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Pentecostal Gifts and Their Relation to Natural Talent and Experiences

Some Thoughts and Visual Illustrations from the Life History of F.F. Bosworth

By Roscoe Barnes III

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

Copyright © 2016


Are Pentecostal gifts and ministries related in any way to a person’s natural talents and environmental influences? Can a person’s natural abilities point to spiritual gifts that he or she may receive following salvation and a Pentecostal Spirit baptism?

Critical research into the life history of F.F. Bosworth suggests that talent and environment are not only related to a person’s spiritual gifts, but they may also play a significant role in one’s development in the discovery and successful use of the gifts. While this certainly may not be true for all Spirit-filled believers, it is likely true in more cases than the Pentecostal church may realize or acknowledge.

Bosworth (1877-1958) was a famous healing evangelist and Pentecostal pioneer. He is commonly remembered as the author of Christ the Healer. This study examined his life history using Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), which suggests that a person's career choice can be determined by his or her self-efficacy beliefs and expected outcomes. Self-efficacy comes from past performances, various learning, social support and one's reaction to barriers. The study sought to determine how Bosworth's childhood and adolescent experiences, as well as his secular experiences in the business world, may have prepared him for his career as a healing evangelist. Through SCCT, one can see how Bosworth developed an interest in the healing ministry, how he chose to pursue the ministry as a career, and how he performed and set goals as an evangelist.

In short, the author believes that Bosworth’s natural talent and early childhood experiences were significant influential factors in his development. The author believes that a person's early years can impact his or her future, and he argues that this research will allow the church to know more about the role of early, natural experiences (including skills and environment), in determining God's will for a person's life and ministry.

This paper presents three figures/diagrams that illustrate some of the author’s findings related to Bosworth’s development as a healing evangelist.

Note: The charts/figures can be viewed here:

Figure 1 presents the patterns found in Bosworth’s life history. The experiences of his childhood and adolescent years are similar to the experiences in his adulthood. These experiences consist of his employment, love of music, coping with crises, women ministries, divine healing and missions.

Figure 2 offers an overview of the most significant influential factors in his life and ministry. They include: conversion, music, employment, reading, prayer, environment, divine healing and godly women. Some of these factors resulted in turning points and life-changing moments that had a direct impact on his faith and theology.

Figure 3 notes the parallel themes in various stages of his life. Some of the similarities can be clearly seen. The research shows that what he did in the secular phase of his early life, he continued to do during the spiritual or ministry phase of his life as an adult. For instance, he worked as a traveling salesman during his early years. As an adult, he continued to travel, but instead of selling secular products, he “sold” the Gospel and the ministry of healing. He enjoyed music as a child and played at secular events. Following his conversion, he continued to enjoy music, but his focus became more spiritual and ministry related.


For more information, see:

F.F. Bosworth: A Historical Analysis of His Ministry Development Using Social Cognitive Career Theory.

Experience as a Catalyst for Healing Ministry: Historical Evidence and Implications from the Life of F.F. Bosworth.


Would you like to know more

about F.F. Bosworth?

Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here!


For more information: Visit Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III via email at or For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer

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