Heritage of Faith
Before we left during one of our prayer times for the Prairie Provinces one of our intercessors saw the team lighting spiritual revival fires in Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg. He said the first two cities caught on fire immediately but Winnipeg required more work before it caught ablaze. At another prayer meeting the intercessors perceived the team taking oil from Edmonton to Winnipeg and pouring it out to release the blessing of the Lord.
When we were in Edmonton we bought a litre of olive oil to pour out in Winnipeg. Alberta has an interesting spiritual heritage. William “Bible Bill” Aberhart, a premier in the province from the 1935 to 1943, the first dean of Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute, started a radio program called Back to the Bible Hour in 1927. His first graduate from Bible college was Ernest Manning who became the longest serving premier in Alberta and second longest in Canada. In 1930 Manning started to teach on Back to the Bible Hour, which he continued to do throughout his tenure as premier from 1943 to 1968. We called upon this heritage to once again flow within Alberta.
We also prayed at the Citadel Theatre complex in downtown Edmonton as the theatre started in the Salvation Army’s original citadel of worship. It is the Salvation Army’s 135th year in Canada and 150th in existence. “When the Army came to Canada, there was much opposition to its methods from civic politicians and other entrenched interests in the early days, and Salvationists were often beaten and jailed for their activities in the streets of Canada’s cities and towns. Despite this, there was eventual acceptance of the movement as it demonstrated the social benefits that accrued from its activities.” We called up blessing upon their work. We also called for a release of the arts and creativity within Alberta.
In Saskatchewan as we prayed we felt to research Tommy Douglas. Tommy Douglas was a Baptist minister who in the 1930s became involved with the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation). During his bible school training and at his first church in Weyburn he came to ‘believe that Christianity was above all a social religion, concerned as much with improving this world as with the life hereafter’. ‘He claimed as his constituency the underprivileged and exploited, and he took unpopular stands in defence of civil liberties’.
Today many preachers declare Christians need to be involved in the 7 mountains of influence in the world. Here are three Christians that chose the route of government to make an impact decades ago. Tommy Douglas became premier of Saskatchewan and in 1947 introduced the first comprehensive health insurance plan. He faced great opposition from the doctors. Now we take it for granted as our right as Canadian citizens. We prayed in Regina for the release of not only the word of God but also the deeds of God. Jesus preached the Kingdom of God is at hand and then demonstrated it.
In Winnipeg we discovered the history of Frank Small who was a pastor in the city and in 1912 he went to the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. He returned preaching the ‘manifest power of God’ to his congregation who did not receive it. He resigned his position, staying in the church praying for the next 3 years. In October of 1915 he had a ‘vision of an oil gusher and a large tent. He sensed the Holy Spirit say to him, “Your time is up - get ready, revival is here!”’
In the summer of 1916 he held tent crusade meetings with thousands experiencing salvation, healings and deliverance. In the autumn they rented the oldest Jewish synagogue called Shaarey Zedek Synagogue ("Gates of Righteousness"). This move continued with more and more churches started and eventually in 1953 there was a merger between Evangelical Churches of Pentecost and the Apostolic Church of Pentecost, officially becoming the ACOP.
We went to the historic site of the synagogue on King Street and Henry in Winnipeg. There was no longer a building there but a parking lot. In close proximity to this site were four ministries, the biggest Youth for Christ building I have ever seen, Union Gospel Mission, Siloam Mission and Salvation Army Booth Centre.
We stood in the parking lot, prayed for the blessing and revival of God to be released once again in greater measures. We took the oil from Alberta and poured it upon the parking lot as a prophetic act to release the gushers of the Spirit once again as Frank Small had envisioned and encountered.