I’ve always been struck by this photo (well, not this modern colorized version but the original black and white depiction). We see William Seymour, the one-eyed, African-American leader of the Azusa Street Revival, hosting John G. Lake, F. F. Bosworth, and two of their associates. These guests, who had been in the Pentecostal stirrings in Zion, Illinois, traveled to California to be in the fires of the greatest revival of the era. In this photo, they are standing outside the Azusa Street Mission—shortly after one of those historic meetings. What kind of conversations did these notable men have? Did they realize they were in the process of making history? Did the other four genuinely defer to William Seymour—who was considered inferior by society but was greater in the Spirit? What could these men disclose to us today about the marvelous works of God? What would you do if you could be in and around a similar type of movement today? One final question, do you merely want to reflect on history or do you want to help make it?
J.D., I originally believed the photo was taken at Azusa Street. Actually It wasn’t. I became suspicious when I realized the windows and siding do not match the building. The photo was most likely taken when Seymour visited Zion. It is still a fabulous picture.
TROY DAY: Well Roscoe Barnes III is my to go expert on Bosworth HOWEVER I have always been suspicious David Bundy about Lake’s figure larger than the rest on the picture being spliced over Seymour – especially the larger arm over Seymour’s Bible which is uncharacteristic. Of course, that bottom part of the picture is now cropped from the digitally mastered color copy forever to be forgotten. And someone needs to fix the beard of the poor feller top left. Here is the original…
David Bundy the black and white is@ IFPHC We have noticed before some of the dating is not most accurate Others often relay on the donor of the picture If I have to guess LAKE here covers Seymour’s wife or someone who split from Azusa like Bartleman Perhaps Glenn Gohr or Harold Hunter can shed some light
Troy, thank you for raising this question. It is quite interesting. I wish I had an answer. However, I must admit that something is off about the photo. I’ve always wondered why Lake was looking in a different direction. Now that I’m looking closer at the images, particularly the outline of Lake’s head and Seymour’s head, they both appear to be spliced.
Troy Day YES on the color photo the white on top of their heads appear spliced but not so on the b&w white; LAKE is off on both BTW he is looking in a whole different direction too the light source is from left to all but his whole posture is just off; the bearded guy they mastered still has his b&w beard
I tweaked another colorized version that was a little off.
Troy DayLAKE is looking in a completely dif. direction that the other 4 – the inscription under the original is ALSO most peculiar:
John G. Lake is in the front row, next to William J. Seymour.
Behind them, left to right, are Mr. Adams,
F.F. Bosworth, and “Brother Tom” (Thomas Hezmalhalch).
John G. Lake was at Azusa Street in 1907 with Seymour and other Pentecostal leaders (Lake 1981, 32)7 and he led a party consisting of Thomas Hezmalhalch and others, with the purpose to bring the message of ‘Pentecost’ to South Africa. He revisited Azusa Street on at least one occasion to report to Seymour about the progress of his Pentecostal mission in South Africa that started in 1908 (Anderson, 1997:3; Lake 1981, 32).
7 After meeting Seymour for the first time in 1907, Lake (1981, 19) commented that Seymour had ‘more of God in his life than any man I had ever met.’
says Marius Nel: Research Unit of the Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa. firstname.lastname@example.org