Pt. 4 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

To view photos of her: Maria Woodworth-etter – Image Results

When Mariah began ministering in Ohio in the early stages of her ministry, she went to various cities in the local area and preached revivals.  She went wherever she was invited.  A church, or group of churches, would invite her to come and hold meetings.  She stayed anywhere from a few days to several weeks.  One of the first places she held meetings was in a town called “Devil’s Den”.  It was distinguished for adultery and skepticism.

She also traveled to other states to hold meetings as well, even all the way West to California.  Mariah held a revival in Oakland, California in October of 1889.  Although there were no advertisements, crowds began to pack the tent.  A severe rain storm, as never before in the history of Oakland, poured down during the revival, but crowds still gathered in spite of the rain, cold and mud.  Within a few days of commencement, the tent was not able to accommodate the numbers of people who were coming to the meetings.  Mariah’s funds were depleted by this time, but God laid it upon some people’s hearts to purchase stoves to heat the inside of the tent.  Men also built a wooden floor inside the tent.

The Christians in Oakland decided that Mariah must have a larger tent, and they ordered a tent that was able to seat 8,000.  In a short time the tent was made and set up on the ground for a dedicatory service.  The dedication ceremony sermon was preached by the pastor of the M.E. Church of San Francisco.  Prayer was offered by the pastor of the M.E. Church of Oakland.  A number of other ministers were present.

Mariah commented (concerning the revival in Oakland) that she had never been in a meeting before where so many nationalities were represented in one place.  People came to the meetings from nearly all parts of the United States and the world.  And that is still the way Oakland is today.  The city of Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area is noted as being one of the top areas in the world which represents so many diverse cultures and races – and generally speaking, the cultures mix together rather than staying in their own separate groups.  In the Bay Area, segregation primarily occurs in churches, but you see many cultures mixed together in the workplace, marketplace, and in universities.

The Holy Spirit drew people to travel to the revival in Oakland.  The tent revival in Oakland was the largest out of all tent revivals in America (in 1889).  The last day of the revival, police were there just in case any trouble broke out due to the large crowds.  That day, the 8,000 seat tent was packed to capacity, and 10,000 people were outside and could not get in.

Mariah tells of a story of a 63 year old man who came to the Oakland revival.  He was a mocker.  He and some friends were visiting Oakland and heard about the meeting.  They came out of curiosity.  During the meeting, he made some light remarks to his friends about the power of God that was displayed and started boldly towards the pulpit to investigate.  But he fell to the floor by the power of God (like being struck with electricity) and laid there for two hours.  While in this condition, God gave him visions of heaven and hell, and told him to make a choice of the two.  He called upon the Lord to save him, and made a decision for Christ.  He came out of his partially conscious state praising God and realizing that he was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Mariah organized a church in Salem, Oregon around 1892.  She was not the founder of a denomination but she set up a church.  A pastor was appointed and the church began with 13 members.

She also established a mission in Portland, Oregon and left it with a Congregationalist minister.