18 Apr Azusa Street: The Blessed Miracle
It had once been a church. It was a run-down and ramshackled it had been used as a livery stable. It had dirt floors and was in the middle of the black ghetto of Los Angeles but it could hold over seven hundred and fifty people and it only cost $8.00 a month to rent. They needed it for what happened. They called the street of this old barn-like building “Azusa”; it became a legendary site of divine visitation.
The name “Azusa” comes from one of those gracious “coincidences” that mark God’s mercy. The name originates from a lovely tale about a Native American girl, Coma Lee, who had a prayer-healing ministry. When her prayers restored an ailing Shoshone chief, he renamed her “Azusa” –Shoshone for “Blessed Miracle.”
At the height of the Azusa revival, William Seymour, leader of the Azusa Street Revival, said, “We are on the verge of the greatest miracle the world has ever seen.” Seymour was right. Azusa triggered the most powerful missionary impulse in human history. More people became Christians worldwide in the first fifty years of the twentieth century than all the fruit of the first nineteen hundred years of revival and evangelism put together.
Seymour’s Apostolic Faith newspaper appeared on September 1906, with an initial printing of five thousand copies and increasing in later editions to fifty thousand copies. Papers passed from hand to hand until they fell apart. By 1908, just two years later, the surging movement had taken root in over fifty nations. News spread rapidly across the Azusa Street Mission became a pilgrimage to tens of thousands over its millennial days of power likened by its admirers to the “humble stable of old in Bethlehem.”
Seymour did not live to see the completion of his dream but fully expected the renewal to accomplish it. Within weeks, and ever-growing stream of ardent heaven-touched missionaries began leaving for virtually all points of the compass at home and every major continent abroad. Some were seasoned missionaries, others simply domestic servants or washerwomen. Even today the effects of that miraculous outpouring go on. The dominant churches and missionary movements in the world today are usually rooted in the visitation of Azusa.
Resource: Winkie Pratney, The Revival Study Bible