JOHN ALEXANDER DOWIE
J. Alexander Dowie
Dowie was born in Edinburgh and emigrated
to Australia with his family when he was 13 years old. When
he was 20, in 1868, he returned to Edinburgh University to
study theology in preparation to enter the ministry, returning
to Australia three years later. On April 1st, 1872 he took
on the pastorate of the Congregational Church in Alma, and
in Manly Beach the following year. In 1875 he moved to a church
in Newton where he became convinced of the possibility of
divine healing. In 1878 he left the Congregational Church
and began an independent ministry based firstly in Sydney
and then in Melbourne. In 1888 he moved to the United States
and established his ministry in Evanston, Ill. The work steadily
grew as people experienced personal healing. He founded, in
1896, the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, with himself
as First Apostle.
Dowie was intensely evangelistic and passionate
about divine healing. His early meeting halls were filled
with the crutches, braces, and other medical devices that
his followers no longer needed because they had been miraculously
cured. Dowie published his followers' healing testimonials
in a weekly publication titled ‘Leaves of Healing.’
He also stressed consecration and holiness. While Dowie's
ministry predated the contemporary revival of Pentecostalism,
many of his followers became influential figures in the Pentecostal
revival in the early years of the twentieth century.
In 1900, he announced plans for the establishment
of Zion, Illinois: a city to be free from the evil influences
of modern society. This community grew to around 6,000 during
the following years. The same year Dowie visited England and
Polly Wigglesworth was baptised in water while visiting meetings
held in London by the noted healing restorationist from Zion
City in America. (Leaves of Healing, Nov 3rd 1900, p. 64).
Here she was clearly influenced by the message of healing
which was later taken up by her husband..
In 1903, he held a two-week evangelistic
healing campaign in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In 1904, he conducted an "Around the World" campaign,
preaching in many countries and cities of the world. In 1906,
he suffered a debilitating stroke and died in his beloved
city of Zion in 1907.
Bibliography: E. L. Blumhofer art. 'International
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements'
2002.; Gordon Lindsay, John Alexander Dowie,' 1980