Saturday, October 24, 2020

B.B. Bosworth: Unsung Hero of Divine Healing Revival Meetings

By Roscoe Barnes III, PhD

#FFBosworth
#BBBosworth


Evangelist B.B. Bosworth
(1887 - 1958)

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Reminder: "F.F. Bosworth History" is now on Twitter. Follow @bosworth_fred

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In a later edition of Christ the Healer, Bob Bosworth, son of F.F. Bosworth, said there was little written about the life and ministry of his father, and his father's brother, Burton B. ("B.B.") Bosworth. Sadly, at that time, he was correct. However, over the last two decades, a number of academic papers, chapters, and articles have been written about Fred. Books and doctoral dissertations have also focused on his life history. Thankfully, Fred is also featured in dictionaries and encyclopedias, and he is cited in the literature. (My blog, Bosworth Matters, is devoted to research on his legacy as a Pentecostal pioneer.) Today there appears to be a growing interest in his contributions. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his brother, Bert.

While we're learning more and more about Fred, we still know little about Bert. For many years, the two were virtually inseparable in ministry. When they held citywide revival meetings, people referred to them as simply "The Bosworth Brothers." Both of them preached, sang, played musical instruments, and prayed for the sick. However, it appears that Fred did much of the preaching in some of their biggest campaigns, while Bert led the music portion of the meetings, according to Oswald J. Smith. Bert spent a number of years where he ministered in the shadow of his big brother.

When their combined ministries took off in the 1920s, it was Fred, the older brother, who began writing books. In 1927, they began publishing Exploits of Faith, the magazine that featured ministry reports by Bert. That same year, however, the two brothers parted ways. In the 1930s, the time when Fred embraced the teachings of Anglo-Israelism and left the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), Bert continued preaching in C&MA churches.


Bert, who was 10 years younger than Fred, was born on May 24, 1887 in University Place, Neb. Obviously talented like Fred, he became a skilled musician without any formal training. According to his daughter, Lenore Dunlop, "He did not attend college, but took special courses in harmony." Bert lived for a time in Zion City, Ill., where he married Margaret Robinson in 1907. Again, like Fred, he also worked for the U.S. Postal Service, and like Fred, he became a pastor and healing revivalist. He became known as a songwriter, song-leader, and trombonist.

Bert died on Feb. 17, 1958, 1958 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He was 70. His death occurred only a few weeks after the passing of Fred, who died Jan. 23, 1958. Shortly after their passing, the Alliance Witness published a tribute stating, “there were many unusual instances of divine healing" in the meetings held by the Bosworth Brothers.

Bert's daughter shared a brief overview of his life and ministry at Hymnary.org. It can be viewed here:




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Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind "Christ the Healer," can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: BOSWORTH25.


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Want to know more
about F.F. Bosworth?

Follow the Bosworth Matters blog!
Start here:

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For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @bosworth_fred and @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer #BosworthMention #BosworthMatters

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