Healing and Revival
"Physical Healing is Our Heritage"
Kenneth MacKenzie was born in Greenwich Village, New York on July 31, 1853. He grew up being very sickly. He hardly completed a school year without illness stopping his progress. He did not feel that he was able to attend college due to his health, but decided to attempt working in a business. Constant illness made it very difficult. By the time he was twenty-one years old he became critically ill. He dropped to 75 pounds and people would comment "Look at that walking graveyard." He went to a friend's farm 100 miles outside New York City hoping to improve. His condition became so bad that he could hardly eat and he would no longer go out into public. He became intensely aware of God and felt God's presence was near. On March 1, 1874 MacKenzie's friends went to church, leaving him on his own to study the Bible. An overwhelming sense of the presence of God came upon him and he became assured that Jesus was the healer. He fell asleep believing something miraculous had occurred. The next day MacKenzie began to eat, in fact he ate five meals a day for the next week! He was completely healed. Within 5 months he'd gained 65 pounds and felt called to enter the ministry.
MacKenzie took a job at a rescue mission in New York City. It was strenuous work and he often was there 16 hours a day for three years. He was working under an Episcopalian rector who saw his potential, and provided a tutor to prepare him to enter the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He was ordained as an Episcopalian minister and became an assistant pastor in Holy Trinity Parish. He continued his advanced studies and passed to become a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.). Suddenly in the summer of 1882 MacKenzie became ill due to exposure to sewage in the city. Doctors said that his case was hopeless and he should prepare to die. Fortunately his parish did not give up on him. The young people within the parish called an intercessory prayer meeting for his healing. Within three days he started to improve. Within three weeks he was well enough to go on an extended trip.
Although he had seen God heal he'd never studied the Word on the issue. He also felt that it was controversial and he would be criticized if he preached on it. The 1880s was a decade where God was moving in healing across the United States. Charles Cullis and A. J. Gordon were teaching on it in Boston, A. B. Simpson was preaching on it in New York and had his own healing home. On February 3, 1883 a woman from MacKenzie's parish invited him to her home. She knew A. B. Simpson and the work he was doing in divine healing. She challenged MacKenzie to believe God for this work. He knelt with her that evening and committed himself to God to be used in this arena.
A few weeks later this same church member introduced MacKenzie to A. B. Simpson. Simpson invited him to attend the Friday afternoon meetings on Divine Healing that he was teaching. The men became good friends and fellow-soldiers in the work of Divine Healing until Simpson died. Although he was, and remained, an Episcopalian Rector MacKenzie regularly taught at the Christian and Missionary Alliance College in Nyack and spoke at Alliance Conventions. He saw that there was not a disagreement in the Episcopalian belief that God still heals and what Simpson was teaching. Many other Rectors in New York were profoundly touched by this movement as well. In 1888 he moved to New Windsor, New York and was Rector there for 3 years. Then in 1891 he moved to Westport, Connecticut where he was the Rector of the Holy Trinity Church until 1926.
In 1935 MacKenzie was given the status of Rector Emeritus which he held for the next 17 years until his death. He continued to teach at Nyack for the Alliance well into his 80s. In the last years of his life he would speak about A. B. Simpson, and his vision, along with other pioneers associated with the Alliance. He also wrote book reviews for the Alliance magazine. He was a man who was faithful to the call and the vision God had given him for the lost and the broken in the world. He died on July 12, 1943 shortly before his 90th birthday.
MacKenzie wrote many articles for Christian and Missionary Alliance publications. The Alliance also published his books including "Our Physical Heritage in Christ" in 1923, "Divine Life for the Body" in 1926, "An Angel of Light" in 1917, "The Silent Unity ; The Spirit of Fearfulness" in 1917, "Redemption" in 1903, "Anti-Christian Supernaturalism" in the early 1900s, "Elijah, a Character Study", and "Is the World Being Converted, an Address" in 1899. He also wrote the tract "Triumphs and Testings" in 1901.
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