WILLIAM J. SEYMOUR
Over a century ago, a partially-sighted African American minister, William J. Seymour, came to Los Angeles to share the message that the Holy Spirit still baptizes people with the evidence of speaking in tongues. His early efforts to preach the Pentecostal message were rejected. Church leaders were suspicious of his religious doctrine and his teachings, but he persevered and kept on praying.
In April of 1906, a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred within a small group of worshippers. There were physical and mental healings, speaking in unknown languages and many other miraculous and inexplicable occurrences. The news spread and soon hundreds of people started coming from all over the world to the Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles seeking to receive the Holy Spirit.
The Azusa Street Revival lasted over three years and is widely considered to be the primary catalyst that sparked the worldwide Pentecostal Movement. Currently, it is estimated that over 800 million Pentecostals in the United States, Latin America, Africa and Asia can trace their religious origins to the Azusa Street Revival and
Fred and Wilma Berry carry on the history of Azusa Street as international representatives through the Azusa Street Mission & Historical Society. The organization's mission is to carry the flame of Azusa Street to the next generation throughout the nations of the world.
The Azusa Street Mission organizes and hosts an annual Azusa Street Festival, called Azusafest. This festival commemorates the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. The Azusafest celebration, normally held in Los Angeles since 2006, began traveling to the nations when the celebration was invited to Ghana in 2011.