The Remnant On Line History Page

   

MOBILE, AL -- When I am on the road I never plan anything other than the places I preach and the stories I cover but on my last trip to Ohio I was touched in my spirit with a ministry that had long since vanished from the forefront of Pentecost. I was taken back in time as my host told me about early history of that town in the 1950ís and the meetings that were held at Stanbaugh Auditorium. Kathryn Kuhlman held meetings there and the flow of the tremendous power could still be felt. Youngstown then was prosperous but now the ruins of the city could be seen as the steel industry that once prospered in the town was completely gone, but Stanbaugh Auditorium with its majestic roman columns stands as if Ms. Kuhlman was going to have a crusade there tomorrow. On some of the seats in the old auditorium the imprint of Kathryn Kuhlman Ministries could still be seen. During her time at Stanbaugh the doors were changed at the front entrance to accommodate the sick, those doors were still in place. The Sun was setting but the sense of greatness could be felt around the old building. As we drove through the town I remembered the words of Charles Crabtree at the first Ministerís Conference at Brownsville in 1995, as his mind was changed on this great woman of God. Crabtree asked as a skeptic, "Why does God use you?" Kathryn looked at him and said, "I donít know why!" Crabtree had come back home to find out that he was the Chairman for the Kathryn Kuhlman Crusade in his area. It was the last thing he wanted to do but as he stood on the stage before her meeting she looked over at him and said, "Pray man, pray." She wanted people who desired God to surround her at the time of ministry and Crabtree knew from that moment she was serious with God. That night the amazing was accomplished as healings were recorded and the power of God flowed. Charles Crabtree, Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God today, would long remember her as an awesome woman of God.

Carnegie Hall & The Presbyterian Church In Pittsburgh

Kuhlman never took her anointing for granted, before each meeting she would pace back and forth behind the stage pleading with God to not take the anointing from her. Everything had its place in her ministry. Like clock work before her meetings her Bible was brought out and placed on the pulpit. The beat up old ragged dog-eared Bible was carried out several times by a small dark skinned young man named Benny Hinn.  Hinn had traveled to her meetings at Carnegie Hall and the old Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh. I am still in awe of her today and of her divine touch. I had the opportunity as a young editor with Scripps Howard Newspapers to visit a Kuhlman meeting in Mobile, Alabama. Lana Andress, a secretary in our office, knew I was writing and singing worship music at St. Maryís Catholic Church in Mobile. Lana thought it would help my ministry if I could witness one of her meetings since Catholics were very often welcomed. God was in it, I knew nothing about Pentecost but I knew what was in front of me was the real thing. I had question after question about this powerful woman of God. I made fun of her strange way of preaching because I didnít understand but what happened to me in the next few months would change my whole life as a journalist. It wasnít too long afterwards that Lana Andress and a friend, Don Zorker, laid hands on me on my lunch hour to receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. As the heavenly language flowed through me I thought to myself, what an awesome God to give me a supernatural language in which I could pray to Him. From that moment on at age 27 all things changed in my life and the anointing entered for service to Him only. No longer would I work on a worldly newspaper or magazine.

STANBAUGH AUDITORIUM YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO

It was nice to see the old auditorium in Youngstown but the weekend wasnít over. I preached a message at Victory Assembly of God on Gate Keepers. The Lord moved in a strange way that night as I was led to call up all the single parent women for prayer first, and then call the fathers up for prayer. It was my oldest sonís birthday -- 13 years ago I became a father. My message concerned the fatherlessness of this country and how God chose Pensacola on Fatherís Day to pour out His Spirit. We finished the service around 12 oíclock that night and went to a home where they were serving refreshments. It was the home of an airplane pilot that flew as a captain for U.S. Air -- I was very tired but I got into a conversation with the air captain and he showed me his model collection upstairs. I shared with him my desire to be a pilot and how much I wanted to learn how to fly. I told him about all the World War II aircraft I had built and how I enjoyed painting the detailed camouflage of the model planes. He showed me the models of the Bowing 737 in which he trained pilots. As we left that night I left my coat at his house. The pastor called him on the way to the hotel and asked if he would bring it to me the next morning.

As I awoke the next morning I had a call from down stairs from the airline pilot Allan Eich and his wife - they heard me talk about going downtown to visit old Stanbaugh Auditorium the night before. They also had an interest in Kathryn Kuhlman and where she had started in Pennsylvania. As they knocked on the door and came in my room he said, "How would you like to have breakfast in Pennsylvania?" As we went out to the small airport just down from the hotel I helped him pull out the plane. It was so light in our hands and just think, I would be in it in a few minutes going to Pennsylvania for breakfast. We climbed to 5,000 feet and he let me take the controls as we crossed over into western Pennsylvania. I saw the flowing Allegheny River. The pilot pointed down to the small town on the side of that river and said, "Thatís Oil City, thatís where Kathryn Kuhlman began her radio ministry." I thought to myself, Oil City was an appropriate name for such a place of ministry to begin and it was right next to a river. We next headed for the small modern airport on the other side of a the mountain from Oil City. We landed in Franklin, Franklin was the birth place of Kuhlmanís ministry when she first came to Pennsylvania. God was in this trip as we had breakfast in the small airport.

The memories of this woman of God had stirred something inside of me that had long been forgotten. I really believe God was bringing her before my face. I remember several times being touched by her choir as they sang the great Hallelujah Chorus on the Christian Radio Station at home. At times when I heard that choir sing I would be in my car and tears would flow through me with me not knowing what it was all about. I was new in Pentecost but I knew God moved when He wanted to and nothing was formal about Him. Kuhlman didnít chose to be a woman of faith -- God chose her to carry this awesome mantle. Divorced and washed up, Kuhlman chose to go to a place so deep back in the woods that no one would know of her former life of sin. God called her from the back side of a wilderness in western Pennsylvania to display His awesome power one day before television at the great Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The Shrine Auditorium was often the place where the movie Oscars were passed out but it would be the focus on this weird woman who would preach to a national audience on the CBS network.

Celebrities Remembered Her And Made Fun of Her

Many celebrities -- Ruth Buzzy, Carol Burnett, and Flip Wilson -- made fun of her on national television and she would laugh along with them. One testimony of healing stands out above all the others, Cleddie Keith brought it to mind the other day as we were talking. The Houston Police Chief came to Los Angeles just days away from his death. He came to the Shrine Auditorium in the last stages of cancer, you could smell death on him as his entire bowels were eaten up with the disease. He made it to his seat in the balcony at the Shrine, it was there that Kathryn pointed her bony finger up to him and said, "Sir, God is healing you of Cancer." I can remember his testimony. "I felt the burn of a hot heat run from my head to my feet as I was totally transformed from death unto life in a matter of seconds." How awesome can God show Himself sometimes.

Yes, Kathryn, you paid the price of humiliation. Your sins were spread before a nation but God chose you, and the people who were touched by that power could have cared less about your past, all they knew was that they were sick and then they were made whole. She left her entire inheritance to Oral Roberts University when she died and that money today still endows teaching positions there. We miss you and we have warm memories of you.

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