After completeting the tenth grade--all that was offered--Kathryn Kuhlman began her ministry at age sixteen, assisting her sister and brother-in-law.  She was soon on her own, itinerating in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, finally settling down in Denver in 1933 in the Kuhlman Revival Tabernacle.  By 1935 she had built the 2,000 seat Denver Revival Tabernacle.  She effectively used the media and established an influential radio ministry.  Her marriage to an evangelist, who divorced his wife to marry Kuhlman, destroyed her Denver ministry.  They continued to evangelize, but apparently after about six years--she was silent on the subject--she left him and started over again on her own.  

In 1946 in Franklin, Pennsylvania, a woman was suddenly healed of a tumor during one of Kuhlman's services.  This was to develop as a characteristic phenomenon of the "Miracle Services." Kuhlman would call out the specific disorder that was being cured in a certain area of the auditorium, and would be received by the appropriate individual.  She again developed a daily radio ministry in 1948 she moved to Pittsburgh, which remained her headquarters as she had regular services in Carnegie Hall and the First Presbyterian Church.  She was catapulted toward national fame by a seven-page laudatory article in Redbook magazine.  

From California in 1965 came the insistent invitation of Ralph Wilkerson of Anaheim Christian Center (later Melodyland).  She began services at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which seated 2,500, but later moved to the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, where she regularly filled the 7,000 seats for ten years.  She also continued the Pittsburgh meetings while expanding into television, producing more than five hundred telecasts for the BAS network.  In 1972 she received the first honorary doctorate awarded by Oral Roberts University.

It was not until the mid-1960's that Kuhlman became particularly identified with the charismatic movement.  the older Pentecostals out of the holiness tradition found her twice suspect.  She was a divorcee, and she did not satisfy them by giving testimony in her ministry to any personal experience of speaking in tongues.  She did not permit tongues in the regular course of the miracle services.

Kuhlman objected to the appellation "faith healer ." The only gift she claimed, if any at all was that of "faith" or "the word of knowledge" (1 Cor 12:8-9).  She always referred to herself as an evangelist.

Apart from the well-documented healings, the most sensational phenomena associated with Kuhlman was "going under the power" (sometimes referred to as being "slain in the Spirit") as people fell when she prayed for them.  This sometimes happened to dozens as a time and occasionally hundreds.

Kuhlman was an incessant worker and gave meticulous attention to every detail of her services; everything had to be first-class.  conducting them herself, she was on her feet for four to five hours at a time.  She was very dramatic in gesture and consciously deliberate in speech.  She was a strikingly tall redhead and dressed elegantly.  Her friend and biographer Jamie Buckingham admits: "She loved her expensive clothes, precious jewels, luxury hotels, and first class travel." She was A star, even until her death short of her seventieth birthday.

D. J. Wilson in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements 

Post a Comment