A pastor from New England, whom I had never met, invited me to speak in their Sunday morning and Sunday evening services. He said he decided to contact me after visiting a revival center and purchasing a copy of my book, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. He also said his church was experiencing revival.

As I prayed over these services, I received a clear word from the Lord. I heard Him say, “I want them to take the revival outside the four walls of their church.” The passage He gave for this message was John 4:22-24, where Jesus said to the woman of Samaria,

Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father . . . but the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

These words of Jesus were prompted by the Samaritan woman asking Him concerning the right place to worship. The Jews and Samaritans were deeply divided over this issue with the Samaritans claiming that Mt. Gerizim, where they had built their own temple, was the God-appointed place for sacrifice and worship.

The Jews, on the other hand, insisted that their temple in Jerusalem was the God-appointed place for sacrifice and worship. So incensed were they with the Samaritan claim that in 128 b.c. a Jewish army destroyed the Samaritan temple. The Samaritans, however, still considered its ruins a sacred site and place of worship, and they outright rejected the temple and priesthood in Jerusalem.

The Big Question

The woman was prompted to ask this question when Jesus told her things about herself that He had no way of knowing. When he asked her to call her husband and bring him to the well where they talked, she replied, “I have no husband.”

Jesus responded by saying she had spoken the truth for she had had five husbands and the man with whom she now lived was not her husband. The woman was amazed and said, Sir, I perceive you are a prophet.

It was at this point that she decided to ask Jesus the theological question on which Jews and Samaritans were so deeply divided. Where is the right place to worship?

Is not her question just as relevant today? Indeed, many in the 21st century are asking, “Where is the right place to worship?” Is it the Roman Catholic Church? Is it the Baptist Church? Is it the Methodist Church? Is it the Pentecostal Church?

Jesus proceeded to tell her that the time had come when true worship could no longer be identified with a building or geographic location. Mt. Gerizim and Jerusalem were now irrelative. God is seeking those, Jesus said, who will worship Him in spirit and truth. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

By saying God is Spirit, Jesus was emphasizing that God is not confined to a corporeal, physical body nor to any man-made building or temple. Worship, therefore, cannot be confined to a building, a geographic location, or a certain time of the week.

Jesus made it clear that God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit from a sincere heart, and the location is unimportant. It might be driving down the highway or working in the kitchen or a gathering on the beach as we see in the above photo.

I was recently walking through Walmart when an old hymn came to mind and I began to softly sing, The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as my heart overflowed with a sense of His goodness and grace. Walmart had become a place of worship for me.

They Failed the Test

Sue and I arrived at the revival church on Sunday morning as Sunday school was ending and people were filling the auditorium. The auditorium was soon packed with about 300 people.

I was excited to share with them the message I had received about Jesus’ conversation with the woman of Samaria and how He wanted them to take their revival outside the four walls of their church building.

Suddenly, someone reported that there was a strange smell coming from one of the Sunday school rooms. A fireman in the congregation rushed home and came back with an instrument for measuring such fumes. He then announced that the church should be vacated until a more sophisticated measuring device could be brought from the Fire Department.

In a few minutes, the entire congregation was standing in an open field behind the church building. I noted that there was a small porch on the back of the church that would make an ideal platform from which to preach. I was excited for it seemed that God had set things up for my message that they were to take their revival outside the four walls of their church building.

I approached the pastor and said to him, “I will be very happy to preach to the people from the porch.” He replied, “Let me talk to the elders.” In a few minutes he returned and said, “We have decided to send the people home.”

I was both disappointed and amazed that they were not willing to worship and hear the preaching of God’s word outside the four walls of their church building. I sensed the Holy Spirit speak in my heart, “This was a test and they failed the test.”

Have We Passed the Test?

I wonder how many churches failed the test during the pandemic when many were completely closed and others allowed to function only at limited capacity. Some passed the test but many were completely lost for they found it difficult to think of church and worship outside the four walls of their church building and their structured programs.

America’s founding generation passed the test, for America was birthed out of a Great Awakening that took place largely outside the four walls of church buildings. Benjamin Franklin testified to this in describing the ministry of George Whitefield, the young British evangelist who first arrived in America in 1738. Franklin wrote,

He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches, but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous and it was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 79).

Whitefield had begun preaching outside the church buildings back in England. He was ordained by the Church of England but when rectors began refusing him their pulpits he went to the streets and open fields and proclaimed the Gospel. His friend, John Wesley, followed suit and the great Methodist revival in England also occurred largely outside the established churches.

When the mayor of a certain English city accused Whitefield of preaching on “unconsecrated ground,” he replied in the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman, saying,

Honored sir, give me leave to inform you, that God is not now confined to places, but seeketh such to worship Him, who worship in spirit and in truth. Where two or three are gathered together in Christ’s Name, there will Christ be in the midst of them. The Church is defined to be, not the church walls, but a congregation of Christian people. Such is mine (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 99).

The Summation

I thank God for all the wonderful buildings He has allowed us to have in which to worship. We must not, however, confine our faith and our revivals to our church buildings, or to our well oiled and organized programs.  In the New Testament, there are no holy buildings, rituals, or objects; only a holy people called by His Name.

Yes, the time Jesus said was coming is here. The New Testament tells us that we, His people, are the temple of God. We are His sanctuary (I Corinthians 3:16-17). Let us, therefore, take our faith and our revivals to the streets, the marketplace, the internet, and the Halls of Congress. It is time to worship the Father, as Jesus said, in spirit and truth.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents how America was birthed out of a Great Awakening that also unleashed the moral outrage and spiritual strength that brought about the end of slavery on this continent. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. To hear this message that was shared at "Church Where You Are," click this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtYTfok7QLE



He was the perfect example of what happens when we neglect the Word of God in our pursuit of spiritual experiences. Without the ballast of God’s Word, we may well float away into a La-la land of false spirituality, and this was the case of this individual.

My two friends and I encountered this strange little man while going door-to-door, offering to pray with people, and inviting them to revival services we were conducting in Kiowa, OK in 1972. We knocked on his door and he invited us into his home.

We immediately noticed that his living room wall was papered with numerous pictures and letters from well-known preachers of that time such as Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, R.W. Schambach, W.V. Grant, Rev. Ike, and others.

Almost immediately, he began telling us about his sensational, spiritual experiences, including visions and out-of-the-body experiences. He told us that he had been to both heaven and hell. He also said he saw Jesus in hell, whom he said was still there suffering for our sins.

This was so contradictory to what the New Testament says about Jesus ascending on high and sitting at the right hand of God that we immediately knew it was a lie. My friend, Ruel, interrupted him and said, “Jesus is not in hell; He is in heaven.” This individual angrily retorted, “Don’t you call me a liar; I will kill you. I was there. I saw him.”

We did not need any special revelation to know that this man was not of God. We were young but we knew enough of the Bible to know this man was totally deceived. His spiritual experiences did not line up with God’s Word, and the Spirit of God will always agree with the Word of God.

Martin Luther Learned this Lesson

Martin Luther was open to dynamic workings of the Holy Spirit and he testified to miraculous healings and personal spiritual experiences. However, he was adamant that all spiritual experiences must align with the testimony of God’s Word, and he lived this out in his own life.

One day, for example, while in intense prayer, he saw a shining vision on the wall of Jesus, with the wounds of His passion, looking down at him. Luther thought at first it was a heavenly vision but changed his mind when he noted that the person in the vision was not compatible with the Christ he knew from God’s Word. He said,

Therefore, I spoke to the vision thus: “Begone you, confounded devil. I know no other Christ than He who was crucified, and who in His Word is presented unto me.” Whereupon the image vanished, clearly demonstrating from whom it came (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 53).

Luther also used God’s word in challenging false prophetic revelations. While hiding in the Castle of Wartburg after his excommunication and condemnation at the Diet of Worms, two men from Zwickau, known as the Zwickau Prophets, visited his hometown of Wittenberg.

These men claimed to have had divine visions, dreams, and visits from the angel Gabriel. They wowed the people with their prophetic revelations and began taking the reform movement in Wittenberg in a radical direction that was not compatible with God’s Word.

When Luther heard what was happening, he put his life at risk and returned to Wittenberg. He preached eight sermons on eight consecutive days, challenging with God’s Word the visions and dreams of the prophets from Zwickau. The noted historian, Philip Schaff, said, “In plain, clear, strong, scriptural language, he refuted the errors without naming the errorists.”

It soon became obvious to the people that the two men were in error because their revelations did not agree with God’s Word. The prophets, realizing they had lost their influence, left Wittenberg, and never returned. One of Luther’s colleagues wrote to the Elector of that region,

Oh, what joy has Dr. Martin’s return spread among us. His words, through divine mercy, are bringing back every day misguided people into the way of truth. It is as clear as the sun, that the Spirit of God is in him, and that he returned to Wittenberg by His special providence (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 54).

The Leaders at the Azusa Street Revival Understood This

The Azusa Street Revival (1906-09) is well-known as the place from which the Pentecostal revival spread around the world. Gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of prophecy, were common occurrences and were encouraged. What is not so well know about the revival is that God’s Word was central, and every teaching and activity had to measure up to the standard of Biblical truth.

For example, the June-Sept. 1907 issue of The Apostolic Faith, the official paper of the revival, carried a statement that read,

We are measuring everything by the Word; every experience must measure up to the Bible. Some say that is going too far, but if we have lived too close to the Word, we will settle that with the Lord when we meet Him in the air (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 54).

William Seymour and the leaders at Azusa believed that the diligent study of Scripture was the only way that fanaticism and spiritual pride could be avoided. The January 1908 issue carried a page of questions and answers. One person had asked, “Do we need to study the Bible as much after receiving the Holy Ghost?” The response was:

Yes, if not we become fanatical or many times will be led by deceptive spirits and begin to have revelations and dreams contrary to the Word, and begin to prophesy and think ourselves some great one, bigger than some other Christians. But by reading the Bible prayerfully, waiting before God, we become just humble little children, and we never feel that we have got more than the least of God’s children (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 55).

The Berean Approach

Those at Azusa remind us of the Bereans in Acts 17:11. Before arriving in Berea, Paul and Silas had escaped an angry mob in Thessalonica that opposed their gospel message. The Bereans, by contrast, were open to their message but first compared it to the revelation of Scripture. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke says,

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find whether those things were so.

In other words, the Bereans would not accept the message of Paul and Silas before evaluating it in the light of God’s Word. They were commended for this by the Holy Spirit and described as being “noble” in their attitude and actions.

The Bereans were open, but they were not naïve. They evaluated everything Paul and Silas said in the light of the revelation of Scripture. They believed that the Word and Spirit would always agree.

Final Thought

In this post-modern era when personal, mystical experiences are valued over reason and common sense, we as Spirit-filled followers of Christ have an important role to play. We value spiritual experiences, but we recognize that there is a fleshly and demonic realm and that the validity of our experiences must be measured by the truth of Scripture. We must demonstrate to the church and the world our firm belief that the Spirit and Word will always agree.

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Prophets and Prophecy, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. If you are concerned about America's future and wonder if we might see another Great Awakening, check out his book 1726, also available from Amazon and his website. 



I received an email from a distraught parent whose daughter is being taught, in a Christian school, that America's founders were bad people who only wanted freedom and equality for themselves. I sent her the article below, which she read and immediately forwarded to the principal with an exprssion of her concern.

Her school has obviously been influenced by the New York Times' "1619 Project," which paints America as racist and evil. Proponents of the 1619 narrative claim that America was forever defined by slavery and that 1619, when the first African slaves were brought to this land, represents her true founding, not 1776.

Sadly, school children throughout America are being brainwashed by this twisted history of our country. Now, Oprah Winfrey has teamed up with Disney to produce a "docuseries" for TV that will propagate this same distortion of America's origins.

If we do not preserve our true history, the America of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, and King will be no more, for as George Orwell said, "Whoever controls the past, controls the future." 

1726 is the Key for Interpreting Our History

Slavery is a horrible blight on America’s past and could have defined her had it not been for 1726. That year, a great, spiritual awakening began, which eventually engulfed colonial America in an inferno of religious fervor. Racial and cultural barriers were breached and an abolition movement was ignited that eventually brought about the end of slavery on this continent.

Instead of being defined by 1619, America became defined by 1726 as a land of faith and freedom. The key to preserving our history and confronting the 1619 myth is to understand what happened, beginning in 1726. Interpreting America's history in the light of 1726 changes everything. 

In the following essay, I present 5 facts from the 1726 narrative that completely dispels the 1619 myth about America.

Fact #1
Slavery Was Not Unique to America

Slavery came into the world as a result of the Fall (Genesis 3) when our first parents rebelled against their Creator. It is a part of sinful humanity and has been practiced by peoples and civilizations for thousands of years. Slavery was common throughout the Roman Empire and it has been said that the master-slave relationship in Rome was as common as the employer-employee relationship today.

During its 400-year reign, the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire enslaved millions of white Europeans. Decades after the Emancipation Proclamation in America, white slaves were still being bought and sold in the Islamic Ottoman Empire. When the first African slaves were brought to America in 1619, slavery was being practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and many parts of the world. 

This is why the late Dr. Walter Williams said that slavery in America was neither odd nor strange. Williams, who happened to be black, pointed out that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, “An estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”

Williams said that what was unique about slavery in America was both the brevity of its existence and the moral outrage that arose against it. The late historians, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, agreed, saying,

Europeans did not outdo others in enslaving people or treating slaves viciously. They outdid others by creating a Christian civilization that eventually stirred moral condemnation of slavery and roused mass movements against it.

Fact #2
America Was at the Forefront of the Fight to End Slavery

As documented in my book, 1726, a powerful anti-slavery movement emerged out of the great, spiritual awakening that rocked colonial America in the 18th century. In this “Great Awakening,” racial and cultural barriers were breached as blacks and whites worshipped together and shared the Gospel with everyone regardless of race or status in life.

Awakening preachers began to viciously attack the institution of slavery around 1750. Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), for example, who had been personally tutored by Jonathan Edwards, pastored for a time in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. What he saw in Newport deeply grieved him and he wrote, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day.” 

In 1774, after the First Continental Congress had convened in Philadelphia, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to England and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the Colonies.

As “Liberty” was becoming a watchword throughout the Colonies, the preachers of the Awakening began applying it to the enslaved in America. Like Hopkins, they pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from England while continuing to tolerate the institution of slavery in their midst. The Baptist preacher, John Allen, thundered,

Blush ye pretended votaries of freedom! ye trifling Patriots! who are making a vain parade of being advocates for the liberties of mankind, who are thus making a mockery of your profession by trampling on the sacred natural rights and privileges of Africans (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 93-94).

Out of this Great Awakening and the racial harmony it stirred, black preachers, such as Richard Allen, began to arise and saw great success with both black and white audiences. Black congegations, both slave and free, began to be formed and the American black church, that has had such a positive and profound influence on American life, was born.

The breaching of racial barriers in the Great Awakening provided the social context for George Washington to order his recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the ranks of the Continental Army. As a result, by 1781 one in every seven American soldiers was black. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain.

Yes, at a time when slavery was accepted and practiced throughout the world, moral outrage had arisen against it in colonial America. 

Fact #3
America’s Founders Rejected Slavery
When it Was Accepted Around the World

As a result of the Great Awakening and the abolition movement it launched, virtually all of America’s founders turned against slavery at a time it was accepted and practiced throughout the world. Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written about this, saying,

Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).

Many of America's founders were passionate abolitionists. For example, Dr, Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He helped form America’s first Abolition Society in his hometown and he called on the ministers of America to take a bold stand against slavery, saying, “Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).

Two years before the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin liberated his two slaves and began advocating for abolition. He joined the Abolition Society in Philadelphia and later served as its president.

George Washington’s situation was more complex. He had inherited a large plantation with a large number of slaves, and he realized that to thrust them suddenly and unprepared into the world would have been unwise, and perhaps, harmful to them.

To remedy the situation, Washington set up a compassionate program to disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Those slaves who wanted to leave were free to do so. Those who chose to remain were paid wages, and he began a program to educate and prepare the children of slaves for freedom. Concerning abolition, he declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 103).

Even those founders, such as Patrick Henry, who did not free their slaves admitted that it was sinful and wrong. By the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787, virtually every founder agreed with John Adams who declared,

Every measure of prudence ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).

Yes, America’s founders were at the forefront of the fight to end slavery in the 18th century.

Truth #4
America’s Founding Documents Are Colorblind

Because of the Great Awakening that began in 1726, there are no classifications based on race or skin color in America’s founding documents. Slavery is not mentionted. Nothing in either the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution indicates that the freedoms guaranteed do not apply to every individual. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) understood this and in his stirring, I Have a Dream speech, he challenged America, not to dispense with her founding documents, but instead, to live up to them. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared,

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Then quoting from the Declaration of Independence, he proclaimed,

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 122).

Yes, America’s founding documents are colorblind even if her history has not been. According to James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, this was purposeful for they felt it wrong to even mention slavery and thereby admit that there could be such a thing as human property.

Fact #5
Hundreds of Thousands of American Citizens
Sacrificed Their Lives to End Slavery

Where would a nation get the moral fortitude to sacrifice a million of its citizens in order to end slavery? The Civil War was, by far, the most costly war America has ever fought. There was an incredible loss of livelihood as cities were burned and crops destroyed, but nothing could compare with the loss of life that occurred.

It is estimated that at least 700,000 soldiers lost their lives, and all on Ameican soil. Add to this the civilian casualties and the thousands who were permanently maimed and injured and we arrive at the estimate of one million casualties. The magnitude of the loss is amplified by the fact that the United States population at the time was only 31 million.

By way of comparison, in WWII around 290,000 American soldiers lost their lives. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan less than 10,000 Americans have died. More lives were lost in the Civil War than in all wars combined from the American Revolution through the Korean Conflict.

It was truly a devastating time. Weeping could be heard in homes throughout America. In many homes both father and sons were missing. Hardly a family could be found that had not lost multiple family members.

It was the moral conviction that slavery was abhorrent in the sight of God that led hundreds of thousands of white Americans to join black Americans and put their lives on the line to abolish slavery in their homeland. This moral outrage was a product of 1726 and the Awakening that began that year and the Awakenings that came afterwards.

                                                 The Summation of it All

Yes, America’s history has been far from perfect, but where sin has abounded God’s grace has abounded much more (Romans 5:20b). Americans of all races and creeds can, therefore, sing together the words of the patriotic hymn, “America! America! God shed His grace on thee.”

This grace has come in the form of spiritual awakenings that have awakened the best in the American populace, inspiring individuals to love God with all their hearts and their neighbors as themselves. As a result, society has been transformed from within and the nation has prospered.

America stands in desperate need of another such Awakening. Because of 1726, Christian awakening is in our national DNA. We can, therefore, pray with confidence that another Great Awakening will sweep across our land, renewing our faith and bringing hope, healing, and reconciliation.  


This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available fromAmazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is the founder of the "1726 Project" dedicated to informing America about her Christian roots out of Spiritual Awakening.



Although William J. Seymour is acknowledged as the leader of the Azusa Street Revival, it was a black woman, Lucy Farrow, who provided the initial spark that ignited that revival. According to Mother Cotton, an early participant in the revival, no one spoke in tongues until Farrow arrived and began laying hands on the people and praying for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Farrow, who was the niece of the famous abolitionist, Frederick Douglas, had been Seymour’s pastor in Houston and he first heard of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues from her. That she was held in high esteem by Seymour, is indicated by the fact that he specifically asked her to come to Los Angeles.

After a time in Los Angeles, Farrow ministered with power across the southern United States and in Liberia in West Africa. She lived out her final years in Los Angeles where there were reported healings and remarkable answers to prayer through her ministry.

She is an incredible example for the church today of how one can overcome pain, prejudice and social obstacles and make an eternal impact on this world.

Farrow Overcomes Prejudicial Opposition

Little is known of Farrow’s early life including the exact date of her birth. What is known is that she was born into slavery in the state of Virginia. As a black woman living in the South during Reconstruction, life would not have been easy.

Nonetheless, she became a powerful voice in the early Pentecostal revival and provided the spark in Los Angeles that ignited the revival that has spread around the world and impacted all of Christendom. She is an example of how one can become a force for God and good even in the most difficult and aggravating circumstances

Somewhere along the way Farrow moved to Houston, TX, probably around 1900, and became the pastor of a small, black, Holiness congregation. In Houston she would have lived under southern Jim Crow laws that were passed by southern states to keep blacks “in their place.”

These laws mandated racially segregated public facilities including separate public restrooms and drinking fountains, and separate seating in restaurants and on buses. Public schools were segregated and voting laws made it next to impossible for blacks to vote in elections.

These laws, however, were only outward manifestations of a deeply ingrained prejudice and hatred that Farrow faced every day of her life. But instead of becoming bitter and taking on a victim mentality, she allowed the faith of God and the love of God to so fill her heart that she was able to be used by God to bring down racial barriers and minister powerfully to both blacks and whites in the fledgling Pentecostal revival. 

Divine Connections

While pastoring in Houston, Farrow met Charles Parham who came there from Baxter Springs, Kansas in October of 1905 to hold a meeting in Bryan Hall. Parham was preaching a message about a baptism in the Holy Spirit that would be accompanied by speaking in tongues, which he called the “Bible evidence.”

He also told about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that had occurred in his Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas in January of 1901 when virtually every student had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoken in tongues.

Farrow attended these meetings (in a segregated area) and was intrigued by what she heard. She acquainted herself with Parham and his wife, Sarah, and they obviously were impressed with her, for when they returned to Baxter Springs they invited Farrow to go with them. Farrow accepted their invitation and turned the pastored of her congregation to one of her young parishioners named William Seymour.

While in the Parham home Farrow experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. This proved to a turning point in her life that positioned her to be an important catalyst in what would turn out to be the most dynamic and fastest growing movement in modern Christendom—the modern Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement.

When the Parhams returned to Houston in December to begin a Bible school in the New Year, Farrow returned with them and reconnected with her congregation. She told Seymour of her experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and encouraged him to enroll in the Bible school.

Seymour followed her advice and enrolled in the school where he learned more about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the “Bible evidence” of speaking in tongues. Although he did not receive the experience while in the school, he was convinced of its veracity and began to preach it to others. Farrow, demonstrating the true humility of her character, volunteered to be the cook for the school.

Seymour Precedes Farrow to Los Angeles

Seymour was in the school for about six weeks before departing for Los Angeles to accept the invitation to pastor a small store-front church in that city. When, however, he broached the subject of a baptism in the Holy Spirit accompanied by speaking in tongues, the elders decided he was preaching heresy and locked him out.

The Edward Lee family then invited Seymour stay in their home and they began attending prayer meetings being held in the Asberry home at 214 Bonnie Brae Street. Seymour soon became the recognized leader of the group and even though he had not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit himself, he shared with the people what he knew and encouraged them to pray for this Pentecostal experience.

Seymour also shared with the group about Farrow and how the baptism in the Holy Spirit had impacted her life. The group was so stirred that they took up a collection to purchase a train ticket for her to come to Los Angeles. They sent off the ticket with their invitation and a prayer that the Lord would speak to her to accept their invitation.

Farrow Sparks Pentecostal Revival in Los Angeles

Probably out of her deep sense of need, Farrow had developed a radical dependence on God and a rare sensitivity to His Holy Spirit. This dependence on God characterized every part of her life and ministry.

She did not have an “assembly line” approach in praying for people but only prayed as she was prompted by the Holy Spirit. This sort of radical dependence on God and sensitivity to the Spirit would characterize the revival that would break forth through her ministry in Los Angeles.

She arrived in Los Angeles probably in late March and was taken to the Lee home where she would be hosted. Shortly after her arrival, Edward Lee arrived home from work and met the woman Seymour had told them so much about.

Lee was so hungry for the baptism in the Holy Spirit that, after a brief introduction, he pleaded, “Sister, if you will lay your hands on me I believe I will get my baptism right now.” Farrow humbly replied, “I cannot do it unless the Lord says so.”

Shortly thereafter, while eating the evening meal, Farrow laid down her fork and pushed her chair back from the table. She arose and walked around the table to Edward Lee and said, “The Lord tells me to lay my hands on you for the Holy Ghost.” She then laid her hands on Lee who immediately fell out of his chair, and while lying on the kitchen floor, began speaking in tongues.

Revival Breaks Forth

That same evening the Lees and Farrow departed for the prayer meeting at the Asberry home with their hearts overflowing with the presence and joy of the Lord. As Edward Lee walked through the door, he lifted his hands and began speaking in tongues.

The power of God fell on those present and several fell to the floor and began speaking in tongues. Different gifts of the Spirit began to manifest. A young woman, Jenny Moore, who had never had a music lesson and played no musical instrument, arose from her seat and seated herself at a piano that was in the room. She then began playing beautifully and singing in tongues.

Word spread quickly that God was pouring out a new Pentecost on Bonnie Brae Street and people began to come from every direction. The house filled with people and the crowed overflowed onto the porch and into the yard. One participant said, “By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house.”

Realizing they needed more space, they searched and found an old abandoned building in downtown Los Angeles at 312 Azusa Street. They moved the prayer meeting to that location and had their first meeting on April 14, 1906. For the next three years the meetings ran around the clock as thousands flocked to Azusa Street from across America and form other nations as well.

Revival in Houston

After the move to Azusa Street, Farrow remained in Los Angeles for another four months, ministering with Seymour and providing a much-needed stability in the early days of revival. In August, she departed for Virginia, planning from there to go to Liberia in West Africa from whence her ancestors had been brought as slaves to America.

On her journey eastward she stopped in Houston and preached in Parham’s summer camp meeting. The large white audience was electrified as she told about the revival that was underway in Los Angeles.

She then prayed for many to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and, again and again, as in the book of Acts, they would break forth speaking in tongues as she laid her hands on them. One participant, Howard Goss, said, “She had an amazing gift for laying hands on people and them receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

It was an amazing demonstration of how real revival breaches racial and cultural barriers. Here was a black woman in the Jim Crow south preaching in a white camp meeting and laying hands on the participants who were being powerfully touched by God and baptized in the Holy Spirit. 

Revival in Virginia & Africa

Farrow lived by faith, having no settled fund from which to draw, but trusting God to meet every need as she walked in obedience to Him. From Houston she traveled on to Virginia and in Portsmouth held a series of meetings that lasted several weeks. It was reported that about 200 were saved and 150 received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Sensing an urgent call to Africa but realizing the powerful work that had begun in Portsmouth needed care, Farrow contacted Seymour and asked that a replacement be sent so she could continue on in her mission to Africa.

After help arrived from Los Angeles, Farrow traveled to New York and then sailed for Africa. She settled in Johnsonville about 25 miles from the capital of Monrovia from where she carried on a ministry of preaching, teaching, praying for the sick and leading people into the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was reported that many were brought to Christ during her short stay in that country.

Final Years in Los Angeles

Farrow returned to Los Angeles and lived out her final years in a small “faith cottage” located behind the Azusa Street Mission. Many visited her there to receive of her wisdom and her prayers. Many testified of being healed, baptized in the Holy Spirit, or to having received a “greater” infilling of the Spirit through her prayers. The time and circumstances surrounding her death are unknown.

Sadly, Lucy Farrow's name was, for the most part, left out of accounts of the Azusa Street  Revival. And to this date no one has located a picture or painting of her. Though forgotten on earth, I am sure the angels rejoiced and gave her a hero's welcome as she entered her eternal home. No doubt, she heard those priceless words from the Lord, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23).

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author and creator of the Revival History course, consisting of the textbook, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, its companion Study Guide, and 20 video lessons. The textbook and Study Guide are available from Amazon and His website at www.eddiehyatt.com. The video lessons are available on a USB drive from his website but can also be accessed free of charge on the youtube channel, "Advanced Christian Learning Center." https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW7oGkkZBrEa40U9uJdwPRgat 



A personal prophecy should always confirm what we already know in our hearts. It is dangerous to build one’s life and make important decisions based solely on prophecies. This was dramatically illustrated in the lives of two of the greatest revivalists of all time.

Wesley’s Strange Word to Whitefield

Twenty-six-year-old George Whitefield sat on a ship ready to sail for America from the port of Deal, located approximately 70 miles southeast of London. For some time, he had experienced a compelling call to preach the gospel to colonial America and now the day for his departure had finally arrived. His heart was filled with gratitude, excitement, and expectation.

As he waited for the ship's crew to hoist anchor and sail, a letter was delivered to him from John Wesley who had just returned from Georgia. He opened the letter and was stunned by what he read.

Wesley had written, “When I saw God, by the wind which was carrying you out, brought me in, I asked counsel of God. His answer you have enclosed.” The message Wesley had enclosed was, “Let him return to London.”

Whitefield was shocked and momentarily confused. Wesley was ten years his senior and had been a mentor to him. He held the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, in very high esteem. However, this word from John contradicted everything he believed about his call to America.

He Finds the Answer in God’s Word

As he prayed there came to his mind a story from the Old Testament where a prophet lost his life because he listened to the words of another prophet instead of diligently adhering to what God had told him.

I Kings 13 contains the story of an unnamed prophet to whom God spoke and instructed to go to Bethel and prophesy against the idolatrous altars that had been established there by King Jeroboam. God instructed him not to stop to eat or drink but to return directly home to Judah when he had completed his assignment.

Based on this directive from the Lord, the prophet went to Bethel. As he prophesied against the idolatrous altars as instructed, they miraculously split apart and the ashes were poured out on the ground. As a result of that miracle and a miracle of healing for King Jeroboam, the king invited the prophet to his home. He refused and recounted to the king what the Lord had told him.

But as he departed Bethel, an old prophet, who heard of what had happened, saddled his donkey and caught up with the prophet and invited him to his home to eat and drink. When the first prophet recounted to him what the Lord had instructed him, the old prophet said, I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, “Bring him back with you to your house that he may eat bread and drink water.” The old prophet, however, was lying.

Contrary to the instructions given him by the Lord, the prophet went back with the old prophet. While they were eating, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the old prophet and he prophesied to him that because of his disobedience he would not be buried in the tombs of his ancestors. Sure enough, upon leaving the old prophet’s home, he was met by a lion in the road, which killed him, fulfilling the old lying prophet’s prediction of his demise because of his disobedience.

As Whitefield prayed about Wesley’s letter, this story was powerfully impressed on his mind and heart. He knew that God was highlighting to him the importance of obeying the directions he had received from the Lord and to not listen to this word from another party, even such a respected one as John Wesley.

Three Powerful Lessons From This Story

It turns out that Wesley had “cast a lot” concerning whether Whitefield should go to America. This was something Wesley and others practiced, if after diligent prayer they were unable to discern the will of God.

Exactly how he cast the lot is not clear, but it may have been as simple as putting two sheets of paper in a bowl on which was written, “Proceed to America” and “Let him return to London” and then drawing the one that said, “Let him return to London.”

Hindsight is 20/20 and it is abundantly clear that Whitefield made the right decision in ignoring Wesley’s prophecy and sailing for America. He ignited the Great Awakening that transformed Colonial America and prepared her for statehood. Because of the massive crowds that attended his meetings, he became the most recognizable figure in colonial America and has been called “America’s Spiritual Founding Father.”

There are three powerful lessons to be derived from Whitefield’s experience:

1.    We are not to be led by lots, omens, or fleeces, but by the Spirit of God within our own hearts (Romans 8:14).

2.    Prophetic utterances are to be tested, even when they come from the most esteemed among us.

3.    We must be confident in our own ability to hear God and know His will.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s latest book entitled, Prophets and Prophecy. The book is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.