In 1906, a small church on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California became the scene of a revival that was known as "The Latter Rain Movement". From this revival were born several new denominations, the most prominent being the Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal Church and the Pentecostal Church of God. The Pentecostal Church of God, which formed at the Sharon Bible School in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada, is directly in the lineage of the birth of the Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC) denomination as this was the denomination that gave rise to the doctrines taught to my dad over the years prior to his formation of the ABC.
There were several individuals who were directly connected with the Sharon Bible School that passed on many of the doctrines incorporated into the Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC) denomination. The most prominent of these individuals being, Derek Prince, James A Watt, and Ern Baxter. These men were trained by, as well as taught at, the Sharon school in Saskatoon and each was greatly influenced in their path by William Branham; known also to many simply as Brother Branham.
These men, along with others, were greatly influenced by the teachings of Branham in Vancouver BC and began what would become known as "The Latter Rain Revival" movement. It was envisioned by these men this revival would be a renewing of the Azusa Street revival that took place in 1906 in Los Angeles California. They felt then, and even now, that this new movement would spread like wildfire through Canada and then to the rest of the world. That did not happen as predicted or prophesied then and just last year it was predicted yet again there would be a revival of the Latter Rain movement in Canada that would then spread to the rest of the world. This has not yet happened as "prophesied". For further study of the Latter Rain Revival movement there is a great treatise located at Birthpangs.org which goes into great detail about this movement and its doctrines; the ABC being one of its many vehicles.
My dad spoke frequently of the Azusa Street happenings throughout my life and had high regard for the Latter Rain movement. He considered himself to be one who would bring about this renewal and he envisioned that the ABC would somehow play a major role. Below is a picture of one of the ABC tape lists where one can see the teachings of Brother Branham held a prominent place on the list. (Click on Tape List to Enlarge)
CLICK HERE to read the "Mystery Babylon" Teaching by William Branham of which the tape shown above;"The Great Harlot"; is based.
CLICK HERE to read the booklet "Mystery Babylon" of which the tape is based. This teaching in “The Page” pamphlet is derived from the Branham teaching shown above. The highlights in the book are those of my father Ramon A Haas. (Note: it may be necessary to rotate the document in your reader.)
To encapsulate this further my father, Ramon A Haas, steeped in the teachings of William Branham and others, pursued a lifetime goal of becoming a Pentecostal minister. To fulfill this goal he attended two seminaries then teamed with a Pentecostal minister named Donald McGregor in Noti Oregon. He then left Oregon and began working with James A Watt in Seattle.
We had moved to the Noti Oregon area when I was about age one. We moved away about the time I was approaching my ninth birthday. Noti is one of the first moments in my life of which I am personally aware and even though our days in Noti were ones of extreme poverty and hardship I remember them only as good times. We lived in a series of ramshackle dwellings surviving only on what we could grow, government food commodities and donated food since the welfare safety net, present since the Johnson era, did not yet exist. My dad rotated from job to job but is was when he was offered a permanent job in Seattle with American Sterilizer that we relocated to Seattle from Noti Oregon. It was also in Seattle my dad first met James A Watt and was attracted to him immediately because had been taught by Branham as well.
James A Watt was directly connected to the Sharon Orphanage, Derek Prince, Ern Baxter as well as William Branham so this encounter at Broadway Tabernacle was really a sort of reuniting with the Branham teachings. My dad had been a follower of Branham in the late forties prior to my birth and he was quite happy he had reconnected with his base teachings.
My dad spoke often of Branham and retold the stories of Branham’s “miracles”. His favorite Branham miracle story being that of a time when Branham allegedly entered a field, in 1945 in Macon Georgia, and was about to be killed by a large bull. As Branham recounted the story he rebuked the bull, it pacified then went and lay down under a tree. Branham was then able to safely cross the field. There were no witnesses to this event but Branham followers, and my dad, accepted it as truth.
Shortly after our move to Seattle, James A Watt acquired Broadway Tabernacle from Derek Prince. Prince had decided to leave Seattle for Chicago to start a tape and broadcast ministry and Broadway Tabernacle was to become Watt’s new pulpit. Here is a short excerpt from Wikipedia:
"In 1962, the Princes moved to Canada, and from there to a pastorate at Peoples Church in Minneapolis, becoming US citizens. From here they moved to Broadway Tabernacle in Seattle where he ministered along with James A Watt whom he had met in Canada. During this time Prince was becoming widely known through his cassette-tape Bible lectures, and he became involved with the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. This led to a move to Faith Tabernacle in Chicago..."
James A Watt and Derek Prince; both close friends with Ern Baxter; had left the Sharon Orphanage and School about the same time. Their intent was to bring the Latter Rain message first to Vancouver British Columbia, then to Seattle Washington and then to the rest of the world. My dad, a previous Branhamite, joined himself readily to the Broadway Tabernacle church in Seattle. Here he studied the Latter Rain and Branham influenced teachings and doctrines intensely under James A Watt's tutelage.
To this point it can be demonstrated there is a direct lineage tying the roots of the ABC to the doctrines of William Branham, Ern Baxter, Derek Prince, James A Watt and the Latter Rain Revival movement. The Latter Rain Revival Movement had ties to the Azusa Street movement in Los Angeles California which itself had ties to persons and movements on back through history. As stated in Proverbs there is nothing new under the sun and all denominations, including the ABC, have roots in this history. Not a single one popped onto the earth from a vacuum.
In my next post I will cover the Broadway Tabernacle days in more detail, then move on to the sudden split between my dad and James A Watt. This split is what eventually caused the Assembly of the Body of Christ denomination to be formed; directly patterned after James A Watt's church and his bible study methodology. NEXT POST