Monday, March 10, 2008

Terry Virgo on Ern Baxter's Impact on Newfrontiers

I remember thinking (rather stupidly) at one point that I was one of the only people in the United Kingdom who remembered and treasured Ern Baxter's ministry - as my home church had gone to considerable lengths to forget his visits along with everything else associated with the Charismatic Movement. So when I was told by Peter Cockrell that Terry Virgo actually mentioned Ern Baxter during one of his messages at Stoneleigh Bible Week, I went to considerable effort to get hold of the video tape. Terry took one of his sessions at Stoneleigh Bible Week 1998 to tell "The Story So Far" of both his personal journey and that of Newfrontiers. That story is now detailed superbly in Terry's book, "No Well Worn Paths".

Terry had this to say about Ern Baxter's visit to the United Kingdom at the Lakes Bible Week in 1975.

The series that Terry refers to is called; "The King and His Army". I made sure it was one series that I transcribed and is available on George Kouri's website here. Terry himself was one of the first I made sure got a printed and bound copy for himself!

I don't mention Ern Baxter as often as I used to in the past few years of this blog - mainly because I am eagerly awaiting the launch of "Ern Baxter dot com" - a website being designed for us to continue publishing his audio and video ministry. But Ern's influence and vision continues to drive everything we do and am aiming to do. I have it on good authority that Rob Rufus also held Ern Baxter in great esteem and particularly valued Ern's message; "Life on Wings" - so it's a thrill that Ern Baxter ISN'T forgotten and indeed CANNOT be forgotten. His legacy lives on! His vision continues to drive and motivate and compel!


Chris said...

There are times in your life when God responds to the earnest cry of our hearts for more. It is a cry of desperation...often out of failure, or confusion in a church system that at times so flagrantly contravenes scripture or the true spirit of the New Covenant. And at such times God sends his vessels to clarify,to build up, to envision.
I was not able to be there at the Lakes...but the full force of Ern Baxter's 1975 Lakes messages came over loud and clear when I heard the tapes a few weeks later.I was so blessed to hear Ern on the Thursday of 1976 Capel Bible week speaking a keynote message on Covenant love. Then, by hook or by crook , a bunch of us cajoled each other, to by any means possible be at the Dales Bible Week 1976 for his message on Going into the Land.
Later my German friend , who had been at the Kansas City Shepherd's Conference, let me hear all the tapes and most importantly the door opening Word of Ern, entitled Thy Kingdom Come. Yet Ern was not a Morris Cerullo. Apart from various outstanding signs of the Presence of God, there were no healings, no words of knowledge, none of the stuff that accompanies ministries such as Rheinhardt Bonnke, or Rob Rufus. Ern was invited by Morris to spend long periods ministering in his San Diego schools of ministry of the early 80s. Ruth Heflin mentions Ed Miller, who was used to open up the nation of Argentina. Yet, incredibly, Ed was absolutely against the ministries of Fort Lauderdale. This was so confusing to me, because my Amersham history in God had been so closely connected to these men. But in all this conflict of ministry, it literally shook me free from relying on my intellect. I do now believe I have light which draws from the very best of all these men.
But, as yet, I am sure the untold impact of Ern on England has yet to be fully appreciated. Perhaps we will only understand it in heaven.

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks for that really insightful comment Chris, I was absolutely fascinated to read it and learn more of your experiences at some of these absolutely key conferences that I dream of being at! I would love to know more and hear more of what it was "like" to be - particularly at the Dales Bible Week 1976. Peter and I particularly believe that "Going into the Land" was THE key series for the United Kingdom at that time, but we feel that it was largely ignored. Would this be accurate? Also I was amazed to hear of your friend who was at Kansas City - and again I couldn't agree more that "Thy Kingdom Come" was a door-opening word.

Your comments about "signs and wonders" accompanying - or rather not - accompanying Ern's ministry is very interesting and I do agree. I know the Fort Lauderdale brothers have been called apostles at times - and I think there was an apostolic aspect to their ministry, but I think primarily they were given as gifts to the Church as Teachers. To restore the principles of Kingdom life, and shepherding to a church that was increasingly isolationist and individualist. Just as I believe someone like C J Mahaney is a teacher (not an apostle) given to the church to restore the principle of the Cross to our mindsets (although I think he has taken it to excess).

So as you say, why didn't signs and wonders accompany their ministries? I know from a few remarks that Ern made, that they were involved in exorcising demons quite a bit, but I didn't even hear Ern make mention of praying for healing or expecting signs and wonders in the coming revival that he longed for. Which is very interesting because of course - he had a close friendship and connection with William Branham - the Healing Evangelist! I know Ern always believed that he was the teacher and Branham was the Healer, so maybe at that time in the Charismatic Movement they was a lot more pigeon holing of the giftings rather than a wide-spread belief (that I think Rob Rufus among many) is restoring to the Church that signs and wonders should be accompanying US ALL.

I do agree - the untold impact of Ern on England has yet to be appreciated! Historian Andrew Walker in his book "Restoring the Kingdom" suggests that Ern's influence ended in 1977 after his visit to the Dales Bible Week for "Binding the Strongman". This isn't accurate - Ern continued to come to visit local conferences such as Stanley Jebb's Anglia Bible Week and Bryn Jones's New Covenant Ministries conferences.

Thanks again! It would be great to hear more from you and learn.

Nick Cameron said...

Dan - Just to say that I have been continuing to type up some of Ern's typed and handwritten work - let me know when is up and running and I will filter what I have done to you!
Nick x