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William J. Seymour

William J. Seymour

William Joseph Seymour was an African American minister, and an initiator of the Pentecostal religious movement. Seymour not only rejected the existing racial barriers in favor of "unity in Christ", he also rejected the then almost-universal barriers to women in any form of church leadership. This revival meeting extended from 1906 until 1909, and became the subject of intense investigation by more mainstream Protestants.

Some felt that Seymour's views were heresy, while others accepted his teachings and returned to their own congregations to expound them. The resulting movement became widely known as "Pentecostalism". While there had been similar manifestations in the past, the current worldwide Pentecostal and charismatic movements are generally agreed to have been in part outgrowths of Seymour's ministry and the Azusa Street Revival.
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