Friday, June 11, 2010

40 years ago: Faith healer and prosperity preacher A.A. Allen drinks himself to death

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. I Corinthians 6:10

June 11, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of American faith healer and prosperity preacher A.A. Allen. Asa Alonso Allen was an Assemblies of God pastor who decided to become a revivalist after attending an Oral Roberts tent meeting in Dallas in 1949. Mr. Allen was one of the first televangelists and attracted a large following for performing "healings." He was defrocked in 1956 after being arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee. In 1958, a wealthy admirer donated ranchland in Arizona that Mr. Allen used as his headquarters; it became known as Miracle Valley. Mr. Allen added prosperity preaching to his act, selling "prosperity cloths" in exchange for donations of $100 and $1000.

On June 11, 1970 A.A. Allen died at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco at the age of 59 after a heavy drinking binge. According to reports, his associate (and successor) Don Stewart, attempted to clean up evidence of Mr. Allen’s drinking before police arrived, but they found the room strewn with pills and empty vodka bottles. After an investigation, the coroner’s report attributed Mr. Allen’s death to liver failure brought on by acute alcoholism. His blood alcohol level was a staggering (coma-inducing, actually--he was well past the point of staggering) .36. It was reported that the radio broadcasts of Mr. Allen that aired during the week of his death consisted largely of him denying that he was dead. Don Stewart took over the "ministry," renaming it from Miracle Life Fellowship International to the Don Stewart Evangelistic Association, eventually the Don Stewart Association.

Like his mentor, Mr. Stewart has had a career which might charitably be termed "colourful" (and might uncharitably, although accurately, be termed "scandalous"). Mr. Allen’s ranch headquarters at Miracle Valley, Arizona has changed hands several times since his death, and is currently in foreclosure. G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach has written an article about Mr. Stewart and Mr. Allen, which can be found here.

A search on YouTube will turn up many video clips of A.A. Allen. Most of the comments below the videos provide ample evidence of the lack of discernment in much of modern evangelicalism. Here’s a typical example of the man at work, where he uses the old leg-lengthening trick:

2 comments:

  1. You know its funny to me that people still go after this man 40 sum odd years later still attacking his character... Why??? If he were such a phony why spend time on him constantly tearing down his character??? This man has seen many people saved and delivered....Has expelled demons by God's power and is now in heaven worshipping at the throne of God....To the writer of this article instead of talking about this man you didn't know personally, what have you done for God lately????

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  2. I totally agree why do you continue to bad mouth this man of God after all of these years I still believe that he is and was a man of God and he went to Heaven and if he did drink before his death who knows why? and also he could have repented before he died so let us keep our mouths shut this man was totally a true genuine man of God and he did not perform any deceptive practices I have seen many short legs grow out if you do not know what you are talking about it is best to stop bad mouthing against a man of God because something could happen to you touch not God's anointed and do his prophets no harm

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