William J. Seymour
Born of former slaves, William Seymour sparked a large missionary movement at the turn of the 20th century which birthed the modern Pentecostal movement. He led the Azusa Street Revival and has been known for his humility. It’s been said that when he prayed, even in meetings, he would place a box or a crate over his head.
Unofficially able to attend school due to racism, Seymour learned from Charles Parham, who lead a bible college in Houson, Texas. In 1906, he became the pastor of a small church in Los Angeles, California. A month after starting his service, the congregation kicked him out of a parish by locking the doors and refusing to let him in on Sunday. They found his teachings on speaking in tounges, baptism and other teachings about the Holy Spirit to be too radical for the day.
Despite this setback, Seymour started prayer meetings at a friend’s house. The prayer meetings became so large, they moved to 312 Azusa Street and people streamed to the meeting from all over the United States.
What’s inspiring about William Seymour is that he found a place where he could express himself. He did not get too hurt by anyone refusing his help, refusing his voice and even locking him out of his employment. Instead, he went somewhere that was open to his message and he lead people to Christ. Go, and do the same.