THE LATTER RAIN MOVEMENT OF 1948
of the First World Pentecostal Conference in Zurich, Switzerland in
David J. DuPlessis delivered an address that ended as follows:
that can ever take the
Holy Spirit in the church. Let us
ever, and remember when the floods come it will not
to our well prepared
channels but it will overflow and most
cause chaos in our
Within a few months after these words were
the “Latter Rain Movement”
lDavid J. DuPlessis, “Chaff-Fire-Wheat,” The Elim Pentecostal Herald 21, 213 (March 1950), p. 6.
Richard Riss, author of The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, 1977), earned the Master of Christian Studies
degree at Regent College
in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. This article is a summary of his disserta- tion. which was done under the direction of Dr. Ian S. Rennie. Mr. Riss is a faculty member of Christian Life College, Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
about the very conditions forseen by DuPlessis, from most established denominational Pentecostal
The Latter Rain Movement Evangelical
of that time was
and Oral Roberts into
The revival at national
College (February appearing
as well as T. L. Osborn, Gordon
Jack Coe, William
and a host of others.2
Spontaneous revival was
upon many college campuses.
as well as Time and
Earle E. Cairns and J. Edwin Orr have written of
as well as other
national, 1974), pp. Menzies,
Publishing House, 1971), p.
as a result of the
lOn disapproval of the Latter Rain by the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America, see Marion Meloon, Ivan Spencer: Willow in the Wind (Plainfield, NJ:
166-167; that of the Assemblies of God, U.S.A., see William W.
Anointed to Serve: The Story of the Assemblies of God (Springfield, MO: Gospel
324; disapproval in the official publication of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada: E. S. Williams, “More About Gifts,” The Pentecostal Testimony
June 1949), p. 8; Pentecostal Holiness rejection of the Latter Rain: J. Preston Eby to Richard Riss, 11 October 1976, Thesis File, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; that of the
Apostolic Church of Great Britain: Cecil Cousen to Richard Riss, taped
20 March 1977. ,
2The May, 1952 issue of The Voice of Healing published by Gordon Lindsay had
on its cover of twenty healing evangelists. For an extensive history of the Healing revival see David Edwin Harrell, Jr. All Things Are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1975).
Press, 1972), p. 135; 56-58; “College
3Earle E. Cairns, V. Raymond Edman: In the Presence of the King (Chicago: Moody
“42 Hours of Repentance,” Time 55, 8 (20 February 1950), pp.
Revival Becomes Marathan,”
Life 28, 8 (20 February 1950), pp. 40-41.
cations, 1971), pp.
4 Cairns, p. 136; J. Edwin Orr, Campus Aflame (Glendale, CA: Gospel Light Publi-
Tom Rees of
Mervin Rosell.1 In late 1949, revival began on the Island of Lewis and Harris,
of the Outer Hebridean
Conferences, denominations, gether
in Scotland.2 Other
included the Forest (which
the formation of Campus Crusade for Christ) and the Pacific Palisades
at which scores of
a few of whom were
several times a year, sharing testimonies of revival, and
of other similar
and ministers of various
healing evangelist the fall of 1947. His demonstrations
Rain Movement was
William Branham in
of healing accompanied
of the illnesses of those
made a deep impression
of Sharon Bible School in North
pp. 157, 168-173;
Battlefield, revival at their school after their
Spiritual Recovery (Westwood, Templeton: Elson, p. 40; of 1948 and the
Regent College, Vancouver,
Billy Graham during the Mid-twentieth Century Awakening: J.
Edwin Orr, Good News in Bad Times (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House,
Harold J. Ockenga, article Christian Life, quoted by Ivan Q. Spencer, “Revival Is Breaking,” The Elim Pentecostal Herald 21, 213 (March 1950), p. 8; J. Edwin
The Second Evangelical Awakening in America (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1952), pp. 192, 194; Fred W. Hoffman, Revival Times in America (Boston: W. A. Wilde Co., 1956), pp. 175-176; Winthrop S. Hudson, Religion in America, 2nd ed.
York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1973), p. 384; Edward L.R. Elson, America’s
Fleming R. Revell Co., 1954), pp. 39-40; on Charles
on Tom Rees: Richard Rias, “The Latter Rain Movement
Evangelical Awakening” (Master’s Thesis,
B.C. Canada, April, 1979), p. 56; on Mervin Rosell: Orr, Second Evangelical Awakening, p. 199; Orr, Good News in Bad Times, pp. 181-183.
1974), pp. 114, 117-119, 134-135,
2Andrew Woolsey, Du.ncan Campbell-A Biography (London: Hodder & Stoughton,
1966), p. 232-250; Awakening, pp. 161-164; Orr,
30n the Forest Home Briefing Conferences: Ethel
May Baldwin and David
Henrietta Mears and How She Did It’ (Glendale, CA: Gospel light Publications,
on the Pacific Palisades Conferences: Orr, Second Evangelical
Good News In Bad Times, pp. 37-42.
return from the Branham influence
rejected and both
Branham had a
revival and the Latter Rain Movement were
actually parallel developments during
1947-1952. Both occurred within the milieu of Pentecostalism,
of the Charismatic Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s.2 Its
on of hands with
of the doctrines
and insistence and
there was a
While there was not a
of the Latter Rain within denominational
extent to which
were received outside of
acceptance Latter Rain and its
to a large
officials.3 by many reports
the notice of denominational
The movement was characterized and other miraculous
phenomena,4 which was described
lack of God’s
nial return of Jesus Christ,
in contrast to the
Pentecostals as a time of spiritual
It stressed the imminence
in accordance with the “former rain” and the “latter
rain” of Joel 2:23, which was
interpreted Pentecost as described
as a dual
in the second
of Acts and of the out- pouring
which was to immediately
coming of the Lord. There was an
emphasis upon spiritual gifts,
which were to
lThe Sharon Star (1 January 1948), pp. 2,3.
2For a discussion of the influence of the Latter Rain Revival upon the Charis- matic Movement, see Riss, pp. 192-200. The influence of the Healing revival is dis- cussed in Harrell, All Things Are Possible.
3In Suddenly… From Heaven: A History of the Assemblies of God (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1961), p. 333, Carl Brumback had written that the Latter Rain had “practically come to
naught.” Walter J. Hollenweger. in Handbuch Der Pfingstbewegung, Doctoral dissertation, University of Zurich, 1965, 02a.02.144,
wrote that Brumback’s statement was an example of “the same wishful think-
that led the traditional churches to
ignore the beginnings of the
p. 758, ing
4George R. Hawtin. ”Editorial,”
The Sharon Star (1 July 1948). p. 2.
5Brumback, p. 331.
by the laying
on of hands, in contrast to the old
for the Holv Spirit which had become
wide- spread during
before the revival.1 As was true of the
Healing revival at that time, there was an emphasis
body of Christ.2
In addition to the
on of hands in his
some of the influences precipitating
the Latter Rain included the
evange- list Franklin Hall
government format in use
by the Independent
Assemblies of God which stressed the autonomy
of the local
thing” of Isaiah 43:19 which had found its
to North Battleford
years after it was stressed
Pentecostal revival at the turn of the twentieth
similarities between the
Pentecostal Move- ment and the 1948 Latter Rain Revival,6 both of which were known as the “Latter Rain Movement.”7 Both arose
a time of spontaneous
lJames A. Watt, taped message on the Latter Rain Movement, Christian Centre, Surrey, B.C., Canada, spring 1976;
Dick Leggatt, “New Wine Interviews Ern Baxter,” New Wine 10, 11 (December 1978), pp. 4-7, 22-24.
2Reg Layzell, message given 25 March 1951, reprinted
in B. Maureen Gaglardi, The Pastor’s Pen: Early Revival Writings of Pastor
Leg Layzell (Vancouver, B.C.: New West Press, 1965), p. 65.
3Ernest Hawtin, “How This Revival Began,” 7he Sharon Star (1 August 1949), p. 3.
4A. W. Rasmussen, “Scriptural or Unscriptural Church Order,” The Sharon Star (1 February 1948), pp. 1,
Assemblies of God were a
group of Pentecostal assemblies of Swedish origins which considered local church
govern- ment to be
to centralization. It met in conference on
specified occasions but had no general council, although it had letterhead stationery bearing the name of the
group and its elected officers.
6Cornelius John Jaenen, “The Pentecostal Movement” (M.A. Thesis, University of Manitoba, April, 1950), pp. 85-87.
6Brumback, p. 331.
7Hudson, p. 345.
and both were characterized
of the imminent
of Christ. Both
laying on of hands for the
of gifts of the
“heavenly singing” by “Spirit-filled” congregations,
the sounds of which were likened to the sounds of a great pipe-organ.3
the existence of
1J. Edwin Orr, The Flaming Tongue: The Impact of Twentieth Century Revivals (Chicago: Moody Press, 1973), provides
an extensive account of the
accompanied the early Pentecostal
Frodsham: Prophet With A Pen
(Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1974), pp.
Campbell wrote, “My father [Stanley Frodsham]
had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit when hands had been laid on him in Sunderland, England. His friend Smith
Wigglesworth had received in the same way, and so had hundreds of others.” See also Mrs. M. B. Woodworth- Etter, Signs
and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry for Forty Years (Indianapolis, IN: Mrs. M.B. Woodworth-Etter, 1916), p. 250, according to which, “many ministers and evangelists received great power and gifts by the laying on of my hands.” In addi- tion, an examination of the origins of Pentecostalism indicates that at
the historic Bethel College in Topeka, Kansas, it was by laying on of hands that the gift of the Holy
Ghost was received at the very outset of the Pentecostal Movement. According to Agnes Ozman as quoted by Nils Bloch-Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement (London: Allen & Unwin, 1964), p. 23, “on watchnight we had a blessed service, praying that God’s blessing might rest upon us as the new year came in. During the first day of 1901 the presence of the Lord was with us in a marked way, stilling our hearts to wait upon
Him for greater things. A spirit of prayer was upon us in the evening. It was nearly eleven o’clock on the first of January that it came into my heart to ask that hands be laid upon me that I might receive the gift of the Holy Ghoet. As hands were laid upon my
head the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I began to speak in tongues, glorifying God. I talked several languages. It was as though rivers of living water were proceeding from my innermost being.”
3George R. Hawtin, “News from Sharon: Heavenly Choir Restored,” The Sharon Star (1 December 1948), p. 1; Stanley H. Frodsham, With Signs Following (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1946), pp.
prophets, evangelists, pastors
and both were character- ized
by widespread repentance
and “brokenness” before the Lord.
Another similarity between the two movements is that both were severely
the denominations of which
has observed that the institutional Pentecostal denominations at this time began to
anew what had come about at the inception of their own movement, but this time from the
that of the conservative denomi- nations that
had criticized at the time of their own
to historian Cornelius J. Jaenen, a prophecy, well known among
leaders of the Pentecostal Movement in Canada, had been
Azusa Street Revival of 1906 that a
in Northern Canada.3 Those involved in the Latter Rain Movement looked upon events at North Battleford in 1948 as a fulfillment of this
The Latter Rain Movement
and Schools in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, as a spark
spread quickly throughout
North America and many places
of Sharon’s “Global Missions” was
George Hawtin, who had been a
of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and had founded Bethel Bible Institute in Star City, Saskatchewan in 1935.5 Two
the Institute moved to
1 The apostleship of such early Pentecostal leaders as Smith Wigglesworth was taken for granted among many of those involved in the early Pentecostal Movement. Note,
for example, the title of Stanley Frodsham’s book, Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith
MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1948).
758. It is interesting to note that, with the
possible exception of the “heavenly choir” the common characteristics of the Pentecostal revival at the turn of the century and the 1948 Latter Rain were also apparent in the “Irvingite” movement, the Catholic Apostolic Church, beginning at 1830 in London.
3Jaenen, p. 85.
5(iloria G. Kulbeck. What Hath God Wrought: A History of the Pe’1tecosial Assem- !J1Í!’,.. uf Canada (Toronto:
The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, 1958), pp. 60-61.
in order to achieve full P.A.O.C.
between Hawtin and P.A.O.C. officials led to Hawtin’s resignation
P. G. Hunt, resigned
In the fall of
Hawtin and P. G. Hunt
Herrick Holt of the North Battleford, Saskatchewan Church of the
work that Holt had
established.3 It was
this time that the students there
study the Word of
February 12, 1948,
Hawtin’s brother Ern
had become “Global Missions” secretary4),
“God moved into our midst in this
new manner.”5 He continued as follows:
Some students were under the
of God on the
in adoration and
before the Lord. The anointing deepened
until the awe of God was
upon everyone. The Lord
to one of the brethren. “Go and
upon a certain student and
for him.” While he was in doubt and contemplation
one of the sisters who had been under the
power of God went to the brother
the same words, and
naming the identical student he was to
for. He went in obedience and a revelation was
the student’s life and future
After this a long prophecy was
with minute details
God was about to do. The pattern
for the revival and
lErna Alma Peters, The Contribution to Education
by the Pentecostal Assemblies Canada (Altona, Manitoba: D. W. Friesen & Sons, Ltd., 1971), pp. 34-36.
2C. B. Smith, “An Explanation Concerning Bethel Bible Institute, Sask.,” The Pentecostal Testimony (15 November 1947), pp. 9, 21-22.
3Jaenen, p. 87. The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel was founded by Canadian-bom Mrs. Aimee Semple McPherson. A Pentecostal denomination, it gained
considerable support in the
early twenties, but later became overshadowed in western Canada by the Pentecostal Assemblies of God.
4″From the Editor’s Desk,” The Sharon Star (1 January 1948), p. 2; M. Kirkpatrick, “Global Missions Broadcast,” The Sharon Star (1 April 1948), p. 4.
5Ernest Hawtin, “How This Revival Began,” The Sharon Star (1 August 1949), p. 3.
14 “it seemed
in view of the
This event was
particularly dearth of such manifestations that,
conventions Star. Before
that all Heaven broke loose upon our souls, and heaven above came down to
Hawtin, “Soon a visible mani- festation of
was received when candidates were
as a result
of healing were received.”2
from about 1935. It was for this reason
aware of these
events, they flocked to North
from all parts of North America and
of the world
teachers from Sharon
invitations to minister
Hawtin held meetings
At the invitation of Reg Layzell in Vancouver,
B.C., George and Ern on November
14-28, Missionary Temple
Rhode Island for a Pentecostal
travelled 2,500 miles
by car to attend these meetings4 and returned to her church to
there, attracting people from all
Ivan and Carlton
Spencer (the founder of Elim Bible Institute and his son), who were at the Zion
Prayer Fellowship gathering
in December of 1948 when a latecomer
arrived and shared “what he had heard of a visitation in Detroit.”5 Ivan
and his wife went to Detroit within a few
revival at Elim Bible Institute.
Mrs. Beall wrote a letter
who had been a
Movement at the turn of the
a leader of the Assemblies of God
and the editor of the Pentecostal
the revival at Bethesda to
As a result of this
went to Mrs. Beall’s church in
where “he was moved deeply by
lgeorge Hawtin, “The
Church-Which Is His Body,” The Sharon Star
(1 March 1950), p. 2
2Ern Hawtin, “How This Revival Began,” p. 3.
3James A. Watt, “Progress With God,” The Sharon Star (1 December 1948), p. 3.
4M. D. Beall, “Mrs. Beall Testifies,” The Sharon Star (1 December 1948), p. 4.
5Meloon, pp. 147-149.
finding peace.”l ment, despite
the admitted consequent opposition pressure
of the Assemblies
of its adherents
of his denomination
and withdrew his name as an ordained
of the move-
to the Latter Rain. Under
1949 issue of The Sharon Star carried an article on Winston I. Nunes,
to which “we received word also
of the wonderful
blessing being spread by
Brother W.1. Nunes since hands were laid on him and
invited the Hawtin
Dr. Thomas to his
Hawtin and Milford
of North America.3 One of the pastors attending
was Dr. A. Earl Lee of Los
whose church became a center for revival soon after he returned.
the end of A. Earl Lee’s church that
Ern Hawtin had written “Immanuel
and is a mother church of miles
the North Battleford brethren
to the movement, and
to emerge in other
circles, partly as a result of tendencies toward sectarianism
ford leaders.5 It was
the North Battle- of these tendencies that involve-
ment in the Latter Rain soon became anathema
such Pentecostal stalwarts as Lewi Pettrus of Sweden continued to endorse the movement,6
lmenzies, p. 232…
and as leaders
2George Hawtin, “Editorial,” The Sharon Star (1 February 1949), p. 2.
3George Hawtin, “Editorial,” The Sharon Star (1 April 1949), p. 2.
4Ern Hawtin, “A Report on Meetings by E. H. Hawtin Party,” The Sharon Star
(1 December 1949), p. 2.
5George Hawtin mentions the
sectar3an tendencies of his own ministry at that time in
Hawtin, “Mystery Babylon,” The Page (Battleford, Sask.: n.d.)
twelfth printing, pp. 10, 11.
6Lewi Pettrus, “The Source of a Revival,” The Sharon Star (1 February 1950), p. 1.
of Elim Bible Institute in New York State and
Missionary in the
the movement these ministries
carried on and
developed principles the Latter Rain Revival,
of the Charismatic
the 1960’s and 1970’s.
to move with
that had arisen in
Renewal was Church who
of the noted leaders in the Charismatic
John Poole, son of Fred C. Poole, a pastor of the
was a major figure in the Latter Rain Revival.1 After his father’s death
his father’s church in Philadelphia,
he was a frequent contributor to New Wine, an
in 1963, John Poole
pastored sylvania, which, by 1976,
of the Charismatic
of the Charismatic
Detroit, Michigan became promin- ent in the Charismatic Renewal.
Beall, who succeeded his mother as
church, became a frequent
one of the most
Some of the 1976
members of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, New York
had moved from Homell in
leaders in the 1948 Latter Rain Movement,
Frink and Carlton
the time of the Latter Rain Revival. Demos Shakarian,
an indication of Latter Rain
the Charismatic convention in
H. David Edwards, Vice President ’76,
Elmer of the school
founder of the
speaker Winston I. Nunes, at that time a pastor in Toronto,
August 1951), pp. 10,
of the Charismatic Revival. of Elim, was a speaker at Jesus
at the same
Ontario who, as an
lfred C. Poole, “Days of Visitation,” The Elim Pentecostal Herald 22, 226 (July-
13. The Apostolic Church “of Wal6s” in Penygroes, Wales merged with similar groups in Bradford, Yorkshire: Hereford in the Midlands: and Glasgow, Scotland to form the “Apostolic Church,” which, by the time of the 1940’s had spread worldwide.
2H. David Edwards, interview at Elim Bible Institute, Lima, New York, 23 December 1976.
3Stanley Frodsham to Faith and Len Campbell, 3 June 1954, Stanley Frodsham Papers, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.
both the inde- Assemblies
Assemblies of which were “Latter in 1952.3
in the Latter
of God and the Elim
at the World Pentecostal Conference
camp meeting messages
the world. tapes
Kevin Conner and Rob
a close associate of Elim Bible
a few meetings of the Latter Rain Movement in his
services for missionaries in thirty countries
books and distributes
of which are in circulation worldwide.
leaders of the 1948 Latter Rain Move- ment,
and a large number of the
Two of the
camp meeting speakers,
the first students at
seeds of the Latter Rain to New Zealand from North America.6 The
the 1948 Latter Rain Revival from North Battle-
with John Owens.8 R. Edward
had had contact with the Latter Rain in the
1950’s9 and founded the Peniel Bible Institute in
Papers, Asbury Theological Seminary,
Frodsham to Faith and Len Campbell, 7 May 1949, Stanley Frodsham
2The Elim Pentecostal Herald 24, 232 (July-September 1952), p. 10.
4Ralph Mahoney to Richard Riss, 14 October 1976, Thesis File, Regent College,
5World MAP Tape Outreach, 1975 Tape Catalog (Burbank, CA: World MAP, 1975),
6Ray Jackson, Sr. to Richard Riss, 16 March 1977, Thesis File, Regent College,
7World Map Tape Outreach, 1975 Tape Catalog, p. 4.
8Cecil Cousen to Richard Riss, 20 March 1977, Thesis File, Regent College,
9Campbell, p. 121.
tina, where he pioneered
a number of new churches at that
and in later
author of The Feast of Tabernacles, one of the most influential books
from within the Latter Rain
acted as Ern Baxter’s
for two or three
years, immediately prior
to the 1948 revival.1 Eric Simila, Ern Baxter’s
1975, referred to
Warnock as an
associate, a ” `Timothy’ if you please,”
known in the Charismatic Renewal. In
Ern Baxter became
associated with Christian Growth Ministries in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Logos Journal, which,
as has been
was one of the most widely
of the Charismatic
Renewal, grew out
of the publication,
of Faith/Harvest Time,
Mattson- Boze and Gerald Derstine.3 Mattson-Boze
of the 1948 Latter Rain Revival,4 and Gerald Derstine was associated for several years
with J. Preston
who had had some contact with the 1948 Latter Rain.5
Various beliefs and
of the Latter Rain found their
way into the Charismatic Renewal, including
the foundational ministries of
on of hands,
the Feast of Tabernacles, and the founda- tional truths of Hebrews 6:1-2.
Of at least nineteen ministries6 that have
Latter Rain be- liefs and
into the Charismatic
two of the most prominent
are those of Bill Britton in
Missouri and John Robert Stevens in Los
California. Bill Britton came into the Latter Rain in
lEm Baxter to Richard Riss, 14 July 1976, Thesis File, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
2Eric J. Simila to Richard Riss, 6 September [sic: Octobed 1975, Thesis File, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.,
3Dan Malachuk, “Publisher’s Preface,” Logos Journal 7, 1 (January-February 1977), p. 4.
4The Sharon Star (1 August 1949), p. 3.
5J. Preston Eby to Richard Riss, 11 October 1976, Thesis File, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.,
6Riss, pp. 195-196.
that he would
of God church in
Paul Grubb. The
was Fred C. Poole, who laid hands
news.”l The same
John Robert Stevens visited an
where he received the
on of hands
by Winston I. Nunes.2
John Robert Stevens had at least
ninety- four churches associated with him,3
in most of these ministries
who have come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ to
him out of the
him in the
and worldwide. The
all the families of the earth. This … a people into full
the Latter Charismatic
the U.S. and Canada,
upon of the
Sons of God
and life to great
work of the
shall usher from the
curse, sin, sickness,
to a large
extent, unaware of the
effects of the Latter Rain Movement.
Rain was one of several
Renewal of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Its
significance context of World Protestantism, therefore,
influence in most Protestant denominations.
in the lies in its effects
1 (Becky Sue] Britton, Prophet On Wheels: The Life Story of Bill Britton, part three
MO: Bill Britton, 1980), pp. 1-4.
2John Robert Stevens, “How God Met Me in Psalm 144,” taped
CA: Living Word, Inc., 17 August 1975); Mel Bailey, telephone interview,
CA to Greenvale, NY, 12 June 1976.
3John Robert Stevens, The Living Word This Week, 30 January 1977, pp. 21-24.
September 1976, p.
4J. Preston Eby, “The Battle of Armageddon, Part IV,” Kingdom Bible Studies,