Kathryn Kuhlman

Who was Kathryn Kuhlman? Was she a healer? Was her ministry a sham. Some biographical data about a most interesting woman.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1)

"Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1.)

Kathryn Kuhlman, evangelist and faith-healer was born May 9, 1907 to a farm family outside of Concordia, Missouri and died on February 20, 1976 from an enlarged heart. She was born to German parents, Joseph Adolph and Emma Walkenhorst Kuhlman. Some people revered Miss Kuhlman, while others believed her powers were not "heaven sent." Whether we will really know, this side of heaven is a given -- no.

Kathryn was "saved" (the Christian term that means accepting the work that Christ did on the cross and receiving forgiveness for sins) at a revival meeting when she was 14. Her mother was a Methodist, her father a Baptist. As a young girl, she went to a Baptist seminary and was ordained as a Baptist preacher. Myrtle and Everett Parrott, her sister and brother-in-law, held tent revivals and Kathryn was invited to travel with them. She stayed with them from the age of 16 until she was 21--doing tent revivals and getting many chances to preach. During the time she spent with the Parrotts, they were influenced by Dr. Price, a Canadian evangelist, who instructed Parrott on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was when the healing ministry was introduced into their revivals. After the first summer with the Parrotts Kathryn attended the Simpson Bible School in Seattle for 2 years.

At about age 21 Kathryn set out on her own to preach the gospel. Kathryn's first "congregation" were the customers at a small, dirty pool hall in a run-down section of Boise, Idaho. Kathryn's name became well-known as she preached in tents and barns in Idaho, Utah and Colorado.

In 1933 Miss Kuhlman's traveling revivals settled in and she opened her own church in a Montgomery Ward's warehouse in Colorado, calling it the Denver Revival Tabernacle. By this time Kathryn was big-time, and well known evangelists came to preach at her church. A great revival blossomed in the area, until the Evangelist Burroughs Waltrip, Sr. came to preach. Shortly after meeting Kathryn, Watlrip deserted his wife and two young sons to pursue Miss Kuhlman. The ministry suffered greatly in the aftermath. He even moved to Iowa and started his own radio program and church all the while keeping his past life a secret. Kathryn gave up her church when she married Waltrip in 1938. The marriage was short lived and in 1944 she left her husband of 6 years. After this, Kathryn was devoted to serving only God.

But people were not kind. Gossip about her life and her husband's past had damaged her ministry. Every move that she and Watrip made was followed by gossip and rumors, and uncovering their past. In 1946 Kuhlman moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania, finding people hungry for the Gospel. When some people in the congregation claimed to have been healed in a service the direction of Miss Kuhlman's preaching took a turn away from the saving of souls. Kathryn's ministry was followed by "miracles, signs and wonders."

In 1948 Kathryn moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and held her famous "miracle services" in Carnegie Hall for 20 years. People from all over the world attended the services held in Carnegie Hall, and the meetings were always full. She conducted an average of 125 healing meetings per year. Kuhlman was frequently a guest on the talk show circuit. Her show visits included Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore. On the Mike Douglas show she was confronted by a medical doctor (William Nolen), who was studying her alleged healings. He described Kuhlman as "medically ignorant," and although he was on a search for the truth, he was not attempting to diminish Kuhlman as a person. Nolen believed that Kathryn Kuhlman was a good person, faithful to the cause she believed in, but he was not sure that her healing powers came from God.

He cited, among other things, that the focus of her teachings tended to shift away from Jesus Christ and onto the Holy Spirit, which is something the Bible says should not be done. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus, not the other way around. However, Miss Kuhlman was never shown to be anything but honest in her dealings with people. On that same talk show, another medical doctor, H. Richard Casdorph, refuted Nolen's charges.

Kathryn's Kuhlman earthly credo is also inscribed on her tombstone in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California. It reads, "I believe in miracles, because I believe in God." Kathryn Kuhlman died February 20, 1976. Today people are still ministered to by Kathryn Kuhlman's numerous audio tapes and books, many preserved by the Kathryn Kuhlman Foundation. Her memory and legacy live on.

© High Speed Ventures 2011