Healing and Revival


"Healed and Filled"

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.

Myland returned 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.

Myland's schedule 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.

After Myland's 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 "Gospel Praise."

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.

Myland eventually 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.

Everywhere that 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 events.

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