Azusa Street Revival


Azusa Street Revival
First Hand Descriptions

The center of the Azusa Street Pentecostal revival, which began in 1906, was the Apostolic Faith Mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. Continuous meetings were held there every day for a period of three years beginning in mid-April, 1906.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Disgraceful intermingling of the races, they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, Negro as their preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn't talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting Repent," and he's supposed to be running the thing... They repeatedly sing the same song , 'The Comforter Has Come.'" - The Los Angeles Times (September 1906). From participants in the revival:


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SHAKING AND TREMBLING

The lead article of the third issue of The Apostolic Faith, published in November of 1906, is entitled "Bible Pentecost." Here are a few excerpts:

The news has spread far and wide that Los Angeles is being visited with a "rushing mighty wind from heaven." . . . One brother stated that even before his train entered the city, he felt the power of the revival. . . . There is such power in the preaching of the Word in the Spirit that people are shaken on the benches. Coming to the altar, many fall prostrate under the power of God, and often come out speaking in tongues. Sometimes the power falls on people and they are wrought upon by the Spirit during testimony or preaching and receive Bible experiences. . . . The demonstrations are not the shouting, clapping or jumping so often seen in camp meetings. There is a shaking such as the early Quakers had and which the old Methodists called the "jerks."

On the second page of the same issue, Glen A. Cook provided his testimony, in which he wrote:

I could feel the power going through me like electric needles. The Spirit taught me that I must not resist the power but give way and become limp as a piece of cloth. When I did this, I fell under the power, and God began to mold me and teach me what it meant to be really surrendered to Him. I was laid out under the power five times before Pentecost really came. Each time I would come out from under the power, I would feel so sweet and clean, as though I had been run through a washing machine. . . . My arms began to tremble, and soon I was shaken violently by a great power, and it seemed as though a large pipe was fitted over my neck, my head apparently being off. . . . About thirty hours afterwards, while sitting in the meeting on Azusa Street, I felt my throat and tongue begin to move, without any effort on my part. Soon I began to stutter and then out came a distinct language which I could hardly restrain. I talked and laughed with joy far into the night.

In the fourth issue (p. 4), G. W. Batman wrote, "I received the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire and now I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, not only in my heart but in my lungs, my hands, my arms and all through my body and at times I am shaken like a locomotive steamed up and prepared for a long journey."

William H. Durham recorded his testimony in the sixth issue of The Apostolic Faith (February-March, 1907), p. 4, where he wrote:

On Friday evening, March 1, His mighty power came over me, until I jerked and quaked under it for about three hours. It was strange and wonderful and yet glorious. He worked my whole body, one section at a time, first my arms, then my limbs, then my body, then my head, them my face, then my chin, and finally at 1 a.m. Saturday, Mar. 2, after being under the power for three hours, He finished the work on my vocal organs, and spoke through me in unknown tongues.

R. J. Scott, the superintendent of Home and Foreign Missions in Winnipeg, Manitoba, wrote as follows in The Apostolic Faith (February-March, 1907), p. 7:

After a trip of nearly 3500 miles, we arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday morning, Nov. 29. I left my family at a hotel and proceeded with my son on a search for Azusa Mission. After I was there a short time, a lady got up and testified, and the power of God fell on her and she began to tremble. . . . Well, glory to God, after this sister trembled for a few minutes, she started to speak in an unknown tongue to me, and to my surprise, after she had uttered a few sentences, she spoke in English, giving the interpretation of what she said.