by Cindy L. Smith
One day, I almost drove a youth group off the side of a mountain. It was several years ago, but the events of that day still serve asa reminder of God’s peace and love.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. –Isaiah 54:10
Now before everyone reading this makes a note to never trust your children in a car with me, I promise that it wasn’t my fault. We’d taken a youth group up to the mountains to go snow tubing. We had a great time and got ready to head back home. We checked, and the weather looked good, but things can change fast when you’re up on the mountain. Without any warning at all, along comes a storm and everything can change.
As we drove back down, the kids were listening to Christian music tapes (yes, tapes), and everyone was laughing and having a great time. Then the snow started falling. Within a very short time, the roads were as slick as a sheet of ice. On the left side of the road was a sheer drop-off the side of the mountain. It went straight down, and there was no guardrail. On the right, of course, was the mountain.
In 2013 we celebrated one hundred years of the restoration of water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find examples of this practice throughout church history, but key events in the early twentieth century led to the greatest revival of this message since the third century.
The Jesus Name message was renewed in the modern Pentecostal movement, which originated with a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in January 1901 led by Charles Parham and with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, from 1906 to 1908 led by William Seymour. Based on the examples in Acts, some early Pentecostals began to baptize in Jesus’ name, including Parham (1901), some in Los Angeles during the Azusa Street Revival (1907), and Andrew Urshan, a Persian immigrant in Chicago (1910).