Jesus Christ Apostolic Ministries International
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Life After Azusa Street
Mood:  happy



The dimming of the Azusa Street revival by 1908 would have ordinarily spelled trouble for a young movement, especially if it were tightly organized. But the Pentecostal movement had long since rolled past Azusa, into the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. There were now plenty of elsewheres to go. Schools, book and pamphlet printers, traveling evangelists, musicians, camps, and an absolutely sizzling network of word-of-mouth communication, all sprung up almost overnight seemingly out of nowhere. (This was before air transport and mass electronic media; cars were few and slow, package delivery technology was crude, and some of the areas where Pentecostalism grew fastest did not yet have electric or telephone service.)

Pentecostalism's lack of organization served it very well. There were also plenty of others

than Seymour and Parham to lead them. Some of them were charlatans, others honestly held bizarre 'the-end-is-here' beliefs. But there were many capable leaders who were faithful and able to fill the vacuum, like Charles Mason (founder of the Church of God in Christ).

Mason had been a Missionary Baptist, but left them in 1895 to co-found and lead the COGIC church (a somewhat baptistic Holiness church). He was thus the head of an established church body before going to Azusa. So, unlike Seymour, Parham and the other Pentecostal founders, Bishop Mason could ordain people so that they would be recognized immediately as legitimate ministers by civil authorities and mainstream churches, capable of doing weddings and such.

For about five years, Mason was the main source of ordinations for both white and black

Pentecostal churches. In that way, he left his mark on the entire Pentecostal movement.

Mason brought the new Pentecostal experience back to his churches, and many of them dived in with both feet. Yet many others didn't like it at all, including co-founder C.P. Jones, and the church split into a holiness churches with a baptist twist, and Mason's Pentecostal group. Mason, as a well-established leader, had a lot to lose by taking part in this new Pentecostalism. It is a tribute to the man and a mark of his following the Spirit that he made the change and took the losses in stride. His church quickly grew into a major African-American church and the largest Black Pentecostal body in the nation. Mason continued to lead his church until his death in 1961 at age 95; he lived to see it become 380,000 strong.

It has since grown to over 5 million, with no slowdown in sight.

“Thank God”







There were other existing Holiness churches which went into the early Pentecostal movement, including the Church of God (Cleveland TN). Their move came less because of a bold leader and more because of a full-scale grass-roots switch to the new movement. But the big news came as entirely new bodies were created when congregations from a wide range of revivalist churches were swept together into something new by the new movement. Holiness preacher A.B.

Simpson set forth the 'four square' approach of Christ as "Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and

Coming King" which was modified later by Aimee Semple MacPherson who created the Foursquare Churches. Foremost among the new churches was the Assemblies of God, the most steadily-growing church in the world.




The "oneness" movement emerged when R.E. McAlister spoke at a Los Angeles revival in 1913 about how new Christians must be baptized in Jesus' name only. Frank Ewart encouraged him to speak more in this vein, and they started baptizing people "in Jesus' name only" rather than by the Trinitarian formula found in Matthew. Ewart and Indianapolis preacher G.T. Haywood set about to popularize this approach. When Haywood tried in 1916 to get the Assemblies of God to accept a Jesus-only approach to baptism, a struggle took place. The end result was hat the Assemblies overwhelmingly chose to remain strictly Trinitarian in both theology and baptismal formula. This left Haywood and Ewart outside the church, along with several leaders of the Assemblies, including one of its co-founders, Howard Goss. They formed several separate church bodies, including the United Pentecostal Church, and drew into their camp most of the "Apostolic" church bodies that came more or less directly from the Azusa revival.




Posted by J.C.A.M.I. Staff at 5:02 PM CST

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