Most of our nation is celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. today. And that celebration is honorable. But I’d like to focus today on celebrating the life and work of another great African-American who allowed the Lord to use him to begin a work that changed the lives of millions of individuals and changed the world as a whole for all the rest of time.
William J. Seymour had a hunger for God, and at the turn of the 20th century, because he was a black man, he was refused admittance into the meetings of the handful of white people who were beginning to understand the baptism in the Holy Spirit and to move in the power of God’s ministry gifts to the Body of Christ. But his personal hunger for more of Jesus and His power caused Seymour to willingly sit alone for days in a hallway outside a meeting room and listen to the teaching so that he could learn the truth about the Holy Spirit and God’s will to pour that Spirit out on all people who would believe.
From that more than humble beginning, Seymour rose up a giant of faith and obedience to the Spirit of God and traveled to Los Angeles to share the truths he’d learned and made his own. After considerable persecution at the hands of many in that city, he eventually moved his teaching to a little wooden building on Azuza Street, and the rest, as we say, is history.
But it’s not just any kind of history. It is the history of Almighty God pouring out His love and power on the human race, in the 20th century, in a manner that changed the entire world forever. We who believe have a part yet to play in that history. Thank You, Lord, for such a priceless heritage.