The Pisgah Connection
From They Told Me Their
In July of 1894, Dr. Yoakum was critically injured while on his way to organize a Class Leader’s Association
for his Methodist Church. He was struck by a piece of metal extending from a buggy operated by a drunken man.
The piece of metal pierced his back, broke several ribs, and caused internal hemorrhaging. The wounds
were so severe, a medical examination of his injuries showed that the injuries should have been fatal.
Due to the extent of his injuries and the infection that lasted for several months, Dr. Yoakum moved to Los Angeles
hoping that the milder climate would give him relief from his suffering. The climate helped, but his relief
came in the form of a miraculous healing from the ministry of W. C. Stevens. Dr. Yoakum, almost in desperation,
visited a Christian Alliance Church on Figueroa Street in Highland Park. There, Pastor Stevens prayed for
him, and he was instantly healed.
That was in February of 1895. By that summer, he had moved to Highland Park and opened up his mission
in fulfillment of visions he had directing him to create a mission for the needy. Giving up his medical
practice, he vowed to spend the remainder of his life serving the chronically ill, poor and destitute, and social outcasts.
During the Azusa Street Revival gatherings in Los Angeles in 1906 and 1907, Yoakum hosted many followers at the Mission
site in Highland Park. The Mission was named Pisgah Home after the Mountain where Moses stood to view the Promised Land. Now
you can understand the Azusa connection.
Dr. Yoakum was extremely important
to the continued effects of Azusa Street in a very practical way. He often gave his workers pockets full
of nickels, then told them to go down to the skid row area of Los Angeles and provide passage by way of a streetcar to Avenue
60 (the fare to ride was five cents). From Avenue 60, they walked one block to Pisgah where they were allowed
to stay and become part of the community. It wasn’t long before Pisgah became a large community.
Again, it is important to point out that the ministry to skid row started by Dr. Yoakum was still ongoing when Brother
Tommy arrived in the Sixties.
After the death of Dr. Yoakum in 1920, Christ Faith Mission, Inc. purchased Pisgah Home under the direction of Arglee
Green. Sister Green and her sister restored Pisgah Home and renamed it “Echo Home.”
Aimee Semple-McPherson conducted services at the Arroyo Seco River during the 1920’s to tens of thousands of
worshipers who later retreated to the Mission site for massive barbecues and meetings.
In 1950, Reverend Harold James Smith came to manage the mission operations with a vision for revival. Reverend
Smith re-named the site, “Old Pisgah Home,” restoring its historic name. He also began a publication
of a salvation and healing newsletter called the Herald of Hope.
the time Reverend Smith took over, many Azusa Street Saints had come and settled at Pisgah. A variety of
reasons drew them there such as fellowship and the opportunity to minister to those who gathered at Pisgah.
By the time Brother Tommy arrived in 1960, Pisgah had become home for
many of the Saints of Azusa who were mere children and young people back in the 1906 revival at 312 Azusa Street.