Revivalists

REVIVALS AND REVIVALISTS
Introduction:
God’s Restorations

Throughout the history of the Church, God’s truths have been restored again and again. We call these restorations “revivals.” In the 1980s, we called them “waves.” Bible scholars call them “movements” of God.
​Because of God’s immeasurable love for us, He won’t let us forget His Word. Every revival or move of God has been based upon some portion of His Word. This is why study Bibles and various translations are so valuable in helping us better understand God’s Word.
​When Jesus was resurrected and ascended to the Father, after defeating the devil and stripping him completely on his own territory, He sent us the greatest teacher of all time – the Holy Spirit. No one would ever fall into the ditch of error or failure if he or she would check every doctrine, manifestation, and revelation with the Word and with the witness of the Holy Spirit.
​Even in the darkest of the Dark Ages, the Holy Spirit spoke to God’s people who were listening. In every generation, there has been a remnant who heard and obeyed.
​The Holy Spirit brings comfort, counsel, and encouragement. We see Him first as one of the trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – “brooding” over the waters in the process of creation in Genesis 1. Then we see Him overshadowing “heroes of faith,” prophets and kings of Israel in the pages of the Old Covenant.
​In the New Covenant, as recorded in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came to live in the children of God and to baptize them in Himself, enduing them with power to carry out the instructions of Jesus to “Go…into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
​The first evidence to the world that something supernatural and magnificent had taken place was when 120 followers of Jesus, in the upper room of a Jerusalem house, praying in one accord, erupted into the streets speaking in other tongues.
​During the first centuries, speaking in tongues and the gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:14) were commonplace in the Church. However, during later centuries, particularly after 500 A.D., the gifts weren’t accepted by mainstream Christianity, although they never entirely disappeared.
​The day the fire of the Spirit fell in Jerusalem marked the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, according to the Apostle Peter: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:17). Bible scholars usually call the outpouring of the Holy Spirit “the early and latter rain.”
​In the Middle East, the early rain is fairly gentle and prepares the ground, soaking the seeds and the young plants so they will grow. The latter rain brings the crops to the point of harvest. This seems to be the pattern God used with the Church. The early rain prepared the soil and the young plants. The latter rain of the Spirit has increased and grown stronger with the passing of this century in preparation for the gathering of the harvest.
​The Pentecostal revival signaled the beginning of the latter rain of God around 1907. The “rain” not only has continued through this century, but it intensified in the Charismatic revival which began about 1967.
​There are three predominant keys to God’s restorations. First, just as it was on the day of Pentecost, a number of God’s people were praying in one accord. Every great revival has been preceded by prayer and enveloped in prayer. Second, every move of God is attacked by Satan to pervert or subvert what God is doing, and the leaders of the move are scorned, ridiculed and persecuted in some instances. Third, each move has its root in the previous move, just as bricks are laid one upon another to build a great edifice.
​Martin Luther’s revelation of justification by faith, or personal salvation, was the beginning of God’s restoration. Then John Calvin emphasized water baptism. John and Charles Wesley brought forth the truth concerning sanctification or conforming to the image of Christ in one’s lifestyle.
​In this hour, the truth of the availability of faith for meeting everyday needs and doing great exploits for God has been restored.
​When the Charismatic revival peaked in 1980, the Word of Faith revival moved to the forefront. The greatest restoration in this move of God has been the revelation of the authority of the believer and the ability to live victoriously.
​It is impossible to go into the history of the past moves of God in great depth in this Bible. Therefore, we will briefly discuss four specific revivals: the Welsh, Pentecostal, Healing and Charismatic. Also included are short articles about seven great men and women of God, who were among the leaders of these moves.

EVAN ROBERTS – AND THE WELSH REVIVAL

​The Pentecostal revival, also called the Azusa Street Revival, erupted in California in 1906 with emphasis on speaking in other tongues and healing. A great revival in Wales, however, immediately preceded this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many believe the Welsh revival broke the strongholds of Satan, and through intensive prayer and unprecedented yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit, birthed the move of Pentecost.
​Evan Roberts (1878-1947), a blacksmith apprentice and ministerial student with the Calvinist Methodist ministry, attended the services in Cardiganshire. Although he did not go to preach, God moved on him and he began to take charge under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. People accepted his leadership, and God used him to conduct the services and interpret what the Holy Spirit was doing.
​The revival spread all over Wales and resulted in thousands of converts. Most churches at that time followed a formal order of service, but suddenly and spontaneously the services were operated according to the New Testament pattern of each person having a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation, with everything done to edify (1 Cor 14:26). Observers said the dominant note of the revival was prayer and praise. Roberts operated in the word of knowledge and in prophecy.
​Months before the Welsh revival broke out, Roberts spent hours praying for revival with such intensity that one landlady turned him out of his lodgings because she thought his enthusiasm in prayer was madness, yet the services under Roberts’ direction were dominated by joy and happiness.
​Most ministers of that era associated spirituality with seriousness or even severity of countenance. In complete contrast, Roberts smiled and laughed as he prayed and exhorted, and he preached victory over depression and doubt.
​The baptism in the Holy Spirit was a part of the Welsh revival, although it did not play the role it would in the Pentecostal revival which was to follow. In the Welsh revival, some people spoke in tongues, there were some healings and demons were cast out.
​Persecution and criticism were present. Newspaper reporters dogged Roberts’ trail and listened critically to every word he spoke. The grace of God enabled him to continue in such a public spotlight, because of the prayer that undergirded his life. Roberts did nothing that he had not made sure was in the will of the Lord. He allowed anyone who was led by the Lord to speak in the meetings. No one spoke by man’s invitation. Roberts was an extraordinarily humble man.
​Ministers and missionaries from all over the world came to see the fire of God in operation in Wales, among them Alexander Boddy and Joseph Smale. Boddy’s influence continued through the life of the late Smith Wigglesworth, a Pentecostal who is well-known and revered in Charismatic circles for his dynamic ministry of healing. Smale had a part in the Azusa Street meetings.
​England’s religious leaders generally did not receive the Welsh revival. The ecclesiastical establishment fought the revival because of the emotionalism that disrupted their formal services. The Holiness movement apparently attempted to bend the revival to their beliefs and desires. Donald Gee, a British Pentecostal leader, wrote in 1966 shortly before his death, that in England even the Pentecostal movement received determined and prejudiced opposition.
​Although the Welsh revival lasted for only a year (1904-1905), its impact lasted much longer.
​In 1907, Roberts gave himself to a ministry of intercessory prayer. He faded from view, partly because of ill health and partly because he felt the spotlight had been too much on one man. His role in the pre-Pentecostal revival, however, is beyond question.
​The Pentecostal revival, also called the Azusa Street Revival, erupted in California in 1906 with emphasis on speaking in other tongues and healing. A great revival in Wales, however, immediately preceded this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many believe the Welsh revival broke the strongholds of Satan, and through intensive prayer and unprecedented yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit, birthed the move of Pentecost.
​Evan Roberts (1878-1947), a blacksmith apprentice and ministerial student with the Calvinist Methodist ministry, attended the services in Cardiganshire. Although he did not go to preach, God moved on him and he began to take charge under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. People accepted his leadership, and God used him to conduct the services and interpret what the Holy Spirit was doing.
​The revival spread all over Wales and resulted in thousands of converts. Most churches at that time followed a formal order of service, but suddenly and spontaneously the services were operated according to the New Testament pattern of each person having a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation, with everything done to edify (1 Cor 14:26). Observers said the dominant note of the revival was prayer and praise. Roberts operated in the word of knowledge and in prophecy.
​Months before the Welsh revival broke out, Roberts spent hours praying for revival with such intensity that one landlady turned him out of his lodgings because she thought his enthusiasm in prayer was madness, yet the services under Roberts’ direction were dominated by joy and happiness.
​Most ministers of that era associated spirituality with seriousness or even severity of countenance. In complete contrast, Roberts smiled and laughed as he prayed and exhorted, and he preached victory over depression and doubt.
​The baptism in the Holy Spirit was a part of the Welsh revival, although it did not play the role it would in the Pentecostal revival which was to follow. In the Welsh revival, some people spoke in tongues, there were some healings and demons were cast out.
​Persecution and criticism were present. Newspaper reporters dogged Roberts’ trail and listened critically to every word he spoke. The grace of God enabled him to continue in such a public spotlight, because of the prayer that undergirded his life. Roberts did nothing that he had not made sure was in the will of the Lord. He allowed anyone who was led by the Lord to speak in the meetings. No one spoke by man’s invitation. Roberts was an extraordinarily humble man.
​Ministers and missionaries from all over the world came to see the fire of God in operation in Wales, among them Alexander Boddy and Joseph Smale. Boddy’s influence continued through the life of the late Smith Wigglesworth, a Pentecostal who is well-known and revered in Charismatic circles for his dynamic ministry of healing. Smale had a part in the Azusa Street meetings.
​England’s religious leaders generally did not receive the Welsh revival. The ecclesiastical establishment fought the revival because of the emotionalism that disrupted their formal services. The Holiness movement apparently attempted to bend the revival to their beliefs and desires. Donald Gee, a British Pentecostal leader, wrote in 1966 shortly before his death, that in England even the Pentecostal movement received determined and prejudiced opposition.
​Although the Welsh revival lasted for only a year (1904-1905), its impact lasted much longer.
​In 1907, Roberts gave himself to a ministry of intercessory prayer. He faded from view, partly because of ill health and partly because he felt the spotlight had been too much on one man. His role in the pre-Pentecostal revival, however, is beyond question.

 

THE ASUZA STREET REVIVAL

The Pentecostal restoration grew out of the Holiness revival of the late nineteenth century. Many men and women had a part in bringing the Pentecostal revival about, although two men had outstanding roles: Charles Fox Parham and William J. Seymour.
​Just before Christmas in 1900, Charles Fox Parham gave the forty students of his Bethel Bible College at Topeka, Kansas, an assignment – find New Testament evidence of being filled with the Spirit.
​Parham had heard of the gifts of the Spirit manifesting in Wales, of some 100 persons speaking in tongues in 1896 at a camp meeting in Western North Carolina and of other revivals or meetings where people spoke in tongues.
​Most holiness groups did not believe the baptism of the Spirit or the manifestation of His gifts ceased with the apostles. However, they disagreed on the evidence of the baptism.
​Three days later, when Parham returned, his students informed him that the only consistent evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament was speaking in other tongues. Parham and his students began to pray for this experience. At almost midnight, New Years day, 1901, a student, Agnes Ozman, asked to have hands laid on her to receive the baptism. As the others laid hands on her, the Holy Spirit fell, and she began to speak in other tongues. Three days later, Parham himself received.
​Persecution came almost as quickly as the baptism. Newspapers and representatives of organized religion ridiculed Parham. He closed his school, moved to Kansas City, and went through the same persecution. Then while holding a revival in Missouri, a miraculous healing occurred, and the woman who was healed invited Parham to hold meetings in her home in Galena, Kansas, where a revival broke out, attended by hundreds of people from all over the United States.
​Many people wanted Parham to organize a national Holy Spirit movement, but he did not see himself in that light. He continued to travel and hold Holy Spirit rallies and revivals. He later moved to Houston, Texas, where he began a Bible School, which brought him together with the second leader of the Pentecostal revival.
​William J. Seymour, a black man who belonged to the Nazarene Holiness faith, approached Parham one night, humbly asking if he could just sit in the doorway and listen to his teaching. Although Seymour did not receive the baptism there, he met the next divine connection in the revival wave God was building, a Los Angeles woman named Neeley Terry.
​Upon returning to the Nazarene Holiness church, Terry influenced the congregation and her pastor, Mrs. Julia Hutchins, to call Seymour as associate pastor, which they did. Mrs. Hutchins was highly offended when his second sermon in her church was that the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues. She thought they had received the baptism as a second work of grace. When Seymour arrived at the church for the afternoon service, the door was bolted.
​Seymour then began to preach in an abandoned church at 321 Azusa Street. After about six months, revival broke out. The mission remained open around the clock. The Holy Spirit moved in healings, testimonies, prophecies, visions and casting out demons. Psalms and songs were given supernaturally. Like Evan Roberts, Seymour rarely preached and was remembered for his humility.
​While Azusa Street was the epicenter for the Pentecostal phenomenon, church membership in seven major non-Pentecostal denominations jumped by almost a million people.
​Every Pentecostal group in existence today can trace its lineage directly or indirectly to the Azusa Street Revival.

 

THE RESTORATION OF DIVINE HEALING

Although the truth about divine healing never totally disappeared from the Church over the years, its significance faded in some eras.
​In the past 2,000 years, people have been saved, baptized in water, filled with the Holy Spirit, and divinely healed. Many times, however, these operations of the Holy Spirit have come about in spite of the institutional church, not because of it.
​The foremost woman evangelist of the nineteenth century was Maria Woodworth-Etter. She was noted for the healings and miracles that took place in her services.
​A Scottish evangelist, John Alexander Dowie, gained prominence in religious and secular worlds because of the healings that took place in his ministry. Dowie built the city of Zion, Illinois, as a paradise for the righteous. He influenced many other healing ministries before he began to have delusions that he was Elijah. Two men with reputable healing ministries who spent time with Dowie were John G. Lake and F. F. Bosworth.
​Just as the Azusa Street revival of 1906 erupted onto the world scene, beginning the Pentecostal revival in 1907, the healing ministries of various evangelists erupted into view in 1947. Praying for the sick began to occur on an unprecedented scale. Accompanying the restoration of healing was mass evangelism.
​Just as their Pentecostal forerunners were persecuted and called names, such as “holy rollers” and “tongue-talkers,” the healing evangelists were called “faith healers.” Speaking in tongues was part of all these ministries, but the focus was on the Spirit moving in miracles of divine healing.
​Other worldwide healing ministries of this time included William Branham, Jack Coe, A. A. Allen, Tommy Hicks, Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, T. L. Osborn and Oral Roberts.
​Although divine healing was a part of both the Holiness and Pentecostal revivals, in the mid-twentieth century divine healing came as a wave of restoration in itself.
​One man who bridged the Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals and was largely responsible for organizing the healing revival was Gordon Lindsay. He was involved with nearly all of the major ministries. He spent his youth in Dowie’s Zion City, was converted by Charles F. Parham in Portland, Oregon, and worked with John G. Lake and William Branham. In 1946 he married Freda Schimpf, a graduate of Aimee Semple McPherson’s L.I.F.E. Bible College.
​In 1948, Lindsay recognized what God was doing in the healing restoration and began publishing a magazine, Voice of Healing, in Dallas, Texas, to help coordinate the work of the healing evangelists. He also started an organization by the same name. Known as the theologian and historian of the healing revival, Lindsay wrote more than 250 books.
​In 1947 Kathryn Kuhlman brought the healing ministry out of the sawdust-floor-covered tents into big city auditoriums. She operated mainly through the word of knowledge, calling out healings as the Holy Spirit led her.
​One of the most prominent healing evangelists is Oral Roberts, who settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and established Oral Roberts University. He launched his healing crusades in 1948, and the name “Oral Roberts” became synonymous with divine healing.
​The leaders in the restoration of divine healing also played prominent roles in the Charismatic and Word of Faith revivals.

 

THE CHARISMATIC REVIVAL

The fire of the Jesus revival flamed across America in the 1960s. Evangelicals such as Billy Graham and evangelical groups such as Campus Crusade for Christ, the Navigators and Youth for Christ took the message of the joy of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to high school and college campuses. In the early 1970s national Jesus rallies were held.
​Being a Christian became popular, and the term “born again” was widely understood. Presidents and government leaders professed to being born again. Unlike most fads, this popular interest of developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ would not go out of style.
​As the evangelical movement gained momentum, rising parallel to it, the Charismatic revival surged across America. Charismatics believed in and experienced the power of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
​The year of 1967 marks the real beginning of the Charismatic revival when the fires of the Holy Spirit burst into the open and covered the earth. ​
​The sparks of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues burst into flame simultaneously across the United States. Some Charismatic Christians stayed in their denominations while others pulled away and formed Bible studies in their homes, some which later became non-denominational congregations.
​A major forerunner of the Charismatic revival, Episcopalian rector Dennis Bennett, wrote a book, Nine O’ clock in the Morning, which had a tremendous effect in lighting revival fires.
​Another forerunner of the Charismatic revival was Demos Shakarian who fanned the flame with the formation of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. Shakarian’s organization stabilized in 1953, but its most rapid growth occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Evangelist Oral Roberts enthusiastically endorsed Shakarian. Almost all of the well-known church leaders of the mid- to late-twentieth century have been guest speakers at one of Shakarian’s local, national, or international meetings since 1953.
​Although Shakarian has gone home to be with the Lord, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International remains an important parachurch organization, made up of local chapters established all over the world. Chapter meetings provide a forum – not affiliated with any one denomination or sect – for laymen, ministers, teachers and evangelists.
​The book, The Cross and the Switchblade, by David Wilkerson sparked the Charismatic revival among teens. David Wilkerson’s group, Teen Challenge, brought street gang members to Jesus.
​Numerous books were published by people who had experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, revealing an international outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
​The Charismatic revival was not without persecution. In some churches, people who had received the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues were no longer welcome because their pastors didn’t understand this experience.
​In the 1970s the Word of Faith revival burst onto the scene, restoring the truth of God concerning the importance of faith in every area of life. It emphasized the authority of the believer and the victorious life available to every believer. Word of Faith churches rose up all over the country, with their congregations numbering in the thousands.

 

MARIA WOODWORTH-ETTER 1844-1924

​Maria Woodworth-Etter, an outstanding evangelist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, operated in such power of the Holy Spirit that thousands came to her meetings. She paved the way for women in ministry and was followed by Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman.
​Born in 1844 near Lisbon, Ohio, converted and baptized at thirteen and soon after called into the ministry, Maria Woodworth-Etter could not overcome her fear of public opinion enough to answer the call for a number of years.
​At the age of thirty-six, she began to hold revivals. She first preached under the umbrella of the United Brethren, although her roots were Methodist Holiness, and after 1884 she was associated with the Winebrennarian Churches of God.
​After holding a revival in Dallas at F. F. Bosworth’s church in 1912, Maria Woodworth-Etter moved into the Pentecostal revival as a recognized leader. This transition was natural for her because she had been operating in the gifts with an emphasis on divine healing through the power of the Holy Spirit during her entire ministry.
​She was nearly seventy years old when she preached in Dallas, and her reputation gave credibility to the Pentecostal revival. She held crusades in various cities, some which lasted for months. She drew much criticism from the church world and the secular world.
​In addition to evangelizing, she established several churches, wrote a number of books and taught on post-conversion spiritual experiences and faith healing. Blacks and whites alike were welcome in her meetings.
​Within five years after beginning her ministry, she began to pray for the sick at a crusade in Indiana. From then on, miraculous healings marked her meetings. People with cancer and tuberculosis were healed instantly, the lame walked and the blind were made to see. She constantly emphasized that it was God’s sovereign grace that made the healings and miracles possible.
​Prophecies and visions also became a regular occurrence in her meetings.
​Maria Woodworth-Etter was one of the first tent evangelists. By 1889, she owned a tent that seated 8,000 people, but many times her tent would not hold the crowds.
​She continued to have an impact on the Pentecostal revival from 1912 until her death in 1924. Her later years were spent establishing a tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana, now called Lakeview Christian Center.

CHARLES PARHAM AND WILLIAM SEYMOUR

​The spiritual exploits of Charles Fox Parham, a white Midwestern preacher and Bible teacher, and William Joseph Seymour, a southern, black, Bible student called to preach, cannot be separated. Together, they mark the beginning of the Pentecostal revival.
​Parham (1873-1929) began his ministry in Kansas in the Methodist Episcopal Church but left that denomination in 1895 to minister independently in the holiness movement. He is widely credited with recognizing that speaking in other tongues is the primary sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
​He first came in contact with the concept of speaking in tongues as a modern-day possibility in 1900 during a visit to a Holiness commune in Maine. There he heard the idea of a latter rain outpouring to come before the millennial reign, and he heard of miraculous speaking of foreign languages among missionaries.
​Most church historians believe that when Parham assigned his students to seek New Testament evidence for the baptism of the Holy Spirit during the Christmas season of 1900, he already knew the answer and did so to encourage them to find out for themselves. However, Parham also was convinced that the gift of tongues was a call to the mission field.
​Many wanted him to organize a national Holy Spirit movement, but Parham did not see himself in that light. When persecution closed his Kansas Bible school, he began to travel, holding revivals. Then he started another Bible School in Houston, Texas, in 1905. There he met Seymour, who would carry the flame on to a place called Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Parham visited the Azusa Street revival in 1906.
​By 1910, he began an organized group called the Apostolic Faith Missions, which spread throughout the lower Midwest, becoming part of the Pentecostal revival. Until his death, he remained the leader of a small group of Apostolic Faith churches, headquartered in Baxter Springs, Kansas, assisted by his wife Sarah and son Robert.
​Seymour (1870-1922), the son of former slaves, was born in Louisiana. A self-educated man, he worked in Indianapolis as a waiter, then moved to Houston, where he was an itinerant evangelist with other black Holiness ministers.
​In January 1906, Seymour became the associate pastor of a Nazarene Mission in Los Angeles for a brief time, after which he was asked to hold services in a home. Because the home could not hold the crowds, he rented an abandoned church at 312 Azusa Street.
​When he began to hold services at Azusa Street, Seymour had not yet received the baptism in the Spirit. However, he had heard Parham’s teaching and he believed. His meetings were characterized by their interracial nature, as were Maria Woodworth-Etter’s meetings.
​Seymour’s meetings from 1906 to 1907 marked the beginning of American Pentecostalism, although his personal influence faded away after 1909 and the interracial services ended by 1912. Seymour continued to preach at the Azusa Street mission until his death in 1922.
​William Joseph Seymour, known to his friends and to many early Pentecostals as “Daddy” Seymour, was a great influence in the lives of many ministers. John G. Lake tells of visiting Azusa Street and relates an incident that showed the heart of “Daddy” Seymour and the power of God in operation:
​“I was in a meeting in Los Angeles on one occasion. An old black man was conducting the services. He (Seymour) had the funniest vocabulary, but…there were doctors, lawyers and professors listening to marvelous things coming from his lips.
​“It was not what he said in words. It was what he said from his spirit to my heart that showed me that he had more of God in his life than any man I had ever met up to that time. It was God in him who was attracting people.
​“One man insisted on getting up and talking every little while…The old black brother endured it for a long time. Finally, the fellow got up again, and the old man stuck out his finger and said, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, sit down!’ The man did not sit down – he fell down – and his friends carried him out.
​“That is only one of the living facts of what Christianity is: the divine power of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, filling a man’s soul and body, flashing through his nature like holy flame, accomplishing the will of God.”

JOHN G. LAKE  1870-1935

​John G. Lake was a significant Pentecostal figure who was responsible for the restoration of healing to the Church.
​Although he was ordained as a Methodist minister when he was twenty-one years old, Lake pursued ventures in newspaper and real estate businesses. After succeeding in those areas, he entered the insurance field and found himself an effective entrepreneur but a discontented Christian.
​Lake fully accepted the miraculous healing power of God when his wife, Jennie, was cured of tuberculosis on April 28, 1928. Her healing followed the healing of Lake’s brother and two sisters.
​His wife’s healing came as Lake received in faith the promise of Acts 10:38, “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”
​After his wife’s healing, Lake began to work with the evangelist, John Alexander Dowie, who had been instrumental in her healing.
​ Lake moved to Dowie’s “Christian Utopia” community in Zion, Illinois, in 1901 and became an elder in Dowie’s Zion Catholic Apostolic Church. Three years later, Lake began his own ministry in search of a greater work of God for his life.
​Lake found his greater work in 1907 when he was filled with the Holy Spirit and called to be a missionary to South Africa. A member of the Chicago Board of Trade and a successful insurance man, Lake sold all of his assets and devoted his resources to other ministries and to following Christ’s call to South Africa.
​With his wife, seven children and four other people, Lake traveled to South Africa. Although he had less than $2 when they started the trip, God provided the funds for each step of the journey. When Lake arrived in Cape Town, God demonstrated again His divine plan and provision.
​The Holy Spirit revealed to a woman missionary in South Africa that Lake was coming, so she had prepared a place for Lake and his family to stay. The missionary, Mrs. C. L. Goodenough, had been told exactly the number of children who would arrive with Lake and his wife. She worked with the Lakes and remained a faithful worker in their ministry.
​Within a year, Lake became the pastor of a church God had shown him in a prophetic vision. He returned to the United States briefly and recruited eight additional missionaries to help him in this work.
​By 1910, Lake founded the Apostolic Church and presided over 125 white and 500 native congregations.
​Lake’s own evangelistic travels through South Africa continued, and he saw thousands of Africans experience the healing of Jesus.
​After a missionary journey to the Kalahari Desert, Lake returned home to find that his wife had died of a stroke. He was heartbroken and soon returned to the United States. In 1913 he married Florence Switzer.
​Lake moved to Spokane, Washington, a year later, where he opened healing rooms where tens of thousands of people were not only healed but were able to learn how to pray and believe for healing. In five years, more than 100,000 confirmed healings occurred in his ministry.
​By 1920 Lake had begun similar healing rooms in Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California; and in other cities, with the intention of creating additional places of hope across the country. Although his desire for such a network of healing ended with his death from a stroke in 1935, Lake’s long legacy of confident dependence on God continues to this day.

AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON 1890-1944

​Founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Aimee Kennedy Semple McPherson was the most well-known, yet the most controversial, of the twentieth century Pentecostal revivalists. Raised in Canada in the tradition of Wesleyan theology, McPherson began her traveling work in 1918 and by 1920 was considered to be among the most anointed of the healing evangelists.
​Aimee met Evangelist Robert James Semple just before her eighteenth birthday and because of his preaching, reaffirmed her faith in God. She and Semple married, were ordained by William Durham and decided to become missionaries to China. Soon after they arrived in China, Semple contracted malaria and died. Because she was pregnant, Aimee stayed in Hong Kong until the birth of her daughter a month later on September 17, 1910.
​Aimee then returned to the United States and worked with New York City’s Salvation Army where she met Harold Stewart McPherson, her second husband. The couple moved to Chicago and later back to Canada.
​McPherson had begun her own ministry, and her husband worked with her in setting up crusades. She was ordained by the Assemblies of God in 1919. With her intense evangelistic fervor, McPherson experienced increasing difficulties with her husband over the ministry and they divorced in 1921.
​Although she was affiliated with the Assemblies of God until 1922, many churches counted her among their adherents, and she was ordained by the Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist churches. While this acceptance pleased McPherson, who strongly believed in reaching beyond the barriers of denominationalism, she was convinced that a Transdenominational approach was needed. As a result, she established the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Los Angeles.
​The Foursquare concept emerged during a sermon in Oakland, California. McPherson embraced the four concepts revealed in Ezekiel 1:4-10 as a text to preach Jesus as Savior, Holy Spirit Baptizer, Healer and Soon-coming King.
​In 1923, at the age of thirty-three, she had Angelus Temple built in Los Angeles. McPherson also established the Lighthouse for International Foursquare Evangelism Bible College, and many students found L.I.F.E. an answer concerning a Christian calling.
​Even as her own Foursquare churches increasingly emphasized sanctification, McPherson came under increasing persecution by the media. The increased media attention, however, simply drew more followers to her ministry. Her world travels, “Cavalcade of Christianity” rallies and commitment to help the poor in Los Angeles gave a new emphasis to her controversial ministry.
​Eventually, a number of Midwestern churches which had once affiliated with McPherson, opted to create a new informal denomination called the Open Bible Evangelistic Association. The new association embraced McPherson’s original views of holiness and sanctification but escaped the persecution McPherson was undergoing.
​McPherson preached her final sermon on September 26, 1944. She was found dead the next day after an accidental overdose of medication. Her internment in California’s Forest Hills Cemetery on October 9, 1944, remains one of the most celebrated funerals in southern California.

SMITH WIGGLESWORTH 1859-1947

​Among the most prominent and respected evangelists in the twentieth century was Smith Wigglesworth of Great Britain. His accomplishments as an evangelist have become legendary, and Wigglesworth remains an inspiration for all believers seeking to experience the miraculous and loving intervention of a caring God.
​Saved at the age of eight through the prayers of his Methodist grandmother, young Wigglesworth proceeded to gain his first convert, his own mother. At the age of sixteen, he encountered William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. He was truly an evangelist, bringing hundreds to Christ each month as he simply witnessed to the things of God’s Word and His plan of salvation.
​Wigglesworth and his wife, Polly, whom he met while working with the Salvation Army, never considered that their ministry might extend beyond the borders of their community in Bradford, England. Polly, whose given name was Mary Jane, preached, and Wigglesworth, a true soul winner, met new converts at the altar and led them in professions of faith.
​In 1907 Wigglesworth was baptized in the Holy Spirit at Sunderland, England, under the ministry of Alexander and Mary Boddy, who had been part of the Welsh revival. Wigglesworth had little education, but his aggressive approach to the Gospel affected many lives.
​Wigglesworth experienced healing of a ruptured appendix that God would eventually use to alter his destiny. After his healing, Wigglesworth strongly believed that God had endowed him with a special gift of healing for those with appendicitis. He also is credited with raising the dead on several occasions.
​After Wigglesworth’s beloved wife died of heart failure, he commanded her to live and she came back to life. However, as he held her in his arms, Polly told Wigglesworth that the Lord wanted to receive her, and she wanted to go home. He kissed her and released her to heaven.
​From that time, Wigglesworth’s ministry had a remarkable power. He was single-minded in the Lord’s work. He visited America and stunned audiences with his sense of God’s grace and love. Wigglesworth was embraced by Pentecostals in the United States and quickly became the nation’s most favored evangelist. He traveled across many continents, often accompanied by his daughter, Alice.
​Wigglesworth laid hands on the sick and welcomed challenges which would demonstrate how easy the impossible was for God. In Sweden, where police forbade him to lay hands on anyone, he told those in the massive crowds to lay hands upon themselves and they would be healed. As a result, hundreds were healed. Wigglesworth continued preaching well into his eighties. He is credited with bringing believers together of all faiths.
​On March 12, 1947, just short of his eighty-eighth birthday, he went home to be with the Lord.

 

KATHRYN KUHLMAN 1907-1976

Among the most respected of the revival evangelists is Kathryn Kuhlman. After being saved at the age of thirteen, Kuhlman was called to preach when she was sixteen. She dropped out of high school to begin her itinerant ministry.
​Kuhlman’s message was radically transformed in 1946 when she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Although her religious upbringing had been mainstream and conservative, Kuhlman was compelled to preach the awe she had experienced with the indwelling of the Spirit. As she preached about the power of the Holy Spirit, members of her audiences began reporting miraculous healings.
​Rather than take her experiences to the healing tent, as most of the revival evangelists had done, Kuhlman recognized that her own calling was significantly different. She established a tabernacle in Franklin, Pennsylvania.
​In 1954 miraculous healings began to occur in her church services. Word soon spread that she had a God-given ability unique among her peers. She began holding regular crusades in a larger Pittsburgh auditorium and in other large cities. Kuhlman’s healing ministry extended beyond the saved and the churched. Kuhlman reported that several atheists and agnostics were healed through her ministry. Kuhlman insisted on medical verification of all reports of healing.
​Her crusades were marked by integrity and honesty. She understood the importance of her calling and sought to express her gift with a high regard for righteousness and truth. Although she was not immediately welcomed when she moved her ministry from Franklin to Pittsburgh, Kuhlman’s anointing quickly gathered the support of city leaders and pastors in traditional churches.
​Even individuals highly skeptical of other healing evangelists readily admitted that Kuhlman’s ministry was different. The great power channeled through her to heal and her humility in the expression of that gift were undeniable.
​Taking advantage of the power of the media, Kuhlman established a radio program broadcast over more than sixty stations and organized the Kathryn Kuhlman foundation to direct her ministry’s contributions to many different Christian causes and missionaries. By 1974 the Foundation was directly involved in twenty-two mission projects, education for blind children, drug rehabilitation programs, food commissaries for the less fortunate and a college scholarship fund.
​In spite of her commitment to God, Kuhlman soon found followers adoring her rather than focusing on the Lord. She quickly chastised them and told them to look toward heaven.
​Again and again, Kuhlman expressed her belief that she was just an intermediary for God’s power. Ultimately, she said her theology was less secure after decades of ministry than it had been at the beginning. Instead of trying to figure out God, she said she desired simply to know Him. Her intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and her understanding of how the Holy Spirit desired to move were keys to the mighty miracles of healing that took place in her ministry.
​Later in her ministry, Kuhlman reached out to other healing evangelists and provided a bridge by which they could cross into mainstream congregations.
​Kuhlman died on February, 27, 1976, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, hospital after complications from heart surgery.

 

 

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