Walk of Remembrance Commemorates Beginning of Pentecostal Movement in Little Tokyo

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Feb. 22, 1906, is noted in history as the arrival date of Pastor William J. Seymour into Downtown Los Angeles. This coming Saturday, Feb. 22, the “Walk of Remembrance” will showcase two historic sites in Los Angeles.

azusa street missionHosted by Azusa Street Mission & Historical Society, which was founded by Fred and Wilma Berry, the walk will begin outside the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., at noon. Various community leaders and churches will participate in remembering two great African Americans in Los Angeles: Biddy Mason and William Seymour.

William J. Seymour

William J. Seymour

The first site on the two-block walk is the Biddy Mason Memorial wall at 331 Spring St., the location of the home of an African American midwife and landowner. During the 1800s, she held a significant amount of acreage that today comprises Downtown Los Angeles, and founded the First AME Church (FAME).

The group will then proceed to Azusa Street in Little Tokyo, home of the Azusa Street Mission, founded by Seymour. After his arrival in Los Angeles, he proceeded to hold meetings at a small storefront church on Santa Fe Street. This small church plant had resulted from some tent meetings at First and Bonnie Brae streets held by W.F. Manley’s group, the Household of God.

The members came from various holiness backgrounds, particularly the Nazarene Church, and were seeking a holiness preacher to be their pastor. Neely Terry, one of these members, recommended Elder Seymour. She had first met this black, one-eyed preacher on a recent visit to relatives in Houston, where Seymour was standing in for the regular pastor, Lucy Farrow.

Noted speaker and historian Dr. Mel Robeck from Fuller Theological Seminary will conduct the walking tour. Many leaders from the churches in Los Angeles will be on hand to proclaim unity in diversity.

In addition, there will be a special announcement about the planned memorial wall dedicated to the birth of a movement that now numbers over a half-billion members of Pentecostal churches worldwide.

For further information, contact Fred and Wilma Berry at (323) 692-7268 or visit www.azusastreetmission.org.

— Christian Newswire

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