Los Angeles — With minimum promotion, a grassroots movement comprised of mostly Christian youth groups throughout the U.S. generated more than 115,000 online registrations for people to attend Azusa Now, a prayer and worship event at the L.A. Coliseum Saturday.
Drawing from the historic Azusa Street Revival held in 1906, organizers say what made the event special was that it "mirrored the reality of the formation of the church in Acts 2."
"Firstly, there was a multi-ethnic gathering of unity in Christ, (Acts 2:1-11). Secondly, the miraculous, attesting ministry of the Holy Spirit was enjoyed in a unique way, (Acts 2:2-4). Finally, there was a clear presentation of the Gospel leading many to salvation, (Acts 2:37-41)," they stated. "This outpouring of Heaven descended on the poor districts of Los Angeles during an incredibly dangerous, volatile and prejudiced period of American history. God used an African-American named William Seymour to launch this modern Acts 2 movement. Black, white, Asian and Hispanic came together in bonds of love, unity and prayer. It came to be said, 'the color line was washed away' at Azusa."
"This is the legacy — the well of revival — we seek to reclaim: Unity. Prayer. Miracles. Healing. Salvation," they add on the Azusa Now website.
The following is an edited transcript of an interview with event spokesman Luis Cataldo, who is also the media liason for the visionary behind the event, Lou Engles.
AM: On the night before Azusa Now, what's your feeling in general?
LC: There's two parts to the answer. One is just the amount of effort that it takes to organize something like this so that you can get some kind of structure with not just 110,000 people coming but the level of leaders that are here — speakers, singers, musicians — at their own expense with no guarantee that they are going to be up on the platform. They are not coming to present their ministry.
The response from the level of leaders, I looked around the room (leadership meeting Friday night), and thought, oh my gosh, this is a who's who [of Christian leaders]. Every one of these people practically could run their own big stadium thing and they are here.
So, one part of that is that the feel is, my goodness, a lot of people are sacrificially buying into the vision of unity, not just sort of lip service, but they are actually here and they're actually willing to sacrifice their name, their ministry, their time on the platform on the behalf of somebody else. That's the number one remarkable thing.
The other remarkable thing is that it takes a lot of effort to mobilize, to get that kind of response, 115,000 people pre-registered. It takes a lot of media coverage, it takes a lot of videos and presentations, and speaking and all that kind of stuff, [but] there hasn't been a megaphone broadcasting this thing. There hasn't been a constant saturation, even in social media of: "You gotta go, you gotta go, I'm going. Let's go." It's completely different. It's more like a sense of: "I just felt like I needed to be here."
The second feeling I had ahead of time is that the Lord is drawing people to this thing and it hasn't been a product of a great mobilization strategy. The mobilizers worked really hard. They did their deal, but they didn't produce a sound that results in 115,000 people pre-registered. This is something entirely different. There's a real expectancy because of those two things: lots of leaders willing to sacrifice and lots of people being drawn. There's an expectancy, God is doing something and I'm looking forward to it.