Hall of Heroes
God said He would build His Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Many saints have gone before us to bring the Church to its current level of strength. Line upon line, stone upon stone, revelation has been given, miracles have occurred that have strengthened the faith of many, trails have been blazed to lead us into the knowledge of God and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have read testimonies of saints who lived long ago and also in modern times. I have had the privilege of meeting a few of these heroes of faith. I can't list all whose stories have blessed me, but I offer a few whose books and videos online can still be accessed.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS is a rich trove of inspiration. Some have read it to wallow in lurid fascination of tortures that were applied to God's children, but what stands out to me was how God enabled His martyrs to be faithful to Him, in spite of great pain and humiliation. One case is mentioned where a man who was burned at the stake scorned his murderers, asserting that he felt no more pain than if he was lying on a bed of roses. Yes, God can remove the pain, or overshadow with His glory in such abundance that it makes the pain of no consequence in comparison.
I offer here some highlights of ministers who have passed on to their rewards.
ARNE BRYAN was raised in Delia, Alberta, the son of a rancher. He was a cowboy in his early years, breaking in his first horse when he was ten years old.
I worked for Arne as his secretary for two years when he was the Director of Prayer Canada. I asked if he ever met a horse he couldn't ride. He said, "Nope." I then asked if he was ever afraid of a horse that he had to break in. He answered, "Nope. I figured that if my father could do it, so could I." Wow. How many ten year olds have such confidence?
Arne founded Prayer Canada, the first national prayer network in our nation. Its focus was to pray first for our government leaders, then the military, the police, other emergency services, our schools, and our First Nations people. Arne served as its Director for more than thirty years, until he was nearly 100 years old. He retired when he was 96 and died at 98 years old.
Even in his nineties, Arne was the guy who went to the Post Office to pick up the mail. He attended Chamber of Commerce meetings, political events, and scouted for recruits to pray for Canada wherever he went. He phoned people all across Canada to stay in touch with the Prayer Post leaders and sent off many encouraging cards and letters in his shakey hand–writing that were much appreciated when people saw the effort it cost him.
Arne went on journeys across Canada to meet with prayer warriors and inspire more people to join them to pray for Canada's protection and prosperity. In Heaven, we will find out how often disasters were averted because of these prayers.
Personally, I found Arne to be the best boss I ever worked for, though I'd had nice bosses before then. He was a sweetheart and very sharp in his mind right to the end. Occasionally, he was a bit awkward. I laughed and told him, "At your age, you can get away with anything." Sometimes we disagreed about certain things, but he never used his position to punish me for speaking my mind.
His wife Kathie was a great help to him. She took care of their newsletter until she fell ill with a brain tumor in 2013. Arne spent hours with her in the hospital each day, while still putting in work at the office. He had more energy than a lot of people who are much younger. Arne was a truly bigger than life character who rolled like a tank over objections to the work God set out for him. One of his close friends liked to call him "Army." It was fascinating to work with Arne. He was so confident.
He used to boast, "I've never been depressed a day in my life and I've never had a headache." He prayed with his mother to ask Jesus into his heart when he was three years old and he never backslid. His whole, long life, he never used profanity or drank alcohol or was unfaithful to his wives, though he divorced the first one because she was unfaithful to him. Then he married a widow who had five children and they were happily married for over forty years. It was endearing how cheerfully and enthusiastically he greeted Kathie with a "Hello, darlin'!" each morning when she came into the office.
A BIOGRAPHY has been written about Arne's life by Beth Carson.
I think we owe Arne a lot of gratitude for the safety of our country during his ministry, and Kathie, too, who was a great encouragement and support to him.
EDGAR BAILLIE told wonderful testimonies of how the Lord Yeshua healed through his ministry. It all began with his own miraculous healing. He was helping to build a church when hot tar splashed through a knot hole onto his arm and burned it severely. His right hand was also burned when he raised it to prevent the tar from splashing a boy whom he was working with. Edgar could not open his hand as the tar burnt him to the bone, but the pastor had the women of the church gather around and pray.
Only an instant later, Edgar was able to open his hand and the flesh rolled off of it, exposing the bones. The women also took the tar off of his arm, which took the flesh with it. After they prayed, a burning pain hit Edgar and they all watched as red welts rose on his hand and his arm. New flesh and skin grew over the areas that had been burned away. Edgar said that since that time, his right hand turns red when the anointing comes upon him; many are healed. He gave all the glory to Yeshua and these are testimonies that my older grandson seems to find interesting when I play the videos.
Edgar placed a series of videos on YouTube telling of some amazing miracles that God has done. He posted a video about how an enormously heavy woman instantly lost weight, reducing her down to a size 5! When she returned to her table at the back of the room, her husband didn't even recognize her. Eighteen women, so far, experienced instant weight loss after Edgar prayed for them.
The video was removed, probably due to judgmental criticisms. Many people assume that gluttony is always the cause of weight gain, having no idea how much our food has been compromised by pesticides, chemical additives, and genetic modification, which our bodies recognize as hostile substances and as our system fights them off, it can result in fat storage. Additives in dish soap does this, as well.
Also, as people age, they lose enzymes, which help us digest food, so it becomes more difficult to lose weight as one gets older and their health breaks down. Even if gluttony is involved in weight gain, though, God is just as compassionate about healing people from that kind of damage as He is to restore the brain cells of former drug addicts and alcoholics and to heal their livers.
Through Edgar and Holly Baillie's ministry, people have been healed of cancer, received new hearts, a man was healed whose bones had turned to mush, and a woman with no eyes grew eyes and eyelids. If you type Edgar Baillie in the YouTube search box, it will bring up a lot of videos of Edgar's testimonies. They are very edifying to listen to and his wife Holly is a good preacher, too. I was blessed by her series on Defeating Depression and Finding Joy. Edgar has gone Home to be with the Lord, but Holly continues to preach.
ROY DURMAN, an Englishman originally from the Channel Islands, was a sweet, humble man was largely unknown, though he was a travelling evangelist for many decades. He wasn't out to make a big name for himself. He just wanted to bring hope and help through the Anointed Lord Yeshua to as many people as he could reach. He managed to do this on a much more modest budget than what the famous evangelists normally spend for their crusades.
Roy travelled mainly to Asia, Africa, and South America, holding crusades in cities that most of the well–known evangelists won't go to. Many people were saved, many received miracles of healing for blindness, deafness, cancer, paralysis, hernias, etc., many were delivered from demons, and some people were even been raised from the dead through Roy's ministry.
For many years, Roy was married to a wonderful woman named Eileen. Eileen helped support his ministry with her earnings as a motel maid. Before she died, in spite of great physical weakness, God caused Eileen to sit up and prophesy in a strong voice to Roy that he would remarry. Roy couldn't see how that could happen. He told the Lord, "If I was to ask a woman to marry me and she refused, I wouldn't know where to put my face!"
Roy carried on with his preaching after Eileen's death, and did not make any attempts to court anyone. A year later, a Brazilian pastor, who arranged Roy's South American crusades, asked him if he had thought about remarrying. Roy replied, "Well, there has to be a woman, hasn't there?" He explained that he was too shy to date. Problem solved. The pastor told him that the woman God had for him was his church accountant.
Georgette, his accountant, was from a godly family and she has been a chaste woman all her life. For fifteen years, she and her family prayed that she would marry a mighty man of God; she did not date anyone in all that time. When it was announced in the church that Roy Durman's wife had died, she knew in her spirit that Roy was the man whom God had appointed for her. Before he met her, Roy wondered if he would find her attractive, but decided to trust the Lord in His choice of a bride for him. As it turned out, he was very attracted to Georgette, and he rejoiced in being married to a woman who was thirty years younger and helped to keep him young.
I ran into Roy and Georgette one day at a walk–in clinic. I told him that I had heard that he had remarried and that it was a miracle. He then proceeded to tell me the story while Georgette watched him with shining eyes. Their manner towards each other told me that they were very good friends and much in love. It was really sweet to see, as well as quite a privilege to hear the story straight from Roy's own mouth.
Georgette is an intrepid partner. Roy was outraged that she was put in jail when they entered a certain country, though the situation with her papers did not warrant it. Regardless of hardship, Georgette continued to accompany Roy in his travels.
I also admire how humbly and simply Roy lived, wearing the same suits that I had seen him in for years, and living in a modest house in the suburbs. When I gave money to his ministry, I felt really good about it because Roy helped desperately poor people by bringing God's miracle power into their lives. Click here to see a SAMPLE of Roy's wisdom from a pdf that was on his website, which is no longer online.
It is an amazing privilege that we have in our technological age that ministers who have passed on can still share their wisdom and their stories and their anointing, that their ministry continues after their death. We can watch videos of them, see how they looked, hear how they talked, and their anointing when they pray on those videos can still reach out to touch us, to bring healing and deliverance.