Saturday, August 18, 2007


I was exposed to the LATTER RAIN outpouring in February 1950, at WINGS OF HEALING TEMPLE in Portland, OR

I was on a "scouting trip" for the congregation we were leading at that time, and was "all ears and eyes", as the saying goes. If it was for real, the group wanted to know more about it. If it was phony, they also wanted to know that.

There were many of my fellow ministers present, and some of the older men from our group also made the trip to Portland.

I saw both, good, real, and spurious and phony. As far as I was concerned, I believed there was more good than bad in it. But I refused to make a decision for the group-- I did not have that much confidence in my ministry at that point.

Back in Yakima afterward, at a special meeting called for the purpose, I rehearsed to the group what I had seen, and also my impressions-- both favorable an otherwise. The older men who had attended the Portland meetings told the group that my assessments were the same as theirs had been. We believed there was much more good than what spurious we had seen.

We were afraid to say a "No" to what was being called the LATTER RAIN, for fear we would be refusing something which God was doing in the midst of His people. Yet, we were also afraid of what we might do to ourselves as far as fellowship with the UPC if we did embrace it.

We didn't have long to wait, for a group of brethren came shortly to present it to our group in Yakima. Our congregation were thoroughly convinced that God was in it-- in spite of what spurious elements we thought we saw.

That was in March 1950. In April, a special minister's meeting was convened in Boise, ID. for the purpose of defining the official position of the Northwest District of UPC concerning the LATTER RAIN.

When it was ascertained that the UPC would not be accepting the new thing, several of the ministers surrendered their credentials. I felt it was a bad gesture on their part, for I could see a strong display of the MAN spirit, and I did not join them in the exodus.

In June of that year, the official organ of the UPC carried a notice that they would not be tolerating either the LATTER RAIN or what was being called the KINGDOM MESSAGE, which embodied the teaching that there is a modern-day Israel apart from the Jews. They "called my number" on both issues, so there was nothing for me to do but withdraw from what I had helped to build with all my might.

The LATTER RAIN continued to flourish for approximately three years, and then began to be called "The Move of God", and new leaders sprang up.

The saddest part of the whole thing was the fact that each of the "leaders" had personal goals and ambitions. A Minister with a personal goal is a VERY dangerous creature, and a very few of them can and WILL spoil a move of the Spirit of God in short order.

About 1953 (in round figures) a group of Business men from across the country had converged on an Iowa corn field to hunt pheasants. Their conversation drifted to what a mess the ambitious preachers were making of the LATTER RAIN movement. Someone suggested that perhaps they should endeavor to start a
movement which would be run by Christian Business Men, to the exclusion of what they referred to as "The Kingdom Builders"

It would be called the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, and would be spearheaded by Demos Shakarian, one of the hunters on that trip. (This is related in detail in the book "Beyond Pentecost" written by Clayt Sonmore of Minneapolis, who served many years as President of the group)

It "took off" like a shot from a gun, and spread like wildfire. The
PRINCIPLES of the LATTER RAIN movement were thus preserved and propagated for several more years in this movement.

Somewhere in those years from 1950-1957 there were many incidents of oil on the hands, gold fillings in teeth, short legs lengthened, and many other things which could not be denied, yet seemed to have no great significance as far as promoting Spirituality. I took a less-than-enthusiastic view of them,
though I did not doubt them nor discourage folks from experiencing them.

After many years of inactivity, they seem to be making a comeback in the circles which call themselves "Renewal", which has spread from Toronto and from Florida. It DOES seem that there has been a reviving of some of the Spiritual activities of the early fifties and sixties. I have some younger colleagues who have seen both moves, and vouch for what is being experienced now.

One of my fondest hopes is that this, or any, new move of God will be spared from repeating the mistakes which we made in the time of LATTER RAIN and FGBMFI. We made some colossal ones!!


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