Lester Sumrall- American Preacher and Evangelist

Lester Sumrall- American Preacher and Evangelist

Lester Frank Sumrall was an American preacher and evangelist who died on April 28, 1996. He was born on February 15, 1913. He started the Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association (LeSEA), LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry, World Harvest Bible College, and World Harvest Radio International.

Career Life

Sumrall was born in New Orleans on February 15, 1913, to Betty and George Sumrall. After getting better from tuberculosis at age 17, he began to teach. He started a church in Green Forest, Arkansas, when he was 19 and was confirmed by the Assemblies of God.

Sumrall first went abroad in 1934. He spoke in Tahiti and New Zealand, and in Brisbane, Australia, he started a church. He went around Europe and eastern Asia with Howard Carter. Sumrall met Louise Layman when he was in South America. They got married on September 30, 1944, and had three kids: Frank Lester, who was born in 1946, Phillip Stephen, who was born in 1950, and Peter Andrew, who died in 2015.

During the 1950s, Sumrall and his family lived there for a long time. He went to Manila, Philippines, when he heard that Clarita Villanueva was possessed by two demons, which he says he freed her from in 1953. The building of the Cathedral of Praise in Manila was the peak of his missionary work in the country. It is the biggest group of people in the Philippines, with more than 24,000 members.

Sumrall set up the Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association in the year 1957. He also started World Harvest Magazine and World Harvest Bible College, which is now Indiana Christian University. Sumrall went to South Bend, Indiana, in 1963 to become the pastor of the Christian Center Cathedral of Praise, which is now called the Christian Center Church. Around this time, he stopped going to church with the Assemblies of God.

World Harvest Missionary Evangelism (WHME-FM) was started by Sumrall in 1968.People have called Sumrall the “father of Christian TV.” As part of World Harvest Television, also called LeSEA Broadcasting, he bought TV stations all over the United States from 1972 to 1997. Sumrall started a group to help people in need called LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry in 1987.

During his life, Sumrall wrote a lot of books about evangelism, miracle healing, demons and exorcism, angels, and other things. Some of his works were more argumentative than others. For example, he warned about what he thought were the risks and bad effects of movies and Roman Catholicism. He also wrote autobiographies like “Adventurous with Christ,” “The Life Story of Lester Sumrall: The Man, the Ministry, and the Vision” (as told to Tim Dudley), “Through Blood and Fire in Latin America,” and “My Three Sons.”

Sumrall died at the age of 83 on April 28, 1996.


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