Latter Rain Leader James Lee Beall Dies at 88

James Lee Beall
James Lee Beall, pastor emeritus at Bethesda Christian Church in Sterling Heights, Mich., died Tuesday after a brief illness. (bethesdachristian.org)

James Lee Beall, pastor emeritus at Bethesda Christian Church in Sterling Heights, Mich., died Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 88.

Beall was present when the church opened its doors in 1934 and was part of the ministerial team from Jan. 1, 1947, until his retirement in 2004. Bethesda is a suburban charismatic church with about 1,000 members.

Beall’s mother, Myrtle Dorthea “Mom” Beall, started the Sunday school at the church and pastored it for decades before she passed away in 1979. She was known as a mother of the Latter Rain Movement, which began in 1948.

James Beall, Mom Beall’s eldest son, was one of the most sought-after speakers in the charismatic movement of the 1970s and became known for his nationwide radio broadcast, America to Your Knees.

His articles appeared in the Logos journal, and he spoke at major events like the World Conference on the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. He wrote several books, including Laying the Foundation and Your Pastor, Your Shepherd. He also contributed commentary on the pastoral epistles in the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, edited by Jack Hayford.

Beall handed the pastorate to his daughter, Annalee Dunn, when he retired in 2004. Co-author of a catechism textbook, she has been part of the preaching ministry at Bethesda since 1991. The church will celebrate its 80th anniversary next year.

There will be a public visitation for Beall at Bethesda from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with a memorial service to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any expression of tribute be directed to the James Lee Beall Memorial Fund.

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