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Kindred Spirits

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Dr. Simpson was greatly used of God to thrust me out more fully into public service, that is, especially the platform work, although God had already made real use of my pen,”1 wrote Carrie Judd Montgomery (1858–1946) when remembering how A. B. Simpson had encouraged her ministry, especially in the early days. Their collaboration provides an inspirational picture of how a Christ-centered friendship can influence generations.

In 1876, before she met Simpson, Carrie had a near-fatal accident in Buffalo, New York. A few years later, in response to a letter from Sarah Mix, Carrie prayed the prayer of faith found in James 5, got up from her bed and was healed.2 This experience catapulted her into a lifelong ministry in which many were influenced through her writing and healed through God’s answers to her prayers. Her 1880 work, The Prayer of Faith, was one of the early theological books on divine healing, and Triumphs of Faith, the periodical she launched in 1881, acted for many years as a significant network for those in the divine healing movement.3 Additionally, she was one of the first people to establish healing homes in North America, including the first on the West Coast.4 Carrie also founded orphanages and initiated ecumenical camp meetings. She eventually joined the Pentecostal movement without breaking her ties with other evangelical groups.

In the early 1880s, Simpson came across Carrie’s testimony.5 He was so impressed with her story that he reprinted it in his own periodical .6 When they met for the first time in 1883, he showed Carrie his magazine with her article printed in it. Both advocates of divine healing, they instantly recognized that they were kindred spirits. Simpson immediately opened doors within his ministry circles and encouraged Carrie to share her testimony. It was only after Carrie’s healing home was established (April 1882) that he opened his (May 1883). Furthermore, Simpson invited Carrie to be part of the formation of The Christian and Missionary Alliance and later supported her as she started the Buffalo and Oakland branches.7 Carrie considered Simpson a spiritual father, referring to him at one point as the “kind of friend whom we always think of as our pastor.”8 He performed Carrie’s wedding ceremony and later baptized her daughter Faith.9

Carrie Judd Montgomery’s impact on the divine healing movement, though strong in its own right, was undoubtedly magnified by her association with people like Simpson, who opened doors and nurtured her early steps of faith into the arena of public speaking. Their encouragement of one another throughout the years provides a great picture of what the Body of Christ can look like when people who are passionate about Jesus unite to share His love and healing touch.

Endnotes

  1. Carrie Judd Montgomery, Under His Wings: The Story of My Life (Los Angeles: Stationers Corporation, 1936), 99.
  2. Jennifer A. Miskov, Spirit Flood: Rebirth of Spirit Baptism for the 21st Century (In Light of the Azusa Street Revival and the Life of Carrie Judd Montgomery), (Birmingham, UK: Silver to Gold, 2010). Read this for a brief biography based on primary sources.
  3. Carrie F. Judd, The Prayer of Faith (Chicago: F. H. Revell, 1880; reprinted, New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc, 1985).
  4. J. R. Zeigler, “John Graham Lake,” in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements: Revised and Expanded Version, ed. Stanley M. Burgess (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 828. Carrie’s Home of Peace in Oakland, Calif., in 1893 came nearly 20 years before John G. Lake’s healing rooms (in 1913).
  5. Carrie F. Judd, “Faith Reckonings,” Triumphs of Faith 1:1 (Jan 1881).
  6. Montgomery, Under His Wings, 98. See also The Word, Work and World 1:6 (July 1882), 251-252.
  7. Carrie F. Judd, “Old Orchard Convention”, TF 7:9 (Sept 1887), 203-204, “Report of Christian Convention,” TF 8:1 (Jan 1888), and TF 8:7 (July 1888), 167. “Faith-Rest Cottage,” TF 5:11 (Nov 1885) and TF 11:10 (Oct. 1891), “The Work at Home and Abroad. Christian Alliance Notes. List of Auxiliaries and Branches,” The Christian Alliance and Missionary Weekly 4:21 (May 23, 1890), 330, “The Work at Home: A Word from California,” CAMW 7:14 (Oct 2, 1891), 221. Paul King writes that after Carrie became secretary of The Christian Alliance, she “would become one of the most significant ‘charismatic’ leaders in the C&MA for more than twenty years” in his Genuine Gold: The Cautiously Charismatic Story of the Early Christian and Missionary Alliance (Tulsa: Word & Spirit Press, 2006), 24.
  8. Carrie Judd Montgomery, “The Work and the Workers,” TF 10:7 (July 1890), 167.
  1. Anna W. Prosser, “Wedding Bells,” TF 10:6 (June 1890), 122 and Carrie Judd Montgomery, “The Work and the Workers,” TF 12:5 (May 1892).

To learn more about Montgomery and read some of her original works, go to www.CarrieJuddMontgomery.blogspot.com.

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