Healing and Revival


 

"Evangelism, Repentance, and Healing"

Louisa Lorina Knauer was born August 4, 1896 to Andrew and Britomarte H. (Rogers) Knauer. Her father was a music teacher and her mother attended art school. She had one sister named Gertrude. Not a lot is known about her early life. The highest level of education that she completed was four years of High School. She married Alfed Ansel (A. A.) Nankivell in Great Falls, Montana June 1, 1915. He was working as a clerk and a book keeper when they married. The couple was active in the Pentecostal Movement and closely associated with the Assemblies of God denomination. Louise felt called to be an evangelist. At some point before 1920 Louisa started going by the name Louise. Also by 1920 Louise's mother Britomarte was living with the couple.

Articles by Louise Nankivell appeared in the Pentecostal Evangel as early as 1924. The World's Faith Missionary Association ordained her in January 1924. In her early days she was known as the "girl evangelist". The couple worked out of their Chicago area homes as their base, but traveled for meetings. Alfred held down a regular job to support their ministry They both sang and wrote poetry. Louise appears to be the primary speaker and presented the gospel in their meetings. Louise Nankivell evidently also believed in prophetic symbolism and preached in white as a sign of God's stand against the darkness of the world. She was often referred to as the second Aimee Semple McPherson, as she had a strong preaching stle and prayed for the sick.

In July 1940 Nankivell was ordained by the Illinois District of the Assembly of God denomination. In July 1941 Nankivell collapsed but seemed to recover for a short time. In September she attended General Council Meeting of the Assembly of God churches but her body was worn out and she collapsed once again. This time it was much worse. She couldn't even lift her head. She was eventually diagnosed with pernicious anemia. Not knowing what to do and facing death Nankivell began a season of intense intercession. She prayed, constantly - humbling herself before Christ and committing her life to Him. This went on for almost two years. Upon reading the Bible Nankivell became convicted that when people truly turned to God in repentance that He would turn to them and bring His presence. One of the biblical marks of repentance was wearing sackcloth. Nankivell made a vow to God that if He would heal her then she would preach in sackcloth as a sign of repentance. On the evening before Palm Sunday (April 18th) in 1943 Nankivell went to sleep but was awakened in the early hours of the morning. She had an experience that she never had before. She was taken into a trance where she saw Jesus. He was glorious to behold and radiated light and peace. When the trance ended Nankivell was overwhelmed with a sense of disappointment at His going. Within three days Nankivell was healed. She knew Jesus had answered her prayers and she also knew that she needed to keep her vow to God as an act of humility and gratitude.

God called Nankivell to preach and pray for the sick. He spoke to her and said "Go and tell how great things I have done for thee. No case is beyond My help. I can do as much and more for others as I have done for you. ‘Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ In My Name, bind the powers of darkness and disease, and the diseases will no longer be able to operate in the bodies of the people." Her life was changed from that time forward. Nankivell compiled a hymbook titled "Land of Beginning Again and Other Heavenly Glory Songs" in 1942.

As early as January 1943 God began to speak to Nankivell about a coming revival. One night while sleeping God gave her the scripture "The word of God grew and multiplied" from Acts 12:24. As she awoke it rang through her over and over. She began to ask God what it meant. Shortly afterwards she felt led to visit a church where she had never been and did not know anyone. The sermon that day was from Acts 12:24 and the preacher declared that the scripture was about revival. Nankivell knew that God had answered the question she had been asking. On February 4, 1943 God again met her in a dream. Upon awakening she had a song with words and music that declared "There will be a great revival." For the next few years Nankivell taught on revival and repentance. She knew that God was going to move in a significant way.

In many ways Nankivell was a forerunner of the Healing Revival of the 40s and 50s. By the time it began to break loose she was already doing the work that others were stepping into. She became associated with Gordon Lindsay and was the most prominent woman in the Voice of Healing organization. Nankivell was also unusual in that she apparently managed to sidestep the conflict between the Assembly of God denomination and the healing and deliverance evangelists of the day. When the Assembly of God churches broke with the evangelists she retained her ordination and continued to write for the Pentecostal Evangel magazine. She also remained as a primary evangelist reported on by the Voice of Healing Magazine into the early 1960s. This may have been because Nankivell never bought a huge tent to go on the road, like many of the other Voice of Healing evangelists. Nankivell primarily spoke in Pentecostal churches for evangelistic and revival meetings. Her style was never controversial and her messages were about repentance, healing, Christ's return, and salvation. Her messages did not dramatically change over the years, and she avoided many of the pitfalls of those whose ministries depended on large numbers of attendees to survive.

Nankivell slowed her pace in the 1960s. After all she was in her sixties by this time and had been preaching for almost 40 years. She continued to write for the Pentecostal Evangel throughout the 1960s. Her last article was published in December 1971 and called for more faith, more yieldedness, more prayer, and more of the Bible. She continued to teach on the things God had written on her heart her whole life. Her precious husband A.A. Nankivell died in 1970. He had been her constant companion and support. It appears the couple never had any children. Louise Nankivell died May 10, 1972 faithful to her call to evangelize, bring people to repentance, and heal the sick.


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