Healing and Revival


 

Raymond and Eloise May Richey

.. "What God Hath Wrought"


Raymond Theodore Richey was born September 4, 1893 in Atwood, Illinois. He was the sixth child born to Eli Noble (E.N.) and Sarah Jane Richey. The Richey family experienced several miraculous healings over the years. E. N. had been healed of several physical conditions, including cancer, when God spoke to him from the scripture about Hezekiah's deliverance. Another was the healing of Raymond's younger brother Frank. When he was a year and a half he was diagnosed with spinal meningitis and the family was told he was about to die. The family came around the baby and prayed for him. He was healed and recovered.

In 1901 the family heard John Alexander Dowie and they were baptized by him and became members of his church. E.N. was ordained a deacon and led a Zion group in Atwood, Illinois. Their daughter Mollie moved to Zion and married Jesse C. Wilder, a deacon in Zion City. The family retained close ties to Zion and moved there in 1904. E. N. was the Mayor of Zion for a time. Sarah herself became sick and was diagnosed with the "white plague", which was tuberculosis. Their parents visited several areas of the country to alleviate the problem, leaving the children with relatives. Sarah was eventually healed through prayer.

When Richey was eight a cousin was playing with him and he was struck in the eyes with a stick. His eyes were so bad that he eventually could not even attend school. Then came the point where an eye specialist told his family that he was going to go blind. He had a nervous breakdown. On New Years day 1911 he came to the end of himself and cried out to God. His sister had been writing about a revival occurring in Texas and he told God that he would go. He went and heard Arch P. Collins, a spirit-filled Baptist evangelist. He gave his heart to God. After the meeting he asked Collins to pray for his eyes. Collins did, and although there was no immediate change by the next morning his eyes had cleared and he never wore glasses again. He told God he would go into service for Him.

Richey made attempts at ministry. Nothing seemed to be successful and he would go back into regular work. He came under intense conviction to minister, but didn't know how. One day while visiting his brother's house he prayed for a woman with rheumatism. She was instantly healed. News traveled and he began to get calls to pray for the sick. His father was called to pastor a small church in Texas and Raymond went with him as an assistant. The work was hard, but fruitful.

Still Richey's heart's desire was to have greater impact in the kingdom. When WWI broke out he worked in evangelizing the troops. He organized the United Prayer and Worker's League in Houston. He would cry out to God for hours at a time for the lost in the military. He would cry out for hundreds and thousands to be saved. God provided money to buy a gospel tent and the local training camp needed to use the space for teaching. The church provided the space and every man was required to listen to the gospel and take a tract so the army could use the church. They would see two hundred converted at a time. Thousands were saved. F. F. and B. B. Bosworth occasionally preached in the church. A young woman, named Eloise, from the local community also came and was led to Christ by B. B. Bosworth. Eloise eventually married Richey During the flu epidemic of 1918 Richey was called out to pray day and night for the dying. He pushed himself so hard he developed tuberculosis. He was told to go to California and rest completely for a year. While there God spoke to him from Psalm 103 and healed him completely.

In 1920 Richey was an assistant to an evangelist. While preparing for a meeting the evangelist canceled and God told Richey to preach the meeting himself and pray for the sick. The third night a woman's crippled arm was healed and the place filled to capacity. Healings and salivation occurred every night. This opened the way for a new itinerant healing ministry. They struggled through financial hardship and attacks by the enemy. Then God called them to hold a citywide revival in Houston, Texas in 1921. They did not have the money for it but pressed on. They started in a tent but it was too small. They moved to the City Auditorium and filled it. The revival went forty days and they saw 5,000 conversions. People came out of wheelchairs, deafness, tuberculosis, arthritis, blindness, and other diseases were healed. 40,000 people had received healing prayer. At one service 13 people were brought in on stretchers and 12 walked home. Richey then held meetings in Galveston and San Antonio. One meeting, held in Spanish, brought in over 10,000 Hispanic residents. In Forth Worth the auditorium was too small and when people were refused entrance they climbed the walls to sit in the windows to hear. They went back to Houston twice in 1923. After one of the revival meetings a parade was held for those who had been healed. It was 13 blocks long! In a meeting in Tulsa there were 11,000 conversions and a truck was piled high with crutches and other medical supports that had been left behind. Sometime in 1923 Richey must have come into relationship with the Christian and Missionary Alliance organization, possibly through his friendship with the Bosworth Brothers. He dropped his Assembly of God ordination and became ordained with the C&MA. They began to report on his meetings in their denominational magazine, and did so for the next few years. Richey's wife Eloise wrote a book called "What God Hath Wrought in the Life of Raymond T. Richey" in 1925 that covered his miraculous meetings.

By 1931 Richey was the President of the Southern Bible College in Goose Creek, Texas, a college associated with his evangelistic association. In 1936 Richey spoke at the Denver Tabernacle for Kathryn Kuhlman, teaching on healing for three weeks. He was often in Los Angeles during the 1930s, as well, and spoke at Angelus Temple for Aimee Semple McPherson. In 1936 Richey returned to the Assemblies of God and his ordination was reinstated. In the 1940's Richey held tent meetings for the armed forces. He traveled with a red, white, and blue striped tent and led thousands to Christ. After the war Richey went to Seoul, Korea to minister to the soldiers there. A revival broke out. In 1945 his father died and he returned to pastor the Evangelistic Temple for a few years. He evidently came in contact with William Branham because they ministered at some meetings together and were friends. There are records of them ministering together in Dallas in 1949, and Minneapolis and Houston in 1950, and in New York in 1951.

Richey began to travel internationally. He held meetings in Central and South America in 1951. In 1951 he was elected the International Editor of the "Voice of Healing" magazine, joining with Gordon Lindsay. He traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Korea in 1957 and 1958. Richey loved to see the lost saved. He was reported saying "Divine healing is the dinner bell. Keep ringing that bell and people will come." Richey died on April 22, 1968. It is believed that more than one million people had responded to his calls for salvation or healing over the lifetime of his ministry.

Would you like to read more about him or read the book his wife wrote about him?

 

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