While in Ohio, he spend time learning about entire sanctification and Church of God Evening Light disregard for movements and fellowship. He seem to be happy and was ready to settle down there and start being a holiness preacher. There was nothing that would point us to believe otherwise….besides he tend to move around alot.
While at some point in 1903, he got a letter from his family asking him to join them. They had moved from Lousiana to Houston, Texas. No one is sure why but it is assumed it was for economical reasons. Jobs for black Americans were not common in rural Louisiana.
However, there would be another reason: racism was alive in well in Louisiana. We have no reason to believe the issue surrounding Anthony Crawford murder was not happening across the southern United States. He was a very successful black businessman in the cotton industry. He wanted fair pricing and because of them he was beated, dragged through the black part of the town, tied up to a tree and shot by over 200 white people in the town. His family run for their lives to the North.
Back then, Texas was a little better at enforcing the new laws during Reconstruction. It is my guess that this was a major reason that the family landed in Houston. It is important to note that Houston was not a large city with the Oil industry and NASA back then. It was a little over 40,000 people at this point.
William Seymour meets Lucy Farrow
He wanted to find a place to worship Jesus in Houston. He ultimately came to gather at a holiness church pastored by Lucy Farrow. I am sure where he learned his view on women in ministry as it was not common in those days. However, he did attend the church pastored by Farrow while in Houston.
Sometime in 1905, she would go to work for Charles Fox Parham in Kansas. Unsure of what to do with the fellowship in Houston, she asked Seymour to lead it. At this point, we know nothing of public ministry or that he even felt a call to the ministry. It was said he could hardly preached with the Holy Spirit baptism; it would never even been worse without it.
After about eighteen months or so, Lucy returned. I am sure everyone was happy to have someone that could speak back. However, she came back with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This would be William’s first encounter with someone actually praying in tongues. He did not know what to do with it. He just didn’t have a grid for it.
What he did know was Farrow was preaching with more boldness, authority and wanted more of the presence of the Lord in her lives and through her preaching. That made him start to ask questions and desire more of the Holy Spirit in his life as well.
This would later become a pattern in the Pentecostal revival. People saw someone they knew was transformed and they wanted what they had.
Seymour meets Charles Fox Parham
One thing you need to know about Parham was he had some issues; Spirit filled or not. He was quite the racist and later was believed to be a child molester. However, the good news is God uses the weak and the broken. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers you but having it does not make you perfect.
Many historians clean up Church History and claim it was Jim Crow laws that caused Parham Fox’s behavior. I do not believe that. He is just quite the racist. It is as simple as that. Other accounts of Parham later in life prove this to be true.
No matter where you stand on the racism and Charles Fox Parham , we know that he would not allow Seymour in the class so William listened from the hallway. Nothing was going to keep him from receiving everything the Lord wanted to do in his life. He would be mistreated for being black before he would missed the blessing of Heaven.
At some point, Seymour came to believed that the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the ability to pray in tongues. He was convinced long before he actually received the baptism of the Holy Spirit himself.
A common trend that we see in William’s life is his hunger for the things of the Holy Spirit. He did not care what stood in the way, he would overcome them. He didn’t care if he had to listen to a racist preacher from Kansas to get an impartation. He would going to do it!
Are you ready to pay the price?
What will you do to get a fresh touch from the Holy Spirit? If you want to get more of the Lord in your life, you need at identify what is hindering you from receiving revelation. It might even be something like Parham struggled with: racism. If you care more about the person delivering the word of God than the word itself; that could be your hindrance.
One thing I see among the revivalist over history is that all of them would let nothing stand in their way of getting all the Lord had for them. John Wesley was touched on a boat to America by a Moravian missionary that “very sorrowful and heavy in heart.” Peter Cartright walked miles to the Red River meeting house. Charles Finney sit in a dead prayer meeting for six months before he was touched.
If you will determine to not let anything stop you from receiving from the Lord, you will get what you ask. We know that the Word teached to ask, seek and knock. It does tell us that He will answer us if we come to Him in expectation for the Holy Spirit to touch us, fill us, and transform us by His glorious light. We can sure that God is the giver of all good gifts.
Count the cost then pay the price!