I FIRST HEARD OF T.B. JOSHUA IN THE 1950s…
Destined to be one of God’s great Generals, Evangelist C.S. Upthegrove from Florida, USA, is a living legend whose contribution to spread the Gospel has been breathtaking. Former Pastor of Miracle Valley Church, he served under another General, A.A. Allen. God has since greatly used him to advance His Kingdom here on earth. In this exclusive piece, he shares with Read Us his experiences in the service of the Lord and his encounter with the man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua. He writes:
In my day, miracles were on the menu at any given time. We always praised God, as soon as blind eyes were opened or a cancer was suddenly gone. We were in a marvellous time of reaping. So many ministers of God had prepared the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those who so desperately needed it.
During the 1930s through the 50s, people were trying to recover from what was later known as the Great Depression. Pentecost had received a new grace, since the Azusa Street Revival in 1906, not to mention those who had already been awakened during the turn of the new century. Great men and women of God sprung out of every corner of the globe, bringing in tremendous signs, wonders and miracles.
The intensity began to wane around 1909, as the move of God splintered into many factions and denominations. But people did not want to lose the high ground they had gained. Feeling the decline, the intercessors picked up their positions again.
Around 1947, a new voice began to arise. This was like nothing the Church had ever heard of since Bible days. Many weary ministers and evangelists who were on the verge of giving up their ministries due to lack of God’s manifest presence and power, became quickened and alive with new hope and fervour. They began to see the power of God on a level unknown for hundreds of years, at least not known to the masses.
This gentle, soft-spoken man stepped out of obscurity and took the world by surprise. William Branham, with complete accuracy, could look into the entirety of anyone’s life and give exact details of even the smallest things through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Whole schools of deaf children would pass through a prayer line and be healed. The miracles and prophetic words were astounding.
Out of his ministry grew what would later be called the ‘Latter Rain Movement’. Oral Roberts attended his meetings and took on the challenge to pray for the sick. T.L. Osborn was ready to walk away from the mission field because after years in the service of the Lord, he felt fruitless. He watched this small man from Kentucky tell people in great detail things that no one else knew and as he witnessed a child with no bones in his legs suddenly develop bones, he had one thought: ‘I need this impartation.’
As the fire came down, a worldwide revival began but by the beginning of the 1960s, it too had begun to fade. In my own ministry, the miraculous was always present but the worldwide stage had closed its ear. You see, it’s not enough to have great meetings and even have God sweep through a city. God is always looking to move onto the eternal high ground that will send the Word to every nation as one great voice in unison.
It was in this desire to see God’s glory fill the earth that my daughter, Evangelist Brenda Upthegrove Price, began her travail of soul like Hannah of old: “Oh God, the Eli system has taken over Your people. There is sin at the door and Eli no longer confronts his sons. Lord, if You don’t send a Samuel that will put things back in order, then You will surely leave us without a voice on the earth”.
Being a prayer warrior, my daughter began to cry to God day and night: “Lord, let me see the wells of these great men of God that I have known begin to flow through the nations of the earth. Please, bring back Your glory to this generation and to the United States of America”.
In the spirit of that prayer, God began to direct her. One night, in desperation, she went to YouTube and simply typed in the word, ‘Miracles’. One name kept popping up: ‘T.B. Joshua’. She started to search everything she could find about this ministry but he (T.B. Joshua) was in Africa.
“Lord,” she prayed, “I would love to be in his services”. Two weeks later, she read an advertisement for an Anointing Water Conference that would be a mere three hours from her home. How could it happen in this state and in a city so close to where she lived? During the night, God spoke to her saying: “This is the answer to your prayers. I will open the wells of these great moves upon the earth and in your nation. This will be the death of the Eli system and the beginning of the restoration of My power”.
A few weeks after the Anointing Water Conference, Wise Man Harry came. This added to her excitement. While there, Emmanuel TV interviewed her and she briefly gave the account written above. God supernaturally brought us to the attention of Prophet T.B. Joshua.
After talking to the Emmanuel TV team, we were received as special guests in Lagos, Nigeria. I will never forget the invitation to visit The SCOAN. It was the beginning of a wonderful time of encouragement and mutual love and respect. I was 83 years old, and I had already claimed Psalm 71:18: “Now, when I am old and grey headed, oh God, forsake me not, until I have shown Thy strength unto this generation and Thy power to everyone who is to come”. When I caught the long flight to Lagos, Nigeria, I was thanking God all the way, because I knew I was in the centre of His will. Too often, we have lived in His permissive will but thank God for the feeling; I was in His divine perfect will. Since that meeting with the Prophet, we were added to his family. Now, I truly feel that he is my son and his family is my very own family. We thank God for Prophet T.B. Joshua, the ministry of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, and Emmanuel TV.
I have been in the deliverance ministry since I was 15 years old and my life seemed almost complete, since I had seen miracles all over the world with Great Generals from the 40s, 50s and 60s, including pastoring a great church in Miracle Valley, Arizona under the direction of Apostle A.A. Allen. The one thing that I had not seen fulfilled was a prophecy that he gave to me personally.
One day, while he and I were riding along in his car, A.A. Allen turned to me and said: “Brother Upthegrove, I may not be living when this comes to pass but I believe you will”. He began to describe a time coming when the Azusa Street Revival in 1906, under the direction of William Seymour, would be just a beginning of what God was going to do.
Please, hear me now – I know about the miraculous. But from the moment my feet walked on the holy ground of The SCOAN, excitement began to build in my soul as I saw the desperation of the thousands of sick and afflicted from all over Africa and other nations. They came together for a miracle. I knew this was it.
I had the privilege of watching the Wise Men lay hands on the sick and cast out demons. God spoke to my spirit and said: “What you are seeing is the prophecy being fulfilled in this place. I will pour out My Spirit in this place”. I began to weep. The following Sunday, Prophet T.B. Joshua was so gracious to me. He knew by the Spirit that I was supposed to speak for a few minutes to the thousands in attendance.
Out of all my friends, former pastors and churches, missionaries and whomever I have known in my 70 years of ministry, I was so moved by the fulfilled prophecies of Prophet T.B. Joshua and the miracles of healing, along with demons being cast out, that I knew this was that which was spoken in prophecy to me by A.A. Allen.
Recently, I had the privilege of joining my spiritual son, T.B. Joshua in Cali, Colombia, with approximately 50,000 people in attendance each night. In all my 70 years in this ministry including being in service with great Generals of the faith, Oral Roberts, Catherine Kuhlman, William Branham, Jack Coe, A.A. Allen and many others, I had never seen so many people get out of wheelchairs and give up their crutches, walking and praising God for healings and great deliverances.
Thank God, I have lived long enough to see the promise come to pass. This Prophet of God, T.B. Joshua, is so anointed by the Spirit that many times, all he has to do is speak the Word and the sick are healed.
I am so blessed to be part of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations family.
God bless all of you.
This article was taken from the first issue of Read Us, the official magazine of The SCOAN.
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