Pentecostal Enthusiasm Is Spreading
As the movement marks a key centennial, other Christians adopt its exuberant worship style.
By K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer
Since Saturday, more than 31,000 Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians from 113 countries have been making their presence felt throughout Los Angeles with what many call "joyful noises to the Lord."They have gathered for the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, the cradle of the modern Pentecostal movement. By day, many worship under a tent on Noguchi Plaza in Little Tokyo, the site where the Rev. William J. Seymour, a one-eyed African American preacher from Louisiana, established the city's first multiracial mission in 1906.
When the sun goes down, they move to a nearby Japanese American church and offer fervent personal and "global prayers," waving flags from many nations, singing and dancing until midnight, when they're anointed with "special" oil from Jerusalem. Until recently, mainstream Christian denominations tended to look down on Pentecostals because of their spontaneous, seemingly disorderly and loud services.