Touring Pentecostalism

Heaven Below: Earthly Pentecostals and American Culture. By Grant Wacker. Harvard University Press, 364 pp., $35.00.

The stories that Glenn Cook, a middle-aged newspaper reporter in Los Angeles, began hearing in the spring of 1906 seemed too strange to be true. According to rumor, hundreds of people had begun crowding into a chapel on Azusa Street--a makeshift building that looked more like a barn than a house of worship--to witness a second Pentecost, a blazing demonstration of Holy Ghost power. Converts not only fell to the floor in ecstasy and shouted out their praises to God, but most startling of all, spoke in tongues. "The night is made hideous . . . by the howlings of the worshipers," wrote one shocked observer.

 

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