Leonard Ravenhill: A Brief Bio Article – Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement

Taken from page 245 in the Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement:

RAVENHILL, LEONARD (b. Leeds, England, 18 June 1907; d. Lindale, Texas, 27 November 1994). International Holiness Mission and Calvary Holiness Church (CHC) minister, evangelist, and author. Raised in a working-class Methodist family, Ravenhill was converted in 1921 and experienced entire sanctification under the ministry of Maynard James in 1929. While attending Cliff College (1930-1931), Ravenhill became one of a number of evangelistically inclined students known as “trekkers” who engaged in an itinerant evangelistic ministry throughout Great Britain. In 1934, he joined with Maynard James and Jack Ford in the organization of the CHC. He served as a CHC pastor and evangelist (1934-1951). He was a fiery evangelist, and his street preaching gained both opposition and notoriety during the 1940s and 1950s. Relocating to the United States, Ravenhill served on the staff of Bethany Fellowship (1958-1964) and as chaplain for David Wilkerson’s Teen Challenge in New York City (1964-1966). Ravenhill’s no-nonsense radicalism and open association with Pentecostals, such as Wilkerson, frequently angered Wesleyan traditionalists. But even as old doors closed, Ravenhill found new audiences among Pentecostals, Charismatics, and radical evangelicals. In fact, with Wilkerson, Ravenhill was one of the key figures in the emergence of the new youth-oriented, so-called Jesus People Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. His books Why Revival Tarries (1959), Tried and Transfigured (1963), and Sodom Had No Bible (1971), are important documents in the creation of an alternative evangelicalism that turned a generation of often unchurched youth into evangelical activists.

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