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100th anniversary Azusa Street (04/16/2006)
From: Patrick Johnson

Winona, Minn.

April 9, 2006, was the global celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Renewal. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place in Los Angeles and traveled around the world, after also beginning simultaneously in India, Iraq and Wales. Religious News Writers Association named "Azusa Street" as one of the top ten most influential events of the millennium. The six hundred million descendants of this movement continue to be part of the fastest growing religious movement in the world.

Jesus had told his mother, Mary, and the disciples, to wait in the upper room after Easter until they received the Holy Spirit. These spiritual gifts the people received fulfilled the ancient prophecies with the "former rain" of the Holy Spirit being designated at Pentecost. According to this prophesy we are living in the "later rain" where the Holy Spirit is poured out in the last days globally, which Christians believe began at Azusa Street.

This global renewal began in an African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was led by a man who was the son of former slaves, William J. Seymour. Christian History magazine named William J. Seymour as one of the top ten influential Christians of the 20th century. This truly was a diversified community experience of transformative pedagogy as the movement brought new creative power to all Christianity. Its foundations were the Methodist Holiness movement. Pope John Paul II protected Azusa Street descendants in Poland and was part of encouraging the renewal of the Holy Spirit in Vatican II. Winona Pentecostal Church and Faith Assembly of God Church in Winona are direct descendants of the Azusa Street revival. Interestingly, the timing of this latter rain "Azusa Street" coincides with God bringing the Jewish peoples back to their homeland. Also in this time frame has begun the antithesis as global governance created pluralistic religion in competition to the Holy Spirit and old heresies are being reawakened. The spiritual experiences of Pentecost have always been a normal part of Christianity, but not on such a global wide scale as when the Azusa Street revival again brought new life to all of Christianity this millennium. Easter is the source of this resurrection empowerment. Congratulations on your 100th anniversary all you SE Minnesota Azusa Street populace. Don't forget to read Peter's second chapter of Acts. 


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