Bare Honored with Spirit of Azusa Award

The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center recently honored Dr. Harold Bare with their Spirit of Azusa Award. The award presentation and a reception in Bare’s honor was part of the Eighteenth Annual Azusa Lecture held in the Lee University Chapel on November 9.

In presenting the award, Dixon Pentecostal Research Center Director Dr. David Roebuck stated that the purpose of the award is to honor those who represent the ongoing work that God did at the Azusa Street Mission. Key to that 1906 revival was a godly and humble pastor. Roebuck stated, “No doubt much of the success of the Los Angeles revival can be attributed to Pastor William J. Seymour. Born to parents who were former slaves, Seymour preached the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied by the Bible evidence of speaking in tongues. When revival came, and he established the mission on Azusa Street, this African American pastor surrounded himself with a ministry team that was interracial and included men and women. He was known for his humility, and he insisted the fruit of the Spirit, especially love, was as important as the gifts of the Spirit.”

Roebuck highlighted the pastoral ministry of Doctors Harold and Laila Bare including their five years in Wytheville, Virginia, and 39 years as lead pastor of Covenant Church of God in Charlottesville, Virginia. Among the characteristics of Covenant Church was its intercultural emphasis. In addition to being a home to missionaries the congregation included worshippers from many nations and hosted five services for ethnic minorities and displayed more than 75 flags representing countries of attendees, former attendees, or missionaries the congregation supported. Roebuck noted that while studying at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, the Bares had attended a transcultural church, and later wrote in a Church of God Evangel article, “Our eyes were opened to the beauty of people looking different and working together in the Kingdom.”

L-R: Dixon Pentecostal Research Center Director Dr. David G. Roebuck, Azusa Lecturer Dr. Dale M. Coulter, Dr. Laila Bare, and Spirit of Azusa Award Honoree Dr. Harold Bare (click photo to enlarge)

Roebuck also highlighted Harold Bare’s leadership in other areas of ministry such as serving on the Pentecostal Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees for 27 years, authoring several books including They Call Me Pentecostal, and pioneering innovative methods of communication. Having earned the Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Bare continually encourages others to improve themselves and especially their education.

Roebuck concluded, “I especially want to highlight Dr. Bare’s ministry of encouraging pastors. Having grown up in parsonages, the Bares developed a passion to care for pastors and their families. They often opened the doors of Covenant Church for pastors needing respite. Although they are no longer pastoring a congregation, they continue to visit and encourage pastors’ families through their non-profit, Encouraging the Saints.”

In response to the award presentation, Dr. Laila Bare recollected that others had encouraged them during their early ministry including former North Cleveland Church of God Pastor Doyle Stanfield, who occasionally called or stopped by with words of encouragement. She also expressed appreciation that many who encouraged them were in the audience for the award presentation.

Dr. Harold Bare related that the couple had agreed that as part of their vacations they would make an effort to encourage pastors’ families by taking them to dinner; and they have continued this practice for 29 years. Having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost five years ago, Bare noted, “Every day to me is a miracle day. Every day I am determined to call somebody and encourage them.” Honoring teachers and church leaders who have invested in his life, Bare reflected, “My debt is greater than I can pay…. If I gather anything from the Spirit of Azusa, it seems to me we ought to be going in the power of the Spirit with joy.”

Prior to the Spirit of Azusa Award presentation, Dr. Dale M. Coulter presented the Azusa Lecture entitled “Sanctified Sound: The Development of Blues, Jazz, and Gospel within the Sanctified Church.” Coulter is a Church of God ordained bishop and Professor of Historical Theology at Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He is a distinguished teacher and scholar having previously taught at Regent University (Virgina Beach, Virginia) and Lee University and having received the Excellence in Scholarship Award from both institutions. His most recent book is The Holy Spirit and Highter Education: Renewing the Christian University, with Amos Yong.

Other participants in the Azusa Lecture program included the Reverend Jonathan Sawyer, who led in worship, Mr. Danny Bare who offered a musical tribute, and Dr. Tim Maness and the Reverend Raymond Culpepper II, who represented the Church of God Center for Ministerial Care. Roebuck also acknowledged the generosity of contributors who made the lecture and award presentation possible.

The Dixon Pentecostal launched the annual Azusa Lecture and Spirit of Azusa Award in 2006 on the centennial of the renowned Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. The revival began when William J. Seymour preached a message of Spirit baptism following salvation and sanctification. What started as a home prayer meeting attracted throngs of seekers as hundreds traveled to the Azusa Street Mission, received a personal baptism with the Holy Spirit, and took that message to their homes, churches, and communities. The Pentecostal Movement quickly became a great missionary movement, and the twentieth century came to be called the “Century of the Holy Spirit.”

Founded by Charles W. Conn as a research library on the campus of Lee University, the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center is one of the world’s premiere collections of Pentecostal resources as well as the archives of the Church of God. Scholars, students, and church leaders utilize the center’s holdings related to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement. Dr. Roebuck serves as director, and the Reverend David “Gene” Mills, Jr. is archivist.

(SOURCE: Dixon Pentecostal Research Center)

Print This Post Print This Post