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"MOTHER CRAWFORD"

A PROFILE

THE REVEREND FLORENCE LOUISE CRAWFORD

 

SEPTEMBER 1, 1872 — JUNE 20, 1936

Copyright © January 2004, Amos Morgan

 

Profile | Testimony
YoungmarriedFLC.jpg
Photo of Florence Crawford as a young married woman
Photo used by permission
Apostolic Faith International Headquarters
Portland, Oregon
  1. Name:
    Florence Louise Reed; Nickname, Bonnie
    b September 1, 1872; in Myrtle Point, Coos County , Oregon
    d June 20, 1936; in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon
    .
  2. Father:
    Oscar Oran Reed; b June 9 1842 d November 21, 1921
    m Mary Catherine Lehnherr May 24, 1866; divorced August 2, 1886
    m Margarett (Woods) Britton June 22, 1890
    .
  3. Mother:
    Mary Catherine Lehnherr; b November 2, 1848; d June 3, 1926
    m Oscar Orin Reed May 24, 1866; divorced August 2, 1886
    m James C. Brown September 1887
    .
  4. Siblings:
    Calvin C., Stephan S., and William T., older brothers
    Maude M., Sibyl A., and Inola, younger sisters
    .
  5. Marriages:
    m John B. Hammersley; December 10, 1887; divorced ?
    m Frank Mortimer Crawford, 1890; divorced December 31, 1910
    .
  6. Moved to LA:
    [not sure]; about 1889,‘Bonnie Hammersley’ moved from southern Oregon to Los Angeles California

  7. Children:
    Raymond Robert Crawford; b December 7, 1891; d June 3, 1965
    Mildred Mary Crawford; b February 6, 1897; d February 12, 1980
    Virginia Genevieve Crawford, b June 8, 1913; d April 18, 2005

  8. Conversion of Florence Crawford; parents; husband
    Her parents, Oscar and Mary Reed, were atheist

    About 1901 [not sure] she was converted in the home of a friend.

    Father’s conversion; Becoming ill, and being past 79 years of age, in November of 1921 Oscar Reed came from Myrtle Point to make his peace with God and spend his final days with his daughter, ‘Bonnie’. Both goals were achieved and, about two weeks later, he died on November 21, 1921 in Portland, Oregon.

    Mother’s conversion; The year following her divorce from Oscar Reed in 1886, Mary married Jim Brown thus becoming Mary Brown. At some time before October 1919, ‘Grandma Brown’ came to make her peace with God. She lived in San Francisco, California and was in the AF Church there most of that time. She died in Portland on June 3, 1926.

    Husband’s conversion; Frank M. Crawford made his peace with God and became a part of the Los Angeles Apostolic Faith church almost ten years after the death of Sister Crawford. In 1946 he attended the Portland camp meeting and died in August of the following year.

  9. Social activities:
    As a Methodist, (about 1901 to 1906), she became active in the PTA, WCTU, prison visitations, work in the slums, and opened a harness repair shop so that she could offer employment and stability to men upon their being released from prison.

  10. Affiliation with the Apostolic Faith at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles:
    The Azusa Street Mission opened on April 15, Easter Sunday, or perhaps the Saturday evening before Easter, and it was soon after this that Florence Crawford attended her first service there, probably in late April of 1906. About twenty people were present at that first meeting.

  11. Responsibilities accepted at the Azusa Mission while living in Los Angeles:
    1. Apparently her first job was in the correspondence office. As news of the revival spread, many letters of inquiry poured into the church, so an office was opened on the second floor to handle the mail. An ‘upper room’ prayer room was also located upstairs.
    2. She became a minister.
    3. With the help of Clara Lum and Glenn Cook, and perhaps others, she began publishing a church paper. The first issue bore the date of September, 1906, and was called “The Apostolic Faith”.
    4. Fred Corum listed her as one of the Ministerial Credentials Committee.
    5. In August of 1906 she became an evangelists and during the next eighteen months traveled the west coast also going as far east as Minnesota and north into Canada.

  12. Personal life:
    During 1907, the issue of divorce and remarriage arose. In 1906 the position of the church had been that if anyone had been divorced and then remarried prior to being converted, God forgave and forgot all, but once one had became a Christian, remarriage of a divorced person was not allowed. This belief was later blamed upon teachings learned at former churches. Now, after review of the teachings of the New Testament, it just became apparent this belief was inconsistent with the Christ’s teachings. At the Apostolic Faith church from now on, marriage was to be for life without regard to the time of ones conversion. Sister Crawford separated from her second husband, Frank Crawford, and thus aligned her personal life with the current understanding of the Scriptures at the Apostolic Faith. This is called “Walking in the Light.” About 1910, Frank sued for divorce and in 1912 he married Elizabeth Fish. Grace, the youngest daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Crawford became my cousin by marriage in April 1949.

  13. Evangelistic trips from Los Angeles by Sister Crawford:
    1. Oakland-San Francisco; Fall of 1906
    2. Oakland-San Francisco, Salem, Portland, Santa Rosa; Winter 1906/1907
    3. Oakland-San Francisco, Portland; Spring and Early Summer 1907
    4. Portland; Seattle; Winnipeg, Canada; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Winter 1907/1908

  14. Move to Portland:
    In 1907, she began to think of moving away from Los Angeles. She felt that God was leading her to new endeavors; her separation from Frank may or may not have been a factor in her thoughts of moving. But at the end of 1907, while in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, she confided in a friend that she was thinking of perhaps going to the Midwest. Soon after the beginning of 1908, while still in Minneapolis-St Paul, she informed the same person that she had been offered the leadership of the mission in Portland, Oregon where she had held meetings on three prior occasions. She felt that this was God’s answer to her feelings about a new endeavor. This is the conversation as remembered by Harold Hess between his mother, Mary Hess and Sister Crawford:
  15. While Sis. Crawford was [in St. Paul, MN] she spoke to my parents about having a call to work for the Lord but didn’t know where to go. She mentioned to them that while in the Midwest she may go to Illinois to investigate the Zionist movement. She understood they were a spiritual group of people and maybe she could do something there. A day or two later she told my mother, “I have received a letter since I talked with you about Illinois and the group of people I met in Portland would like to have me come there and be the leader of that Mission Group.” She also said, “I am a native of Oregon and acquainted with the Northwest and feel that the Lord may be leading me in that direction.

  16. Moving the Apostolic Faith Paper:
  17. Back in Los Angeles, no time was lost. She consulted with Seymour who expressed his regrets at losing her from the work there in Los Angeles. It was mutually agreed that she would continue to publish the Apostolic Faith Paper from Portland. Some people have disputed that the transfer of the paper from Los Angeles to Portland was amicable, but there is solid evidence that it was so. Clara Lum would also move to Portland and continue to help with the publication of the paper.
  18. Early milestones in Portland; 1908-1911:
    1. Florence Crawford moved to Portland and so also did Clara Lum.
    2. Pastor John Glassco gave her his pulpit and the keys to the mission.
    3. The first Apostolic Faith camp meeting was held in the Mt. Tabor District beginning May 31, 1908 and lasting for three months. (A camp meeting had been held at S.E. 12th and Division Streets beginning on June 1, 1907 and Sister Crawford, who was living in Los Angeles at the time, was present as the featured speaker for a portion of that camp meeting. However, John Glassco was pastor of the mission at the time and he had held camp meetings at that same location the previous year. The 1907 camp meeting was listed as a ‘Pentecostal’ camp meeting.) Understandably, those people who went to Salem to hear her preach in M. L. Ryan’s church before she came to Portland, and those who became followers of her preaching and teachings during her first and second trips to Portland, regarded themselves to be ‘Apostolic’ from those days and considered the Mt.Tabor camp meeting to be the second, not first, Apostolic Faith camp meeting in Portland.
    4. During camp meeting, a building at S.W. Front Avenue and Burnside Street was rented as the new location for the mission. Pastor Glassco’s mission had been at 215 SW 2nd Ave. before the 1907 camp meeting. Afterward he had moved to 224 S. W. Madison for larger quarters, but now that would no longer suffice for the growing congregation. The first meeting at Front and Burnside was October 1, 1908 following the camp meeting.
    5. Her son, Ray Crawford, was saved on October 23, 1908 in the new mission on Front and Burnside. About a year later, he preached his first sermon there.
    6. The second (or for some, the third) camp meeting was in the Montavilla district in 1909. During this camp meeting, the church rented the building adjoining the mission on Front Avenue. It was about the same size as the mission and, after removing a foot-thick firewall between the two of them, it doubled the size of the mission.
    7. After camp meeting, the church incorporated under the laws of the State of Oregon. Dated October 11, 1909 and signed by Jennie E. Seymour, Malinda A. Mitchell, and Edward W. Doak. This incorporation adopted the following articles approximately as follows:
      1. The corporation name shall be “APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION,” of Portland, Oregon.
      2. Spiritual pursuit to be Matt: 28:19-20; and Mark 16:15-18 as interpreted by the Board of Elders of the Apostolic Faith Mission of Los Angeles, California, to which body this organization is auxiliary spiritually and vested by said mission with authority to publish at various times issues of the official organ, “Apostolic Faith,” a paper devoted to the principles of said cause and distributed without charge.
      3. (about finances and value of property owned).
      4. (establishes Board of trustees of not less than three nor more than five members).
      5. location is Portland, Oregon.
        Jennie E. Seymour, Malinda A. Mitchell, and Edward W. Doak, all of Los Angeles, are designated as trustees and incorporators.
    This document was proof of the amicable transfer of the Apostolic Faith paper to Portland by the leadership, and board of elders, of the Azusa Street mission.
  19. The year of Disaster; 1911:
    1. William H. Durham was an evangelist with a mission on 943 W. North Ave, in Chicago, Illinois. He went to the Azusa meetings, arriving in Los Angeles on February 8 and going to his first all-day meeting on Sunday, February 10, 1907. From then until the Friday night meeting on March 1, he was an earnest seeker. Following the Friday night meeting, at about 1:00 AM on Saturday morning, he was baptized with the Holy Ghost. Back in Chicago, however, his theology underwent a gradual change over the next few years. He concluded that sanctification had been taught as a second work of grace, but that Jesus had died upon the cross only once, saying “It is Finished.” Thus, to Durham, it seemed that all of Christ’s grace (for both salvation and sanctification) had been shed at one time. To his mind, you were saved and sanctified at the same time by the “Finished work of Calvary.” By 1911, having finalized his new theology, he set out to spread the word in person. He had already been putting out his ideas in a publication and generating some interest in the Midwest.
    2. Arriving in Portland, he announced to Sister Crawford that he would like the opportunity to expound upon his understanding of the scriptures in her church on Front and Burnside Streets. As told by Rev A. V. McPherson of the Portland congregation, here is how it unfolded:
    3. “Pastor Durham wanted Sister Crawford to let him preach his “finished work of Calvary” at Front & Burnside St. and she told him he never would. He said he would open a mission close by and take all her members away from her. She said “You are welcome to every member you can get.” He got a mission on Ankeny St. about 3 blocks from our place and one night a group of about 5 from the Apostolic Faith, including Bro. Lesher and myself went to hear him but very few people were there and we could not stand the spirit of the man and walked out and I think there could not have been more than 6 or 8 people left in his meeting when we went out.”
    4. Elmer K. Fisher had an Apostolic Faith Mission at 327 ½ South Spring Street in Los Angeles. It was known as the “Upper Room Mission” and enjoyed full fellowship with both the Azusa mission and also with the Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland, Oregon. Durham showed up there and asked to use that pulpit to explain his views. Fisher said “No” and turned him away.
    5. Going to Azusa, Durham’s reception improved greatly. Seymour was away and those in charge opened the doors to Durham. When Seymour learned that Durham had taken over the Azusa mission, he cancelled the further part of his trip, rushed back home and locked Durham out of the mission. But it was too late. Glenn Cook, one of the main ones at Azusa had already questioned the teachings of sanctification, so he and most of the others left Azusa and followed Durham to another large hall on 7th Street when Seymour closed the doors at Azusa.
    6. Learning that Durham had taken most of the Azusa congregation and that Elmer Fisher’s congregation had begun to erode as well, Sister Crawford took Rev. J. G. Robbins, her most staunch supporter in the Portland congregation, along with her son, Brother Ray Crawford, and her daughter Mildred and went down to LA to see what was happening and what she could do about it. Why had Durham been able to take his congregation, she asked of Fisher. That conversation quickly led to a parting of the ways between them so she secured a mission hall at 115 East First Street and began holding services with the intention of setting up a place of defense for those not following the Durham teaching which seemed to be sweeping the area. By this time Fisher had already lost about half of his congregation to Durham and many of those who had not gone with Durham moved to the hall at 115 East First Street where Sister Crawford was holding services. Fisher closed the upper Room mission and opened on Mercantile Place with his remaining congregation. Hebert Green was placed in charge of the Portland affiliated AF Mission on East First Street. Ione Nix, who later became my mother-in-law, attended her first Apostolic Faith church service in this mission on September 17, 1911.
    7. All but a small core group of the Azusa mission crowd followed Durham. Elmer Fisher had lost most of his followers to Durham and many of the remaining ones had moved to direct affiliation with Portland. Seeing Portland as the remaining hope of holding the Apostolic Faith together as a viable group, Seymour went north to Portland to assume his place as head of the organization. Sister Crawford, having successfully withstood Durham, saw no reason or merit in handing over her leadership to Seymour who had lost his own followers to Durham’s new teachings. So that is where the final separation took place.
    8. All in all, 1911 had been a disaster year.
      We sincerely believe that the events listed under the 1911 heading occurred as listed, except that the chronology cannot be determined for sure. So while the sequence of events is not at all clear, this appears to us to be correct in all other regards.
  20. The new Apostolic Faith
    1. In the summer of 1912, Durham died of pneumonia at about thirty-nine years of age. Frank Ewert, Durham’s assistant pastor, succeeded him as head of the organization. This organization had drawn most of its followers from the original Azusa mission group plus several affiliate groups such as Fishers. These people continued to identify themselves as Apostolic Faith although Charles Parham, Wm. Seymour, and Florence Crawford denounced them as no longer being Apostolic. Some people addressed them as “Neo-Pentecostals” or ‘new-Pentecostals.’
    2. A great Apostolic Faith camp meeting was held at Arroyo Seco in 1913 where most of the attendees were the Neo-Pentecostals. R. E. McAlister preached about being baptized (in water) in Jesus name. Whereupon Frank Ewert and Glenn Cook re-baptized each other in ‘Jesus name’ and then offered to re-baptize anyone else. Thus, in somewhat greater detail than listed herein, the Apostolic Faith under Wm. Seymour until 1911 had become a “Jesus Only” Apostolic Faith under Frank Ewert in 1913. Glenn Cook traveled to the Midwest and the Southwest re-baptizing former Apostolic Faith members in “Jesus” (only) name during 1914.
    3. 1913 also saw the beginning of an effort in the Southwest to organize an assembly of former Apostolic Faith people (former followers of Charles Parham) into the Neo-Pentecostal teachings of Wm. Durham. By the time this organization got underway in 1914, many of those people had been re-baptized in “Jesus” (only) name. The results were that the new organization split and the earlier followers of Durham became the Assemblies of God “AG,” and those who had been re-baptized (after several name changes and reorganizational adjustments), finally became the United Pentecostal church.

    Note: There is no relationship between Glenn Cook mentioned above and the Cook family affiliated with the Portland Apostolic Faith.

  21. Legacy
    1. The work in Portland, Oregon, initiated by Rev. Florence Louise Crawford in December of 1906 and nourished by her until she assumed full control in early 1908, remains today in the traditions and teachings of the early Azusa Street mission in Los Angeles. Her example of fiercely resisting new winds of doctrine and placing personal sacrifice above compromise and monetary advantage has maintained an unbroken link with that past.
    2. Other former Apostolic Faith peoples divided into roughly three groups; a “Jesus Only” Apostolic Faith in the west; a “Jesus Only” United Pentecostal in the Midwest and Southwest; and the Assemblies of God embracing most of the ‘Trinitarian’ Neo-Pentecostals who follow Durham. Parham also maintained a small group in Baxter Kansas who still retain the original Apostolic Faith name.
    3. Just before the opening of camp meeting, Rev. Florence L. Crawford died on June 20, 1936. Her work was done and her works still follow her.

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THE TESTIMONY OF
REVEREND FLORENCE LOUISE CRAWFORD

FLC.jpg
Florence Crawford in her later years
Photo used by permission
Apostolic Faith International Headquarters
Portland, Oregon

I worship the God of Heaven who has let the light of this glorious Gospel shine into my heart, and put a fearlessness there that will tell people of their sin and of a way of escape from sin! Little did I know of what God had in store for me when He led me into this gospel. Some time previous to coming into this Gospel, God saved my soul in a miraculous way.

I was raised in a home of unbelief. When I was a little girl, before my feet could touch the floor from the chair, I sat at the table with noted infidels. I heard them tear the old Bible to pieces, and say that God was but a myth and that Jesus was only a man. I used to shake my feet against the chair, and something way down in my heart would say, “I know there is a God.” He would not let me believe what those men were saying.

Before God saved my soul I had longed to know him. I loved Jesus and wanted to serve Him; but I could not do it. I did not have the power. At one time a noted infidel came to southern California, where I had been sent for my health. He heard at the hotel that I was staying there. He knew my people, and he said to me, “Will you play and sing for me?” I replied, “Yes, if I may sing what I like.” He said, “You may sing whatever you like.” The place was packed. I sang:

“Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempter still is High!

Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
‘till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the heaven guide,
Oh, receive my soul at last.”

I did not care what the effect was. I did not care what he said or did. The handkerchiefs came out and the lecture fell flat. He tried to excuse me, but his lecture was spoiled. There is nothing back of infidelity anyway -- I speak as one who knows -- and they did not have the power to stop that old song. I was only a sinner at the time but my heart was reaching out for God. I felt that someway, somehow, He would save my soul and give peace to my troubled heart.

One night as I was dancing in a ballroom, while a ladies’ orchestra was playing, I heard a voice speak out of Heaven and say, “Daughter, give me thine heart.” I did not know the voice of God the first time and went on in the dance. I loved the world, the fine clothes, the jewelry. Again the voice spake from Heaven, and it seemed that Heaven came down into that ballroom. My feet became heavy and the place was no longer beautiful to me. Again the voice spoke much louder, “Daughter, give Me thine heart!” No one had to tell me it was God, for I knew it was the voice of God. The music died away and I left the ballroom.

I went immediately to my home and began to pray. The enemy of my soul would sweep down upon me like a flood with all the teachings I had had contrary to the word of God. For three days and nights I prayed and wept and wrestled for my salvation, fighting back the power of atheism and infidelity. The enemy would tell me that there was no God, that Jesus was not the Christ, that the Bible was a myth. I would pray until the early hours of the morning -- could hardly eat or sleep. I was praying as much as possible without letting my people know I was searching for God. If ever I realized my soul was a sepulcher of dead men’s bones, I did then. It seamed I could find no peace, and I felt there was no hope for me; but I though: why did God speak out of Heaven if there is no hope?

At last some of my friends said, “We’ll go down to a certain home and have a game of cards tonight.” I knew that near that home lived a little woman who knew how to pray. So I went with them; and after arriving, I said, “I am going over to see a woman for a few minutes.”

I went to her door and rang the bell. When she opened the door and looked into my face she said, “You want God.” “Oh,” I said, “I want Him more than anything else in the world!” I fell on my knees right there, and she prayed for me -- and God came into my heart. I do not know how long I prayed; but the sun was shining when I went in and it was dark when I came out.

Oh, it was wonderful; the rest, the peace, the quietness that flooded my soul! And as I wept for joy, I said, “I must go and tell the others.”

I returned to the home where I had left my friends. They had cards on the table ready to play. They said, “You have been gone so long. We have been waiting for you.” I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “No cards for me; I have found Jesus whom my soul has hungered for so long. He is in my soul!” When they looked at me they saw the light of another world on my face. The card table was shoved to one side, and we sang Gospel songs. What a change had come into my life! I had peace and satisfaction that my soul had so long sought. Oh it was wonderful to me! I could have told the whole world that Jesus Christ was real and that He had come into my heart.

The flowers went, the feathers, and the fine clothes. Everything I had loved that was of the world was taken out of my heart; but, Oh! How I loved lost souls and wept as I saw those who looked sad, and many times I would stop and tell them the story of Jesus.

When God saved my soul, my health was failing fast. I had never heard that Jesus Christ could heal my body. I knew nothing of divine healing. But I knew He had saved my soul. I gave the little strength I had to tell the men behind bars that there was a way out of sin; or in going into the slums of the city trying to rescue mothers’ boys and girls.

I was saved, as I said; but my heart was hungry for more of God. He had planted the truth of His Word in my soul. The time came, in the city of Los Angeles, when I would attend every evangelistic meeting that was held there. I would interview the evangelist and tell them that God had saved me, a proud, haughty woman, that He had completely changed my life and my desires, but that I still hungered for more of God. They would tell me, “You are all right; you have all that God has for you,” and “Be careful, do not go too far.” After each interview I would go my way, disappointed and discouraged. I knew that I was saved; I knew that I lived a consecrated life, but I craved to receive a deeper experience.

I had read of sanctification in John Wesley’s teachings and heard of others who had received that second work of grace for which I was seeking. I went past a little tent meeting one time. The rotten eggs were going over the top, and the old cabbages and carrots were lying by the side. I slipped up to the outside and heard a woman tell how God had saved her and taken the sin out of her heart and life, and that she left the world behind; and then a hunger had come into her heart for more of God, and she sought God -- and He sanctified her wholly. “Oh,” I said, “that's what I want!”

I went from place to place where they taught sanctification, willing to kneel at any altar no matter how humble if only I could find sanctification to my hungry soul. The minister would say, “Sister, claim it and you have it.” But I said, “I will claim it when I get it, but I can’t claim it, until I receive it.” I consecrated my life to God hoping that that would bring it, and thought consecration was sanctification. But, oh, it was not! The hunger, the craving, the thirst that was in my heart, no human could know unless he had it. And while I lived a consecrated life, yet the fire had not fallen on the sacrifice.

I longed to find someone who preached all the Word of God. One day when a friend was visiting with me, we sat with our Bibles in our hands, wondering why it was we could not find anyone who preached the Bible in its entirety. We found some who would teach salvation, but not sanctification; others believed in sanctification but rejected the teaching of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. There were those who believed in divine healing but left out other vital doctrines. I said to her, “Is there not a people somewhere who preach the whole Word of God from Genesis to Revelation? If I could find such a people I would follow them to the ends of the earth.”

Some years later, this Christian woman came to our home and said, “Sister Crawford, I have found the people who preach the whole Word of God.” I asked, “Where are they?” She answered, “I have found them, but they are way down in the lower part of Los Angeles.” She knew that I would go there to rescue girls; that many a dark night I had gone down to a Los Angeles street to get mothers’ wayward boys; and that many a time I had helped them across the street when they were unable to help themselves, lest the cars would run over them -- but she did not believe I would leave the Highland Park area to worship God in the lower part of the city. She did not know whether I had lost the hunger for more of God or not, but the hunger was there.

When this woman told me she had found a people in the city of Los Angeles, I did not say, “I am too proud.” I said, “I do not care where the place is, I want to go. Take me to them!” I would have gone there if I had had to crawl on my hands and knees.

The woman told me of a colored man preaching down in Azusa Street. She knew how I had been brought up; and how, in my married life, we looked down on anybody who even spoke to a colored person, unless he was a servant in the home. I said, “I don’t care who preaches it. If they have the thing my soul is craving for, I want it.”

We made our way to the mission on Azusa Street and found the people upon whom God had so copiously poured out of His Spirit. It was not a fine hall, just an old barn-like building with only an old board laid on two chairs for an altar; there were no windows in the place; the floor was carpeted with sawdust; the walls and beams blackened with smoke. There were scarcely more than twenty people there. I was not looking at the people. I did not care whether any of them were colored or white. I was seeking more from the God of Israel. I looked around to see if anybody saw me go in, but I would not have cared if the whole world saw me go out. I had found a people that had the experience I wanted. I went in and sat down.

They sang a little, but that didn’t seem to touch my heart. They knelt in prayer, but that didn’t move me at all. Pretty soon they got up, and they sang again. Finally a big colored man arose to his feet and said, “Hallelujah!” It just went into my soul. He waited a moment and again said, “Hallelujah!” I said, “God, I have heard the voice from Heaven. I have heard it at last.” I could feel in my spirit that the man had something in his heart which my soul was craving. I forgot everything else, for I heard the voice of the great shepherd of the sheep. I was a sheep myself; I was a child of God. The one thing I was wondering was, how could I get it? How could I receive that wonderful blessing on my soul that I had hungered for so long, and that this man had?

Before I left that place I had an interview with the one in charge of the meeting. I told him how God had saved my soul when I was an infidel, and how He had taken me off the ballroom floor and wrought such a marvelous change in my heart. I told him that my carriage, which I used to take my friends out, was now converted into a conveyance to carry food and clothing to the poor. I told him that I visited the prisons and slums. “But,” I added, “I am hungry for more of God. My soul is thirsting for God, and I can’t find the satisfying portion to my heart.” He looked at my squarely in the face and said, “Sister, you have a wonderful case of salvation; but you need to be sanctified.”

From Monday morning until Friday at four o’clock, I continually and earnestly sought God. I would go home, and would come back, not daring to tell my husband and family much about the meetings. They would say, “Who are they?” I would answer, “Some church people who have banded together to pray for the power of God to come down. They prayed and the power fell, and now I am after the same thing.” Oh, the hunger that God planted in my soul! It didn’t matter what my people would say -- my friends and all -- but only, could I get it?

The next Friday when I returned to the services, the preacher stopped his preaching and said, "Somebody in this place wants something from God.” I pushed the chairs away from in front of me and dropped to my knees at the altar. The ‘fire’ fell, and God sanctified me. The power of God went through me like thousands of needles. Oh, it was wonderful! Question it? I never can! Depart from it? Never! It is the most choice treasure of my life.

As I went home on the streetcar that night, I didn’t know whether I was walking on the earth or in the air -- and it didn’t matter. When we would come to a street, the conductor would seem to call out, “Praise the Lord!” the next street would be “Glory to God!” I wondered what my street would be. When we came to it, I heard, “Hallelujah!” “Oh,” I said, “that is my street!” I went to my home, and I just raised my hands and cried out, “He sanctified me!” It seemed that all I could say for days was, “He sanctified me!” I had sought it everywhere -- and at last God gave that glorious experience to me.

After God sanctified me they told me that God would give me the power for service, that He would baptize me with the Holy Ghost and fire. The Lord showed me that the Holy Ghost would come only into clean vessels, and that He had cleansed the temple of my heart. I went before Him and pleaded and prayed and praised God and consecrated again, deeper and deeper, and sought for the power to tell a lost world what great things God had done for me.

One week after I was sanctified, as I sat in my chair at one of the services, a sound like a rushing mighty wind filled the room, and I was baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. The power of God shook my very being, and rivers of joy and divine love flooded my soul. Oh, it was wonderful! This tongue that never spoke another word but English began to magnify and praise God in another language. I was speaking Chinese, and it was the sweetest thing I have ever heard in my life. I used to look at the Chinese and long to tell them in their own language of this salvation, but little did I think He would let me talk in their tongue. But that day He took possession of my tongue, and began to speaking the Chinese language, glorifying God. A Christian Chinese man was there; and when he came and stood before me, he exclaimed, “Chinese white woman!” but the greatest joy to my heart was that I had received the power to witness for Christ, power to tell others what great things God can do in a human heart.

When I came into this gospel work my body was a physical wreak. But I hadn’t even asked or thought of asking God to heal my body. The next day after I had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, my little daughter was taken to a dentist to have some teeth extracted. The dentist said she would have to be operated on; and he and her father took her to a specialist who said, “I can’t take the case at all.” She had not breathed through her nose for four years (after a severe case of diphtheria) and she had growths in her head which he said should be removed. She had ulcers on her eyelids also, and her glasses had to be changed. A second specialist refused the case, and a third took an x-ray of her head and said he would consider it.

When they brought that child home, I said, “God, if you could take this woman, who never spoke another language in all her life, and make her speak in the Chinese language, you can heal this child!” I took her down to the mission the next day. The prayer of faith was prayed. I took her home and laid her in her little bed, and in a few minutes she was sound asleep -- and she was breathing through her nose. My heart went up in praise to God. Her eyes were healed also.

My son said, “Mamma, why don’t you ask God to heal you so you won’t have to wear glasses?” He was just a boy, but he knew what God had done for that child. I hadn’t thought about the healing of my body. The thing I had wanted was to receive the experiences in my soul -- and I had received them. But God caused my son to speak to me about my healing.

Three attacks of spinal meningitis early in my life had left my head and eye so affected that I could not leave off my glasses. I went to the mission that afternoon and told what wonderful things the Lord had done for me, and asked them to pray for me. The power of the Son of God healed my eyes -- and my eyes were perfect.

I had lung trouble, and also heart trouble that goes with lung trouble. For years I had to live in southern California for my health. I had running sores that no doctor could help. I was so nervous that I would tear my hair at night and I couldn’t help it. I was thin, diseased, broken down in every part of my body. But when I paid the full price which God required, and in simple, childlike faith, prayed that I might get my health back again and to be a witness for Him in this world, the healing streams began to flow.

As I lay on my bed at night I would open my soul to God -- every avenue of my life to the healing streams that seemed to flow through every fiber of my being. And when I would awake, I would renew my consecrations and tell God that He knew my heart and that my life was in His hands. All that I had or ever expected to have was at His disposal. Every thing He had demanded of me and which I had given Him when making deep consecrations to receive my sanctification and baptism were still on the altar. All was His. What God had given me was not mine, but only loaned to me by Him. Those were the consecrations I made to receive my healing.

Early in life, when just a girl, I was seriously injured. I was thrown from a carriage onto a jagged stump and lay at the point of death. For weeks my mother bent over my bed expecting me to pass any time. Later I had to wear a surgical support: a ‘harness’ with straps, a metal plate across my abdomen, metal prongs in the back and straps across my shoulders and back. I hadn’t walked without that harness for eleven years. If I stepped hard on my right foot I would be in bed for two weeks.

One day the Lord asked me to take that harness off. I had heard that thing jingle many a time when I dropped it in the closet for the night. But this time, there was a thanksgiving in my heart because I was through with it forever -- God was going to heal me.

The prayer of faith was prayed for me, and God did heal me. He instantly healed me. I leaped and praised the name of Jesus -- and I walked twenty-three blocks that very night, without the harness. I was preparing to come to Portland within three days, and the enemy brought that harness up right before me, saying, “You can’t go without the harness.” I said, “Cannot go! I am healed.” Instantly a pain struck me in the side where I had been healed, but I arose from my chair, stepped on my feet with all my might, and said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” From that day to this, through the years, I have never had a tinge of suffering in that side. The healing of my body was complete. Once diseased from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, I now was made sound and well through the Blood of Jesus. The Christ of Calvary touched my body and made me whole.

Oh! I thank God that I found a Friend -- and His name is Jesus. The greatest thing that ever came into my life is this salvation and the power to tell that Jesus Christ can save to the uttermost all who come unto him.

Do not be afraid to trust God. His Word is true. If you will pay the price God requires, you, too, can have His Word wrought out in your life for healing, for sanctification or anything you desire of Him.

Note: this testimony is a compilation of Florence Crawford’s own words as taken from the following publications of the Apostolic Faith:
Compiled by J. Lee Buller of Dallas, Oregon

 


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