‘Pentecost’ has left a mark in every generation.
From the spirited and controversial evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, to the prominent ministry of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside County has lived through its own Pentecostal impact.
Scott Flanagan, Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Roseville California is among a generation of pastors who teach the relevance of the “Pentecost event” for our generation today.
In a recent sermon on ‘Pentecost,’ Pastor Scott reflected on the three major Jewish festivals; the Passover Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). He characterizes the festivals as to how they define our Christian faith today.
Passover celebrates our Salvation; Tabernacles reminds us that God is with us; and the Feast of Weeks, where Pentecost originates, reminds us “through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, we have an endless supply of living water available to us.”
We are a living church; no longer under the law, which brings death. But now, as Saint Paul says, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7: 4-6)
This ‘living-water’ flows through every generation, quenching the thirst of a dry and spiritually barren culture. As we navigate down this river of ‘living water,’ winding through the generations, we can see where the living water of Pentecost has left a mark.
1901, Topeka Kansas: On January 1, 1901, a young woman named Agnes Ozman was baptized in the Holy Spirit at a small Bible school in Topeka, Kansas. At the request of her teacher, Charles Fox Parham, Ozman and other students studied the outpouring of God’s Spirit that took place in the book of Acts Chapter 2.
The first Pentecostals, “in the modern sense of the word, can be traced to Parham’s Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901.” (Source: CAI: Christian Assemblies International/History of the Pentecostal Movement).
1906 Los Angeles, California: “It was not until 1906 that ‘Pentecostalism’ achieved worldwide attention through the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles.” (Source CAI)
From Topeka, Charles Parham traveled out west, to Houston Texas where he met an African-American preacher named William Seymour, who was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Shortly after this experience, Seymour was invited to pastor a Black Holiness church in Los Angeles, California.This Azusa Street church became the flash point of a worldwide spiritual awakening and impacted generations to come.
One significant high-water mark of the Azusa Street Revival, among many, is illustrated by the phenomenon of blacks and whites worshipping together, which in the segregated America of the time, was unheard of.
Frank Bartleman, a reporter and Azusa Street participant, reported at the time that “the colour line was washed away in the blood” (Source CAI).
The Azusa Street revival was the crack in the dam that unleashed the Living Water of a spiritual renewal that spread worldwide and still influences us today.
In (Part 4) I’ll trace the Pentecostal /Charismatic movement from 1950 to today’s 21st century Church.
Source: Christian Assemblies International/ History of the Pentecostal Movement.
Source: Vinson Synan: Whence the Pentecostal Holiness Church.