Theological Influences On The Teachings And Practices Of John Alexander Dowie

Theological Influences On The Teachings And Practices Of John Alexander Dowie

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Pneuma 29 (2007) 226-253

T eological Influences on the Teachings and

Practices of John Alexander Dowie*

D. William Faupel

Professor of History of Christianity, Wesley T eological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Avenue,

NW, Washington, DC 20016, 202-885-8690 (Phone) 202-885-8691 (Fax)


John Alexander Dowie has long been known as a theological forebear of the Pentecostal Move- ment. What has been less known is the extent to which he was influenced by the theology and practices of the Mormon tradition. This article seeks to identify these influences and place them in the historical/theological context of Dowie’s life and ministry. The article goes on to show that Dowie operated within the broad theological context of the Calvinistic wing of 19th Century Perfectionism known as the Keswick Movement. His theological understanding was modified by insights drawn from Edward Irving and the Catholic Apostolic Church. Within this theological framework, parallels with Mormon teaching can be detected in his utopian vision, evangelistic strategy, and proposed ecclesiastical structures.


Pentecostalism, Keswick, restoration, Mormon, Irvingite, divine healing, perfectionism


John Alexander Dowie was one of the most colorful religious figures to emerge on the North American scene at the close of the nineteenth cen- tury. Newspapers had a field day when he declared himself to be Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, announcing pending judgment on the religious establishment and political order that would come about with Christ’s imminent return.

* The author wishes to acknowledge that funding for the research of this article was granted by the National Endowment of the Humanities. Any views, findings, or conclusions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of NEH.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157007407X237935

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The almost daily publicity these diatribes generated served Dowie’s pur- poses well. People came to hear him from far and near. Hundreds claimed healing in his meetings. Many came to jeer, but left committed to his cause. His following spanned the social spectrum from the lowly drunkard and pros- titute to religious leaders such as Catherine and Arthur Booth-Clibborn, the daughter and son-in-law of the founder of the Salvation Army. By the time of his death in 1907 over 250,000 persons had joined his ranks.

Although he denounced Pentecostalism just before his death, thousands of his followers and hundreds in leadership roles would leave his organization to join this emerging movement. Today, many Pentecostal churches in North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and especially South Africa trace their origins to this enigmatic man.1

Although Dowie has figured prominently in Pentecostal historiography, comparably little work has been done to trace the origins of his theological ideas. Indeed, once he had declared himself to be Elijah, all subsequent pro- nouncements have tended to be dismissed as the mad ravings of a lunatic. While this paper is not intended to prove Dowie’s sanity, it will seek to dem- onstrate that his message contained a logical theological development consis- tent with his worldview. Furthermore, I shall seek to show that he was able to take all of his ideas from other theological traditions he encountered and place them within his own theological spectrum.

I shall first introduce Dowie by briefly describing the highlights of his life and ministry. I shall next focus attention on the unfolding theological devel- opment of his thought. I shall then seek to place his ministry its broader his- torical/theological context by noting parallels to contemporary theological traditions.

Dowie’s Life

Dowie has been described as “a man born to command and incapable of following.”2 At the height of his power, his physical appearance was unim-


E. L. Blumhofer, “A Pentecostal Branch Grows in Dowie’s Zion,” Assemblies of God Heritage (Fall, 1986), pp. 3-5; W. J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Press, 1972), pp. 65, 120-21.


J.M. Buckley, “Dowie Analyzed and Classified,” The Century Magazine , LXIV (October, 1902), p. 928. Another investigative reporter concluded that Dowie could “no more follow than a fish can walk.” J. Swain, “John Alexander Dowie: The Prophet and His Profits,” The Century Magazine, LXIV (October, 1902), p. 936.

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posing. At age fifty, he was a small, overweight, balding man with bowed legs and a flowing beard. But the force of his personality was such that few could escape the power in his presence. In private he was a perfect gentleman. He radiated confidence, sincerity, trust and understanding. Seeker and skeptic alike were captivated by his warm smile, penetrating gaze and listening ear. On the other hand, in the pulpit, dressed in long flowing liturgical robes, he would rail against the evils of his day and denounce a spineless Christianity for its failure to stand up to the forces of Satan. So compelling was his power, that his followers gladly sold their material possessions, joyously gave him their wealth, unquestioned loyalty, and total devotion.3

Dowie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1847. He migrated with his parents to Australia at age fourteen. For seven years he worked as an apprentice for various firms. Feeling the call of God to the ministry, he went back to Edinburgh at age twenty-one, spending three years at New College. He returned to Australia in 1872 to become a Congregational minister. Holding a succession of pastorates, Dowie quickly climbed the ecclesiastical ladder. Within four years of his ordination, he was called to the prestigious Collegiate Church in Newton, a suburb of Sydney. During the course of his ministry, the church experienced a seventy percent growth. However, with his future secure, Dowie abruptly resigned in 1878, announcing that he was leaving his denom- ination to devote himself to independent evangelistic work.4

The next few years were trying times for Dowie. Although he often preached to large crowds, finances were not sufficient to meet expenses. Gradually he had to sell off all of his assets to meet his bills. His former colleagues denounced him. His in-laws turned against him feeling that he was not taking adequate care of their daughter. The bitterest moment came in 1882 when his little daughter, Jeanie, died.5

Dowie’s fortune turned in 1883. He determined to make Divine Healing the central focus of his ministry. The change resulted in instant success. Crowds came in droves to hear his new message. Testimonies of miraculous healing were received daily. Finances to fund an expanding operation began to flow. He established the Free Christian Church in Melbourne. From this base, he


For an exhaustive analysis of Dowie’s personality see R. Harlan, “Characterization,” John Alexander Dowie and the Christian Apostolic Church in Zion, pp. 40-69.


G. Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie (Shreveport, LA: Voice of Healing Publishing Company, 1951), pp. 11-26; and Swain, “John Alexander Dowie,” p. 934.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 64-71.

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conducted healing crusades throughout Australia and New Zealand. To sustain the fruit of these campaigns, he founded the Divine Healing Association.6

Flushed with newfound success, Dowie began to think in terms of world- wide ministry. He determined to visit England where he had many contacts. With London as a center, he reasoned that he would be able to develop a fol- lowing throughout the British Empire.7 To this end he set sail in March, 1888, determining to go by way of the United States.

Dowie received such a tremendous response to his ministry in North Amer- ica that he never left. For two years he traveled up and down the Pacific Coast holding crusades before moving east across the continent. Wherever he went, he established branches of his Association, which had by this time been reorganized as the International Divine Healing Association. He continued his crusades until 1895, organizing branches in virtually every major Ameri- can city.8

In 1890, Dowie decided to make Chicago, the second largest city in the United States, his headquarters. Centrally located, he was better able to keep a handle on his growing empire. The World’s Fair, which opened in Chicago in 1893, provided Dowie with further opportunity. Always a strategic planner, he set up a tabernacle just outside the fairground’s entrance, hoping to attract people from throughout the world. His strategy paid off handsomely. Ever increasing crowds attended, forcing him to locate in a succession of larger meeting places.9

The period following the World’s Fair has been described by one biographer as his “Golden Years,”10 T ey were filled with controversy, decisive action and huge success. Dowie’s flamboyant style and pointed tongue soon alienated him from Chicago’s power structure. The press, medical community, clergy and politicians all sought to put him out of business. Dowie was able to turn


Ibid. pp. 72-5; and Swain, “John Alexander Dowie,” p. 936.


Swain, “John Alexander Dowie,” p. 936. William E. Boardman may well have stimulated Dowie’s thoughts. He received an invitation from Boardman, then President of the British Divine Healing Association, to attend an International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness to be held in London in 1886. Dowie desired to attend, but the timing was wrong. He felt he could not leave his evangelistic activities in Australia at that point. In declining the invita- tion, he stated that he hoped to visit England within three years. Lindsay, The Life of John Alex- ander Dowie, p. 85.


Swain, “John Alexander Dowie,” p. 937; Harlan, John Alexander Dowie, p. 34; and Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 90, 93-4.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 104-5; Swain, “John Alexander Dowie,” p. 937; and Harlan, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , p. 34.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , p. 161.

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this free publicity to his advantage. The more headlines that denounced him, the larger his following grew. T ough many would come out of curiosity or to heckle, they would often stay to pray. By this time Dowie had recognized that he had completely alienated the religious establishment. He therefore, disbanded his interdenominational Divine Healing Association in November 1895, announcing that no longer would his followers be able to retain membership in their old denominations. Instead they must join the Christian Catholic Church (renamed the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, in 1904), which he formally established in February, 1896.11

Events moved with dizzying speed following the creation of his new denom- ination. On New Year’s Eve 1899, Dowie announced plans to build Zion, a utopian community, forty miles north of Chicago. Zion soon became a bus- tling city of 8,000 residents with plans to grow to 200,000. Building was going on everywhere. Homes were erected. Stores for many businesses were constructed. A large hotel was built for persons coming from great distances to attend the healing meetings. An educational system from elementary school through college was established. A huge tabernacle holding 5,200 people was placed in the heart of Zion with plans to build a temple with a seating capacity of 25,000 on an adjacent block. Zion was the first and largest of several com- munities that he planned to establish around the world. A large farming devel- opment, planned for Mexico, was next on the agenda.12

In October, 1903 Dowie launched a world tour beginning with a three- week crusade at Madison Square Garden in New York City. T ree thousand of his “Restoration Host” came with him for this first meeting. During the day, they fanned out across the city passing out tracts, knocking on doors, inviting people to the evening meetings. Not surprisingly, the Garden was packed with over 5,000 people turned away nightly. From there, Mrs. Dowie with a smaller party, went on to London, several cities on the European continent, South


Harlan, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 34-7. Dowie claimed to have spent 120 days in court in 1895. Over one hundred warrants for his arrest were issued that year. He was charged with practicing medicine without a license. Although the establishment was legitimately upset about some of his healing practices, their real concern was his critique of their city. T ey were enraged by his attacks of alleged corruption of several of Chicago’s elite groups. He singled out the medical profession for particular verbal abuse. Convinced that all drugs were poison and enslaving, he went so far as to declare that “Doctors, as a profession, are directly inspired by the Devil.” J.A. Dowie, “Doctors, Drugs and Devils, or, the Foes of Christ the Healer,” Physical Culture (April, 1895), p. 81.


P.L. Cook, Zion City, Illinois: Twentieth Century Utopia (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1996), pp. 31-32, 55, 61-67; 71-77; 169.

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Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Dowie left for San Francisco, joining his wife in Australia and returning via India, Africa and Europe. Everywhere he went he held large rallies in the major cities, and then spoke privately the com- munity of followers he had in that part of the world. Returning to Chicago in September, 1904 he began plans to launch his Western campaign in 1905 when he planned to “invade” St. Louis, Salt Lake City and San Francisco, with 5,000 of his “Restoration Host.”

Dowie’s expanding empire was paralleled by the elevation of his status. He had named himself General Overseer of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church upon its formation in 1896. In 1899, he proclaimed that he was the “Messenger of the Covenant” prophesied by the prophet Malachi. He declared himself to be Elijah, who was to be “The Restorer of All T ings” in June, 1901. In September, 1904, he consecrated himself First Apostle of a new apostolic order. His psychological development caused at least one writer to speculate that had Dowie lived, he would have claimed to be the reincarnation of the Messiah.13

Dowie’s Message

Dowie, summed up his message by stating: “Zion stands for Salvation, Healing and Holy Living,” which he referred to as the “Full Gospel.”14 Included in this summation is the understanding that Christ’s atonement had a three-fold dimension: Jesus as Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer.15 In seeking to fully understand his message, attention shall first be directed to an analysis of this three-fold theme. This “Full Gospel” will then be set against the backdrop of Dowie’s world-view.

The Full Gospel

Dowie found Scriptural support for his three-fold emphasis in Isaiah 35:

Be strong and fear not. See your God come . . . He comes to save you.

T en shall blind men’s eyes be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped.


Harlan, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 36-39.


Cook, Zion City, Illinois, pp. 177-214.


E. L. Blumhofer, “Christian Catholic Church and the Apostolic Faith: A Study in the 1906 Pentecostal Revival”, in Charismatic Experiences in History, ed. C. M. Robeck, Jr; (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1985), p. 134.

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T en shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout aloud . . . And there shall be a causeway there, which shall be called the way of Holiness and the unclean shall not pass along it, it shall be the pilgrim’s way . . .

By it those he has ransomed shall return and the Lord’s redeemed come home. T ey shall enter Zion with shouts of triumph.

This three-fold gospel is evident in much of Dowie’s teaching. Even where it is not explicit, it is often just below the surface.

Of the three emphases, Dowie gave least attention to the first, justification. One possible reason for this as his critics were quick to point out, is that most of his adherents came from other denominations rather than as new converts to the Christian faith.16 Still, through his preaching and writing he had ample occasion to address the un-churched. Many came to hear him in hope of expe- riencing healing of the body. Others came out of curiosity. In both cases, those in attendance would often hear a sermon calling them to repentance.

Despite this, however, the message of justification by faith in Christ, clearly was not Dowie’s central concern. Like most Evangelical leaders today, Dowie thought his understanding of the doctrine was identical to that of the Reform- ers, namely that salvation saved one from the guilt of past committed sins. In his view, this was a good but insufficient beginning. The Christian still needed to be freed from the power of sin. T us his thrust moved him to the concern for Holy Living. Rather than connecting this to an all-embracing doctrine of salvation, he followed a two-fold model.

Like his doctrine of salvation, Dowie’s understanding of divine healing is grounded in the atoning work of Christ. Healing is obtained through faith. Just as Christ breaks the power of sin, he breaks the power of disease. Using the ministry of the historical Jesus as his model, Dowie taught that healing was the third order of things. First Jesus taught, then He preached, finally He healed. Dowie interpreted this to mean that the candidate for healing must receive correct teaching and hear correct preaching before expecting to be healed.

The reason sickness had such a grip on the Church, Dowie maintained, stemmed from the incorrect teaching that the source of disease was God — either as Divine judgment for sin, or as an instrument for perfecting the human spirit. This was a lie from Satan to keep the Church in bondage. The work of Satan is to destroy. The will of Christ is to restore. In Christ’s resurrec-


Harlan, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , p. 162.

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tion, God demonstrated his power over sickness and death; this must now be apprehended by faith.

Preaching preceded healing, in Dowie’s view, so that the power of the Gos- pel could convict of sin and elicit faith. Healing would not come to an impure heart. Indeed sickness, in the life of a Christian, was evidence that there was “sin in the camp.”17

The Healing Home was provided so that persons from outside the commu- nity might have a place to stay while they heard the Word proclaimed and prepared their hearts for God’s healing touch on their lives. Medicine in any form was viewed as Satan’s counterfeit to keep people in bondage. Use of such remedies also demonstrated a lack of faith in God’s provision for Divine health.18

Dowie’s teaching and practice of Divine Healing were so close to the heart of his thinking that he could hardly speak of any subject without at least an allusion to this doctrine. The reason for this is grounded in an experience that happened to him in 1875. At that time he was still the pastor of the prestigious Congregation Church in Newton, Australia. The country was in the midst of a plague. T irty persons had died in Dowie’s parish within a few weeks. Exhausted from lack of sleep, Dowie wrestled with the reality of death about him. How could a loving God allow this to happen? He was called upon to pray for a young lady of his parish who lay on her deathbed wracked with pain. White foam mixed with blood was oozing from her mouth. Seeing her thus, Dowie reached a breaking point. The doctor attending the girl said, help- lessly, “Sir, are not God’s ways mysterious.” With sudden insight Dowie exploded in anger:

God’s ways? . . . How dare you call that God’s way of bringing His children home to Heaven? No sir that is the devil’s work and it is time we called on Him who came to destroy the work of the devil. . . . No will of God sends such cruelty, and I shall never say God’s will be done to Satan’s works which God’s own Son came to destroy.19


Dowie was adamant on this issue. Sickness among his adherents resulted in much soul searching and some finger pointing as believers sought the source of the disease. If it was clear that the individual had not sinned, then perhaps it was caused by a lapse in the immediate house- hold, or by some member in the Zion community. Dowie taught that sickness in such circum- stances was not a judgment from God. Rather the sin resulted in Zion’s defenses being let down, allowing one of Satan’s demonic attacks to succeed. Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 214 -19.


Dowie, “Doctors, Drugs and Devils,” p. 81.


J. A. Dowie, He is Just the Same Today (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1889), p. 7.

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With this outburst, he prayed for the girl. Instantly the fever broke and she fell asleep. When she awoke she was completely well. Following this inci- dent, the scourge did not touch any others in the Newton Parish. Although he did not publicly proclaim his healing message for six years, the event changed the course of Dowie’s life. A new world-view, a new perspective by which he read and understood the Bible was fermenting within his being. Once he publicly launched his message of healing, he would never retreat. Again and again he would make reference to this moment as the event that shaped his future course of ministry.20

Despite the fact that Dowie is most well known for his healing ministry, his adherents claimed that his emphasis on Holy Living, the final component of his three-fold gospel, was the most significant part of his message.21 For him, holiness was not a goal to be achieved but a way of life to be lived. Dowie was convinced that salvation brought not only pardon for the guilt of sin, but deliverance from its power as well. Correct teaching on this biblical concept was essential to bring correct thinking to people who had been nurtured on a weakened half-truth gospel. Persuasive preaching was needed to bring convic- tion and encouragement. Tese two tools in the hands of the leadership were essential provisions that God had given to assist the pilgrim on this spiritual journey. Visitors to Zion would often remark with surprise, the practical nature of Dowie’s messages to the community, helping them to find ways of dealing with problems arising within family and communal life.22

Dowie’s concern for Holy Living included both personal and social dimen- sions. His lists of guidelines to regulate individual behavior were endless. But he recognized that such behavior modification could best take place in a social context. This was the major reason for establishing the city of Zion. All life within the city was structured in ways to encourage the desired behavior. Land, leased to family for 1,100 years, could be revoked if a member of the family was caught violating one of the more serious codes. The city was divided into small sections for the purpose of weekly cottage prayer meetings. T ese occa- sions included not only a time for exhortation and prayer, but also a time for sharing personal struggles and victories.23

Dowie’s hope to lead his flock in the way of perfection was especially mani- fested in Zion’s educational system. Adherents recognized that their own spir-


Ibid., pp. 8-11.


Cook, Zion City, Illinois, p. 217.


W. M. Hundley, “The Flag of the Salvation Army Eclipsed by the Standard of Zion City,” Physical Culture, (January 1901), p. 276.


Cook, Zion City, Illinois, pp. 216, 220, 251.

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itual progress had been hindered by worldly influences and their association with apostate denominationalism. In their children, they saw the possibility for greater advancement in the way of holiness. Everything possible was pro- vided to insure their prodigy would be a royal generation.

Dowie’s concern for Holy Living took on a social dimension as well. He tried to instill in every convert the conviction that God is the Father of all and that all humankind are our brothers and sisters. Mutual respect for all was taught. Policies were formed to discourage a multi-class society. Concern for Jews and for Blacks was stressed. One Negro visitor observing the conditions of his fellow Blacks stated that Dr. Dowie must be the most courageous man in the nation. Miscegenation was defended as a means to regain the purity and strength of the human race. Respect for fellow men brought Dowie to advo- cate a pacifist position. Because nation states created jealousy, he defended the concept of world government. A welfare system was devised to provide for the needs of the less fortunate. A home for orphans, a hospice for fallen women, and a retirement home were all centerpieces of the city.24 T us, the implica- tions of Dowie’s doctrine of Holy Living reached far beyond his sub-culture and became part of his evangelistic thrust. Zion was to become a model com- munity to whom others could look, finding there a higher, better way for liv- ing. Such communities were to be established throughout the world. In a cooperative rather than coercive way, Dowie believed that his movement would eventually transform society. It would ultimately prepare the way for the return of Christ to rule as head of theocratic government. For him, the way of holiness was truly through the gates of Zion.25

T e Restoration of All T ings

Although he believed Christ’s return was imminent, Dowie did not include

this as a fourth point in his “Full Gospel”. Rather it became the backdrop

of all his activity and preaching. On one occasion he stated: “That is all

my message, I have no other.” However, despite the fact that most of his

adherents were drawn from the premillenialist camp, Harlan correctly observed that Dowie offered “no official program of the future of an apocalyptical nature.” Instead of looking to external events to show evidence of Christ’s soon return, Dowie was content to incarnate the end-time events into his


Ibid., pp. 221, 244-46.


Hundley, “The Flag of the Salvation Army,” p. 274.

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own person and movement. At its theological center, Dowie’s message was eschatological, declaring “the restoration of all things.”26 Gordon Lindsay, his most sympathetic biographer, summed up his conviction:

He utterly believed that as a fulfillment of prophecy, God raised him up to bring about a restoration of worldwide extent, of all things spoken by the prophets. This if true actually involved and anticipated nothing more nor less than a dispensational change in God’s dealings with the human race. John Alexander Dowie so regarded it. He believed that the ministry of his office and the ministry of his Restoration Host would affect world changes prophetically incident to the ushering in of the Millennium and the Return of Christ.27

To grasp this coherent center of Dowie’s message and to gain insight into how he came to understand his own role in this scheme of things, it is necessary first to place his “Full Gospel” in the context of his world-view and to interpret his self-pronouncements in the light of the events of his ministry.

Dowie first articulated his world-view in a sermon entitled: “Satan, the Defiler.” In this sermon, he stated his conviction that Satan and his demonic hosts had once inhabited the earth as a pre-adamic race. As a judgment for disobedience, God cast them into hell where they were to continue existence for eternity in the form of disembodied spirits. Refusing to accept this penalty, they determined to repossess the earth for themselves. T ey seduced the angelic hosts who were sent to keep watch over the earth, penetrated God’s defenses. As a result, they deceived God’s new creation. Satan, therefore, became the author of humankind’s destruction, the cause of their sickness, death and judgment.28

The purpose of Christ’s first coming, as Dowie understood it, was to declare war on Satan and his legions. The decisive battle was waged at Calvary. Victo- rious in death, and vindicated by resurrection, the risen Lord returned to heaven to await the final triumph of God. The Church was called into exis- tence to bear witness to Christ’s victory and was empowered by the Holy Spirit to establish and extend Christ’s Kingdom over all the earth. But like Israel before it, the Church failed in its mission. Even in the Apostolic era, unbelief


Blumhofer, “The Chrstian Catholic Apostolic Church,” p. 9.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 208-9.


J.A. Dowie, Satan, The Defi ler: A Sermon (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1899), pp. 8-9.

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and apostasy hampered the mission and rendered the Church powerless.29 Many had since responded to the call of God, but they failed to grasp the Full Gospel. The truth they were able to receive fell into further desolation in the generations that followed.30

However, the victory Christ had achieved at Calvary was “without repen- tance.” The benefits he had won were not changed “by the unbelief of men.” T ey were “a permanent possession.” T ey simply had lain dormant. If unbe- lief was replaced with faith, and apostasy transplanted by obedience, the Church would be restored and once again empowered to accomplish God’s will on earth. The culmination of the present age would come when a person or a movement stepped forward in perfect obedience to say “Yes” to God’s call. Dowie determined to be that man.31

It is in this context that the healing, which took place at Newton, Australia, must be understood. Dowie believed that Satan’s hand had been stayed. It that dark hour, God had vindicated His Word. The girl’s recovery convinced him that he understood God’s purposes and through this situation was calling him to step forward in faith. No matter how dark the outward circumstances would become, Dowie had no thought of turning back. He had discovered that God could be trusted. He was locked into an airtight world-view. To doubt or ques- tion this discovery would be to cut himself off from his only source of hope. T ere was only one way to go — Forward. All of Dowie’s subsequent actions must be understood in light of this event and the interpretation he placed upon it.

Stepping forward into the healing ministry, he claimed, with conviction, that in every city and country where he proclaimed his message, God had confirmed the Word with “signs following.”32 Evidence to the contrary was


Ibid., p. 12.


This was his understanding of what happened to Methodism, for example. He believed that Wesley had responded to God’s call. “If I had been born in his time, I would have been a Meth- odist.” He further declared, “If John Wesley were alive today, he would have been the leader in the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion.” The primary villain that caused Methodism to go astray in his opinion was the infi ltration of that denomination by the Masonic order. J.A. Dowie, Zion’s Confl ict with Methodist Apostasy, Especially in Connection with Freemasonry (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1900), pp. 25-30; 123, 128-9.


J.A. Dowie, Talks with Ministers on Divine Healing (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1897), p. 19.


J.A. Dowie, Our Second Year Harvest: Being a Brief Record of a Year in Divine Healing Missions on the Pacifi c Coast of America (Chicago, IL: International Divine Healing Associa- tion,1891), p. 168.

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swept aside as “lack of faith” or “unrepentant sin.” When addressing the dele- gates at the First General Convention of the Divine Healing Association in San Francisco on June 10, 1890, he declared:

Supposing there was no healing in the city, it would not alter the fact that Christ is the Healer. Now I ask you as ministers, suppose there was not one man saved in the city, would it alter the fact that Christ is Savior? No; it would simply show that there was no faith in San Francisco. T at Christ is the Healer does not rest upon any human testimony, it rests upon the Word of God.33

Even his daughter’s death failed to shake his belief or his flock’s faith in him. Esther was a student at the University of Chicago when she met her death. Failing to follow her father’s injunction not to use alcohol in any form, she had purchased an alcohol lamp. It overturned; she caught fire and burned to death. For Dowie, this was not simply a tragic accident. Rather it demonstrated to Dowie how Satan could penetrate when one let down one’s guard the slightest bit.34

From the outset, Dowie understood his healing ministry in eschatological terms. The outline of his vision was clear by the time he founded the Interna- tional Divine Healing Association and set out on his world tour in 1888. T rough the confirming sign of healing, he felt men and women would be awakened to the claims of primitive Christianity. Organized in branches of his Association, they would help spread the message throughout the world, pre- paring the way for Christ’s return.35

Although Dowie maintained that the Association was not the first step in founding a denomination, the formation of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion was the logical outgrowth. Even then, he refused to acknowl- edge that he was starting a new denomination. T ere was but one Church and that was founded by Jesus Christ. The existing denominations had all departed from the New Testament model of Church Order and had in effect, become apostate. In establishing the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, Dowie declared that he was merely recognizing the original Church order, allowing it to find expression in the contemporary scene. God would honor this recognition by fully restoring the nine-fold spiritual gifts as well as the prophetic and the apostolic office.36


Dowie, Talks with Ministers on Divine Healing, p. 15.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 214-19.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 84-9.


Ibid. p. 172. Despite Dowie’s claim to the contrary, Lindsay is probably right when insisting

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The establishment of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church like so many other events in Dowie’s life was at once the culmination of all that went before, and a foreshadowing of what was yet to come. In his opening sermon, follow- ing its formation, he spelled out his understanding for the purpose of the Church:

T at the Church of God shall be the Divine agency in the building up of the family, the home, the city, the state, the world, the Church of God, until God’s work is completed.37

This was not just “a mere question of Chicago.” Branches would be estab- lished in Joliet, Rockford, Ohio, Iowa, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Implicitly veiled was his vision for a worldwide network of theocratic communities seeking to extend the Kingdom of God on earth. More explicit in the sermon was his own role in this work. The major thrust of his address sought to demonstrate that God had intended the apostolic office to be perpetual and that it was the Almighty’s desire to restore this office to the Church today. His point was not missed. Later in the day one of his followers declared him to be chief of the modern apostles. Dowie intuitively recognized that this was not yet the time for such public speculation. The man was sternly rebuked. But the seed had been sown.38

For the next several years, his sermons and editorials were filled with inti- mations about the nature of his own mission. Dowie believed that he had a prophetic as well as an apostolic role. He searched the scriptures to discover what they would reveal about his end-time ministry. T ree figures emerged: The Messenger of the Covenant, the prophet foretold by Moses, and Elijah the

that the organizing of a church on “apostolic principles” was the fulfillment of a long held dream. pp. 151-3.


J.A. Dowie, “The Ministry of an Apostle — Is it for Today?”, Champion of the Faith, pp. 113-125.


Ibid. Dowie stated with conviction that he had not reached the depth of humility and self- effacement to be entrusted with the Apostolic Office. Ibid., pp. 155-6. Lindsay suggested that something happened to Dowie between 1896 when he organized the Church and 1901, when he made the Elijah declaration. He felt that Dowie underwent a metamorphosis from deep humility to exalted pride. He attributes this to overwork and lack of adequate time for prayer. Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , pp. 187, 191-8, 234. While it is undoubtedly true that Dowie was extremely busy in the years that followed and that he did not seek the council of his elders, there is nothing to suggest that this was a new pattern. Cook is closer to the truth when he suggests that Dowie had already worked out his own conclusions and gradually allowed his following to ratify them. Cook, “Zion City, Illinois,” pp. 106-7.

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Restorer. Dowie came to believe that his prophetic office embraced all three. He made this claim explicit in his “Elijah Declaration” which he announced in Chicago on June 2, 1901.39

Dowie took the next logical step on September 18, 1904, by consecrating himself First Apostle of a restored apostolic college. He intended to add others to the Apostolate in July, 1906, but his stroke and subsequent fall from grace, prevented this action from taking place.40

Sources of Dowie’s Ministry and Message

Having outlined Dowie’s life and teachings, it is now possible to attempt to determine the sources of his thought. Despite the vast amount of lit- erature written about Dowie and his Movement, to date very little effort has been made to place his message in the context of a broader theological spectrum.

Parallels with the Keswick Movement

An early commentator noted that he was essentially a Scottish Calvinist,

though exhibiting many aberrations.


A more recent investigator has correctly

placed him within the emerging Keswick tradition.


Although he would ultimately disassociate himself from Keswick leaders, Dowie’s roots were clearly in the same soil with those Evangelicals who shared his Reformed theologi- cal heritage and who focused on the praxis of Christian living. Repeatedly, critic and advocate alike, mention that Dowie’s message was characterized by a deep concern for the “Higher Christian Life.”43 What set Dowie apart from the other Keswick leaders of his time, was the radical extent to which he was willing to apply the implications of their message.44


Cook, Zion City, Illinois, pp. 170-174;


Harlan, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , p. 38.


Buckley, “Dowie Analyzed and Classified,” p. 928.


E.L. Blumhofer, “The Christian Catholic Church,” p. 8. See Appendix A.


Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie , p. 257; W.M. Hundley, “The Flag of the Salva- tion Army, p. 274. Dowie himself wrote to Keswick leader, William Boardman expressing regret that he was unable to attend the first International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness. Record of the International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness held at the Agricultural Hall, London, June 1 to 5, 1885 (London: J. Snow, 1885), pp. 171-5.


Blumhofer, “The Christian Catholic Church,” p. 9.

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Dowie gave the “Full Gospel” motif of the Keswick Movement its most radical eschatological expression.45 Rather than waiting for God’s time clock of history to tick off sovereignly, the end-time events, Dowie sought to under- stand fully God’s eternal purposes, and work creatively with Him. He took the Keswick doctrine of sanctification and applied it on a cosmic scale. He rea- soned that if the individual could cooperate with God to achieve personal holiness, so too, could a person or a movement align with God’s eternal plan in order to bring it about. All of Dowie’s actions were geared toward that end. In moving in this direction, Dowie’s doctrinal development aligned him with the theology of Edward Irving and the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.46

Parallels with the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church

Like many Pentecostal leaders who would follow him, Dowie was reticent to attribute any of his theological ideas to anyone. Rather he maintained that his theology had come as a direct revelation from God. As noted ear- lier Dowie was born in Edinburgh the home of Edward Irving. When he returned from Australia to read theology at New College the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church was at the height of its popularity and influence. Dowie’s awareness of the Irvingite movement is clearly evident in an interview he gave to reporter in Havana, Cuba, on February 17, 1905, en route to Mexico. In the course of the interview Dowie had explained his understanding of what God was doing in the world and the role his movement was to play in it. The reporter then asked him: “Do you think, Mr. Dowie, that God ever put this movement upon earth before your time? Did anybody ever start it ahead of you?” Dowie replied:

I think Edward Irving, one of the founders of what is know as the Holy Catholic Church, was a mighty man of God, and might have been intended to do this work, but it all failed because his brethren were jealous of him. It broke his heart and he died.


Both Keswick and Wesleyan leaders used the term “Full Gospel” to refer to the atoning

work of Christ on the cross. For both, this included Jesus as Savior, Sanctifier and Healer. T ey also included a fourth dimension, Jesus as Coming King. Wesleyans who became Pentecostal added a fifth element, Jesus as Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Pentecostals coming from the Keswick tradition retained a four-fold work, substituting Baptizer for Sanctifier. The best historical and theological analysis the significance of the “Full Gospel” in the formation and development of Pentecostalism is D. W. Dayton, T eological Roots of Pentecostalism (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1987).


See Appendix B.

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He left no successor. The church lapsed into a dead sacramentarianism. Its last Apostle recently died. It also is practically dead. But there are many good people in it.47

In my forthcoming biography on Dowie, I plan to spell out in detail the influence this church had on him.48 Here is sufficient to note the two move- ments shared the following characteristics in common.

1. Both Irving and Dowie viewed their movement to be the forerunner,

preparing the way for the return of Christ.

2. Both saw their movement as having a two-fold mission: to serve as a

witness to the nations, from which a remnant would be gathered;49 and

to warn of pending judgment.50

3. Irving’s Movement became the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church; Dowie’s

the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church.

4. Both Movements understood that theirs was the restored true church

brought into being through the prophetic office, and that the Ascension

Gift Ministries (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastor/teachers

[Ephesians 4:8-13]) had been restored to the church.

5. Both agreed that under the supervision and authority of the Ascension

Gift Offices, the nine-fold gifts of the Spirit mentioned in I Corinthian

12 should be exercised in the church.

6. Both churches saw their mission embodied in the spirit of Elijah as

prophesied in Malachi 4:5 as the “Elijah Ministry.”51


“Interview with John Alexander, First Apostle of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, in the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion,” Leaves of Healing, Vol. XVI, No. 16 (March 4, 1905), pp. 642-643.


The most complete account of the history and doctrine of the Catholic Apostolic Church to date is C. G. Flegg, “Gathered Under Apostles”: A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).


This commission was taken from Matthew 24:14: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed to the nations as a witness and then shall the end come.”


The second dimension of their mission was take from Revelation 14:6-7: “And I saw another angel flying through the heavens, carrying the Everlasting Gospel to preach to those on earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. ‘Fear God,’ he shouted, ‘and extol His great- ness for the time has come when He shall sit as Judge!’”


For a full explication of the Irvingite understanding of the nature and work of the Elijah Ministry see C.W. Boase, The Elijah Ministry: The Tokens of Its Mission to the Christian Church Decreed from the Ministry of John the Baptist to the Jews (Edinburgh, Scotland: Privately Printed, 1868). While Dowie embraced the view that the restored church carried on this ministry, by his Elijah declaration he also understood that he embodied the spirit of Elijah himself in a special sense in that it was through him that the church was called into existence.

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7. Both movements saw a vital role for the Ministry of the Seventy, the

Redemption Host.

8. The name Zion was prominent to both.

Parallels with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

While still in Australia he met and was impressed by Mormon missionar- ies. Sometime early in 1890 he spent considerable time in Salt Lake City meeting with the leadership of the Mormon Community. Reflecting on his visit on a Sunday afternoon service on January 1, 1899, Dowie stated that that Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints “is the best organized and most clearly scripturally organized of all churches. . . . the Mormons have kept closely to the Apostolic model” He continued:

I studied that church . . . I saw that by their industry and frugality they had made the land around Salt Lake a wonderful garden. . . . When I visited Salt Lake, they treated me as if I had been a prince of the church, and I was enabled to learn a great many things concerning the internal organization.


T ere is oral evidence to suggest that Dowie visited Salt Lake City with the intention of joining the Mormon community.53 Learning that he would not be brought into this church as an Apostle, he left to establish his own organization.54

Just what did Dowie borrow from the Mormons? With the exception of the similarity of the church name, everything Dowie shared with the Irvingite tradition he shared with the Mormons.55 In addition:


“Opening of Zion’s Hall of Seventies,” Leaves of Healing, Vol: V, No. 14 (January 28, 1899), p. 255.


See Appendix C.


Dowie’s consideration to join the Mormons, if this indeed was the case was plan C. Initially, he planned to establish his organization with headquarters in London, England. Upon his arrival in American, he reconsidered, thinking to establish his headquarters in San Francisco, Califor- nia. While holding healing crusades up and down the West Coast for two years, his primary goal was to persuade Holiness and Keswick leaders to join with him in one united “end-time” organization. It was only when this effort failed to materialize that he turned to Salt Lake City, finally deciding to establish his own organization with headquarters in Chicago. J. Swain, “John Alexander Dowie: The Prophet and Profit,” The Century Magazine , 64 (October, 1902), p. 936; Gordon Lindsay, The Life of John Alexander Dowie (Shreveport, LA: Voice of Healing Publishing Company, 1951), p. 85; “The Dowie Controversy,” Salt Lake City Herald, July 29, 1906 in Jour- nal History Project, July 28, 1906, p. 2; and Journal History Project, March 9, 1907, p. 9.


See Appendix D.

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1. The Prophet Isaiah was the biblical and theological foundation for

both movements.

2. Both movements called their headquarters city, Zion.

3. Zion, Illinois was organized on the same basis as Nauvoo, Illinois.

4. Both headquarters cities were to serve as model communities for others

that would be established throughout the world.

5. These communities in their life and practice were to model as closely

as possible what life would be like in the coming millennium. 6. From these communities the ministry of the seventy would be sent

forth to evangelize the surrounding countryside.

7. The temple stood in the center of Zion as well as the center of liturgi-

cal life and theological system.

8. Both Joseph Smith and Alexander Dowie claimed for themselves the

office of Prophet, First Apostle and High Priest, as well as chief officer

governing the temporal affairs of the community.

9. Both expected (and in the case of Smith found) the recovery of ancient

texts that would be regarded as scripture on a par with the Old and

New Testaments.56

10. Both held that God continued to give revelation that was consistent

with, further explained, and fulfilled earlier prophesies contained in

the Old and New Testaments.

11. Both held that God was once man and that humanity will be come


What else Dowie may have intended to introduce into his movement from Mormonism will never be known, though it is certain that he planned to reveal some startling new revelations. In the same address that he declared


Dowie believed that the apocryphal book, Enoch, gave an accurate account of Satan’s phys- ical preexistence, but contended that the text had become so corrupted through transmission that it could no longer be considered reliable. He predicted that an original copy, written by Enoch himself, would be discovered and accepted as the oldest book of the Bible. This would be one of several new Biblical texts that had been preserved by God, which would now come to light as the power of the British Empire was extended into the Middle East in this “time of the restora- tion of all things.” J.A. Dowie, Satan, The Defiler: A Sermon (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1899), pp. 10-1.


T ere are countless quotations to this effect in the Leaves of Healing. Two will suffice. “The Father is a father, and we know of no form which the Father assumes except the one like our own . . . He is then a great and glorious Primitive Man.” Leaves of Healing, December 31, 1904, p. 346; and “God has the parts and passions of a man.” Leaves of Healing, December 14, 1904, p. 306.

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that God the Father had the body parts and passions of a man, he went on to say:

I have only begun the task of reconstructing our theology. I have in mind about fifty ‘pet heresies’ that are still being cherished, in due time you will hear of them. You could not bare the truth now.58

One practice that Mormonism had since repudiated he would have almost certainly introduced into the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion had he organization had he lived. Dowie never forgot nor forgave a slight. The fact that he had been rejected by the Mormon leadership caused him to want to get back at them. On September 2, 1903, Dowie announced his intention. The Chicago Record-Herald announced that he planned “to come to Utah with an immense following in order to convert the ‘Mormons.” It quoted one of Dowie’s deacons as stating:

The restoration hosts will assuredly crusade to Utah in 1904. From Chicago and the neighboring states we will move 3,000 or 4,000 strong. In the West Zion has many followers and they will be expected to join the army. . . . No secret has been made by Dr. Dowie of his longing to contrive a conversion of the Mormons, and the deeds that they hope to do in the Utah stronghold are constantly being discussed by the citizens of Zion.59

The Mormon leadership responded “come on”.

The Chicago ‘doctor’ many count on full houses for a couple of performances or more. He may even secure a few converts. Nearly everything that comes along, from Chris- tian Science to the most palpable humbug, obtains a following among people who are grouping in the dark and unable to judge for themselves about truth and error. But he will not make any inroad upon the members of the Church. Much of what is good in Dowieism is clearly borrowed from the doctrines of the Church. It is clearly plagia- rism. The distinctive Dowie features are almost repulsive. Such a system can make no lasting impression upon a people that lives in the light of truth.60

But Dowie had something up his sleeve which the Mormons had not anticipated. First, however he had other agenda on his plate, the New


Leaves of Healing, December 31, 1904, p. 344.


“Dowie is Coming,” The Chicago Record-Herald in The Journal History Project , September 2, 1903, p. 2.



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York Crusade, his world tour, and his inspection trip to Mexico where he planned to purchase 2 million acres of prime land. In February, 1904 Dowie announced his Salt Lake City Crusade would be delayed until 1905. He sent three representatives to Salt Lake City to begin preparations just as he was leaving on his world missionary tour.61 The trump card Dowie expected to play when he finally arrived for his Salt Lake City Crusade was a new revelation. As with Joseph Smith before him, he planned to declare God had shown him that the reinstitution of plural marriage as part of God’s end time program of preparing for Christ’s return and ushering the millennium. He planned to invite all Mormon converts to join him as he initiated the practice in Mexico.62


Dowie never made his return trip to Salt Lake City. As he left for his Mexico inspection tour, he suffered a slight stroke. The cause of his stroke undoubtedly was due in part by the strenuous schedule he had imposed upon himself, building the city of Zion, the New York Crusade, undertak- ing his world missionary tour and preparing for his adventures in Mexico. Equally important, however, was the growing conflict he was having with the leadership in Zion City.

Dowie’s vision kept expanding faster than the monetary resources came in to actualize it. The cost of his New York City Crusade and World Tour had far exceeded funds he had raised for those purposes. With Zion City only starting to become self-sustaining, he was contemplating the purchase of 2 million acres in Mexico and was calling for his following from around to world to migrate there rather than to Illinois. This planned initiative was highly contro- versial within the Illinois community and many of the Zion leadership were openly opposed. Dowie felt he could not fully trust them to run things in his absence. He therefore sent for Wilbur Glenn Voliva, his Overseer for Australia


“Dowites to Invade Utah,” Salt Lake City Herald, February 10, 1904 in Journal History Project, February 10, 1904, p. 2. For an analysis of Dowie’s World Missionary Tour, see my “World Conquest: The Missionary Strategy of John Alexander Dowie,” Wesleyan T eological Journal 42:1 (Spring 2007) pp. 199-214.


For a full analysis of the Mexico project see my paper “The Place of Mexico in the Eschato- logical Vision of John Alexander Dowie,” presented at Fuller T eological Seminary on February 11, 2006.

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and New Zealand to return to Zion as Deputy General Overseer and gave him power of attorney. Voliva soon joined the existing leadership in a revolt. Claim- ing Dowie with mismanagement of funds they also charged him with immo- rality. T ey claimed in private conversations, Dowie had spoken in favor of plural marriage and planned to start a polygamous colony in Mexico.63

T ere would be one last association with the Mormons. Upon learning of the revolt, Dowie returned to Zion City in an effort to regain control. While en route rumor spread throughout the United States that he had sold Zion City to the Mormons to keep it out of the hands of the rebels.64 The rumor soon proved to be unfounded. In the battle which ensued Dowie was discred- ited and died two months before his 60th birthday. Voliva gained control of Zion City and the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church. However the vast legacy Dowie left would pass on to the Pentecostals.65


Barabas, S. So Great Salvation: the History and Message of the Keswick Convention (London, ENG:

Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1952).

Blumhofer, E. L. “Christian Catholic Church and the Apostolic Faith: A Study in the 1906

Pentecostal Revival”, in Charismatic Experiences in History, ed. C. M. Robeck, Jr; (Peabody,

MA: Hendrickson, 1985), Blumhofer, E. L. “A Pentecostal Branch Grows in Dowie’s Zion,”

Assemblies of God Heritage (Fall, 1986): 3-5.

Boase, C. W. The Elijah Ministry: The Tokens of Its Mission to the Christian Church Decreed from

the Ministry of John the Baptist to the Jews (Edinburgh, SCOT: Privately Printed, 1868).

Buckley, J. M. “Dowie Analyzed and Classified,” The Century Magazine (October, 1902):

Bushman, R. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knoff, 2005).


Cook, Zion City, Illinois, pp. 191-200.


“Dowie and the Mormons,” Deseret News, April 13, 1906, in The Journal History Project , April, 13, 1906, p. 1.


While Dowie and Voliva struggled for control of Zion City and the Catholic Apostolic

Church in the summer of 1906, Charles Parham, ignoring a call from his disciple William

J. Seymour to come take charge of the Azusa Street Revival that had broken out in Los Angeles,

California, came rather to Zion, Illinois to see if he could wrest control of the City for his newly

formed Apostolic Faith Movement. It proved to be a strategic move. While Voliva gained ulti-

mate control of Dowie’s city and church, Parham was successful in winning the hearts and minds

much of the Dowie’s vast following. James R. Goff, Field’s White Unto Harvest: Charles F. Parham and the Missionary Origins of Pentecostalism (Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1988),

pp. 119-127. Edith Blumhofer has identified well over 100 Dowie disciples who went on to

leadership positions in the Assemblies of God, “A Pentecostal Branch Grows in Dowie’s Zion,”

Assemblies of God Heritage, 6 (Fall, 1986) pp. 3-5. In the United States much of Dowie’s work in

the mid-west, southwest and western went Pentecostal. T is was also true in Great Britain,

Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

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Christenson, L. “Pentecostalism’s Forgotten Forerunner,” in Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic

Origins, V. Synan, ed. (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1975), pp.15-38.

Cook, P. L. Zion City, Illinois: Twentieth Century Utopia (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press,

1996). Dayton, D. W. T eological Roots of Pentecostalism (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press,


Dowie, J. A. “Doctors, Drugs and Devils, or, the Foes of Christ the Healer,” Physical Culture

(April, 1895):

Dowie, J. A. He is Just the Same Today (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1899). ———. Our Second Year Harvest: Being a Brief Record of a Year in Divine Healing Missions on the

Pacific Coast of America (Chicago, IL: International Divine Healing Association, 1891). ———. Satan, The Defiler: A Sermon (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1899). ———. Talks with Ministers on Divine Healing (Chicago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1897). ———. Zion’s Conflict with Methodist Apostasy, Especially in Connection with Freemasonry (Chi-

cago, IL: Zion Publishing House, 1900).

Flegg, C. G. “Gathered Under Apostles”: A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Oxford, ENG:

Clarendon Press, 1992).

Goff, J. R. Field White unto Harvest: Charles F. Parham and the Missionary Origins of Pentecostal-

ism (Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1988).

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R. M. Antes, 1906).

Hollenweger, W. J. The Pentecostals (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Press, 1972).

Hundley, W. M. “The Flag of the Salvation Army Eclipsed by the Standard of Zion City,” Physi-

cal Culture, (January 1901):

“Interview with John Alexander, First Apostle of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, in the Christian

Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion,” Leaves of Healing (March 4, 1905): 642-643. Jesse, D. C. The Papers of Joseph Smith , Vol. I (Salt Lake City, UT: Desert Book Company, 1969),

pp. 436-437.

Journal History Project (Salt Lake City, UT: Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day

Saints), September 2, 1903, p. 2; November 7, 1903, p. 1; February 10, 1904, p. 2; April

13, 1906, p. 1; July 28, 1906, p. 2; March 9, 1907, p. 9.

Kent, J. Holding the Fort: Studies in Victorian Revivalism (London, ENG: Epworth Press,


Lindsay, G. ed. “How God Gave Dowie the Ministry of Healing,” Champion of the Faith: The

Sermons of John Alexander Dowie (Dallas, TX: Christ for the Nations, 1982), pp. 22-28. Lindsay, G. The Life of John Alexander Dowie (Shreveport, LA: Voice of Healing Publishing Com-

pany, 1951).

“Opening of Zion’s Hall of Seventies,” Leaves of Healing (January 28, 1899): 255.

Orr, J. E. The Fervent Prayer: The World-Wide Impact of the Great Awakening of 1858 (Chicago,

IL: Moody Press, 1974).

Palmer, W. Four Years in the Od World: 1860-1864 (New York, NY: Palmer Press, 1865). Paulsen, D. Interview with D. William Faupel, June 22, 2005.

Record of the International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness held at the Agricultural

Hall, London, June 1 to 5 1885 (London, ENG: J. Snow, 1885).

Swain, J. J. “John Alexander Dowie: The Prophet and His Profits,” The Century Magazine (Octo-

ber 1902):

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Appendix A — Keswick

Keswick is named for a small village in the Lake District in Northern England, which was the site of an annual convention focusing on teaching the “Higher Christian Life” beginning in 1875. James Orr correctly traces the roots of Keswick to the 1857-58 revival that arrived in England in 1859. (J.E. Orr, The Fervent Prayer: The World-Wide Impact of the Great Awakening of 1858 [Chicago: Moody Press, 1974], P. 142). Phoebe and Walter Palmer, leaders of the American Holiness Movement spent the years of the American Civil War, in England teaching the Wesleyan version of perfection claiming thousands of converts. (For an account of their claims see W. Palmer, Four Years in the Old World, 1860-1864 [New York: Palmer Press, 1865]). However, it was the arrival of another husband and wife team, Robert and Hannah Pearsall Smith, in 1873 that the Holiness movement really blossomed in Britain (J. Kent Holding the Fort: Studies in Victorian Revivalism [London: Epworth Press, 1978], p. 278. The Smiths, from Presbyterian and Quaker backgrounds respectively, had been swept into the Holiness movement during the 1857-58 revival. They later became good friends with the Palmers and were fully indoctrinated into the teachings of the movement by the leaders of the National Camp Meeting Association. After active work in the movement for many years on the American scene, they went to England for rest and recuperation. Soon they introduced a circle of new friends to the Holiness teachings. Lord and Lay Mount Temple offered their Broadlands estate for a conference in July 1874. Approximately 100 guests attended. The meeting was so successful that a second larger meeting was planned to be held at Oxford the following month. Over 1,000 pastors and church leaders responded to the call including several from the Continent. At the conclusion of the Oxford meeting, plans were laid to hold a larger convention at Brighton in May 1875. Smith in the meantime traveled through the continent where he enjoyed huge success. He returned to Brighton a conquering hero to address crowds of over 8,000. Charles Finney and Asa Mahan from Oberlin, were also main speakers. Canon Hartford-Battersby offered Keswick as the site for the next convention, which met later that autumn. It has met at this site annually ever since.

Wesleyan theology as taught by the Palmers, understood that through Christian conver- sion, one was forgiven from personal sins; but that one’s sinful nature inherited from Adam and Eve’s fall remained. A second work, entire sanctification, was provided by Christ’s aton- ing work on the cross that would remove this nature, freeing one to be able “not to sin.” As this “Higher Christian Life” penetrated Reformed circles, the substantive language of “sin- ful nature” was replaced by relational categories. Keswick theology taught that by “yielding” to the Holy Spirit and “abiding” in Christ a person could live an “overcoming” life freed from the power of sin. The best articulation of Keswick’s history and theology remains: Steven Barabas, So Great Salvation: the History and Message of the Keswick Convention (Lon- don: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1952).

Appendix B — The Irvingite Movement

The Irvingite Movement is named for Edward Irving, a Scottish divine who came to London in 1822 to pastor a small Presbyterian Chapel. A brilliant orator, Irving soon

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had to build a larger church to hold the crowds as the elite of London came to hear him preach. In 1826 Irving became part of the Albury Conference for the Study of Prophecy, which was held at the estate of Henry Drummond, a Member of Parliament. The conference was held annually during Advent for the next five years.

T ose who gathered were the leading clergy and laity from across Great Britain who had seen the French Revolution as the Rosetta Stone of Biblical Prophecy marking the begin- ning of end-time events that had occurred in their parishes earlier that year. Several dra- matic healings had taken place. In addition, there were visions, prophecies, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Without exception, the messages of the various phenomena were the same, “The Lord is coming soon, get ready to meet him.” Observers were sent to investigate. The Conference reconvened in October when the investigators pronounced the phenomena genuine. The news was received with great joy. T ey believed the Holy Spirit was being outpoured, restoring His gifts to the church for its end-time mission. The same manifestations began to occur in Irving’s church early the following year. The outbursts caused great controversy leading to the expulsion of Irving from the Kirk in 1833.

Later that year, the Catholic Apostolic Church was called into being. Over the next two years twelve apostles were called forth by prophecy and commission through the laying on of hands. In addition to the apostolic ministry, the offices of prophet, evangelists and pas- tor/teachers were restored to the church. This four-fold ministry was known as the “Elias Ministry” foretold in Malachi 4:5 to be realized, not in a single person but in a restoration of apostolic ministries. The nine gifts of the spirit articulated in I Corinthians 12 were recognized and exercised in the services. The new church quickly spread throughout Great Britain and the European Continent. Missionaries were sent to Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Because the church saw its mission as preparing Christ’s Bride for His return and warn- ing the world of pending judgment, no provision was made for apostolic succession. When the last Apostle died in 1901, the church decided that whatever mission God had for it had been completed and that they were to go into silence. T ey had been the ministry of the twelve. At some later point God would raise up the ministry of the seventy. Larry Christen- son, a Lutheran minister, has argued that the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movements emerg- ing in the twentieth century has fulfilled this prophecy. L. Christenson, “Pentecostalism’s Forgotten Forerunner,” in V. Synan Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1975), p. 35.

Appendix C — Visiting Salt Lake City

David Paulsen, Interview with D. William Faupel, June 22, 2005. Paulsen, currently Professor of Philosophy at Brigham Young University, spent his missionary years at Zion, Illinois, in 1957-58. While in Zion several members of the Catholic Apostolic Church told Paulsen that Dowie was deeply impressed by what he had learned from Mormon missionaries while he was still in Australia. Shortly after arriving in the United States he spent six months in Salt Lake City observing the community and talking with the Church’s leadership. Dowie seriously considered becoming a member of the

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Church promising to encourage his growing following to come with him. After learn- ing that he would not be named to the Quorum of the Twelve, however, he decided not to join.

Paulsen asked it I had ever heard this story and said he always wondered if it were true. It was this conversation that stimulated my renewed interest in Dowie this past summer. I discovered in the Mormon “Journal History Project”, clippings from the Salt Lake City newspapers, some 136 references to Dowie. All these I photocopied. Much of what Paulsen reported was stated in those sources. Since then I have gone through all the Leaves of Heal- ing and found that Dowie himself has acknowledged his visit to Salt Lake City and met with the officials of the Church.

Dowie’s public comments of the Mormon begin in a rather positive vain acknowledging that he has gain much from them, but also stating that he felt they had fallen into error at several points. In later public references he becomes increasingly hostile toward them, but he never denied his visit nor his indebtedness to them. The Salt Lake papers, on the other hand had nothing positive to say about Dowie until they reported a rather lengthy obituary at the time of his death. T ey none-the-less monitored his work closely, reporting his work at the world-s fair in Chicago, the establishment of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, the establishment of Zion, his New York Crusade, his world evangelistic tour, his plans for a major colony in Mexico and his battles with the Chicago press. T ey complained bitterly of all the ideas he plagiarized from the Mormons, but concluded that in the end Dowie got it all wrong.

“The doctrines, the Church organization, the ordinances, the gifts of the spirit, the orders of Priesthood, the methods, the services, the missionary work, the entire system are as different from Dowie’s concern . . . as the mighty Rockies in their mountain grandeur are from the mole hills thrown up by the moles of the plains.”

Deseret News , November 7, 1903, found in the Journal History Project, November 7, 1903, p. 1.

Appendix D — Parellels with Mormon Teaching

The newly formed Catholic Apostolic Church learned of the Mormons and sent one of their ministers, John Hewett, to Kirland, Ohio in June 1835 to investigate the movement and determine whether an alliance or merger might be appropriate. A letter of introduction which Hewett brought with him stated in part: “The Lord hath seen our joy and gladness to hear that He was raising up a people for Himself in that part of the New World, as well as here. . . . O, may our faith increase that He may have Evangelists, Apostles, and Prophets, filled with the power of the Spirit, and performing His will in destroying the works of darkness.” Hewett met with Joseph Smith but left after a few days. Nothing further came from the talks.

Richard Bushman, who has brought this incident to light in his biography of Joseph Smith, notes the following parallels between the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and the Catholic Apostolic Church.

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1. Both called themselves the “Saints”

2. Both shared the sense of an imminent Second Coming for which the world must


3. Both thought the Christian churches were irreparably dysfunctional.

4. Both believed the Jews would return to their own land and be converted 5. Both believed in the restoration of the Apostolic Office and the gifts of the spirit. 6. In addition, the Catholic Apostolic Church supported the London Society for

Promoting Christianity among the Jews, which was founded by Joseph S.C.

F. Frey, a converted Jew who believed the ten lost tribes dwelt among the American


R. Bushman, “Visitors,” Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knoff, 2005), pp. 270-78.

The fact that Edward Irving and Dowie would have interest in the Mormons should not be surprising given Joseph Smith’s initial theological understanding. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints initial statement of faith that was added to the canon of Mor- mon Scripture in 1880 was as follows:

1. We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the

Holy Ghost.

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s


3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by

obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4. We believe that these ordinances are: 1st, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2nd,

Repentance; 3rd, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; 4th Laying on

of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5. We believe that a man must be called of God by ‘prophesy, and by laying on of

hands’ by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the

ordinances thereof.

6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, viz:

apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.

7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, interpreta-

tion of tongues, etc.

8. We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we

also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe

that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom

of God.

10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes.

That Zion will be built upon this continent. That Christ will reign personally upon

the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and received it paradasaic glory. 11. We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates

of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege let them worship how,

where or what they may.

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12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying,

honoring and sustaining the law.

13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good

to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul: “We believe

all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able

to endure all things. If there is any thing virtuous, lovely, or of good report or

praise worthy we seek after these things.

Jessee, Dean C. ed. The Papers of Joseph Smith , Vol. I (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1969), pp. 436-437.

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