Healing and Revival
Mary Ann Glazer was born on March 27, 1838 to Benjamin and Mary (Lehmaster then Baker) Ettinger. She was the youngest of nine children. Her father was a minister in the Evangelical church. They were from Pennsylvania, but her parents moved to Ohio before she was born. Her father died in 1838 and her mother in 1841. The family was split up and Glazer ended up with an uncle, back in Pennsylvania. While living with her uncle Glazer went to a church meeting led by Reverend Bright and gave her life to Christ. She struggled with her faith through many trials but never lost hold of Christ in the process.
Life was difficult for Glazer, she moved to be with her brothers and eventually with another uncle. The uncle decided that it would not work out for her to stay with him and she was left on her own. In 1856 John Glazer asked her to marry him. He was not a Christian but she decided to marry him because she felt she had no alternatives. It turned out to be a disastrous marriage. He moved her and their children frequently. She became very ill and was often bedridden. In 1862 John Glazer joined the army, leaving them with no regular financial support. While in a desperate state Mary cried out to God. His presence began to fall upon her and she would receive visions. She was also healed. The continuous struggle for survival wore Mary down, however, and when her husband returned from the war the moves began once again. They struggled under the weight of debts and finances.
The family had moved to a small farm but Mary could hardly get out of bed. While bedridden she sought God's purposes while reading the Bible. God would highlight scriptures about healing. She was healed but the birth of a child put her back into bed. The constant cycle of some improvement, pregnancy, overstress, and illness continued for the next few years. It culminated in 1874 when John Glazer left the family saying he was going to seek work, but never returning. He abandoned Mary with six children. She found out later that he had been making plans to leave them for a year ahead of time.
Mary and the children moved to be near relatives. The family managed to survive by everyone taking in work. Unfortunately family members were often ill. Her utter dependence was on God and the family struggled on. She became so ill in 1883 that she could not hold her head up on her own. On the August 22, 1883 God came to her in a dramatic way. His presence flowed over her and she heard a voice say "Fear not, be not afraid, it is I." She began praising God and His power. God called her get dressed, which she did, amazing her family. She immediately began testifying of her healing to her neighbors.
Mary began traveling through her town and the local area giving her testimony and praying for others to be healed. There was resistance from her family and her neighbors to her traveling, but Mary felt that God had called her to share what He had done for her. She traveled over several areas across Pennsylvania returning for short periods to her home and family. The home eventually broke up as most of the children were older and on their own. The youngest daughter Elsie went to live with her older sister Sarah leaving Mary to travel full time sharing about her healing. She would travel from house to house sharing God's goodness. She also spoke at camp-meetings, gave evangelistic messages, and taught on Holiness and Sanctification in the model of Phoebe Palmer. In 1893 she says in her book "Wonderful Leadings" that in the years after she was healed she had visited over eight hundred families and attended over one thousand meetings, many of which she was a speaker.
As an author Glazer spelled her last name as Glaser and referred to herself as a widow in the 1880 census. She evidently felt the need to distance herself from the husband who abandoned his family. Surprisingly someone in the family was notified of John Glazer's death in 1886. It came out that he had moved to Arkansas and bigamously remarried under the last name Glaser. It caused quite an uproar locally and both wives claimed John's estate. It took nine years, but the courts eventually ruled his second marriage was invalid and that Mary was the rightful heir to most of John's estate. The family finally received some of the support that John had withheld from them. Late in her life Mary moved to be near her son in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She died of pneumonia on August 8, 1915 at the age of 77.
In the history of healing Mary Glazer did not have a widespread impact. She was, however, one of those raised up in God's healing movement in the 1880s. Her contemporaries included Dr. Charles Cullis, A. B. Simpson, and A.J. Gordon. God spoke His healing message to the small and the great, touching all who would hear.
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