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Carrie Judd Montgomery was one of the most influential and effective ministries amongst the early healing movement in the United States. Born in Buffalo, New York, USA in 1848, the fourth of eight children, Carrie enjoyed the benefits of a loving home and an Episcopal church where she received a strong foundation in Christian principles. At 11 years of age she committed her life to Christ and was later confirmed in her local church.

After a fall on ice in her late teens she became an invalid and was not expected to live. She suffered from hyperaesthesia making her extremely sensitive to touch, movement, light, or sound. Her blankets were unbearable, even the movement caused by someone walking into her room would cause excruciating pain. Despite good medical help nothing changed.

It was then that she read W. W. Patton’s book “Remarkable Answers to Prayer” which assured her that God could answer prayer for healing. Two years later her father read about a woman who had been healed of tuberculosis in Connecticut. Her name was Sarah Mix and she was a Negro holiness preacher. New York was a long way from home so they corresponded and agreed to join in prayer at a specific date and time.

Carrie was miraculously healed. Soon her physical sensitivity diminished and she felt “enfolded in an atmosphere of holy awe and glory”. She improved dramatically and was shortly eating and walking normally. Her two years of intense struggle were over and she walked with a new sense of the presence of God.

The story of her healing was published in a local paper, the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, on October 20, 1880. So great was its reception that she wrote her testimony as ‘The Prayer of Faith’ (1880) and distributed it everywhere. Letters from those with various sicknesses began to flood in, pleading for her prayers for their healing.

Her miraculous healing brought her into the leadership circle of the growing faith movement, which was beginning to believe and practice the healing ministry. She became friends with many prominent ministers like A.B. Simpson, Charles Cullis, A.J. Gordon, W.E. Boardman, Maria Woodworth-Etter and Mrs Michael Baxter of London, and spoke on their platforms.

In 1890 she moved to Oakland, California and married a wealthy businessman, George S. Montgomery. George had been healed when prayed for by John Alexander Dowie in 1888 and was a great supporter of divine healing. Together they established the ‘Home of Peace,’ in 1893, as a place of rest for missionaries. They also shipped missionary belongings and supplies from this facility. In addition they opened an orphanage in 1895 where they had an average of 50 children until 1908. They also started an annual camp meeting at ‘Elim Groves’ at Cazadera where many notable Pentecostal leaders spoke, including Smith Wigglesworth in 1914. They also began a missionary training school.

She wrote a number of books including her autobiography, Under His Wings, in 1936, but her greatest literary achievement was as editor of the Triumphs of Faith. Its emphasis was on holiness at first but that was soon to change. She received her Pentecostal baptism in 1908, and made a worldwide tour observing the Pentecostal outpouring. Upon her return, she began publishing articles that reported the move of the Spirit around the world. Though holiness was never neglected, the ministry of the Spirit became the major focus of the publication, which was sent all over the States and eventually the world.

George died in 1930 and Carrie on June 26, 1946.

Bibliography: Wayne E. Warner art. ‘International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements‘ 2002.

Tony Cauchi