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Experience as a Catalyst for Healing Ministry: Historical Evidence and Implications from the Life of F.F. Bosworth

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conference contribution
posted on 23.02.2017, 14:46 by Roscoe Barnes III
This paper was presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies held in March 2007 at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.

With a ministry that spanned two world wars and over five decades, Fred Francis Bosworth (1877-1958) was considered one of the greatest authorities on divine healing. The author of Christ the Healer, he was a Pentecostal pioneer who reportedly led more than a million people to faith in Christ. He conducted some of the largest evangelistic healing campaigns ever reported in the United States. 

Despite Bosworth's many accomplishments, there is little known about his life history. While much is known about his teachings on divine healing, there is a lack of research on how he developed into a famous healing evangelist. Bosworth has attributed his success to such practices as prayer and fasting, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, along with simple faith in the Word of God and the confession of the Word. Yet, his actual experiences may have played a more important role in his success than he or others have noted. 

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of experience in Bosworth's healing ministry, and explain how it served as a catalyst for his success as a healing evangelist. By seeing the ministry of healing in this light, the church will know more, I believe, about the value of experience in preparing one for future ministry. The primary methodology for this research was the historical case study, through which I collected and analyzed historical research data on Bosworth’s life history. I reviewed his experiences on four levels: Personal, Corporate, Theological and Developmental.