The Azusa Street Mission will honor Lou Engle of TheCall with its prestigious William J. Seymour Award in April during Azusafest, which is scheduled to take place in downtown Los Angeles this year.
According to a press release issued by Fred Berry, the William J. Seymour Award is given to senior leaders who exhibit the characteristics of the famous African-American minister. Engle, the ninth person to receive the honor, is the founder of TheCall and the Pasadena International House of Prayer.
"Prior recipients of the W.J. Seymour award have been: Bishop Charles E. Blake, the COGIC presiding Bishop USA; Pastor Sunday Adelaja,Dr. Patricia Bailey-Jones, Apostle John Eckhardt, Dr. Myles Munroe, Apostle Sam Korankye Ankrah, Pastor Jabes de Alencar, Silas Malafaia and Al Hollingsworth," Berry wrote.
According to Berry, the award will be presented to Engle during Azusafest, "a gospel music celebration commemorating the Azusa Street Revival." The festival, which will take place at the Japanese American Community Cultural Center in downtown Los Angeles from April 9 to 11, will focus on the theme of "The color line was washed away by the Blood of Jesus."
"During the Azusa Street Revival, the color line was washed away in the blood," Engle wrote on Twitter. "Racism was broken, and God baptized them because they were one company."
However, Engle, who is based out of Kansas City, has been the center of controversy before. Jennifer LeClaire of Charisma News reported in May 2014 that a PBS documentary called "God Loves Uganda" suggested that Engle and his International House of Prayer organization, alongside other American evangelicals, helped contribute to the "anti-homosexual agenda" prevalent in that country.
"We stand by the supremacy of God's Word, even when it is unpopular in our culture," IHOP-KC said in its statement. "To be clear, our leadership team upholds the New Testament view of the sanctity of sex in the context of marriage between one man and one woman. At the same time, we strongly oppose victimization, violence, and hate against any sector of society that disagrees with this biblical view."
IHOP-KC added that the organization honors "the dignity and rights of all who differ from us," noting that it still supported Engle.
"We unequivocally stand with Lou Engle, whom we have known for many years," IHOP-KC said. "We have seen him consistently love, value, and honor people of all backgrounds. Moreover, we are proud of the manner in which he has shown tremendous compassion towards all while maintaining biblical integrity."
According to TheCall's website, Engle has over 30 years of experience "praying for revival." He was behind the planting of two churches, a pro-life ministry, and the Justice House of Prayer, which focused on the Supreme Court and other godly leaders in the United States.
"Lou's passion is to call young adults into a lifestyle of radical prayer, fasting, holiness and acts of justice," TheCall wrote.
According to the Azusa Street Mission's website, Azusafest is held to commemorate the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. Thanks to the efforts of Seymour, this event was "widely considered to be the primary catalyst that sparked the worldwide Pentecostal Movement."