Healing and Revival


"Healed to Serve"


Lucy Reed Drake (later Osborn) was born in 1844 in Massachusetts. Her father was Ebenezer Drake and her mother was Lucy Reed, the second wife of widowed Ebenezer. She grew up in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Her family included two children from Ebenezer's first marriage and eight more from his second. Lucy came to Charles Cullis' Home for Consumptives because she had tuberculosis and a brain tumor. She was dying and eventually became bedridden. For some time God had been stirring Cullis about the possibility that people could be healed through prayer. He approached Lucy Drake and asked her whether she would be willing for him to pray for her. She agreed. In January of 1870, Lucy Drake was miraculously healed when Charles Cullis prayed. She got up that day and walked three miles. This was a healing "heard around the world".

Cullis began holding healing meetings in his home. Drake often gave her testimony. She became a deaconess in his Consumptives Home, which was a precursor to a professional nurse. When William and Mary Boardman heard her testimony they asked her to travel with them in Holiness meetings and share her story. There are records of her traveling with the Boardmans on their tour of the mid- western cities, which included "Oberlin, Bellefontaine, Columbus, Oxford, Richmond, Indianapolis, and other places." Drake was a dynamic speaker.

When Charles Cullis felt a call to establish a missionary work in India Drake responded. In August 1875 "The Boston Journal" reported her speaking at a meeting in Framingham, Massachusetts. They describe her as "one of the few women who have attained success as platform speakers at an early age; and words fall from her lips with a sweetness and power rarely seen. We asked her in private conversation today what was the object of her labors as she traveled over the country, having never met her before. Her eyes were lighted as it were with earnestness, and her entire countenance pictured religious zeal, as she replied, 'My mission is to preach Christ to the poor.' She is doing a noble work; and in this connection we would state that Dr. Cullis intends sending her as his first missionary to India during the latter part of September."

Drake went to India and helped found a mission work in Bassim. While there she met a fellow missionary William B. Osborn. There were problems, however, and after about a year she became ill and returned to America. Her heart was forever changed by her experiences there. She longed for the salvation of the lost, and especially for those she had seen in India. She tried again in 1879. She traveled to England, where she visited William and Mary Boardman. In August she met another old friend, Amanda Smith, a traveling African-American evangelist. Drake was convinced that Smith should go with her to India and raised the money for her to go. They went to India by traveling to Paris, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Egypt.

Once in India they went to Bombay. Drake came back into contact with Osborn, who was setting up camp meetings and conventions under Bishop William Taylor. They were married on November 29, 1879. The Osborns helped establish camp meetings in Australia, the Canadian Niagara Falls, and started the development of a missionary training school, and camp meeting in Hackettstown, New Jersey. In 1885 the Union Missionary Training School in Brooklyn, New York and Hackettstown, New Jersey, were started by Lucy Osborn. Sometime in the early 1880's she also started the Faith Home for Incurables. Her heart for missions stilled burned and she felt that she must do something. She described the reason for the school -"there are masses who can be influenced by persons of average ability - baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire - the design of this school is to take any who give evidence of being called of God, and give them such an education as should be specially adapted to lead them to become soul-winners in foreign lands." The school lasted until 1916, when it was merged with the National Bible Institute.

The Osborns got to know Carrie Judd and George Montgomery. They spoke at the Home for Peace in June 1896 and the Montgomerys' Cazadero Camp meeting in the following July. William Osborn died in 1902 but Lucy continued her work for the next several years. She wrote books including: "Heavenly Pearls Set in a Life: a Record of Experiences and Labors in America, India and Australia" (1893) ; "Light on Soul Winning" (1911),"Strategic Points in the Pentateuch", and "Pioneer Days of Ocean Grove" (1918) . Plus her organization produced annual reports of the Union Missionary Training Institute, Brooklyn, NY and Hackettstown, NJ 1885-1894. Osborn was a regular contributor to "Triumphs of Faith" and the "Christian Witness" magazines. Osborn died on February 15, 1922 while she was visiting Ocean Grove, New Jersey, the Christian community her husband helped to found in 1869.

Want to read some articles about her work?

(some writers list the Osborn name with an e at the end - spelled as Osborne)


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