Pentecostals Praise God in Many Tongues

Believers worldwide gather in L.A. — singing, dancing and shouting — to mark the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival.

By K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer

Carrying banners and making music, about 3,000 exuberant Christians on Saturday kicked off a weeklong centennial celebration of the birthplace of modern Pentecostalism in Little Tokyo with a “Holy Spirit Procession” through downtown Los Angeles.Thousands of Christians worldwide are coming to Los Angeles this week to mark the 100th anniversary of what is called the Azusa Street Revival, considered the cradle of the global Pentecostal movement, the fastest growing branch of Christianity, with 500 million adherents.

Saturday’s march began at a modest house on Bonnie Brae Street where William J. Seymour, an African American preacher, once held prayer meetings, and ended on Little Tokyo’s Azusa Street, where he established a multiracial mission that church historians say grew into the modern Pentecostal movement.”It’s so incredible to see all the nations coming together, not just to celebrate but to ask God for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” said the Rev. Jonathan Ngai, pastor of Transformations Community.