Glen Clark’s Camps Furthest Out: The Schoolhouse for the Charismatic Renewal

Glen Clark’s Camps Furthest Out: The S

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected


 First published in PNEUMA the journal of Pentecostal Studies (Spring 2003)



In the 1960s, thousands of Spirit-filled Christians met at summer camps where they prayed for each other in small groups, and heard lectures on such issues such as healing, inner healing and deliverance by leaders of the new Charismatic Renewal. Among the speakers at the camps were such notable figures as Agnes Sanford, Derek Prince and (by the end of the 60s) Fr. Francis MacNutt. Activities, known as “creatives,” encouraged the campers to participate in spontaneous drama skits, psalm writing, rhythmic exercises, drawing and music.  All these creatives involved the invited presence of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of these camps was to learn to be more effective Christians and at the same time gain a sampling of what it would be like to live in the Kingdom of God.


These camps were know as “CFOs” or Camps Furthest Out. Some camps, such as the one held at Kanuga, North Carolina, drew thousands of participants at a time. However, because of the CFO’s early ties to New Thought, the histories of the Charismatic Renewal have ignored the significant role of the CFO in the early stages of the Renewal.[2] In fact, Dave Hunt and other critics of the Charismatic Renewal have simply labeled the CFO and its founder, Glen Clark, as parts of the cultic “seduction” of the Charismatic Renewal.[3]


In my earlier work, Quenching the Spirit, I argued that such characterizations are destructive simplifications.  Critics such as Hunt do not take into account the tragic situation within Nineteenth Century “orthodox” Christianity which labeled any form of healing prayer as cultic and heretical.  The consensus orthodoxy of the era stressed the doctrine of cessationism, which also declared the gifts of the Spirit as unavailable in the current age.  This theology combined with a largely unrecognized dependence on philosophical realism that came into both Catholicism and Protestantism from the late Middle Ages. The result was that the consensus orthodoxy of the era left no room for the role of  a believer’s faith to move in healing prayer or in the gifts of the Spirit.[4]


The Rise of Faith-Idealism:


An overview of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries shows a pattern in which the Holy Spirit moved the Church away from its cessationism-realism based theology.  At the same time the Spirit inspired different groups and individuals towards theologies that reincorporated the gifts of the Spirit, and allowed for a more active understanding of the role of mind, acting through faith in Christ, to activate the miraculous powers of the Kingdom of God. This was a move to theologies based on moderate idealism, that is, that mind, with faith, can influence matter, as in healing and the miraculous, and away from theological systems based on radical realism where the Christian merely petitions that God act.[5]  A characteristic of faith-idealism is that physical evidence is of less immediate concern than the witness of the Word of God.


The shift from cessationist realism to faith idealism was a process that began in the middle of the Nineteenth Century and has yet to be completed.  The first example of faith idealism as a conscious theology was in the writings and ministry of Phebe Palmer, the famous Holiness evangelist who developed her “altar” theology  which spread the gospel of Wesleyan total sanctification. For Mrs. Palmer the evidence of the believer’s sanctification was in the Word of God, not in a person’s physical actions.[6]  Later, the Faith-Cure Movement of the 1880s developed a similar doctrine in which healing was affirmed in spite of any immediate change in the health of the petitioner.[7]


Perhaps the single most important, and controversial, theologian of faith-idealism was the evangelist E.W Kenyon. His work greatly influenced the theology and writings of Kenneth Hagin. Dan McConnell’s work, A Different Gospel, strongly critiqued Kenyon’s (and thus Hagin’s) theology as syncretistic and occultic.[8]   McConnell attempted to show that Kenyon was mostly dependent on New Thought writers, and thus his theology was non-Christian and dangerous to the Church. However, in Quenching th Spirit I argued to the contrary and showed that influence by heretical movements has often forced Christians into a deeper encounter with truth.  This is a process common to the formation of orthodox Christian theology throughout Church history. [9]


In the case of healing prayer in particular, the heretical Idealist Cults of the 19th Century, the Mind Cure movement and especially Christian Science, forced many in the Church to reevaluate and ultimately reject cessationism.  Glenn Clark, like Agnes Sanford, was among those who faced the challenge of the Idealist Cults head on and helped to transform healing prayer from a cultic activity to a normative Christian practice. He and his CFO played a particularly significant role in moving many Christians within the mainline churches away from cessationism and into a theological understanding and prayer practices (faith-idealism). He and the CFO first anticipated, then participated in, the formation of the Charismatic Renewal.  Clark’s work (and his colleague, Agnes Sanford) influenced main line Protestants while the ministry of Kenyon (and later Hagin) was influencing Pentecostal circles.


Glen Clark’ Heritage:


Glen Clark did not live to see the Charismatic Renewal of the 1960s nor witness the role that his camps played in the Renewal.  In the 1930s he planted the CFO camps and developed them to their final form and organization.[10] In addition, Professor Clark wrote masterful books on the art of prayer, including healing prayer, which became an important part of the spiritual literature of American Protestantism from the 1930s. Still relatively unknown and unheralded today, there is thankfully sufficient information on Clark to reconstruct the stages of his spiritual journey and theological development.[11]


Glenn Clark was born in March 1882, the second son in a household that reflected the finest America values.  His father was a Captain in the Civil War and later a successful business man. The Bible was central to the family, but literature and science were also honored. As an adult, Clark described his household as “…one of the most heavenly homes ever established on earth.”[12]


Glenn Clark attended a small private college in Iowa, majoring in literature, but also played football and wrestled. In 1905 he attended Harvard where he received an MA in literature. There he studied under William James, who introduced him to New Thought writings.  After that he was called to teach at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he remained for the rest of his life, heading the English and athletic departments, and serving as football coach.


A major stepping stone of Prof. Clark’s spiritual journey was his discovery of F. L. Rawson’s, Life  Understood[13].  Rawson, an influential New Thought writer and outcast from Christian Science, believed that prayer was a form of energy. Prayer as energy had not been a normal motif of orthodox Christian theology simply because within cessationism prayer rarely accomplished material objectives.[14] Rawson’s idea made a strong impression on Clark, and Life Understood gave him a renewed belief in the reality of the spiritual world.  Shortly after, in 1919, Clark was at his father’s bedside when the old gentleman died showing a joyous expectation of seeing the Lord. This moved Clark deeply, and he offered a heartfelt prayer of recommitment to God.[15]  As he went back to his teaching he found new pleasure in reading scripture (a sign that the Spirit was at work in him) and a renewed interest in religious literature.


In the next few years Clark read the classics of Western spirituality – the Catholic mystics, and modern Protestant devotional writers such as Rufus Jones.  His favorites were Evelyn Underhill, the modern interpreter of Christian mysticism, and especially Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence’s ability to live in the joy of God’s Kingdom while working in the monastery kitchen gave Glenn a model of the Kingdom of God that deeply resonated within him.  He also read the works of the Russian metaphysical writer Ouspensky, and other New Thought literature.[16]


At the same time, Clark did not separate himself from mainstream Protestant Christianity.  He was active in the Macalester Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis, where he became a deacon, and he also taught Sunday School at the Plymouth Congregational Church of the same city. His Sunday School class studied Rawson’s Life Understood, and served as Clark’s prayer laboratory where he probed for the techniques of effective prayer.  His class became immensely popular, attracting many  prominent citizens of the Twin Cities area.


Prof. Clark’s first writings focused on the spiritual aspects of athletics and business.  The spiritual dimensions of business was a common New Thought theme, but Clark’s reflections on the spiritual potential of athletics was mostly an adaptation of Brother Lawrence’s basic attitude of everyday life as prayer. Clark encouraged the godly athlete to surrender the obsession to win, a surrender that allows the release of God’s power and joy while playing sports. Clark believed that with this attitude new abilities often developed and victory came as a by-product.[17]  Clark’s writings on business was based on his earlier observations of his father’s successful insurance businesses.  The elder Clark’s policy was to discuss business actions and goals with his employees until a consensus was reached, then pray for success.  He gave meticulous attention to the welfare of both employee and customer.[18]  Though the only business Glenn Clark would manage himself was his religious publishing house, Macalester Park, he became spiritual counselor to many businessmen.  Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, attended Clark’s Sunday school classes and accepted his teacher’s business principles, making them IBM policy.[19]


Discoveries in Prayer:


Tales of Prof. Clark’s effective prayers circulated at Macalester College, and a student asked him to put in writing his manner of praying. The result was so excellent that his students urged him to submit it for publication.  At that time the Atlantic Monthly had published an article on prayer by a liberal Harvard theologian stating that prayer placed a person in spiritual communion with God, but had no earthly effect.  The editors were looking for a dissenting view, and immediately accepted Clark’s article. Entitled “The Lost Art of Jesus,” it appeared in August 1924 and unexpectedly sold out the edition.  The editors asked Clark to expand his article into a book.


The result was, The Soul’s Sincere Desire (1928).[20] The title was inspired from a much quoted phrase used in Ralph Waldo Trine’s In Tune With the Infinite.[21] Clark’s book was not, however, a New Thought essay on the powers of positive thinking. Rather, it presented an innovative approach to Christian prayer that incorporated New Thought idealism and optimism, classic Christian piety, and his own tested insights.  The work gave the reader two major tools for prayer derived from the Hebraic tradition: parable praying, and the use of personal psalms.


Clark’s insight on the importance of parables in the spiritual life of the believer preceded by almost half a century the expansion in parable studies that currently engages linguistic and biblical scholars.[22] Prof. Clark’s insights came at the cost of some over statement, a common fault among pioneers. Clark wrote that Jesus always taught, thought and prayed in parables. Certainly Jesus did not always speak in parables (See: Lk. 8:11-15, for example).  However, Clark was using for his exegesis the Hebrew word that is translated as “parable,” which is a much broader concept and his over statement fades.  The Hebrew word, mashal, means “comparison,” or “to become like.”  A mashal is a comparison with or without a story elaboration.  This was common Hebraic manner of making a point.


As part of prayer, Clark defined parable thinking as the ability to look at “reality through the lens of divine imagination.”[23] In terms of mashal, it is comparing the present situation with God’s perfect will for the situation.  For example, if a person is ill, an effective way to pray for that person would be to believe the person well and active and lift that thought to God as a mashal. Clark’s mashal theology was a major step in developing a biblically orthodox, moderate idealist theology which enabled the Believer to affirm an anticipated outcome without stumbling into the heresy of Christian Science which denied the reality of  evil (radical idealism).


Clark’s second major contribution to the theory and practice of prayer was his advocacy of the writing of personal psalms.


What I wish to see is the bringing of the psalm back in the form and manner that the old Psalmists themselves made use of, as a frank and spontaneous improvisation in the presence of a real need, an imminent calamity, a present sorrow – an actual outpouring of that particular need, trouble, or sorrow upon the outstretched arms of God, and the breathing in of His healing peace, comfort, and love.[24]


Prof. Clark’s assumption was that the same Holy Spirit that inspired David and the other psalm writers was available to every believer. Out of his own prayer experiences Clark assured the reader of The Soul’s Sincere Desire that the act of psalm writing gave prayers a power and energy not found in mental prayer alone. Significantly, Clark believed that the current age is the one in which Jesus commissions Christians to do “greater works” than Himself (Jn.14:12).[25]  All this placed Clark in a position of radical anti-cessationism which was closer to Pentecostalism than to the Protestant consensus orthodoxy of the times. The Soul’s Sincere Desire sold extremely well, and Clark became a popular speaker at Christian conferences, especially for the YMCA.


In the 1930s Prof. Clark went on to write a series of novels and pamphlets on prayer including another major book entitled I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes.[26] Its chapters were divided into units to be read daily and completed with a prayer exercise. Clark affirmed that the Believer is entitled to good health, prosperity and a loving family environment (common New Thought themes). However, Clark saw these earthly blessings as the starting point for the expanding Kingdom of God on earth. A central point of  I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes was Clark’s discovery of another secret of effective prayer, which he called “hind’s feet on high places.”  The seeker must order his mind into a harmonious whole so that the conscious and subconscious parts desire the same thing.  This was the way to implement Jesus’ admonition to move mountains by faith, with no doubt in the “heart” (Mk. 11:23, also Jms. 1:7-8).


Healing Prayer:


After the astonishing success of The Soul’s Sincere Desire Prof. Clark was deluged with prayer requests from all over the country.  Most were for physical healing.  This troubled Clark, for although he believed in modern day miracles and the power of prayer, he was still under cessationist influence and did not associate healing prayer with the Kingdom of God.  Clark’s wife Louise was especially fearful that he not get involved in healing prayer, as that was a “cult” activity of Christian Science.  In spite of this,  Prof. Clark felt that he was duty bound by the plain testimony of the Gospels to pray for healing.  He did so and was astounded by the effectiveness of his prayers. He collected data on his own healing prayers and began systematic readings on the topic. Healing prayer became a major topic of the CFO camps he founded (see below).


In 1940 Prof. Clark published his first book on healing prayer, How to Find Health Through Prayer.[27] In this work are combined the idealist perspective of New Thought with biblical accountability and his own original discoveries.  Prof. Clark described several types of healing prayer. One is the “denial” method which is most purely idealist in method. Clark cited the incident in Luke 8:49-56, the healing of the ruler’s daughter, as biblical warrant for this method. Clark wrote:


My first experiment in the field of effective prayer was with this method. I based it upon Jesus’s statement that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Using that as my starting point I would say emphatically and aloud, “There is no sickness in heaven. All is harmony, wholeness and health.”[28]


Note the subtle but profound difference between Clark’s position and that of Christian Science.  He is not denying that evil and sickness exist on earth. Rather he is affirming by a mashal that by praying for the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth, its heavenly qualities can be brought to bare on the negative earthly situation. This is a move away from the radical idealism of the cults to a moderate faith-idealism that fits the faith demands of scripture.


Related to the denial method of prayer is what Clark calls “knowing” prayer. In his opinion this method, in which prayers are spoken with full assurance of success, takes much spiritual discipline and an ability to unite the desires of the conscious and unconscious with faith (as in his The Soul’s Sincere Desire).  The most traditional method of healing prayer that Prof. Clark described is what he called “relinquishing” prayer. Relinquishing prayer lifts the patient up to the throne of God for his or her “highest good” which in the case of serious illness might even be death.  Clark encouraged this type of prayer in cases where the patient and prayer petitioner are close, as in parent and child.  This method seems to release the petitioner from the fear and anxiety associated with the situation and allows for a greater flow of God’s healing love.[29]


Another method of healing prayer suggested by Clark was most unusual and curiously prophetic: laughing at illness.  Clark experimented with this method when his three year old daughter’s ear infection lingered and did not respond to other forms of prayer. His daughter was surprised by Clark’s laughter, but healed.[30]  Unfortunately this method of healing prayer was not followed up by other Christians, and an elaboration of the relationship between laughter and healing had to await for forty years when the physician Norman Cousins discovered the effectiveness of laughter in his own serious illness.[31]


Founding the CFO:


During speaking engagements at YMCA camps, Prof. Clark discerned an unevenness in their spiritual atmosphere.  Some were truly blessings to the participants, but others were decidedly arid. He observed that to the extent the camps dwelt on contentious issues, they lost their spiritual power.[32] He yearned for a Christian camp in which harmony would rule, and the principal concern would be prayer.  In the summer of 1929, Clark vacationed on an island off the coast of Maine which the locals called “the island farthest out.”  Here, he tentatively planned a summer camp to promote Christian fellowship in which the art of prayer would be exercised, and ideas and prayer techniques he had learned could be tried without contention.


Later that year, despite the fact that the nation was into the Great Depression, the members of his Sunday school class agreed to finance the camp. The first “Camp Farthest Out” (CFO) was held in August 1930 on the shore of  Minnesota’s Lake Koronis.[33] Seventy participants attended with Prof. Clark as “coach,” for he modeled the camp after football camps. The campers were exercised as “athletes of the spirit” in the way that imitated Brother Lawrence’s life. Clark gave two talks a day on prayer, and like football camps there was drill and practice as campers prayed for and with one another in small groups.


Other activities, led by those with specific talents, included devotional singing, classes in art appreciation and creative writing, and also rhythmic exercises where the campers worshipped as they exercised to music.[34] Some campers put on dramatic skits to emphasize a prayer lesson, or just for fun.  A mid-day period was left to recreation and rest.  The underlying tenet of the camp was that of Brother Lawrence’s, that God’s Spirit could and would inspire creative activities of Christians, whether in work, writing, exercising, or dramatic skits.  This was a form of  Spirit-led Christian living, but not precisely Pentecostalism. It was certainly most radical in light of mainline 1930s Protestant worship and practice.


The first camp was an unqualified success. It continued at Lake Koronis yearly, and soon other camps were started in several states. In the beginning years the only speaker was Clark himself.  He was fearful that other speakers might not share his beliefs in the power of prayer, and bring in theological contention.


Prof. Clark’s Metaphysical Period:


From the beginning the camps manifested a blend of classical Christian piety and New Thought concepts.  In a pamphlet advertising the upcoming 1932 camp, Mrs. Ruth Kennell, the director of rhythmic exercises, wrote in typical New Thought gobble-gook:


The art of rhythmic movement is one of the most potent means of achieving a completely harmonized mental, physical, and spiritual balance in an at-one-ment with God…we convert our bodies into luminous fluidity, surrendered to the inspiration, joy and harmony of the human soul, “flowing with the tide of eternity,” and becoming a part of the eternal rhythms of the spheres manifest in Divinity.[35]


Indeed the decade from 1930 to 1940 was Prof. Clark’s and the CFOs Metaphysical period – a time when both almost slipped into the Gnostic entrapments so common in New Thought. The same factors that made Clark a confident pioneer almost brought him and the CFO to ruin. His home life had given him a deep belief in the goodness of God and his own secure place as a child of God.  This secure faith base allowed him to experiment and to flourish as one of the most successful prayer pioneers of modern times.  But it also caused a certain blindness toward evil. Unfortunately, at the time much Protestant theology had the same fault.  Furthermore Clark tended to accept the Gnostic myth that evil is principally a question of ignorance, not moral choice.  He assumed that physical evil, in the form of sin and disease, could be completely overcome by prayer and positive thinking.  In 1940 he wrote that disease could be eliminated from the face of the earth within fifty years with a combination of healing prayer and medical innovations.[36]  Furthermore, during this period he had little appreciation of the demonic kingdom and the continuing spiritual struggle between the Kingdom of God and the “principalities and powers” of the Satanic Kingdom – again a failure common to mainline Protestantism.


Clark’s most metaphysical work by far was his 1931 novel, Water of Life.[37] It grew out of a course he taught at Macalester College in which he integrated the themes of Homer’s Odyssey, the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and the biblical Book of Job. His thesis was that all great religions and the great masters of literature had a share of divine revelation. Water of Life also attempted to reconcile Eastern and Western religion with each other (a favorite Metaphysical theme), and both with modern science. Clark described heaven as the place where all religions meet and blend.[38] Further, his belief was that the great sages of Indian religion were presently reincarnating in America, and that the U.S. and India have an intertwined soul and destiny.[39] Jesus was described as one of many world masters or teachers who have come into the world.  Although Jesus has primacy as sin bearer, it is not at all clear if Jesus is the Son of God in the unique manner that is the core of Christian revelation.[40]


Glenn Clark could have easily descended into the pit of metaphysical and occult thought and active spiritualism, as many New Thought followers did.  Under his leadership, the CFO could have become nothing more than a sort of summer camp Unity Christianity.  But by the grace of God that did not happen.


The Turn to Biblical Accountability:


Several identifiable factors steered Professor Clark and the CFO away from becoming just another Metaphysical group.[41]  Unlike Unity Christianity, the doctrine of reincarnation, with all its Gnostic implications and temptations to vanity, never became an official CFO doctrine. There is no evidence that Clark ever declared himself to be the reincarnation of anyone, important or not.[42]  Reincarnation was entertained as a possibility and openly discussed in CFO camps well into the 1960s, but faded after that.


Biblical accountability remained central to all CFO worship, theology and practice.  Even in Clark’s Water of Life, the primacy of biblical revelation was affirmed, and Jesus was identified as Lord and sin bearer, a role that no other “master” had. This Christology was not orthodox, but it met the Bible’s minimal criterion for him to continue in the grace of the Body of Christ (Rm. 10:9). Clark’s prayer time with the Father was the focus of his spiritual life, and he especially prayed for humility.  God answered this request, as he was known for humility and good humor, and unlike a

true cult leader, he was quick to praise his colleagues in the Lord.[43]


Prof. Clark’s fear that different speakers might spawn a spirit of contention in the CFOs could well have been demonized into the belief that only he had the wisdom to talk of prayer.  This notion was put aside as the CFO attracted faith-filled Christians leaders who reintroduced Clark to the depths of Christian revelation about the unique, divine nature of Jesus.


The first to join Clark as a CFO speaker was Starr Daily.  He had been a hardened criminal who had learned a demonic, Yoga-like discipline for efficiency in crime.  He met Jesus in a “Damascus-road” type of vision while in solitary confinement, and the Lord transformed his criminal disciplines into a systematic life of prayer and helpfulness toward others.  He was miraculously paroled and became a gentle, anointed teacher of prayer.  The CFO audiences loved to hear Daily’s thrilling witness of conversion, and for many years he served as a principal CFO speaker.[44]


In 1942 the Rev. Frank Laubach came to the U.S. from the war ravaged Philippines and was soon added to the list of CFO speakers.[45]  He had taught at a seminary in Manila, but had led an arid spiritual life until he surrendered his ambitions for academic fame.  Then, he became a humble witness to the Moros, a persecuted Muslim minority. Besides proclaiming the Gospel to the Moros, he devised a brilliant and internationally recognized literacy campaign.  His work in the CFO was in urging awareness of the poverty and desperation of the Third World, and in teaching effective prayer.[46]


Another world famous missionary and expert teacher of prayer, E. Stanley Jones, also joined the CFO teaching circuit in the late 1940s. Jones had served in India for many years and founded the “Christian Ashram” movement in that country to present the Gospel in a culturally relevant manner. These were so successful that several were even established in America.[47] Also important as a CFO speaker was Dr. John Gaynor Banks and his wife Ethel, founders of the Episcopal Order of St. Luke.  This organization sought to reintroduce healing prayer to the Episcopal Church, and attempted to model healing prayer within other mainline churches.[48]  Banks spoke of the power of the Christian sacraments to heal the sick.  There were also women like Louise Eggleston, Agnes Sanford and Marcia Brown.  All had established independent healing and powerful prayer ministries, and were mature, Jesus-centered Christians.


It was Marcia Brown’s husband, the Rev. Roland Brown, who gave Professor Clark a particularly important lesson on exorcism and the demonic. This happened when Pastor Brown visited at the Clark home.  For two years Clark had gone weekly to the home of a World War I veteran, to pray for his healing from schizophrenia. The man had been insane for 20 years and declared incurable. Pastor Brown, who had experience in exorcism, shared his views on exorcism with Clark as they went together to pray over the veteran.  While both were praying, Clark was inspired to ask the patient the “name” of his oppression. The patient named it, and Clark cast the spirit out in the name of Jesus.  The man’s sanity was completely restored and he became a model church member.[49] The incident, which took place in 1939, convinced Clark of the need for the ministry of exorcism.  This singularly biblically orthodox and non-metaphysical point of view was addressed in How to Find Health Through Prayer (1940) with the inclusion of a section on exorcism as effective prayer for mental illness.[50]


The Pentecostal Ministry of Rufus Moseley:


However, the most important single figure that turned Glenn Clark and the CFO away from Metaphysics and toward biblical orthodoxy was Rufus Moseley, a humble Spirit-filled newspaper editor from Macon, Georgia.[51] Moseley was born into a hard working, devout farming family, and through great sacrifice by his parents, he was able to attend college.  With scholarships he continued graduate education on his own.  At Harvard he studied under William James while the renowned philosopher-psychologist was preparing the Varieties of Religious Experience. James introduced Moseley to New Thought and Christian Science.  Though a firm Christian, Moseley felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to investigate the healing claims of Christian Science and quickly learned its methods of healing.


After his formal studies he was given a teaching position at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.  There he became a much beloved teacher.  His own beliefs and experiences with spiritual healing were in conflict with the cessationist Baptist authorities at Mercer and he resigned to avoid contention with the authorities.  Moseley continued his healing prayers among Christian Scientists and independent Christian churches, including southern Pentecostal congregations, where he learned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He contributed several substantial articles to Christian Science publications, urging them to a more biblical centered viewpoint.  However, by 1908 he was uneasy about the cult that arose around Mary Baker Eddy and, prompted of the Holy Spirit, resigned from Christian Science.


In 1910 Moseley received the baptism of the Holy Spirit during a spiritual vision. Our Lord walked into him and became part of his body.  After this he began manifesting the gifts of the Holy Spirit including tongues (which he first resisted –  like most Christians of his generation) and a greatly increased power in witnessing, prayer and healing.[52]


Though never an ordained minister, Moseley was teacher and spiritual director to many, including Tommy Tyson, the present-day Methodist charismatic evangelist.  Most importantly, he was an itinerant witness to the power of the Holy Spirit. Moseley strongly influenced religious organizations such as E. Stanely Jones’ Christian Ashram Movement, Dr. Albert E. Day’s Disciplined Order of Christ, but especially the CFO.  He and Professor Clark became close friends, and Moseley regularly spoke at CFO camps. Clark called Moseley’s Perfect Everything “the greatest book on the Holy Spirit ever written.”[53] Wherever Moseley witnessed or taught, some in his audience received the gifts of the Spirit.  Many others were prepared for the idea of a personal Pentecostal experience, and when the charismatic renewal began in the 1960s, were able to accept it readily.


Glenn Clark’s Mature Theology:


These biblically orthodox influences inspired a decisive shift in Clark’s theology and prayer life in the 1940s.  Whereas his prayer consciousness had been centered on the Father, he now became acutely aware of the role of Jesus, and arrived at a greater appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit.  In 1942 Clark published a 45 page booklet that foreshadowed the direction of his later works.  It was entitled The Three Mysteries of Jesus:  The Cross, The Blood, The Name).[54] Its viewpoint was deeply biblical but unlike anything found in traditional Christian theology.  It might well be called “Hebraic sacramentalism.” The pamphlet sought to explain the atoning work of Jesus and the Christian’s call to participate in the experience of the cross. Clark’s understanding of the role of the blood of Jesus was biblical, but unusually literal and earthy.  This is the very opposite of the Gnostic tendency to deny the importance of matter that is at the core of  Gnostic  and New Thought heresy.  Clark had accepted the Metaphysical buzz word of “vibration” as being a carrier of values and personality.  He also understood the Hebrew concept that the blood contains the nepesh, (“soul,” “mind,” and “life”) of its host (Gen. 9:4, Lev. 17:14, Deut. 12: 23-25).  Therefore, the blood of Jesus carried the fullness of His life – his “vibration”. Clark theorized that after Jesus’ blood fell to the ground from his flogging and crucifixion, it dried and pulverized, remaining on the earth and sanctifying it with its eternal vibrations. A plea for the blood of Jesus thus places one in contact with Jesus’ vibration, and one with Him.  This, in turn, enables us to receive the Holy Spirit.  However far-fetched and speculative this theory may be, we can see that it utilized New Thought vocabulary to elaborate the biblical truth of Jesus’ atoning work.[55]


More significantly for the future development of the camps, was one of Clark’s last completed works, entitled The Holy Spirit.[56]  The story of its writing reveals much about the CFO in the 1950s.  At the time, due largely to the Moseley influence, many members were praying in tongues before and during their meetings. This distressed Star Daily, who did not understand the phenomenon, and he threatened to quit the CFO unless it stopped.  On the other hand, Frank Laubach, another “pillar” of the CFO’s leadership, recognized and encouraged these Pentecostal manifestations as legitimate expressions of the Holy Spirit.[57] Clark, always the diplomat, mediated the problem.  He soothed Daily by  promising to write on the gifts and to explain their rightful use to CFO members.[58]


Though obviously influenced by Rufus Moseley, Clark’s The Holy Spirit contained much that was based on Clark’s own experience, and revealed his knowledge of the classics of Christian spirituality.  Unfortunately however, it did not show knowledge of standard Pentecostal writings on the topic. Clark shared with the reader that he had received the gift of tongues just before beginning his classic work on prayer The Soul’s Sincere Desire.  Examining the gifts of the Holy Spirit as defined in 1 Cor. 12 (the focus of  Pentecostal theology), he also considered the gifts enumerated in Rm. 12: 6-8 as equally important. Two aspects of Clark’s theology placed him closer to the traditional Catholic understanding of the gifts than to that of classical Pentecostals.  First, he believed that the gifts are received by the believer only after much seeking after God.  Second, like St. John of the Cross and much of Catholic mystical theology, Clark stressed subordinating the gifts of the Spirit to the fruits of the Spirit. Clark believed that using the gifts draws spiritual energy from the fruits much like an old fashioned steam boat slows down after it blows its huge whistle, its steam wasted.[59]


From the perspective of Pentecostal/charismatic theology we can see that Professor Clark was mistaken in both of these assumptions.  But at least Clark’s The Holy Spirit allowed for the continued manifestations of the gifts within the CFO, bridging classical Christian spirituality and the newer, more accurate, Pentecostal-charismatic understanding of the gifts.


The High Tide of the CFO:


By the 1950s, a CFO headquarters in Minneapolis included a coordinating committee, publishing house, book store, library, and a central prayer group called the “United Prayer Tower.” The prayer group handled prayer requests from all over the country.  CFO camps existed in many states, several states having more than one camp per year.  The book publishing house, Macalester Park, owned by Clark, was technically independent from the CFO. It was destined to play a key role in publishing the works of Agnes Sanford and the earliest books on inner healing.[60]


In the 1950s Prof. Clark, concerned about the continuity of the CFO after his death, decentralized authority within the CFO.  Each camp became independent, governed by its “council ring” of experienced members. Speakers, topics and the director of each camp were chosen by local council rings.  However, in order to be called a CFO camp the council ring had to adhere to a standard daily schedule, which remains unchanged. Thus when Prof. Clark succumbed to his weakened heart, on Aug 26, 1956, the CFOs had become self-perpetuating camps.


During this period, the CFOs had become a potent, semi-Pentecostal “para-Church” organization, blending traditional Christian spirituality, the Pentecostal use of the gifts of the Spirit, with residual New Thought concepts and vocabulary. Their experience with the Holy Spirit taught members to praise Jesus openly. Up to the 1950s, this was very rare in mainline churches.[61]


The special training in prayer and experience with healing and the gifts of the Spirit made CFOers both a leaven and gadfly to the mainstream churches.  Very often, members returning to their home churches with tales of healing and miraculous answers to prayer were ostracized or labeled “fanatics.”  Clark warned CFO members to act as a silent leaven for their home congregations. Many did, and became leaders of countless small prayer and healing groups nationwide.  No one ever kept an account of how many participated in CFO camps.  Between 1930 to 1970, tens of thousands attended.


Revival historians have wondered why the Charismatic Movement grew so suddenly after Fr. Dennis Bennett’s “tounges” announcement in 1960 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California.  Immediately after this incident charismatics from all over the nation “came out of the closet” and declared that they too practiced the gifts of the Spirit. The ministry of Demos Shkarions’ Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International was certainly a source for many of these new charismatics, as well as thousands who were individually touched by the Spirit, or influenced by association with classical Pentecostals.  But a major source of ready made charismatics in 1960 was the CFOers who had returned to their main line denominations and “laid low” as instructed by Prof. Clark.


Prof. Clark and the CFO influence reached beyond those who attended the camps.  Clarks’s books were best sellers among devout Protestants of the era who never attended a CFO camp. For instance, Catherine Marshall, one of America’s most beloved Christian writers, reported that after her husband’s first heart attack she turned principally to CFO writers for information on healing and the prayer of faith. “I gobbled up everything that A.E. Simpson, Glen Clark, Starr Daily, Rufus Mosley, Frank Lauback Rebecca Beard, Dorothy Kerin, Roland Brown and later on C. S. Lewis and Agnes Sanford wrote.”[62] Many who attended CFO camps were also active in other pioneer Christian para-church groups of the era.  There was a particularly close bond between CFOers and members of the Order of St. Luke.[63]


Not only did CFO camps train much of the charismatic leadership during the 1950s and 1960s, but in the 1960s and 1970s the camps became a major institutional expression of the Renewal. Considerable friction arose between the “old guard”, the 1940s generation, who had been taught by Clark, and the new charismatic element streaming into the camps.  The old guard distrusted the heavy emphasis the charismatics placed on the gifts of the Spirit, and preferred the traditional CFO spirituality which stressed the camp as an experience in Kingdom living modeled by Brother Lawrence.  On the other hand, the new charismatic element was leery of the old guard New Thought heritage, and was more interested in using CFOs as charismatic training grounds for the Church as a whole.


The speakers mix at the CFO camps of the 1970s is an interesting reflection of old guard and new charismatic.  For example in1973, a the height of the Charismatic Renewal, speakers from both elements often shared the same camps.  The old guard was represented by such persons as Norman Elliot, Roland and Marcia Brown, Glenn Harding, Ruth Robinson, Louise Eggleston and Genevieve Parkhurst.  The new charismatic speakers included Robert Hall, Ruth Carter Stapleton, Fr. Francis McNutt, Merlin Carothers, and Howard Hill.[64]


Like the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, the CFOs have suffered a period of steady decline since the 1970s, and for similar reasons.  Their decline was mostly due to their success.  What was radical and unique in the 1950s, such as instruction in healing prayer, deliverance and small group prayer, has now become the norm in many churches. You did not have to go to a CFO camp or an early Saturday breakfast meeting for these. Unfortunately, the most unique aspect of the CFO program, allowing the Spirit to interact with a person’s practice of painting, exercise, drama and music (the creatives), has not been widely adopted by the charismatic groups.


Theological Reflections:


To help interpret the role of the CFO in the history of the amazing Twentieth Century Pentecost, I turn to two great works of Christian historical interpretation, Leonard Verduin’s, The Reformers and their Stepchildren, and Fr. Peter Hocken’s The Glory and the Shame. In his now classic study of the Reformation period Verduin notes that the great Reformers like Luther and Calvin and most of their followers were deeply disdainful of the later, more radical reformers. Ironically, many of the radicals’ ideas became normative to Christianity with the passage of time.  For instance, the Anabaptists were considered heretical and cultic not only for their social radicalism but because they believed in the “hair-brained” idea that the church and state should be separate, and the church should be entirely supported by the congregation.


Fr. Hocken’s work points out that one of the most characteristic aspect about how the Holy Spirit moves in history is the element of surprise.  It was an utter surprise to the world of devout Christians that the Spirit would fall in a ramshackle barn in Azuza Street, in the midst of an inter-racial crowd, and led by a poorly educated, one eyed preacher.  Similarly, Pentecostals, who supposedly had some exercise in prophetic insight, were utterly astounded when in the 1960s the Spirit began to fall upon liturgical and “dead” denominations, and worst of all even upon the Roman Catholics.  All of this was contrary to the received theological wisdom and expectations. [65]


The Pentecost at Prof. Clark’s CFOs is similarly contrary to every tenant and expectancy of  the Pentecostal/charismatic theology.  Clark and the CFO did indeed have New Thought and Metaphysical influences. Why didn’t a new revival come out of Methodists or Baptists youth camps of the 1940s and 1950s. This seems incredible in our time when the New Age Movement is most definitely a Gnostic threat to our schools, government agencies and even churches.  How could the Holy Spirit move among that New Thought influenced group?


The CFOers, like the Anabaptists were to the Reformers, have been an embarrassing radical group to their Pentecostal/charismatic brethren. This is especially true in the context of Pentecostal/charismatic attempts to acquire theological respectability from their Evangelical brethren.[66] The Glenn Clark’s and the CFO’s connection to New Thought is a fact that merely feeds the destructive criticism and name calling of Dave Hunt, Hank Hanegraaff and other critics of the present Renewal. There was indeed much New Though influence on Prof. Clark and the CFO, but it is now time to reflect on why this influence did not fatally mar the CFO as it did, for example, Unity Christianity.


All this is best understood by parsing the components of New Thought and seeing what segments remained and what faded in CFO spirituality.  New Thought was primarily an idealist form of Christianity that developed out of the radical, and truly heretical idealism of Christian Science and Mind Cure sects of the 1870s and 1880s.  As I have argued elsewhere, moderate idealism is preferable to the received (and unrecognized) philosophical realism of modern Christian theology in both understanding the biblical evidence for the miraculous, and establishing effective, New Testament, “power ministries.”[67]  Thus the New Thought idealist elements of  Glenn Clark’s theology, although strange and offensive to many Evangelical/cessationist critics, is not a negative, but a real advancement in biblical understanding, especially when compared with the consensus orthodoxy of the times.


On the negative side, most New Thought writers had a deeply heretical christology that was Arien or even sub-Arien, as in Clark’s Water of Life.  Had this become official CFO theology it would have sealed the camps fate as a metaphysical sect.  We saw that Clark and the CFO were moved away from this during the 1940s and 1950s by the wave of Evangelical leaders that came into the CFO. From personal experience I can testify that no one I met at the CFO camps during my decade of participation in the camps (1980s) had any such unorthodox christology. Similarly, ideas about reincarnation were no longer on the agenda.[68]


On another positive side, New Thought sensibility and vocabulary about the “energies of God” were a real advance in understanding the nature of prayer. The lack of a received tradition in this matter was another unintended consequence of the hold that cessationism had on Western theology. New Thought elaboration of the energies of God as “light,” itself a sound biblical concept (see Acts 9:3-4), passed on to many mainline believers through Glenn Clark’s writings, and especially through Agnes Sanford’s classic, The Healing Light (1947).  All of that was a positive expansion of biblical understanding and effectiveness in prayer. Specifically, Glenn Clark’s books on prayer, which had little that was unorthodox in them, were truly original contributions on the subject of Christian prayer, and remain a useful resource to this day. On the other hand, the vocabulary of “vibration” was neither biblical nor anti-biblical. It was possibly based on the common experience of those in the healing ministires of a tingling sensation during prayer.  Ironically, if the newer “string theory” of sub-atomic physics is correct, everything is, in fact, a “vibration!”[69]


The historical evidence shows that the Holy Spirit could work more effectively and freely among the CFO camps than other more orthodox Christian groups who were committed to the “consensus orthodoxy” of the times. Prof. Glenn Clark and the CFOers may not have been perfectly orthodox, but they had a theology that was open and teachable. As Fr. Hocken writes, “When the established Churches are not fully open /to the work of the Spirit, who can tell the Lord not to pour out the Spirit elsewhere?”[70] I believe that the next generation of Christian historians will be much kinder to the CFO heritage than the present one.

[1]The research for this article was done principally in the mid 1980s as I was preparing a manuscript on Agnes Sanford and the development of inner healing (yet to be published).  Mrs. Sanford wrote about Glenn Clark and the CFO approvingly in her own autobiography, Sealed Orders (Plainfield: Logos, 1972).  This sparked my interest and I attended several CFO camps during the 1980s, and made special efforts to talk to the “old timers” who remembered the camps in the earlier days. The Rev. Tommy Tyson, Methodist charismatic evangelist and frequent CFO speaker, was especially kind in sharing his CFO memories. During  1986-88 my wife and I served on the (Georgia) Golden Isles CFO “council ring,” the local governing group.  A brief, early version of this paper was published as “Glenn Clark and the CFO,” Sharing (Nov./Dec., 1992): 13-19.

[2]An exception is the excellent article, “Charismatic Movement,” by Peter D. Hocken in The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, eds., (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988). It is interesting that neither Glenn Clark and his CFO nor Agnes Sanford are given separate articles in the Dictionary. Accounts of the role of the CFO are found among the “witness” and autobiographical writings of the early charismatic leadership.  See, for example, Harold Bredesen, Yes, Lord (Plainfield: Logos, 1972), 127.

[3] Dave Hunt, Seduction of Christianity (Eugene: Harvest House, 1985), 151-152.

[4] William  De Arteaga, Quenching the Spirit (Lake Mary: Creation House, 1996).

[5] William De Arteaga, “Confusing the Roots With the Fruits,” Ministries Today 9 (July/August 1991): 56-62, and Quenching the Spirit, passim.

[6]Charles Edward White, “Phoebe Palmer and the Development of Pentecostal Pneumatology.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 23 (spring/fall, 1983): 198-212.

[7]The classic work of the Faith Cure Movement is: Carrie F. Judd’s, The Prayer of Faith (Buffalo: H. Otis, 1882).

[8]D. R. McConnell, A Different Gospel: A Historical and Biblical Analysis of the Modern Faith Movement (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1988). Subsequent intensive research by Dale H. Simmons in his book, E. W. Kenyon and Postbellum Pursuit of Peace, Power , and Plenty (Lanham, MD: Scare Crow Press, 1977), and Geir Lie in his article “The Theology of E. W. Kenyon: Plain Heresy or Within the Boundaries of Pentecostal-Charismatic “Orthodoxy”?”  PNEUMA 22 (spring, 2000): 85-114, have shown that Keynon’ was influenced mostly by Holiness theology, not New Though.

[9] De Arteaga, Quenching the Spirit, chapter 13. My position is based largely on Harold O. J.Brown’s Heresies: The Image of Christ in the Mirror of Heresy and Orthodoxy From the Apostles to the Present (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1984), and Leonard Verduin’s, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1964).

[10] Though much reduced in number from their peak in the 1970s, a few CFO camps are still active and can be contacted through the web at:

[11] The principal biographical sources for Glenn Clark are: His autobiography, Man’s Reach, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), which was reissued with an after-word by Marcia Brown, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1977) – still in print; Miles Clark’s biography of his father, Glenn Clark: His Life and Writings, (Nashville; Abingdon, 1975), and Glenn Harding, The Saga of Glenn Clark and the Camps Farthest Out, (n.p.: privately printed, n.d.). So many editions of Glenn Clark’s works were printed from the 1930s that copies of his works are found in many used book stores.  A recent query of “ABE Books” on the web turned up most of his principal works.

[12]Clark, Man’s Reach, 319.

[13]F.L. Rawson, Life Understood (London: The Crystal Press, 1920).

[14] An orthodox Christian view of prayer as energy would insist that any prayer energy has its source in God’s grace (energies). Here again Western theology is lacking. Eastern Orthodoxy, on the other hand, has a corpus of literature on the “uncreated energies” of God and their role in mystical prayer (but not in healing prayer). See: Roland D. Zimany, “The Divine Energies in Orthodox Theology,” Diakonia 11 (1976), 281-285, and George Maloney, Uncreated Energy (Amity: Amity House, 1987).

[15]Glenn Clark, God’s Reach, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1951), 213.

[16]Clark, Man’s Reach, 158-159, for a description of his readings in these formative


[17] Glenn Clark, The Power of the Spirit in the Athletic Field (n.p.: privately published, 1929), and: Power In Athletics (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1935). Perhaps the most readily available document of Clark’s athletics-as-spiritual-activity genre is found in his pamphlet The Thought Farthest Out (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1930).

[18] For a summary of Glenn Clark’s views on business see his, The Secret to Power in Business (St. Paul: Macalester Park,1945).

[19]Compare Clark’s views on business with the description of the IBM founding ethic in: Thomas J. Peters, and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. In Search of Excellence (New York: Harper & Row, 1982).

[20]Glenn Clark, The Soul’s Sincere Desire (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1928).

[21] Ralph Waldo Trine, In Tune With the Infinite (New York: Dodd & Mead, 1921).

[22] The publication of Jorchim Jeremais’ The Parables of Jesus (New York: Scribner, 1955), ushered in a new era of understanding  of parables in the ministry of Jesus which continues in such scholars as John Dominic Crossan. However the academic literature on parables does not addresses the issue that Clark raised – use of parables and parable thinking in the believer’s prayer life.

[23] Clark, Sincere Desire, 24.

[24] Ibid., 12.

[25] Ibid., 18-20.

[26] Glenn Clark, I Will Lift up Mine Eyes (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1937).

[27] Glenn Clark, How to Find Health Through Prayer (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940).

[28] Ibid., 86.

[29] Ibid., 21.

[30] Ibid., 89. For a similar case see Kenneth Hagin’s description of the healing of his son’s illness: Kenneth Hagin, “Living the Life of Faith, Part 1,”  Word of Faith (June 1986) 3.

[31] Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. (New York: Norton, 1979).

[32] See Prof. Clark’s description of a particularly contentious YMCA in, Man’s Reach, 191-192.

[33]Described briefly in: Glenn Harding, The Saga of Glenn Clark. Also see a description of the early Lake Koronis camps by Vivian Osburn, “Koronis”, Fellowship Messenger [CFO Newsletter], (April, 1985): 2-4.

[34] This now popular form of prayer is described in: Joan Hake Robie, Devotion in Motion (Lancaster: Starburst, 1981).

[35] Anonymous, “The Camp Farthest Out,”[1931],6.

[36] Clark, How to Find Health, 3.

[37] Glen Clark, Water of Life (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1931).

[38] Ibid., 88.

[39] Ibid., 91. It is not clear if Clark foresaw the “Indian sages’” role in U.S. motels and donut shops.

[40] Ibid., 257.

[41] There must have been some Evangelical Christians in the CFO who warred against the “principalities and powers” to save the CFO from Gnosticism – but we will never know this side of eternity who they were.

[42] To the contrary, Charles Filmore, the founder of Unity Christianity, believed himself a reincarnation of St. Paul.

[43] See for example, his The Way, The Truth and The Life, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946), 16 ff.

[44] See: Glenn Clark, From Crime to Christ, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1948), and Starr Daily’s autobiography, Release (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1942).

[45] For those not old enough to remember the work of this brilliant and influential saint, see the brief biography by David Mason, Apostle to the Illiterates, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966).

[46] See especially, Frank C. Laubach, Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World, (Old Tappen: Fleming H. Revell, 1959) [1st ed. 1946].

[47] Jones’ most famous work is: Christ of the Indian Road (New York: Abingdon, [c.1925]).

[48] Unfortunately, a full length history of this important para-church healing society has yet to be written. Several articles in the OSL’s journal, Sharing, have given brief accounts of its history. See; John Parke, “A Brief History of the OSL,” Sharing (March 1989), 22-29: and my own work, “John and Ethel Banks: Making Haling Respectable,” Sharing (Jan, 1992), 3-11.

[49] This incident is mentioned in Clark’s Man’s Reach, 226, and described in Starr Daily’s book on the ministry of Pastor Roland Brown: Starr Daily, Recovery (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1948), 38ff.

[50] Clark, How to Find Health, 50.

[51] Moseley’s major work, which is an autobiographical narrative of his spiritual pilgrimage is: Manifest Victory, Rev. ed. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947) [1st. ed., 1941]. Like many who have had profound spiritual experiences, he found difficulty in expressing what the Lord had taught him about the spiritual world.  He attempted to put the same insights in simpler language in a later work, Perfect Everything, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1949).  Moseley’s influence on the CFO and other para-church groups was first pointed out to me by the Rev. Tommy Tyson, in an interview in November 18, 1984.

[52] Compare Moseley’s experience in, Manifest Victory (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1941), chapter 5, with the experience by the great evangelist Charles Finney as described in his Memoirs (New York: A.S. Barnes & Co.,1872), chapter 2.

[53] Quoted from the back cover to the paperback edition of Perfect  Everything (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1968).

[54] Glenn Clark, The Three Mysteries of Jesus: The Cross, The Blood, The Name (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1942). The core arguments are expanded in his later work: The Way, the Truth and the Life, (New York; Harper and Brothers, 1946).

[55] St. Paul used the Gnostic vocabulary of his day to convey the gospel, and for that was suspect by many Christian leaders before the 4th Century, see: Stewart Means, Saint Paul and the Ante-Nicene Church, (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1903).

[56] Glenn Clark, The Holy Spirit (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1954).

[57] See, Frank C. Laubach, Prayer, 42, 44-45, 47-48.

[58] Glenn Clark, “The Holy Spirit,” audiocassette, CLg-2, (St. Paul: Cutler Memorial Library), from a New Mexico CFO, 1954.

[59] Clark, The Holy Spirit, 15.

[60]Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1947), Agnes Sanford, Behold Your God, (St. Paul; Macalester Park, 1958), Genevieve Parkhurst, Healing and Wholeness Are Yours! (St. Paul: Macalester Park: 1957), and others.

[61] From an interview by the author with Mrs. Ruth Brown at a North Florida CFO (Oct. 8, 1985). Mrs. Brown is the wife of the Rev. James H. Brown, charismatic pioneer to the mainline churches and founder of the Presbyterian and Reformed Renewal Ministries. Both Browns were long-time CFOers. Mrs. Brown was one of the founders of the Eastern Carolina CFO.

[62] Catherine Marshall. Something  More: In Search of Deeper Faith (New York: Avon, 1976), 6.

[63] Dr. John Gaynor Banks, “A History of Christian Healing,” audiocassette (San Antonio: Trinity Library, n.d.) Original message was taped at an Oklahoma CFO in the early 1960s.

[64] “CFO National Directory of Camps,” 1973.

[65] Peter Hocken, The Glory and the Shame (Gilford: Eagle, 1992). and Verduin’s, The Reformers and their Stepchildren.

[66] On the problems of Pentecostals and charismatics conforming to Evangelical theology see: Gerald T. Sheppard, “Pentecostalism and the Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism: The  Anatomy of an Uneasy Relationship.” PNEUMA, 6 (fall 1984): 5-34.

[67] Quenching the Spirit, especially chapters 11-13.

[68] As poles show, a consistent minority of Christians either believe in, or “entertain,” the doctrine of reincarnation (see: George Gallup, Jr., “Americans Celebrate Easter, 1999,” available through the Gallup web site,  This frustrates many Evangelical leaders who attribute this to poor biblical knowledge or doctrinal carelessness among their flock. In truth, the problem is both more subtle and difficult.  The Church as a whole has given little notice (certainly no clear, received tradition) to the biblical revelation of the Elijah-John the Baptist relationship. This seems to be some sort of trans-personal connection.  I attempted in to tackle this difficult issue in my first book, Past Life Visions: A Christian Exploration (New York: Seabury Press, 1983) where I examined both the biblical and pastoral aspects of this issue.  It was not a very successful effort.

[69] Michael J. Duff, “The Theory Formerly Known as Strings,” Scientific American (Feb. 1998) available from the Scientific American web site.

[70] Hocken, The Glory and Shame, 168.

William DeArteaga

William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations.

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.