Azusa Then (April 9, 1906), Azusa Now (April 9, 2016)
by Pastor Ron Miyake
Have you heard of the Azusa Street Revival? It happened around 110 years ago. Do you know where it took place? No, not just north of the 210 freeway in the city of Azusa. It took place in the area now known as J-town... or Little Tokyo. The church where this took place and the street, which now is more like a narrow alley, is right in the area that includes the Noguchi Plaza, Aratani Theater, and the Japanese American Community Cultural Center. There are a few small signs in the area that mention this.
What was the significance of the Azusa Street Revival? For some, it is considered the place where the modern Pentecostal movement began and then spread. Some remember it for being the revival that was led by a then unknown African American preacher named William J. Seymour and attended by people of different races and denominations. That was significant in those days because of the racism that was prevalent at the time. Some think of it as a place where the move and power of the Holy Spirit affected not only the people and area then, but also people and places throughout the world even now. Some believed that this was the work of God while others didn’t. Yet the effects of this revival and what God is doing is still felt all over the world 110 years later. Azusa then, brought together many Christians of different races, areas, and denominations to worship, pray, and experience the power of God.
Azusa Now will be on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It is being planned in part to try to bring together the body of Christ to worship and pray together for our country and world. It will also be a time for evangelism and praying for healing. It seems like bringing the diverse body of Christ together is such a difficult task. With our various differences, will this be possible? I know it can happen. I’ve heard and seen it happen before. I hope it will happen again on April 9th. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in John 17:23 “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You loved Me.”
I hope and pray that the Azusa Now gathering on April 9th will be just the start of another mighty move of God that will continue for many more years. A move that will see a greater unity in the body of Christ, where many people will become followers of Jesus, and where many will experience the power of God.
If you are interest in attending Azusa Now, check out the website, www.AzusaNow2016.com.