David Wesley Myland
was born April 11, 1858 in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. His parents were
English immigrants and they moved, within three years, to Cleveland, Ohio
in the United States. The family was extremely religious and Myland's
father was known as a walking bible encyclopedia and his mother as a woman
of prayer. At an early age David himself was memorizing scripture. Although
knowing the bible and gospel basics, Myland did not have a specific salvation
experience until he was 19 years old.
In 1877 Myland's
father died, leaving his mother in his care. His only brother, Leslie,
was attending Oberlin University. By 1880 he was writing poetry, which
would later translate itself into the songwriting that he became well
known for. Myland's mother prayed for him and asked him to commit his
life to God's service. He took on part time preaching duties for a local
Methodist church and began to study to enter the pastorate. By
1885 he had met and married Nellie Ormsby. He was working in a business,
with his brother, when a building they owned caught on fire. In an effort
to save some of their paperwork Myland fell and severely hurt his back.
He ended up spending the next six months in bed and came under conviction
that God was calling him to save souls. After his recovery Myland began
to preach full time. Ironically one of the things he preached against
was "divine healing" and the Christian and Missionary Alliance!
In 1888 Myland
had been pushing himself and his back injury reasserted itself. He collapsed
and his entire left side and part of his right side became paralyzed.
He could not even speak. Such a blow seemed unendurable. While lying on
his back Myland felt convicted that his teaching against divine healing
was wrong. He committed to God he would repent for his words and would
apologize to the local Christian Alliance pastor. Myland had a vision
where God promised that he would be healed. He convinced the local Methodist
pastor to take him to an Alliance Convention in Linwood, Ohio where about
3000 people were in attendance. He was carried to a small cottage and
the Reverend John Salmon of Toronto, Canada anointed him with oil and
prayed for him. Myland was struck by the power of God and the swelling
in his arm and leg began to go down immediately. His voice returned and
Myland got up and walked.
home and became a Methodist pastor, however, the denomination did not
agree with his teaching on healing. Within two years he left the Methodists
and joined the Christian Alliance. While many in the Alliance were teaching
that healing was based on the atonement (Isa 53:3-5) Myland focused on
the healing power of the resurrection. For him Jesus was life in every
way. Myland moved to Cleveland and began developing and Alliance ministry.
He opened the Gospel Union Church and the El-Shaddai Healing Home. He
had strong leadership skills and the group around Cleveland began to grow.
He also traveled with A.B. Simpson to Alliance conventions where he testified
about his healing and preached.
was grueling. He was on the road constantly speaking at Alliance conventions
and running evangelistic campaigns, besides pastoring his church in Cleveland.
He worked with D. L. Moody at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. By 1894 he
was Secretary of Christian Alliance Ohio chapter and by 1897 he was the
first Central District Superintendent of the newly formed Christian and
Missionary Alliance. In 1897 he began publishing a magazine "The
Messenger" about Alliance work and workers. Myland and his wife began
working with James M. Kirk to write gospel songs. Two men joined Kirk
and Myland to form the Ohio Quartet. The Quartet traveled all over the
country and was well known for over the next ten years. In 1898 Myland
and Kirk published a book of 237 hymns titled Redemption Songs.
Besides the initial
healing, Myland had six more significant healing events in his life. In
1892 Myland was healed of a deliberate arsenic poisoning. In 1895 Myland
contracted pneumonia and pleurisy and was healed when a deacon prayed
for him. In February 1900 Myland was healed of a severe repertory infection
when another deacon prayed for him. In 1902 he contracted typhoid-pneumonia
and was close to dying, but Christians rallied around him. The power of
God hit him and shook the bed. Although he'd been on the point of death
for five weeks he was healed and out in ministry within a few days. In
1905 Myland was returning from a meeting in the snow and fell into a ditch.
He fractured his back, two ribs, hurt his spleen and got pneumonia from
lying in the snow for 45 minutes. He felt God's presence and improved,
but pushed himself too hard and developed kidney and colon problems so
he collapsed once more. An Alliance convention was going on so people
began to pray for him because he was dying. He was healed and went back
to work within a few days. In 1906 a gas stove exploded burning Myland
severely. He improved a little but amazingly he attended a convention
the next week praising God and singing, although his burns were very bad.
His hand became infected and blood poisoning set in. This was the time
frame when he had heard about the Pentecostal revival in Azusa. He'd been
crying out for it. He had a vision where he saw Jesus and was raised into
heaven where he sang with an angelic choir. When he came out of the vision
he was signing in tongues and was healed.
1905 healing the family moved to Columbus, Ohio to start a new Alliance
work. This was the Alliance Gospel Tabernacle. He was recorded being a
District Superintendent for the Alliance is July 1905, and a District
Evangelist in 1910. It was while he was preaching in Columbus in October
of 1906 that the gas heater blew up and he had his Pentecostal vision.
In November 1906 Myland went to his church and gave his first Pentecostal
sermon. At some point Myland came in contact with William Piper, whose
Stone Church in Chicago was a recognized Pentecostal center. Myland taught
and spoke several times between 1909 and 1911. Piper put out a publication,
"Latter Rain Evangel", that went all over the country,
which caused Myland's ministry to increase dramatically. He was speaking
at both Alliance and Pentecostal Conventions, pastoring his Alliance church,
and also writing books and music. Piper published his sermons and healing
testimonies in the Evangel and published a book of the compiled
sermons called "The Latter Rain" In 1911 he published
Myland's second book called "The Book of Revelation".
Myland also published a book of 253 songs for Pentecostal believers called
There was a lot
of disagreement about Pentecostalism within the Christian and Missionary
Alliance, especially over the gift of tongues being the "initial
evidence" of being filled with the Spirit. A. B. Simpson struggled
with the validity of the gift and the extremes found in the Pentecostal
movement. The tension lasted several years until the Alliance finally
took a stand against tongues as initial evidence in 1912. At that time
Myland, with several other pastors, left the Christian and Missionary
Alliance to start Pentecostal works. (It is interesting to note that in
1918 the Assemblies of God did the reverse and set the doctrine of "tongues
as initial evidence" as a requirement for membership, which caused
F. F. Bosworth to leave and join the Christian and Missionary Alliance.)
The Mylands move
to Plainfield, Indiana to open a Bible School and healing home called
Gibeah. He had the support of many former Alliance members and a wealthy
Indianapolis woman provided a house with acreage. He also held a Pentecostal
convention there in 1913. He taught two famous Pentecostal leaders at
the college, J. Roswell and Alice Flower. They later helped establish
the Assemblies of God denomination. Myland also formed the Association
of Christian Assemblies, of which he was the head. The Association only
lasted until 1914 when it was disbanded. The owner of the house decided
to stop supporting the school and the Mylands moved on.
went to Chicago and taught in the Ebenezer Bible College until 1918. The
family then moved to Philadelphia then Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta,
Myland help to form the Apostolic Christian Association, which he headed
until 1920. Myland went on to pastor several churches around the country
and continued teaching bible classes. Amazingly he pastored until he was
83 years old! In Van Wert, Ohio he opened another Bible College and Healing
Home, which lasted from 1932-1933. The Mylands finally ended back in Columbus,
Ohio from 1933 - 1943, where they started a new church and spoke at churches
in the surrounding area. David Wesley Myland died April 8, 1943.
David Wesley Myland went he taught on healing and prayed for the sick.
Much of his foundational understanding came from his background in the
Christian and Missionary Alliance organization. Once he moved into Pentecostal
circles he was considered a "father in the faith" and welcomed
for his experience and scholarly teaching. Myland is the first person
identified as defining the term "latter rain" meaning the outpouring
of God before the return of Christ. This came from the song he was given
when he was healed after receiving a vision of the heavenly choir. Myland's
approach to scripture has probably brought the most controversy about
his teaching. He approached scripture as having three interpretive possibilities:
as an historical account, as symbolic - relating past stories the current
church, and as a prophetic account suggesting scripture could define future
Names showing up in blue are other people who have biographies on this web site.
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