Editor's Note: After this obituary was posted, Charisma CEO Stephen Strang recorded a special episode of The Strang Report featuring remembrances of Pauline Harthern with her son-in-law, Benny Hinn, along with Ron Johnson and Dennis Shearer. Listen to it at this link.
Pauline Skinn Harthern, 90, who with her late husband, Dr. Roy Harthern, pastored Calvary Assembly of God in Winter Park, Florida, from 1970-1981, died Monday, Nov. 2, at home in Orlando, Florida. She leaves behind three daughters: twins Leanne Harthern and Suzanne Harthern Hinn, wife of evangelist Benny Hinn, and Elizabeth Harthern, as well as four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Born on August 31, 1930, in England, Pauline was dedicated as a baby by renowned healing evangelists George and Stephen Jeffreys and accepted Christ at a young age. Her parents pastored an Assemblies of God church in London for 22 years before they came to the United States, where they had a successful ministry.
In January 1951, Pauline married Roy Harthern, also from England, and the two began their life of ministry as evangelists in the United States and Europe. They pastored churches in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Beaumont, Texas. In 1970, they came to serve at Calvary Assembly in Orlando, Florida, and in 10 years helped the church grow from 260 to more than 7,000. For several years, Christian Life magazine named Calvary as the fastest-growing church of all denominations and the largest Assemblies of God church in America, with five services each Sunday. Pauline was known for her teaching, and her Bible class there had more than 1,000 in attendance each week.
During their time at Calvary Assembly, the Hartherns also founded the nearby Calvary Towers senior housing and established religious broadcasting station WTGL-52. The church also pioneered the Jesus Festivals, an annual event near Disney World that attracted up to 30,000 people. And it was during this same era that Stephen Strang, then a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, launched Charisma magazine as a church periodical. The magazine, now the flagship publication of Charisma Media, went on to become the largest Pentecostal-charismatic magazine in the world.
"I knew Pauline Harthern since 1973," Strang said. "She was one of the most godly women I knew. She was supportive of Charisma in the early days and wrote a popular column called 'From My Diary' about God's miraculous dealings in her life."
In 1988, Pauline received "The Ultimate Woman in Florida for Christian Excellence in Ministry" award, an unsolicited recognition given for her "outstanding commitment and dedication to preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God and the love of Jesus Christ."
The Hartherns went on from Calvary to launch a worldwide Bible teaching ministry. Not only was Pauline a columnist for Charisma, but she also wrote the books Miracles From My Diary, From Tragedy to Triumph, The Blessings of Forgiving and Speaking Creative Words.
But her mother was equally known for her life of intercession, said Suzanne Harthern Hinn, noting that Pauline led the Orlando chapter of Intercessors for America in the 1970s. She added that Bible teacher and intercessor Derek Prince said of her mother that "there wasn't a single person anywhere on the planet that carried her mantle for deliverance, intercession and spiritual warfare. He called her the 'female Derek Prince,'" she said, adding that Pauline "never had an unkind word for anyone."
In her own ministry, Harthern Hinn said, "I did not need to look for mentorship—I had it around my table with my mom."
"She was caring to everyone, never turned anyone away and was an amazing Nana," Jessica Hinn Koulianos said about her grandmother. "She made everyone feel so welcome."
Healing evangelist Benny Hinn also had some thoughtful remembrances of his mother-in-law, whom he said was "a very gracious woman of God" with an incredible anointing for healing and deliverance. "When I met her, I was deeply moved by her kindness and graciousness to me," he said.
Hinn first met Pauline through her ministry at Calvary Assembly and said that one day, after she led a group in singing hymns, he told her, "You led us in worship because you're a worshipper, and we joined you." Later, as he ministered in international crusades alongside her and Dr. Harthern, he came to know her ministry gifts and anointing. "I will miss her as a family member but also as a woman of God," he said.
Pastor Stephen Strader of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, expressed his condolences on Facebook: "Pauline Harthern joined Roy in heaven a few hours ago. You know them as Benny Hinn's in-laws. But they were some of my parents very best friends.
A service honoring the life of Pauline Harthern will be held at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at 11 a.m., with viewing beforehand from 10-11 a.m.
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