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The Azusa Street Revival Signs and Wonders


Shaking the World

There is nothing that excites me more than a move of the Holy Spirit! The worldwide revival begun at Azusa Street in 1906 is perhaps the greatest outpouring of power since the days of Jesus and the apostles. The revival ended in 1909.

The Azusa Street revival is considered to be the cradle of the Pentecostal movement because of its emphasis on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Almost all of today’s Pentecostal Charismatic churches can trace their roots to Azusa Street. Pew research estimates the number of Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians to be over 584 million, which is over a quarter of all Christians worldwide.

Through the height of the revival only last three years, many new church denominations sprung out of Azusa Street including the Assembly of God, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and Church of God in Christ with founding members of each involved in the revival. Missionaries were sent all over the world as a result of the revival.

The real leader of Azusa Street was The Holy Spirit with William Seymour being His delegated human leader. Seymour was a southern sharecropper son of slaves who was left with one eye due to smallpox. Most of the Azusa leaders were in awe of William Seymour because of his great humility and the awesome anointing he held. John G. Lake- the great healing evangelist- considered Seymour to have more of God than any living man at the time.

The Revelator

Tommy Welchel was a young man who had gotten into some trouble with the law and came to Los Angeles penniless. He was helped and brought to the Lord by an older woman who was part of a community of aging Azusa Street saints called Pisgah. He lived in Pisgah between 1960-66 and carefully listened and wrote down the stories of these saints. The following content contain those stories.


The Fire

Many great and unusual miracles and signs accompanied Azusa Street, not the least of which was the appearance of a 50 foot fire on top of the Azusa Mission, which could be seen at times for miles off. Tommy Welchel relays first-hand accounts of the fire which I will paraphrase and quote.

William Seymour would direct the congregation to sing in the Spirit and then

A fire would come up out of the roof and the fire would go up about fifty feet and the fire about fifty feet away from it in the sky would come down and mingle with it.”

This apparently was a sign seen by a great number of people in the revival and even those in the surrounding areas. The fire department would be called often from people outside the revival, who saw the flames. When the flame appeared over the building, the cloud of glory around the mission intensified and the healing anointing was much greater.

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The Glory

There was an ever present tangible mist inside the mission that intensified especially when Seymour was present and even more so when the fire appeared on top of the building. The mist was described as a Shekinah glory like the intense glory that appeared when King Solomon dedicated the Temple and the priests couldn’t enter the house of God.

At times the Shekinah glory was so thick you couldn’t see the ground. Tommy Welchel noted that many of the Azusa Street children and teens would actually admit to playing hide and seek in the thick mist of the glory. Ralph Riggs was one of those kids and was just a teenager during the revival but later would be instrumental in founding the Assembly of God Church and become it’s general superintendent from 1953–59.

Welchel noted that Sister Lucille McGillicuddy described and her experiences with the Shekinah Glory like this:

she loved to be in the center of the mist like cloud. She was so little in stature, she would sit down in it and, when it was thick, the mist was about up to her neck. Like a kid, she would have fun and play in the mist. She would often lie down, breathing it in. She could feel the energy of it and described that it was like pure oxygen being breathed into her lungs. She could smell it, too. The scent was like lilacs to her. Others said it smelled like roses. The aroma depended upon what part of the building you were in at the time. When Brother Seymour was there and they would sing in the Spirit, Sister Lucille told me that the Shekinah Glory would just rise and fill the whole room, and you could breathe so much better. “

Others Welchel had interviewed noted the mist at times had a glow that sometimes became more intense at the glory increased.

 William Seymour

William Seymour

The Box

God had instructed Brother Seymour to place a box over his head as he entered the mission; he took it off when God instructed him. Sister Carney told Welchel about the box Seymour placed on his head, at first it seemed ridiculous but later it became obvious that this simple act of humble obedience brought astounding results and manifested power. Sister Carney noticed that when Seymour stopped putting the box over his head, the miracles became less and less.

Welchel noted that Brother Sines had actually spent more than half the time at the revival on the podium with Seymour because he was a musician. Sines became obsessed with the box, he tried to get as close to him as possible to see what was going on under the box. Sines finally asked William Seymour about the box and he said he would just meditate and wait on God and when he spoke to God, it was always in tongues that he understood the meaning of.

Seymour had suffered a lot of ridicule and opposition over the box and it intensified as people came from all over the world to see him. It seemed to make no sense that Seymour would of his own volition cause the revival to cease. Some speculate that God told Seymour to remove the box because the revival at Asuza was coming to a close and Seymour had passed his anointing on to other leaders and missionaries such as John G. Lake.

 Seated are William J Seymour  and John G. Lake

Seated are William J Seymour and John G. Lake

The Healings

Sister Lucille’s best friend was friend Laura Langtroff, who was a wealthy woman who was also a worker at the revival. Welchel tells the story of sister Laura's most memorable healing:

“A woman came into the meeting holding a staff. She could hardly breathe and looked like a skeleton. She only lived about two miles from Azusa and had started walking to Azusa about three in the afternoon but didn’t reach the warehouse until six in the evening. She literally took one baby step at a time, placing the staff in front of her, then scooting her feet up to it and repeating the slow, tedious process until she reached the revival meeting.”

The women pointed at Laura and said, "that’s the women I want to pray for me". The next words that came out of the women’s mouth she could never forget:

““I won’t live through the night if God doesn’t heal me; I’ll die. Doctors say my lungs are ate up with cancer, and I can hardly breathe. I’ve been losing weight for about a year.

She was 5’ 6, weighed 65 pounds and looked like a skeleton. Laura then laid hands on her and she immediately began to breathe normally and over the next 3 hours gained 40 pounds without eating. All she did is breath thick mist of the the Shekinah Glory and her lungs felt no pain and returned to like the lungs of a young woman.

When the woman visited her doctor, he didn’t even recognize her. He examined her and couldn’t believe that her lungs were in perfect shape and she had gained 40 pounds. The doctor whose name was Thomas Wyatt decided to visit the revival himself and upon witnessing the events decided that he was through with traditional medicine. He started a ministry called “The wings of healing” and he saw multitudes healed and set free.

The next was a story told by brother fox, who would later do mighty works and miracles in India. He was in his late teens during the revival. He recalled a sign language teacher bringing his deaf students to the revival. Brother fox asked the teacher, “why did you bring your students here, you’ll be out of a job?” the teacher not believing what brother fox said, “You’re talking like they are all going to be able to hear.” Fox responded “They are! They all are going to be healed!

There were about 35 deaf students so Brother fox had them stand in a circle and join hands. He said to the teacher: “Evidently you don’t have much faith, so stand off to the side.”

The teacher was laughing because Brother Fox was talking to the deaf students he knew could not understand him. Brother Fox then whispered in the ear of one of the deaf students to command the spirit to come out of him, he was instantly healed and as the others saw the excitement they were all healed one by one. Now that teacher was totally out of a job!

Brother Garcia was a young Mexican-American man of about 18 years of age during the revival. He witnessed a mighty miracle performed through William Seymour. He noted that “the greater the Shekinah Glory, the greater the power. He would note that the flames were there when God, through Seymour, performed the mightiest of miracles”. In one of those miracles, a leg grow where there was no leg and in another, an arm where there was no arm!

He said, “Brother Tommy, this man didn’t have a ball joint in his shoulder; it had been ripped out. I was close enough to be looking right at the shoulder. “All of a sudden, I saw the bones start to come out, and then flesh started coming around them. This man’s arm just shot out in what seemed mere seconds as I watched.”

Closing thoughts

The Azusa Street Revival may have been the greatest display of God’s glory and power since Jesus ascended into heaven but William Seymour and others spoke prophetically of an even greater revival to come which wouldn’t be in one place but all over the world! The approximate time for its fulfillment was about a hundred years and it’s been more than 100 year now, I surely don’t want this great move to pass me by!


Simon Benedict on August 17, 2020:

I am eager for another same revival in Our Nation Sri Lanka I need your Help prayer in favor to begin...Please pray when I watched the Video am and I need this .....miracle once again for the whole world including USA... (author) from upstate, NY on November 15, 2019:

Nell Rose- Thanks so much for reading the article, glad you found it interesting.

Nell Rose from England on November 15, 2019:

This was really interesting as I had never heard of this before. Living in England we don't know a lot about religion in America, thanks (author) from upstate, NY on August 27, 2019:

Tsad- Thanks so much my friend!

The Logician from then to now on on August 24, 2019:

That is so true WBA.

No matter if it’s just a Sunday church service or a revival, the flesh will want to raise up! I’ll bet some church splits could have been avoided if given a better measure of wisdom.

Anyway, I’m proud to call you my brother, brother. (author) from upstate, NY on August 23, 2019:

Tsad- Nice to hear from again my friend, it's been awhile! The book I read also mentioned the dispute between Parham and Seymour. Both of them were right and both were wrong in some respects according to the book (God's Generals).

I've read that every revival has some antics of the flesh that the leadership must deal with with wisdom. There's a danger of squelching the revival by being too heavy handed in dealing with the excesses, after all, revival exposes the flesh and should lead us to repentance but with a measure of grace. (author) from upstate, NY on August 23, 2019:

Betty A F-

Thanks for thoughtful comments. I agree with you that God often violates peoples expectations and sense of order. In a revival, God often offends the mind to get to the heart.God's definition of what is descent and orderly has more to do with the heart than with man made externals.

I think he does this to dissuade the casual believer from experiencing the depths and as a reminder to the intellectually proud that His foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom. And as you mentioned, there are numerous examples of this very same thing in the scriptures.

Betty A F from Florida on August 23, 2019:

Good morning tsadjatko,

That's sad to hear. Back in the late 1990's there was a revival in NW Florida. I wouldn't call it as intense as the Azusa revival, but it drew people to the area from all around the world. I think that Christians around the world hope for a revival where a clear move of God is present, and it's not just a "scheduled," revival by a individual churches.

There were a lot of healing's that took place in Brownsville, and there were stories of people who were not present at the church, but someone there was praying for them and they repented.

When this revival ended, it ended because of a division between two pastors. The church went from being completely packed with people in long lines waiting to get in, to empty pews in a very short span of time.

It is important that we pray for discernment with any revival. There was another one that was gaining notice in Florida, and it also didn't last long. I watched a sermon of Todd Bentley online, and I was immediately not interested in learning more about it. In the short portion of the sermon I watched, there was not one mention of scriptures. He only spoke of an angel named "Emma." That was a big red flag for me. I saw no Biblical connection to it at all.

I agree with you completely about the divisions happening over different gifts, pride and even denominational doctrines that differ.

I don't believe that God teaches different churches different interpretations of His word. When Paul built the original churches, they were all taught the exact same doctrine. Even then in the end there were divisions sadly.

For me, trusting in God's word above all else and praying for discernment are two of the most important things we can do as Christians. Even Paul wrote that the truth is in Jesus.

"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:" Ephesians 4: 21

I could go on and on with this subject. Perhaps I'll write an article on it later when I have more time.

I've read quite a bit about the Azusa revival, and I've never gotten any impression that God was not in it. It's funny, but even the fact that Seymour wore a box on his head showing his humility, and his determination to draw near to God, to me is more validation that it was a real revival. I'm more weary of mega churches where the focus is on financial gain. Jesus spoke about the value of each of us in God's eyes. Seeing people turn to Jesus because of a move of God is very precious. William Seymour was a precious man. When I read about him wearing a box on his head, all I could picture was Jesus smiling down on him. I don't know why but that just touched my heart.

The Logician from then to now on on August 23, 2019:

Hi Betty. There is controversy over the Azusa revival as even the preacher named Charles Parham, one of the early proponents of the Pentecostal movement in the United States and the first to suggest that speaking in tongues was the inevitable evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, this methodist preacher believed many of the manifestations of Azusa Street were of the flesh, or perhaps even demonic.

Unfortunately, the emphasis on tongues as “the only” evidence of filling by the Holy Spirit is unbiblical and leads to error and excess and of course would open a door to Satan.

What is a shame (and probably evidence that satan is at work to muddy up the gift of tongues) is that what is Biblical (tongues being an but not the only evidence of being filled with the holy spirit) has to result in another denomination (Pentecostal) only to further fracture the church because of differences that Paul himself said should not divide us.

Betty A F from Florida on August 23, 2019:

This is another outstanding article. I love reading about the Azusa revival. It makes me wish I had been alive during that time to attend the services.

I never knew that Seymour had worn a box over his head. That would seem odd to most people, but considering that within the scriptures God has a reason for everything that He does. Isaiah was instructed to minister completely naked and with no shoes on his feet for three years as a sign of things to come on Egypt and Ethiopia.

Could you imagine a minister doing this today? It would shock the entire congregation. Nakedness in the scriptures always represents shame, which is exactly what came upon the Ethiopians involved in this prophecy. Ezekiel also carried out actions that God instructed him to do for signs. Jeremiah did this on at least one occasion that I can think of right off at the moment.

So I'm sure that Seymour wearing the box on his head has a sure purpose, including the value of the humility it brought. I imagine that it also brought a sort of "closet," type prayer that shut out everything around him and got his focus completely on God.

You certainly share encouraging and motivational articles, and I absolutely loved this one.

I pray that we see revivals like this once again. (author) from upstate, NY on February 07, 2017:

Nobody knows it all, I'm sure we'll all find out we were wrong about many things when we make it to glory.

The Logician from then to now on on February 07, 2017:

That's my point, I guess there are a lot of "batches" of bad churches and when truth is mixed with false doctrines it is easy to get sucked in. What gets me is when it comes to other than the basics, the gospel of salvation, and there are arguably different possible interpretations of some scriptures why do some, usually Pentecostals, insist there's is the right one...what's wrong with admitting no one has the unquestionable right answer and make a doctrine (possibly a false doctrine) of it? (author) from upstate, NY on February 07, 2017:

I haven't seen any actual mountains moved but I have witnessed many other amazing wonders and healings. Maybe you just got involved with a batch of bad churches but I wouldn't give up your quest till I found the real thing. May God bless your search.

The Logician from then to now on on February 06, 2017:

Hmmm, how many mountains have you seen removed and cast into the sea? I believe but I have never seen such a feat nor did Jesus perform such, not to say that Jesus couldn't perform it. So maybe we aren't to take that statement literally? But why not if we are to do even greater works than He?

I believe God heals, I believe every word of the Bible taken in context of the whole book, but after spending more than 15 years in Pentacostal churches I never witnessed first hand one miraculous "healing" other than claims of a headache going away after prayer or the like, subjective "healings" that could have happened with or without prayer. But I have to tell you I heard no end to stories of miraculous healings that occurred in the past before I joined or in other assemblies or by the hands of various Pentecostal preachers, all testimonies I could find no way to substantiate but, when I researched discovered they were often plain frauds.

Don't get me wrong WBA, I am not claiming that Pentacostal denominations are frauds, I actually believe it is a move of God but sadly I have witnessed that there are many in the movement who, for whatever reasons, the flesh, Satan, neglect of balance and adherence to the Word many have not gotten it right. (author) from upstate, NY on February 06, 2017:

I briefly listened to your You tube video but noticed it was almost 30 min long. While I believe its important to question your beliefs and compare them in the light of the scriptures, my primary goal isn't to get into lengthy Theological discussions. If you'll limit your concerns to more specific questions, i'll attempt to answer them as best I can.

About his question about speaking things into existence, I belief the way he asked the question misrepresents the beliefs of the people he's criticizing. They don't belief whatever you say will be manifested, most believe that a word spoken according to God's will and in agreement with God's heart has the power create because we're made in the image of God.

I don't see this as a new teaching, the Jesus and the Apostles spoke things into existence and wrought mighty miracles. Jesus even said we'll do what He did and even greater works. He said if you speak to the mountain to be removed and cast into the Sea it will be so if you believe.

The Logician from then to now on on February 06, 2017:

I thought you might disagree with the majority of those false teachers. I had a hard time swallowing it too when I first saw it mainly because I never focused on the lies they spew but only the truths. I thank you WBA for entertaining my comments because you are one of the few hubbers on HP whose opinions I respect because you tell it like it is, I admire your reasoning abilities. Maybe this video about Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel will help you to see my points.

I must say every Pentecostal preacher I ever encountered in the '80s praised WILLIAM BRANHAM [1909-1966]. Sid Roth often said on his show that he was the greatest miracle worker since Christ - but he was a False Prophet. When I sent, on three occasions, documented information on Branham to Roth and asked why he promotes this false prophet, he never even replied to my concerns.

Honestly when it comes to the modern day Pentecostal movement all I see is heresy among the popular practitioners. I used to think that some Pentecostal Churches were just out of balance but my research has revealed it is more than that. (author) from upstate, NY on February 06, 2017:

You're right not to trust any Pastor or denomination, I agree. The only true test is the word of God, although information is easy to find on the internet, finding the truth often isn't.

We'll have to agree to disagree about the majority of the assessments given from your link but thanks for your thoughts.

The Logician from then to now on on February 05, 2017:

I long ago stopped buying into and trusting teachings of any pastor or denomination without extensively researching them first. It is hard for new Christians to navigate their way to the truth or error in whatever they are taught. The advent of the internet makes this so easy. As a new Christian in the Pentecostal church of the 1980s I followed many of the popular Pentecostal evangelists of that time only to discover later that they were preaching falsehoods mixed with truth.

I'll bet if you look this list over even you will be surprised at some of the Pentecostal people who are on it and why. (author) from upstate, NY on February 05, 2017:

tsadjatko - Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and thoughts. I am familiar with most of the history you're referring to but I already wrote 1700 word's so maybe I'll write a sequel to fill in the background info for the Pentecostal/Charismatic church history.

I don't pretend to know everything, nobody or no one denomination or move knows all the answers, all I can do is give you my opinion. From what I understand, just about every revival has fleshly and even demonic elements that unfortunately manifest. William Seymour was aware and concerned about these excesses but felt that if he was too heavy handed in correction that the people would be too intimidated to flow in what the Spirit was doing. Another way to put it is, if he tried to remove the tares the wheat would also be uprooted.

About your prophetic words, don't give up hope, if the word spoken bore witness to you it was probably a true word. Although sometimes prophets are blamed for their words not being fulfilled when if fact most prophetic words speak to our potential and require the recipients to do their part to see it come to pass.

There's no denying that the Pentecostal/ Charismatic church has seen its share of scandal although I think its worth saying that the enemy won't bother attacking lifeless churches or counterfeiting something of low value. Not to say Pentecostals

can't use correction, they can.

I hope you find your way and find God's best for you and your family. Be Blessed!

The Logician from then to now on on February 04, 2017:

Were you aware Pentecostalism can be traced back to the Holiness movement in the Methodist Church a major focus of Pentecostal churches being Holy Spirit baptism as evidenced by speaking in tongues and there are approximately 170 different denominations that identify themselves as Pentecostal.

The first widespread use of tongues was at a revival in Topeka, Kansas, in January 1900, led by Charles Parham. Agnes Ozman, a Methodist, began to speak in tongues, and others in the meeting eventually followed suit. It was in 1906 that the revival meetings on Azusa Street in Los Angeles led to a widespread experience of tongues-speaking, which spread to many parts of the country. William Seymour was one of Charles Parham's students. Parham and Seymour eventually parted ways, because...

Parham believed many of the manifestations of Azusa Street were of the flesh, or perhaps even demonic.

By 1909, Seymour had excluded all but African-Americans from holding office in the mission, and the ministry eventually faded into history.

I was saved in a Pentecostal church, was filled with the holy spirit through laying on of hands and spoke in tongues for the first time as I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I was also prophesied over at the same instant but things were said over me that never came true, although I'm not dead yet.

I joined that Pentecostal church and can't deny the experiences I had with the presence of God in worship were never to the same degree outside of Pentecostal churches but I have to say without a doubt some of what I witnessed and experienced in Pentecostal circles was of the flesh and/or demonic. This is no surprise as the devil has a counterfeit for any move of God and you can bet Satan's demon's will be waiting at the fringe of any revival to steal away the seeds of salvation.

I don't understand why I witnessed so many pastors of Pentecostal churches fall prey to sin while many Pentecostal pastors are false prophets and preach heresy. The pastor of the church I was in when i was first saved was married with 2 children. He ran off with a member of the congregation who was also married with two children. The church got together immediately and prayed for their return. The church was on the east coast, the two who abandoned their spouses and children were half way to California when they were convicted by the Holy Spirit to stop, repent and return to the church and their families.

All well and good but...too much drama for me, my wife and family of 4 little kids. Next we joined a Spanish Assembly of God congregation. That pastor's wife died and not long after he hit on a married member of his congregation who was a friend of ours and actually led us to his church. We then spent years going from one Pentecostal church to another and frankly none of them inspired in me any trust of Pentecostal preachers save one I became friends with along the way. One of many.

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