"...The atonement of Christ lays the foundation equally for deliverance from sin and...from disease...complete provision has been made for both...in the exercise of faith...we have the same reason to believe that the body may be delivered from sickness that we have that the soul may be delivered from sin." Dr. R.E. Stanton
"I am the Lord who heals you." I AM - (Exodus 23:25)
"He who waives away the healing power of Christ as belonging only to the New Testament times is not preaching the whole Gospel. God was and is, the Saviour of the body as well as the soul." Bishop Charles H. Brent
"God wants to take natural people and work supernaturally through them to bring about a mighty surge of His power..." Lester Sumrall
"Time...is slipping by, and your opportunity will soon be gone. Look at that poor wretch groveling in the mire of sin: he needs to be told of the power of God to save. Look at that dear saint agonizing in the languishing bed of sickness; she needs to hear of the power of God to heal." George Jeffreys
"Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases." King David - (Psalm 103:3)
It was 1976 and Oral Roberts was at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park presiding over the funeral of this special Women of God. While he was speaking he had a vision, that God would raise up and spread similar ministries throughout the world, making the magnitude of God's power greater than He did through this women's life. But Kathryn Kuhlman had a special calling. She showed an entire generation how to love and have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. She revealed the Holy Spirit as a friend and His purpose was to point us to Jesus. She dedicated her entire life to" one whom I've never seen." Over the years her ministry would shift the focus of the Church from the outward show of supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit back to the GIVER of the gifts. Kathryn walked in the authority of what the Church will be like in times to come, a forerunner of the true "Bride of Christ."
Roberts Liardon in his book, Kathryn Kuhlman: a spiritual Biography of God's Miracle Working Power, writes about a Kuhlman meeting:
"Hundreds have been healed just sitting quietly in the audience without any demonstration whatsoever. None. Very often not even a sermon is preached. There have been times when not even a song has been sung. No loud demonstration, n o loud calling on God as though he were deaf. No screaming, no shouting, within the very quietness of His presence. There were hundreds of times when the presence of the Holy Spirit was so real that one could almost hear the rhythm as thousands of hearts beat as one."
Kathryn manifested the power of the Holy Spirit wherever she went. No matter how large or tall a building was, sinner or saint always knew when Kathryn entered the building, because the whole atmosphere seemed to change. Her life was a commitment to prayer. Traveling constantly, she prayed continuously. Before her meetings, her staff relates that Kathryn could be seen "pacing back and forth, head up, head down, arms flung into the air, hands clasped behind her back with her face covered in tears." Oral Roberts tells us of the intensity of her prayers, "It was like they were talking back and forth to each other, and you couldn't tell where Kathryn started and the Holy Spirit left off. It was a oneness."
Kathryn was born May 9, 1907. Her parents, Joseph Adolph and Emma Walkenhorst Kuhlman, were German immigrants and living on a farm outside of Concordia, Missouri. Her mother was Methodist and her father was Baptist. Her mother was a church member but her father had a strong aversion to preachers saying that they "were in it for the money" and refused to even walk on the same side of the street as they did. As far as Kathryn knew, he never prayed or read the Bible. A childhood friend describes Kathryn as having:
"Large features, red hair, and freckles. It could not be said of Kathryn that she was pretty. She was not dainty or appealing feminine in any sense of the word. She was taller than the rest of ‘our gang' (five feet eight), gangly and boyish in built, and her long strides kept the rest of us puffing to keep up with her."
From early in her life Kathryn felt the urgings of the Spirit. She believed that church attendance was just as important as going to work and at the age of 14 in her mother's Methodist church she gave her life to God:
"I was standing beside Mama...I can't remember the ministers name or even one word of his sermon, but something happened to me...as I stood there, I began shaking to the extent that I could no longer hold the hymnal, so I laid it on the pew...and sobbed. I was feeling the weight of (conviction) and I realized that I was a sinner. I felt like the meanest, lowest person in the whole world...I did the only thing I knew to do: I slipped out from where I was standing and walked to the front pew and sat down in the corner...and wept. Oh, how I wept! I had become the happiest person in the whole world. The heavy weight had been lifted. I experienced something that has never left me. I had been born again, and the Holy Spirit had done the very thing that Jesus said He would do (John 16:8)."
In 1922 the Kulhman family, were registered as members of the local Baptist church. In her early years she went to a Baptist seminary and was ordained as a Baptist preacher. In her later years Kathryn refused to be part of any denomination and gave no organization any credit for her ministry, only God.
Later, Myrtle and Everett Parrott, her sister and brother-in-law, invited her to travel with them and preach at their tent revivals. She stayed with them from the age of 16 until she was 21. During the time she spent with the Parrotts, they were influenced by Dr. Charles S. Price, a Canadian evangelist, who instructed Parrott on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was when the healing ministry was introduced into their revivals. While with the Parrotts, Kathryn, also attended the Simpson Bible School in Seattle for two years.
When Kathryn was 21, she started her own ministry. Her first mission was a small dirty pool hall in Boise, Idaho. From the pool hall she went to an old filthy opera house that she had to clean and make ready for her evangelistic meetings. Nothing deterred her as she became well-known traveling and preaching in tents and barns in Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Many times she did not know where she would spend the night. On one occasion, the family with whom she was scheduled to stay with only had a turkey house that they scrubbed clean, for her. In those days guest rooms rarely had heat and Kathryn remembers snuggling under great piles of covers until she got the spot warm where she lay. Then she would turn over on her stomach and study the Word of God for hours at a time.
"...My heart is fixed. I'll be loyal to Him at any cost, at any price, Loyalty is much more than a casual interest in someone or something. It's a personal commitment. In the final analysis, it means, ‘Here I am. You can count on me. I won't fail you."
After a six month revival in Pueblo, Colorado, Kathryn moved to Denver and opened her own church in an old Montgomery Ward warehouse, calling it the Denver Revival Tabernacle. The first night, one hundred twenty-five people were present, the second night, over four hundred and from then on the warehouse was filled to capacity every night. A larger meeting place was found that held over two thousand people and over the years the building was consistently filled. Services were held every night except Monday. During this time a traveling evangelist , Burroughs A. Waltrip from Austin, Texas was invited to speak at the church. He was married but told every-one that his wife had left him and through no fault of his own asked for a divorce. The truth was the opposite, he had left her and it would be awhile before that would come to light. In the meantime Waltrip and Kathryn found themselves attracted to each other and soon married. It wasn't long after that the truth came out and Kathryn left him but it cost her "the ministry" she so devoutly built. She never again saw Waltrip again and soon left for Franklin, Pennsylvania to start her life again preaching the Word of her Lord.
In Franklin she found people hungry for the gospel. She preached in the fifteen hundred seat Gospel Tabernacle, made famous since Billy Sunday preached there. Kathryn's ministry there was followed by "miracles, signs and wonders." She would write about those meetings:
" Hundreds have been healed just sitting quietly in the audience, without any demonstration whatsoever, and even without admonition...because by His Presence alone, sick bodies are healed."
Word soon spread throughout the country and "Healing meetings" were held wherever she went.
Critics are want to say that Kathryn's ministry then took a wrong turn saying it no longer had the saving of souls as its primary focus. This is far from the truth as we see from Kathryn's own words:
"Healing is marvelous, but the greatest miracle is the transformation of a soul from darkness to light. I do not care if I never see another body healed, as long as I know that there are souls being saved. Healing of the body is nothing compared to the healing of the soul."
Kathryn believed that healing was provided for the believer at the same time as salvation. As she was teaching one night on the Holy Spirit, healings began in the congregation without her even knowing it until the next night. It happened by the power of the Holy Spirit. The next night a woman stood and gave a testimony about the preceding meeting the night before. Without anyone laying hands on her and without Kathryn even being aware of what was happening the women was healed of a cancerous tumor. The women had gone to her doctor to confirm her healing before the evening service. A World War 1 veteran, who was blind from the War, received his sight. Once the healings and miracles began to take place the crowds became even larger. Kathryn would not take credit for any of it, she would give God all the glory for the results. A former secretary remembered:
"Miss Kuhlman was so tender toward God. I was standing in the Tabernacle after a service and could see into her room. There was Miss Kuhlman, unaware that anyone could see her, was on her knees praising God for the service."
She held a meeting in Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh, a meeting place that not even the most popular opera stars could fill to capacity. The first night, because every seat in the house was filled, chairs had to be brought in from elsewhere. Healings took place throughout the auditorium while people sat in their seats, looking toward Heaven and focusing on Jesus. After the meeting people urged her to move her ministry to Pittsburgh permanently. Kathryn was reluctant and finally decided against the move:
"No! The roof on Faith Temple literally would have to cave in before I'd believe God wanted me to move to Pittsburgh."
The next week, Thanksgiving, 1950, the temple roof fell in under the weight of the biggest snowfall to hit that area in its history. Kathryn moved to Pittsburgh. For the next twenty years she would hold her famous "miracle services" in Carnegie Hall. People from all over the world would attend the services. She conducted an average of 125 healing meetings a year. She would eventually have national and world-wide radio and television programs to reach millions.
Eventually she moved her meetings from Carnegie Hall to the First Presbyterian Church, and for years these services were attended by some of the most elite Bible scholars in Pittsburgh. These meetings also had an impact on many future evangelists:
"A friend of mine, Jim Poynter, has asked me to go with him on a...trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A group was going to a meeting of a healing evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman. To be honest, I knew very little about her ministry. I'd seen her on television, and she totally turned me off...I wasn't exactly filled with expectation...We arrived at the First Presbyterian Church...at five in the morning, it was still dark and bitter cold...hundreds of people were already there...the doors wouldn't open for two more hours. When the doors finally opened it was a race for seats...it would be another hour before the service began...almost out of nowhere, Kathryn Kuhlman appeared. In an instant the atmosphere in that building became charged... I didn't feel anything around me. No voices. No heavenly angels singing. Nothing. All I knew was that for three hours I would be shaking. It was as if I had exploded...tears streamed down my face...talk about ecstasy! It was a feeling of intense glory...suddenly I felt a breeze. I looked at the windows but they were all closed. The breeze became more like a wave of wind...I actually felt it moving...the waves of that wind continued to wash over me. And then I felt as if someone had wrapped my body in a...blanket...a blanket of warmth. At that moment I felt...peace...which surpasses all understanding." Benny Hinn, healing evangelist
Thousands upon thousands of healings took place. People would cram the altar and she would extend her hand toward them and they would fall under the "power of the Holy Ghost" slain in the Spirit. Kathryn offered this explanation:
"All I can believe is that our spiritual beings are not wired for God's full power, and when we plug in to that power, we just can't survive it. We are wired for low voltage, God is high voltage through the Holy Spirit."
Kathryn wept for joy as she watched the thousands being healed through the power of God. She never tried to explain why some received their healing and some did not. She believed that the responsibility remained with God. A reporter asked her once why some were not healed she answered:
"I do not know but that will be one of the first questions I will ask God when I get to heaven!"
Roberts Lairdon tells us:
"...a five year old boy, crippled from birth, walked to Kathryn's platform without assistance. Another, a woman, who had been crippled and confined to a wheelchair for twelve years, walked to the platform without the aid of her husband. A man...who had received a pacemaker eight months earlier, felt intense pain in his chest after Kathryn laid hands on him. Returning home, he found the scar gone from his chest where the pacemaker had been implanted. Later, when the doctor took X-rays, he discovered the pacemaker was gone and the man's heart healed! It was common for tumors to dissolve, cancers fall off, the blind see and the deaf to hear. Migraine headaches were healed instantly...it would be impossible to list all the miracles that the ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman witnessed! God alone knows."
In 1952, Kathryn went to Akron, Ohio to preach and the police were at their wits end. The meeting was scheduled to start at 11:00 A.M. that morning and by 4:00 A. M. nearly 18,000 people were gathered around the tent. Kathryn's ministry was known world-wide and she even was having converts in Hollywood. Top screen stars were coming to her meetings. Even comedienne Phyllis Diller recommended one of Kathryn's books to a dying fan.
Around this time Kathryn was diagnosed as having an enlarged heart and a defective mitral valve. It never stopped her because she was more concerned with the healing of the masses than with her own personal health. Her schedule was extremely hectic and many times she was suffering from physical and mental exhaustion. She continued to minister around the world in Israel, Finland and Sweden. She was asked to appear on many television shows that were popular at that time including the Johnny Carson show, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and the Dinah Shore Show.
Her last miracle service was in Los Angeles, California, on November 16, 1975. Three weeks later she lay dying in the Hillcrest Medical Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, after open-heart surgery. Oral and Evelyn Roberts went to her room to pray for her healing. As they walked toward her bed, Oral remembers:
"When Kathryn recognized that we were there to pray for her recovery, she put her hands out like a barrier and then pointed toward heaven."
Evelyn Roberts looked at her husband and said:
"She doesn't want our prayers. She wants to go home."
The Holy Spirit was in the room with Kathryn and at the time of her last breath it is said by those present that her face began to shine. Jamie Buckingham in the book, Daughter of Destiny: Kathryn Kuhlman...Her Story, takes us inside Kathryn's hospital room at the time of her death:
"The nurse in her room noticed a glow that enveloped her bed, creating an indescribable peace."
On February 20, 1976, at 8:20 P.M. Kathryn Kuhlman at the age of 68 was granted her wish.
On Kathryn's tombstone in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California are the words, "I believe in miracles, because I believe in God."
John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father."
JJ (Dark) Di Pietro
Cane Creek Church