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F.F. Bosworth Mentioned in Kate Bowler's Blessed: A History of The American Prosperity Gospel (2013)

She Highlights His Link to E.W. Kenyon

By Roscoe Barnes III

Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer

Copyright (c) 2018





F.F. Bosworth, Pentecostal pioneer and famous healing evangelist, is featured in the 2013 book by Kate Bowler titled, Blessed: A History of The American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford University Press). Bowler, who holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree, is an assistant professor of the History of Christianity in North America at Duke University. Her book presents a detailed look at the roots and the rise of the prosperity gospel in the United States and Canada.

Bowler's website suggests Blessed is "the first comprehensive American history of one of the most popular Christian movements in the world today."

Information on Blessed is available here:

In her reference to Bosworth, Bowler discusses his relationship with E.W. Kenyon and the possible influence that Kenyon had on his understanding of faith and confession. She also reports a number of Bosworth's articles appeared in Kenyon's Herald of Life newsletter.

Bowler notes that when Bosworth included the chapter, "Our Confession" in his book, Christ the Healer, he fully acknowledged Kenyon's contribution. She writes: "Unlike many others, Bosworth credited Kenyon for his words."

Although Bosworth was known for his work as a Pentecostal revivalist and faith healer, the truth is that he was actually more evangelical and ecumenical in his ministry, especially after 1918. Bowler correctly notes that he "hovered on the margins of Pentecostalism." She points out the fact that he left the Assemblies of God in 1918 because he did not believe in tongues as the initial evidence of Spirit baptism. He would spend decades as a minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Like other historians of Pentecostal church history, Bowler recounts Bosworth's ministry with William Branham, Gordon Lindsay, and the Voice of Healing in the 1940s and 1950s. She suggests that he was instrumental in keeping Kenyon's teachings before a new generation of healing evangelists. She explains:

"As his healing practices and revival techniques proved to be a textbook for later healing revivalists, Bosworth cemented Kenyon's imprint on divine health long after anyone remembered Kenyon's name."

In several places Bowler shows how Bosworth's teachings on healing and health were similar to Kenyon's. She gives attention to "appropriating faith" and "confession," among other topics.

She makes one claim, however, that raises concern about Bosworth and the subject of prosperity. She asserts: "Though Bosworth never preached about prosperity, he placed the righteous individual, speaking faith-filled words, at the heart of divine healing."

It isn't clear why she makes that claim regarding prosperity, but the truth is, Bosworth did preach and write about prosperity. In fact, he wrote, The Key to The Windows of Heaven or God's Financial Plan, with supplement, Should Sinners Tithe?

The 24-page booklet makes an argument for paying tithes. It discusses the material blessings for doing so, as well as the temporal blessings that come through giving. Bosworth described New Testament giving as "sowing and reaping."


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Visit The Bosworth page is here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at or For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer

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