The name Thomas Ball Barratt will probably be unknown to many of this blog’s readership. I too had never heard of this Norwegian Methodist minister until I came across his testimony in Lester Sumrall’s Pioneers of Faith. Shortly after reading about his infilling of the Holy Spirit, I knew that this was too good to read and then forget with the passing of time. Consequently, I soon entered it into my files and shared it in numerous teachings over the years.
Read the testimony and then I will close with a comment.
THOMAS BALL BARRATT (1862-1940)
Sumrall, Lester Pioneers of Faith (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, Inc, 1995),25-26.
He said that it happened when he came to the United States in 1906, although his purpose in visiting this country was to raise funds for the Methodist church, not because he had heard of any new move of God.
However, someone asked him when he was in New York, “Did you know there is a revival going on in this country?”
When he found out what was happening in California, he wrote to the mission at Azusa Street and asked how to receive the same blessing they had received from God. Their response was for him to tarry and wait on God, seeking the baptism of the Spirit daily. Also, they promised to pray for him.
He followed their suggestion, and on October 7, 1906, he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit – which marked the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in New York. Barratt, of course, took his new experience to the closest church, which happened to be a street mission. He spoke in tongues that night at the meeting, when he asked a group of people to pray for him.
Some saw a crown of fire over his head and what looked like a cloven tongue of fire at the front of the crown. Barratt said he must have spoken in seven or eight different languages that night. As a man who knew languages, he recognized the “sounds” of changing from one language to another. Then he sang in another language. The meeting lasted until 4 A.M.
Barratt went back to Norway, called the Methodist clergy together, and said, “Brethren, I’ve got it.”
They thought he had received a lot of money and asked, “How much did you get?”
He replied, “All I could hold.”
When they said, “Tell us how much it is,” he opened to the second chapter of Acts and said, “I got it. I speak in tongues.”
The Bishop stood up and said, “Well, you didn’t get it here,” and Barratt was removed from the list of clergy!
It’s Billy again. Though it’s been some 30+ years since I originally read Sumrall’s book, I can still remember my initial shock at the Bishop’s “Well, you didn’t get it here” statement. My, oh my, my, my. It was sad then and sad today as church after church, pastor after pastor is still echoing those words.
I can’t end this post on that note. Thank God, even in the midst of the “Well, you didn’t get it here” crowd, things are changing. Because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit today, that statement is changing into a “you can get it here”. People just like you are working together with the Holy Spirit and people are getting it here! Salvation? Yes. The baptism in the Holy Spirit? Yes. Healing? Yes. Deliverance? Yes. Restored marriage? Yes. Miracle? Yes. In your home. In your church. In your city.
Now quit reading and start rejoicing and declaring “YOU CAN GET IT HERE!”