don't miss a thing ...

scroll all the way to the bottom and see LARGE, hard-to-find photos of the Pembertons, Earl Lee, Mom Beall, and others!

Friday, 6 March 2020

Here's what you can read about on this site ...

Pastor Earl Lee from Los Angeles is shown preaching to the congregation of Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan in the early days of the Latter Rain Movement of 1948

Following is a list of articles that you can read on this site. Clicking on the hyperlink will take you to the article you are interested in.

General information on the revival:
Related to Bethesda Missionary Temple:
Latter Rain Movement ministries:
Note - the triple asterisk (***) is there to indicate that this is by far the most widely-read item on this site.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

A must-have history of the LRM

by Archibald Thackeray

*** Information on obtaining this self-published book can be found at the bottom of this article.

I produced this website - the more than 30,000 words of it - because the Latter Rain Movement of 1948 (hereafter, LRM) so blessed my life and because much of what I read about it on the internet was misinformed, and sometimes malicious, nonsense.

So it is my pleasure, of course, to promote any materials that tell the LRM story accurately.

Until December, the premier book devoted to a comprehensive historical retelling of the mighty revival the Lord sent beginning in 1948 was Richard M. Riss' book, Latter Rain: the Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Awakening, which is sadly now out-of-print. But as 2019 came to a close, a new book became available that complements Riss' account, and in many ways surpasses it.

The Latter Rain Revival 1948 - 1952, An Oral History by Walter Willet is an extensively-researched account, that is written both candidly and sensitively (sensitively because, after all, it is a visitation of the Lord that is under discussion). He shows that LRM leaders like George Hawtin and A. Earl Lee had frailties that resulted in damage to lives, while at the same time he thrills readers with accounts of the Heavenly Choir and the restoration of several of the Holy Spirit's gifts to the church.

Despite having researched and written a great deal about the LRM myself, in chapter after chapter I gained information about the revival that brought it into sharper focus. I suppose I am most appreciative for those passages when Willet takes us behind-the-scenes at crucial moments of the revival's development.

He is able to do that because he includes information from interviews that he and others conducted with many of the movement's most prominent ministers (e.g., George Hawtin, Violet Kiteley, James Lee Beall, Charles Green, Reg Layzell, Leonard Fox, and many more). Probing questions were asked and the answers given provide us with a more complete record of the LRM than has ever existed before. If the history of the LRM is of interest to you then this is a book you must have.

I first became aware of Willet when I was reading through Richard Riss' thesis file at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Riss' book (mentioned above) was initially submitted as his master's degree thesis at Regent. The thesis file contains his correspondence with ministers and with other researchers, one of which was Willet.

Walter Willet
Walter was not an outsider peering into a movement; he was first a Latter Rain adherent, sitting under the ministry of A. Earl Lee in Los Angeles, California, and later researched the movement by traveling to places associated with the revival so that he could interview LRM participants.

His involvement with Pastor Lee is recounted in one of the book's seven appendices. It wasn't all pleasant and Walter is candid about that, yet he is even-handed enough to also present Lee as a powerfully anointed minister of the Gospel. The candidness allows us to see Lee's human frailty - and also the grace that should operate between members of the Body of Christ, as Willet extends forgiveness for the wrongs he says Lee did to him.

The book's even-handedness is one of the salient features of this recounting of Latter Rain history. One can tell from the beginning that Willet believes the LRM was a true visitation of the Lord, but less than 50 pages into the book, we read what the author calls a "minority view" about the events that occurred at the Latter Rain revival's initial site - North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

That minority view was provided to Willet by Eric A. Forsgren, who was a student during the revival outbreak. Specifically, Forsgren was not impressed by the prophecies at North Battleford (in particular, an obviously failed prophecy that declared that ministers of the revival would stand before Joseph Stalin and prophesy the Word of the Lord to him). However, even this leads to more even-handedness (by both the author and Forsgren) when we read later that Forsgren humbly admits that he may have been overly critical of the situation in North Battleford because he was immature or because he was envious at not having been prophesied over. (Forsgren later had a positive experience of the LRM at Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit.)

Such candor gives this book authenticity. The people of the revival are presented as having experienced a supernatural visitation of the Living God, but also as having failed the Lord - and each other - at many turns. They are empowered and refreshed - but they are not perfected.

Still, the book is a mostly positive and hopeful account. Willet's issues with Lee are not included as a
A. Earl Lee
matter of score-settling, but as part of an honest account from one LRM participant (in fact, bringing up the disappointing relationship with Lee results in the author telling us of his own failings). And the sins committed by LRM participants (some of them very grave) do not overshadow the great blessing the revival spread in every place it touched on earth - and it was more than just a North American phenomenon. Major LRM centers like Portland, Oregon; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Oakland, California; and Lima, New York still have works (churches and institutions) that are healthy and growing in the Lord, serving their communities well.

I hope the contents of this website have given me credibility enough with readers that when I tell you Willet's understanding of LRM history is solid and his reporting is trustworthy, you will believe it is so.

In fact, his research has pointed up inadequacies in my own understanding of LRM history, some of which involve information I have published on this website that I will have to correct when time allows.

A prime example is the impression I had been given by Riss' book and D. William Faupel's 1989 Ph.D. dissertation, The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought, that the ministry of George Hawtin and others at Wings of Healing Temple in Portland, Oregon in February 1949, brought the revival to that church. Having gotten that impression, I printed it on this website because Riss' and Faupel's writings were also well-researched. However, no one gets history perfectly correct.

George Hawtin and others from North Battleford certainly did go to Wings of Healing Temple, pastored by famed healing and radio evangelist Thomas Wyatt, but the Lord had already visited that church in Latter Rain revival showers prior to the Hawtin party's arrival.

Thankfully, Willet has given us a lot of detail about the revival at Wings of Healing Temple, and
Max Wyatt
here I will highlight a quote that dispels the notion that I and others had about how the revival started in Portland. Max Wyatt, the son of Thomas Wyatt and an outstanding minister in his own right, is quoted as saying,

"The Latter Rain didn't come to us from Canada. But when we found out they were in on it, we invited them down. I feel like Paul. Remember after he preached and got his revelation, he went to Jerusalem to see and he said, they didn't add a thing to us. (Galatians 2:6) As far as we were concerned, we never had anything added to us. We were already preaching everything that they brought. Everything they talked about, we were already doing and they added nothing. Fact of the matter is, they brought harm, and they brought confusion instead of help. Afterward, even Dad said he would to God that he'd never called the Hawtins from North Battleford. We [didn't] feel that way about Milford Kirkpatrick. Even Kirkpatrick would tell you that the Lord, finally, just spoke to him and told him to get out of there."

I am thankful for the corrections Willet has brought to my understanding of LRM history, as well as, the gaps of information he has filled in for me.

A sad part of the task for any honest LRM historian is telling the George Hawtin part of the story. Remember, the very first outbreak of the Latter Rain revival occurred at the Sharon Bible College in North Battleford in February 1948.

George Hawtin
George was the president of the Bible college (although Willet relates that George was not, in fact, present on the very first day of revival activity). Shortly after the revival outbreak, he and his brother Ern (and sometimes others from North Battleford) were asked to minister in several places across the United States and Canada. Understandably, he was considered a leader in what was happening.

But, by every account I have read, George was not content to be a leader or merely the leader of the activity in North Battleford. Rather, he was insistent on being the leader of the revival. Willet's book paints him accurately, though, as being given to rage and adultery. His desire to be the LRM leader was rebuffed, and eventually his conduct resulted in expulsion from the ministry in North Battleford.

Willet interviewed Hawtin at his home in August 1976 and Riss communicated with him through the mail. Those contacts were met by Hawtin's characteristic hostility, anger, and bitterness. Still, this part of the story must be told because people like Hawtin do populate heaven-sent revivals, even though we wish it weren't so. We need told to be told about them so that we will not be inordinately discouraged when we encounter them - and so that we will be careful not to become them.

Much more encouraging is the part of the story that concerns M. D. "Mom" Beall, her family, and the church she founded, Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit. Like George Hawtin, Mom Beall was not formally trained for the ministry. But unlike Hawtin, Mom Beall's ministry bore good fruit.

Beall began Bethesda as a Sunday School for children but the work grew and grew as
Mom Beall
the Lord drew people to hear her simple but anointed teachings.

In November 1948, just three months before the burgeoning congregation was to open an 1,800-seat facility, Beall traveled to Vancouver to Glad Tidings Tabernacle (pastored by Reg Layzell) to hear the Hawtins and others speak about the revival that had begun nine months earlier.

Hands were laid upon Mom Beall, and Ern Hawtin gave one of the most memorable prophecies of the early Latter Rain revival, saying, "They shall come to thee from the ends of the earth and shall go forth from thee as lions equipped - as from a mighty armory."

This word was fulfilled dramatically over the next few years. The first Sunday Beall returned home, the revival broke out in Detroit. Folks like Ivan and Minnie Spencer, their son Carlton, and Stanley Frodsham went to Detroit before the month was over and were able to confirm that a real revival was taking place.

When Bethesda dedicated its new sanctuary two months later in February 1949, the revival surged in intensity, so much so, that the church had to have, from that point on, revival services six days a week for three and one-half years!

Willet reports that during that time, ministers that would later have their own significant LRM ministries (like Paul and Lura Grubb, and Bill Britton) went to Detroit to see what was happening. He also writes that Thomas Wyatt and Fred Poole from Philadelphia went to Detroit seeking specifically to be prophesied over. As Vinson Synan has written, "A large center of the revival outside of Canada was the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan pastored by Myrtle Beale (sic). From Detroit, the movement spread across the United States like a prairie wildfire."

I have paid close attention to the LRM virtually my entire life, yet I read in this book stories about Mom Beall and her family, Violet Kiteley, Fred and Sarah Poole, Bill Britton, Percy Hunt, and certainly George Hawtin, that I had never heard before.

The book, however, only gives brief mention of the Pemberton brothers (Garlon and Modest) and Winston Nunes, and all three were major LRM figures. However, no history can contain everything - we are all limited by the scope of our research, our energy, and the need to keep a book's size manageable.

The more serious concerns I have with the book are stylistic. Willet self-published it without professional editing - and it shows. The book does not conform to standards of grammar, quote attribution, and book citation that one expects from serious history. An analogy occurred to me while reading - this book reads more like the notes of a police detective than it does a well-polished crime novel.  (I would say the same of the memoirs of Moses Vegh and Hugh Layzell.)

There is even an unfortunate artistic error where a photo of Max Wyatt is confusingly overlaid on a photo of the Pembertons, which results in the reader not being able to see Garlon at all.

However, that critique aside, I would not want to be without this book. Walter Willet has expended a lot of effort and has undergone great expense to tell us a story that must not be lost in the mists of the past. Even with its several faults, I consider the book to be a treasure.

The chapter and appendix titles are as follows:

PART ONE - BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF THE LATTER RAIN
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Chapter 2 - 1934 - 1947 The condition of Pentecostal churches
  • Chapter 3 - 1948 Beginning of the Visitation at North Battleford
  • Chapter 4 - 1949 LR flows out to the world
  • Chapter 5 - 1950 LR teaching spreads
  • Chapter 6 - 1951 and 1952 LR churches proliferate
  • Chapter 7 - 1953 and subsequent years
  • Chapter 8 - A look back to evaluate the LR Revival
PART TWO - LR DOCTRINES
  • Chapter 9 - The Body of Christ and Body ministry
  • Chapter 10 - The Unity of the Body of Christ
  • Chapter 11 - The Governmental Offices of Apostles and Prophets
  • Chapter 12 - Laying on of hands and impartation
  • Chapter 13 - Gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially Prophecy
  • Chapter 14 - Gifts of the Holy Spirit continued
  • Chapter 15 - Worship and Praise
  • Chapter 16 - Water Baptism and The Lord's Supper
  • Chapter 17 - The Doctrine of Grace
  • Chapter 18 - The Manifested Sons of God
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
  • Appendix A - Some highlights on Walter Willet's spiritual journey
  • Appendix B - C. L. Thacker profile
  • Appendix C - Clovis Cagle's persecution for joining LR
  • Appendix D - William Branham quotes and profile
  • Appendix E - George Warnock and The Feast of Tabernacles
  • Appendix F - Woodworth-Etter and "the Heavenly Choir"
  • Appendix G - The false doctrine of Universal Reconciliation
Here's how to get copies of the book:

In the UNITED STATES send a total of $23.50 (that includes the book and postage) to -

WALTER WILLET
P. O. BOX 1982
DUNEDIN, FL 34698

Walter's email address is:  wwillet.ww@gmail.com (your eyes are not playing tricks on you - wwillet.ww has 4 W's and 2 L's)

CANADIAN customers need to write to Walter (or email him), requesting the book which will cost $20.00 (in U. S. funds) plus shipping charges (which he will determine when he receives your order).

*** To significantly reduce the cost, a flash drive option is available. Write to Walter (or email him) for that information, as well.

*** The pricing above has been reduced. Walter says that those who paid the original pricing will receive reimbursement from him.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Vintage James Lee Beall

James Lee Beall
by Archibald Thackeray

In the Latter Rain Movement, we were blessed to have many outstanding, anointed preachers, but like other groups within the Body of Christ, we did not have many that, after 45 - 60 minutes of preaching, left you saying, "Man, I wish he would've kept going." Because of their giftedness, which usually included eloquence and clarity, the time flew too quickly when these preachers spoke.

James Lee Beall, who followed his mother, M. D. Beall, as the senior pastor of the large Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan, was one such preacher.

Most importantly, he was heavily anointed by the Lord, but that anointing was accentuated by his keen intellect, sense of humor, teaching ability, and love for people.

Pastor Beall went to be with the Lord in 2013, and very sadly - and surprisingly - there is almost no public access to recordings of his preaching. You can hear sermons and teaching by many of his ministerial peers of that era (e.g., Charles Green, Ern Baxter, Bob Mumford, Winston Nunes, Kevin Conner, Fuchsia Pickett, David Schoch, and even his mother). But, until this post, there has not been any free recording of Pastor Beall available on the internet. To my knowledge, there are only two recordings of his preaching for sale on the internet! (There is some hope for the future, though, as the church he pastored is preparing an archive of his materials, but that has been in the planning since last spring, and I am told by the church that it is not likely to be available this year, either.)

Well, fortunately the talk that he gave to a Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship convention back in 1973 is now available - and it's vintage James Lee Beall! In his inimitable style, he tells the story of how his mother came to the Lord and how she started a Sunday School for children that grew into a church of thousands. It is truly a faith-building talk as many of the incidents he relates are miraculous, and true to his style, much of the talk is very humorous. The audio recording is available in two parts and here are the links:
Unfortunately, a few minutes of the talk did not survive the editing process, and if you would like to purchase the entire presentation on one uninterrupted CD, you can do so at this link.

I have listened to the talk several times and enjoyed it so much that I have purchased copies for friends. If you loved the ministry of the Lord through James Lee Beall (and love the history of Bethesda Missionary Temple), you will love this talk!

Other items about Pastor Beall on this blog include:
[UPDATE 7/20/19 - I forgot to mention that there is one other place that a couple of sermons by Pastor Beall (and several other Latter Rain Movement preachers) can be heard for free. It's the CLife Ministries web page (see the Audio Archive).]

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Patricia Beall Gruits, remembered

Pat Gruits
Patricia Gruits was a 25-year-old wife and mother of a young boy when the Latter Rain revival poured down in December 1948 at the church pastored by her mother, M. D. "Mom" Beall.

That church, Bethesda Missionary Temple, experienced intense revival for almost four years (you can read more details at this link) and went on to be one of the largest churches in the Detroit area for decades. (It is currently known as, Bethesda Christian Church, and its 3,000-seat sanctuary is situated on a lovely 92-acre property in Sterling Heights, Michigan.)

As the Latter Rain revival blazed on at Bethesda, Sister Pat and her husband, Pete, had two more little boys (one in 1950 and the other in 1951), but she made time to assist her mother in the ministry. In 1951, the church started a monthly publication called the Latter Rain Evangel and she was the editor.

The Gruits added a fourth and final son in 1956, and in the decades that followed she left an indelible ministry legacy that included writing a catechism, Understanding God & His Covenants (with over one million copies in circulation), as well as, the founding of a mission in Haiti, RHEMA International.

On Saturday, June 15, Sister Pat passed from this life into the presence of the Lord she so dearly loved and faithfully served (Charisma News' obituary for her can be read at this link). She was 96 at her passing.

Although the highlights of her ministry have been previously presented on this blog (at this link), a tribute about her on Facebook seemed to capture her essence in a way that a mere recitation of events cannot. The author of that tribute, Ruth Simpson Betley, has graciously given her permission for it to be published here as well.

Here's what Ruth wrote:

"Prior to leaving Michigan, I traveled with Sister Pat as her unlikely companion and she became like a mother to me.

"There will never be another like her. She was truly a General. She carried an 'unsolicited' God-given authority that was recognizable everywhere we went and made people automatically treat her with the respect reserved for someone of great importance, even though they may not have had the vaguest notion of who she was.

"This godly woman truly lived what she preached. She read her Bible daily and spent time with her God in prayer. First, she would enter His court with praise and thanksgiving, then she would unselfishly petition Him about certain situations or for the needs of those she was bringing before Him - and she always spent that quiet time listening to what He wanted to say back to her. What a wonderful and personal relationship she had with Him. She truly spent her life putting Him first and serving Him.

"Her mother had taught her that when asked to go to churches to speak, never go out with a message that had been given at another place and time. We called it 'Yesterday's Manna'. She was always to seek God for a fresh Word for that particular service and those particular people and not use a previous message unless He told her to do so. Sometimes, prior to a speaking engagement, her office would be contacted by the church or group wanting to know what she would be speaking on so they could put it in their bulletin. Her staff would always say that she would be bringing an anointed Word. Many times we would go out and she would not have the Word God wanted her to speak. We would be in the hotel room the night before she was to preach and she would start feeling the pressure because He had not yet given her the message. All of a sudden, God would wake her in the middle of the night and tell her what He wanted her to say. The Word would end up hitting to the depths and would apply to everyone in the service, even though all of them had different situations and needs in their lives. They would be weeping before God after dropping to their knees at their seats or going forth to kneel at the altars. It was incredible how He used her to reach and minister to people.

"Oh, and what a teacher she was! Sitting in her classes, the students, whether they were young or adults, would be mesmerized by the anointed Word she was teaching from the books God had given her to write.

"We prayed together, laughed together, and she loved to share the wonderful stories about her life with me. She kept a treasured binder with a transcription of every prophecy that had been spoken over her, in the order they had been given. Periodically, she would have me sit in her home office and read every one of them to her so she could once again hear them being spoken aloud. She would listen intently, and as they were read, the words of the prophecies would become just as powerful and anointed as the day they were spoken over her. She would then celebrate every Word and rejoice in what the Lord had done in her life, thanking Him for being faithful to the promises He had made to her, the ministries He had called her to, and for faithfulness to her family. I can see her now as she would laugh and rejoice with her hands held high.

"Folks, Reverend Patricia Gruits was the real deal!

"Goodnight Mother, we'll see you in the morning."

*** Another tribute to Sister Pat, written by one of her daughters-in-law, Joy Gruits, can be read at this link.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A chronology of the Latter Rain revival

Bethesda Missionary Temple's convention schedule for Easter 1952

items with numbers in parentheses (x) have corresponding footnotes at the end of this post

October 1947 .......... the bible school is opened in North Battleford, Saskatchewan (1)

November 1947 ...... George Hawtin travels to Vancouver, BC to see William Branham (2)

February 12, 1948 .. the bible school in North Battleford experiences revival (3)

Mar 30 - Apr 4, '48 .. Feast of Pentecost camp meeting in North Battleford

July 1948 ................. camp meeting at North Battleford (4)

October 1948 ........... a week-long meeting in Edmonton, Alberta (5)

November 1948 ........ M. D. Beall travels to Vancouver, BC to hear the Hawtins et al (6)

December 5, 1948 ... revival breaks out at Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, MI (7)

January 1949 ............ Stanley Frodsham visits Bethesda and approves the revival (8)

February 13, 1949 ..... Bethesda moves into its new 1,800-seat sanctuary (9)

February 1949 .......... Thomas Wyatt invites the Hawtins to speak in Portland, OR (10)

April 20, 1949 ........... Assemblies of God issues letter to its ministers disapproving the LRM

May 21-29, 1949 ....... Pentecostal World Conference in Paris; Mattsson-Boze on exec committee

July 5-17, 1949  ........ hundreds travel to North Battleford for another camp meeting (11)

August 1949 .............. Bethesda ends its affiliation with the Assemblies of God (12)

1949 - 1950 ............... Latter Rain teachings promoted in New Zealand

January 1950 ............. Ivan Spencer's editorial: "Who are the Custodians of the Latter Rain?" (13)

November 1950 .......... the first national Latter Rain convention in St. Louis, MO (14)

1950  .......................... Bethesda sponsors Little David Walker meetings attended by thousands (15)

June 1951 .................. M. D. Beall speaks at the Dixie Camp Meeting in Houston, TX (16)

July 1951 ................... the first issue of the Latter Rain Evangel (17)

1952 .......................... Ray and Dale Jackson promote Latter Rain in Australia (18)

1953 .......................... Charles Green founds Word of Faith Temple

June 1958 .................. Bethesda congregation is pictured in Life magazine story

April 3, 1960 ............. Charismatic Movement begins (the LRM was a precursor) (19)

1962 .......................... David Schoch at the first NLCI national ministers conference (NZ)

1962 .......................... Patricia Beall Gruits' book, Understanding God, is published

1962 .......................... Part of the Bethesda Missionary Temple facility is destroyed by lightning

1963 ..........................  Fred Poole dies

April 1964 ................  Thomas Wyatt dies

December 1969 ......... Stanley Frodsham dies

August 1970 .............  Ivan Q. Spencer dies

1974 .......................... James Beall speaks at the World Conference on the Holy Spirit (20)

1975 .......................... Pat and Peter Gruits are called to pioneer a mission in Haiti

1977 ……......……….. Percy G. Hunt dies

1979 .......................... M. D. Beall written about in A Walk Across America (21)

September 1979 ........ M. D. Beall dies

1980 .......................... Rhema International opens medical facility in Haiti

October 1981 ............ A. Earl Lee dies

1983 .......................... Charles Green founds the Network of Christian Ministries (22)

November 1984 ......... Reg Layzell dies

March 1987 ...……….. Herrick Holt dies

1988 .......................... Bethesda moves from Detroit to Sterling Heights, MI (23)

January 1989 ............. Joseph Mattsson-Boze dies

1994 .......................... George Hawtin dies

December 1995 ........  Phyllis C. Spiers dies

February 1999 ........... Winston Nunes dies

July 2002 ……...……. Milford Kirkpatrick dies

July 2005 ................... Word of Faith Church in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

December 2006 .......... Ern Hawtin dies

July 2007 ................... David Schoch dies

July 2008 ................... Garlon Pemberton dies

December 2008 .......... Edie Iverson dies

July 2012 .................... Leonard Fox dies

December 2012 .......... Carlton Spencer dies

September 2013 ......... James Lee Beall dies

January 2014 ............... Moses Vegh dies

July 2014 .................... James Watt dies

September 2014 ......... Charlotte Baker dies

November 2015 ......... Violet Kiteley dies (24)

May 2016 .................... George Warnock, author of The Feast of Tabernacles, dies

November 2016 .......... Harry M. Beall dies

April 2018 ................... Dick Iverson dies

May 2018 .................... Rob Wheeler dies

September 2018 .......... Barbara Green dies

February 2019 ……….. Kevin Conner dies

June 2019 ……………. Patricia Beall Gruits dies

(1) according to William Faupel, George Hawtin opened the facility (which was called Sharon Orphanage and Schools) "by calling the student body to fasting and prayer" (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(2) according to Robert K. Burkinshaw, "Branham had attracted overflow crowds to Vancouver's Exhibition Garden in late 1947 with what appeared to many to be genuine demonstrations of miraculous powers of insight and physical healing. The 'North Battleford brethren' (as they came to be known) and many others viewed the events of the Branham meetings as evidence that old-time Pentecostal power and fervour could be revived" (Pilgrims in Lotus Land: Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia, 1917 - 1981)

Jim Watt
Jim Watt, one of the original seven elders in North Battleford says, "Some years later Winston Nunes (now deceased) sought me out as the last living elder of the seven. He sought confirmation to his theory that William Branham, J. E. Stiles and Franklin Hall were the three catalysts that God used to launch the 1948 Northern Canada Revival. I agreed that these three were certainly key principles that motivated the prayer and fasting that birthed this move. But I pointed out that there were other principles equally critical. There was the Presbytery revelation itself; the 5-fold ministry emphasis of Ephesians 4:11-12; the high point of worship through the Heavenly Choir; the 'team spirit' operating within the eldership; the humility and teachability of the leadership; the sensitivity to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit."

Ern Baxter, a Vancouver pastor who was asked to be the local head of the Branham meetings, was persuaded to begin traveling with the evangelist when he left Vancouver, "At the time, I was pastor of a large church, and obtained leave from them, joining Branham in Ashland, Oregon. I started to travel with him as often as I could be away from my church. One year I was away eight months.... I was with Branham from 1947 until I had to leave him, in about 1953 or 1954."

Ernest Gentile writes, "Branham is considered by many the initiator and pacesetter of the healing revivals in 1947, as well as the precursor of the entirely separate Latter Rain movement of 1948."

(3) Jonas Clark reported, "Sometime later the Hawtins called the ministry team and student body to join them in fasting. The students fasted for three weeks. Ernie Hawtin fasted for 40 days. At the end of the fast they gathered together in prayer where the Holy Spirit fell on Brother Ernie in a mighty way. He was an uneducated, simple man that God anointed as a prophet. During this meeting he prophesied for about 30 minutes speaking of a coming revival and the gifts of the Holy Spirit being restored and received by the laying on of hands and prophecy. After this George Hawtin sent everyone to their dorms to search the Scriptures. When they came back the next day they all pointed to the Scriptures in Timothy where Paul speaks of Timothy receiving the gifts of the Spirit by the laying on of hands and prophecy. After this the Hawtins began to lay hands and prophesy over the students and others. That was February 12, 1948."

Violet Kiteley wrote, "In 1948 people were drawn to an old, dilapidated Word War II hangar in an
Violet Kiteley
obscure location in subzero weather. There was no heater, only an old cook stove. The services began daily at 5 a.m. and lasted 10 to 12 hours. No meals were served. This was before the days of television and computers, and there was no media coverage. Yet people came from all over Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Scandinavia, the British Isles and India. Some people claimed they saw prophetic messages in the sky or had dreams and visions that led them to participate in this new movement. Some said they had supernaturally received the address and location of this outpouring and were compelled by the Holy Ghost to go and see for themselves."

One of Kiteley's former congregants, Dennis Balcombe (who went on to become an outstanding missionary to China), writes in his brand new book that "the Holy Spirit did come on them in a big way on February 12, 1948. That very day, many received the gift of healing. A person with a stammer stood up and smoothly delivered a lengthy prophecy on spiritual revival that was about to break out. In the prophecy God said He would restore four areas of spiritual life to the churches before Jesus returned. The four areas were unity, spiritual gifts, praise and worship, and global evangelism. After that, starting with North Battleford, many experienced healing from sickness. Believers met daily and continued to do so for some time." (China's Opening Door: Incredible Stories of the Holy Spirit's Work in the Underground Church)

(4) James Watt wrote, "they held a conference in July of 1948 at North Battleford. Most of the Canadian Provinces were represented, with some 40 of the States of the USA, plus representatives from several other countries. Never will those days be forgotten! God took lives apart and then put them together again with a vision, purpose and anointing that none could doubt. Seven elders functioned together in team spirit under the leadership of George R. Hawtin, God's undisputed leader at that time."

Jonas Clark says, "News of the outpouring spread like wildfire among the Pentecostals throughout Canada, the United States and to Brother Layzell. When Reg Layzell attended the camp-meeting he experienced first hand the Latter Rain. He saw people receive personal prophetic ministry and the ministry of the laying on of hands to receive the gifts of the Spirit. This encounter with the Holy Spirit at this meeting had a tremendous impact on Layzell's life and ministry."

(5) Ern Baxter said of the week-long meetings, "I never saw such a tremendous concentration of the power of God." James Watt described the powerful sound of the corporate worship this way, "Heaven's very strains filled the whole church. It was as a mighty organ, with great swelling chords, and solo parts weaving in and out, yet with perfect harmony."

(6) Richard Riss reports that M. D. Beall wrote, "Everything we saw in the meetings was scriptural and beautiful. We left the meeting with a new touch of God upon our souls and ministry. We certainly feel transformed by the power of God. Never in our lives had we ever felt the power of God as we do now and we feel we are carrying something back to our assembly we never had before"(A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America)

Jonas Clark says that Reg Layzell had "asked the Hawtin brothers to minister at his church in Vancouver. The duo agreed and came to Glad Tidings Temple with several others. These men formed the prophetic presbytery team and held meetings from November 8 to 22. This prophetic team offered personal prophecy and impartation to many believers at the church including Hugh and Audrey Layzell, several pastors and others who came from different parts of British Columbia and Washington State. These candidates had spent at least three days in prayer and fasting preparing themselves to receive prophecy and the ministry of the laying on of hands. During the services they would sit on the first row of the church until such a time as the prophetic team felt the unction of the Holy Spirit to minister to them. Then they would call them forward and prophesy."

Moses Vegh wrote, "At that meeting the word of the Lord given to 'Mom' Beall, through the prophetic presbytery, was a powerful confirmation of all that the Lord had spoken to her about the 'armory' in Detroit" (The Chronicles of Moses: Acts of an Apostolic Journey)

Hugh Layzell
Hugh Layzell confirms the story this way: "After a day or two, the brethren agreed to minister to her in presbytery. Audrey and I remember this incident very well. As soon as she knelt before the presbyters, Ern Hawtin began to prophesy. He said, (something like this) 'Has not the Lord called you to build for Him an armory, where His last day army will be trained and equipped with the gifts of the Spirit in order to take the gospel to the ends of the earth in these last days?' This was, in effect, the very word she had received from the Lord concerning the Church in Detroit" (Sons of His Purpose: The Interweaving of the Ministry of Reg Layzell, and His Son, Hugh, During a Season of Revival)

(7) according to Bethesda's website, "December 5, 1948 was a turning point in the [life] of every Bethesdan. That Sunday morning everyone was gathered for church in the basement building. Opening the service, James Beall asked everyone to stand, and suddenly everyone in the building started singing praises to God in the Spirit .... this continued for about an hour. People were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and healed in their bodies during this time. As the praise subsided a new song was born.

   'This is the promise of the coming latter rain,
    Lift up your eyes behold the ripening grain.
    Many signs and wonders in His might name,
    Drink, oh drink, My people for this is latter rain.'


"That Sunday marked the beginning of what came to be known as the Latter Rain Revival."

(8) according to Richard Riss, "Mrs. Beall wrote a letter to Stanley Frodsham, a pioneer of the early Pentecostal movement at the turn of the century, a leader of the Assemblies of God denomination, and the editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for twenty-eight years. In her letter, Mrs. Beall described what was happening in her church, and Frodsham decided to leave Springfield, Missouri to visit the church in Detroit. He arrived in January of 1949, and 'he was swept away by the revival taking place in Detroit.... He was moved deeply by scenes of people under great conviction of sin, making confession and finding peace'" (A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America)

(9) from Bethesda's website, "on February 13, 1949 the main sanctuary [seating 1,800] was dedicated. When the doors opened, it was immediately filled and at least 1,700 people were turned away. Services were held night and day for the next three and one half years."

Richard Riss quotes Mom Beall as having written, "The day of the dedication of the Temple will be a day never to be forgotten. Not only was the Temple filled to capacity with people but it was also filled with the presence of God. Such singing, such worshipping of God, such prophecies, such supernatural utterances will always remain the greatest wonderment of our lives" (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

Riss also quotes Mom Beall as having written, "Without publishing any advertising people flocked to our doors from every part of the world" (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(10) in the Dictionary of Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements: "In February 1949 Dr. Thomas
Wyatt of Portland, Oregon, invited the Hawtin party to his church, Wings of Healing Temple, where George Hawtin and Milford Kirkpatrick ministered to ninety preachers from almost every part of North America. One of the pastors attending was Dr. A. Earl Lee of Los Angeles, California, whose church became a center of revival soon after he returned."

(11) according to William Faupel, "The meetings were conducted 15-17 [that is a typographical error; the dates were 5 -17] July 1949. The local newspaper, The North Battleford News, took note, 'Hundreds of visitors from every part of the prairie provinces, from the North West Territories, and from many parts of the United States, including as far so as Alabama ... are arriving daily.... North Battleford hotels and cafes are crowded ... with visitors,' It concluded that close to 3,000 attended the meetings, returning 'to their various places refreshed and ready to go on with their work with new vigor'"  (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(12) according to Richard Riss, "On August 24, 1949, Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan resigned from the Assemblies of God denomination"  (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(13) Ivan Q. Spencer was the founder of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. Richard Riss quotes the following from Spencer's editorial, "We sometimes find expressions, either spoken or written, that some organization or group of Christian people claims to be the custodians of certain revelations of truth that they are the recipients of special blessings and experiences from the Lord. By so doing, self is exalted and others belittled.... Some claim the Latter Rain outpouring fell on them nearly fifty years ago and because of this they are the custodians of this mighty move of God. Others, who have come into this present spiritual awakening, may feel that the Latter Rain is exclusively theirs. Such an attitude is clear evidence of the fact that they have not received a revelation of the truth God is bringing at this time of the oneness of the body of Christ, namely that all are one, regardless of denomination or organization affiliation...." (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(14) according to William Faupel, "Thomas Wyatt brought the climaxing message at the first 'National Latter Rain Convention' in St. Louis on 15 November 1950"  (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(15) Walker was a teenaged preaching phenomenon at the time.

Born in 1934, Walker was a precocious child.

He recalls, "From the age of nine to twelve we traveled the West Coast, with our first revival meetings in the Los Angeles area. We preached everywhere from tent meetings in North Hollywood to the Philharmonic Auditorium, the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, and the Angelus Temple. Thousands attended those meetings with hundreds receiving Christ as their personal Savior and many testifying to being healed of various illnesses.

"From Los Angeles we traveled up the coast to Oregon and Washington where I continued to preach. Those were the days of the great 'healing revivals.' Being so very young, I did not understand all that was happening in the church realm. All I knew was that a wonderful visitation of the Power of God was taking place. I was teamed with ministers such as William Branham, Thomas Wyatt, Ma Beall, Chaplain Ray, The McAllisters, and the Argue family" (The Journey: Walking with the Walkers)

Little David draws 12,000 in Detroit
He would have been 15 or 16 years old when Bethesda sponsored his meetings. Walker writes, "Also in 1950, twelve thousand people filled the fairgrounds for meetings in Detroit, Michigan. The newspaper reported visible miracles in this crusade" (The Journey: Walking with the Walkers)

(16) according to Dennis McClendon in the July 1, 1951 edition of the Houston Post, "During the meetings that closed June 17, more than 400 ministers were in attendance. Missionary leaders came from every continent of the globe. Countries represented by delegates included Liberia, India, Canada, China, Australia, Peru and England, the Rev. Mr. [Modest] Pemberton said. The average nightly attendance under the oversized tents exceeded 2,000 persons. There were representatives from every state in the Union - more than 30,000 in all [a cumulative attendance figure for the two-week camp meeting]. 'We had made big plans but the Lord made them even bigger,' the minister said."

(17) this publication marked the fulfillment of a prophecy delivered on January 28, 1949 that a paper called the Latter Rain Evangel would go out from the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit

(18) according to Mark Hutchinson, who quotes Barry Chant on this matter. This article should be read with caution, however, as Hutchinson is inaccurate in places (e.g., he identifies Ivan Spencer as being from Rhode Island [he was from Lima, NY], and he says Thomas Wyatt picked up Latter Rain teachings in Portland, Oregon [Wyatt resided in Portland, OR and was the initial promoter of the LRM there])

(19) the Latter Rain and Charismatic Movements were, for the most part, separate movements but there was overlap and many see the Latter Rain Movement as the precursor of the Charismatic Movement

According to John Sherrill, an Episcopal priest Dennis Bennett "prayed for and received the baptism [in the Holy Spirit]" on November 14, 1959. On April 3, 1960 he told his 2600-member St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California about his tongues-speaking experience. Sherrill writes, "Newspapers carried the story the next day. The wire services picked it up. Overnight the story swept the country: speaking in tongues had appeared in a decent, ordinary church and had caused strife, division and dissension. Time carried the story. So did Newsweek" (They Speak with Other Tongues).

According to Vinson Synan, "Many consider him [Bennett] to be the father of the charismatic movement" (An Eyewitness Remembers a Century of the Holy Spirit).

Dick Iverson states, "The 'latter rain' outpouring, as it was called, became a major stream of the Holy Spirit emphasizing praise and worship (with its power to open the Word), along with prophecy and the laying on of hands. It is within that movement that the roots of the charismatic movement originated" (The Journey: A Lifetime of Prophetic Moments)

Elsewhere Dick Iverson says, "If you know anything about Latter Rain there was a true move of the Holy Spirit and a number of truths that we enjoy today really came out of the Latter Rain move, such as extended free worship in song and praise and the laying on of hands and prophecy" (Guarding the Local Church: Identifying False Ministries).

According to author Peter Althouse, "Latter Rain centre Bethesda Missionary Temple, Detroit, played a role in the development of the Charismatic Movement. James Lee Beall not only succeeded his mother as pastor of the church, but he was a frequent contributor to the widespread Charismatic periodical Logos Journal" (Spirit of the Last Days: Pentecostal Eschatology in Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann).

(20) the conference was held in Jerusalem and was sponsored by the Charismatic magazine Logos Journal (articles by Beall appeared several times in Logos). Besides Beall, speakers included: David du Plessis, Kathryn Kuhlman, Corrie ten Boom, Pat Robertson, Jamie Buckingham, Charles Simpson, Arthur Katz, Williard Cantelon, Gen. Ralph Haines, and Charles Farah. The only other speaker with Latter Rain connections was Elim Fellowship's Missions Secretary Costa Deir.

(21) Peter Jenkins' book about his trek on foot from New York to Louisiana made the New York Times bestseller list. He spends several pages telling about his experience of hearing M. D. Beall speak at Word of Faith Temple in New Orleans. He notes that "Although Mom was over eighty she now looked shot full of the most powerful energy in life" (A Walk Across America).

(22) the NCM was designed to promote unity and fellowship in the Body of Christ. Green invited the participation of not only ministers with Latter Rain roots, but also such ministers as Paul Paino (Calvary Ministries International), Kenneth Copeland (Word-Faith), Charles Simpson (Shepherding/Discipleship), and Bob Weiner (Maranatha campus ministries).

Green told New Wine magazine in December 1985, "The Network of Christian Ministries started in July 1983 when John Gimenez, pastor of Rock Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Emanuele Cannistraci, pastor of Evangel Christian Fellowship, San Jose, California, and I began to feel that something positive should be done to reach across barriers and join the different facets of the body of Christ."

(23) Bethesda Missionary Temple moved from its location on Van Dyke and Nevada avenues in Detroit to the suburb of Sterling Heights. The 3,000-seat church is now known as Bethesda Christian Church.

(24) Violet Kiteley was present when the revival broke out in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in 1948. A few years ago, she wrote an article about the revival for Charisma's news website. It can be read here. She founded a church in Oakland, California - Shiloh Church - that celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2015. A video of the celebratory service can be seen here. At her passing on Thanksgiving, November 2015, Cindy Jacobs wrote an eulogizing article on the Charisma news website. It can be read here. Her memorial service is scheduled for December 2 at Shiloh Church.

Violet's headstone
In a Facebook post on November 27, Bishop Joseph Garlington said of Violet, "A Real Life Pioneer Is Gone!

"Yesterday, Dr. Violet Kiteley, the founder of the great Shiloh Christian Fellowship, now Shiloh Church was summoned home at 1:25 CST. Her prophetic footprint is on so many places on the earth, that they are too numerous to number. Her amazing prophetic anointing was always carried in a vessel of profound humility. Dr. Kiteley’s insight to scripture, her capacity to discern the seasons of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church always positioned her to be on the cutting edge of the Spirit’s work.

"She pioneered the incredible season of emphasis on worship; most of our current worshippers have no idea that Shiloh Christian Fellowship was the fountainhead of the beginning of much that is now called Contemporary worship. The retrieval of the arts and their restoration in the church began decades ago in her church in Northern California.

"Shiloh was one of the early pioneers in cross-cultural and multiracial congregations. Their leadership in the Prophetic Movement that began decades ago, made room for the many churches that are now enjoying the prophetic emphasis in their assemblies. Dr. Kiteley was a true pioneer in every sense of the word as she participated in the earlier move of God that took place in Northwest Canada, often known as The Latter Rain Movement. Hundreds of thousands owe to her life and ministry the benefit of the grace they now enjoy. Churches have been planted in many foreign nations and only heaven will reveal the measure to which the lives of those reading my words have been touched by her life and ministry."


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

A glorious dedication day - on this date in 1949

This is a photo of the sanctuary of Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit.
by Archibald Thackeray

In 1949, this date - February 13 - fell on a Sunday. It was a glorious day for the congregation of Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan, as it dedicated its new sanctuary located on Van Dyke and Nevada avenues.

Mom Beall
The congregation had already experienced an outbreak of revival (what came to be known as the Latter Rain Revival) two months before on December 5, but the building dedication just took the congregation yet higher in revival blessing - so much so that, from February 13 on, Bethesda was to have services virtually every day for the next three and one-half years! (That is one of the telltale signs of a heaven-sent revival - people want to be in church).



Bethesda's founding pastor M. D. "Mom" Beall wrote about the momentous dedication in her memoir A Hand on My Shoulder [the passages quoted in this article are used by permission from the memoir's editor, Joy Hughes Gruits, and may not be quoted elsewhere without her permission]:


Not only was the Temple filled to capacity with people, but it was also filled with the glory and presence of God. Such singing, such worshiping of God, such prophecies, such supernatural utterances as we heard from the lips of God's ordained ministers will always remain the greatest wonderment of our lives. It seemed the time just flew. People were being saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, confirmed, and delivered. Everyone was ministering to one another. God let us see by actual demonstration before our very eyes the ministry of the Body of Christ. The teaching of the Body of Christ had not been much in evidence up until this time, but God began to teach through His ministers by precept and example the tremendous truths of the hour. Never had we heard such preaching.

The intensity of the revival's impact at Bethesda, the kind of revelation Pastor Beall mentioned in the paragraph above, the seating capacity (1,700+) of its sanctuary, and the giftedness of Bethesda's ministerial staff, all served to put the church in the vanguard of the Latter Rain Revival.

That leadership role had been prophesied when Pastor Beall traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia in November 1948 to hear ministers from Saskatchewan, Canada who had experienced revival at their Bible school earlier that year. She wrote in her memoir,
Among the many things that were prophesied, one part of the prophesy was almost more than I could receive. These men, who had never been to Detroit, who never at any time had seen the building that God called an Armory, a building almost in a state of completion, began to prophesy concerning it.
"They shall come to thee from the ends of the earth and shall go forth from thee as lions equipped as from a mighty Amory."
As many pastors and congregations across the United States - and even the world - could testify, that prophecy certainly came to pass. During the intense three and one-half years of daily revival services that began on February 13, 1949, believers came from the ends of the earth to experience a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit - and went home equipped to minister to a hurting world.

Pentecostal historian Vinson Synan says, "The Pentecostal movement was at a low ebb in 1948, with a growing dryness and lack of charismatic gifts. Many who heard about the events in Canada believed that it was a new Azusa Street, with many healings, tongues and prophecies. A large center of the revival outside of Canada was the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan pastored by Myrtle Beale [sic]. From Detroit, the movement spread across the United States like a prairie wildfire" (in An Eyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit, Chosen).

[NOTE:  Readers will notice that the Detroit Free Press item below mentions a cost of $200,000 and seating of 3,000. Church sources indicate that the cost ended up $350,000 and an editor's note in A Hand on My Shoulder adds, "The actual seating in the sanctuary turned out to be less than 3,000 people - much to Myrtle's dismay. When Bethesda moved from Detroit to Sterling Heights, an essential requirement of the building program was for the sanctuary to seat 3,000 people to fulfill the number God had given Myrtle so long ago." Pastor Beall's full name was Myrtle Dorthea Beall. Her memoir can be purchased in either paperback or Kindle format at this link. It can also be read for free online at this link.]




Freep - May 29, 1948 $200,000Freep - May 29, 1948 $200,000 Sat, May 29, 1948 – Page 8 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Charles Green talks about revival


Enjoy this well-produced video of Charles Green talking about revival - the Latter Rain revival in particular. This is no dry recitation of history, though - this is an anointed, faith-building 28 minutes that will increase your hunger for a genuine, heaven-sent revival in our time. Let it begin in your spirit today!

Charles Green founded Word of Faith Temple in New Orleans, Louisiana. He got involved in the Latter Rain revival in 1950 and subsequently traveled to over 50 countries preaching the Gospel.

Read more about Charles at these other articles on this website:

Charles Green and Garlon Pemberton 1981Charles Green and Garlon Pemberton 1981 Fri, Mar 20, 1981 – Page 10 · The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com