About John G. Lake
John G. Lake
John G. Lake, was a leader in the Pentecostal movement that began in the early 20th century and is known as a faith healer, missionary, and co-founder of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, with Thomas Hezmalhalch.
During his African missionary work, Lake played a decisive role in the spread of Pentecostalism in South Africa, which was the most successful southern African religious movement of the 20th century. After completing his missionary work in Africa, Lake evangelized for 20 years, primarily along the west coast of the United States setting up healing rooms and healing campaigns, and establishing churches.
His main vision was to train others to walk in the power of God. He trained many DHT’s (Divine Healing Technicians) and was influenced by the healing ministry of John Alexander Dowie.
John G. Lake was a man greatly used of God during the first half of the 20th century. He was perhaps best known for his healing ministry which was centered in The Healing Rooms that he started in Spokane in 1915. During a five year period (1915-1920) Lake and his team of “Divine Healing Technicians” were used by God to affect over 100,000 healings.
Dr. Lake trained his Technicians with a series of divine healing lectures.
John G. Lake was born in Ontario, Canada on March 18, 1870. He moved with his parents to the U.S. in 1886 and was saved in a Salvation Army meeting at about the same time. By the age of 21 he was married and was ordained in the Methodist Church. Lake’s early memories were of sickness, death, funerals and grieving parents.
Eight of his 16 brothers and sisters died of various diseases. His new wife also became sick and was on the verge of dying.
This was the condition of things when John first heard the message of healing. He immediately began a study of divine healing, and his wife was healed through the prayers of a man some distance away by the name of John Alexander Dowie.
As a result, Lake moved his family to Zion, Illinois in 1901 “For the purpose of studying divine healing so that I can learn it and teach it”.
In 1908 Lake and a small band of “faith” missionaries left the U.S. for South Africa. Immediately upon arrival, the missionaries began to cause a stir among the people and a riot among the religious. During the next five years, “The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa” (the organization founded by Lake), started over 700 churches (125 “white” and 600 “native”). Miracles and healings such as had not been seen in almost 2000 years became almost commonplace.
During his first year in South Africa whilst Lake was on a missionary trip in the jungle, his wife Jennie died suddenly, and upon returning he found he had missed her funeral by 12 hours. He referred to this event as, “Satan’s masterstroke”.
He remained in Africa for four more years with 7 children to raise and an organization of almost 250,000 relying on him for leadership.
On February 1, 1913, Lake returned to the US physically exhausted due to the strain of the magnitude of the African work. So, upon his return to the United States, Lake travelled around preaching and resting while fellowshipping with long missed friends.
By September 1913, Lake had married again. His new wife would prove to be as great a blessing to the world as she was to him. Florence Switzer had been a stenographer and secretary and would sit on the front pew at every service Lake held, capturing every word in shorthand and later transcribing the sermons onto paper which we still have today. Had she not become his wife, we would most likely not have the wealth of material from Lake which we now have.
In September 1914 they relocated to Spokane, Washington where he ministered in a church for six months before launching his own ministry which became known as “Lake’s Healing Rooms”. When they left Spokane in 1920, the Healing Rooms he founded closed and were not re-opened (The building got burnt down in the late 1930’s and an entirely new building was built in it’s place).
In 1920, John moved his growing family (Lake, Florence, their 7 children from his first wife and now five more children by Florence) to Portland, Oregan with a plan to duplicate the Spokane work. This he did, with over 100,000 healings.
After five years in Portland, Lake began to grow restless and launched out on a 6 year traveling ministry which resulted in the birth of churches, healing rooms, and healing campaigns in Sacramento & San Diego (California), and Houston (Texas).
When Lake returned to Spokane, Washington in 1931, he bought an old Methodist church and re-started his work there. For a while, he had healing rooms in the church, but they shut down once the church relocated.
Dr. Lake (an honorary term bestowed upon him by his congregation because he was getting more people healed than the local doctors did) passed away on September 16, 1935. The ministry was picked up and carried on by Lake’s daughter, Gertrude and her husband, Wilford. They continued until Gertrude’s death in 1986 and Wilford’s passing in the June of 1987.
Shortly before Wilford’s passing, he appointed Rev. Curry R. Blake as the General Overseer of John G. Lake Ministries.
For a more in-depth study of Dr. Lake’s life and ministry, see Rev. Blake’s book, “John G. Lake –
The Apostle of Divine Healing- The Life and Ministry of John G. Lake