A Thought about Azusa Street

We have our differences with classical Pentecostalism, especially with regard to the work of the Holy Spirit. But there is little doubt of classical Pentecostals’ love for Christ and their passion for missions. William J. Seymour (1870-1922), the preacher at the Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street, where Pentecostalism was born, was very Christocentric. “The baptism with the Holy Ghost gives us power to testify to a risen, resurrected Savior,” wrote Seymour. “Our affections are in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” [cited Gary B. McGee, “From Azusa Street to the Ends of the Earth.”] While I would strongly disagree with Seymour’s understanding of the baptism of the Spirit—he was actually a holiness preacher who believed that the baptism of the Spirit was a third work beyond conversion and entire sanctification—I can honour his passion for the glory of the Risen Christ and his desire to see that glory spread to the nations.

A discussion of centennial celebrations of what took place at Azusa Street in 1906 can be found here: Azusa Street Centennial. The section on the history is very well done.