Healing and Revival


 

"Evangelize the World"

Clifton Oliver Erickson was born on February 24, 1915 to Christian and Martha (Hanson) Erickson in Chelan, Washington. His parents had a Norwegian heritage with a strong Christian background. His mother dedicated him to God upon his birth. His mother recalled that at five years old Erickson told her "Mother, when I grow up I'm going to be a preacher". He had a conversion experience, when he was eighteen, at a revival meeting held by a converted logger in Wenatchee, Washington. His uncle was a pastor and he would help out in the meetings and lead the singing.

Erickson was seeking a deeper experience with God. He cried out for more of the Holy Spirit. God told him that if he would fast and pray for three days he would receive the baptism at ten o'clock on the third evening. He began to fast and pray for a greater outpouring. On the third evening of the fast the family was having a prayer meeting in their home when the presence of God fell. In Erickson's book "Supernatural Deliverance" he relates what happened next.

"I waited, and when ten o'clock arrived, the power of God came and swept me across the room, leaving me prostrate on the floor. then, an angel was seen by my father as it appeared in the room and hovered over me, reaching forward to clasp my hands as they rested on my bosom. As I was lying there, with the power of God mightily upon me, I felt the hands of the angel. My father saw a tongue of fire appear in the room, rest on my head, and disappear as it entered my body. At this moment I felt a burning, cleansing flame enter, and surge through me, in wave after wave, increasing in intensity until it seemed that my whole being was being purged. Then I felt a power begin to move within, and increase until I could restrain myself no longer, I opened my mouth and began to speak in a heavenly language, extolling and praising God for His marvelous power and glory. I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The message spoken to me three days before, had come to pass.

After this glorious experience, others began to prophesy in this manner: 'If thou wilt prove thyself faithful and obey my call, I will place my power upon thee, and thou shalt go forth in a ministry of deliverance. If thou wilt stay humble, I will show thee my will, and thou shalt minister to great congregations. I will confirm the preaching of my word with signs and wonders, and many shall be saved. 'After this experience, I walked in heavenly places for days. As I walked and talked with God, the joy I experienced was indescribable."

Erickson struggled with the call to ministry. He felt he was "just a farmboy" and had been a trucker and a driller's helper, with only two years of high school education behind him. That was hardly his idea of preparation for an evangelistic ministry. He married a girl named Vivian Gardner in 1937. She was the sister of another future healing evangelist named Velmer Gardner. She became severely ill with stomach ulcers and grew to the point she could no longer even hold water down. Erickson prayed and felt to pray against an afflicting spirit. She was healed instantly and got up from her bed. Still he did not respond to God's call to preach. One day while working on the farm a piece of steel flew off and struck him in the eye. It pierced his pupil. By the time he went to see the doctor infection had set in and he was facing losing both eyes. He again sought the Lord. He felt assured that if he responded to God's call to preach that he would be healed. His wife also heard the same message. They were faithful and packed up and went to a small town to preach. Within two weeks his eyes were perfectly well.

In 1945 Erickson became licensed with the Assembly of God denomination. In 1948 he became an ordained minister. He was invited to the first Voice of Healing Convention in Dallas in 1949. Speakers included William Branham, F.F. Bosworth, Raymond T. Richey, Oral Roberts and others. Erickson was seeing some success bfore the convention, but it took off took off after Oral Roberts prayed for him there. He felt the power of God come on him in a new way, and he began to see more miraculous healingsHe had a tent evangelism ministry. The tent was smaller than many of his contemporaries, holding 3-4,000 people. Still he was seeing healings and miracles occur on a regular basis.

Erickson's ministry became international and he went to Chile in 1952 and spoke to crowds that reached 75,000. In 1954 he went to Manila in the Phillipines with Lester Sumrall. Sumrall later wrote a book about the revival called "Modern Manila Miracles". Erickson produced his own publication called "Deliverance Magazine" from 1956 to 1962. Then in 1962 Erickson and Sumrall teamed up to create the World Harvest magazine. Facing family struggles Erickson and his wife divorced around 1967. He left the ministry for awhile, letting his ordination lapse. He reinstated it in 1978 to begin preaching again. 1978 was the year that Vivian, his first wife, died so he may have felt that he no longer had the stigma of being a divorcee. Erickson also was remarried to a woman named Edith. He eventually retired to Florida. He died on December 5, 1998 in Orlando, Florida, a few months after the death of his second wife. Clifton and Vivian had one child, Janice Vivian Erickson, who sadly died before him in 1994 and he had no grandchildren.

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