Author-Wayne Warner




Evidently, the author has done an immense amount of research over many years in order to write this book.  Maria Woodworth-Etter was a person prominent in her day in the United States and a fearless minister of the gospel for fifty years.  She preached repentance, salvation, holiness and healing and traveled what became known as the ‘sawdust trail”.  The earlier period of her ministry took place before Pentecostalism came to the fore and yet she was in the vanguard of that movement in many ways and became recognized by it in her later life and ministry.  The book deals with many sides of her services and her travels.  It does not hide certain elements of controversial nature. She championed women’s rights and much of her ministry attracted the poor of the areas where she took her tent. She was accused and taken to court several times.  She was generally gracious in her reactions to the heavy criticisms she faced because of the unconventionality of aspects of her ministry.  She was opposed both within the church structures of the day and likewise from the general public.  A prominent lesson of the book is her sense of Divine call and determination to stick to it through many obstacles.  The book focuses much upon her many meetings and adventures as she pursued her way.  Perhaps a deficiency within it is the lack of reference to the personal and intimate side of her life, the way she arrived at decisions she made and her spiritual development. It is possible that material concerning those aspects is not available but probably within records of her sermons there would be some further insights to be gained as to the inward walk she enjoyed with the Lord.  This book lacks some needed theological reflection as regards the common happenings which took place in the ministry of this woman such as the repeated trance experiences which took place both in her and in many.  She was remarkable.  We could benefit more if the dynamic of her ministry was counterbalanced by more of her own thoughts and words.  There is little comment giving expression to her own responses to the trials and successes of her life and ministry, but the little there is refreshes the reader and encourages the heart to faith in God.  Perhaps this book suffers just a little from being over exuberantly Pentecostal in tone but that should not us from reading it and benefiting thereby.           

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