Los Angeles, CA
With Fred Berry's side of the story about his reconciliation with Lou Engle:
"My journey started with the miracle in Memphis," Fred Berry writes. "The Memphis Miracle was a 1994 meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, where representatives of pentecostal and charismatic denominations and churches came together to form the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), an interdenominational partnership. The PCCNA was created to replace the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America (PFNA), which was formed in 1948 by White pentecostal churches, but excluded Black pentecostal and charismatic groups. The PCCNA was created to remedy the situation; and it was at this Memphis meeting that the PFNA and its members apologized to the Black pentecostal bodies for its segregation."
"It was in that moment of footwashing in Memphis that our assignment was revealed", says Fred. "A simple word from God: 'Fix My house!' The house was at 216 North Bonnie Brae, a.k.a. the birthplace of the Azusa Street Revival!"
"So in 1995 we started our first reconciliation event called 'Bonnie Brae Day'. In an effort to bring unity to the area, we invited pastors from a variety of churches to preach for 15 minutes on the porch of the Bonnie Brae House to reenact what Pastor William Seymour did on the day of the Great Outpouring on April 9, 1906. Lou Engle was there rocking in his chair, praying, as his pastor, Che Ahn, spoke. This was when I first met Lou Engle. It was an unusual gathering orchestrated by the Spirit of God! We had no idea that twenty years later our destiny would collide to form the AzusaFest – AzusaNow partnership! We began to work together in 2015 after six years of disconnection." (Photo of Bonnie Brae House via Fred Berry)
Fred continues: "I had confronted Lou back in 2008 about a letter he wrote to the Black Church. To me, the title alone was offensive and insensitive to my race! I was the only leader that responded and so I bore alone what seemed like Lou's rejection. I felt this letter was going to bring more division. I had heard in the back channels of African-American church leaders that the miracle in Memphis was "over" – because there was no trickle down from that meeting to affect real change, real unity! And even though this letter that Lou wrote was right, I felt it was in the wrong language and may have communicated a wrong spirit, and it seemed to prove what those leaders said."
"So I called Lou – but didn't hear back. And from 2008 until 2014, we had no connection. It was in 2014 while sitting in my hotel room in Sao Paulo, Brazil that I had decided to move to Brazil. I had given up hope for America. I knew riots were coming to our cities in America. It was in that very moment when Lou called me to apologize and be reconciled!!"
"Lou was in his hotel room in Berkley getting ready to do TheCall Berkley! When my cellphone rang, I noticed the number – it was Lou! I hesitated. I resisted. And in my pride, I said to myself: 'No, no! You don't get to call me after 6 years!! No, I will not answer your call!' So I let it go to voicemail. Then Holy Spirit filled my room. The Presence was so strong! Holy Spirit spoke to me: 'Answer the call.'"
"But I said to God: 'You know what is happening in America! You know what they have said about me. I am done with America!!' But He said it again:'Answer the call!' Then I said, 'OK, I will when I get back to America because you know my wife does not like me to make international calls on my cellphone!' He spoke again: 'Answer the call!' ...so I finally yielded to the Spirit of God!!"
And we must all answer that call – to be reconciled, to forgive, to let go of bitterness, to surrender offenses. We all must yield to Holy Spirit and break down those walls. We cannot move mountains of disunity in the Church by faith without forgiveness, as Jesus Himself said in Mark 11:22-25:
"Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.'"
As you can read from Lou Engle's Elijah List post datedMarch 2, 2016, Lou explained how the apologies and reconciliation of Lou and Fred have come to birth the AzusaFest – AzusaNow partnership. (Photo via Fred Berry pictured with Lou Engle)
"Together, as The Azusa Street Mission and TheCall, both Lou and I have collaborated on an extensive list of events," says Fred.
"This could not have happened without our mutual reconciliation and forgiveness. After all, that is what the Azusa Street Revival was all about: unity and reconciliation...and humility. That is what William Seymour exemplified, and that is how he birthed the world-changing Revival that is called Azusa Street. We enjoy the effect of what William Seymour accomplished still today. As long as the leaders of the Revival had unity and cohesiveness, the Revival continued."
That is why we need everyone to come, to participate and pray for reconciliation, unity, humility and revival. Let us move those mountains together.
A plethora of events is planned for everyone to do just that, more than just the April 9th Coliseum event. The Azusa Street Mission, which organizes and hosts the annual Azusa Street Festival called AzusaFest, has many festivities planned as well as TheCall. All are important, and most are free. All this was made possible by reconciliation.
Massive Azusa Events Leading Up to AzusaNow on April 9!
AzusaFest celebrates the 1906 Azusa Street Revival each year. The AzusaFest celebration has normally been held in Los Angeles since 2006, the 100-year anniversary. However, the celebration began traveling around the world when Ghana invited Fred and Wilma Berry, the Founders and Presidents of the Azusa Street Mission and Historical Society, to hold the event there in 2011. AzusaFest was held in Brazil with over 3,000 leaders in attendance in 2012 and 2013. Now AzusaFest returns to Los Angeles, California for a special 110th Anniversary celebration.
The Azusa Street Mission & Historical Society is based in Los Angeles near the original site of the Revival. Fred and Wilma Berry founded the Azusa Street Mission in 2006, under the direction of Christian International Ministries and Bishop Bill Hamon with the goal to educate the public about the historical significance of the Azusa Street Mission and the global pentecostal movement's worldwide impact. The organization's mission is to carry the flame of the Azusa Street Revival to the next generations throughout the world.
AzusaFest will be kicked off with an all-night prayer watch and tour at the Bonnie Brae House from Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7pm until Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7am. Registration is required for this event. For more information and to register see the Azusa Street Mission click here.
Leading up to the April 9 AzusaNow Coliseum event, TheCall led by Lou Engle, will be sponsoring a pre-CALL Messianic event on March 12, held at Expression 58, 225 S. Chevy Chase Dr., Glendale, CA. Another pre-CALL event called FloodLA, which consists of two weeks of city-wide evangelism, will take place from March 28th to April 8th. See TheCall's AzusaNow website click here for more information on those events and to register.
The next AzusaFest events taking place will be the Apostolic/Prophetic Training days, led by Fred and Wilma Berry, on March 12 and March 26 from 3 to 7pm at 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles. This is a training and activation series, under the auspices of Bill Hamon and Christian International, where Christians can be trained in hearing from God and speaking prophetically.
The next AzusaFest event will take place onApril 2 as a Pre-CALL Rally with guest speakers Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Will Ford, and Fred and Wilma Berry at Union Church next to the historical site of the Revival, at 401 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, from 7 to 10pm.
Another set of important AzusaFest events will be held April 7 and 8 at the actual Azusa Street livery stable site where William Seymour preached with his head under a box to create a humble anonymity, standing with his feet in sawdust. This will be an AzusaFest Gospel music worship event, taking place near the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center, outside on its plaza from 12pm to 6pm, 244 S. San Pedro Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets), Los Angeles. Also on April 7 & 8th, there will be night services from 7 to 10pm at Union Church, 401 E. 3rd Street, next door to the plaza.
Also on April 8, there will be a Leaders Luncheon, hosted by Christian International Apostolic Network and Azusa Street Mission, from 12 to 2pm, also at Union Church. This is the only event that is not free. The cost is $45. Click here to register and to pay for this event.
The April 9 AzusaNow event at the Los Angeles Coliseum, sponsored by TheCall and hosted by Lou Engle, will involve corporate worship and prayer/intercession for America and the world. It will take place from 7am to 10:30pm with a variety of guests who will lead in repentance, prayer and worship to "pray, unite, heal, save". Indeed, there will be strength in numbers with this exciting event, for as the Lord said: "...where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them," as Lou hopes that 100,000 Believers will attend and participate.
The last AzusaFest event will involve a special Sunday service on April 10 with speaker Bishop Bill Hamon on the Plaza near the Japanese American Cultural Center (244 S. San Pedro Street) from 12 to 3pm. There will also be a special Azusa Street Revival tree planting, and evangelism to the homeless in the area at this event.
As Fred stated earlier, Fred and Wilma Berry initiated the refurbishing of the Bonnie Brae House where the Revival actually started in 1906, until police and fire personnel asked the revivalists to move to a larger location, forcing the revivalists to move into the livery stable on Azusa Street. The Berry's were also instrumental in securing an Azusa Street Day in the city of Los Angeles, having the city of Los Angeles erect a historical marker to commemorate the pinpoint site of the livery stable on Azusa Street where William Seymour preached, and initiated the Azusa Street Centennial in 2006. They also host the AzusaFest and present the William Seymour Award which recognizes recipients for their years of dedicated service in ministry, integrity, and leadership, annually. This year's recipient will be Bishop T.D. Jakes. At other times throughout the year as well, Fred and Wilma often host tours for groups to the Bonnie Brae House, the Azusa Street site and the graves of William and Jenny Seymour.
Please come and enjoy all the many awesome activities, and participate as a united Body to change the world and usher in the Third Great Awakening. Also be sure to stop by the historical marker near the Union Church, which commemorates the actual site where the Azusa Street Revival occurred. See you there.
If you would like to volunteer for one or more of the AzusaFest events click here.
For more information on TheCall's AzusaNow events and to register click here.
For more information on all the AzusaFest events, to register, and for hotel information click here.