Countless Pentecostal heroes have quietly lived out their faith in their
communities, unheralded in the press. A short obituary in the July 16, 1927,
issue of the Pentecostal Evangel provides a glimpse into the life
of one of those faithful giants who has remained largely obscured in the
Washington LaFayette Wood (born 1846) passed away at his Los Angeles home on June 8, 1927. Wood came into the Pentecostal movement late in his ministry - in 1910 at about age 69. He previously pastored Baptist churches in Texas, but after his Spirit-baptism he moved to Los Angeles and transferred his ordination to the Assemblies of God.
The obituary noted that Wood, for years, conducted meetings in a small Pentecostal mission in Los Angeles. He resigned the pastorate in order to care for his ailing wife. The obituary stated, "She has been helpless in bed now for six years and does not even know he is gone." One hopes she did not learn of his passing by reading the obituary!
Wood felt compelled to continue on in the ministry, despite his advanced age, his lack of mobility, and severe bronchitis. With the help of his four daughters and their husbands, he began a small gospel mission in his house, which he continued until his death at age 81. The obituary explained that he had a "yearning to be useful in the salvation of souls."
The obituary concluded: "Brother Wood was a real Christian and a true and faithful husband and father, ever displaying the greatest interest and making every needed sacrifice to insure the comfort of his wife and children. Tested and tried to the limit of human endurance, not a murmur escaped his lips, but praise rather, and thanksgiving, for the goodness and mercy of God."
Little is known about Wood, other than what is in his brief obituary and his thin ministerial file in the vault of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. However, his story is the story of the Assemblies of God. He and innumerable other unrecognized saints who have endured suffering for the cause of Christ helped to lay the foundation for the Assemblies of God.
Read the entire obituary for Washington LaFayette Wood on page 17 of the July 16, 1927, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
* "Be Not Afraid, Only Believe," by Smith Wigglesworth
* "The Baptism of the Holy Ghost," by Donald Gee
* "Divine Rules for Parents," by S. M. Padgett
And many more!
Click here to read this issue now.
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.