William Joseph Seymour:

The father of Pentecostalism


            After Seymour’s death he and his message were all but forgotten.  A man that was instrumental in changing the face of the way religion was practiced not only in the realm of Holiness churches but in all churches as well as the new denomination, Pentecostalism, was rarely acknowledged for his contribution to the movement and his acknowledgement. It is ironic that a man that strived so hard for equality and the knowledge of the baptism of the Spirit, that was a household name during his own time was absent from the pages of history, for whatever reason, be it his race or unlikely, unusual and somewhat unpopular denomination. However, the end of William Seymour’s story is not as disappointing as it may at first seem to be. In the past few decades William Seymour and his message have once again become the focus of many church historians and for many leaders in the church. This is partly due to the research of Yale University historian Sidney Ahlstrom and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.[18]   It seems that even though Seymour’s legacy has suffered throughout the latter half of the twentieth-century it has not been completely forgotten. As the twenty-first century dawns Seymour is beginning to receive the credit he is due as one of the founders of Pentecostalism but more importantly his message of racial and gender equality in the Christian world is being embraced once again almost one hundred years after he began preaching it in a humble stable in Los Angeles. Born as the son of slaves, a seer of visions, an original holy roller, and a pursuer of equality and harmony in the church, William Joseph Seymour deserves a place with the giants of American religion and his vision deserves a place in the churches of America today just as it did one hundred years ago.


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                             This page was created by Ashley Sample.          E-mail: smaple333@hotmail.com


This page was last updated April 17, 2001


18 Synan, 1.