Can we talk about radical praise? Can we talk about transcendent faith? A Spirit that stretched from Africa to a tiny street in Los Angelos, California. Do. Not. Miss. Today! Take a praise break! I’m about to shout right now. God, I thank you for your grace. Today’s walk is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the Pentecostal Movement.
…to actual spiritual warriors.
At the turn of the 20th century, America was at the height of lynching. Terror gripped Black homes. But they didn’t run. They grounded down – took to the woods – and prepared for spiritual battle. Tent revivals, tarrying, drums, call and response. Hand clapping. Foot stomping. A revival of heart, mind, and body – night after night. A conjuring of justice. Gratitude for God’s Grace. Bigger. More connected. We chanted 2 Timothy 1:7. More power, more love. You won’t take our minds. It’s how we survived. The fire reigned down. Healing. Protection. Insight. Divine peace. Ultimate resilience. Harriet was born of that fire. Fannie was born of that fire. King was born of that fire. We are that fire.
Here’s what you need to know. The biggest religious movement in American history was started by Black people. It happened in 1906 in Los Angeles. On a tiny street named Azusa. The Pentecostal movement was born. Newspapers came out, took photographs, and debated publicly about people speaking in tongues and being overcome with spiritual fervor. What they didn’t know then but we understand now is this – that fire wasn’t born on Azusa Street. It was born in Africa. God covered our babies when men with guns came to destroy. We are only here today because of the prayers of our foremothers in the bellies of slave ships. Our dance was perfected in Congo Square. But it was on Azusa Street that Black people made public the spiritual inheritance of Africa that lit a fire across America. We’ve always been directly connected to God. They called it Pentecostalism.
The Holy Ghost rained over this country in the fastest-growing religious movement in history. A few important pioneers who believed that full sanctification or a supreme union with God on this earth was possible – being baptized in the Holy Ghost and filled with tongues – they believed that we ourselves could be Saints. In the beginning, it was intently and plainly called the Church of God to purposely shed all trappings of past religious distinction. We are just God’s church – that’s it. All are welcome. It evolved into what is now many beautiful denominations from COGIC to Apostolic.
Today’s walk is dedicated to all of the unsung heroes who rallied an army of spiritual warriors to intercede at the height of American terror.
Join the second edition of GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp at blackhistorybootcamp.com to receive specially curated emails with inspiring words, survival tips, speeches + dedicated songs to listen to for each episode. Together we will discover the stories and explore the pivotal moments from some of the most powerful movements in Black history.
Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the music played during this broadcast. Original content can be found here:
Charles G Hayes & Warriors – Jesus Can Work It Out Remix:
Kirk Franklin – Stomp (Remix):