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FRANKLIN HALL

Birth and death dates unknown

Along with many others of the depression era Hall grew up in rural poverty and was deeply religious. Initially he was with the Methodist church but their stance against healing forced him elsewhere. During the depression and World War II he travelled as an independent evangelist.

In 1946, he published a brief book entitled Atomic Power with God through Prayer and Fasting. The book, which provided detailed information on the methods and benefits of fasting, was an immediate success and brought Hall considerable fame. According to Hall, all of the major evangelists began following his fasting regime and miracles erupted everywhere. Many observers of the early revival years agreed, as one said, "Every one of these men down through the years followed Franklin Hall's method of fasting."

When the revival erupted after World War II, Hall was there. He contributed to the revival a distinctive doctrine which, while it did not enrich him, had a major impact.

Franklin Hall himself never attracted a large following. He considered himself a teacher rather than a healing evangelist. He worked in combination with a series of preachers, including "Little David" Walker, the most famous early child evangelist.

Hall carried on a ministry of teaching throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He began publishing Miracle Word magazine in 1965, which eventually reached a peak circulation of 24,000.

Isolated by a somewhat deviant doctrine and less talented as a preacher than many of his competitors, Franklin Hall hung on through the fifties with the same tenacity that had helped him survive during the depression. In small churches and auditoriums across the nation he continued to teach with fervour his message of prayer and fasting and healing. When hard times came to the revival in the late 1950s, it was nothing new to Franklin Hall. He had an instinct for survival. Scores like him roamed the countryside.

Unlike some faith healers, Hall emphasized teaching. His extremist views in the area of fasting and healing were considered unacceptable to many evangelists. He attributes the demise  the revival of the 1950s to the lack of fasting and to spiritual coasting by the leaders. Extreme in the area of healing, he held to a "body-felt salvation." Accordingly, the fire of the Holy Spirit, if fully applied to a person (which would take about thirty days), would eliminate the potential for sickness, tiredness, and even body odour.

These extremes and the discipline they entailed severely limited his following. In 1956 Hall founded his Deliverance Foundation, and in 1970 it reported thirty-two affiliated churches and two thousand members.

Hall wrote several books, including Glorified Fasting (1961), The Fasting Prayer (1947), The Body-Felt Salvation (1968), Formula for Raising the Dead (1960), and Our Divine Healing Obligation (nd.)

Tony Cauchi
Januray 2012

Bibliography: D. E. Harrell, Jr., All Things Are Possible (1975);  Art: S. Shemeth, International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (2002).