Healing and Revival


"Jesus the Healer"


Esseck William Kenyon is a controversial figure, often referred to as the "Father or Grandfather of the Word of Faith Movement". He was born in New England to a poor family in 1867. He had limited education. At the age of 18 he was saved in a Primitive Methodist Chapel. After a while he left the church because he had become disillusioned and desired to make a better income. He married his wife Evva on May 8, 1893. Evva had been brought up in some very difficult times, and did not believe that God could have allowed it, so she was opposed to the gospel.

In June of 1893, E.W. and Evva attended a meeting in the Clarendon Street Church, in Boston that was being pastored by A.J. Gordon. He came under conviction and rededicated his life to Christ. Evva, slightly less enthusiastic, joined him and committed to walk the road together. Kenyon began an evangelistic work, but once again felt called to the ministry. After speaking in a Free Baptist church in Amesbury, Massachusetts the couple decided to join the denomination. Kenyon pastored several small churches in New York, and then Massachusetts. It was during this time that Kenyon came into the understanding of the Holy Spirit as a person. While in Massachusetts George Mueller's book came into Kenyon's hands. He decided to believe that God could provide finances and not be dependent on constant fund-raising. The church could not see how this could work, so they left the denomination and decided to work independently.

The couple believed the Bible to be the very Word of God. They felt that it needed no explaining or interpreting, and it should be read and taken literally. They covenanted to act on is exactly as it was written. They went to the YMCA in Worcester and taught what they had come to believe. Converts began to come in. The Kenyons had been exposed to the belief in Divine Healing through the Free Will Baptists, but had never acted on it. A man with consumption came to live with them. One day while Evva was praying God gave her the scripture from Mark 16:18. "they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (NASB) She went and prayed for this man and he immediately was healed. E.W. felt that God had confirmed His written word and included healing in his services from that time on. Many healings began to occur in their meetings.

Young people began to come from all over the area to receive training. The Kenyons opened a bible school and began to train the young people. They purchased a farm and called it Bethel Bible School. They lived on faith every step of the way, struggling with financial need, but depending on God. Kenyon moved west in 1923, and settled in California where healings were a regular part of his ministry. He started a church which grew to about a thousand members. Then he moved to Seattle where he established New Covenant Baptist Church. He began a radio ministry, a Bible Institute, and the Herald of Life publication. Kenyon died in 1948. He wrote several books which are still being published today.

Interested in his healing book? It is still available.


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