Pentecostals from over 100 countries will gather at the birthplace of their movement to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival.
According to the Assemblies of God – one of the largest Pentecostal denominations with 51 million members and a chief organizer of the Azusa Street Centennial Celebration – the home countries of the thousands of pre-registered delegates exceeds 100, making it among the most diverse religious gatherings in history.
"This is a terrific milestone and demonstrates the momentum that the Centennial has received over the last few weeks," stated Rev. Billy Wilson, executive officer for the Azusa Street Centennial, in an announcement released Monday. "This is another indicator of the diversity, cultural and spiritual experiences that will set this event apart from other events in our lifetime."
The Azusa Street Centennial is slated for Apr. 25-29, 2006 in Los Angeles – the birthplace of the modern-day Pentecostal and Charismatic movement.
The Pentecostal movement is historically believed to have begun with the Azusa Street Revival, which took place on April 9, 1906 at the home of Edward Lee. What began as a U.S.-based movement then quickly spread around the world with the vast majority now living in the “Global South.”
The estimated numbers of Pentecostals vary widely from a low 22 million to a high 400 million. Historians generally believe that there are about 115 million Pentecostal and Charismatic followers worldwide, with about 20 million believed to be living in the United States.
According to the Assemblies of God, the Centennial Celebration has been designed to appeal to an international audience from its conception. Translation services have been prepared in six languages, and speakers from each night will feature guests from Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.
"Africa is coming with bells on!” stated Dr. Jackson Senyonga, the African Centennial Representative and senior pastor of Christian Life Church in Kampala, Uganda. "The Azusa Street Revival has not touched a continent deeper than it has touched Africa. Delegates from almost every country of our continent are expected to attend and we are coming to hear the Lord say, 'the new season has finally arrived and here are your marching orders.'"