Lake, John Graham

Lake, John Graham (1870–1935)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Pioneer Pentecostal healer John Graham Lake was born on March 18, 1870, in Ontario, Canada, but grew up in Michigan, were his family relocated during his childhood. He experienced Christian salvation through the Salvation Army. He trained for the ministry but decided to become a businessman, first with a newspaper and then in real estate.

Happiness eluded him during this period of his life. Eight of his fifteen brothers and sisters died of various childhood illnesses. And as he began married life, a brother was an invalid, and two of his sisters had been diagnosed with serious problems. A short time later, he learned his wife had tuberculosis. Then in 1899, his brother was healed after a visit to John Alexander Dowie (1847–1907), a Chicago preacher with a healing ministry. In subsequent visits, his two sisters were healed. Finally, his wife was healed, although tuberculosis was still an incurable disease at the time.

As a result of these healings and his own study of the scripture, Lake joined the staff of Dowie’s Church and then began a branch in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. In 1904 he moved to Chicago. Four years later, having experienced a Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1907, he went to Africa, where over the next five years he had a spectacular ministry in starting congregations (more than six hundred) and training local ministers (1,250) to serve the millions of converts. Out of his work came a spectrum of churches known in southern Africa as the Apostolic and Zionists church, through which Pentecostalism was introduced to the continent.

Lake’s wife died in 1908, having given birth to seven children. In 1913, Lake saw the need to devote more time to his family, and he retired from his African work to return to the United States. He remarried and settled in Spokane, Washington. It is estimated that over one hundred thousand people traveled to Spokane to participate in his healing services.

In 1920 he moved to Portland, Oregon, where for a time he experienced the same success he’d had in Spokane. He eventually retired to Spokane, where he lived his final years, dying there on September 15, 1935.


Lake, John G. John G. Lake: The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings. Comp. by Roberts Liardon. Tulsa, OK: Albury Publishing, 1998.
.___ John G. Lake: His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith. Ed. by Kenneth Copeland. Fort Worth: TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1994.
Reidt, Wilford H. John G. Lake: A Man without Compromise. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1989.
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