Serious persecution was a common occurrence in the early days of the Apostolic Faith work, because the Pentecostal message was something new and different. Many of the old-line formal churches of the day were disturbed because revival was sweeping the land and people were getting saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit. They felt these experiences were fanaticism.
The free mixing of races scandalized many. Portland’s Evening Telegram published articles mocking the meetings and bringing absurd accusations. Many attended the services out of a sense of curiosity. False rumors were circulated, which only drew more people to attend.
Sometimes antagonists resorted to violent means to disrupt the meetings. A pioneer of those early days recalled, “One night someone threw that familiar missile of a mob—a rotten egg—at the platform. It missed the folks there on the platform but struck the organ. The raw egg ran down between the keys into the interior of the organ and was hard to clean up, but it did not stop the service, nor hinder it in any way.”
The first Apostolic Faith paper printed in Portland reported along the same lines: “Persecutions were terrible. They would throw snowballs, bottles, tin cans, and rotten eggs. Every window in the Mission front was broken out and the glass in doors and transoms. It was a regular battlefield. They had to board up the windows.”
One time, some law enforcement officials attended. Because of the stories that had been circulated about the work, they felt it their duty to investigate the happenings at the Apostolic Faith Mission. After looking over the organization and observing what was going on there, they began to talk to Florence Crawford. They informed her that they had the papers with them to arrest her. Calmly she said, “You will never do it.” She knew she was in God’s will and that nothing was taking place in violation of the laws of God or man. She had an assurance that God had His hand over the work that He had called her to do. In time, Portland city officials recognized the high standard of Christian living maintained by Apostolic Faith people. They also noted the life-transforming effects the meetings were having on people previously considered beyond help, and their attitude changed to one of respect.