Azusa Books

RESEARCH

1. Who was (were) the editor(s) of The Apostolic Faith papers published by the Azusa Street Mission? Some have said that Wm J. Seymour was the editor. Others say that growing up in the segregated south would have prevented him from acquiring the necessary skills for such an undertaking, so it would have to be Clara Lum who already had the necessary job experience when she came to Azusa. Vanzandt, a writer in Portland, Oregon, (who was opposed to Pentecostalism), wrote that "W.J. Seymour opened up the Apostolic Faith Work in Los Angeles, and he and his people were publishing a paper called 'The Apostolic Faith,' which carried his name as editor." Well, we know for sure that Vanzandt was confused because we can see for ourselves that the 'no credit' policy was closely followed. It was on purpose that we cannot find that answer.

However some clues did escape their notice.

Look for the first clue in paper volume 1, number1, page 1, column 1, midway through the second paragraph. This would , of course, have been the first editorial published.

Look for the second clue in the upper left corner of page 2, paper number 13. Notice that none of the other twelve papers carried the instructional note given there.

Look for the third clue in paper number 14 published between number 13, the last official copy from Azusa, and number 15, the first paper from Portland, Oregon. To discover that clue, make three columns on a piece of paper and put WJS in one column, Lum in another and FLC in the third. Scan through paper number 14 looking for articles by Seymour or about Azusa. Put a hash mark under his name for each article, quote, or mention. Do the same for Lum and for FLC. Articles about the camp meeting she was holding in Portland should be counted in the FLC column. Talley up the hash marks. Paper number 14 is available on this website.

 

2. Vanzandt, mentioned in challenge #1, wrote a book titled Speaking in Tongues in which he explained that Pentecostals were misguided people. Subscribing to the Los Angeles Apostolic Faith papers, but having personal knowledge of no one in Los Angeles, he chose to show that Pentecostals in Portland where he lived were dishonest in order to prove his point. On page 35 of his book he writes, "They say they left 'twenty complete lists of all subscribers in Los Angeles.'" And then he adds, "Left lists of all subscribers that were in, but not outside of, Los Angeles." His ability to read Seymour's name as editor of the Azusa papers is matched by his ability to interpret three different mailing lists from the statement from the Portland church that they left twenty complete lists of all subscribers in Los Angeles.' He appears to have created twenty two imaginary list; one national, one international, and twenty local Los Angeles list.

Some Azusa history writers have relied on Vanzandt for the story of the mailing lists. The challenge; find two other sources of that story. Note that some authors may have relied on Vanzandt, but neglected to credit him because of his unfounded conclusion regarding subjects about which he had no actual knowledge. Usually autobiographical reference or foot notes should indicate the source of any important information.

Incidentally, Vanzandt did back-peddle. He added, "Suppose they did leave twenty complete lists of all in Los Angeles, what right had they to take anything ..."

C.W. Shumway is another who was critical of the Azusa revival. He denied that God was there saying the people were worked up emotionally, not spiritually. He is a source of the story that Clara Lum took 'French leave' carrying the mailing lists to Portland. Can we trust people who are enemies of the Azusa Revival as our best source of truth about ourselves? Hence the challenge to locate two other reliable sources about what really happened.

 

3. Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about when the separation of the Portland Apostolic Faith Church from the Azusa Mission occurred?

  1. It happened in January of 1908 when Florence Crawford moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon.
  2. It happened in May of 1908 when the Seymours were married.
  3. It happened on the 11th day of October, 1909 when the Portland church was incorporated in the State of Oregon; County of Multnomah.
  4. It happened in May of 1911 when Seymour traveled to Portland, revoked the ministerial license of both Ernest S. William and Florence Crawford, and demanded the return of the publishing of the Apostolic Faith paper and the current mailing list to Azusa.

The challenge; research the reasons for your choice of the foregoing. Complete your own research first then compare your conclusions with ours as stated in the booklet The Azusa Street Mission Time Line which is available on this website.

Some background information which you may wish to research; This Ernest Williams (statement D above) is the same Ernest Williams who served as leader of the Assemblies of God in the nineteen-thirties and forties.

 


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