By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer
Copyright (c) 2018
On March 17, 1931, the Altoona Tribune featured a news brief about F.F. Bosworth's return trip to Altoona, Pa. Bosworth and his wife, Florence, had visited a Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) church where he preached, "The New Covenant." The paper noted he had previously held evangelistic meetings in Altoona that lasted several months.
As I review this news item, I am struck by two important factors often seen in Bosworth's life history and a third one that included the time period in which he embraced a controversial teaching. These factors are: the length of his meetings, his use of the press, and the decade of the 1930s.
The news item shows that in 1931, Bosworth was still holding salvation-healing meetings that were not only large, in terms of attendance, but they still lasted several months, even during the Great Depression. Some of his meetings were known to shatter attendance records and last for several years.
The mere appearance of this news in the paper shows that Bosworth still relied on the power of the press to promote his ministry. A Pentecostal pioneer, Bosworth was the author of Christ the Healer, which was first published in 1924. He was a prolific writer. His work appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines.
Unfortunately the decade of the 1930s was not his best decade. It was during that time that he reportedly embraced British-Israelism (also called Anglo-Israelism) and fell out of favor with the C&MA. British-Israelism is a form (and expression) of racism and white supremacy that wrongly believes that the people of England are the direct descendents of the 10 lost tribes of ancient Israel.
Bosworth recanted his views in the 1940s and was welcomed back into the church.
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