The Latter Rain Movement of ’48

The Latter Rain Movement of ’48

“Although neglected in scholarly literature, the Latter Rain foreshadowed themes that emerged [in] the 1970s to the early 2000s…. Latter Rain participants – ousted by the Pentecostal denominations – became a diaspora of the Spirit” – The Cambridge Companion to Pentecostalism, 2014


items with numbers in parentheses (x) have corresponding footnotes at the end of this post

October 1947 ………. the bible school is opened in North Battleford, Saskatchewan (1)

November 1947 …… George Hawtin travels to Vancouver, BC to see William Branham (2)

February 12, 1948 .. the bible school in North Battleford experiences revival (3)

Mar 30 – Apr 4, ’48 .. Feast of Pentecost camp meeting in North Battleford

July 1948 …………….. camp meeting at North Battleford (4)

October 1948 ……….. a week-long meeting in Edmonton, Alberta (5)

November 1948 …….. M. D. Beall travels to Vancouver, BC to hear the Hawtins et al (6)

December 5, 1948 … revival breaks out at Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, MI (7)

January 1949 ………… Stanley Frodsham visits Bethesda and approves the revival (8)

February 13, 1949 ….. Bethesda moves into its new 1,800-seat sanctuary (9)

February 1949 ………. Thomas Wyatt invites the Hawtins to speak in Portland, OR (10)

April 20, 1949 ……….. Assemblies of God issues letter to its ministers disapproving the LRM

May 21-29, 1949 ……. Pentecostal World Conference in Paris; Mattsson-Boze on exec committee

July 5-17, 1949  …….. hundreds travel to North Battleford for another camp meeting (11)

August 1949 ………….. Bethesda ends its affiliation with the Assemblies of God (12)

1949 – 1950 …………… Latter Rain teachings promoted in New Zealand

January 1950 …………. Ivan Spencer’s editorial: “Who are the Custodians of the Latter Rain?” (13)

November 1950 ………. the first national Latter Rain convention in St. Louis, MO (14)

1950  …………………….. Bethesda sponsors Little David Walker meetings attended by thousands (15)

June 1951 ……………… M. D. Beall speaks at the Dixie Camp Meeting in Houston, TX (16)

July 1951 ………………. the first issue of the Latter Rain Evangel (17)

1952 …………………….. Ray and Dale Jackson promote Latter Rain in Australia (18)

1953 …………………….. Charles Green founds Word of Faith Temple

June 1958 ……………… Bethesda congregation is pictured in Life magazine story

April 3, 1960 …………. Charismatic Movement begins (the LRM was a precursor) (19)

1962 …………………….. David Schoch at the first NLCI national ministers conference (NZ)

1962 …………………….. Patricia Beall Gruits‘ book, Understanding God, is published

1962 …………………….. Part of the Bethesda Missionary Temple facility is destroyed by lightning

1963 ……………………..  Fred Poole dies

April 1964 …………….  Thomas Wyatt dies

December 1969 ……… Stanley Frodsham dies

August 1970 ………….  Ivan Q. Spencer dies

1974 …………………….. James Beall speaks at the World Conference on the Holy Spirit (20)

1975 …………………….. Pat and Peter Gruits are called to pioneer a mission in Haiti

1977 ………………….. Percy G. Hunt dies

1979 …………………….. M. D. Beall written about in A Walk Across America (21)

September 1979 …….. M. D. Beall dies

1980 …………………….. Rhema International opens medical facility in Haiti

October 1981 ………… A. Earl Lee dies

1983 …………………….. Charles Green founds the Network of Christian Ministries (22)

November 1984 ……… Reg Layzell dies

March 1987 ………….. Herrick Holt dies

1988 …………………….. Bethesda moves from Detroit to Sterling Heights, MI (23)

January 1989 …………. Joseph Mattsson-Boze dies

1994 …………………….. George Hawtin dies

December 1995 ……..  Phyllis C. Spiers dies

February 1999 ……….. Winston Nunes dies

July 2002 ……………. Milford Kirkpatrick dies

July 2005 ………………. Word of Faith Church in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

December 2006 ………. Ern Hawtin dies

July 2007 ………………. David Schoch dies

July 2008 ………………. Garlon Pemberton dies

December 2008 ………. Edie Iverson dies

July 2012 ……………….. Leonard Fox dies

December 2012 ………. Carlton Spencer dies

September 2013 ……… James Lee Beall dies

January 2014 …………… Moses Vegh dies

July 2014 ……………….. James Watt dies

September 2014 ……… Charlotte Baker dies

November 2015 ……… Violet Kiteley dies (24)

May 2016 ……………….. George Warnock, author of The Feast of Tabernacles, dies

November 2016 ………. Harry M. Beall dies

April 2018 ………………. Dick Iverson dies

May 2018 ……………….. Rob Wheeler dies

September 2018 ………. Barbara Green dies

February 2019 ……….. Kevin Conner dies

June 2019 ……………. Patricia Beall Gruits dies

(1) according to William Faupel, George Hawtin opened the facility (which was called Sharon Orphanage and Schools) “by calling the student body to fasting and prayer” (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(2) according to Robert K. Burkinshaw, “Branham had attracted overflow crowds to Vancouver’s Exhibition Garden in late 1947 with what appeared to many to be genuine demonstrations of miraculous powers of insight and physical healing. The ‘North Battleford brethren’ (as they came to be known) and many others viewed the events of the Branham meetings as evidence that old-time Pentecostal power and fervour could be revived” (Pilgrims in Lotus Land: Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia, 1917 – 1981)

Jim Watt

Jim Watt, one of the original seven elders in North Battleford says, “Some years later Winston Nunes (now deceased) sought me out as the last living elder of the seven. He sought confirmation to his theory that William Branham, J. E. Stiles and Franklin Hall were the three catalysts that God used to launch the 1948 Northern Canada Revival. I agreed that these three were certainly key principles that motivated the prayer and fasting that birthed this move. But I pointed out that there were other principles equally critical. There was the Presbytery revelation itself; the 5-fold ministry emphasis of Ephesians 4:11-12; the high point of worship through the Heavenly Choir; the ‘team spirit’ operating within the eldership; the humility and teachability of the leadership; the sensitivity to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.”

Ern Baxter, a Vancouver pastor who was asked to be the local head of the Branham meetings, was persuaded to begin traveling with the evangelist when he left Vancouver, “At the time, I was pastor of a large church, and obtained leave from them, joining Branham in Ashland, Oregon. I started to travel with him as often as I could be away from my church. One year I was away eight months…. I was with Branham from 1947 until I had to leave him, in about 1953 or 1954.”

Ernest Gentile writes, “Branham is considered by many the initiator and pacesetter of the healing revivals in 1947, as well as the precursor of the entirely separate Latter Rain movement of 1948.”

(3) Jonas Clark reported, “Sometime later the Hawtins called the ministry team and student body to join them in fasting. The students fasted for three weeks. Ernie Hawtin fasted for 40 days. At the end of the fast they gathered together in prayer where the Holy Spirit fell on Brother Ernie in a mighty way. He was an uneducated, simple man that God anointed as a prophet. During this meeting he prophesied for about 30 minutes speaking of a coming revival and the gifts of the Holy Spirit being restored and received by the laying on of hands and prophecy. After this George Hawtin sent everyone to their dorms to search the Scriptures. When they came back the next day they all pointed to the Scriptures in Timothy where Paul speaks of Timothy receiving the gifts of the Spirit by the laying on of hands and prophecy. After this the Hawtins began to lay hands and prophesy over the students and others. That was February 12, 1948.”

Violet Kiteley wrote, “In 1948 people were drawn to an old, dilapidated Word War II hangar in an

Violet Kiteley

obscure location in subzero weather. There was no heater, only an old cook stove. The services began daily at 5 a.m. and lasted 10 to 12 hours. No meals were served. This was before the days of television and computers, and there was no media coverage. Yet people came from all over Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Scandinavia, the British Isles and India. Some people claimed they saw prophetic messages in the sky or had dreams and visions that led them to participate in this new movement. Some said they had supernaturally received the address and location of this outpouring and were compelled by the Holy Ghost to go and see for themselves.”

One of Kiteley’s former congregants, Dennis Balcombe (who went on to become an outstanding missionary to China), writes in his brand new book that “the Holy Spirit did come on them in a big way on February 12, 1948. That very day, many received the gift of healing. A person with a stammer stood up and smoothly delivered a lengthy prophecy on spiritual revival that was about to break out. In the prophecy God said He would restore four areas of spiritual life to the churches before Jesus returned. The four areas were unity, spiritual gifts, praise and worship, and global evangelism. After that, starting with North Battleford, many experienced healing from sickness. Believers met daily and continued to do so for some time.” (China’s Opening Door: Incredible Stories of the Holy Spirit’s Work in the Underground Church)

(4) James Watt wrote, “they held a conference in July of 1948 at North Battleford. Most of the Canadian Provinces were represented, with some 40 of the States of the USA, plus representatives from several other countries. Never will those days be forgotten! God took lives apart and then put them together again with a vision, purpose and anointing that none could doubt. Seven elders functioned together in team spirit under the leadership of George R. Hawtin, God’s undisputed leader at that time.”

Jonas Clark says, “News of the outpouring spread like wildfire among the Pentecostals throughout Canada, the United States and to Brother Layzell. When Reg Layzell attended the camp-meeting he experienced first hand the Latter Rain. He saw people receive personal prophetic ministry and the ministry of the laying on of hands to receive the gifts of the Spirit. This encounter with the Holy Spirit at this meeting had a tremendous impact on Layzell’s life and ministry.”

(5) Ern Baxter said of the week-long meetings, “I never saw such a tremendous concentration of the power of God.” James Watt described the powerful sound of the corporate worship this way, “Heaven’s very strains filled the whole church. It was as a mighty organ, with great swelling chords, and solo parts weaving in and out, yet with perfect harmony.”

(6) Richard Riss reports that M. D. Beall wrote, “Everything we saw in the meetings was scriptural and beautiful. We left the meeting with a new touch of God upon our souls and ministry. We certainly feel transformed by the power of God. Never in our lives had we ever felt the power of God as we do now and we feel we are carrying something back to our assembly we never had before”(A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America)

Jonas Clark says that Reg Layzell had “asked the Hawtin brothers to minister at his church in Vancouver. The duo agreed and came to Glad Tidings Temple with several others. These men formed the prophetic presbytery team and held meetings from November 8 to 22. This prophetic team offered personal prophecy and impartation to many believers at the church including Hugh and Audrey Layzell, several pastors and others who came from different parts of British Columbia and Washington State. These candidates had spent at least three days in prayer and fasting preparing themselves to receive prophecy and the ministry of the laying on of hands. During the services they would sit on the first row of the church until such a time as the prophetic team felt the unction of the Holy Spirit to minister to them. Then they would call them forward and prophesy.”

Moses Vegh wrote, “At that meeting the word of the Lord given to ‘Mom’ Beall, through the prophetic presbytery, was a powerful confirmation of all that the Lord had spoken to her about the ‘armory’ in Detroit” (The Chronicles of Moses: Acts of an Apostolic Journey)

Hugh Layzell

Hugh Layzell confirms the story this way: “After a day or two, the brethren agreed to minister to her in presbytery. Audrey and I remember this incident very well. As soon as she knelt before the presbyters, Ern Hawtin began to prophesy. He said, (something like this) ‘Has not the Lord called you to build for Him an armory, where His last day army will be trained and equipped with the gifts of the Spirit in order to take the gospel to the ends of the earth in these last days?’ This was, in effect, the very word she had received from the Lord concerning the Church in Detroit” (Sons of His Purpose: The Interweaving of the Ministry of Reg Layzell, and His Son, Hugh, During a Season of Revival)

(7) according to Bethesda’s website, “December 5, 1948 was a turning point in the [life] of every Bethesdan. That Sunday morning everyone was gathered for church in the basement building. Opening the service, James Beall asked everyone to stand, and suddenly everyone in the building started singing praises to God in the Spirit …. this continued for about an hour. People were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and healed in their bodies during this time. As the praise subsided a new song was born.

   ‘This is the promise of the coming latter rain,
Lift up your eyes behold the ripening grain.
Many signs and wonders in His might name,
Drink, oh drink, My people for this is latter rain.’

“That Sunday marked the beginning of what came to be known as the Latter Rain Revival.”

(8) according to Richard Riss, “Mrs. Beall wrote a letter to Stanley Frodsham, a pioneer of the early Pentecostal movement at the turn of the century, a leader of the Assemblies of God denomination, and the editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for twenty-eight years. In her letter, Mrs. Beall described what was happening in her church, and Frodsham decided to leave Springfield, Missouri to visit the church in Detroit. He arrived in January of 1949, and ‘he was swept away by the revival taking place in Detroit…. He was moved deeply by scenes of people under great conviction of sin, making confession and finding peace'” (A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America)

(9) from Bethesda’s website, “on February 13, 1949 the main sanctuary [seating 1,800] was dedicated. When the doors opened, it was immediately filled and at least 1,700 people were turned away. Services were held night and day for the next three and one half years.”

Richard Riss quotes Mom Beall as having written, “The day of the dedication of the Temple will be a day never to be forgotten. Not only was the Temple filled to capacity with people but it was also filled with the presence of God. Such singing, such worshipping of God, such prophecies, such supernatural utterances will always remain the greatest wonderment of our lives” (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

Riss also quotes Mom Beall as having written, “Without publishing any advertising people flocked to our doors from every part of the world” (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(10) in the Dictionary of Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements: “In February 1949 Dr. Thomas

Wyatt of Portland, Oregon, invited the Hawtin party to his church, Wings of Healing Temple, where George Hawtin and Milford Kirkpatrick ministered to ninety preachers from almost every part of North America. One of the pastors attending was Dr. A. Earl Lee of Los Angeles, California, whose church became a center of revival soon after he returned.”

(11) according to William Faupel, “The meetings were conducted 15-17 [that is a typographical error; the dates were 5 -17] July 1949. The local newspaper, The North Battleford News, took note, ‘Hundreds of visitors from every part of the prairie provinces, from the North West Territories, and from many parts of the United States, including as far so as Alabama … are arriving daily…. North Battleford hotels and cafes are crowded … with visitors,’ It concluded that close to 3,000 attended the meetings, returning ‘to their various places refreshed and ready to go on with their work with new vigor'”  (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(12) according to Richard Riss, “On August 24, 1949, Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan resigned from the Assemblies of God denomination”  (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(13) Ivan Q. Spencer was the founder of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. Richard Riss quotes the following from Spencer’s editorial, “We sometimes find expressions, either spoken or written, that some organization or group of Christian people claims to be the custodians of certain revelations of truth that they are the recipients of special blessings and experiences from the Lord. By so doing, self is exalted and others belittled…. Some claim the Latter Rain outpouring fell on them nearly fifty years ago and because of this they are the custodians of this mighty move of God. Others, who have come into this present spiritual awakening, may feel that the Latter Rain is exclusively theirs. Such an attitude is clear evidence of the fact that they have not received a revelation of the truth God is bringing at this time of the oneness of the body of Christ, namely that all are one, regardless of denomination or organization affiliation….” (Latter Rain: The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening)

(14) according to William Faupel, “Thomas Wyatt brought the climaxing message at the first ‘National Latter Rain Convention’ in St. Louis on 15 November 1950”  (Winds from the North: Canadian Contributions to the Pentecostal Movement)

(15) Walker was a teenaged preaching phenomenon at the time.

Born in 1934, Walker was a precocious child.

He recalls, “From the age of nine to twelve we traveled the West Coast, with our first revival meetings in the Los Angeles area. We preached everywhere from tent meetings in North Hollywood to the Philharmonic Auditorium, the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, and the Angelus Temple. Thousands attended those meetings with hundreds receiving Christ as their personal Savior and many testifying to being healed of various illnesses.

“From Los Angeles we traveled up the coast to Oregon and Washington where I continued to preach. Those were the days of the great ‘healing revivals.’ Being so very young, I did not understand all that was happening in the church realm. All I knew was that a wonderful visitation of the Power of God was taking place. I was teamed with ministers such as William Branham, Thomas Wyatt, Ma Beall, Chaplain Ray, The McAllisters, and the Argue family” (The Journey: Walking with the Walkers)

Little David draws 12,000 in Detroit

He would have been 15 or 16 years old when Bethesda sponsored his meetings. Walker writes, “Also in 1950, twelve thousand people filled the fairgrounds for meetings in Detroit, Michigan. The newspaper reported visible miracles in this crusade” (The Journey: Walking with the Walkers)

(16) according to Dennis McClendon in the July 1, 1951 edition of the Houston Post, “During the meetings that closed June 17, more than 400 ministers were in attendance. Missionary leaders came from every continent of the globe. Countries represented by delegates included Liberia, India, Canada, China, Australia, Peru and England, the Rev. Mr. [Modest] Pemberton said. The average nightly attendance under the oversized tents exceeded 2,000 persons. There were representatives from every state in the Union – more than 30,000 in all [a cumulative attendance figure for the two-week camp meeting]. ‘We had made big plans but the Lord made them even bigger,’ the minister said.”

(17) this publication marked the fulfillment of a prophecy delivered on January 28, 1949 that a paper called the Latter Rain Evangel would go out from the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit

(18) according to Mark Hutchinson, who quotes Barry Chant on this matter. This article should be read with caution, however, as Hutchinson is inaccurate in places (e.g., he identifies Ivan Spencer as being from Rhode Island [he was from Lima, NY], and he says Thomas Wyatt picked up Latter Rain teachings in Portland, Oregon [Wyatt resided in Portland, OR and was the initial promoter of the LRM there])

(19) the Latter Rain and Charismatic Movements were, for the most part, separate movements but there was overlap and many see the Latter Rain Movement as the precursor of the Charismatic Movement

According to John Sherrill, an Episcopal priest Dennis Bennett “prayed for and received the baptism [in the Holy Spirit]” on November 14, 1959. On April 3, 1960 he told his 2600-member St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California about his tongues-speaking experience. Sherrill writes, “Newspapers carried the story the next day. The wire services picked it up. Overnight the story swept the country: speaking in tongues had appeared in a decent, ordinary church and had caused strife, division and dissension. Time carried the story. So did Newsweek” (They Speak with Other Tongues).

According to Vinson Synan, “Many consider him [Bennett] to be the father of the charismatic movement” (An Eyewitness Remembers a Century of the Holy Spirit).

Dick Iverson states, “The ‘latter rain’ outpouring, as it was called, became a major stream of the Holy Spirit emphasizing praise and worship (with its power to open the Word), along with prophecy and the laying on of hands. It is within that movement that the roots of the charismatic movement originated” (The Journey: A Lifetime of Prophetic Moments)

Elsewhere Dick Iverson says, “If you know anything about Latter Rain there was a true move of the Holy Spirit and a number of truths that we enjoy today really came out of the Latter Rain move, such as extended free worship in song and praise and the laying on of hands and prophecy” (Guarding the Local Church: Identifying False Ministries).

According to author Peter Althouse, “Latter Rain centre Bethesda Missionary Temple, Detroit, played a role in the development of the Charismatic Movement. James Lee Beall not only succeeded his mother as pastor of the church, but he was a frequent contributor to the widespread Charismatic periodical Logos Journal” (Spirit of the Last Days: Pentecostal Eschatology in Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann).

(20) the conference was held in Jerusalem and was sponsored by the Charismatic magazine Logos Journal (articles by Beall appeared several times in Logos). Besides Beall, speakers included: David du Plessis, Kathryn Kuhlman, Corrie ten Boom, Pat Robertson, Jamie Buckingham, Charles Simpson, Arthur Katz, Williard Cantelon, Gen. Ralph Haines, and Charles Farah. The only other speaker with Latter Rain connections was Elim Fellowship’s Missions Secretary Costa Deir.

(21) Peter Jenkins’ book about his trek on foot from New York to Louisiana made the New York Timesbestseller list. He spends several pages telling about his experience of hearing M. D. Beall speak at Word of Faith Temple in New Orleans. He notes that “Although Mom was over eighty she now looked shot full of the most powerful energy in life” (A Walk Across America).

(22) the NCM was designed to promote unity and fellowship in the Body of Christ. Green invited the participation of not only ministers with Latter Rain roots, but also such ministers as Paul Paino (Calvary Ministries International), Kenneth Copeland (Word-Faith), Charles Simpson (Shepherding/Discipleship), and Bob Weiner (Maranatha campus ministries).

Green told New Wine magazine in December 1985, “The Network of Christian Ministries started in July 1983 when John Gimenez, pastor of Rock Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Emanuele Cannistraci, pastor of Evangel Christian Fellowship, San Jose, California, and I began to feel that something positive should be done to reach across barriers and join the different facets of the body of Christ.”

(23) Bethesda Missionary Temple moved from its location on Van Dyke and Nevada avenues in Detroit to the suburb of Sterling Heights. The 3,000-seat church is now known as Bethesda Christian Church.

(24) Violet Kiteley was present when the revival broke out in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in 1948. A few years ago, she wrote an article about the revival for Charisma‘s news website. It can be readhere. She founded a church in Oakland, California – Shiloh Church – that celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2015. A video of the celebratory service can be seen here. At her passing on Thanksgiving, November 2015, Cindy Jacobs wrote an eulogizing article on the Charisma news website. It can be read here. Her memorial service is scheduled for December 2 at Shiloh Church.

Violet’s headstone

In a Facebook post on November 27, Bishop Joseph Garlington said of Violet, “A Real Life Pioneer Is Gone!

“Yesterday, Dr. Violet Kiteley, the founder of the great Shiloh Christian Fellowship, now Shiloh Church was summoned home at 1:25 CST. Her prophetic footprint is on so many places on the earth, that they are too numerous to number. Her amazing prophetic anointing was always carried in a vessel of profound humility. Dr. Kiteley’s insight to scripture, her capacity to discern the seasons of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church always positioned her to be on the cutting edge of the Spirit’s work.

“She pioneered the incredible season of emphasis on worship; most of our current worshippers have no idea that Shiloh Christian Fellowship was the fountainhead of the beginning of much that is now called Contemporary worship. The retrieval of the arts and their restoration in the church began decades ago in her church in Northern California.

“Shiloh was one of the early pioneers in cross-cultural and multiracial congregations. Their leadership in the Prophetic Movement that began decades ago, made room for the many churches that are now enjoying the prophetic emphasis in their assemblies. Dr. Kiteley was a true pioneer in every sense of the word as she participated in the earlier move of God that took place in Northwest Canada, often known as The Latter Rain Movement. Hundreds of thousands owe to her life and ministry the benefit of the grace they now enjoy. Churches have been planted in many foreign nations and only heaven will reveal the measure to which the lives of those reading my words have been touched by her life


  • Reply October 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    but wait there is more Mike Partyka

  • Reply October 18, 2019

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

    This is a lot to digest in one post, but thanks for sharing

    • Reply October 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      sure thing Mike Partyka asked about it

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