On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the annual Azusa Lecture Series will take place and will include a lecture by John Christopher Thomas and presentation of the Spirit of Azusa Award to Dr. French Arrington. The event will take place at 7:00 P.M. at the North Cleveland Church of God Bryant Fellowship Hall and is free and open to the public.
On April 14, 1906, a group of African Americans under the leadership of William J. Seymour established a mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. They had been holding services at a nearby home on Bonnie Brae Street, but when people began to speak in tongues and experience divine healings the crowds became too great for the residential neighborhood. Spiritual expectation, newspaper articles, and the San Francisco earthquake four days later increased attention to what God was doing in the small mission. Soon people began arriving from around the world to seek their personal “Pentecost.” Many were compelled to take the message to the nations, birthing the greatest missions movement in the history of Christianity. Individuals, congregations and denominations were swept into the new Pentecostal Movement. When mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians also began to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the twentieth century came to be called “The Century of the Holy Spirit.”
Speaker John Christopher Thomas is the Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary and serves as associate pastor of the Woodward Avenue Church of God in Athens, Tennessee. A founding editor of the Journal of Pentecostal Theology, Thomas edits the journal’s supplemental series of books and is general editor of the Pentecostal Commentary Series. An internationally recognized Bible scholar, Thomas directs the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University in Wales as well as the Centre for Pentecostal Theology in Cleveland, Tennessee. Among his seven books is the newly released commentary on the Book of Revelation, The Apocalypse.
Spirit of Azusa Award recipient French L. Arrington is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, having served for 21 years on that faculty as well as 17 years at Lee College. While at Lee, he was chairman of the Bible and Theology Department and honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award. A former pastor, Arrington has written extensively for ministerial and lay enrichment in the local church. His latest book is The Greatest Letter Ever Written: A Study of Romans.