|Bob Mumford © Ministry Today 1990|
A quick scan of the analytics for this blog indicates that readers are frequently led here when they query search engines as to the whereabouts of Charismatic Renewal figures like James Lee Beall and Bob Mumford.
"Is Pastor James Beall still alive?"
"Where does Bob Mumford preach?"
Those questions and ones similar to them are how many of you arrive at Word & Spirit blog. So today we'll give you some answers.
But first, for readers unacquainted with Beall and Mumford, here's some quick background:
|Pastor Beall circa 1977|
Other speakers at the World Conference on the Holy Spirit included: Corrie ten Boom, David du Plessis, J. Rodman Williams, Costa Deir, Kathryn Kuhlman, Charles Farah, Willard Cantelon, Pat Robertson, Arthur Katz, Charles Simpson, Jamie Buckingham and Gen. Ralph Haines.
According to author Peter Althouse, "Latter Rain centre Bethesda Missionary Temple, Detroit, played a role in the development of the Charismatic Movement. James Lee Beall not only succeeded his mother as pastor of the church, but he was a frequent contributor to the widespread Charismatic periodical Logos Journal" p. 51 in Spirit of the Last Days: Pentecostal Eschatology in Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann (T & T Clark, 2004).
Beall and Mumford were both speakers - along with Judson Cornwall - at a memorable Elim camp meeting in Lima, New York in 1980.
Mumford, who early in his career was a teacher at Elim Bible Institute, was in constant demand in the 70s. His popularity waned, though, when he became involved in the Shepherding/Discipleship controversy (some background on the controversy can be accessed in my December 2008 blog item about him).
Pentecostal/Charismatic historian Vinson Synan told author S. David Moore, "I think, had he not gotten into that controversy, he would have been the most outstanding Charismatic speaker of all" pp. 38-39 in The Shepherding Movement (T & T Clark, 2004).
|Judith & Bob Mumford today|
Beall, in addition to his pastoral duties at the Bethesda megachurch, had a radio broadcast that was aired across the nation (that ministry was initially known as America to Your Knees, but later, This Is The Day). Another well-known figure in the Charismatic Renewal was Jamie Buckingham, the widely-read columnist for both the Logos Journal and Charisma magazine. He wrote, "One of my favorite ministers is James Lee Beall, pastor of the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit" p. 178 in Risky Living: Keys to Inner Healing (Bridge Logos Publications, 1976).
Buckingham was known not only for his incisive commentary on the state of the Renewal, but also for the humor woven into that commentary. He once wrote about some criticism he received for his platform appearance (which included tennis shoes), "you look as if you've just ridden into town on a load of turnips," he was told, "Look at Bob Mumford, Morris Sheats, and James Beall. They're strong and masculine - and they wear patent leather shoes" p. 64 in The Truth Will Set You Free: But First it Will Make You Miserable: The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Jamie Buckingham (Creation House, 1988).
(Morris Sheats remains active in ministry. His website can be seen here.)
Today, Mumford is 82, and while he is not nearly as active in speaking and writing as he once was, he still teaches seminars with his son Eric a few times a year. Their 2013 schedule can be seen here. Last year, Bob authored a book, Nourishing the Seed: Learning to Please God as Father, for which Eric wrote the foreward. One chapter has an intriguing Mumford-esque heading, "A Pickle in my Crème Brulee." [UPDATE November 2013 - The audio recording of a teaching delivered by Bob on November 1 can be accessed here. The teaching is entitled, "Human as God Intended."]
Beall is 88 and pastor emeritus at Bethesda Christian Church. He handed off the senior pastorate to his daughter, Analee Dunn, in 2004. He has experienced a variety of health challenges in recent years, including a surgery in March of this year. Currently, he is on the mend and able to attend services at Bethesda. [UPDATE July 2013 - Pastor Beall was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia on July 1. In the middle of July, he entered a rehabilitation facility due to difficulty in walking. UPDATE August 23 - Pastor Beall has returned home.] The church, one of America's earliest megachurches, was featured on this blog in September 2009. Beall's last book, Straight Talk About the Holy Spirit, was reviewed on this blog in February 2009.
|BEALL FAMILY PHOTO (1996) - Back row, left to right: John Beall (son), Heather Beall (daughter-in-law), Anne Beall (wife), Pastor Beall, Analee Dunn (daughter), James Dunn (son-in-law). Front row, left to right: Courtney Dunn Snede (granddaughter), Anne Beall (granddaughter), Whitney Dunn (granddaughter), James Beall (grandson), Kate Beall (granddaughter).|
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KEN SUMRALL'S PASSING
Two of Mumford and Beall's contemporaries from the Charismatic Renewal, Charles Simpson and Ken Sumrall, are the subjects of the 12-minute video below. Simpson is seen eulogizing Sumrall who passed away on January 11.
Back in the 70s, Simpson was teamed in ministry with Mumford, Ern Baxter, Derek Prince, and Don Basham in Christian Growth Ministries out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. From that ministry came New Wine magazine, one of the prominent journals of the Charismatic Renewal. The complete archives of New Wine can be accessed here. Today, Simpson leads Charles Simpson Ministries, which held its annual leadership conference in April, featuring Bishop Joseph Garlington.
Sumrall, like Beall, was a non-denominational leader. He founded Liberty Church in Pensacola, Florida, and a leadership organization, Church Foundational Network. He was 86 years old at his passing.