Azusa Street – Review

Azusa StreetOne of the most important events in early Pentecostalism was the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles in the early twentieth century. If one wants to understand the origins of Pentecostalism, Azusa Street needs to be taken into account.

One of our important sources is Azusa Street written by Frank Bartleman. Bartleman was a witness to and a participant of the Azusa Street revival. Reading this book, one gets a sense of what was happening in churches at that time. Although emerging from some of the holiness movements, not all holiness people wanted this type of revival.

You will not find an unbiased account from Bartleman. Although he was a journalist, he wrote for holiness publications to try and promote the revivals.

In some ways the title of his book is misleading. You might think this is an account of the Azusa Street revival. In reality it is an account of Frank Bartleman’s revival ministry that sometimes overlapped with Azusa Street. Only a small portion of his book deals with Azusa Street or William Seymour, the preacher most associated with Azusa.

One of the interesting aspects of this book is that Bartleman argues that people were getting too stuck on doctrine and theology. Ironically, Bartleman eventually fell into the error of Jesus Only or Oneness Pentecostalism.

Still it is an interesting read, especially for those seeking to understand the origins of Pentecostalism.

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