It was ten o’clock Sunday morning in the city of Los Angeles—the day of the miracle service. I was standing on the sidewalk outside the seven thousand seat Shrine Auditorium where Kathryn Kuhlman holds her monthly services. I could hardly believe my eyes. Although the service was not scheduled to begin until 2P.M., the sidewalks and porches already were jammed with waiting people. Young men with fuzzy hair and uncombed beards rubbed shoulders with dignified matrons who arrived in chauffeur-driven limousines.
There were suburban housewives, businessmen, Hollywood personalities, young couples with children, doctors, nurses, and the ever-present sick. Many had flown in from Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Houston, Denver. Some, I learned, came every month from Hawaii and British Columbia. Chartered buses from hundreds of miles around were arriving by the minute and after alighting the passengers stood in groups with signs to identify their location—Santa Barbara, San Diego, Sacramento. More than fifty buses arrived before the service started. I wandered from one end of the block to the other shaking my head in disbelief. I was in Los Angeles to observe one of the miracle services which have become a regular part of the Kathryn Kuhlman ministry.
In a time when most churches compete with golf courses and lakes for their members’ presence on Sunday morning, and when many others have turned off their lights on Sunday night, Kathryn Kuhlman’s meetings are always so crowded that there is standing room only. I had discovered the secret just a month before, when I stood on the steps of the old Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh to attend the Friday morning miracle service at Miss Kuhlman’s home base. There, I had talked to many persons who let nothing keep them from attending the miracle services. They come, the physically healthy, to share in the joy of God’s love and mercy. And, of course, those in physical desperation come in droves to wait and pray for their personal miracles.
The crowd in Pittsburgh was much like the crowd in Los Angeles. I saw chartered buses from Ohio and Kentucky, cars from Ontario; pickup trucks from West Virginia were parked beside Cadillacs from Delaware. I talked with a group of theology students from Harvard’s Divinity School in Boston. They had come to observe and scoff, but went away believing. The sick were there in great numbers. One woman, huddled beside the building on a folding chair, told me she had been there since dawn. She had ridden the bus from Indianapolis all night, coming to be healed of stomach cancer. I made my way through the crowd of wheel hairs on the side porch and slipped through the back door of the auditorium.
To Be Continued..
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