Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

    ECCLESIATES 9:9

Brother Fred Francis Bosworth

Posted: 22 March 2012

Categories:

Fred Francis Bosworth (F. F Bosworth)

In the intervening years between the 1906 Azusa Street Revival and the Healing Revivals 1947 – 1959 there were many notable revivalists including Charles S. Price, F.F Bosworth and John G. Lake. In this study we will look at F.F Bosworth and John Lake as they were a great influence upon the more prominent figures in the healing revivals and later the Charismatic Renewal that emerged in the 1960’s.

HEALING REVIVALIST F.F BOSWORTH

F.F Bosworth, as a healing evangelist, was unique in that he seldom had to lay hands on the sick to see them healed. He would simply preach the Word of God and people were healed as they listened in their seats! People were also healed in this manner through his radio ministry. F.F Bosworth’s simple yet direct teaching of the word of God inspired faith in his hearers to receive their miracle. While relatively unknown to contemporary believers Brother Bosworth was an advisor to many of the great healing revivalists including William Branham, Oral Roberts, and T.L. Osbourne.

Little is known of F.F Bosworth's early childhood. In his youth his family moved to Zion city while he was a as band director at John Alexander Dowie's church. Both Fred Bosworth and his brother, B.B. Bosworth became great and influential men of God in their day.

For some years Bro. Bosworth worked with John Alexander Dowie for many years before entering into his own healing ministry. Brother Bosworth, and John G. Lake, from Zion knew Dowie well and learned about divine healing initially from this great apostle.

When the Azusa Revival broke out, Bro. Bosworth embraced Pentecostalism while attending meetings under Charles Parham in Chicago, Sept, 1906. Sometime between 1906 to 1909, Bosworth visited the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles along with John G. Lake around the time the great Pentecostal revival broke out.

It is also interesting to note that during this time, (from 1906-1909) it is believed that F.F Bosworth met and befriended the great teacher and Healing Evangelist, Dr. E.W. Kenyon in Chicago. F.F Bosworth was a good friend of E.W. Kenyon, and was found himself like minded with Kenyon in his teachings on the Bible and Divine Healing. Kenyon’s writings are the defacto doctrinal foundation of the “Word of Faith” movement that dominated the 1980’s under the ministries of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Kenyon’s writings are the seminal influence of the teachings of these men and the Faith Movement as a whole.

Brother Bosworth was a man known for always having a “good report”. He was also never known to be sick a day in his life. Not surprisingly he enjoyed E.W. Kenyon's teachings on what some call “positive confession” so much, that he included much of Kenyon's material in a chapter entitled, "Our Confession" in his book, Christ the Healer. F.F Bosworth even recommended Kenyon's books at the end of the chapter, and lists the names of the books available from E.W. Kenyon. (editor: You can download this book in pdf format from the link by clicking on the image to your right or this text).

Bro. Bosworth conducted many healing campaigns throughout the early 1920's. His reputation grew rapidly. By the late 20's the Bosworth revival had electrified dozens of cities in the United States and Canada and the work of this man had already made a profound impact on an entire generation of Americans and Canadians alike. In one Bosworth campaign in 1924, "some 12,000 sought the Lord for salvation!"

F.F Bosworth became a pioneer of radio evangelism when he established "The National Radio Revival Missionary Crusaders" as a nonprofit Illinois corporation, and began broadcasting regularly in Chicago. In a few years his radio ministry processed more than a quarter of a million letters!

Seeing the many divisions arise in the Pentecostal revival, F.F Bosworth (much like Wigglesworth, Kenyon, and Lake) began to distance himself from the warring sects and organizational movements coming out of the revival. F.F Bosworth could clearly see along with Wigglesworth, Lake, and Kenyon, that the sectarian tone of many of these organizations were killing the revival and began steering clear of them. Because of this, he would later become a controversial figure among traditional Pentecostals due to his quiet withdrawal from the Assemblies of God in 1918.

F.F Bosworth had an incredibly clear understanding of the Pentecostal Revival and the purpose of speaking in tongues. Seeing the Pentecostal revival as merely the restoration of the gifts of the Spirit, F.F Bosworth would did not singularly emphasis tongues but also all of the gifts of the Spirit as available for the believer. He spoke against the popularly held belief of fundamentalist Pentecostals that one must “speak in tongues to be saved”. In his book, "Christ The Healer," first published in 1924, F.F Bosworth declares that Salvation is based upon the Finished Work of Christ, and that alone. F.F Bosworth himself received the Baptism of the Spirit under Parham's ministry. Bosworth believed that tongues were merely a gift of the Spirit, and a manifestation of the Spirit, in the same respect as healing, discernment, and prophecy are.

F.F Bosworth's ministry declined during the depression, and when the 1947 revival broke out he had moved to Florida and effectively retired. F.F Bosworth only wrote and published two books throughout his lifetime. In 1924, the first edition of Bosworth's book, “Christ, the Healer” was published (today, 70 years later, the book has passed its 25th printing, with more than 150,000 copies in print). Each chapter of the book was originally a sermon by Bosworth, so this book gives us great insight into his teachings on the Bible, and Divine Healing. The second book by F.F Bosworth, being a small booklet entitled, "The Christian Confession." (Bosworth's Christian Confession is no longer in print). William Branham stated that Bosworth's book on Confession this was one of his favorite books, and was a great blessing to him.

In 1948, F.F Bosworth met a young William Branham in Miami Florida, who had begun electrifying the world with amazing signs wonders, and miracles from the Lord. F.F Bosworth and William Branham quickly became good friends, and without hesitation, F.F Bosworth quickly joined the Branham Campaign Team. From the time they met in the beginnings of the healing revival which began in 1947, to the ending of that revival, and right up to the time of Bosworth's death in 1958, Bosworth remained a strong supporter of Branham's ministry and work. William Branham was at his side at the time of his death, as a loyal friend, and fellow soldier of the cross.

F.F Bosworth was so impressed with the incredible ministry of his friend William Branham, that he wrote several articles about him.

F.F Bosworth stated of him, "During the past few years, I have often wept for joy over God's recent gift to the Church, of our beloved brother, William Branham, with his marvelous ‘Gift of Healing’ This is a case of God doing "exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think." (Eph.3:20), for I have never seen or read of anything to equal the healing ministry of William Branham."

Bro. Bosworth’s endorsement of Branham was not an unschooled assessment. A great and powerfully anointed minister of the Gospel himself, Bosworth had associated with the greatest men of God the 20th century had to offer. Men of God like John Dowie, John Lake, and Charles Parham. Bosworth traveled to Azusa Street to meet with William Seymour during the Azusa Street revival, -- He had met E.W. Kenyon, Smith Wigglesworth, and even ministered with Maria Woodworth Etter. F.F Bosworth had met the most powerful ministries the 20th century has ever known.

F.F Bosworth continues concerning Branham saying, "[he] is a channel for more than the mere gift of healing; he is also a Seer as were Old Testament prophets."  Of Branham’s accuracy in the prophetic F.F Bosworth claimed, “At times (when William Branham receives a vision) he can say with absolute certainty, "THUS SAITH THE LORD," and he is NEVER WRONG. ... The success of this phase of his ministry is exactly 100 % ."

"When the gift is operating, Brother Branham is the most sensitive person to the presence and working of the Holy Spirit and to Spiritual Realities OF ANY PERSON I HAVE EVER KNOWN."

Notice carefully that these statements by F.F Bosworth were not made after the healing revival was over, neither was it William Branham making these statements. F.F Bosworth was no "yes man". With over 40 years experience in Divine Healing, and the Scriptures, F.F Bosworth had already seen the summit of fanaticism from the Pentecostal revival, and also the fall of great men of God, such as Dowie and Seymour, and knew clearly to check everything by the infallible Scriptures. After enduring all this, he declared that William Branham was a True Scriptural Prophet sent from God, and dedicated the rest of his life to helping his ministry.

In 1950, F.F Bosworth and William Branham held a debate in defense of Divine Healing against an anti-healing minister, a Rev. Best, at the Sam Houston Coliseum, in Texas.  Out of his own sense of humility Brother Branham at first declined to acknowledge the challenge to this debate. But Brother Bosworth like Caleb of old asked Brother Branham to “give him this mountain” and he effectively debated the testimony of signs miracles and wonders from the scriptures. It was in this debate that the most famous picture of William Brahnam was taken, showing a manifestation of fire over his head, that photographic experts vouched for the authenticity of.

In 1958, F.F Bosworth went home to be with the Lord. He died at 81 years of age, free from sickness! It was F.F Bosworth's desire that William Branham conduct the funeral, and William Branham was at Bosworth's bedside as he passed from time into Eternity!

Of his good long time friend, William Branham stated, " How I'm thinking tonight of an old man laying yonder, in his last hours of this life, called the other day and wants me to preach his funeral, Paul Rader's tabernacle. That's my good friend Bosworth, a godly saint going to meet his Maker. And he said, "This is the happiest time of my life, Brother Branham." He said, "I'm so happy to know that I'm going to meet Him; I can't hardly sleep at night." I've heard of Mrs. Aimee McPherson, no disregard to a wonderful woman. I've seen (negative) marks and this and that. I've seen (negative) marks of Smith Wigglesworth, and Doctor Price, and many of those great men, but not one mark did I ever hear anyone say about Bosworth. God, let my end be like that: a memorial of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Footnote:

In 1948, F.F Bosworth met William Branham in Florida. William Branham was holding healing meetings and F.F Bosworth decided to come out of retirement to join him. He would travel on the road with Branham, often speaking during the day sessions of conventions, so that Branham would be rested enough to speak in the evenings. He saw thousands healed, and saved, in those campaigns. Bosworth's son says that his trip to Africa, at the age of seventy-five, was the most successful of his career. He traveled with Branham until 1956.

  1. Here are some stories from his work with Branham:

  • During a Fort Wayne meeting a lady came into the healing line carrying a child which was born with a club foot which with its leg was in a plaster cast. The moment Brother Branham saw them, without stopping to pray for the child's healing, he said to the lady, "O, yes, will you do what I tell you to do?" The lady answered "I will." Then he said to her, "Go home and get that cast off, and when you come back tomorrow night, bring the child, and she will have a perfect foot." The microphone carried these words to all in the great audience. It took them more than an hour that night to get the cast off. When the lady brought the child the next night, the child had a perfect foot and was wearing a new pair of little white shoes and was walking. The doctor X-rayed the foot and found it perfect. (A Prophet Visits South Africa, pg. 41/42)

  • A young lady who was born with her eyes crossed and who was attending Bible School in Fort Wayne during the meeting there said to Mrs. Bosworth who was back at the book stand, "I can't see how I can ever get into that healing line, there are so many." Mrs. Bosworth said to her, "You won't need to, You just sit back here and ask God to lift your faith to the healing level, and you will pull from the gift the healing virtue."She did this, and during the service Brother Branham stopped and pointed in her direction and said, "A young lady way back there was just now healed of crossed eyes." Her eyes have been straight ever since. (A Prophet Visits South Africa, pg. 43)

  • While praying for those in the healing line in a Flint meeting, he stopped and pointed up toward the second gallery to his right, said, "I have just now had a vision of a lady dressed in a blue suit wearing a striped waist. She has just been healed of a cancer." The woman sprang to her feet and with great joy said, "I am that lady." (A Prophet Visits South Africa, pg. 43)

  • And best of all, sinners are thus brought under conviction for sin and want to be saved. ...I have seen as many as thirty thousand sinners in a single day stand to their feet in tears to give their hearts to God. (A Prophet Visits South Africa, pg. 46)

  • After praying for one totally blind man, Brother Branham said to him, "Walk to the pulpit and put your finger on that preacher's nose." He walked straight to the minister and pulled his nose, causing the audience to laugh. (A Prophet Visits South Africa, pg. 45)

    3. F.F Bosworth died on January 23, 1958. His brother B.B. died just three and a half weeks later on February 17, 1958. Although he had not been diagnosed with any disease or condition that would cause death, he was persistent in telling loved ones and friends that he would be going “Home” at any time. Word spread among ministers and friends, who began to come visit him to say goodbye. T.L. Osbron tells of arriving at Bosworth’s house and hearing him shout, ”Brother T.L.!  This is the greatest day of my life!  God has told me, I get to go Home to be with Him today!   Whooooo!  Hallelujah!”  As friends and family gathered around his bedside, his eyes were opened to Heaven.  Those in the room listened as he began saying hello to departed family and friends he was seeing in Heaven, and as he described the glories of Heaven his eyes were beholding.  Then he passed away a few hours later at 81 years of age, without sickness or disease.  He simply went to sleep in the Lord.

 



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