My interest in William J. Seymour was sparked while a master’s student at
Harvard University. In 1992–93, I took a pivotal graduate seminar with Har-
vey Cox and Eldin Villafañe on Pentecostalism and liberation theology, and
learned that little had been published about Seymour and the Latino contri-
butions to the Azusa Street Revival. This set me on a journey to explore the
historical origins of the North American Latino Pentecostal movement. For
my doctoral dissertation, I tracked down every available source on Seymour,
the Revival, and Latino Pentecostal origins. I canvassed archives and pri-
vate collections in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Europe and
wrote one chapter on Seymour and another on the Mexican contributions to
Azusa. This along with twenty years of ongoing research gave birth to two
books. The first is this present volume and the second is Latino Pentecostals
in America: Faith and Politics in Action (Harvard University Press, 2014).
I decided to publish this short biography and comprehensive collection of
sources about Seymour’s life and work for scholars and the general public.
This final version is half its original length.
I am indebted to Glenn Gohr of the Assemblies of God (ag) Archives. An
excellent archivist and grammarian, Gohr tirelessly tracked down key doc-
uments and read through all of Seymour’s sermons and Doctrines and Disci-
pline minister’s manual to make sure that the retyped texts were identical to
the originals, though I take responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. I
also want to thank Wayne Warner and the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Cen-
ter staV for their kind assistance. A heartfelt thank you is due to my family
for their support and to assistants Lois Gundry and Karen Gluck for tran-
scribing the primary sources from the originals and Ulrike Guthrie for edit-
ing the manuscript. I also want to thank Harvey Cox, Catherine Albanese,
David Daniels, Candy Gunther- Brown, Amos Yong, Michael McClymond,
Jan- Åke Alvarsson, Jason Stevens, David Yoo, Mario T. García, and others
for their critical feedback on various drafts of this manuscript over the years
or more recently and Michael McGowan, Bryan Cottle, and Benji Rolsky for
assisting in its production. Finally, this project would not have been com-
Previous Page Next Page