A brief history of Pentecostalism focused on the Movement's religion to the Central Americans living in Los Angeles.
Created by dstokol on Jul 29, 2009
Last updated: 11/12/09 at 04:30 AM
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A series of factors--explored within this page and article--contribute to encourage (if not downright cause, such as in the case of the results of missionary work) L.A.'s Central Americans to adopt Pentecostalism.
A rapidly deteriorating economy combines with a shift to city life prepare citizens for a corresponding change to come over their ideals and religious beliefs.
The missionaries arrive in the Central American country--along with the United and Free Gospel Society.
The traditionally Methodist Parham moved to Houston, Texas shortly after that where he continued to give sermons. William J. Seymour, a one-eyed African American preacher, heard him speak in 1905, perhaps absorbing his lessons, because he was the one to transform Pentecostalism into a movement rather than a fleeting set of principles. Several days after witnessing a man named Edward Lee begin speaking in fluent tongues during a prayer meeting held in Lee’s own Los Angeles home in April of 1906, Seymour experienced an “infilling” of the Spirit, himself. It took a mere three weeks for word of the preacher’s baptism to spread and for the Los Angeles Times to publish an article about this new movement titled “Weird Babel of Tongues.” The swelling ranks set up a prayer house in an older African Methodist Episcopal church no longer in use on LA’s Azusa Street. Later dubbed the Azusa Street Revival, this flocking toward what had once been a dilapidated hall in downtown signaled the birth of a Christian Movement whose followers have since converted 8 percent of the world to its practices.
Studying at Topeka, Kansas’ Charles Parham-led Bethel Bible College, student Agnes Ozman later said she felt the Holy Spirit fill her during a prayer meeting in 1901 as she relinquished consciousness and began to speak in tongues.