Zion, Topeka, and Azusa Street are the three most prominent names in the last 120 years of church history in America. Two previous posts highlighted Zion, Illinois and Topeka, Kansas. As mentioned in my last post, William J. Seymour was in Houston, Texas, where he heard Charles Parham teaching in his Bible school. Through a series of divinely-orchestrated appointments Seymour arrived in Los Angeles, California, in early 1906, bringing the message of Pentecost with him.
Finding favor with local residents, William Seymour began laying hands on those desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit. On April 6, 1906 they were filled, with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. Thus began the Azusa Street revival. Crowds soon necessitated moving the meetings to a deserted warehouse, that once housed an African Methodist Episcopal Church. The address for the larger space was 312 Azusa Street.
Only 60 x40 feet, the building was hastily cleaned and made ready for the growing numbers of those hungry for this Pentecostal experience. Seymour presided over the daily services, often with a wooden box over his head. When God told him to remove the box, the Spirit of God began to move, often in miraculous ways. A humble man, William Seymour was mightily used by God to minister salvation, the infilling of the Spirit, and miracles.
Thousands of healings took place at 312 Azusa Street over the course of 3+ years. Goiters came off, the sick were made whole, the lame walked, the blind saw. Jesus, the Great Physician, was making house calls there. Then there were the miracles: arms growing out of empty sockets, eyes formed where none had ever had been. Legs grew out; New teeth replaced the rotting old. There was a reverence for the Presence of God that is rarely seen today.
The Azusa Street Revival had world-wide influence. People came from around the world to receive what God was offering through yielded vessels, such as William J. Seymour and others. Just over 100 years after its beginning, the effects of what took place at 312 Azusa Street are still being felt around the world. Major denominations, such as the Assemblies of God, the Church of God in Christ, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and many others trace their roots back to God's doings on Azusa Street.
Tommy Welchel met the children of Azusa Street in the 1960s, hearing their stories of what God did during the Azusa meetings, both through others and through them. God worked many healings and miracles through children and teenagers. Their stories are preserved in Tommy's book entitled, "They Told Me Their Stories." In this book the youth and children of Azusa Street tell their stories of what God accomplished at 312 Azusa Street, in Los Angeles, California. I strongly encourage you to get your own copy, as I have. Like me, you'll never be the same.
Zion, Topeka, and Azusa Street: three prominent names in church history. I hope you've enjoyed reading about these places, as well as their contributions to all of our lives today.
If you've enjoyed any or all of these posts please let me know. I'm always interested in others being blessed by what God has done in the past, knowing that God is the same today as He was in Zion (1896), Topeka (1900), and at 312 Azusa Street (1906).