Bosworth’s ‘Christ the Healer’ found in Maya Angelou’s personal library

Bosworth’s ‘Christ the Healer’ found in Maya Angelou’s personal library

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By Roscoe Barnes III, PhD
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind “Christ the Healer”
Copyright © 2023

Photo shared by Bishop Paul Francis Lanier

Like millions of people before her, Maya Angelou was
probably a reader of F.F. Bosworth. According to a 2015 post on Facebook, his
book, “Christ the Healer,” was found in her personal library following her
death on May 28, 2014, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Bishop Paul Francis Lanier of  Hope
Community Church
, Winston-Salem, shared this news on Sept. 9,
2015. He wrote:

“Following service a precious
member of many years and dear friend presented me an amazing gift …. It was a copy
of F.F. Bosworth’s “Christ the Healer.” Of course, I love this book. Even more
special, when I opened it I discovered that it came from the personal library
of Maya Angelou. Many of Dr. Angelou’s things were sold recently at an auction.
I just think it is the coolest thing that she had Brother Bosworth’s book, and
that someone thought of me when they saw it. So blessed. So very blessed.”

Lanier graciously shared images of the book, including
one with a yellow sticker attached (inside the front cover) with the words: “This
Book is from the Library of Maya Angelou.”

Friends of Lanier quickly responded with congratulatory
comments. “Wow .. doubly cool,” replied Donna Schambach. One friend shared, “What
a treasure to your heart.” Another wrote: “My copy stays on my desk. I refer to
it often. No words can explain the Power of God that was present with F.F.
Bosworth as it was written!”

“I have that great book!,” posted one friend. “Surprised
that Maya Angelou also had it!”

While we don’t know if Angelou actually read the book, we
are certain that it was inside her home. Given her love of books and her voracious
appetite for reading, there’s a good chance that she did indeed read Bosworth’s
book. Even so, it would be interesting to know how she acquired the book and
what she thought of it.

Just over a year after her death, Laster’s Fine Art &
Antiques hosted an estate sale
at her house in Winston-Salem. Through that
sale, people acquired her furniture, artworks, and books, among other things.

Angelou’s faith

In 1992, Susan King, staff writer for the LA Times, inquired
about Angelou’s faith in an interview about the PBS special, “Maya Angelou:
Rainbow in the Clouds.” At the time, Angelou was 64, and she acknowledged the
importance of faith. In fact, she attended a Methodist church and a Baptist

King asked, “Have you always had strong religious

 Angelou replied as follows:

Yes. I have always tried to find
myself a church. I have studied everything. I spent some time with Zen Buddhism
and Judaism, and I spent some time with Islam. I am a religious person. It is
my spirit, but I found that I really want to be a Christian. That is what my
spirit seems to be built on.

I just know that I find the
teachings of Christ so accessible. I really believe that Christ made a
sacrifice and for those reasons I want to be a Christian. But what kind, I
don’t know. I don’t know what time of day I am at.

Bosworth’s living classic
“Christ the Healer” is a collection of Bosworth’s sermons
on divine healing. He first published the book in 1924. Earlier versions included
detailed testimonies from people who were reportedly healed through Bosworth’s
ministry and after reading his book. To enhance their credibility, the stories
of healing included the actual names and home addresses of the people featured
in the book.
During his salvation-healing campaigns, Bosworth often invited
doctors and other medical professionals to attend his services and verify the claims
of healing. Although many reported being healed in the meetings, Bosworth
believed that far more were healed through the teachings in his book.
“When in the year 1924 we wrote the messages for the first
edition of this book, little did we dream that the truths presented were to
bless such vast numbers in so many parts of the world,” Bosworth wrote in the
Author’s Preface to his book. He later wrote: “In this book we have tried to
use the vocabulary common people understand, and a continual stream of
testimonies comes to us from those soundly converted and miraculously healed
through their own faith which came to them while reading and meditating on the
truths of the Bible which we have tried to make plain.”
During the post-World War II healing revival, evangelists
used his book as a how-to guide – a practical textbook — for the divine
healing ministry. Gordon Lindsay promoted the book in the pages of The Voice of
Healing magazine. The book also was a favorite of Kenneth E. Hagin, who made it
a required text at Rhema Bible Training Center. According to T.L. Osborn, “Christ
the Healer” was “one of the most outstanding books ever to be published on the
subject of divine healing.”
Now, nearly 100 years since its publication, “Christ the
Healer” is in the public domain. It is being published by Chosen Books, Whitaker
House, and smaller independent companies.
If Bosworth was surprised by the public response to his
book in the 1920s, one can only imagine how he would feel today. Even though he died in 1958, the impact of his ministry is still being felt through his writings.
Thanks to the longevity of this single book, “Christ the Healer,” his ministry continues
to have a global impact, reaching Pentecostals and non-Pentecostals alike.


Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind
“Christ the Healer,” can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code (all
caps): BOSWORTH25.


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For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions
about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to 
Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D.,
via email at or For updates on
F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @bosworth_fred and
@Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter.
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