THE FOUNDATION OF REVIVAL
By: Al Cronkrite
I was converted in the early 1960s through the ministry of. Bruce Larson
who headed Faith at Work founded by Rev.
Sam Shoemaker Shoemaker was heavily influenced by Frank Buchmans Oxford Groups which were Humanistic,
Evangelical, and Arminian.
years my family and I attended Charismatic churches and followed Spirit filled
ministers. We were members of a Charismatic Presbyterian Church that was spawned by
a larger church of the same denomination. Cultic sisters from Orleans on Cape Cod
brought their ministry to this new church and we visited their home and sisterhood several
times. New Christians seldom understand the danger of cults.
For almost a decade
we attended a Charismatic Methodist Church pastured by a Princeton Graduate who, pained by
a lack of church growth, attended a Charismatic home group, received the Baptism of
the Holy Spirit, forsook the Calvinist roots of his alma mater and was rewarded by
full pews. He claimed the Baptism freed him to preach a more attractive
His was a small
country church when we began to attend. We watched it grow from less than three score to
over a hundred in each of two services. It was a simple white colonial style
structure with a small, narrow lobby and doors at the entrance to each pew. There
was no choir but both the minister and his wife were talented musicians. She could coax
angelic cords from the piano and during the collections played popular praise songs softly
sung by the audience; an ineffable, heart breaking ambience often filled the sanctuary.
surrounded himself with talented and loyal lay people and along with the attractive Sunday
service conducted an extensive counseling ministry.
His sermons were
edifying and the service was emotionally fulfilling; though there was vague talk of
obedience, Gods Commandments were omitted and the ministry was humanistic.
We attended for
almost ten years and finally concluded that the fruit of behavioral change was missing and
with great disappointment we stopped attending.
There were other
newly formed Charismatic churches in the area and this church became one of a group that
hosted an ever changing procession of Charismatic thrill seekers. There was fierce
competition both within and without.
From the beginning Bob Mumford was a leader in the worldwide
Charismatic revival. In the late 1960s we attended his services at Rev. John
Pooles church in Philadelphia. There was much talk about the anointing of the
Holy Spirit and these services had the same aura as the Connecticut Church; a healing
peaceful calm pervaded the service, the church and the surrounding area.
It seemed to us
that the entire monolithic Charismatic Movement, though authentic in many ways, created
lots of excitement but failed to produce an effective cohesive Christian laity. In
the late 1980s I wrote a letter the Bob Mumford at Life Changers contending that in
response to a massive Christian revival the Charismatic Movement had failed to produce the
behavioral fruit that God demands and could therefore be under Gods judgment.
Though I had supported his ministry Rev. Mumford did not answer my letter.