Roots

One of the things I always knew when I was growing up was how special my church was. It was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Most other places were not filled with the Holy Spirit. In fact, other churches were so far away from God that they were even suspicious of people who were filled with the Holy Spirit. We knew that was silly, because the Bible talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit, right there in the beginning of Acts.

How could a Christian call themself a Christian and be suspicious of what was right there in the BIble?

I wanted to know how it had gotten lost. I was told that the Bible was written, and then the Church got all corrupted because of the sinfulness of the Catholic Church. It was amazing that there was a church at all, but it trucked along by the mercy of–the Holy Spirit!–until Martin Luther could hang his 95 theses on the wall and everyone could be Christians again.

But that didn’t answer my question about how Christians had lost the Holy Spirit. What had happened?

It was kinda the same thing. Just like Christianity itself had bumped along in the dark until Martin Luther cast off the evil catholics, the Holy Spirit had been ghosting around like a fog in the dark, just waiting to come back. He waited, until a lady in Los Angeles was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, started talking in tongues, and then everyone got filled with the Holy Spirit again.

A lady in Los Angeles? That means it couldn’t have been that long ago.

No, it was right before the great depression.They called it the Azusa street revival and that’s how our church got started. A lot of churches got started throught that movement.

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I remember hearing about the Asuza street revival. What I didn’t know what how HUGE it was, and that the lady who was filled with the Holy Spirit was a world-wide phenomena knows as Sister Aimee Semple-McPherson.

I didn’t even know that my bus passed that very Asuza street church, known as Temple Angelus, every day when I used to work downtown.

She was a huge force, and magnetically powerful woman who had passed into obscure legend, a no-name entity, by the time my folks had jumped on the caboose of the train that had started out as her bandwagon.

She started in the midwest, and her first husband was a preacher. They went to China as missionaries, and he died. She miraculously made it backto america and eventually became an evangelist.

And how! She had a radio show during the heyday of radio. In fact, she was the one who came up with the “Place your hands on the radio to be healed” idea…

I also find it interesting that her phrases (as I have heard them in documentaries) are the accent and tones that I heard imitated by itinerant preachers that came. I aways wondered why people would get that prophesying tone.

Oh Lord-ah…we prayyy for sturength-uh

I wondered about that as a kid…People who spoke normally in conversation would start talking all funny..

IT WAS HER! she talked like that.

And I never knew. I never knew that such an incredible strong woman got baptized in the man-centered church of my youth..baptized SO HARD she never came up for air.

and I had to learn about her through a PBS documentary.

…yet another example of how anonymous is a woman…

There was no end to the references of the Asuza street revival. But heavens, I never knew what it was.

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