The Welsh revival impacted believers around the world who were seeking for the Holy Spirit.
A desperate young father who was handed a Gospel tract just before he intended to commit suicide . . . a former Muslim who faced intense persecution because he committed his life to God . . . a tough young seafaring man who now finds his greatest joy in telling others about the Christ who changed his life . . . a rebellious teenager who surrendered to God and now is a minister of the Gospel . . . a vagrant bound by alcoholism who heard a Gospel street meeting that turned his life around . . . these individuals and thousands of others like them are witnesses to the power of God to change lives. Their life stories are intertwined with an international organization whose goal for one hundred years has been to proclaim the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Apostolic Faith work had its beginning in the early part of the twentieth century during a worldwide spiritual awakening. Believers living in the United States heard about the remarkable revival in Wales where 100,000 people had converted to Christianity in the months prior to June of 1905. A feeling of expectancy began to grow among Christian leaders and workers who had been praying for the latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as promised by the Old Testament prophet Joel. The amazing reports from Wales fueled hope that the end-time revival had indeed begun.
The prayers of these earnest seekers were answered when the long-awaited Pentecostal outpouring came in April of 1906 upon a group of saved and sanctified people in Los Angeles, California. Known as the Azusa Revival, the infilling of the Holy Spirit empowered many for Christian service and created an evangelistic fervor that extended worldwide. It was the starting point for the Apostolic Faith work of Portland, Oregon, as well as many other Pentecostal organizations.
The purpose in founding this religious organization was to maintain and teach all the doctrines as taught by Christ and by His Apostles in the days of the Early Church, and to spread the Gospel in its fullness to people of every land.
Jude 3 has been the motto of the Apostolic Faith work since its beginning.
In the early days of the Azusa revival, leaders took the Bible verse Jude 3 for a motto: “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” It is not hard to understand why that verse was chosen. The happenings on Azusa Street had rapidly attracted attention from such secular media as the Los Angeles Times. Faced with persecution and ridicule, those who had received the Pentecostal experience soon understood the necessity of contending. They realized that Jude was encouraging whatever struggle was necessary to defend the faith—the Gospel message preached by the Apostles. This authoritative communication from the Christ-appointed leaders of the Early Church must not be eradicated by criticism or compromised by false teachers.
Jude spoke of the faith which was delivered to the saints, and those whose lives had been empowered at Azusa knew that something precious had been entrusted to them. They recognized that it was their responsibility to care for it and see that it was delivered to others.
The workers putting together reports at the revival epicenter decided to feature this verse on their first publication that carried abroad the news of the Pentecostal outpouring. When Florence Crawford came to Portland, she kept the verse on the papers printed at the new location. This verse has appeared on every issue of the flagship publication of the Apostolic Faith organization. The publication was originally titled The Apostolic Faith and now bears the name Higher Way.
Jude 3 is also inscribed on the cornerstone of the headquarters church in Portland, Oregon, along with the words, “Founded 1906” and “Built 1983.”