Very few people in the church world or the society at large have had such an intense relationship with the Holy Spirit as the one that Kathryn Kuhlman had. As she liked to put it, "he is everything to me, without him I am nothing." It was really very simple; she had met Jesus at the age of 14 and in her innocence had fallen in love with Him. To her innocent mind there was no other life available but to go out and preach salvation to the dying masses. The born-again experience had left her in a new world from which she would never recover. There is a problem with really knowing Jesus and the problem is that you can never have what is considered a normal life again.
Kathryn Johanna Kuhlman was born May 9, 1907 in Concordia, Missouri; her parents were Joseph Adolph Kuhlman and Emma Walkenhorst. By all accounts she was a happy and mischievous child which loved to play jokes on her family. When she was seventeen she left home to be with her sister Myrtle and her sister's husband Everett who was an evangelist to fulfill the calling she felt the Lord had planned for her. Four years later they split up when it seemed like there was never enough money to live on. At this point Everett left and soon thereafter Myrtle joined him leaving Kathryn alone in Boise Idaho. What seemed to be a failure to most was really the beginning of what God had in store for her.
She was offered a chance to minister in an old pool hall that had been converted into a mission hall and her life's work had begun. She preached throughout the Midwest until she arrived at Denver Colorado where she settle down and built the Denver Revival Tabernacle in 1935. While in Denver she had the only romantic problem of her life when she met and fell in love with a married man by the name of Burroughs Walter. Walter was a handsome evangelist, who was trying to get his ministry going and had been invited to preach and sing at the tabernacle, but he was not a nice man and she could not see that at the beginning. Later they would marry and it would be end of her life as an evangelist. When she realized it was a mistake she tried to have the marriage annulled but it had put a blemish on her reputation and the people would not take her back.
She was very unhappy until the day she decided to divorce Burroughs and give her life fully to the Lords work. This would be the only blemish of this type in her life, she would never marry again or have children, Jesus would be her only joy and life for all eternity. Kathryn now embarked on preaching engagements throughout the Midwest and the south into Virginia and up into Pennsylvania. Like all healing evangelist the healings started to come very slowly, one here and one there, till she realized that it was part of the Lords plan to use her for this type of ministry. She was invited to hold some meetings at Franklin Tabernacle, in Franklin Pennsylvania where she had started after her divorce, here she met with great success and soon the place was packed with people coming from hundreds of miles away to see the miracles that were taking place.
We don't know at what moment in time she realized that she was nothing and that it was all the work of the Holy Spirit at her meetings. We can only suppose that one morning she awoke and there was another person in her life, and as Rees Howells explained, there was no room for two people in one body so she had to die and make room for him. He would show her where to go and what to say, how to dress and who to keep around. It was the Holy Spirit who told her who was being healed and of what. She was smart enough to know that she could not operate without him, and that the meetings could not begin until he arrived. Of course to a theologian he is already there since in his version of the gospel he cannot leave. But she learned on the job that the Holy Spirit cares very little about theology and if given the chance he will do things his way.
Sometime in 1948 Kathryn held some meetings at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh where she would later move to and call home. Here she came into her own and blossomed as a worldwide evangelist who was deeply loved by the entire world. Thousands of miracles took place at Carnegie Hall and people came from all over the world to see the lady who worked with the Holy Spirit to heal all manner of sickness. She had a radio show, a television show, and wrote various books on the power of God and the miraculous world she lived in. It did not help her with the media that she was flamboyant and theatrical in her services. Like all faith healers she was hated by the organized religion of the country and the media. Faith healers, power healers, and Word healers or anyone associated with the power of God are especially hated by the powers of darkness and their human host, which is why there is so much controversy in the church world over them.
She was sued by several employees and investigated by pastors who thought she was a fake. Doctors, lawyers, pastors, church goers and even so called friends were lining up to see her fall. But God stood by her side to the end and today she is a legend among those who love the full gospel experience. She was generous with her money and would help anyone with a worthy cause, or someone who was just plain broke. In the last two years of her life she was manipulated into changing her will and not leaving her estate to her foundation which had been her original plan. There is much confusion about this time period with several people fighting for control of her assets while she was hospitalized for a heart condition from which she would eventually die.
As a top evangelist said in one of his meetings "people will be nasty and cruel even when the power of God is at work, they will still be sarcastic and greedy, willing to slander anyone even while miracles are taking place before their eyes." So it was with the life and death of this great woman of God, they came out of the wood work like termites to see what they could cart of. Many ask how this could happen if she truly was a woman of God? But I have seen prophets die in prisons and then buried in a John Doe grave without anyone knowing who they were. I asked the Lord about this and in a dream he showed me that God is not interested in what happens to the flesh which just turns to dust, but what happens to the spirit, which is what he takes. Remember Moses was buried in the desert and no one knew where God had buried him.
In the end like all the great people of God, Kathryn Kuhlman would leave behind massive confusion for the media and the haters, and a lot of happy people who had been saved or healed in her meetings. To serve a God who is unseen and demands total surrender to his will is not an easy thing. If it was we would have thousands of Kathryn Kuhlmans and Maria Woodworth Etters, as it is we have very few people who can stand up to all the punishment thrown at them by the demons of hell, the media, and the religions of today. All one has to do is take a look at the life of Jesus Christ who was totally surrendered to God and had the power to do massive miracles but was hated by the church of his day. The Lord was not killed by thief's and murders, but by the priests who already had the word of God, the elders, and religious elite of his day who were envies of his power to draw thousands of people and heal the sick, which they could not do.
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