I had known since I was a child that I was going to be involved with healing. At the age of nine, I heard the Lord speak that to me. I was outside in my yard, and all of a sudden I heard the Lord say, “One day, I will use you in the healing ministry.” Up to that point, I had never heard a message on healing or seen anyone healed. That wasn’t something my church taught. But when I heard the Lord speak that, I said to myself, “OK,” not knowing what it all meant. I would pray as a child for sickly animals to be healed, even for dead ones to be raised up! I must admit I never saw any positive results at that time, but one thing I did know was that I would be used in healing in some fashion.
Over the years, I have seen firsthand the healing power of God’s Word. One of the first miracles I witnessed was with my own mother who was dying of cancer. My family called me home because Mama was in a coma and the doctors said she only had a few days to live. On the airplane the Lord spoke to me and said, “Tell your mother, ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.’ Tell your mother there is no sickness in heaven!”
I wanted a confirmation that I was to do that so I said, “Lord, tell someone else!” When I arrived home late at night, I discovered He had spoken the very same thing to my sister in a dream. The next day she and I began speaking that one thing to Mama over and over: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Mama, there is no sickness in heaven!” Despite the fact Mama was in a coma as we sat by her side, we continued to repeat those words for five hours. Finally, she opened her eyes but was barely conscious. While I was sitting by the bed, I asked my mother, “Do you want to live?” I told her, “We are standing at a crossroads.” Having been a youth pastor for many years, I went back to an illustration I had used many times. We stand at a crossroads in life, and at some point we must choose—Heaven or hell. Ultimately it’s our choice. It’s the same with healing as it is with salvation. It’s a choice. Healing versus death. I said to her, “Mama, you have said maybe it’s God’s will that you die. But what if it’s your choice. Live or die. What would you choose?”
She replied, “Live, stupid!”
I knew right then and there Mama was getting better! I said, “OK. Then we agree. You will live!” And she grabbed hold of that precious concept.
At one point I felt the Lord was telling me to anoint her with oil. I knew that was in the Bible somewhere, but I had never done that before; in fact, I had never even seen anyone anointed with oil. But I knew that’s what we were supposed to do. My sister and I dragged Mama, who was barely conscious, to the kitchen and sat her in a chair with us holding her up. We searched the kitchen and all we could find was a can of Crisco shortening. So we held her up in the chair and slathered her all over with Crisco! We didn’t know how much oil to use or even where to put it. We figured if “a little dab will do ya” then more would be even better! We covered her all over! Like we say in the country, we greased her up like a hog! And we kept speaking what the Lord had given us to speak. After several more hours, she got up out of that chair and walked to the bathroom by herself. She had been suffering with constipation for a week, but no longer. She was totally healed from cancer! Doctors later confirmed the cancer was gone, and they actually wrote on the front of her medical chart, “MIRACLE.” My mother lived another twenty-seven years after that. Since that time, I have experienced the healing power of God’s Word many times in my own life, and I’ve seen His healing power work in countless others.
After I graduated from college I attended South-western Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. In 1973, I was visited by the Lord in an open vision. In the vision He showed me the future site of our ministry and spoke many things to me about how we would conduct the ministry. I had the exact same vision and heard the exact same words from the Lord again in 1980 and again in 1983. In the meantime, I saw many healing miracles as I would pray for folks.
It took me eleven years to process all of this and get past religion and tradition to do what God said I was to do. I had asked the opinions of many men, and they all told me I couldn’t do it. After the second visitation, I began to share the vision, and I also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I determined to do what God told me to do.
In 1984, I answered God’s call to ministry and founded Whole Life Ministries in Augusta, Georgia. We are a non-denominational church and we teach the full Gospel. When the Lord gave me the vision, He gave me a Scripture, which He said was foundational to the ministry: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). That verse speaks of wholeness in our entire being—spirit, soul, and body. That is His intent—to bring wholeness to His people in every area of their lives—wholeness in spirit, soul, and body. That’s the reason the Lord named our ministry “Whole Life” Ministries. He wants us whole—nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lacking.
As I said, a part of the vision from the Lord included a healing ministry, and He instructed me to establish healing teams and a healing center. In order to establish a strong foundation for the healing ministry, I took an entire year to teach my congregation the Word of God concerning healing. As I taught, I began to see my church members healed, proving the healing power of God’s Word.
Our healing teams have truly impacted our community as they go into private homes, hospitals, and other medical facilities and minister the Word of God. They teach the patient what God’s Word says about healing, and then they anoint them with oil and pray. Our healing team members are trained and equipped so that when under pressure from critical or life-threatening situations, the Word immediately begins to flow out of them with its healing, restoring power. We saw this so mightily with a young lady who had been pronounced brain-dead and the physicians were pressuring the family to take her off life support and let her go. Before agreeing to that, the family called and asked for a healing team to come to the hospital and minister to her. On arrival at the intensive care unit, our team encountered a pale young lady on a ventilator with no signs of life. The team began to administer the “medication” of the Word. After a while her eyes opened, and she began to follow the team’s movements with her eyes. That’s the only thing that changed, but when the team left they knew the power of God’s Word was working in her. Four weeks later, that young lady came to see us at the ministry. She wanted to show us what the Word of God had done for her. She had regained all of her mental faculties and ability to speak, though she was not yet able to walk. She came in a wheelchair, but by the time she left she was walking! Glory to God! She is one of several brain-dead people we have seen the Lord heal through our healing team ministry.
I held the vision for a healing center in my heart for years, waiting for the Lord to let me know when it was time. Kenneth E. Hagin, who was one of my spiritual fathers, in one of his conferences pointed to me and said, “God says now is the time. And you know what I’m talking about.” I began to make preparations, and we opened The Healing Center in January 2000. We were honored to have Dr. and Mrs. Hagin come dedicate the facility to God and pronounce His blessings upon it.
The Healing Center is attended by people from across the United States and from many nations. Repeatedly, people tell us that when they enter the facility they sense the peace and presence of God. It is a beautiful, Christ-centered facility where God and His Word are exalted. The concept is very simple. We teach people about the power of God’s Word to heal them and transform their lives. We teach them how to stand on God’s Word and receive healing for themselves.
We work in harmony with the medical community. We encourage participants to continue to see their physicians and take their medications as prescribed. We teach them to pray for their physicians to receive God’s wisdom concerning their care, and we always encourage our participants to have their healing confirmed by medical doctors. We teach them to pray over their medications and teach them how to go through chemotherapy and radiation without adverse side effects by believing and confessing God’s Word. An excellent example was a lady who was going to receive a powerful combination of chemotherapy drugs. The physician had told her she would become violently ill as soon as the medication began to be administered, and they assigned nurses to care for her during the infusion. She completed the treatment with no side effects and left the infusion facility with the doctors and nurses in amazement! After all, the Bible does tell us that if we receive any poisonous thing, it will by no means harm us (see Mark 16:18). She is living proof of the truth and power of that Scripture.
People often ask, “How much does it cost to come to The Healing Center?” One of our greatest joys is to tell them there is no charge. We consider it a gift from the Lord and this ministry.
I have been privileged to minister and pray for thousands of people who needed healing over the years, and I’ve seen God do marvelous things. I’ve seen people rise up out of their wheelchairs who previously could not walk. I’ve seen deaf people begin to hear. I’ve seen tumors disappear. I remember when I was conducting a healing service in North Carolina, praying for people in the healing line. I prayed for a lady and then moved on to pray for others. In a few minutes I heard that lady calling out colors, “red… yellow…blue…green.” I went back over to her to find out what was happening. She was calling out the colors in the flags on the stage. She explained to me that previously she had an “eye transplant,” but it had died and become disconnected from the socket. She had no sight in that eye. After I prayed with her, she began to see out of the eye that was previously dead! Her eye had been totally healed and her sight restored! How awesome is our God!
It’s so wonderful to see the power of God working in healing services, and I’m so thankful to Him for the many He has touched and transformed over the years. However, I teach the best way for anyone to receive their healing is through the power of God’s Word. People aren’t always able to get to healing services or find someone to pray for them who is moving in a healing anointing. Obviously, I believe in praying for the sick by anointing with oil and laying on of hands. But my main emphasis is to teach people how to stand on the Word of God and believe for themselves rather than depending on someone else. When you know God’s Word and know how to stand on the Word, believing for healing, you can expect to have victory in every situation all the days of your life! Knowing the power that’s in God’s Word will absolutely transform your life! God has greatly blessed us by allowing us to teach the magnificent healing power of God’s Word and see so many set free from sickness and disease and pain. I believe we are simply carrying out the mandate of the Lord: “Go ye into all the world. Preach the gospel and heal the sick!”