International Bible teacher Dr. Roy Harthern has gone home to be with the Lord.
In December 2001, Harthern had terminal cancer and total kidney failure. According to his biography, doctors gave him 12 hours to live. But he said the Lord visited him in the hospital room every night and promised him, among many other promises, that He would heal him.
On the 50th day, Harthern's biography explains, the doctor said, “I don’t know what to say. You have two brand new kidneys and I know you have not had a transplant. Also, there is no trace of cancer anywhere in your body.”
Harthern was born and educated in England. At a very early age, he learned to play the piano and the accordion. As a musician, he traveled with his father, who had an apostolic ministry in the United Kingdom and in America. He also played the piano for Smith Wigglesworth in a crusade in his hometown.
Harthern started his ministry in 1945 with the Assemblies of God (AG) in Great Britain, but from 1946 to 1949, he had to interrupt his ministry when he was enlisted and served as an officer in the British Army. After leaving the army, he traveled with the AG Home Missions team, and in October 1949 he sailed to the United States of America, where he continued his ministry.
Harthern married Pauline in January 1951. They began their ministry as evangelists in America and Europe. Harthern served as youth president in the Peninsular Florida district of the AG, which included over 200 churches. He also served on the national youth committee for the denomination. The Hartherns pastored churches in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach in Florida and in Beaumont, Texas.
During Harthern's ministry in Florida, he served on the Presbytery Board (ordination committee and board of directors) in the Florida district of the AG for 18 years. In 1970, he pastored Calvary Assembly in Orlando. In 10 years, the church grew from 260 to over 7,000. For several years, Christian Life magazine acclaimed Calvary Assembly as the fastest-growing church of all denominations and the largest AG church in America. The church had five services every Sunday, with two additional buildings for overflow attendance to accommodate the crowds. Before the Hartherns left the church in 1981, they raised over $5 million in cash to build a new 5,000-seat auditorium.
During their pastorate at Calvary Assembly, Charisma magazine was launched. The magazine is now the largest Pentecostal-Charismatic periodical in the world. The burden for the magazine was given to Steve Strang, who was a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper and a member of the church. The Hartherns also started Christian TV – Channel 52 in Central Florida and built Calvary Towers, a high-rise for the elderly. Calvary Assembly pioneered the Jesus Festivals, an annual event near Disney World that attracted up to 30,000 people.
During the Harthern's pastorate at Calvary Assembly, Roy Harthern served on the board of Church Growth International. He traveled with Dr. Yongi Cho, who pastors the largest church in the world in Seoul, Korea. With Cho, Harthern taught the principles of church growth to pastors and church leaders in several countries of the world.
Since 1981, the Hartherns had been involved in a worldwide Bible teaching ministry. They are the parents of three daughters: Suzanne and Leanne (twins) and Elizabeth. Suzanne is married to Benny Hinn, the healing evangelist. Earlier this week, Hinn asked for urgent prayers for his father-in-law.
Services will be held at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Fla.
Viewing is July 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Service is July 13 at 10 a.m.