The Spreading Revival

The Spreading Revival
By Fred J. Foster

We have noted the beginnings of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the twentieth century. We will now take a view of it as it spreads across the country. From far and wide the curious and the hungry had come to Los Angeles, and from there they returned back home to spread the story of their experience and the wonderful way God had blessed at Azusa Street Mission.

The fight was on! The more this message was preached and people embraced it, the more the old line churches fought against it. Leading pastors and evangelists of the day took strong stands against the “tongues movement.” Yet nothing could stop it. Ordained of God, heaven-backed, nothing could derail it from its intended purpose of delivering, blessing and aiding the earnest seeker of truth.


J. T. Boddy tells what happened in Ohio. “Conventions and camp meetings in the interest of Pentecostal truth were held everywhere, and the fire fell in a remarkable way on these occasions. At one camp meeting in Ohio in 1908, I saw what could not be less than from fifty to seventy people prostrated at one time under the power of God, numbers of whom received the baptism in the Spirit.”‘


In 1907, a Pentecostal convention was held in Rochester, New York. Miss Susie A. Duncan wrote a glowing report: “Many times the tongues have been understood by missionaries and linguists who have heard the Spirit-filled speak Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, French, Hindi, Chinese and other languages. A most convincing incident occurred in our midst one Sunday evening. After the opening hymns were ended, John Follette, then one of the students in our Bible school, arose and began to speak with great feeling in the new tongue. After this he burst forth in rapturous song, and then all was quiet. At the close of the service a lady and a gentleman, who were strangers, came to us and asked, ‘Who is that young Jew who spoke and sang?’ They were surprised to learn that he was not a Jew but a young American. The gentleman then stated that he had lived in Paris and understood several languages. He said that the young man sang and spoke in perfect Hebrew, rendering a Psalm which he had heard in the synagogues in Paris. He said the rendition was impossible to an American; the intonation and variety of expression was unique, and could not be reproduced by a foreigner except in this supernatural manner.

“In the revival in New York at this time,” Miss Duncan said, “we kept a record until the number had reached something like two hundred, then we felt a check in our Spirit as to numbering the people, and from that time desisted.

“Many have received healing as well as the Baptism, and in our conventions testimonies have been given of healing of all manner of diseases.” (2)


Florence L. Crawford received the Holy Spirit baptism at Azusa Street Mission. In 1907 she departed for Portland, Oregon where she, along with Will Trotter, established a great work. Under her capable and strong leadership several missions in that part of the country were opened, with many coming into the “tongue movement.” Soon an “unorganized organization” sprang up, revolving around her Portland headquarters. The Portland group called themselves The Apostolic Faith, the same name Seymour and Parham’s groups used, although there was no organizational connection between the three. (3) (Seemingly it was a popular name of the day.)


Howard Goss, a memorable leader in Pentecost says: “Fresh from the revival in Los Angeles, Sister Lucy Farrow returned to attend this camp meeting (held in Brunner). Although black, she was received as a messenger of the Lord to us, even in the Deep South of Texas.

“One day she preached and told about the great outpouring at Azusa Street. After she finished speaking, she prayed for the people to receive the Holy Ghost. The Lord had been using her to lay hands on the people and pray. God would then fill them with the Holy Ghost and speak through them in other tongues. A long line of people queued up before the platform, and as she laid her hands upon each head, one after the other received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues. I had not spoken in tongues since my initial experience a few months previous, so I went forward, that she might place her hands upon me. When she did, the Spirit of God again struck me like a bolt of lightning; the power of God surged through my body and I again began speaking in tongues. I have thanked God for this experience all these years, and for the power and privilege of speaking in tongues now at will. I thank God for Sister Lucy Farrow, who later went to Africa as a missionary, and still later, while in Africa, went home to glory.” (4)


Reports were coming from everywhere of people receiving the Holy Ghost baptism. It was as if the first century was being relived, to see the spreading flame moving so quickly into so many places.

“In 1909 Howard A. Goss and his wife went to Malvern, Arkansas, with a gospel tent, and about three hundred received the marvelous filling of the Holy Spirit in a very short time, several of whom became ministers. The revival continued while many of these went out into other fields of labor with great success in winning souls for Christ. The manifestation of tongues and healings was also present.” (5)

It was from this revival that a group of workers went into the community where Samuel C. McClain was teaching school. McClain visited the school to investigate the peculiar things he heard were going on in the revival there. He was so impressed that on the night of his third visit he made his way to the altar, and was excitingly filled with the Holy Ghost.

He said, “On that occasion all this glorious power captured this little unruly member, the tongue, and…I began to speak languages I had never heard before. This was the beginning of another great revival
in which many were filled with the Holy Ghost. Everywhere people were praying and seeking God for a closer walk in the Spirit–in their homes, fields, groves, barns–everywhere someone was praying through, being baptized with the Holy Spirit. There were also many wonderful
healings.” (6)

Andrew D. Urshan was attending Moody Church in Chicago in this year 1910. At eighteen years of age, in 1902, he had come to this country from Iran to find a new way of life, and now this year he was surely to find it.

A sincere young man, he had been very bold in taking a stand for his Christian principles, preaching to anyone who would listen. Dr. A. C. Dixon, the prominent pastor of Moody Church, gave this intelligent young man permission to use an upstairs room to hold services. He had won some Assyrian converts and, together with them, he would hold services in what they called their upper room. Pentecost fell in this upper room as it had fallen on the early Christians, but naturally with the disfavor of the church. Through this and the subsequent Persian Mission, which was founded after their removal from Moody Church, many of Persian descent were brought into this same experience. (7) A. D. Urshan, although spending most of his long, fruitful ministry in the United States, later sailed back to his homeland as a powerful missionary.

And so it went, pursuing its way. From north to south and east to west the story goes on and on, God having already prepared the way in some places. Many had received the Holy Spirit, not realizing what had come upon them. A. E. Humbard, when a young man, received the Holy Ghost a long time before he had heard of such an experience. Lewis Jones of Albuquerque, New Mexico received his experience and spoke with tongues twenty years before a Pentecostal preacher arrived on the scene. (8) Mightily God moved to spread revival fires.

1 Frodsham, “With Signs Following,” p. 46, 47.
2 Ibid., p. 48, 49.
3 Ewart, “Phenomenon of Pentecost,” p. 48.
4 Goss, ‘ Winds of God,” p. 56.
5 McClain, “Students Handbook of Facts in Church History, p. 56.
6 Ibid., p. 63.
7 Urshan, “The Witness of God, ” August, September, October, 1962.
8 McClain, “Students Handbook of Facts in Church History'” p. 58.