Examining The Bitter Roots Of The /48 ‘Latter Rain’ Revival Tree

Updated June 25 2020

Roots Give Insight Into Events & Present ‘Fruit’

Having researched and written quite a bit about the ‘Latter Rain’ ‘revival of 1948 in North Battleford S.K., I started looking more closely at the people and events leading up to the ‘revival,’ which is what examining the roots looks like. Much has been written about the doctrine, and the main players involved in the ‘Sharron School’ and orphanage, but not the events and scenario just prior.

Since delving into researching root histories I have come realize that doing so has given me some understanding of how things can transpire, spiritually speaking, this being the case as well with the ‘Latter Rain’ ‘revival’. The following entry is the ‘story’ from the perspective of the Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada, (PAOC), who were directly involved with prior events and people leading up to the ‘revival,’ and the results and repercussions following. (Highlighting is mine)


Strange Fires – The New Order Of The Latter Rain

 by L. Thomas Holdcroft, 1980

The movement that was known as the New Order of the Latter Rain is one of the few elements of the twentieth century Pentecostal revival for which Canada, for better or worse, must accept primary responsibility.  Not only did the movement begin in Canada, but in Western Canada specifically.  Therefore, a consideration and review of its nature and effects is particularly relevant on this occasion of the convening of the Pentecostal World Conference on Canada’s west coast. In this paper we will first review some of the historical backgrounds of the movement, and then we will make an attempt to understand it and evaluate its influence upon the thinking and practices of Pentecostal Christians.

In the matter of terminology, the expressions “New Order,” and “Latter Rain,” as well as “New Order of the Latter Rain” were variously applied by the movement to itself in its formative years.  Today’s writers from within the movement’s ranks now use terms such as “the move,” or “the Move of the Spirit,” or “the move of 1948.” In this article we will use the older terms. 

The Origin Of The Latter Rain Movement

The New Order of the Latter Rain was an organizational schism before it was a spiritual cause.  Its key personnel emerged as the outcome of a succession of disputes involving faculty personnel of Bethel Bible Institute of Saskatoon, Canada, and the sponsoring Saskatchewan District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (the P.A.O.C). At the outset, there were charges and counter charges within the Institute between administration and faculty.  But as the months passed, the Institute personnel were reconciled and the conflict came to be between the Institute and the District.

It could probably be said that the basic issue in much of this early conflict was the unrestrained zeal of Institute personnel pitted against the necessary conservatism and restraints of responsible denominational administrators.  A notable event was the launching of construction by the Institute faculty of a six story building on campus to house a high school division, but without approval by either the Institute Board or the District.  Also, at least some outside of the Institute were highly dissatisfied by its casual approach to academic excellence, and by its commitment in controversial doctrines.  These included a view of demonology that saw demon possession as the explanation of many problems within Christian believers, and the encouragement of long fasts with forty days as the ultimate ideal.

Although much of the conflict on these matters took place in the spring of 1947, it was not until its summer conference that the Saskatchewan District of the P.A.O.C. was able to take definitive action.  At that time, the constituency soundly supported and vindicated the District officers, and in effect made final the separation of the discontented faculty members of Bethel Bible Institute.  Actually, they had resigned of their own choice earlier in the season, but they apparently, hoped that the conference might reinstate them.

By the fall of 1947, the Bethel malcontents had moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, a town about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of’ Saskatoon.  In leaving Bethel, they took with them the school’s essential files and records.  The three key men in this move were Rev. George Hawtin, Rev. Ernest Hawtin, and Rev. Percy Hunt.  In North Battlefield they joined forces with Rev.  Herrick Holt who had been responsible for the Foursquare Church there.  This quarter collaborated in launching an overall operation known as Sharon Children’s Homes and Schools which included a high school, an orphanage, a technical institute, and a Bible school.

Although  the District continued to operate Bethel Bible Institute with a new administration and teaching staff, the fall of 1947 saw only a handful of students. The majority of’ the returning students, and what should have been the incoming class, followed members of their former faculty to North Battleford.  The nucleus of what was to become the New Order was thus a Bible school student body.

The special spiritual move that became the basis of the New Order movement began on February 11, 1948, some months after Sharon began operations.  This day had been preceded by considerable emphasis and observance of long fasts as a means of special power with God.  In extended chapel services for four days from February 11 through the 14th, the procedure emerged of calling out members of the audience and imparting a spiritual gift to them by the laying on of hands accompanied by a suitable prophecy.  The authorization and direction of these activities was a series of vocal prophetic utterances by both students and their teachers.

It would appear that the student body enthusiastically and whole-heartedly entered into these new beliefs and practices. Chapel services featuring the impartation of gifts by the laying on of hands with prophecy took precedence over all other campus activities.  Other worship patterns emerged that were somewhat unique in their time, with stress upon the visible manifestation of the charismata, and such novelties as the so-called “heavenly choir.” Before long, large numbers of visitors were attracted.  Ultimately, all efforts to operate all educational institutions were suspended, and the North Battleford campus became simply a conference and camp meeting center as it is today.

As the message and practices of the New Order were shared, they found other sympathetic followers, particularly among existed Pentecostal congregations.  For a time, some Pentecostal churches primarily in Western Canada, but in parts of the U.S. as well, became battlegrounds between New Order and Pentecostal denominational factions.  A notable church that became Latter Rain was Bethesda Missionary Temple of Detroit, Michigan.  However, in the U.S., it was not likely the case that churches were lost to their denominationals, but in at least some cases churches were noticeably weakened by loss of their members to New Order programs.  Also, some pastors resigned from their churches to become independent New Order preachers.

New Order leaders sought for and achieved their greatest successes in Western Canada. One worker from that era remembers a leaflet entitled: “How To Take A P.A.O.C. Church” that circulated among New Order groups.  Twelve churches in Saskatchewan and one in British Columbia are known to have left the P.A.O.C., and many others were seriously weakened through the loss of a substantial portion of their members. In some cases, churches that espoused New Order views and practices were independent Pentecostal churches that had been very close to affiliation with a denomination. New Order involvement usually quelled all thoughts of such affiliation and those churches remain independent to this day.

Those who remember events of that era place considerable emphasis upon the “Feast Of Pentecost” which became an annual event extending over several days at Easter. These days of camp meeting style fervor in Pentecostal preaching and practice at the North Battleford headquarters touched large numbers on behalf of the movement. Traveling evangelistic teams also attracted considerable attention, often with rather extreme claims and practices, at least as orthodoxy saw things. Their influence was felt in a variety of places in North America, and here and there they won a company of followers. In general, during this period, doctrine was syncretistic and various novelties and seeming extremes were heard, at least on a temporary basis

It would appear to affirm that during the 1948-49 era, a sizeable portion of North American Pentecostal Christians were either deliberately or inadvertently touched by the New Order of the Latter Rain. Meetings under Latter Rain auspices in major centers typically drew large crowds that were comprised almost entirely of Pentecostals who were members of established churches. In some cases, pastors on the grounds of sincerely seeking whatever God had for their people, deliberately turned over their pulpit to Latter Rain preachers. On the same grounds there were instances in which a denominational committee deliberately scheduled a Latter Rain evangelist in their camp meeting. Not only the lay membership, but often the clergy of denominational Pentecostalism assumed it was their inalienable right to hear the Latter Rain story firsthand and judge its validity for themselves. This spirit of independent autonomy, so characteristic of Pentecostals, was an important factor in assuring a wide-ranging hearing for the New Order of the Latter Rain.

Summary Of Events Leading Up To ‘Revival’



The New Order of the Latter Rain was an organizational schism before a spiritual cause. Its key personnel emerged as the outcome of a succession of disputes involving faculty personnel of Bethel Bible Institute of Saskatoon, Canada, and the sponsoring Saskatchewan District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (the P.A.O.C). At the outset, there were charges and counter charges within the Institute between administration and faculty.  But as the months passed, the Institute personnel were reconciled and the conflict came to be between the Institute and the District.

It could probably be said that the basic issue in much of this early conflict was the unrestrained zeal of Institute personnel pitted against the necessary conservatism and restraints of responsible denominational administrators.  A notable event was the launching of construction by the Institute faculty of a six story building on campus to house a high school division, but without approval by either the Institute Board or the District.  Also, at least some outside of the Institute were highly dissatisfied by its casual approach to academic excellence, and by its commitment in controversial doctrines These included a view of demonology that saw demon possession as the explanation of many problems within Christian believers, and the encouragement of long fasts with forty days as the ultimate ideal.

>Daryl here– Only those who were close to the events could actually say what attitude prevailed, yet the PAOC who were involved, felt there was a schismatic atmosphere and referred to George Hawtin and the others as the Bethel malcontents, their concerns important enough to be called into questions. Un-co-operative un-submissiveness seems to be indicated by the response of the PAOC, even tho’ George Hawtin had initially begun the school privately on his own, and then submitted the school under the PAOC. The PAOC summary on this was, the basic issue in much of this early conflict was the unrestrained zeal of Institute personnel pitted against the necessary conservatism and restraints of responsible denominational administrators.

Testing the heart, before entrusting one with more.

Another issue was, its casual approach to academic excellence, and by its commitment in controversial doctrines. These concerns alone, in light of a supposed ‘revival’ shortly thereafter beg the questions. Purity of heart and motive are of the utmost importance, God not overlooking such, even testing to prove the heart, before entrusting one with more. There was a prevailing ‘spirit of independence’ amongst many at this time, disdain for denominationalism. In hindsight, it is known, that amongst many ‘Latter Rain’ followers was an attitude of elite independence.

Another PAOC document describes the events, giving insight into roots of the new latter rain tree.

TUMULTUOUS ENDING – SPURIOUS BEGINNINGS The Central Pentecostal College originated in 1935 as the Bethel Bible Institute, a private school, in Star City, Saskatchewan. The B.B.I. was operated by  and Percy Hunt who moved the school to Saskatoon in 1937. Although the school was established contrary to the wishes of the Saskatchewan District who sought a curriculum more consistent with PAOC doctrines, the school was accepted as it was rather than cause division within the District. In 1942, to obtain full recognition of the school as a Pentecostal Assemblies Bible school, Hawtin and Hunt turned over the property to the PAOC only after the PAOC agreed to acknowledge their financial claims against the school. The PAOC agreed to this settlement and Hawtin and Hunt continued working at the school. 

Problems arose regarding the management of the school when Hawtin and Hunt did not consult with members of the District Executive on numerous issues. These and various other difficulties eventually led to the resignation from the B.B.I. of both Hawtin and Hunt. The separation of these two individuals from the school proved to be an unpleasant, public affair which created divisions within the district and the school. Buildings went unfinished, records were removed, and students departed.  https://www.archeion.ca/central-pentecostal-college

*This is clearly a red flag, regardless of how proponents present the ‘revival story.’

The Inside Story-PAOC & George Hawtin

Another insightful letter from Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada regarding George Hawtin and Sharon School. Full letter here.-https://discernment-ministries.org/Newsletters/NL1997Jan.pdf

From the Executive Office of the General Council of the Assemblies of God
April 20, 1949
Dear Fellow Minister of the Assemblies of God:

“Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ: That in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance and in all knowledge: Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, So that ye come behind in no gift: waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end. that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor.1:3-8.
It has seemed good unto the brethren that the brief article entitled “Bestowing Gifts” which appeared in our last quarterly letter should be followed by a further word of warning, more complete as to details. It is being claimed that the Pentecostal Movement is passing through a new era. That now we are receiving the Latter Rain, whereas forty years ago the outpouring of the Spirit was merely the Former Rain: now we are receiving an enduement or power, “after that'” the Holy Ghost has come upon us. whereas forty years ago we received merely an anointing of the Spirit: that this enduement of power is received through the laying on of hands: that now, through the laying on of hands and prophecy, the nine gifts of the Spirit are bestowed upon or confirmed to believers. and calls to service in home and foreign fields are given and confirmed: that God is now setting the ministry gifts in the body through the prophetic gift, and those upon whom hands have been laid are designed as apostles, prophets, Evangelists, etc.: that an apostle and a prophet should be present to officiate in this laying on of hands, so that there may be the exercise of the prophetic gift. There is much more that is being claimed for this new order of the Latter Rain, but this simple statement will suffice for the moment.

The Origin of the Movement. For the benefit of those who are unacquainted with the origin of this movement, we will quote from a letter received from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada:

“For some years we had a man in one of our Bible School; the Bethel Bible Institute in Saskatoon, Sask., who was not cooperative. He was a rugged individualist with a considerable amount of ability, but with defiance in his attitude toward his brethren. His actions were tolerated for years, until finally the District Executive felt that they could not continue any longer and so they asked him for his resignation. He, with an associate in the school, pulled out. Their names are George R. Hawtin and P. G. Hunt. They made promises they would be loyal, and for a time it seemed that they were going to continue with other work in the fellowship. However, in the meantime, they had an opportunity to purchase a large building at North Battleford (Alta.) and set out immediately to destroy our school and work, especially in the Prairie Provinces, to as great an extent as they could.

They joined up with a man named Holdt, who was a minister of the Foursquare movement. Then they went to Edmonton and joined up with a free Scandinavian group (The Independent Assemblies of God) of which I think Brother Rasmussen is the Canadian leader. . .”They attack all organizations religiously, and ours particularly. . They have created a terrific furor in their own district Saskatchewan, but the Brethren were able to hold fairly well, although they lost several workers and a few small assemblies. The workers who went out were mainly young men and women who had gone to Bible School under the influence of these two men . . .

“They state that they have received a fresh vision from God and so they are giving out’ gifts. They call people forward, lay their hands upon them and bestow certain gifts, especially the gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy, as well as the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. They state that some of these people who are called out are particularly called to some foreign fields; and they have gone so far as to state that as soon as they reach the field of their calling they will speak the language of the natives. . .
“There isn’t much doubt about it that they do a great deal of praying, and I believe, have in some of their meetings a very fine spiritual atmosphere, but undoubtedly they go to great extremes. I am sure that we all want. the gifts of the Spirit’ in their proper place and welcome from the Lord anything that is glorifying to Him. But this thing (has evidently) started out on a very bad foundation, with much ill-feeling, and it never can prosper.”

Franklin Hall – Forty Day Fasts – Occultism


The encouragement of long fasts with forty days as the ultimate ideal. Franklin Hall’s book was especially utilized at Sharon. Ernest Hawtin wrote: The truth of fasting was one great contributing factor to the revival. One year before this we had read Franklin Hall’s book, entitled ‘Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer.’ We immediately began to practise [sic] fasting. Previously we had not understood the possibility of long fasts. The revival would never have been possible without the restoration of this great truth through our good brother Hall.

Franklin Hall and his writings were highly influential at this, so his occult leanings are considerably threatening! Read more here – https://amos37.com/kingdom-now-the-later-rain/

In the fall of 1946, a “major fasting and prayer daily revival center” was established in San Diego, California. Under the leadership of Franklin Hall (assisted by Jack Walker, father of child evangelist “Little David” Walker), the teaching of fasting as a means of bringing about revival and the “restoration” of the Church spread throughout the Pentecostal world.(1) Other ministers who helped establish the fasting and prayer center were: Dr. Waltrip (Kathryn Kuhlman’s husband); Stanley Comstock; Earl Ivy; Tommy Baird; Myrtle Page; and Franklin Hall’s brothers, Delbert, Harold, and Virgil. (Delbert Hall and his wife, Florence, were pastors.)(2)

Occult Influences

As evidence of God’s favor upon those who fast, Hall points out that even the prayers of pagans will be answered by God if they are accompanied by fasting:
Many, if not all, the American Indian tribes sought revelation of the Great Spirit through Prayer and Fasting. When they had famines, food shortages, lack of rain, etc., the Great Spirit was sought through prayer and fasting, and their prayers were answered. (7)
Hall uses this as an example of how fasting is necessary to have our prayers answered. In fact, he states that “Without fasting, prayer becomes ineffectual.”(8) In other words, those who pray to demons will have their prayers answered if they fast, but Christians will not have their prayers answered if they don’t fast. At the least, it would seem, they would be hindered greatly. This is a good example of how a person can extol a faith in Christ while negating all the effects of that faith and the relationship with God it entails. By giving credit for answered prayer to the demon gods of pagan religions, Hall displays a mindset characteristic of occult science.

UFO’s An Other Paranormal Influences That there is a definite occult influence on Hall’s career is evident in other writings. His book, ‘The Return of Immortality,’ suggests that Christians can learn how to become immortal through stages of spiritual growth. This involves experiences with “UFO‘s, and the UIO gravitational and levitation control.”9 His teachings on attaining immortality in this life through psycho-spiritual exercises and righteous living were the foundation upon which many in the Latter Rain and subsequent movements based their immortalization theories.
Hall’s main point in his immortalization theory is that “the sleeping, so-called, un-foundationally built church” must awaken to a real cause and calling, that when God’s word is completely acted upon and complied with, will result in bringing about the real gushers and torrents of the long, past due, RAIN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. A rain of IMMORTALITY UPON THE EARTH that so many prophets have written about and portrayed in their prophesies (10) – Emphasis Hall’s

Hall’s premise is not, however, predicated upon God’s promise of immortality for the faithful after their resurrection. This is evidenced by his following words:
Permanent, lasting Freedoms from all sickness, harmful accident things and defeat will come about. Freedom from the imprisonment of all gravitational forces will also be brought upon the whole man.
This study teaches one the power and secrets of space flight. Space floatation [sic] and hovering ability. It gives the Bible formula for weightlessness, the ‘raising up’ power of those who come to immortality.
(John 6 Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) chapter and Romans 2:7 Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)) (11)
In his book, Hall gives “evidence” of his already having attained a degree of “immortality” (which allegedly affects everything that comes in contact with the immortal person’s body):I would not question Hall’s sincerity and desire to attain spiritual enlightenment. But the heavy flavor of occultism in his teachings should have been sufficient warning even back in 1946. Yet many prominent teachers credit the empowerment for their ministries (especially healing ministries) on his book on fasting and prayer. It’s clear that Hall’s teachings are a blend of occultism with Christianity. And since his teachings formed the basis of those that came after, and since the influence of those teachings upon neo-Pentecostalism is so great, close scrutiny of every ministry they touched is necessary.

*This red flag is fiercely wavering to get everyone’s attention!!* A major root of the latter rain tree!

RED FLAG – WILLIAM BRANHAM CONNECTION https://scribalwell.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/c5a67-chiu-gideon_latterrainsynopsis.pdf

Prior To The Revival
Approximately four decades following the initial outpouring of the HOLY SPIRIT at the turn of the 20th century which gave birth to the Pentecostal Movement, Pentecostals were at the brink of another major revival which is proving to be of even greater significance. Already in the early 1940’s, the Pentecostals were again experiencing a time of considerable spiritual dryness. There was a cry for a fresh visitation in the hearts of all those hungry for GOD. This deep and longing hunger for more from heaven was felt in the ministry and the pew.

Pastor Reg Layzell, one of the foundation builders of the 1948 revival, related his experience with some officials as follows; I can recall discussing the state of the Church with a general super-intendent of one of the full Gospel denominations. The brother I was talking to said: ‘ Brother Layzell, I do not know what we will do spiritually if GOD does not visit us in a new way. Our people need a fresh visitation from GOD and without it we will go the way of all flesh.’

In 1935, as the signs of this spiritual dryness were beginning to show, Pastor George Hawtin, a pastor of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada in Star City, Saskatchewan, Canada, started the Bethel Bible Institute. The first class was attended by eight students. It then moved to Saskatoon in 1937. Later, due to some difficulties with the P.A.O.C Pastor George Hawtin left the organization and in 1947 joined the Sharon Orphanage and Schools established by Rev. Herrick Holt of the North Battleford Saskatchewan Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Rev. Holt began to teach on what was called “the new thing” a reference to Isaiah 43:18,19: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing; Now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” He taught that GOD was going to do something new and that revelation was yet to come.

Meanwhile, the general condition of spiritual dryness lingered until it was heard that a man by the name of William Branham was healing the sick and doing the work that JESUS did. Branham packed the biggest stadiums and meeting halls around the world in the years that followed. Branham was most famous for his ability to name accurately the sickness, and sometimes the hidden sins of people he had never met before. Hollenweger who knew Branham personally and interpreted for him in Zurich, said he is not aware of any case in which he was mistaken in the often detailed statements he made.

In the fall of 1947, Rev. William Branham came to Vancouver for a series of healing meetings. Many churches cooperated with the meetings, and we were all greatly impressed with his message and boldness. It was shortly after Pastor George Hawtin joined Rev. Herrick Holt in North Battleford that several of the North Battleford brethren visited a campaign of Branham in Vancouver, B.C. This proved to be a significant event. According to his research Richard Riss reported its impact in an editorial of the January 1, 1948 issue of The Sharon Star, a periodical published by the North Battleford brethren, as follows:
The Branham Campaign in Vancouver, B.C. was a great success. Your editor was privileged to attend and gives his report below. It is now becoming well known that Rev. Branham has the supernatural Gift of Healing. Never in my life have I ever seen anything to equal what I saw in Vancouver.The meetings were held in the Exhibition Garden, a building seating possibly between four and five thousand people. There were very little advertising of the meetings–just a few posters here and there giving only the time and place of the services. The first meeting the place was jammed to the doors and from then on, unless one arrived early for the afternoon meeting, there was no hope at all to get in at night. His sermons have the effect of inspiring faith in his hearers…I saw the deaf receive their hearing. I heard the dumb speak…I saw a goiter vanish. I saw sick people get up from their beds…To my best knowledge I did not see one person who, was not healed when brother Branham took time to pray specially for him. I came home from those meetings realizing as never before that the real gifts of the Holy Spirit are far mightier than any thing we have imagined in our wildest dreams.

According to Reg Layzell’s, as a result of Branham’s meetings, many began to seek GOD in faith: Fasting and prayer became the order of the day for all that were hungry for GOD. All over the country (or countries) saints waited upon GOD with a new faith and hope. This was the atmosphere that had brought about the visitation that we all have enjoyed. This was a fulfillment of God’s condition as found in II Chron. 7:14. We might add also that this is the only way that it will be maintained. It was in this spirit of prayer and fasting that the brethren waited upon the LORD. Together with the Bible School students, they fasted and prayed until February 11, 1948.

An eye witness relates a different story of Branham meetings. http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/The_Testimony_of_Alfred_Pohl

*Daryl here A ‘spiritual dryness’ was sensed by many, some where teaching, a ‘new thing’ was coming, and William Branham arrives in Vancouver, laying hands on awe struck Hawtin and others. They return to the Sharrron School, and continue long fasts until Feb. 12, when the supposed ‘revival’ breaks.

William Branham is a red flag to me, as his life has proven to be highly influenced by the occult, personal fabrications, and his spurious connections with the KKK. Whatever he carried was taken back to Sharron Bible school thro’ the spurious life of George Hawtin. https://in-sightjournal.com/2020/06/22/collins-seven/William Branham-Messenger of the KKK

George Hawtin himself spoke and taught highly discriminatory ideology very much like Branham. https://www.newspapers.com/image/?clipping_id=27309491&fcfToken=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJmcmVlLXZpZXctaWQiOjQ5NzA0MTQxNCwiaWF0IjoxNTkzMDIxMTA2LCJleHAiOjE1OTMxMDc1MDZ9.u7u3WSq

Other possible questionable Hawtin links to William Branham https://william-branham.org/videoplayer/the_message_part_29

On February 11, 1948, a young woman at the Bible school prophesied that a great revival was about to break out, an open door which God had set before the students and was asking them to pass through, a doorway into the gifts and ministries in the Body of Christ. The next day, according to Ern and Hawtin, the Holy Spirit fell with great power. Day after day the Glory and Power of God came among us. Great repentance, humbling, fasting and prayer prevailed in everyone.

Because of the manifestation of power at North Battleford, news of the outbreak spread, and soon people were coming from everywhere to receive that power. They believed that the long drought was over for Pentecostals, whose use of the gifts had gradually declined since the advent of Pentecostalism at the turn of the century.


Another red flag was the beginning of the practice of imparting gifts and callings with prophecy, at will, which was one of the issues the AOG considered in expressing concern with the movement.

*>Daryl The evidence of the ‘new thing’ and ‘revival’ was; for four days… the procedure emerged of calling out members of the audience and imparting a spiritual gift to them by the laying on of hands accompanied by a suitable prophecy. This was the evidence of ‘revival’ that they clamoured for, the questionable use of prophecy to foretell people’s futures, determining leadership and gift callings. I covered this in ‘When Prophecy and Prophets Became Prognosticators.‘ This is where it all started. https://scribalwell.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/when-prophecy-and-prophets-turned-prognosticators/

Thomas Holdcroft wrote about the events:    In extended chapel services for four days… the procedure emerged of calling out members of the audience and imparting a spiritual gift to them by the laying on of hands accompanied by a suitable prophecy. The authorization and direction of these activities was a series of vocal prophetic utterances by both students and their teachers.

> One of the students layed their hands on another student and proceeded to offer a long ‘prophecy,’ a ‘spiritually inspired’ recitation concerning the life and future of the second student. Two days later, according to George Hawtin…all heaven broke loose upon our souls and heaven came down to greet us.   


One thing that stood out in this revival was the impartation of spiritual gifts by the laying on of hands. Prior to this period, the laying on of hands for this purpose was viewed as heretical and had not been practiced for several decades throughout Pentecostalism. Now the gifts of the Spirit were considered to be restored to the Church Body at North Battleford, through the laying on of hands.
Pastor G. Hawtin described the period immediately following the outpouring as follows: During the past six weeks we have enjoyed a great visitation of the Spirit of God. Some of us have been praying for twenty years that the nine gifts of the Spirit would be restored to the Church…. Finally the ‘breakthrough’ came and the spiritual gifts began to operate among us. The gifts of the Spirit are definitely being restored to the Church. A new era is dawning.

A Catalyst Of Dissemination

In the spring of 1948 on Easter weekend, special services were held which the school called the “Feast of Pentecost”. Many people who had heard of the revivals in North Battleford attended these services. This led to what is considered the first “Camp Meeting” during July 7–18, 1948, which began drawing large crowds in the thousands.

George Warnock, former personal secretary to Ern Baxter (an associate with William Branham’s healing ministry), resided at Sharon Schools in the fall of 1949 and performed various work supporting the movement. Warnock’s book, The Feast of Tabernacles (1951), discussed the role of Sharon Schools and affiliated groups in living out the completion of God’s feasts for Israel, through perfection of the saints and their dominion over the earth. He described the Jewish feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles as ones that pre-figure and typify the whole Church Age, beginning with the death of Jesus on the cross, and consummating in “the manifestation of the Sons of God” – the “overcomers” who will step into immortality and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. 

*George Warnock began attending Sharron School just after William Branham held meetings in Vancouver in 1947. He was Ern Baxter’s secretary, and Ern worked with Branham. You could say his work on the ‘feast of tabernacles,’ was a catalyst as well, helping to forge their identity as the ‘Sons of God.’


On April 1, 1948 two months after the outpouring of the Latter Rain, the North Battleford periodical, and the Sharon Star published an article on their annual camp meeting at the time on the Feast of Pentecost.

The widespread publicity of the camp meeting prompted thousands of Pentecostals to attend another camp meeting in July 1948. It was at this later camp meeting that Pentecostals who had traveled from the United States into Canada received the impartation of the “New Thing,” and took the ‘48 Revival into the United States.

More Roots – Ramifications – Repercussions


André Gagné sums up further remarks from Thomas Holdcroft, revealing repercussions inherent in the roots.

‘Authoritarian Apostolic Attitude’

22/ Holdcroft’s article also speaks about some the early beliefs and practices of the Latter Rain Movement. The schism between LR leaders and the P.A.O.C. helps us understand why they would have embraced such beliefs and practices. Apart from charismata, two elements stand out.23/ The first concerns “religious authority.” Holdcroft notes, “in the scale of authority in religious faith and practice, New Order leaders often gave the Bible second place. In a choice between the cautious exegesis of the written Scripture, or the excitement and inspiration…24/ of an ecstatic prophecy, they would almost surely choose the latter. And when using the Bible, they tended to spiritualize and to ignore contexts. Thus, they found Biblical proof texts for beliefs and practices where such ‘proofs’ were simply not evident to other Christians.”25/ 

The second element was “Church polity.” Again, Holdcroft astutely remarks that “the New Order began as a protest movement by a small company of men who felt unduly restricted by their denomination. Thus, quite apart from spiritual claims, its spokesmen were committed…26/ …to an anti-established church and anti-organized church position. They adopted a militant doctrine of local church autonomy… But although denominational control was rejected, control by their own charismatically chosen leaders was emphasized. It was held that…27/ present day apostles and prophets were being restored in the person of New Order leaders. They came to speak simply of ‘Ministries’ to identify such divinely chosen leaders. These individuals were to be accorded full respect and authority as God’s apostolic instruments and…28/ spokesmen. That which the ministries or elders ruled was to take precedence over any more democratic decision. Thus, church governance has constituted a major emphasis in the New Order, and to them it is a vital issue and concern.” The NAR also embraces many of these ideas.

*>Daryl here This ‘authoritarian apostolic attitude’ was in the roots of the movement and produced bad fruit from a bad tree.

George Hawtin himself describes early repercussions, not recognized as actual roots of the tree.


Hawtin had further revelation in addition to the initial revelation of laying on of hands and the presbytery, Hawtin in the Sharon Star June edition 1948 stated:
“When one starts talking about prophets and apostles being in the Church in our day, the poor saints are shocked in holy terror and cry, ‘heresy! Heresy!’ Now MY BIBLE SAYS: “GOD HAS SET SOME in the church, FIRST APOSTLES, SECONDARILY PROPHETS, THIRDLY TEACHERS, after that miracles and gifts of healings, etc.”
This is a classic example of eisgesis that was to be so prevalent in the Latter Rain and Charismatic movements (Tabernacle of David, The Discipleship Movement, Signs and Wonders, etc.). Improper perspective and inaccurate hermeneutics play into the misapplication of orthodoxy. As such, divisions began to appear between the followers of Latter Rain ‘doctrine’ and those that originated from movements that preceded them. A growing estrangement of the North Battleford brethren from some of their closer associations such as the denominational arm of the Pentecostal movements birthed through the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 began to occur.

Riss also commented that the exercise of authority by the travelling presbytery from North Battleford over local churches was what later would be called into question. [9] The main point being that Latter Rain stressed the lack of rights of any church to exercise authority over another church. In this the North Battleford had violated one of their principles. Given this was the beginning of the restoration of the office of the apostle and other parachurch type ministries as referenced in the Bible, this confusion is understood but it must be stated that it set into motion misuse of offices of ministries that would follow the patterns originating from the North Battleford brethren from that point forward. However this is yet another example of eisgesis that sourced from Latter Rain.  
There were a series of revelations that Hawtin and the North Battleford Brethren received. These revelations continued to set the tone and spirit of the New Order of Latter Rain to which most that would directly follow would embrace:
1.Singing in the Holy Spirit/Song of the Lord: Hawtin describes it as follows
“We have heard vague rumors of the so-called Heavenly Choir in association with the outpouring of the Spirit which occurred around the turn of the century and have longed to hear it. But having heard it we must confess that it completely beggars not only description but also in large part both appreciated and understanding…A deep consciousness of the Spirit of Worship and Song always pervades the meeting as prelude to the choir….The most outstanding thing about it is the amazingly complicated depth of harmony…There is such a perfect order and timing as the mighty chords swell and roll that one is forced to concede that there is an unseen conductor.”
This manifestation would be a hallmark of true Latter Rain churches and set them as distinctively different than other variants. While some today have roots to Latter Rain, the ‘Song of the Lord’ is a direct characteristic of that which originated in North Battleford and soon spread to many Pentecostal denominations through out Canada, the United States and other parts of the world.

  1. Manifestation of the Sons of God: This teaching is sourced in the works of George Warnock in his work The Feast of Tabernacles (see below).  James Watt briefly affiliated with the North Battleford brethren once embraced this doctrine, in an article in the Sharon Star (the publication of the North Battleford brethren – April 1949 issue), Watts describes the major tenets and intent of this doctrine:

“A second Pentecost occurred in the Bible school at Edmonton, Alta., While classes were in session as usual, suddenly, without warning, a mighty wind swept through the building. Brother Crane was standing teaching the class and was almost swept off his feet. The Spirit fell simultaneously upon the whole school and all began to prophesy together. This great demonstration was accompanied by a vision of the Manifestation of the Sons of God in the last days of this dispensation. This mighty army was seen conquering all before it. Sickness and disease were vanishing, and all evil spirits were seen scattered before the triumphant power of God’s people.”

In the following months (August 1949), R.E. McAlister’s periodical, The Truth Advocate: this was a major publication of the Oneness movement that was the first break with the denominations  spawned from the Azusa Street revival of 1906. McAlister was one of originators of the theology surrounding the baptismal formula of baptism in Jesus’ name which would be the defining point of the Oneness movement and the basic tenet of their theology. McAlister comments on the  Edmonton  experience:
“Spiritualistic trends were evident in the doctrine of the ‘manifestation of the Sons of God.’ The doctrine originated from the predictive prophesying of Rev. E. Crane of the Northwest Bible Institute in Edmonton (sic this event occurred after the North Battleford brethren held a series of meeting ins Edmonton to spread the truth of Latter Rain earlier that year(Oct 1948)). He believed that he had seen a vision of the victorious saints as a mighty army…His entire class was affected by his belief and soon there grew the doctrine that the ‘elect’ would receive redemptive bodies here and now and that any person who died had not been able to ‘appropriate the redemption body” and was therefore not one of the “overcomers.” In the final analysis, to be an “overcomer” meant affiliation with the Sharon Group (sic North Battleford brethren). Affiliation alone was believed to give hope of ‘manifestation’.”
While there are many variants of this teaching the common element among them is exclusivity. It is believed that only a handful of believers out of the multitude of Christendom will be those who receive this ‘Sonship’ and so rule and reign with Christ in eternity. This characteristic of exclusivity among Latter Rain churches is also an earmark of distinction. It is quite rare that Latter Rain churches in general fellowship outside of their circle of churches who do not hold the same tenets as it does.

Hawtin would later reflect on the growing sectarian spirit of the North Battleford brethren began to manifest during the first few years of Latter Rain. By 1960, Hawtin and his brother Ern had left (Ern left in  1953) the Movement. It was said that Hawtin was excommunicated from the leadership in 1960. This ‘sectarian spirit’ would come to show itself in subsequent movements during the following years and is worth reviewing because it’s characteristics seem manifested in some of the off-shoots of Latter Rain that would persist up to the present time:
“..as I look sadly in retrospect now, I can see with clearness that the great and blessed move of God was not two years old before the sectarian spirit began to show its ugly head…it is true that we vociferously denied that we had become a sect

  1. there was to be no fellowship with anybody who was not within the confines of our ever narrowing circle. We were the true church. We were the elect. We stood on the foundation and all other men stood on sinking sand.
  2. No man cast out a devil unless he followed us.
  3. No teaching was worth the time it took to tell unless it originated with us.
  4. We were the most spiritual people in the world.
  5. We were going to reign in the kingdom and even now were beginning to reign.
  6. We had the gifts of the Spirit, and we were going to “call the shots” in the tribulation.

But we did not know that like Ephesus we had lost our first love, and must repent and do the first works over again…”
During the turbulent and glorious years of  the high water mark of Latter Rain and the North Battleford brethren’s influence, the position of Hawtin and company were vaulted perhaps to an extreme. In Hawtin’s own words, the tragedy of pride and sectarianism entered into the North Battleford brethren and unfortunately in most of those who carried Latter Rain into this present century, the same characteristics that mark the passing of those who themselves alleged moved in the vanguard of the Spirit to be relegated to the side show of self importance and elitism. At the end of life, Hawtin no doubt reflected on the mistakes made and did repent of what was proposed to be the glory of the presence of God marred by the intervention of those who once held the oracles of God. In the twilight of most great movements, the pattern above in church history is so often repeated.

A Further Very Telling Comment From Their Own


An important change in New Order outlooks that has significantly influenced subsequent development began to occur as long ago as the fall of 1948.  At that time citywide rallies were large and growing, and they tell of intentions to build huge arenas to hold the crowds.  Their spokesman, George Wylie continues:

But it wasn’t long until we found out that this wasn’t what God had in mind at all; that the Body he had spoken to us about, and was going to bring together, was not going to be composed of all believers; but of a certain few chosen ones which he himself would choose…. God brought us to a scripture found inJer. 3:14, 15.  “Return O faithless children, (That was us) saith the Lord, for I am your master; and I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family, and will bring you to Zion.  And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understandings.” R.S.V…. So after that we did not look for large crowds, but for the ones and the twos that he would bring together.

This same claim was expressed otherwise by the declaration that the day of evangelism was now past, and God’s concern was “the sifting of the wheat” to take out those chosen ones who were to comprise the bride of Christ as distinct from rank and file Christian believers.  George Wylie writes:

This is hard to explain, but there is a witness in oneness with those who belong to the true Body of Christ, that we do not feel with other Christians. Though all believers are children of God, and we all belong to the same family, there is a closeness and unity and love that exists between the elect of God that we do not feel with other Christians.

*Daryl here Another clear indication of deception at work, stating; that the day of evangelism was now past. The muddled evangelistic message, methods and focus continue today.


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The Infamous Beginning Of The ‘Apostolic/ Prophetic’ Movement

George Hawtin was blinded by the fact that these very things he and others entertained and bro’t into the Sharron School, in Thomas Holcroft’s haunting words, The New Order of the Latter Rain was an organizational schism, a protest movement by a small company of men who felt unduly restricted by their denomination. Thus, quite apart from spiritual claims, its spokesmen were committed to an anti-established church and anti-organized church position. They adopted a militant doctrine of local church autonomy..

Roots revealed of a diseased tree, present today in the NAR &’mainstream/ apostolic/ prophetic/charismatic’ movement, clear evidence of a false movement continuing today.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=rixQ7tW0ZBQC&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=George+Hawtin%27s+Racism&source=bl&ots=2UkGy-dC F&sig=ACfU3U1UOzDcK24xvYkhxNLqwR7GWxCaug&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjF3qKAhZvqAhUDV80K All of the past movements over the last 100 years have believed their movement to be the last short lived ‘revival’ before the rapture of the Church. “It is important to note this because it outlines the Restoration theory now held by the Word Of Faith Movement, the Prophetic Movement, the Signs and Wonders Movement, and the New Reformation Apostolic Movement. All of these movements have their doctrinal basis built on what was to follow from the Sharon Brethern. William Branham is primarily accountable for ‘restoring’ the practice of the laying on of hands to convey the gifts of the Holy Spirit…and to be delivered of evil spirits: a practice to be taken up by the Sharon Brethern. Subsequently it rapidly spread right thro’ out North America and from there around the world.” SPIRITUAL WARFARE: A Struggle for Truth, By Russell Sharrock p. 120

Spiritual Umbilical Chord This is why there’s a ‘spiritual umbilical chord’ attached from William Branham to the ‘mainstream, apostolic/prophetic’ movement today.

As recently as as 1987, George Hawtin reflecting back, wrote to the PAOC:

September, 1947, three months after our dismissal, we were delighted to find that the Lord had opened a new door in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. The Second World War being ended, we found available a number of Air Force dormitories and classrooms which could be rented. Together with two brethren with whom I was associated – Herrick Holt and Percy G. Hunt – we rented the buildings. The opening of the new Bible School was announced and to our delight and surprise some sixty-three students registered for school, a good number of these being students who followed us from our previous school in Saskatoon. Consequently we had first, second and third year classes the first year.

Soon after school began, my brother Ernest joined us as a teacher, his ministry proving to be a great blessing to the school and the spirit of the classes. Our first intention was to continue here in the same manner as we had conducted our former school, but it was not long before we found the Supreme Commander, our Most High Father, had other purposes for us – purposes which were in His blessed mind before the world began. Soon we found that the familiar doctrines previously taught and the subjects studied had a strange sense of being REMOVED FROM US. as though they had become PAST TRUTH instead of PRESENT TRUTH. Classes were frequently interrupted by a powerful spirit of prayer, and I think I can say with honesty that I doubt that there was a day between the opening of the school October 10th, 1947 and February 12th, 1948, when some were not fasting, except possibly Christmas Day. Time and again, when classes were in progress, the sound of prayer would begin in one of the classrooms…

That which was begun by the Holy Spirit in 1948 will end with the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD AT THE END OF THE PRESENT AGE. THE ADOPTION of which Paul spoke so often, is FULL MATURE SONSHIP. The great apostle told us clearly in Romans 8:23 that the whole creation is groaning in travail waiting for the ADOPTION, to wit, the redemption of the body. The redemption of the body is this corruptible putting on incorruption and this mortal in immortality and death being swallowed up in victory.


The day George Hawtin, Percy Hunt, and Herrick Holt walked the halls of the ‘Sharon School’ North Battlesford Sk., in September, 1947, the infamous ‘apostolic/prophetic’ movement began, corrupted at it’s root.

Interestingly, it was ‘birthed’ in an atmosphere of schismatic, anti-establishment, elitism, extremism of fasting and prayer, with the abandonment of orthodox teaching of Biblical doctrine, and clear abuse of apostolic and prophetic authority and administration!

>This is a clear hall mark of the present movement today!

A final summary.https://www.facebook.com/daryl.giffin.35/posts/678185189648054

One thought on “Examining The Bitter Roots Of The /48 ‘Latter Rain’ Revival Tree

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