November 8 2009
Rev. Howard and Ruth Steelberg Carter
Howard Carter's Story:
Born in England in 1891, Brother Carter was born again in 1909, and filled with the Spirit in 1915. He grew in the things of the Spirit and began ministering to others. When World War I broke out against England, as a minister of the Gospel, he did not feel that he could take up arms against others. Since England did not recognize the Pentecostal faith as a legitimate denomination or Christian organization, Carter could not be recognized as a minister for "concientious objector" status. So Howard Carter was thrown into prison. His head was shaved, he was dressed in rough prison garb, and fed bread and water. And so he remained throughout the war years.
Prison was a difficult test and trial, but rather than causing him to lose faith in God, it drove him closer to God. And God honored Carter's convictions, by visiting him in prison. God began revealing to Carter deep truths concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Up to this time, many believed for instance, that the Word of Knowledge, was exemplified by the knowledge possessed by college professors. They believed that the Gifts of Healings were fulfilled by medical doctors. But God showed Brother Carter that the gifts were all supernatural, not natural, gifts. And He revealed to Carter the teaching outline of dividing the nine gifts into the three categories of Revelation, Utterance, and Power.
Carter came forth from prison, with his faith tried and refined like pure gold. He began teaching the truths God showed him, and his teachings have found universal acceptance throughout Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. He helped to found the Assemblies of God in Great Brittain. He chaired national conventions at which his friend, Smith Wigglesworth, preached. He took a young Lester Sumrall under his wing, and travelled the world with Sumrall. Carter taught on the baptism in the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts, while Sumrall preached evangelistic sermons.
Howard Carter and Lester Sumrall 1930's**
Throughout the 2000 years of Church history, only a few ministers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, can be said to have shaped some aspect of teaching or doctrine in nearly the entire Body of Christ. Howard Carter is one of them. In the 1930's, Carter began sharing with the church world the revelations he received from God concerning the supernatural aspects and definitions of the nine gifts of the Spirit. Over 70 years have passed since he took on this assignment, and in that time, his basic teachings on the gifts of the Holy Spirit have become almost universally accepted throughout the full gospel branch of the Body of Christ.
Lester Sumrall said it best when he described his lifelong friend and mentor, Howard Carter, as "A man of whom the world was not worthy." Brother Carter maintained a solid Christian testimony and impeccable reputation in ministry right up to when he went to Glory in 1971.
*Top photo courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Museum, Springfield, MO.
**Second photo courtesy of Lester Sumrall family.
© 2007 Rev. Mel C. Montgomery. All rights reserved.