Originally from here.
Kathryn Johanna Kuhlman was born on May 9, 1907, in Concordia, Missouri. Her parents were German and she was one of four children. Her mother was a harsh disciplinarian, who showed little love or affection. On the other hand, she had an extremely close and loving relationship with her father. She would describe, as a small child how, her father would come home from work and she would hang on his leg and cling to him. She often said that her relationship with God the Father was extremely real because of her relationship with her own father.
Kuhlman was converted, when she was 14, at an evangelistic meeting held in a small Methodist church. When she was 16 she graduated from high school, which only went to tenth grade in their town. Her older sister Myrtle had married an itinerant evangelist, Everette B. Parrott. They spent their time traveling and asked that Kathryn could join them for the summer. Her parents agreed and she went to Oregon to help out. She worked with them, and often gave her testimony. When the summer was over she wanted to stay, and the couple agreed. She ended up working with them for five years.
The evangelistic team was made up of four people, Everette, Myrtle, Kathryn, and a pianist named Helen Gulliford. In 1928 Everette missed a meeting in Boise, Idaho. Myrtle and Kathryn preached to cover for Everette. The pastor of the church encouraged Kathryn to step out on her own. Helen agreed to join her. Her first sermon was in a run-down pool hall in Boise, Idaho. The team covered Idaho, Utah, and Colorado for the following five years. In 1933 they moved into Pueblo, Colorado. They set up in an abandoned Montgomery Ward warehouse. They stayed there for six months.
Denver, being a much bigger city, was the next stop. They moved several times but ended up in a paper company’s warehouse, which they named the Kuhlman Revival Tabernacle. Then in 1935 they moved once more to an abandoned truck garage they named the Denver Revival Tabernacle. Kathryn was seeing a lot of success in Denver. She began a radio show called “Smiling Through” and invited speakers from all over the country. One of them was Phil Kerr who taught on divine healing. In 1935 another invited evangelist was Burroughs Waltrip.
Waltrip was bad news for Kuhlman. He was a charismatic, handsome man several years older than she was. There was an immediate attraction, but he was married and had two children. Waltrip left Denver went home, to Austin, Texas, and shortly afterwards divorced his wife and abandoned his two sons. He then spread the story that his wife had left him. He moved to Mason City, Iowa, where he told everyone he was single, and started a ministry. There must have been an ongoing relationship with Kuhlman because they married in 1938. She knew that the marriage was a bad idea. Her world came crashing down. She gave up her church in Denver, lost some of her closest associates, and the Waltrips’ evangelization efforts were dogged by the stories of their history. Her life was a disaster. In 1944, feeling the marriage was the biggest mistake of her life, she left Waltrip. He eventually divorced her in 1947.
Kuhlman began to hold small evangelistic meetings on her own. In 1946 she was asked to speak in Franklin, Pennsylvania. She was well received and decided to stay in the area. Kuhlman began preaching on radio broadcasts in Oil City, Pennsylvania. These became so popular they were picked up in Pittsburgh, and she was preaching throughout the area. She began to preach about the healing power of God. In 1947 a woman was healed of a tumor while listening to Kuhlman preach. Several Sundays later a man was also healed while she was teaching on the Holy Spirit. She was now convinced of God’s healing work.
In 1948 Kuhlman held a series of meetings at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh. She eventually moved to Pittsburgh in 1950, and continued to hold meetings at Carnegie Hall until 1971. These are probably her best known years. Her style was flamboyant. She would hold her famous miracle services and the auditorium was filled to capacity every time. She was on radio and television shows. She was ordained in 1968 by the Evangelical Church Alliance and was closely associated with the growing Charismatic Movement. Hundreds of people were healed in her meetings, and even while listening to her on the radio or television. People she prayed for would often be hit with the power of God and be “slain in the Spirit.” Kuhlman never claimed that she was the healer. She always pointed people to Jesus as their healer.
Kuhlman had been diagnosed with a heart problem in 1955. She kept a very busy schedule and overworked herself, especially in the 1970s. She traveled back and forth from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles frequently, as well as taking trips around the world. Her heart was very enlarged and Kuhlman died on February 20, 1976, in Tulsa, following open-heart surgery.