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William J. Seymour | Azusa Street Revival Spreads Pentecost Around the World

In 1906, at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angelos, California an African-American preacher named William J. Seymour led the Azusa Street Revival. Thousands of people came seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and from Azusa Street Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues spread around the world.

Key Quote: What God did on Azusa Street, He wants to do on every street. – Dr. Larry Martin




https://www.pentecostalgold.com – Pentecostal Gold features sermons from R.W. Schambach, Aimee Semple McPherson, David Wilkerson, T.L. Osborn, Jimmy Swaggart, George O. Wood, and many others. It contains over 2000 sermons, 200 preachers, 40 topics, and 8 decades of Pentecostal ministry.


The Evangelism Podcast is Hosted by Daniel King, the Evangelism Coach


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
In 1906, revival broke out at Azusa street in Los Angeles, California. The revival was led by an African-American preacher named William J Seymour because of his anointing and his humbleness Pentecostalism. And speaking in tongues spread around the world. Today, we look at the life of William J Seymour, and we talk about how you can be filled with the power of the Holy spirit.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:28):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome to the event

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:04):
Socialism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. And I’m also excited about the Holy spirit and one of the key figures in church history in spreading the Holy spirit around the world was named William J Seymour. He started the Azusa street revival in Los Angeles back in 1906, at three 12 Azusa street. And thousands of people came to that revival seeking the experience of the baptism of the Holy spirit and from Azusa street, Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues spread around the world. And today I have with me a special guests, Dr. Larry Martin, who happens to be one of the world’s leading experts on the Azusa street revival. Dr. Martin, thank you for being with me today.

Larry Martin (02:00):
Thank you, Daniel. So I understand an expert understand the expert is defined as a former drip, but that’s okay.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:07):
All right. Well, glad, glad you’re here. So tell us the story of, of William J Seymour and how the Azusa street revival happened.

Larry Martin (02:20):
Yes, sir. Be my great pleasure, William. Seymour’s my favorite character from a history. I’ve studied a lot of history and a lot of Christian history, but I don’t know any man that compares to Seymour as far as his commitment to God and the humidity of his life. A man that lived a life without flaw, I think pretty much say Maura had an extremely difficult upbringing. He was born in the reconstruction South just 10 years after the end of the civil war. His parents had both been slaves both born in slavery. His mother was born on a plantation owned by a guy named Adelade Carlin, and it was a large plantation. She was just one of the many slaves there. And his dad had been a a soldier in the civil war. One of the first African American soldiers in the in the United States army.

Larry Martin (03:17):
They called it at that time, the United States colored troops his dad became ill while he was fighting in the war and a died from the illness. And so Seymour was raised in a widow’s home with a number of siblings and they were extremely poor. It’s hard to define poverty like they faced. They, the the government did a record, one time, an affidavit on their property and everything they owned was were 65 cents. It’s just impossible to imagine, but they had one bed and one match Christian, one table and one chair. And that was about the extent of their blown is 65 cents in value. Not only was he raised in extreme poverty, but he was raised in a time when there was a horrible, horrible persecution for African-Americans. The prejudice in the South at that time was so bad. There was a, a group nearby originated 10 miles from where Seymour lived called the knots of the white chameleon.

Larry Martin (04:15):
It was like the KKK, they were white robes and terrorized African-Americans. He had had a very difficult upbringing and childhood and poverty and oppression, and he left the South. As soon as he could. He went up North and to find better opportunities. And he became a waiter, worked in several large hotels in Chicago and St. Louis and in Indianapolis working at a hotel, what a Methodist church and found crashed his, his savior. It’s kinda hard to know is, is his background, spiritual background is re eclectic. His parents were married by a Methodist preacher. They a Christian, all of their children in the Catholic church, and they were buried in a Baptist cemetery. So it’s kind of hard to know what they were. But anyway, Seymour got saved at a Methodist church and soon thereafter, they had moved over to Cincinnati and he got smallpox.

Larry Martin (05:13):
It, there was a outbreak of smallpox across the river and Kentucky, and it spread into Cincinnati. And back then, that was almost a death sentence. And he was extremely ill and he made a commitment to God and said, Lord, if you’ll heal, my body I’ll preach the gospel and God did touch him. And healing men seem more committed to preach the gospel. Well, there are two other physical side effects to his smallpox. And one is, he had one of those POCs, only his app, and it blinded him in one. So he, he was a one ad man and also a scarred his face. And so he grew a beard. Every picture you ever see it, William Seymour wore a beard in this because of the smallpox scars. As far as his his, I, for someone who always likes to point out, if you have a sense of humor that God used a one ad man named Seymour waiting for the drum row.

Larry Martin (06:07):
But he left Cincinnati. He went out on a PIP preaching pilgrimage. We know he went through Jackson, Mississippi and ended up in Houston, Texas, and then Houston, his path crossed at Charles Parham. It was one of those divine moments because On January 1, 1901 a thirty-year-old Bible school student named Agnes Ozman began to speak in tongues for the first time. Charles Parham had established the Pentecostal movement in Topeka, Kansas, and now he’s preaching in Houston and see more hears him preach. And he attends a little Bible school, a little 12 week Bible school. That poems started in Houston and, and they’re preaching together on the streets. Parhem was preaching to white people see more preaching to black people because of the Jim Crow laws. At that time they had to segregate, but a lady heard Seymour preaching. She wanted him to come to Los Angeles and preach where she was from. She went back home and she told her pastor, her name was Julia Hutchinson.

Larry Martin (06:59):
If she could invite Seymour to come preach stun, February of Oh six, Seymour made a trip to California. Parham had raised some money for him on a train and they’d seem a little money. So I got to California, he got to Julia, Hetchins holding his church. And, and it really wasn’t much of a church. It was a tent with a wooden floor and he preached there on the Holy spirit baptism, and they didn’t like it. They locked him out of the church. So he finds himself in Los Angeles thousand miles from home and no money, no place to stay. A gentleman named Edward Lee, brought him into his house, let him stay with him. And see more joined a group of prayer. Warriors said two 14 Bonnie Brae street that we’re having home prayer meetings every night. And they began to pray for revival. And on April the sixth, 1906 this man, Edward Lee you know, you ask a historian what time it is, and they tell you how to build a watch. So if I get into too much detail, you can interrupt me. No,

Speaker 4 (08:01):
This is, this is great. I love the history.

Larry Martin (08:03):
Okay, well, let’s see more staying with Edward Lee and Edward Lee is a janitor at a bank. And he’s down in the basement of the bank, praying, asking God to touch him and baptize him in the Holy spirit. He came home and he said, I’m ready to receive the Holy spirit, because I know what it looks like. It’s hard for us to understand this, but these people had never seen anyone filled with the spirit. They’d never heard anyone speak in terms. They didn’t know what it was like. Even though Seymour was there preaching on the Baptist home spirit, he himself had not received the experience. And Edward Lee had had a vision while he was praying in the bank and saw the day of Pentecost. And he saw Peter and John received the baptism Holy spirit. He said, they started shaking under the power of God, started speaking in tongues and he was ready to receive that.

Larry Martin (08:49):
So they called a fast and they’re going to pray for 10 days and seek God for the Baptist, the Holy spirit, and anybody is listened to ever faster than all that. That’s a pretty difficult thing. I say the, the worst named thing in the English language is a fast, because there’s nothing longer than a faster, a 30 minute fastest is a lifetime. But on the third day, Edward Lee was sick from the fast, and he asked for the Seymour to pray for him. And when will you see more prayed for him? He received the baptism. The Holy spirit starts speaking of the times for those critics out there that say that speaking in tongues is just a learned behavior that they’ve seen someone else speak in tongues. And they copy that. Edward Lee had never seen anyone speak in tongues, excepted that vision William C. Moore, who prayed for them had never spoken in tongues.

Larry Martin (09:37):
But Edward Lee received the baptism, the Holy spirit. They walked over to Bonnie Brae street. They were already having their prayer meeting and they asked Edward Lee to testify as to what had happened. And when he testified, he began to speak in tongues. It was like a bomb bloat up in the house. I mean, the people were filled with the Holy ghost. They were singing, shouting people in the floor, scared to kids to death. The next day, there was a huge crowd in the street to hear what was going on. And brother Seymour preached to them from the street for several days, they had this outpouring at Bonnie Brae, and then they rented a little church on Azusa street. And as I say, the rest is history. The spirit of God came down there. And for years, every day they were touched by the spirit of God.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:20):
So talk to me some about what happened there at Azusa street, they started having meetings and it was several times a day. Is that right? And went all week long.

Larry Martin (10:35):
That is correct. Daniel. They, they came in there. They didn’t have anything that we think is necessary for church. They didn’t have any pews. They just brought in mix-matched chairs and put boards across them. Nope.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:46):
Fog machines, no lights, no fog machines or lights, or,

Larry Martin (10:51):
Oh, not even electricity, you know, in the beginning, no lights, they didn’t have floor. So as they didn’t have carpet, they didn’t even have floor. They had a dirt floor in the building. They didn’t have a platform that didn’t have a pulpit. They didn’t have any musical instruments, but they had the spirit of God. And they would meet every day at 10 o’clock, 12 o’clock and seven o’clock met the 10 o’clock surface, never ended before the 12 o’clock service started. And the 12 o’clock service was still going at seven. So they were in church from 10 o’clock in the morning until after midnight, every day they did that seven days a week. They did that week after week, month after month, they could teach that schedule for, I guess, at least three years that they were having service just about all day long, but by the summer of 1906, this is a little built in, this is the street building was only 40 by 60, only 2,400 square feet.

Larry Martin (11:46):
But by the end of summer, 1200 people were attending those meetings and that small building, they would pack 700 people on the inside. And another 500 people be on the outside looking through the windows. They, they had such awesome experiences. Of course, people were saved. People were healed. They had phenomena called the, the the heavenly choir. And one person would start singing a song in the spirit and someone else would start the same melody on the other side of the room until several of them were singing. And they said, you could literally hear the angels singing along with them as they sang the songs of the spirit. It was such a Holy atmosphere. Daniel, it’s impossible to understand this today, but they wouldn’t even shake hands with each other. When they came in the building, they wouldn’t greet one another. They were afraid that would offend God.

Larry Martin (12:40):
They would go to the alter or go to the bench and there they’d kneel and seek the Lord. And it was, it was so, so blessed. And Holy brother Seymour would go upstairs to pray. If something got out of control or somebody was in the flash, the lead on the floor, pound on the floor and let them know they needed to come to order. They, they kept things decent in that order, somebody, I loved this. Somebody you get to testify and they’d get off, you know, you know how some people like to talk a lot to hear their own voice. They ratchet jaw and somebody say, that’s the flash brother. You better sit down, sit down. That’s the flash I’ve always wanted to do due to that, but never had the nerve, but we need that guy

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:23):
In some of our churches today. We need to start doing that.

Larry Martin (13:27):
Hey, Nita, we need a flesh stopper. Yeah, that was awesome.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:32):
So, so people started hearing about this and in visitors came from, from all over the world, and then they took Pentecostalism and this experience of the baptism of the Holy spirit, speaking in tongues back to the, the different nations. And, and that’s how Pentecostalism began to spread. And today over 650 million people claim to be Pentecostal claimed to be filled with the Holy spirit. So from Azusa street, this, this small 40 by 60 room now churches all over the world are being filled with the Holy spirit. So it’s, it’s wonderful to see what, what Jesus has done, what the Holy spirit is doing. What did some of the, the people of that time think about what was happening? There were some people who were excited about it, and then there were also critics w what was happening in the denominational churches and, and, and in the newspapers reporting on what was happening at Azusa street.

Larry Martin (14:42):
Yeah. Daniel and the series of books I published on Azusa street. I wanted to tell the complete is this the street story? So there’s one book that’s, but it’s called skeptics and sculptors, and it’s nothing, but the religious press the, the, the church was a fault Azusa street. So hard. One fella in Los Angeles, a leader of one of the denominations. I won’t say the name, but he said, if you, if you took a pebble and throw it into the ocean, it would have the same impact as the Azusa street revival. Boy, did he ever prophesied wrongly? And some of the, the cartoons and the, the hated statements it’s just it you’d have to read it to understand how vile and vicious it was. And then the newspapers came from the very first week, the newspaper came, the first newspaper article said wild scenes on Azusa street, a wordless gurgle by a sister. And, and so the press I, I got all of the articles from the Los Angeles newspapers for the first two to three years and put them into a book called the wild and weird. They, they came night after night and mostly criticized revival now

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:59):
Published the, the complete Azusa street library. And I have some of the volumes of that here, but how many volumes total it have you clicked 12 volumes and you’ve collected historical accounts, eye witness accounts, contemporary reports, everything that was happening then, and all those books can be found on your website, Azusa street.org, and also on your, your ministry website, Dr. Larry martin.org. And so if you’re interested in learning more about the Azusa street revival and encourage you to go and, and to look at those books and, and, and get them for your library. And there are probably people listening today that have never been filled with the Holy spirit, Dr. Larry, and they’ve never had the experience of, of speaking in tongues. Would you take off your historian hat and put on your revival hat and explain and minister how someone can be filled with the Holy spirit?

Larry Martin (17:08):
Yeah. Yes, sir. I would just love to do that. You know, at the zoo. So street revival, they put published a newspaper and testimonies and people would receive that newspaper. They’d pray over it. They’d receive that newspaper and be baptized in the Holy spirit, just from reading that newspaper. No one to pray for them. No one to lay hands on us. I want to tell people, listening that I don’t have to be there in person, Daniel King doesn’t have to be there in person. There has doesn’t have to be a pastor or a priest. All you have to do is be hungry. And the Lord said he would fill you with his spirit. Jesus said that he would send us another comforter, the spirit of truth that the world couldn’t receive. And if you want to receive the baptism of Holy spirit, all you have to do is open your heart to God, ask God to fill you with the Holy spirit, be sincere and ask God to fill you with the Holy spirit. And even as we’re speaking right now, the Holy spirit can come on you and fill you with his Maddie power. I was baptized in the Holy spirit when I was a youth camp when I was 14 years old. And it is totally changed my entire life. He’s been with me every day of my life. And you need the baptism of Holy spirit and you can receive today.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:20):
How can I receive Dr. Martin?

Larry Martin (18:24):
Well, could you pray? I’d like to pray for those people to receive. I’d like to ask you just to, if you’re wanting to receive, I’d like to ask you just to open your heart. You don’t have to, God knows you’re hungry. You don’t have to beg him. He wants you to receive. It’s a free gift. We’re going to pray that you’ll receive right now, father, I come into agreement with my friend Daniel King right now, and we pray for any person listening to this podcast that has not received the Baptist, the Holy spirit. And we pray that right now, the Holy spirit will settle on them. We pray Lord that they will just yield themselves completely for you, Lord, without fear, they will yield themselves completely to you. And I pray that your Holy spirit will come take possession of their body. Lord, take possession of their tongue, feel them Lord and give them a new language that they can pray with a new language and communicate with you in a more and better powerful way. Lord use them after you fill them with the spirit, use them to be witnesses for you. As you promised us in your name, Lord, we pray. Amen.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:29):
Amen. It’s always so exciting when people are filled with the Holy spirit. Just a couple of years ago, I was in Ethiopia. We had a big crowd of people over 50,000 people, and it was a five day crusade. So on the fourth night it was Holy spirit night. And so we talked about the Holy spirit and we talked about how the Holy spirit can be poured out upon those who are hungry and thirsty for his presence. And we had an assembly of God, pastor from, from ADIs Abba, who, who came and shared his testimony of how he was filled with the Holy spirit. And then we prayed for the Holy spirit to come. And in a moment, the Holy spirit came upon that crowd and 50,000 people. It sounded like almost all of them began to speak in other tongues at the same time.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:24):
And it was like the day of Pentecost. It sounded like a mighty rushing wind, just the, the sound of everyone praying in tongues and in calling out to God. And the miracles that we saw that tonight were just so tremendous what God did there. And it’s amazing how the Holy spirit loves to pour himself out upon people. And he, he, he brings a change and people’s lives that I know in my life. I rely on the Holy spirit when I’m confused or not knowing what to do. I, I spend some time praying in tongues showed up. [inaudible]

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:04):
I just began praying in tongues and, and the Holy spirit begins to, to, to speak to me. I speak to God and my prayer language and the Holy spirit begins to speak to me. And, and God gives me direction, gives me clarity, gives me guidance. And so the Holy spirit is our helper. He’s our comforter, he’s our teacher. He wants to be with you. He wants to be in you. He wants to, to come out of you and help other people. And, and so I, I believe that the Holy spirit is available to every single believer that that wants to be filled with the Holy spirit. If you’ll cry out to God and say, God baptize me in the Holy spirit, fill me with the Holy spirit. He will pour out his spirit upon. You will give you the gift of speaking in tongues and, and the other gifts of the Holy spirit, a word of wisdom, words of knowledge gifts of faith, gifts of healing. And so we need the Holy spirit in the church today. We don’t want a church that is just a boring, old sermons, just teaching. We need an outpouring of the Holy spirit to keep the church alive and awake and witnessing and full of boldness to tell other people about Jesus. So sorry, I jumped into preaching mode there a little bit, but we need the Holy spirit in our churches today. Amen.

Larry Martin (22:33):
Hey man, when you were talking about that episode on that field, you know, Daniel, there’s some people that don’t understand why we do what we do. I mean, the traveling is, eh, there’s just a very short season that it’s, that it’s a exotic, and then it just becomes grueling. And you sat on a plane for hours and hours and you spend months raising money for a crusade and, and people don’t understand, but if they stood with you on that field and felt what you felt when the Holy spirit fell on that crowd of 50,000 people, everyone in the world would want to go. And I want to say, Daniel, thank you for going. I want to stay. Thank you for helping me to, to in influencing my life, to reach other people for Christ. I thank you for the blessing that you’ve been to me and to anyone listening to this podcast, if they’re not helping you supporting you, this is a young man that’s willing to go and preach the gospel to all the world, willing to reach, not the field. He would reach the few, but his vision is to reach the millions for Christ. And I want you to partner with Daniel and helping, and this great work that he’s doing, what God did at Azusa street, God wants to do on every street. God wants to do it on your street. And he’s using men like

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:46):
Daniel King to do that. Well, thank you so much for your kind words, Dr. Martin, it’s a wonderful privilege to have you on the evangelism podcast. Thank you for joining me today. And man, thank you, Daniel. Thanks so much for listening to this interview with Dr. Larry Martin. If you’ve enjoyed the evangelism podcast, could you do me a favor, go find the evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a review that review will help other people find the podcast and make sure that you subscribe because we’ve got some exciting interviews coming up

Evangelism Podcast Host (24:25):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.


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