TODAY  -  PENTECOST  MAY  12  2016,  I  WAS  INVITED  TO  GO  TO  A  CHURCH  THAT  WAS SPONSORED  BY  THAT  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  AND THE  LOCAL MESSIANIC  JEWISH  CONGREGATION  HERE  IN  CALGARY,  ALBERTA,  CANADA.  THE  PEAKER  WAS  A  73  YEAR  OLD  MAN  NAMED  TOMMY  WELCHEL. READ THE FOLLOWING  THEN  I  WILL  COMMENT - Keith Hunt


Tommy Welchel


Tommy’s Story in His Own Words


Excerpt from: True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond


"I kept the stories right here in my head where they had been for over forty years, until the Lord released me, and it was time to talk."


Mama would drag me to all the great revivals - tent revivals. I'm talking about Branham, Coe, Allen, and Roberts. I didn't know what was going on - she just wanted to punish me as far as I was concerned.

I asked her why she didn’t take any of my other 10 brothers and sisters. She said she took me because when she was pregnant with me, the Holy Ghost told her I was going to be a “preacher-man” someday. She took me to all those meetings because she wanted me to come under their anointing and receive impartation from these men. When I saw Branham in 1950, I was only 7 years old. I saw that halo thing on top of his head when he was in Houston. It looked like it was breathing! I was glad I was sitting way in the back. It scared the tullies out of me. I crawled under the pew and hugged the iron legs. That was one man I didn't want to get close to.

By the time I was fourteen, I stopped going to revivals. I knew about the Gospel, but I didn't want it at that time. We lost our farm, and that event exploded my world. I was used to the river and the ponds and the trees, horses, cows, pigs, chickens. We moved to the “big city” of Chichasha, Oklahoma, which had a population of 14,000 people. All I could take was my dog. That triggered my rebellious period.

I was sleeping in bar ditches, haylofts, bacon houses. I started stealing to eat. You better not leave your clothes out on the clothesline overnight. If you did, they became mine. If I could wear them, I did. If I couldn't, they went in the trash bin.

I was no longer afraid of Mama. In the past, if I got mean, she would say, "Alright, I'll talk to your Daddy." Well, I didn't want Daddy to talk to me because he had a razor strap that would cut the blood right out of me, and he would use it. That man was mean. But by fourteen, my daddy went to the state prison in McAllister - the revenuers caught him selling corn liquor.

By the time I was seventeen, I had been living on the streets for fourteen months and was a criminal wanted by the police for burglary. Society was pretty much fed up with my lawlessness and was ready to lock me up and, if possible, throw away the key.

An old friend of mine, Glen, came by and said, "Tommy, the police know who's been breaking into all those houses. The cops said, ‘We want Welchel! We're gonna get him off the streets.’ In fact, they have a warrant for your arrest, and they are gonna come by and get you.”

Tommy would run from the law, straight into the arms of God. God’s unlikely accomplices in His plan were two con artists – a guy named Teddy and Teddy’s grandmother.

Teddy and his grandma were from Venice Beach, and they wanted to go back to California ‘cause things were tough in Oklahoma. They invited me to go with them ‘cause I had a reputation as a good thief. I could be sitting there talking to you and leave with the stuff from your pockets in mine.

I didn't really want to go to California and leave Oklahoma, but Glen reminded me that it was either go to California or go to jail. I went to Grandma and Teddy and asked if the offer was still open. They said, "Yeah." I told them that I had two big boxes of loot that we needed to go and get early in the morning. The next morning, we got my stuff and went on the run.

When we got to Venice Beach, Teddy and I got into a fight over a girl. I whipped Teddy, but I didn't get the girl. Grandma said, "Look, I don't care. I like you, Tommy, but you can't stay here with you and Teddy fighting like this. You hurt him pretty bad!" So, I got kicked out - lost my place to stay AND the girl.

Penniless, homeless and hungry, Tommy was another stray on the Venice Beach strand. He had an Uncle Ed in Bakersfield, but he didn’t have any idea where Bakersfield was or how to reach him. As he sat there letting the California sand sift through his toes and wondering what to do, he had no idea of how his life was going to change in a matter of minutes.

Well, I'm sitting there with this long face, feeling sorry for myself, not knowing where to go or what to do when I saw these two old ladies walking down the boardwalk. I was sure they were looking for someone to witness to. They had those “glory buns” that sat on top of their heads. The higher the bun, the more glorious you were. I’d seen them in all those revival meetings my mother took me to. I can recall that when those women got to shaking by a touch of the Holy Ghost, the pound of bobby pins holding up those glory buns would start flying like machine gun fire! “Get under a pew!” I’d say. Take cover!

These two ladies came over and sat down, one on each side of me, and started talking to me. Now, I’m hungry and in my con mode, so I decide to play along with them, hoping they’ll give me money or something to eat. One of the ladies was the landlord at the apartment where Grandma and Teddy lived. The other lady, kind of small and dainty, was called Sister Goldie.

Sister Goldie did most of the talking while the landlord sat there and held my hand. That felt good - she reminded me of both of my grandmas. They were talking about the Lord, and Sister Goldie asked if I knew anything about Him. I said, "Yeah.” When they asked me if I wanted to pray the sinner's prayer, I thought to myself, "Man, you're here; you don't know anybody. What else are you gonna do?"

I said the prayer for these ladies because it was time to eat, and all 6’2” of me was hungry. At first, I really wasn't serious. But as soon as I said the prayer, it felt like someone turned on an oven inside of me. I began to cry!

I looked at them in astonishment. Somehow these two women broke through a wall that had been built up for years. Preaching to me never worked. I'd rebel, and you didn't want to get me mad. I was liable to hurt you. I told them that I was now a Christian. Sister Goldie replied, “Well, I know you are, son.”

Even though I began the prayer insincerely, God heard it. That day, that prayer changed me completely.

The love and kindness of these two women touched Tommy deeply. Learning he had nowhere to go, they brought Tommy back to the landlord’s apartment where he spent the night on the couch. The next day, Sister Goldie and Tommy took a long bus ride to Pisgah, a community where Sister Goldie had many friends and visited once a month.

Little did Tommy know that Sister Goldie, among others he was about to meet, had been at the Azusa Street Revival. In those tent meetings his mother took him to as a child, he had heard about Brother William Seymour and the famous revival that took place at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles. All those meetings of his childhood were in preparation for the next six years of his life. Tommy would live at Pisgah among the “Azusa Street Saints,” as they were affectionately called, from 1960 – 1966. He not only lived in their midst, but he listened to them as they told him their stories.

Every month for that span of six years, Tommy would alternate visiting them and sit at their feet as a sign of respect. Finding out he loved chocolate chip cookies and cold milk, they would serve him these treats while they recounted treasured tales from Azusa Street.

I'm there about a month when Sister Laura Langtroff said, "Brother Tommy, you need the baptism of the Holy Ghost."

"You mean that tongue stuff?" I knew what it was. My mother had done it all the time. "Yes," she said. I didn't know if I wanted it or not.

She said, "Would you do me a favor if you're man enough?"

"What do you want?”

"Read the ninth chapter of Revelation and see if you want any of that to happen to you," she said.

Well, I read it. It scared me - things stinging me, giant things like giant scorpions, rocks falling on me but not killing me. The only people unbothered were the ones that had the name of God on their foreheads. So, I asked Laura, "How do I get the name of God on my forehead?" She said, "You've got it up there as soon as you start speaking in tongues."

I wanted God's name in my forehead. So, the next night, Dennis Bennett's first wife, Jean Stone, John and Joan Baker, and Brother (Pastor) and Sister Smith were teaching old-time Pentecostal songs. These people were what we called charismatics - Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics - that had received the baptism but were staying in their churches. So, Baker asked me would I like to receive the baptism. I said, "You mean that tongue stuff?"

He said, "Yes."

I said, "Yeah!"

Well, I got it. I was really happy.

A month after my baptism, these Azusa Street people started coming around to me and saying, "Brother Tommy, we feel led of the Lord that you're the one."

I looked at Sister Carney. "The one what?"

"The one we're to tell our stories to."

I said, "I am a storyteller. I'm what you call a Keeper amongst the Cherokees. We keep the family history and can tell you what happened and when. I love stories.”

They said, "Our stories are about Azusa Street."

"Oh, Brother Seymour?" They said, "You know about him?"

I said, "Yeah, mama talked about him. Some of the healing evangelists would talk about the great Azusa Street Revival where miracles happened. “

I wasn't but 17 when I first started sitting and listening to these old Azusa Street saints. I heard their stories over and over, every month, for years until they died or until I left. I went to their apartments; most of them lived on the grounds of Pisgah, but a few lived elsewhere. I never grew tired of sitting with each person - sometimes up to a few hours - so I could hear these great saints share their memories of this incredible move of God and the miracles, signs, and wonders He performed through them when they were young at Azusa Street.

I had no idea how many people were wanting these saints to tell them their stories – Demo Shakarian, Tommy Hicks, David du Plessis – but, they wouldn’t tell them. They said, “God will bring the one we’re to tell our stories to.”

I was the one.

I kept the stories right here in my head where they had been for over forty years, until the Lord released me, and it was time to talk.


True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond, paperback
$12.99 + tax
Tommy Welchel & Michelle P. Griffith

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IT  WAS  OBVIOUS  FROM  THE  START  OF  THIS  SERVICE  ON  THE  DAY  OF  PENTECOST  2016,  THIS  WAS  GOING  TO  BE  A  "PENTECOSTAL"  TYPE GATHERING.  IT  WAS  INDEED  THOSE  WHO  STRIVE  TO  HAVE  THE  SO-CALLED  "ANOINTING"  OF  THE  SPIRIT,  WITH  THEIR  "SPEAKING  IN TONGUES"  -  WAVING  HANDS  AND  BODIES,  SHAKING  HANDS  AND  BODIES,  DROPPING  DOWN  SHAKING  ON  THE  FLOOR  OR  CHAIR.


WECHEL  IS  A  STORY  TELLER  OF  "TRUE  STORIES"  HE'S  EITHER  SEEN  OR  WERE  GIVEN  TO  HIM  OVER  HIS  LIFE  TIME.  AND  INDEED  THEY MAY  VERY  WELL  BE  TRUE.


SOME  OF  THE  STORIES  WERE  OF  BODILY  LIMBS  GROWING,  ARMS  AND/OR  LEGS  GROWING  BEFORE  YOU.  TWISTED  LIMBS  BECOMING NORMAL  AGAIN  BEFORE  YOUR  EYES.  THE  BLIND  HEALED  TO  SEE.  ONE  STORY  IS  OF  A  PERSON  BORN  WITH  NO  EYES,  BEING  PRAYED OVER  AND  EYES  COMING  INTO  THE  CAVATY  OF  THE  EYE  SOCKETS  IN  THE  HEAD.  STORIES  THAT  SOUND  INCREDULOUS.


SO  WHAT  ABOUT  SUCH  PEOPLE,  SUCH  CHURCHES,  SUCH  MIRACLES,  AS  REPORTED  BY  TOMMY  WELCHEL?


FIRST:  GOD  AND  CHRIST,  CAN  INDEED  STILL  PERFORM  MIRACLES  IF  THEY  SO  DESIRE.  IT  IS  WRITTEN  IS  THERE  ANY  THING  TOO  HARD FOR  THE  ETERNAL  GOD  TO  DO?  THE  ANSWER  IS  OF  COURSE  NOT;  GOD  CAN  PERFORM  MIRACLES.


SECOND:  IF  PEOPLE  KNOW  GOD  CAN  PERFORM  MIRACLES,  IF  THEY  LOOK  TO  HIM,  HAVE  FAITH  IN  HIM  AND  NOT  MAN,  FOR  HEALING  - GOD  COULD  INDEED  HEAL  THEM  -  PERFORM  GREAT  MIRACLES.  PHYSICAL HEALINGS  OF  ANY  SORT  OR  JUST  THAT  -  PHYSICAL,  THEY HAVE  NO  BEARING  ON  SPIRITUAL  SALVATION.


THIRD:  THIS  IS  WHERE  PEOPLE  CAN  GET  CONFUSED  -  THE  DEVIL  AND  THE  DEMONS  WITH  HIM,  CAN  ALSO  DO  MIRACLES.  WE  READ ABOUT  THIS  IN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  -  THE  END  TIME  FALSE  PROPHET  WILL  DO  MIRACLES,  AND  SO  DECEIVE  MILLIONS.


MOST  OF  THESE  HEALING  MIRACLES  TODAY,  AND  YESTERDAY,  ARE  USUALLY  IN  THE  "PENTECOSTAL"  TYPE  CHURCHES.  BUT  REGARDLESS OF  THE  "CHURCHES"  WHERE  THIS  TAKES  PLACE,  THEY  ARE  FIRST  OF  ALL  BELIEVING  THEY  ARE  A  CONGREGATION  OF  THE  BODY  OF CHRIST.  PUTTING  IT  ANOTHER  WAY,  THEY  WILL  TELL  YOU  THEY  ARE  "SAVED."  SO  THEY  DO  NOT  EVEN  QUESTION  OF  COURSE,  THAT THESE  HEALING  MIRACLES  ARE  FROM  GOD.  OBVIOUSLY  THEY  ARE  NOT  GOING  TO  SAY,  "WE  ARE  NOT  OF  THE  BODY  OF  CHRIST,  WE  ARE DECEIVED  BY  A  FALSE  CHRISTIANITY  AND  SO  THESE  MIRACLES  ARE  NOT  COMING  FROM  GOD,  BUT  FROM  SATAN  THE  DEVIL  AND  THE DEMONS."


WHEN  IT  COMES  TO  PHYSICAL  HEALING  MIRACLES,  IT  IS  NOT  THE  PROOF  GOD  IS  WITH  YOU  SPIRITUALLY.


PHYSICAL  MIRACLES  MAY  INDEED  HAPPEN  IF  GOD  DECIDES  TO  ANSWER  THE  "FAITH  FOR  HEALING"  IN  THE  INDIVIDUAL.  REMEMBER,  IT IS  WRITTEN,  JESUS  IN  ONE  PART  OF  THE  HOLY  LAND,  COULD  DO  NO  MIRACLE  BECAUSE  OF  THE  LACK  OF  FAITH  THERE.


PHYSICAL  MIRACLES  OF  HEALING  ARE  JUST  THAT  -  PHYSICAL!  THEY  HAVING  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  YOUR  SPIRITUAL  SALVATION.


THEN  ALSO  REMEMBER,  THE  GREAT  POWERFUL  DECEIVER,  AND  ENEMY  OF  GOD,  THE  DEVIL,  IS  ALSO  ALLOWED  TO  DO  MIRACLES.


I  HAVE  FOUND  IT  JUST  ABOUT  IMPOSSIBLE [WITH  GOD  OF  COURSE  NOTHING  IS  IMPOSSIBLE]  TO  BRING  TRUTHS  OF  THE  BIBLE,  TO  THE PEOPLE  IN  "PENTECOSTAL"  "MIRACLE"  "SPEAKING  IN  TONGUES"  CONGREGATIONS;  THEY  USALLY,  BECAUSE  OF  THE  PHYSICAL  MIRACLES, WILL  SAY  WE  DO  NOT  NEED  TO  KNOW  WHAT  YOU  HAVE  TO  SAY  ABOUT  US  BEING  WRONG  IN  BELIEFS,  FOR  GOD  IS  WITH  US  BY  THESE MIRACLES,  SO  IT  DOES  NOT  MATTER  WHAT  YOU  HAVE  TO  SAY.


I  HAD  ONE  MAN  PHONE  ME  BACK  IN  THE  1980s  WHO  SAID  HE  DID  NOT  NEED  TO  OBSERVE  THE  SABBATH,  BECAUSE  HE  SPOKE  IN TONGUES;  GOD  WAS  WITH  HIM,  SO  TO  HIM  THE  KEEPING  OF  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT  DID  NOT  MATTER.  HE  WAS  DECEIVED  TO  BELIEVE THAT  A  SO-CALLED  "SPEAKING  IN  TONGUES"  WAS  FROM  GOD,  AND  GOD  WAS  WITH  HIM;  HE  WAS  "SAVED"  WITHOUT  OBSERVING  THE SABBATH  COMMAND.


PHYSICAL  HEALING  IS  GREAT  FOR  THE  PERSON  NEEDING  IT,  BUT  WHEN  IT  COMES  TO  SPIRITUAL  SALVATION  AND  BEING  "SAVED"  IT  HAS NO  BEARING  ON  THE  MATTER  AT  ALL!!

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