“Laying the Foundations for Azusa”

This reading was of particular interests to me because it brought to my attention things that I had never heard about before. We are all familiar with what happened after the fall of the Reconstruction Era- Jim Crow laws followed. Blacks were segregated from whites in almost every way imaginable. There is no doubt that this was a dark time in American history, but there was a good that was able to rise from these injustices. Azusa became important in religious history because it literally became the place that Pentecostal ideals were founded. However, again we see how men are reported more then female pastors at this time, which shows that not only were women leaders in the church, such as Jarena Lee still faced with the reality that women were still forced to keep in mind this “double-consciousness” while they were (able to) preaching, they still had to deal with blatant sexism. However, we see again that these women are giving guidance and conversion based upon their personal experiences, which I think is important to note because this is something that was stressed by Methodist- the conversion experience, and the personal emotions tied to that.

“The Nadir” (pg. 74) was something that I had never head about before. This term did follow a theme that I have read before though. Basically it was a time when African Americas waited for judgement day and knew that God would be merciful to them because of what they had suffered through on account of slavery. Also, maybe not as related, but I will include it nonetheless. I thought that the connection to Lazarus was very important. Previously, I had only known the name because he was the first man to be brought back to life. However, I think that Coop’s parallel of Lazarus’s place in heaven, and the authors comment that even in hell, the rich man still does not understand how his position has changed. I found this striking because it made me think of a comment from a few lectures back. When African Americas left white churches, whites of the church could not understand this. But, I think that it is important to understand that with the rise of Pentecostal theology, women preachers gained the power to understand that they were not dependent upon their previous churches, nor pastors, to be docile in the quest for enlightening themselves and others in their community.

Ps. Oh, look, there’s even an example of “speaking in tongues” in this parody. Ah, the wonders of YouTube.

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