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How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles: The Story behind the Azusa Street Revival

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Travel back in time and find out what it was like to be part of the Azusa Street Revival. Through Frank Bartleman’s unvarnished, eyewitness account of Azusa, you’ll read about the almost tangible presence of God experienced by those who were there, as well as the amazing things they saw. Gain insight into the lives and worldviews of early believers and find out how the early twentieth-century Pentecostal Movement swept across Los Angeles, the United States, and, finally, the world. Featuring an introduction by Dr. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., a leading scholar of the Azusa Street Revival.

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Top Highlights

“‘The depth of revival will be determined exactly by the depth of the spirit of repentance.’ And this will obtain for all people, at all times.” (Page 52)

“Another writer has said: ‘The apostacy of the early church came as a result of a greater desire to see the spread of its power and rule than to see new natures given to its individual members. The moment we covet a large following and rejoice in the crowd that is attracted by our presentation of what we consider truth, and have not a greater desire to see the natures of individuals changed according to the divine plan, we start to travel the same road of apostacy that leads to Rome and her daughters.’” (Page 88)

“Divine love was wonderfully manifest in the meetings. They would not even allow an unkind word said against their opposers, or the churches. The message was the love of God. It was a sort of ‘first love’ of the early church returned. The ‘baptism’ as we received it in the beginning did not allow us to think, speak, or hear evil of any man. The Spirit was very sensitive, tender as a dove.” (Page 94)

“The officials of the church were tired of the innovation and wanted to return to the old order. He was told to either stop the revival, or get out. He wisely chose the latter. But what an awful position for a church to take, to throw God out.” (Page 61)

“Human organization and human programme leave very little room for the free Spirit of God. It means much to be willing to be considered a failure, while we seek to build up a purely spiritual kingdom. God’s kingdom cometh not ‘by observation.’” (Page 67)

  • Title: How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles: The Story behind the Azusa Street Revival
  • Author: Frank Bartleman
  • Series: Azusa Street Book Series
  • Publisher: Gospel Publishing House
  • Print Publication Date: 2017
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bartleman, Frank, 1871-1935; Pentecostals › United States--Biography; Pentecostalism › United States--History--20th century
  • ISBNs: 9781607314912, 1607314916
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:40:49Z
Born in a rural Pennsylvania town, Frank Bartleman (1871-1936) grew up on his father’s farm. His first job was to work the plow, though he suffered from relatively poor health all his life. He left home when he was seventeen and was converted in 1893, at the age of twenty-two, in the Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia. Bartleman’s desire to preach led him to enter full-time ministry the following summer. He was ordained by the Temple Baptist Church. Although he had the opportunity to be put through college and to one day have a paying position as a pastor, he chose instead “a humble walk of poverty and suffering,” working in the streets and slums.

In 1897, the young minister left the Baptist ministry. He joined with the Holiness Movement and spent some time with the Salvation Army, the Wesleyan Methodists, and the Peniel Missions. He rarely stayed at one address or in one church for very long. Bartleman’s wandering lifestyle had a tendency to depress him, even to the point where he contemplated suicide in 1899. Yet he was not entirely despondent, for in 1900 he married Anna Ladd, the matron of a school for fallen girls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Soon after he was married, Bartleman joined the Wesleyan Methodists and was assigned to a pastorate in Corry, Pennsylvania. Yet this ended up being a bad experience for him, as the church was far from moving toward an emotional and expressive Holiness religion, which was Bartleman’s spiritual focus. Bartleman headed west toward California, with his wife and the first of their four children, Esther, in tow.
In 1904, when the Bartlemans reached California, Frank was appointed as director of the Peniel Mission, a Holiness rescue mission in the heart of Sacramento. From there he tried to reenter the church pastoral ministry, but when this failed, he had to turn to odd jobs in order to keep his family alive. By December, he and his family had headed to Los Angeles, where hardship and tragedy awaited them. In January, Esther died, throwing Bartleman into a spell of grief; this loss, however, ultimately caused him to strengthen his commitment to ministry.
Throughout 1905, Bartleman worked largely with the Holiness churches in Los Angeles but was always on the lookout for the latest work of God. This led him to the Methodist and Baptist churches in the area, especially those connected with the revival occurring in Wales. For a time, Bartleman supported the New Testament Church, pastored by Joseph Smale. He also attended the mission at Azusa Street and established another at Eighth and Maple Streets. Bartleman’s wandering lifestyle as a young man had prepared him for following God’s work throughout his life, for he preached as a traveling evangelist for forty-three years.
Bartleman’s more than 550 articles, 100 tracts, and six books served as a complete and reliable record of the revival at Azusa Street and throughout Los Angeles from 1905 through 1911. Bartleman’s reports were published and republished for Holiness papers around the nation, and his reputation grew as a man who had a passion for increased unity and spiritual renewal among Pentecostals.
Frank Bartleman died on August 23, 1936, and is buried in Burbank, California.


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