Revivals at Bethel Temple–History Part 3
Bethel Temple in its history had several periods of revival meetings with well known ministries. Pastor Offiler wrote of such meetings when the 3rd and Bell building was too small and they were anticipating a new facility.
“Oh, how our hearts hunger for a great and mighty revival of the Holy Spirit of God. It was upon that kind of foundation that this country was built and nothing else will satisfy the great heart cry of the people of today. It must be a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit such as prophesied in the book of Joel, with all the accompanying signs and wonders that are a part of the presence of God. This is the purpose of the new Bethel Temple. We believe that the fashioning of this new Gospel tabernacle is a part of the general plan of God for a gracious revival of His people among men!”
When Bethel Temple moved to 3rd and Bell in 1922 it soon became obvious that the seating capacity would be taxed. Continual revival went weeks on end with nightly services and teaching sessions during the day. Word spread around the region and people drove many miles to bring the sick for prayer and be bathed in an atmosphere of faith.
William E. Booth-Clibborn was a powerful evangelist who visited Bethel Temple in the summer of 1925. He was the grandson of the famous General William Booth who founded the Salvation Army movement. William’s mother had also pioneered the Salvation Army work in France. He was converted at the age of 12 and began conducting children’s evangelistic campaigns at the age of 15 in Holland, Germany, Poland and Russia. It is said that during these campaigns 1,100 children were Born Again and 800 filled with the Holy Spirit.
While in Seattle brother Booth-Cibborn ministered at the 3rd and Bell facility. Many were saved, healed and approximately 150 people were baptized in the Holy Spirit. During this season of revival many souls were added to the church and prayer was greatly emphasized. The prayer room was filled with hungry hearts seeking the Lord night and day.
Evangelist Jerry Owen began ministering at Bethel Temple during the 1939 camp meeting. This former prize fighter and football player was converted and especially known for a God-given gift of scripture memory. It is told that Jerry would recite entire passages of scripture during his powerful messages. On many occasions the power of God would be so profound that men literally ran and threw themselves at the altar under the Spirit confessing their sin and emptiness.
An evidence of God’s power was seen in the conversion of many alcoholics who were instantly delivered from their addictions. Pastor Offiler testified that the crowds of people attending these meetings were beyond expectation. It became evident that the 3rd and Bell facility would not contain larger crowds and the time had come for God to supply a larger place in which to grow.
One of the last revivals conducted in the old building was Charles M. Leaming an Open Bible Pastor from Waterloo, Iowa. He had visited Bethel Temple on several occasions but his 1943 visit was especially meaningful. Brother Leaming teamed up with Rev. Harold Ammundson from Bethel and originated the “America to Prayer” crusades which were meetings held among armed forces of the United States. Harold Ammundson directed the prayer crusades on the West Coast while brother Leaming directed the activities in the Easters States. During these meetings many servicemen were saved, healed and encouraged. The trauma of war had taken its toll on many who were greatly in need of God’s presence.
Reverend Jack Paschal was one of the first guest speakers in the 2nd and Lenora building. His personal story moved the congregation to praise and bless the Lord for the glory of His power at work among prison convicts. Reverend Paschal had previously been successful in business but found himself on the wrong side of the law through the influence of drinking, gambling and shrewd business practices. He was eventually arrested and committed to a penitentiary where through his interview with the warden, was powerfully converted. In prison, his stand for God and living faith resulted in the conversion of eight hundred inmates. This testimony as well as ministry of the word touched many lives and moved people to seek the Lord.
These meeting were followed by evangelist Upshaw from Selah, Washington along with evangelist and Mrs. Ernie French whose ministry in song and the Word created an atmosphere where people rather pray than eat, and where the Spirit and Power of God rested like a cloud of Glory upon the people. Later evangelist Charles M. Leaming from the Open Bible Church in Waterloo, Iowa, came and ministered under tremendous power of the Holy Spirit. Some said it was as a sound of an abundance of rain filling the altars with people praying and consecrating their lives to the Lord.
In November 1944 evangelist Ronald L. Crozier DD from Toronto, Canada held three weeks meetings at Bethel. Every night was filled with worship and preaching of the Word. It had been 20 years earlier that Pastor Offiler made his acquaintance and was deeply moved by his ministry. The Pentecostal Power magazine records that the congregation would simply be drenched with showers of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Many astounding miracles of God’s power were evidenced for the duration of Rev. Crozier’s ministry and the people rejoiced in the rich blessing being poured out.
By the end of November Evangelist and Mrs. Ernie French returned to minister. It seems as though revival was continuous for weeks on end. While the people were physically tired, their hunger for God’s presence kept them coming night after night. It was during this season that many of the church members worked to collect used clothing for relief efforts in Holland which was experiencing dark days of need at the close of the war.
Other well known evangelists from across the country ministered several times at the church. Among them was healing evangelist W.V. Grant. Reverend Grant was from the Ozark hills of Arkansas and though without academic achievements this man was unusually anointed for healing ministry. He came to Bethel Temple in the Spring of 1952 and held a series of revival services which continued nightly for 8 weeks. It was testified that during these meetings, this little timid evangelist from the small town of Malvern would flow under a powerful anointing for healing. Around him would be cots, wheelchairs and stretchers bearing the burdens of crippled humanity. Rest Homes around Seattle would send their ambulances to transport the shut-ins to church. The very atmosphere of the church was surcharged with an electrical tension that caused the packed crowds to sit hushed and reverent.
A man stood in the healing line who said he had been totally blind in one eye since birth. After brother Grant laid his hand on the blind eye a miracle took place. The sight of the eye is restored. The man leaps and shouts for sheer joy and praise.
A little girl three years of age and blind from birth is carried to the front by her father. Brother Grant had already prayed for her twice before with no results, yet this time he smiles thoughtfully at the father and mother for a long minute. The couple are not Christians. Suddenly the tears are streaming down their cheeks as they hand their child to the evangelist and fall on their knees to accept Christ as their Savior. When they regain their composure they arise, their faces shinning with an unearthly glory. It is then that Evangelist Grant kneels on the floor with the child cradled in his arms utters a simple prayer of faith. The great throng is so hushed and reverent that it seems all eternity is holding its breath. Then as he stands up the crowd shatters the silence with praise as a miracle has transpired before their eyes.
Miraculous healings of every kind known to man were occurring regularly in a facility packed to capacity. Blind eyes, deaf ears, tumors and other diseases were healed and were proof of God’s glorious presence. Not all in the endless lines received their healing but many of them did!
Rev. W.W. Patterson also wrote concerning these meetings:
“Sunday School records have been broken and churches for miles around have felt the impact of this mighty moving of God. Literally hundreds have returned and reported they were healed of all manner of diseases, including heart ailments, arthritis and cancer. Hearing aids, crutches, casts and glasses were discarded. Seventy-four declared they were healed in the audience one night even before the prayer line. This number included one lady who was delivered of a tumor. Another night 100 stood and said they received their healing. Still another night 14 said they were healed of deaf ears while sitting in the audience”.
“A doctor came back to church and reported he was healed of deafness. A school teacher reported she was healed of cancer. Praise God, Bible days are here again! A nurse was healed of a paralyzed arm and filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. A missionary was healed while sitting in the audience and threw away her crutches. Several were healed while listening to our radio programs, including one woman with a fallen stomach. A great number were healed and filled with the Holy Spirit in the healing line. On an average, about 100 responded to the altar call at each service. It seems that this is just the beginning of the revival that is commencing to sweep the world. For almost eight weeks Catholics, Lutherans and almost all other denominations crowded into our large prayer room to give their heart to God and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Shortly thereafter Reverend Paul Cain came to minister at Bethel Temple. It was as though a second wave of glory and Holy Ghost revolution swept the place following the Grant revival. One news reporter captured this atmosphere as he wrote of the meetings;
“Bethel Temple, seating almost 2000 had proved inadequate to accommodate the vast throngs that came to hear the Evangelist and to view with their own eyes the miraculous healings that took place, so the meetings had moved into Seattle’s great Civic Auditorium.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 7:30, but two hours before that time the throngs began pouring through the many entrances. By trackless trolleys, taxicabs, private cars and on foot they came. Rich people, poor people, Christians and unbelievers. Red, White, Yellow, Black and Brown – they came. On the huge stage, choir, musicians and ministers were taking their places.
Through subterranean passages and devious ramps that bespoke the catacombs of old Rome, this reporter made his way into the great wings adjacent to the stage. As we walked along the concrete floor and reached a certain spot we were conscious of the fact that we were not alone in the vast wing. In the dim half-light we saw a boyish form sitting on a rickety box that some stage hand had thrown aside. Piles of canvas and miscellaneous objects for stage maintenance were strewn all about. We peered more closely at the form sitting on the low, rickety box. It was Mr. Cain. His open Bible was on his knees and as he glanced up and waved his hand in a quick gesture of friendly greeting, we saw that his eyes were wet with tears”
Brother Cain also ministered at the Federal Way Camp Meeting, and came into Seattle every Monday night to hold healing meetings in the church. The Spirit of God moved upon the people as diseases were discerned and healed. Some received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as others made their commitment to serve Jesus.
The Paul Cain meetings were followed by Evangelist J. Herman Alexander who was already well known to many Northwest believers. Brother Alexander had held campaigns for Pastor Harold Jeffries of the Foursquare church in Portland. Now this time would be Seattle’s time of visitation. His services continued for six weeks straight with scores of people healed from sickness and delivered from the bondages of sin.
Dr. Kelso Glover ministered at Bethel’s camp meeting in June of 1952. Best known as Aimee McPherson’s best friend and personal minister, He was the Divine Healing minister at Angeles Temple where he held the Saturday night healing services for 20 years. Having received the Holy Spirit in the Azuza street revival, Dr. Glover carried the passion and fire of that revival thus leaving a greater deposit of faith for healing.
Another evangelist by the name of Leonard W. Heroo from Providence, Rhode Island, came for several weeks of services at Bethel in 1955. Brother Heroo was a member of the faculty of Zion Bible Institute, the associate Pastor of Zion Gospel Temple, and also President of the Boston Bible Academy. During the opening week of ministry in Seattle, one gentleman, who had been blind for several years and had spent a reported $28,000 on doctors, was miraculously healed. He had been to the Mayo clinic and many other nationally know doctors. Man pronounced him incurable, but God pronounced him healed!
Evangelist Charles Duncombe was a native of London, England and a professional cricket player before coming to Christ. His ministry and gift of teaching had open doors of opportunity to minister in the British Isles, France, Switzerland and the United States. He came to preach the Bethel Temple camp meeting in 1963 for three full weeks. This writer recalls attending camp with the old tabernacle filled nightly. Ministry of the Word brought change in the lives of many and the altars had people lingering in prayer into the late night hours.
Evangelist Ken and Barbara Gaub along with their ministry team were also regular speakers at Bethel Temple in the 60’s and 70’s. Ken came from Iowa to Seattle to attend the Bethel Temple Bible School where he met his wife Barbara. After graduation they left Seattle for the coal mining country of East Kentucky. The Gaubs with their three talented children Nathan, Daniel and Becky traveled extensively in Evangelistic crusades across America with great results. Many churches have been blessed and seen an increase of membership through their ministry. Today Ken Gaub ministries is located in Yakima, Washington and Ken continues to conduct services in large churches across America and Internationally.
It should be mentioned that throughout the years there have been many other Evangelist, Pastors and Missionaries leave a lasting impact at Bethel Temple such as Morris Plott an Assembly of God pastor who planted numerous churches and gave his later years to work in East Africa.
Then there was Dr. Van De Weigraven from Holland; Reverend C. Kingsfield of Victory British Columbia; Evangelist Billy Watson from Denver, Colorado; Evangelist Bob Pierce; Rev. William D. Swanson from San Francisco; Earl Winburn from Toronto, Canada; Rev. Ern Baxter of Vancouver, British Columbia; Pastor J. R. Richey of Des Moines, Iowa; Evangelist W. J. McMullan from Tulsa, Oklahoma; William Burkett from Goshen, Indiana; Dr. W. B. Black from Ireland; Evangelist Raymond Osborn of new York; John G. Lake from Spokane; Harris M. Mitchell; Rev. Warren Carlson; Malcolm Smith from England; Lewis Malmin; Evangelist Mary T. Miller from California; Rob Wheeler from Christchurch, New Zealand; Pastor Hanny Mandey from Indonesia and Kevin Conner from Australia.