Smith Wigglesworth was a British evangelist and one of the important pioneers of the Pentecostal revival that happened almost a century back.
Smith Wigglesworth was a British evangelist and one of the important pioneers of the Pentecostal revival that happened almost a century back. Also referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith’, Wigglesworth is claimed to have caused numerous healings and to have raised 14 people from dead including his wife Polly.His unshakable faith, fearless preaching, controversial methods, and astonishing testimonies made him a legend. And after the death of Wigglesworth and other evangelists in the 1940s, some of the supporters even surmised that the Spirit's anointing on the Pentecostal movement got buried with them.
Ever since Wigglesworth was a small boy, he had an inclination toward the Light of Jesus Christ. Born into a poor family on 8 June 1859 in Yorkshire, he had a caring mother & father and a Christian grandmother molded his mind and spirit. His Wesleyan grandmother always inspired him to serve God.
Smith Wigglesworth was one of the premier preachers of Pentecostalism. The practitioners of this Pentecostal tradition were known as “holy rollers” in some groups. That was because of the behavior of early followers who actually “rolled” on the ground in spiritual bliss.
Wigglesworth was trained to be a only plumber, but destiny had something else in store for him. He traveled around the world preaching Pentecostalism to people and healing those with serious diseases.
According to an account, when he got fed up with taking salts to comfort his hemorrhoid problem, he anointed oil on him and sang prayers on it thereby perishing his hemorrhoids. And this happened to be one of his first healings.
Wigglesworth helped in defining one of the most iconic element of the religion “speaking in tongues”. In 1907, he said that he spoke in tongues for the first time and established a Pentecostal church named Bowland Street Mission in Yorkshire in the next 6 years.
Until his death in 1947, he ministered to people with faith. Wigglesworth used to practice anointment with oil, and distributed "prayer handkerchiefs", one of which was even sent to King George V. Sometimes, he also attributed illness to demons.His ministering happened at many churches throughout Yorkshire and internationally also. Some of his sermons were transcribed for Pentecostal magazines and were also compiled in two books namely Ever Increasing Faith and Faith that Prevails.
Wigglesworth’s healing methods are regarded as controversial and most often involved hitting, slapping, or punching the afflicted body part. On certain occasions when people with stomach complaints approached him, he would punch them in the stomach (sometimes) so hard that it forced them across the room. And when he was questioned about it, his reaction would be,
"I don't hit them, I hit the devil".
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