c/o The William Branham Evangelistic Association and the Branham Tabernacle, Box 325, Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Voice of God Recordings, Inc., Box 950, Jeffersonville, IN 47130.
William Branham (1909–1965) is generally thought of as the leader of the healing revival that swept across the United States in the 1950s. His ministry gave rise to evangelists such as Oral Roberts (b. 1918), A. A. Allen (1911–1970), and T. L. Osborne. From his humble birth in a log cabin in the hills of Kentucky to the miraculous healings that followed his ministry, followers of his teachings claim that his life was marked by supernatural events.
It was reported by his parents that just after his birth, a supernatural light entered the one-room cabin and hovered over the bed where baby William had been born. A few years later, an angel’s voice spoke to him, saying that he would live his life near a city called New Albany. When he was seven years old, the angel spoke to him again, instructing him to never drink alcohol, smoke, or defile his body. Branham reported that from his earliest remembrance, the angel guided him and protected him.
In 1933 Branham founded the interdenominational Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He later began recording his sermons for distribution. From 1947 until his untimely death in 1965, he recorded about 1,180 sermons that later became the foundation for the beliefs of millions of his followers. These taped sermons are distributed to almost every country in the world in at least 34 different languages. The Tabernacle has stayed much the same as it was in 1933; a few renovations and expansions have slightly changed its appearance, but it continues to function in a humble neighborhood near downtown Jeffersonville.
In 1946 Branham stated that he had received his commission from the angel. He was already a Baptist minister, but had been told by the clergy that he was possessed by an evil spirit, and that the visions he saw were from the devil. This troubled the young minister deeply, so he went to an old trapping cabin to pray about these things. The next morning he reported that the angel had told him that he had a gift of divine healing to bring to the people of the world. William Branham soon left the Baptist Church and ventured out as an independent evangelist.
In 1950 at the Houston Coliseum, a photographer took a picture that later was cited by the followers of William Branham as “undeniable” proof that his ministry was from God. Once the photograph was developed, it was thoroughly examined by a U.S. government professional, who signed a document that the halo image above the head of William Branham was authentic. Branham’s followers claim that this is a photograph of the same pillar of fire that led Moses.
As his ministry progressed, William Branham’s sermons increasingly diverrged from the mainstream denominations. He openly denounced trinitarian doctrine, and claimed that true baptism can only be made in the name of Jesus Christ, according to Acts 2:38. He claimed that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were simply titles for the one true God, Jesus Christ, and therefore, the baptism of the apostles in the book of Acts was in line with the commission of Jesus (Matt. 28:19). He further separated himself from the mainstream by denouncing other denominations, but he maintained that he was an interdenominational preacher, and he commonly preached in denominational churches when invited. Throughout his ministry, he preached that the prophet Elijah spoken of in Malachi 4 would return to earth. Although he did not outwardly claim to be this prophet, many of his followers came to believe that he was.
Branham founded the William Branham Evangelistic Association just before his death on December 24, 1965. The Evangelistic Association, headed by Billy Paul Branham (b. 1935)—William Branham’s son—later gave rise to Spoken Word Publications, which was dedicated to distributing William Branham’s tapes and transcribed sermons. Joseph Branham, another of William Branham’s sons, founded Voice Of God Recordings in 1981, and it quickly merged with Spoken Word Publications. Voice of God Recordings and William Branham Evangelistic Association are located in the same building in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Voice of God Recordings prints about 10 million sermon booklets and distributes hundreds of thousands of William Branham’s audio sermons each year. In 2008 Voice of God Recordings had 75 employees at the Jeffersonville headquarters and supported 150 foreign employees in 40 offices worldwide.
The followers of William Branham’s ministry are quick to say that they are not an organized religion: There are no official memberships, just individual churches that function independently and are not subject to a central nerve center. Voice of God Recordings estimates that there are well over one million believers worldwide, mostly in Africa—there were about 750,000 followers in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone. In 2008 there were about 35,000 believers in the United States.
Catch The Vision. Send orders to Box 950, Jeffersonville, IN 47130, or email [email protected]
Branham Tabernacle and Related Assemblies. www.themessage.com.
Branham, William. Footprints on the Sands of Time. Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, n.d.
Branham, William Marrion. Conduct, Order, Doctrine of the Church. Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, 1974.
Harrell, David Edwin, Jr. All Things Are Possible. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1975.
Lindsey, Gordon. William Branham, A Man Sent from God. Jeffersonville, IN: William Branham, 1950.
McConnel, D. R. A Different Gospel. 2nd ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.
Sproule, Terry. A Prophet to the Gentiles. Blaine, WA: Bible Believers, n.d.
Weaver, C. Douglas. The Healer-Prophet, William Marrion Branham: A Study in the Prophetic in American Pentecostalism. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987.
7580 Donlee Dr., Niagara Falls, ON, Canada L2H 2N5
A Case of Faith Ministries (ACOFM) began in 1995 as the ministry of Kees Tengnagel (b. 1947) expanded. Tengnagel, who had moved with his family from Holland to Canada, at first went into banking; then in 1981 he became a Christian and accepted a call to the ministry. Both he and his wife, Faith Tengnagel (b. 1947), attended Rhema Bible Training Center, the school founded by Kenneth E. Hagin Sr. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were ordained in the Association of Faith Churches and Ministers and the Rhema Ministerial Association International. They viewed their mandate as converting God’s people from religion and tradition to what they see as His uncompromised Word.
In 1995 Tengnagel felt himself called into an apostolic leadership (primarily marked by his role in founding and nurturing new congregations). Over the next six years he founded six new congregations, four in Ontario, one in New York, and one in Michigan. The Tengnagels work as an apostolic team: Faith is known as a minister for the healing of the ill, and Kees ministers the baptism of the Holy Spirit (with the accompanying outward evidence of speaking in tongues).
Incorporated in 1998, A Case of Faith Ministries operates as an association of autonomous local churches that accept Tengnagel’s apostolic guidance. It beliefs are those common to Pentecostalism. It emphasizes a ministry of healing for the physical ills of the human body as wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith and by the laying on of hands. Such healing, it is believed, was provided for as part of the power of Christ’s atonement and thus is the privilege of every believer. A Case of Faith Ministries solicits the partnership of churches who support their work of planting new churches and nurturing such congregations in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.
In 2008 the ACOFM reported nine churches in Ontario, Canada, and two in the United States, administered by 17 pastors.
A Case of Faith Ministries. www.acofm.org/.
2001 W. Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19132
The Deliverance Evangelistic Church was organized in 1961 as an independent prayer group that engaged in evangelistic endeavors in Philadelphia. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Benjamin Smith, Sr. (d. 2002), the group settled in a permanent location and formally organized as the Deliverance Evangelistic Church. As the movement grew, other churches were founded, primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The church views its three main goals as evangelism, teaching the word of God, and preparing believers for worship and service. It emphasizes service to the community, with a broad spectrum of social ministry to the poor through the redistribution of clothing, food, and shelter, and through visitation to hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and shut-ins.
The church founded the Deliverance Evangelistic Bible Institute and a youth Bible school. Its choirs have produced several albums. Glen Spaulding succeeded Smith as the senior pastor of the organization. There is an annual convention each summer. Smith envisioned the construction of “Deliverance Village,” a building complex that would include an auditorium, a Christian medical center, a Christian elementary and high school, and a home for the aged. The final result, which seats 5,100 people, was opened in 1992 together with an educational facility. The missions department is actively working to train as well as support missionaries in the United States and other countries, including India, Trinidad, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, and Ghana. A missionary team also traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in response to Hurricane Katrina.
In 2008 the church reported 40 congregations administered by 45 clergy.
Deliverance Evangelistic Church. www.decministry.org/.
Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1995.
c/o Crenshaw Christian Center, 7901 S Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90044
The Fellowship of Inner-City Word of Faith Ministries (FICWMF), founded in 1990, is an international association of ministers, ministries, and congregations that grew out of the ministry of Frederick K. C. Price, the Crenshaw Christian Center, and the center’s Ministry Training Institute. Price, while a pastor of a congregation of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, read one of the books of Pentecostal healer Kathryn Kuhlman, which led him into the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. He later became associated with Kenneth Hagin, with whom he found himself in essential doctrinal agreement. In 1976 Price was awarded an honorary degree from the Rhema Bible Training Institute, which Hagin founded.
In 1973 Price founded the Crenshaw Christian Center, built on the message of faith, that in asking the Lord in faith for what is desired and His will, it will be forthcoming. The church, serving primarily African Americans, prospered, and membership steadily increased. In 1978 Ever Increasing Faith, an evangelistic ministry of Crenshaw Christian Center, was begun and found its major expression in a television program (seen internationally in the Caribbean and West Africa). In 1981 the former campus of Pepperdine University was purchased to house the growing congregation (over 5,000) and its associated ministries. The move allowed the founding of a School of Ministry (1985), School of the Bible (1988), Helps Ministry Summer School (1989), and Correspondence School. The center’s Faithdome is a sanctuary that can hold the more than 10,000 people who gather for Sunday worship.
As the ministry work initiated by Price spread, and as ministers graduated from the School of Ministry, other Word-Faith ministries grew up in Southern California and other cities, most in inner-city African-American communities. The mission of the Fellowship of Inner-City Word of Faith Ministries is to provide fellowship, leadership, guidance, and spiritual covering for those desiring a standard of excellence in ministry. Each ministry operatesindependently of FICWFM, and the member-ministry does not require reporting accountability. They are tied together by their mutual acceptance of the Word of Faith perspective. Many are graduates of the School of Ministry. The FICWFM holds an annual convention at Crenshaw Christian Center, concurrently with Summer JAM, a ministry for children and teens.
In 2008 the FICWFM reported a combined congregational membership of more than 150,000, served by 300 member-pastors and ministers from 35 states and 5 foreign countries.
Fellowship of Inner-City Word of Faith Ministries. www.ficwfm.org/.
Price, Frederick K. C. How to Obtain Strong Faith. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1980.
———. How Faith Works. Los Angeles: Dr. Frederick K. C. Price Ministries, 2002.
———. Prosperity: Good News for God’s People. Los Angeles: Faith One Publishing, 2008.
65 Hardwick St. SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
The First Deliverance Church was founded in Atlanta in 1956 by the Reverends Lillian G. Fitch and William Fitch, two deliverance evangelists. The church teaches three experiences (justification, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Spirit), emphasizes healing, and practices tithing. Fasts are an important feature of church life. Occasionally members stay at the church for a three-day, shut-in fast. Among their distinctive practices is kneeling in prayer upon entering the church. Congregations headed by licensed ministers are located in Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, and California.
1000 N Belt Line Rd., Ste. 201, Irving, TX 75061-4000
In the early 1960s Gordon Lindsay (1906–1973), founder of the Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and publisher of the Voice of Healing magazine, called together a group of independent Pentecostal ministers. The ministers voiced a desire to give expression of the unity of the Body of Christ under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, a unity that would go beyond individuals, churches, or organizations. Toward that end they formed the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International in 1962.
The purpose of the Full Gospel Fellowship is to promote apostolic ministry, emphasizing unity among all the members of the Body of Christ. It serves as a medium through which member churches may work cooperatively and has no ecclesiastical or hierarchal authority over its members.
The Fellowship has adopted a set of “Suggested Articles of Faith” that they offer to member churches. While assuming an essential doctrinal agreement among member churches and ministers, individual churches may choose to revise the articles. The articles affirm belief in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, the Trinity, the need of people for salvation, baptism by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, sanctification, divine healing, the Second Coming and millennial reign of Christ, heaven, and hell. Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues is strongly advocated.
An organized association of independent churches, the Fellowship is designed to perform only those services that churches cannot easily or conveniently provide for themselves. Individual churches, groups of churches, and organizations of churches may be recognized within the Fellowship. Each church is free to carry out its own program and missionary work and to ordain or license ministers as it deems necessary. Those ministers recognized by the Fellowship are subsequently issued a membership card and certificate of ministerial status. A Young Leaders Network recognizes and connects young leaders within the Fellowship. An international and several regional conventions are held annually. The business meeting is held during the international meeting each July.
Although the Fellowship is not a governing body, it has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as an organization qualified to offer independent congregations tax-exempt status under its group exemption umbrella.
Gordon Lindsay was a former pastor in the Assemblies of God and, in the late 1940s, a close associate of evangelist William M. Branham (1909–1965). He served as president of the Voice of Healing Publishing Company and edited the Voice of Healing, a magazine that publicized and coordinated the activities of many of the prominent healing evangelists of the 1950s. In 1948 he called together the first meeting of the evangelists and ministers who supported the healing emphases that had grown from Branham’s original efforts. The last of these annual conventions was held in 1961, the year before the formation of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International. Lindsay’s work has been carried on by his widow, Freda Lindsay (b. 1916), through Christ for the Nations and its affiliated activities.
Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International. www.fgfcmi.org/.
Lindsay, Freda. My Diary Secrets. Dallas: Christ for the Nations, 1976.
Lindsay, Gordon. Bible Days Are Here Again. Shreveport, LA: Author, 1949.
———. The Gordon Lindsay Story. Dallas: Voice of Healing Publishing Company, n.d.
9840 N 15th St., Phoenix, AZ 85020-1810
The Hall Deliverance Foundation was established in 1956 in San Diego, California, as the focus of the ministry of the Rev. Franklin Hall (d. 1993), an independent Pentecostal minister, who began his ministerial career in 1946 as a Methodist. Hall also founded and pastored the International Healing Cathedral in San Diego, California. During his years in the Pentecostal ministry, Hall was closely connected with the evangelist Thelma Nickel.
Hall taught what he termed “body-felt” salvation. It was his belief that salvation is for the body as well as the biblical text, “By his stripes you are healed,” and also by his own obtaining of the full baptism of the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) and Fire, as mentioned in Matthew 3:11. According to Hall, this teaching was alluded to by Jesus in Acts 1:8. The Holy Ghost power coming upon the physical body keeps the body well and healed, as long as the believer keeps that portion of the Holy Spirit called the “Fire” upon the physical body. The believer, therefore, has “body-felt” salvation, as there is no sickness. Those who participate in the body-felt salvation also participate in a miracle ministry and find its demonstration in a wide variety of healings and deliverance from natural disasters and dangerous situations. The experience of the Holy Spirit when it comes upon the person is felt tangibly as a pleasant warmth to heal the body or to bring healing protection energy. This sensation is related to the fire portion of the Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 2:3), which Jesus urged his disciples to obtain (Acts 1:8). Hall also recommended prayer and fasting. According to Hall, the latter enabled one to become a powerful conductor of divine and spiritual forces.
Hall died in 1993. In 2008 his widow, Rev. Helen Hall, continued to pastor the International Healing Cathedral, traveling around the world teaching and holding meetings. The Foundation distributes literature and audio and video tapes. Affiliated work takes place in Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, West Germany, Finland, France, Sweden, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malaya, South Africa, and India.
Glory Knowledge Bible School, Phoenix, Arizona.
Miracle Word • The Healing Word News
Hall Deliverance Foundation, Inc. home.mindspring.com/~hdf1/index.html.
Hall, Franklin. Atomic Power with God. San Diego, CA: Author, 1946.
———. The Baptism of Fire. San Diego, CA: Author, 1960.
———. The Body-Felt Salvation. Phoenix: Hall Deliverance Foundation, 1968.
———. Our Divine Healing Obligation. Phoenix: Author, 1964.
Nickel, Thelma. Our Rainbow of Promise. Tulsa, OK: Vickers Printing Co., 1950.
5500 Woodland Park Blvd, Arlington, TX 76013
The International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM; known until 1985 as the International Convention of Faith Churches and Ministers) was founded in 1979 by Dr. Doyle Harrison (d. 1998), pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship International Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with a number of independent Pentecostal pastors and evangelists. A few of these pastors had become well known for their work on Christian television: Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003), of Kenneth Hagin Ministries and pastor of Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa; Kenneth Copeland (b. 1936), of Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Publications in Fort Worth, Texas; Frederick K. C. Price (b. 1932), of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries and pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles; Norvel Hayes (b. 1927), of Norvel Hayes Ministries in Cleveland, Tennessee; Jerry J. Savelle (b. 1947), of Jerry Savelle Ministries in Fort Worth and founder of the Overcoming Faith Churches of Kenya in Africa; and John H. Osteen (d. 1999), of the John Osteen World Satellite Network in Houston. In 2008 the president of ICFM was Dr. Dennis Burke.
ICFM provides training to its members through grass-roots mentoring, workshops, and discipleship materials. ICFM members subscribe to the “faith confession” doctrine, which holds that a child of faith can publicly confess or claim something from God and be assured of getting it. The convention admits both churches and individuals to membership. Many of the students trained at Rhema Bible Training Center, started in 1974 by Hagin, went on to create new congregations partially drawing on viewers of the convention founders’television programs. In 1975 Harrison founded Harrison House, a book concern, which publishes many of the healing evangelists’materials.
In 2008 the ICFM reported approximately 450 member churches in 24 countries worldwide.
Rhema Bible Training Center, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Crenshaw Christian Center School of Ministry, Los Angeles, California.
International Faith Report • Unofficial (periodicals issued by ministries associated with the convention): The Word of Faith • Ever Increasing Faith Messenger • Believers Voice of Victory Magazine
Some Pentecostal leaders criticized leading ministers of the convention (Hagin, Copeland, Price), as well as other evangelist-teachers, for what has been termed “faith formula theology”—a belief that by publicly confessing (claiming) something from God, believers will be given it according to their faith.
International Convention of Faith Ministries. www.icfm.org/.
Copeland, Gloria. God’s Will for You. Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1972. Hagin, Kenneth E. How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God. Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1978.
Hayes, Norvel. Seven Ways Jesus Heals. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1982.
Kegin, James L. Developing Pastoral Leadership and Management Skills. Ph.D. dissertation, School of Theology and Missions, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK, 1991.
Osteen, John H. This Awakening Generation. Humble, TX: Author, 1964.
Price, Frederick K. C. How to Obtain Strong Faith. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1980.
Box 4270, Scottsdale, AZ 85261
Leroy Jenkins is a healer who has become known as “the man with the golden arm” for his healing work. When he was five years old, so the story goes, the Lord spoke to him in an audible voice. Four years later, God spoke to him again, upon which he began levitating and floating through the air. In an accident in 1960, Jenkins’s arm was almost cut off. He was healed instantly (after refusing amputation) in a meeting conducted by Asa Alonzo Allen in Atlanta. With Allen’s encouragement, Jenkins began to preach; his evangelistic association was formed in 1960. Originally headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Jenkins moved to Delaware, Ohio, where a large tabernacle was build in the 1970s. In 1971, his radio ministry was heard over 57 stations.
In 1977 Jenkins moved to Greenwood, South Carolina, and opened the Spirit of Truth Church (later renamed the Healing Waters Cathedral). However, in April 1979 Jenkins was arrested and convicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit arson related to the burning of a state trooper’s home in Ohio. Jenkins declared his innocence, but was sentenced to serve 12 years. He was paroled in June 1985 and has since resumed his ministry. The state of South Carolina pardoned Jenkins in 1993.
As a continuing part of his ministry for several decades, Jenkins distributes water pumped from the property adjacent to his Healing Waters Cathedral, over which he has prayed and that he claims has healing properties. In 2003 he ran into conflict over this practice when the Ohio Department of Agriculture accused him of distributing contaminated water. Jenkins agreed to close the well from which the water came. That same year, he sold the Healing Waters Cathedral to a Hindu group and moved his association to Arizona.
In 2002 a movie, Man of Faith starring Robert Wagner and Faye Dunaway, was made about Jenkins’s life and ministry.
Not reported. The magazine of the association is mailed to over 100,000 supporters.
Revival of America.
Leroy Jenkins Evangelistic Association. ww.leroyjenkins.com/.
Buckingham, June. As the Wind Blows over the Life of Leroy Jenkins. Leroy Jenkins, 1919.
Jenkins, Leroy. How I Met the Master. Tampa, FL: Leroy Jenkins Evangelistic Association, 1965.
11052 N 24th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85029
Asa Alonzo Allen (1911–1970) was born of a poor Arkansas family, saved in a Methodist revival, and later baptized with the Holy Spirit in a Pentecostal meeting. He joined the Assemblies of God and felt called to preach. In the early 1940s, he began to seek a ministry of signs and wonders, particularly healing. He had what amounted to a theological conversion when, during a prayer time, he formulated the thirteen requirements for a powerful ministry. He became convinced that he could do the works of Jesus, and accomplish more than Jesus did; that he could be flawless and perfect (in the biblical sense); and that one should believe in all of the scriptural promises. During World War II (1939–1945), his throat became, according to one throat specialist, permanently ruined, but Allen was eventually healed.
In 1951 he purchased a tent and began his crusade in earnest. The headquarters of A. A. Allen Revivals Inc. was established in Dallas, Texas. Soon after settling his company’s headquarters, Allen would begin publishing Miracle Magazine. From that time until his death, Allen was an immensely popular evangelist speaking both to integrated and predominantly black audiences. As early as 1960, he was holding fully integrated meetings in the South. In 1958 he was given 1,250 acres of land near Tombstone, Arizona, which was named Miracle Valley and which became his international headquarters. Allen died in 1970 and was succeeded by Don Stewart, who chose the new name for the organization: Miracle Revival Fellowship.
Miracle Valley was created as a totally spiritual community. Allen founded a Bible school and publishing house, located adjacent to radio and television studios, the healing Pool of Bethesda, and the headquarters. He also operated a telephone Dial-a-Miracle prayer service. The church seats 2,500. As a result of Allen’s accomplishments and success, missionary churches were begun and independent ministers have become associated with him. Miracle Revival Fellowship (now Miracle Life Fellowship International), at first a department of A. A. Allen Revivals, was established as a ministerial fellowship and licensing agency. After Allen’s death, the Bible college was turned over to the Central Latin American District Council of the Assemblies of God and is now known as Southern Arizona Bible College. A. A. Allen Revivals later became known as the Don Stewart Association.
In 2002 the fellowship of ministers had 68 clergy members in the United States and an additional 150 in other countries.
Miracle Magazine. Send orders to PO Box 2960, Phoenix, AZ 85062-9984.
Allen, A. A. My Cross. Miracle Valley, AZ: A. A. Allen Revivals, n.d.
Allen, A. A. (with Walter Wagner). Born to Lose, Bound to Win: An Autobiography. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970.
Stewart, Don. Blessings from the Hand of God. Miracle Valley, AZ: Don Stewart Evangelistic Association, 1971.
———. How You Can Have Something Better through God’s Master Plan. Phoenix, AZ: Don Stewart Evangelistic Association, 1975.
Stewart, Don (with Walter Wagner). The Man from Miracle Valley. Long Beach, CA: Great Horizons, 1971.
Box 20707, Phoenix, AZ 85036
Independent Pentecostal evangelist Neal Frisby (d. 2005) became known in the early 1960s for possessing a gift of prophecy. In 1967 he began regularly to release prophetic scrolls; by 1974 there were 60 and they were published in book form, and by 1995 the number had grown to 295. In 1972 Capstone Cathedral, a large pyramid-shaped church, was completed on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. It served as his publishing center and headquarters. The church also houses a television studio and produces films concerning worldwide events. In the 1990s, Frisby released a number of pictures in which strange, “supernatural” lights are said to have appeared.
Frisby left his ministry to Robert Brooks (b. 1970), a former wide receiver for the Nation Football League’s Green Bay Packers. Brooks had had a vision that he would preach at Capstone and Frisby had had a confirming dream that he should turn the property over to Brooks.
Not reported. Besides the congregation in Phoenix, many of whom are from Nigeria, where Frisby had developed a following, there is a mailing list of “special partners” around the United States who regularly support the ministry.
Frisby, Neal. The Book of Revelation Scrolls. Phoenix, AZ: Author, n.d. Grant, W. V. Creative Miracles. Dallas, TX: Faith Clinic, n.d.
Calle Duarte 235, Hata Rey, PR 60919
Mita’s Congregation orgininated in Puerto Rico. Founded in 1940 in the city of Arecibo, the congregation also expanded to the United States in 1948 by a preacher who was sent to the city of New York. After being ill for a long period of time, the founder of the church, Juanita Garcia Peraza (1897–1970), prayed to God and promised him that if he healed her, she would always serve him. According to the congregation, God chose her body as the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit and commanded her to establish this church following the doctrinal principles of the Primitive Christian Church. It is their biblical understanding that Jesus Christ’s church was only one, and that the Holy Ghost is now preparing his people in order to lead them toward salvation. According to the Holy Scripture, of the many that are called, he would join the chosen together.
Peraza was considered to be the prophet and instrument of God; through her, God healed the sick and entirely changed and improved peoples lives as he did in ancient times, according to the Holy Scripture.
Moreover, she was commended in the beginning of the church to preach the triple message of love, liberty, and unity: love, because God is love, and he called his people so they could love him above all things and to love thy neighbor as thyself; liberty, because he came to free his people from sin; and unity, because Christ came to unify his people and unite them in one unique feeling.
Mita’s name, which signifies “spirit of life,” was revealed by God to various spiritual brothers and herself. To the congregation’s followers, Mita’s name is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies, which say that the Lord would return with a new name (Isaiah 52:6 and 62:2 and Revelation 2:17 and 3:12). They also believe Jesus promised that Christ would come as the promised comforter (John 14:26).
On February 21, 1970, Peraza passed away in the city of Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. In her place and with the same attributes, Teofilo Vargas Sein Aaron remains. In his childhood, Aaron had accompanied Peraza and was anointed of the Lord for this ministry when he was 15 years old. Under his guidance, the church has extended to other places in the United States (New Jersey, Connecticut, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, Washington, New York, Boston) and overseas to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Spain, Panama, and Canada.
In 1990 Mita’s Congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary and inaugurated a new house of worship, necessary because of the increasing number of members. It has the capacity of seating more than 6,000 people.
The principal church is located in Hato Rey and religious services are regularly held every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The congregation possesses a pastoral home, where people reside who are devoted and have dedicated their lives to God. There is also a home for the elderly that accommodates 89 people; a private educational institution; Colegio Cóngregación Mita, ranging from preschool to high school; and an orientation and social assistance office, which offers social work services to all people.
In 1997 the congregation reported six congregations and 1,500 members in the United States and 63 congregations and 46,730 members worldwide.
PO Box 50126, Tulsa, OK 74150-0126
Rhema Ministries, PO Box 30123, Toronto, ON M3J 3L6, Canada.
Rhema is the name given to a set of ministries that have grown up around the Pentecostal televangelist Kenneth E. Hagin Sr. (1917–2003). He began his professional career as a minister with the Assemblies of God (1934–1946), but left the pastorate to become a itinerant evangelist. During that time he wrote the first of several hundred small booklets and spoke frequently for the Eull Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. In the 1960s he founded Kenneth Hagin Ministries, and in 1966 began a radio broadcast ministry that expanded into television in 1976. The Rhema Bible Training Center grew out of a Bible correspondence course that Hagin had written; it continues to be popular among his listeners. In 1978 Kenneth Hagin Ministries evolved into the Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Rhema has a formal belief structure that is almost identical to that of the Assemblies of God. It affirms the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the Trinity, salvation in Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is evidenced by speaking in tongues. Hagin and those associated with Rhema have been identified with what is known as the “faith message,” or “positive confession,” which builds on biblical verses such as “That if you will confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9). Through positive confession, believers acknowledge desirable situations, which can be received as one confesses and believes in them. In this manner the believer can rule over poverty, disease, and sickness. This view advocates that God wants believers to have the best of everything: Believers should not, for example, suffer financial setbacks. Faith compels God’s action. From this perspective, what believers say (or confess) determines what they will receive, a position often characterized as “name it, claim it.” This theology has alienated Hagin and his students from the Assemblies of God and many other Pentecostal leaders.
At the same time, many who encountered Hagin on radio and television were drawn to his teachings, and students have flocked to the Rhema Bible Training Center and the more advanced classes at the Rhema Institute of Biblical Studies. Some of these graduates went into the ministry and began churches based on what they had learned. The Rhema Ministerial Association International was formed as a fellowship of ministers who retained a primary relationship with Hagin. Other students moved out and founded their own centers like Rhema that have become the centers of similar churches and ministerial fellowships (such as the Fellowship of Inner City Word of Faith Ministries, founded by former Rhema student Fred Price).
Rhema has established training centers in 14 countries: Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Pacific, and Thailand.
In 2008 the Rhema Bible Church (Tusla, Oklahoma) reported more than 8,000 members. There were more than 500 affiliated congregations in the United States scattered across the country.
Rhema Correspondence Bible School, Tulsa, Oklahoma; accessible at www.rhema.org/education/rcbs.cfm.
Rhema Bible Training Center, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
World of Faith.
Chappell, Paul G. “Kenneth Hagin, Sr.” In Twentieth-century Shapers of American Popular Religion, ed. Charles H. Lippy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989. Hagin, Kenneth, Sr. Another Look at Faith. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library, 1996.
———. How You Can Be Led By the Spirit of God. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library, 1994.
———. The Real Faith. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library, 1985.
———. What to Do When Faith Seems Weak and Victory Lost. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library, 1979.
Hagin, Kenneth, Jr. Kenneth E. Hagin’s 50 Years in the Ministry: 1934–1984. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library, 1984.
Wooding, Dan. Never Say Never: The Story of the Rhema Broadcasting Group: A Modern-Day Miracle. Auckland, New Zealand: RBG New Zealand, 2003.
37 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10026
The Salvation and Deliverance Church was begun in 1975 by Rev. William Brown as a ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Brown, raised as a Roman Catholic, had become a businessman and later entered the ministry. In the 1980s he separated from the African Methodist Episcopal Church in favor of developing an international, interracial Holiness ministry. The church has developed a program that reaches more than forty countries. Emphasis in the membership is placed on developing Holy living rather than doctrinal uniformity.
Under Apostle Brown’s leadership, the church has developed a multidimensional program including an award-winning drug rehabilitation center in Harlem; a youth ministry, the International Youth Movement for Christ; elementary and Bible schools; and work with the physically challenged. The church maintains a retreat center in the Catskill Mountains with special facilities for those involved in the ministry to the disabled. The church supports five Bible colleges, including St. Paul’s Bible Institute in New York.
In 2008 the church reported 100 affiliated congregations and 500,000 members.
St. Paul’s Bible Institute, New York, New York.
Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.
PO Box 951, Lowell, NC 28098
Spoken Word Deliverance Ministries was founded by Robert L. Kitchin in 1997 as a fellowship of churches and ministers. Kitchin had been ordained originally in 1984, and over the years had become associated with several prominent Pentecostal leaders such as H. Richard Hall and David Terrill. He was brought into the ministry by Prs. Marvin and Norma Woods of the Golden Harvest Temple Church in Lowell, North Carolina, who had been board members of Hall’s United Christian Church and Ministerial Association based in Cleveland, Tennessee. In 2008 Kitchin was pastor at the Golden Harvest Temple, where he was assisted by his wife Jill and son Eric. Since founding his independent work, Kitchin and his associates have been involved in a ministry of freeing those believed to be possessed by demons or afflicted by the powers of witchcraft (malevolent magic).
Spoken Word Ministries offers licenses to independent Pentecostal ministers and charters affiliate congregations through Spoken Word Deliverance Ministry and Ministerial Fellowship. It also welcomes Pentecostal ministers from other associations into its fellowship circle.
In 2008 the ministries reported 13 affiliated congregations.
Spoken Word Deliverance Ministries. www.spokenwordministry.org.