Healing Evangelist Charles Hunter Dies

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Adrienne S. Gaines

Healing evangelist Charles Edward Hunter died in his Houston-area
Monday night after being in frail health for several years. He was 89.

Hunter and his wife, Frances, spent
nearly 40 years leading healing crusades worldwide before her death last July
at age 93. Known as the Happy Hunters, the couple wrote numerous books on
divine healing, including the best seller How
to Heal the Sick
, and produced teaching DVDs to train others in healing

“[The Hunters] were a wonderful combination of two people who loved
each other and loved the Lord,” said Stanley Burgess, a distinguised professor of Christian history at Regent University’s School of Divinity and author of The Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. “The other thing that impresses me about them is that they loved to train people, and you don’t find training for
healing in many places. It’s going to be very hard to find others that have equal success
in that area.” 

Hunter’s daughter, Joan Hunter Murrell, said her father had
essentially been bed-ridden for several months and suffered from a
weakened heart. She said he died peacefully after lying down for bed.

She saw him the previous day to wish him a happy Father’s Day. “I
told him he was the best
father ever, which was true,” she said. “Not only to me but to everybody
he ever met.”

Born July 23, 1920, Charles Hunter grew up in Abilene, Texas,
where his parents operated a peach orchard. He accepted Christ as a teenager
and eventually became an accountant. After a stint in the Air Force during
World War II, he opened an accounting firm in Houston.

Widowed in May 1969 after 27 years of marriage, Hunter married an
itinerant evangelist named Frances Gardner on Jan. 1, 1970, and the two began
to travel in ministry together. Although they sensed a calling to healing ministry,
they saw a marked increase in miraculous healings after they embraced the
baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1971 and began speaking in tongues, authors
Richard Young and Brenda Young wrote in the Hunters’ biography, Messengers
of Healing

Before their baptism in the Holy Spirit, they had
laid hands on the sick with occasional results,” the authors wrote. “After
their baptism, it was not unusual for person after person to exclaim that his
or her pain was gone, injured body parts were healed, or that sores and growths
had shrunk or disappeared.”

In 1985, the Hunters began leading large-scale crusades known as “healing
explosions,” which hundreds of thousands of people attended around the world.
In 1990, they started the World Evangelistic Census, a campaign
that mobilized people to evangelize door-to-door. Millions reportedly came to
Christ through the outreach.

Even when Charles Hunter was well into his 80s and Frances in her
90s, the couple held seminars to train people in healing ministry. As
recently as 2007, the couple hosted a Worldwide Day of Healing for All Nations
that was broadcast worldwide on television and the Internet.

“I believe the gospel must be preached to every creature before
Jesus comes back,” Charles Hunter said in a 2000 interview with Charisma.
“That’s our aim, to keep busy. To keep on the cutting edge of what Jesus is

Joan Hunter Murrell—Frances Hunter’s daughter whom Charles legally adopted in 1970—has been leading the Hunters’ Houston-area ministry since her mother’s death in July.

Charles Hunter is survived by Frances’ two children, Thomas Steder and Joan Hunter Murrell; nine grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. Funeral services had not been announced at press time.

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