|Bethesda's original building|
|September 21, 1979|
"'Dad was the builder; mother the pastor,' her son recalled."
She returned ablaze with revival fire and her church in Detroit became one of the centers of what became known as the Latter Rain Movement. Other cities with prominent Latter Rain churches were Portland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, New Orleans, Houston, and, of course, Vancouver.
Noted 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." An Eyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit (Chosen), p. 35.
Another important Pentecostal historian, Allan Anderson, adds, "This movement emphasized the restoration of the 'ministry gifts' of apostles and prophets to the church, spoken prophecies, and the independence of the local church, tending to shun 'denominationalism'. Many of the independent Charismatic churches that constitute a large portion of Pentecostalism in North America today have roots in the Latter Rain movement." An Introduction to Pentecostalism (Cambridge University Press), p. 51.
Veteran pastor Ernest Gentile, who first experienced the revival in 1950, also notes that, "Within a year of the start of this move of God's Spirit in North Battleford, there were a number of strange happenings throughout North America also labeled 'Latter Rain.' Many visitors to North Battleford, and [other] influential churches across the United States, caught the excitement of what was happening, but missed the basic truths and experience. Thus, as in every movement, characteristics were attributed to the Latter Rain movement that were not part of the original." Your Sons & Daughters Shall Prophesy: Prophetic Gifts in Ministry (Chosen Books).
“Some years back, a group of ministers whom I knew well fell into the trap of believing that the grace of God was license. One of them supposedly received a revelation from God based on Romans 8:10: 'And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.' This meant to him that if a person was in Christ, the body was dead in the sight of the Lord and whatever the body did was of no consequence. This opened the way for drunkenness, adultery, homosexuality, and what have you.
"I answered, 'Not until we have a few things straight.' Shortly, and to my horror, I learned that all I heard was true. I denied him the meeting, refused to bid him God speed, and made it clear that neither he nor any of his friends would be welcome in the church or in the homes of any of the flock." Your Pastor, Your Shepherd (Logos International), pp. 60-61.
Two well-researched books chronicle the history of the Latter Rain Movement. Richard Riss's The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 (Honeycomb Visual Productions) is currently the only book solely devoted to the topic. Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement (Brill Academic Publishers), edited by Michael Wilkinson and Peter Althouse, devotes two chapters (D. William Faupel's, "The New Order of the Latter Rain: Restoration or Renewal?" and Mark Hutchinson's, "The Latter Rain Movement and the Phenomenon of Global Return").
|Patricia Beall Gruits|
|Harry M. Beall|
A video commemorating the 75th anniversary can be seen here.
M. D. "Mom" Beall and Harry L. "Pop" Beall