Clifton Oliver Erickson was born on February 24, 1915 in Washington to two godly emigrants from Norway. His mother dedicated him to God at his birth with the hope that one day he would become a minister. At age five Erickson felt that call himself. He grew up in Wenatchee, Washington, where he was converted in a revival campaign. Shortly thereafter he became a youth leader and teacher and travelled with his uncle who was a pastor, as a song leader.
Four years after his conversion, Erickson received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He claimed that the Lord told him that after three days of fasting and praying, God would baptize him at 10:00 p.m. At the designated time, the power of God came to him and he was baptised in the Holy Spirit.
Erickson claims that God gave him three revelations of his future ministry. 1.) It was to be a healing ministry, 2.) a ministry of the miraculous, and 3.) international in scope. He was licensed to preach with the Assemblies of God in 1945 and was ordained in 1948.
When Gordon Lindsay arranged the first convention of healing revivalists in Dallas, Texas in December 1949, Clifton Erickson was one of the invited speakers alongside O. L. Jaggers, Gayle Jackson, Velmer Gardner and the seasoned campaigners, William Branham, Gordon Lindsay, Jack Moore, F. F. Bosworth and Raymond T. Richey. Clearly Erickson was a well-respected addition to the ranks of the Voice of Healing ministries, though his ministry was comparitively small with a tent that seated no more than 3-4,000.
Erickson also held the esteemed position of field editor for Jack Coe’s magazine, Herald of Healing alongside W. V. Grant, Wilbur Ogilvie, Gayle Jackson, Mildred Wicks, Velmer Gardner, Clifton Erickson, Gordon Lindsay and others.(D. Harrell, Jr., All Things Are Possible, 1975)
Although Erickson was plagued with a sick child and wife God graciously healed them both. He had other severe trials but a turning point came when he requested Oral Roberts to lay hands on him. He reported, "I felt the power immediately ... henceforth He was goin' to manifest through me the ministry of healing.
Gordon Lindsay described the miraculous power of God through Erickson's ministry in Chile in 1952. A Chilean newspaper reported that thirty-nine evangelical leaders in Chile praised Erickson as a man of faith. The crusade crowds there reached 75,000.
In 1954 he worked with Lester Sumrall in Manila, Philippines where they left a new church building with a Sunday morning attendance of 7,000.
Erickson authored Supernatural Deliverance (1950) and collaborated with Lester Sumrall in an account of the Manila revival entitled Modern Manila Miracles (1954). In 1962, Erickson, along with Lester Sumrall, started a new publication, World Harvest. He later retired in Florida.
Bibliography: Art: S. Shemeth, International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (2002); C. O. Erickson, My Testimony (1962)