Rev. Ralph Wilkerson, a giant of the evangelical community who was widely known for his fiery preaching and healing miracles during the 1970s, passed away Wednesday.
“Just got the sad call that Dr. Ralph Wilkerson has passed away,” author Dr. Mark Rutland tweeted at the news of his death. “I will miss him so much, as will many. He led me into Spirit baptism in Dec. 1975, and he went to heaven, also in December, 43 years later. His impact on me was life-changing.”
Referred to by Encounter TV as “a father in the faith,” the Oklahoma native co-founded the Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California, in 1969.
Under Wilkerson’s leadership, the former theater blossomed into one of the largest and most impactful charismatic churches of its time, Charisma News reports. It was also the site of a great move of the Holy Spirit during the 70s.
“The gifts of the Spirit are to be used every day, everyday consumption,” Wilkerson once told Encounter TV in an interview. “We can do this if we’re full of the Holy Ghost.”
Watch the full interview below:
Melodyland eventually expanded its outreach with the addition of a drug rehabilitation program, charismatic clinics, a preschool and daycare center, Melodyland High
School, the Melodyland School of Theology and the Anaheim Christian College.
“Heaven has gained another hero!” tweeted David Hall, one of the lead pastors of Lifepoint Church in Adelaide, Australia.
“I went with Dad when he preached at Melodyland in Anaheim in 1995,” he recalled. “He was so kind; he received an offering so we could go to Disneyland. Hero of the charismatic renewal in the 60s & 70s!”
Heaven has gained another hero! Pastor Ralph Wilkerson. I went with Dad when he preached at Melodyland in Anaheim in 1995. He was so kind, he received an offering so we could go to Disneyland. Hero of the charismatic renewal in the 60s & 70s! https://t.co/rVGn99YNuz
— David Hall (@DavidHall1981) December 12, 2018