Azusa Street's Critics

Every great revival has had its share of skeptics and scoffers. Azusa Street was no exception. Below is a sampling of some of the harsh critics of the early Pentecostal revival. Click the name to read the article.

Each of these articles was clipped from a "Christian" periodical. Most are from the "Holiness" movement.

You may also click a link to see some caustic cartoons about the revival.

How did the faithful respond to their critics? This is from The Apostolic Faith in November 1906:

Before the fire broke out in Los Angeles a brother had a vision of fires springing up and then gathering together and advancing in a solid wall of flame. A preacher was trying to put it out with a wet gunny sack, but it was evident there was no use fighting it. Our God marches on. Hallelujah. The man with the wet gunny sack is here also, but his efforts only call attention to the fire.

This is what A. S. Worrell, a Baptist evangelist and translator of the New Testament said about the Azusa critics in his publication, Gospel Witness:

This work seems to be increasing in power, despite all the efforts of self-appointed critics and antagonists. The writer has not a single doubt but that Brother Seymour has more power with God, and more power from God, than all his critics in and out of this city . . . We tremble for some of our friends, who claim that God has revealed to them, that “this whole work is of the devil."

We cannot dogmatically affirm that these persons have not received a revelation; but we are perfectly sure that such a revelation was not from God. The Almighty doth not pull down with one hand, what He buildeth up with the other. Satan is not in the rescue work; nor does he lead his followers to magnify the atoning blood of Christ nor fill people with a desire and a passion for saving souls. We have never known Christ more magnified than in Azusa Mission. To ascribe this work to Satan appears to us to be very much like ascribing the work of Christ, done in the power of the Spirit, to Beelzebub. We tremble for all those who have made any such rash decision.

Now here are a few of the skeptics and scoffers--

Phineas Bresee

A. Sulger

Alma White

F. M. Messenger

Critical Cartoons

Dr. Martin has published a book featuring the critics of the Revival. You can find it at our online bookstore by clicking here.

To Continue reading the Azusa Street Story, click any link below:

The Life of William Seymour

The Revival Begins

The Newspaper

Azusa Street Participants

Azusa Street Testimonies

Azusa Street Critics