being able to speak, the lame made to walk, and the dead raised to life again.
Revival participant A. C. Valdez, Sr. later wrote: On the platform, a black man [Seymour] sat behind two wooden boxes, one on top of the other. They were his pulpit.... Occasionally, as Pastor Seymour prayed, his head would be so low that it disappeared behind the top wooden box.... Everything about the Azusa Street Mission fascinated me-especially the prayer or "tarrying room" on the second floor. Usually one hundred or more black, brown and white people prayerfully waited there for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Dozens of canes, braces, crutches and blackened smoking pipes leaned against the barnlike walls.
Many times waves of glory would come over the tarrying room or meeting room, and people would cry out prayers of thanks or praise as they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Meetings used to go past midnight and into the early hours of the morning. Hours there seemed like minutes. Sometimes after a wave of glory, a lot of people would speak in tongues. Then a holy quietness would come over the place, followed by a chorus of prayer in languages we had never before heard.
Many were slain in the Spirit [in a trance-like state], buckling to the floor, unconscious, in a beautiful Holy Spirit cloud, and the Lord gave them visions. How I enjoyed shouting and praising God. During the tarrying, we used to break out in songs about Jesus and the Holy Spirit, "Fill Me Now," "Joy Unspeakable," and "Love Lifted Me."
Praise about the cleansing and precious blood of Jesus would just spring from our mouths. In between choruses, heavenly music would fill the hall, and we would break into tears. Suddenly the crowd seemed to forget how to sing in English. Out of their mouths would come new languages and lovely harmony that no human beings could have learned.
It's hard to ignore the significance of a centennial celebration, and this one just might be a catalyst for another outpouring by God. Already many Believers are signing up to be intercessors for the event. For more Azusa Street history and a listing of the Centennial Celebration events, log onto: www.azusastreet100.net or follow the link below.
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