A FIRE THAT CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED
By Fred J. Foster
“Suddenly from heaven!” As it was at the beginning on the day of Pentecost, there was something about this phenomenal happening that could not be sidelined. It was destined to enlarge its borders, and so we shall see it, step by step, as it increased to its present stage.
GALENA, KANSAS REVIVAL
A notable meeting was started in the lead and zinc mining town of Galena, Kansas in the fall of 1903, and lasting on through the winter. God worked in a most unusual way, healing the sick and filling many with the Holy Spirit. The largest building in town, seating 1,000, could not take care of the crowds that swarmed to these meetings. The St. Louis Globe Democrat reported the meeting thus: “Galena, Kansas,
January 1, 1904 The evangelistic meetings which have been held at this place by the Rev. Parham for the past six weeks celebrated the New Year by baptizing the converts in Spring River this afternoon.
“These meetings have been a success from the be ginning, and fully 500 have been converted. Some have already been immersed, but today’s list counts 250. Many of the most prominent people in town have professed to having been healed of blindness, cancer, rheumatism and other diseases, and it has been such a spiritual revival as Galena has not experienced in years, if ever.
“The services were to have been closed last night with the all-night watch meeting, but the business men rallied and made good the expenses for another month’s service.” (1)
It was here at this time that Howard A. Goss, destined to be a prominent figure in Pentecost, was first introduced to the Pentecostal message.
Goss said, “This was my first contact with Pentecostal people or with Christianity of any sort, for that matter…Around the time the Galena meeting first started, . . .my high school teacher. . .spoke to me about serving the Lord. In all my life, this was the only time anyone had ever spoken to me about my soul. After I became fully convinced that infidelity was wrong, I went forward during the next meeting to the place of prayer, earnestly praying and seeking God.
“. . .On one of the coldest days of the entire winter that followed, I remember Brother Parham baptizing around 100 converts in Spring River before a tremendous crowd assembled in the open. I was one of that hundred.” (2)
TEXAS WAS NEXT
From Galena, Joplin and Baxter Springs, the revival fires spread. The next direction it went was Texas. God uses strange situations to further His cause, and so it was with the story behind the Holy Ghost outpouring in Orchard, Texas.
T. Walter Oyler became very ill while farming at Orchard. He had come to Texas some years before from his native state of Missouri, and now decided to go back there to be among his relatives for his last days on this earth, but the Lord had other plans. He and his faithful wife heard of the glorious but strange revival in Galena, Kansas, and decided to go over and see for themselves. While there, as has often been the case in revival meetings, they could not resist the influences of the Holy Ghost, and they were soon thrillingly baptized with the Spirit.
Later in Missouri they attended Parham’s important meeting at Joplin, and there Oyler was miraculously healed by the power of the Lord. (3) Gloriously healed and baptized with the Holy Ghost, he naturally wanted to go back to Orchard and spread the good tidings. In Joplin he and his wife met Mrs. Anna Hall, an appealing woman, whom they prevailed upon to accompany them back to Texas to hold a revival meeting. This she did, and began there on March 21, 1905. (4)
THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE TEXAS OUTPOURING
With the booming revival which followed, Orchard, a little town on the prairie forty-five miles from Houston, became the birthplace of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Texas. Parham wrote, “There were only five or six Christians here, but in two weeks there were only about that many sinners. In the whole section, from far and near, they come and are converted.” (5)
News of this revival spread to Houston, where Mrs. John C. Calhoun heard about this wonderful new experience. “She searched the Word diligently to see if what was reported was Scriptural, and decided to visit the scene. Attending the church one Sunday morning, she realized a supernatural power in the songs, prayers, and testimonies…and her heart was strangely warmed within her.” (6) She soon received the Holy Ghost, with the sign of speaking in tongues.
Upon her return to Houston, she told her pastor, W. F. Carouthers, of the mighty experience she had received. He kindly received it. The congregation was stirred to the depths, and began searching the Word so diligently that two months later, when an evangelistic party came to Houston, this church in Brunner, a Houston suburb, was ready for the new message.
This Houston meeting was a result of Parham’s returning to Kansas and Missouri for several short meetings on May 20, 1905. There he enthusiastically talked of the happenings in Texas, and consecrated workers were recruited to go back with him. July 10, 1905 loomed as the day this evangelistic party would leave for the mission field of Texas. Arriving in Houston, this twenty-five-person group quickly set about to have a revival. Bryan Hall was secured, and for five weeks the revival pulsation was felt far and near. The workers enthusiastically preached on the streets and from house to house in the day time, and then met in the hall for the evening service. The church in Brunner quickly accepted the message and was an extraordinary blessing to the success of the meeting. (7)
Numerous healings were reported, along with the large number receiving the Holy Ghost. One such healing Parham tells us about was that of Mrs. J. M. Dulaney being enabled to walk again. She had been injured in a street car collision two years before, and was confined to a wheel chair. She was carried up the steps into the hall, but thrillingly walked out in her own strength, after being instantly healed. She was known by many in Houston, and it naturally caused quite a large stir. (8)
When the meeting in Bryan Hall was completed it gave time to evangelize neighboring towns with the gospel. Among these were Alvin, Richmond, Angleton, Katy and Crosby. One of the outstanding revivals was held at Alvin, with 134 said to have received the Holy Ghost. (9)
One of the strange and exciting happenings was at the conclusion of a conference in Orchard in April, 1906. Several in attendance had not as yet received the Holy Spirit, and were extremely disappointed because they had not received it at the conference. While enroute to Angleton by train, twelve people, with their hungry hearts crying out to God, were mightily baptized as the train raced along over the prairie. Among that group was Howard A. Goss who would later become a distinguished leader in the Oneness movement. His account reads: “The coach which I boarded was filled with our group, all praying and worshipping God, and soon the Lord really began to pour out His Spirit upon us. That coach became a veritable prayer room!
“. . .I knew that several had already been filled when suddenly the power of God struck me! . . .As I lay back limply against my chair, the Spirit of God took possession of my fully-surrendered body, and lastly took hold of my throat and vocal chords in what to me was a new and strange tongue, as the Spirit actually did the speaking. I talked first in one language, which soon changed to another, and then to another. I could tell when the change in the language came, because they were so different. . .About the same time that I had begun to speak, I heard a young lady, Miss Mary Smith, who with her mother was seated facing me, also begin to speak in another tongue. They both had been waiting for the Holy Ghost in Angleton, as well as I. What a time we all had in the Lord. What a train ride!” (10)
During these outpourings several ministers were among those filled, and God was also calling some of the new converts into the ministry. Training was vital, so a Bible school was opened in Houston. A large residence at 503 Rusk Street was rented for this purpose by Parham in December of 1905, and classes began the first of the new year. (11) It was estimated there were some sixty preachers and workers in Texas alone at this time, and though this was to be a short term school, much good was to come of it. (12)
One of the students was W. J. Seymour, a black Holiness preacher who was very interested in this new message. He was not to receive the Holy Ghost until later, but he held on to every word taught at the school, and must have had an extraordinary memory. In his later teaching it is said he would quote,almost word for word, Parham’s classroom teaching. His was to be a prominent place in the propagation of the tongues phenomenon in the future.
But there were others catching the spirit and vision of the hour, and slowly but surely they were going in many different directions, carrying the message that was destined to circle the globe.
1 Parham, “Parham,” p. 95.
2 Goss, “The Winds of God,” p. 12, 13 14.
3 Brumback, “Suddenly From Heaven,’ p. 30.
4 Parham, “Parham,” p. 109.
5 Ibid., p. 108.
6 Frodsham, “With Signs Following,” p. 27.
7 Parham, “Parham,” p. 112.
8 Ibid., p. 113.
9 Frodsham, “With Signs Following,” p. 28.
10 Goss, “The Winds of God,” p. 43, 44.
11 Parham, “Parham,” p. 135
12 Frodsham, “With Signs Following,” p. 29.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM 20TH CENTURY PENTECOSTALS AND PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1980, PAGES 49-55. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.