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Christian History

Today in Christian History

September 23

September 23, 1595: Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish begin an intensive missionary campaign in the American southeast. In the following two years, 1,500 Native Americans in the area of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina convert to the Catholic faith.

September 23, 1857: Layman-turned-evangelist Jeremiah C. Lanphier holds a lunchtime prayer meeting for businessmen on Fulton Street in New York City. At first, no one shows up, but by the program's third week, the 40 participants requested daily meetings. Other cities begin similar programs, and a revival—sometimes called "The Third Great Awakening"—catches fire across America (see issue 23: Spiritual Awakenings in North America).

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February 22, 1906: Black itinerant evangelist William J. Seymour arrives in Los Angeles to lead a Holiness mission. The group grew larger as word spread of its revival meetings and speaking in tongues, and it eventually moved to a rundown building on Azusa Street. The church's revival is often cited as one of the birthplaces of Pentecostalism (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).

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