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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

70 years ago this week

by Archibald Thackeray
What became known as the Latter Rain Movement began 70 years ago this week. The following chronological summary has been designed to give you a sense of how the revival spread. It tells some of the who and when, but very little of the what was - that would require a book. In such a brief account there are unavoidable omissions. The revival was so very much bigger than what is written here - even the other 35,000 words written about the revival on this website do not do it justice. But, I do hope that something of the revival's impact and vitality is communicated because it changed my life and lives of countless others.


FEBRUARY 11 - 14: Revival breaks out at the bible school that was part of the Sharon Orphanage and Schools in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. George Hawtin was the principal of the school and others assisting him in the work included: his brother Ern Hawtin, Percy Hunt, Herrick Holt, Jim Watt, Milford Kirkpatrick, and George Warnock. Not long after the outbreak of revival, Violet Kiteley and Edie Iverson (then Swanson) would get involved with the school.
MARCH 30 - APRIL 4: A Feast of Pentecost camp meeting is held at the school in North Battleford and many will come to see what the revival activity is all about.

JULY 7 -18: Another camp meeting was held in North Battleford, this time drawing even larger crowds. Among those who attended this camp meeting were: Reg Layzell, A. W. Rasmussen (the head of the Independent Assemblies of God International), and James and Phyllis Spiers (Phyllis wrote, "He's the Lord of Glory," and many other popular Latter Rain songs).

OCTOBER 24 - 31: A. W. Rasmussen invited George Hawtin to speak at the Independent Assemblies of God annual convention in Edmonton, Alberta. Hugh Layzell says that Harold Allcock of the Apostolic Church jointly sponsored the meeting with Rasmussen. It is here that the "heavenly choir" was first experienced. Among those in attendance at this convention were Ern Baxter and Joseph Mattsson-Boze. Ern Baxter said of the convention, "I never saw such a concentration of the power of God." Mattsson-Boze, who was editor of the Herald of Faith, returned to his church in Chicago (called the Philadelphia Church) and it became one of the hubs of the revival.

NOVEMBER 14 - 28: Reg Layzell invited George Hawtin and others (including his brother Ern Hawtin, Milford Kirkpatrick, Violet Kiteley, and James and Phyllis Spiers) to speak at a convention at his church in Vancouver, British Columbia, Glad Tidings Temple. Myrtle Beall drove from her church in Detroit, Michigan to these meetings and was prophesied over by Ern Hawtin. His prophecy, in part, said, "They shall come to thee from the ends of the earth and shall go forth from thee as lions equipped from a mighty Armory." This confirmed the word the Lord had spoken to her that the 1,800-seat sanctuary her church was building was going to be an "armory." Winston Nunes was also among those who went to this convention.

DECEMBER 5: In her first service after returning from Vancouver, Pastor Beall and her congregation experienced a dramatic outbreak of revival. A prophetic song delivered that morning identified the outpouring as "latter rain."

DECEMBER 31: Ivan Spencer (the president of Elim Bible Institute in New York) and Stanley Frodsham (the editor of the Assemblies of God's Pentecostal Evangel) were among those who went to Detroit to experience the ongoing revival. Elim would go on to become one of the revival's hubs, and Frodsham would eventually find it necessary to resign his post with the Assemblies of God because that denomination was opposed to the revival.


FEBRUARY 13: Pastor Beall and the Bethesda Missionary Temple congregation in Detroit dedicated their new sanctuary (which was filled to capacity; in fact, an estimated 1,700 people had to be turned away that Sunday morning). From that morning on, services were held twice a day, six days a week, for 3 1/2 years! At least two other churches experienced the revival so strongly that they, too, were having daily services throughout 1949: Immanuel Gospel Temple in Los Angeles, California (pastored by Earl and Rhoda Lee) and Third Church in St. Louis, Missouri (pastored by Omar Johnson). Among the myriad ministers that flocked to Bethesda during these intense revival years were Moses Vegh and Paul Stern, who both went on to have significant ministries not only in the United States but internationally, as well.

FEBRUARY 24: Thomas Wyatt, the pastor of Wings of Healing Temple in Portland, Oregon, had George Hawtin and others speak at a convention there - and the meetings went on for three weeks. About 90 ministers were among the congregants (including Earl Lee). Additionally, the revival was spread over the radio because Wyatt had a program that was broadcast on 64 stations. Paul and Mildred Cannon were students at the Bethesda Bible Institute, which was part of the Wings of Healing ministry.

FEBRUARY 27: Upon returning to his church in Los Angeles, Earl Lee and his congregation began daily services because of the outbreak of revival among them. David Schoch was among the ministers that came into the Latter Rain Movement via Immanuel Gospel Temple. Schoch's parents had been part of the Azusa Street Revival.

APRIL 20: The Assemblies of God sent out a special six-page letter to the ministers in its fellowship, criticizing the revival.

JUNE: Global Missions Inc. in North Battleford began shortwave international radio broadcasts about the revival.
JULY 5 - 17: Another camp meeting was held in North Battleford. The local newspaper reported that hundreds came from across the United States and Canada, and that North Battleford had "never witnessed anything quite like it." Ray Jackson, a missionary, attended this camp meeting and was instrumental in the Latter Rain revival being spread to New Zealand and Australia.

AUGUST 24: Bethesda Missionary Temple resigned its affiliation with the Assemblies of God.

NOVEMBER 5: Stanley Frodsham resigned as a minister of Assemblies of God, ending a 33-year career with that denomination.

DECEMBER 20: The Assemblies of God's quarterly ministers' letter notes that Myrtle Beall, Vera Bachle, and Paul and Lura Grubb, had all been "dropped" from the AG's ministers list. Vera Bachle was the evangelist that first told Pastor Beall about the revival in Canada. Paul and Lura Grubb were Latter Rain pastors in Memphis, Tennessee.


JANUARY: Ivan Spencer wrote an editorial in the Elim Pentecostal Herald entitled, "Who Are the Custodians of the Latter Rain?", that cautioned both classical Pentecostals and Latter Rain adherents to avoid an attitude that they held some sort of exclusive 'rights' to the move of God.

APRIL: Pastor Beall speaks at Sabine Tabernacle in Beaumont, Texas pastored by Harry Hodge. Charles Green, who later pastored the large Word of Faith Temple in New Orleans, Louisiana, met Pastor Beall for the first time, beginning a decades-long friendship. Green was among the speakers at Beall's memorial service in 1979.

JULY: Reg Layzell headed up annual meetings at a camp in Crescent Beach, British Columbia. This year's camp was Ernest Gentile's first exposure to the Latter Rain Movement.

NOVEMBER 8 - 15: What Latter Rain historian William Faupel refers to as the first "National Latter Rain Convention" was held in St. Louis. Thomas Wyatt gave the convention's concluding message, which was a strong challenge to carry out world missions.


JUNE: The Pemberton brothers of Texas (Modest, Wayne, and Garlon) sponsored the South and Dixie Camp Meeting. Thousands came for this two-week camp meeting - they came from not only from the United States, but from across the globe. Countries represented included Liberia, China, Australia, Peru, England, India, and Canada. Modest Pemberton estimated the cumulative attendance at more than 30,000 (part of the basis for his estimate was meal service). Pastor Beall and Charles Green preached at this event.

JULY: The first issue of the monthly Latter Rain Evangel was published by the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit.

AUGUST: An example of the many missions efforts undertaken following (and preceding, as well) Wyatt's convention message was the one this month that involved Reg Layzell, Don Murphy, Joseph Mattsson-Boze, and Wyatt going to Sweden.

[There were, of course, many, many more meetings, ministers, and blessings than I have recorded here. But, these highlights give a general sense of how the revival spread.]

1952 - Wyatt, Grubb, Frodsham1952 - Wyatt, Grubb, Frodsham · Sat, Aug 30, 1952 – Page 4 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) ·

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