Thursdays with Theologians – William Seymour

Published November 16, 2017 by

Every Thursday, I’ll be highlighting an influential Christian from Church history – theologians, missionaries, pastors, and musicians.

One of the primary figures in the Holiness Movement and rise of Pentecostalism, William Seymour (1870-1922) received training for ministry in 1905 at the Bible school founded by charismatic revivalist preacher Charles Parham (another influential early Pentecostal).

Seymour pastored a small church in Los Angeles called The Apostolic Faith Gospel Mission, at 312 Azusa Street. This location became ground zero for the Azusa Street Revival that birthed the Pentecostal denomination. During the revival Seymour held services three times daily from 1906-1909, which were characterized by their dramatic tenor and the common experience for those in attendance of the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues.

Both the revival and Seymour’s ministry were also noteworthy for their inclusiveness, transcending gender, racial, and socioeconomic barriers – a continuing mark of many Pentecostal churches.

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