KATHRYN KUHLMAN (1906-76)
After completeting the tenth grade--all that was offered--Kathryn Kuhlman began
her ministry at age sixteen, assisting her sister and brother-in-law. She
was soon on her own, itinerating in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, finally settling
down in Denver in 1933 in the Kuhlman Revival Tabernacle. By 1935 she had
built the 2,000 seat Denver Revival Tabernacle. She effectively used the
media and established an influential radio ministry. Her marriage to an
evangelist, who divorced his wife to marry Kuhlman, destroyed her Denver
ministry. They continued to evangelize, but apparently after about six
years--she was silent on the subject--she left him and started over again on her
In 1946 in Franklin, Pennsylvania, a woman was suddenly healed of a tumor during
one of Kuhlman's services. This was to develop as a characteristic
phenomenon of the "Miracle Services." Kuhlman would call out the specific
disorder that was being cured in a certain area of the auditorium, and would be
received by the appropriate individual. She again developed a daily radio
ministry in 1948 she moved to Pittsburgh, which remained her headquarters as she
had regular services in Carnegie Hall and the First Presbyterian Church.
She was catapulted toward national fame by a seven-page laudatory article in
From California in 1965 came the insistent invitation of Ralph Wilkerson of
Anaheim Christian Center (later Melodyland). She began services at the
Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which seated 2,500, but later moved to the Los
Angeles Shrine Auditorium, where she regularly filled the 7,000 seats for ten
years. She also continued the Pittsburgh meetings while expanding into
television, producing more than five hundred telecasts for the BAS network.
In 1972 she received the first honorary doctorate awarded by Oral Roberts
It was not until the mid-1960's that Kuhlman became particularly identified with
the charismatic movement. the older Pentecostals out of the holiness
tradition found her twice suspect. She was a divorcee, and she did not
satisfy them by giving testimony in her ministry to any personal experience of
speaking in tongues. She did not permit tongues in the regular course of
the miracle services.
Kuhlman objected to the appellation "faith healer ." The only gift she claimed,
if any at all was that of "faith" or "the word of knowledge" (1 Cor 12:8-9).
She always referred to herself as an evangelist.
Apart from the well-documented healings, the most sensational phenomena
associated with Kuhlman was "going under the power" (sometimes referred to as
being "slain in the Spirit") as people fell when she prayed for them. This
sometimes happened to dozens as a time and occasionally hundreds.
Kuhlman was an incessant worker and gave meticulous attention to every detail of
her services; everything had to be first-class. conducting them herself,
she was on her feet for four to five hours at a time. She was very
dramatic in gesture and consciously deliberate in speech. She was a
strikingly tall redhead and dressed elegantly. Her friend and biographer
Jamie Buckingham admits: "She loved her expensive clothes, precious jewels,
luxury hotels, and first class travel." She was s star, even until her death
short of her seventieth birthday.
D. J. Wilson in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic
For more information on Kathryn Kuhlman, type her name into the "Google" search
engine and you'll get a number of sites with material including audio and video