Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Glenn Clark: Mentor of Effective Prayer and Teacher of the Charismatic Renewal

Image result for glenn clark

            In the late 1950s and 1960s, thousands of Spirit-filled Christians met at special summer camps where they participated in prayer exercises, lectures on healing and deliverance prayer, and artistic activities.  The latter, known as "creatives," encouraged the individual to participate in spontaneous drama skits, writing psalms to the Lord., drawing and music, all in the invited presence of the Holy Spirit.  The purpose of these camps was to learn to me more effective Christians and at the same time to gain a sampling of what it would be to live all of one’s everyday life in the Kingdom of God.[1] 
            These camps attracted thousands of persons and became the school house of the Charismatic Movement  They were known as "CFOs," or Camps Farthest Out. Meeting in many states, the CFOs were the place where the first generation of Charismatic leaders presented their insights on faith, healing, deliverance prayer, and the new ministry of inner healing. Some camps, such as the one held at Kanuga, North Carolina, drew thousands of participants at a time. However, because of the CFOs were pioneer and seemingly unorthodox para-churches, the histories of the Charismatic Renewal have ignored the significant role of the CFO in their movement.[2]
            The CFOs founder, Glenn Clark, did not live to see the camps during the 1960s, when they were most influential.  But decades before the Charismatic Renewal, he had carefully and prayerfully established the CFO camps and led them to their final form and organization.[3] In addition to founding the camps, Professor Clark wrote masterful books on the art of prayer which incorporated little noticed  Hebraic models of prayer. Also, in 1940 he also wrote a pioneer work on healing prayer. His camps and written works became an important part of the spiritual scene of American Protestantism from the 1930s to the 1960s, and an active resistance and counter to the error of cessationism.
            In spite of his achievements, Glenn Clark remains relatively unknown among leaders of American religious life, and certainly not identified as a major contributor to the Charismatic Renewal. Much like Agnes Sanford, the pioneer of inner healing, and  E. W. Kenyon, father of the Word-Faith movement, Clark entered into, incorporated, then distanced himself from New Thought theology. Like the others just mentioned, he filtered New Thought ideas through the mesh of the Bible and classic Christian literature, and re-presented them to the Christian public as a useful base upon which to spread empowered Christianity, including healing and deliverance ministries.
(This seems scandalous to many Christians, but it is common that in Christian history certain heretical or quasi-heretical movement goad the orthodox Church into action. For instance the heretic Marcion triggered the orthodox Church to finally recognize that there was a New Testament. I explain this in detail in my work on Agnes Sanford.)
            Clark brought  his theology to the edge of the Charismatic Renewal by affirming the gifts of tongues in the CFO camps a decade before the public renewal began, and in other ways was a precursor of the Charismatic Renewal.  Although unheralded today, there is thankfully sufficient information on Clark to reconstruct the stages of his spiritual journey.[4]

            Glenn Clark’s father was born in a rustic frontier cabin, and as a young man joined the Union Army where he rose from private to captain. After the War, he became a successful businessman and founded an insurance company which stressed Christian values, such as treating its employees with respect and courtesy.  The Clark’s were Presbyterian and the Bible was central to the family, but literature and science were also honored. As an adult, Glenn Clark remembered his household as " of the most heavenly homes ever established on earth.”[5]  Glenn was the second son, born in March 13, 1882, of a family of six children.
               Glenn did well in school, attended high school, and then Grinnell College in Iowa, majoring in literature. But he also loved sports and played football and wrestled. In his college years he participated in many YMCA camps and activities. This was a time when the YMCA was an active evangelical organization and took seriously its mandate to form the youth of America as mature Christians.[6] Glenn also led a Sunday evening Bible study during his years at Grinnell. However, in his senior year he read a book by the German atheist philosopher Maurice Maeterlink, Buried Temple, which beguilingly argued that there was no evidence for either the immortality of the soul or the existence of God.[7] Glenn recalled, “…all my inherited religion, based on authority, all my faith, built upon hearsay, were swept away.”[8]
Product Details            His sojourn into agnosticism was an unhappy one but it did not last long – about a year. Glenn went Harvard for an MA in literature. There he had several private conversation with  William James. It was through Professor James that Clark encountered New Thought writings. Here was a whole world of writings that believed in the reality of  the spiritual world, and, had  “scientific” confidence about it. (Yes, in this matter New Thought was more biblical than orthodox Protestantism). A major stepping stone of Prof. Clark's spiritual recovery was his discovery of F.L. Rawson's, Life  Understood.[9]  Rawson’s description of prayer as a form of energy made a strong impression on Clark, and Life Understood gave Clark a renewed belief in the reality of the spiritual world, and out of atheism. 
(Life Understood is still in print, and can be purchased HERE)

            After he completed his MA (1906), he accepted a call to be teacher and athletic coach at a tiny (thirty eight student) college in Illinois. After several years there he went to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he remained for the rest of his life, heading the English and athletic departments, serving as football coach – and raising his family.
            In 1919, Clark was called to his father's death bed:

I sat at his bedside and held his hand as his spirit took flight, even as I had foreseen I was going to do. And the sensation of release I had was the same sensation I had experienced while witnessing the birth of my child. Then I realized with a deep, incontrovertible realization that only as I gave myself to the Spirit of God and was reborn as a Son of God could I bring into birth the Truth of God. So I stopped my little brain from thinking and let the Holy Spirit rise within me, overshadowing me.[10]

            As he went back to his teaching he found new delight in reading scripture.  He discovered that for the first time Paul’s epistles made sense – a sign that the Spirit had answered his prayer. He also began reading  the classics of Western spirituality - modern Protestant devotional writers such as Rufus Jones, the Catholic mystics, and “all of the Evelyn Underhill’s books that I could lay my hands on.”[11] Underhill was the great expositor of Christian mysticism, whose tremendously successful work, Mysticism (1911) became a classic in its field.
But within Christian mysticism his single favorite book was Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence's ability to live in the joy of God's Kingdom while working in the monastery kitchen gave Glenn a model that deeply resonated within him.  He also continued reading New Thought literature.[12] 
Clark had special delight in following the scientific discoveries that were unfolding ever more quickly as the century progressed. This was one reason why Rawson’s work so impressed him.
            I felt especially drawn to F. L Rawson’s Life Understood, whose abstract principles balanced the concrete simplicity of Brother Lawrence. …
            Using Christ as my center, and putting my hand in my Savior’s as my guide and my friend, letting whole being become released and expanded in this new dimension of heaven on earth, I trained myself in Rawson’s denials and affirmations, and things began to happen.[13]

            Prof Clark had a chance to meet with Rawson when he came to the Twin Cities on a lecture tour:
[I] discovered that he had never read a novel or a poem in his life, was purely scientific and used his imagination hardly at all. … He was a foundation-layer but he lacked the imagination for converting the science of prayer into an art. I determined then and there not to be a mere follower of his, but to begin where he left off.[14]

Discoveries in Prayer:
            At the same time, Clark remained as an active layman in mainline Protestant Christianity. Clark worshiped regularly at the Macalester Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis, where he and became a deacon. He also taught a Sunday school class at the Plymouth Congregational Church of the same city. His Sunday school studied Rawson's Life Understood, and it became a prayer laboratory where Clark and is class probed for the secrets of effective prayer. 
            They began by disciplining themselves in Rawson’s denial and affirmation [NC2] method. This was done in a Quaker like setting of silence, and with supplicants’ names lifted up to God.  When Prof. Clark had been absent for several week a member came up to him and asked:
            “Why is it that when you are present our prayers are answered so much more effectively than when you are away? Tell us what it is you do.”…
            “I just love them,” I replied.
            If I had dropped a bombshell into their midst I couldn’t have startled them more.
            “I never thought of that!” exclaimed one.
            “”I just do some mental work,” said another.
            We had already discovered that the first ingredient necessary for all true prayer was a Faith that mounted to an absolute Knowing,…and now we were led to our second great discovery, and that was that Love is the most powerful of all ingredients in all true prayer.”[15]

            A third element came when Prof Clark discerned that when a certain young lady was absent from the group there also seemed to be a decline in prayer power. She was almost annoying in her light heartedness and joy – making it difficult for the group to enter into silence.
Clark asked her what she did when she prayed for the supplicants.
            Instantly she replied, “I put o lot of Joy into it.”
            “Do you mean you put joy into it when we prayed for the one-legged popcorn man and for the old lady who had cancer?’
            “Sure, it thrilled me to think how happy they would be when they got cured.”[16]

Prayer in The Atlantic Monthly:     
            Tales of Clark's effective prayer power circulated at Macalester College, and a student asked him to put in writing his manner of praying. The result so impressed his students that they urged him to submit it for publication.  He sent the manuscript to the Atlantic Monthly. Providentially, the magazine was planning to publish an article on prayer. They had already contacted the celebrated Harvard biblical scholar, the Rev. Kirsopp Lake, to present the “modern” (liberal) view.
            The Rev. Lake began his career as an ordained Anglican clergyman in England where he was told by his Vicar that prayers for the seriously ill were useless – and served mainly to alert the congregation of the person’s impending death. Eventually Lake developed considerable skills in sleuthing early church manuscripts, and turned this talent to an academic career. In 1913 he was invited to Harvard. There he demonstrated the perfect Sadduceeic life of teaching Church history and biblical scholarship without belief in the supernatural or trust in the truthfulness of biblical record. [17] 
            Lake’s article for the Atlantic Monthly was simply called “Prayer.”   He begins by pointing out that prayers of petition are still said in public worship, but “…few educated men believe in its efficacy. The laws of life – which is the Will  of God – are not changed in their working by prayer.”[18]  He concedes that prayer placed a person in spiritual communion with God - though it did no earthly good.  This truly reflects the nadir of liberal theology and its destructiveness to spiritual life.[19]  
            Prof. Clark's article was entitled "The Soul’s Sincere Desire," a phrase much used in Ralph Waldo Trine's New Thought work,  In Tune With the Infinite.[20]  Clark’s article appeared in the same issue with Lake’s so that the readers would have both sides of the prayer issue at hand.
            Clark affirmed his own experiences in answered prayer, and outlined a fifteen minute a day program of prayer based on the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. In describing his prayer life and methods we can see a [NC3] weaving of New Thought faith- idealism, Christian piety and biblical grounding. He compared his program to the “daily dozen” exercises then in fashion, and promised that following his program would revolutionize the person’s life.[21]  Clarks specific method of praying uses analogies form athletic training. Just as an athlete practices deep breathing, the first stage for the praying Christian must be to “…pray out the bad and pray in the good; dismiss from our mind the trouble which seems imminent and restate emphatically the great promises of God: forgive the sinner and accept forgiveness for the sin.”[22]   The second stage if the use of the  affirmation/negation technique[NC4] , but it is specifically related to the Bible:

…denial and affirmation, is suggested figuratively in the Psalm by “Thy rod and They staff,” and the actual denials are given in very clear cut form: “I shall not want,” and “ I shall fear no evil.” Each of these are followed by a series of affirmations.
            The third phase – that is, keeping the prayer thought as a continuing force throughout the day – is suggested very beautifully in both the examples we are using: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” ; “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” You can see in these statements a realization of the Kingdom here and now, about us, in whatever activity we may be engaged.[23]

Hebraic Breakthrough, improvised psalms:  

            What Clark next suggested was original in the history of Christian prayer literature, and he was aware that to many of his readers it seemed strange:
            The only new and revolutionary idea that I am introducing into this discussion of prayer, in fact, is a plea for reinstating the psalm, the little brother of prayer, in our private and public worship…What I wish to see is the bringing of the psalm back in the form and manner that the old Psalmist themselves made use of as a frank and spontaneous improvisation in the presence of a real need, an immanent calamity, a present sorrow upon the outstretched arms of God, and the breathing of His healing peace, comfort and love.[24]

            We should recall that though Paul mandated that Christians bring psalms to their prayer meetings,  but this , was discontinued and even forbidden by later Church decree.   It is true that many Christian denominations continued to use the biblical psalms in liturgy and private prayer. And starting with the Brethren, and then Lutheranism, non-Biblical hymns (psalms) were added to church services.  But Prof. Clark’s suggestion that every Christian write his own psalm, is both original and right out of 1Cor 14: 26.
Clark’s article created a sensation and unexpectedly sold out the edition. The editors asked Clark to expand his article into a book. The result was the book, The Soul's Sincere Desire (1928).[25] Clark's book like his article, presented an approach to Christian prayer that incorporated New Thought idealism and optimism, classic Christian piety, and his own tested insights.  Besides Psalm praying, he gave the reader another Hebraic tool, praying in parables.[26] 
The Soul's Sincere Desire can be purchased HERE

            Clark’s careful study of the Gospels after the recommitment led him to understand what he believed to be Jesus’ way of thinking and prayer. For Prof. Clark, Jesus’ attitude toward life was one of converting what He saw and touched into parables - a symbols of a greater world.
This insight came at the cost of over statement, a common fault among pioneers. Clark wrote that Jesus always taught, thought and prayed in parables. Certainly Jesus did not always speak in parables. However, when we understand the Hebrew word that is translated as "parable," his over statement fades.  The Hebrew word is, mashal, means "comparison," or "to become like."  A mashal is a comparison with or without a story elaboration.  This was common Hebraic manner of making a point.
            As part of prayer, Clark defined parable-thinking as the ability to look at "reality through the lens of divine imagination."[27] In terms of mashal, it is comparing the present situation with God's perfect will for the situation.  For example, if a person is ill, an effective way to pray for that person is to believe the person well and active and lift that thought to God as a mashal. Clark's mashal theology was clearly a biblically orthodox idealist theology which enabled the Believer to affirm an anticipated outcome without stumbling into the fallacy of Christian Science which denied the reality of evil or illness.
            Prof. Clark's assumption in his prayer technique was that the same Holy Spirit that inspired David and the other psalm writers was available to every believer. From his own prayer experiences, Clark assured the reader of The Soul's Sincere Desire that the act of parable prayers and psalm writing gave prayers a power and energy not found in mental prayer alone. Significantly,  Clark believed that the current age is the one in which Jesus commissions Christians to do "greater works" than Himself (Jn 14:12).[28]   From New Thought writers he had learned the Biblical truth that the Kingdom of God was as much in the "here and now" as in the hereafter.  The accountability of the Christian life lay not "sound doctrine," (which included the cessationist error) but in the Christian’s ability to pray the Kingdom of God into existence on earth. This placed Clark in a position of radical anti-cessationism which was closer to both New Thought and Pentecostalism than to the Protestant orthodoxy of the times.
            The Soul's Sincere Desire sold well, and Clark became a popular speaker at Christian conferences, especially at YMCA events. He continued his writings, focusing  on the spiritual aspects of athletics and business.  Clark's reflections on the spiritual potential of athletics was a unique adaptation of Brother Lawrence’s basic attitude that all activities can come under the Kingdom of God..  In The Power of the Spirit in the Athletic Field Clark encouraged the godly athlete to surrender the obsession to win, a surrender that allows the release of God's power and joy while playing sports. Clark believed that with this attitude new abilities often developed and victory came as a by-product.[29] 
Clark's writings on business was based on his earlier observations of his father's successful insurance businesses.  The elder Clark's policy was to discuss business actions and goals with his employees until a consensus was reached, then pray for success.  He gave meticulous attention to the welfare of both employee and customer.[30]  Though the only business Glenn Clark would manage himself was his religious publishing house, Macalester Park, he became spiritual counselor to many businessmen.  Tom Watson, the founder of IBM, attended Clark's Sunday school classes and accepted his teacher's business principles, making them part of IBM policy.[31]
            In the same period Clark went on to write a series of novels and pamphlets on prayer, including another major book on prayer entitled I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes.[32]  The central point of  this work was Clark's discovery of yet another principal of effective prayer, which he called "hind's feet on high places."  That is, the seeker must order his mind into a harmonious whole so that the conscious and subconscious parts desire the same thing.  This was the way to implement Jesus' admonition to move mountains by faith, with no doubt in the "heart" (Mk. 11:23).[33]
May be purchased as a used book HERE

 Founding the CFO:

Image result for CFO camps

            Prof. Clark’s books on prayer had made him a much sought out speaker, and he favored the YMCA venues. But during these speaking engagements he discerned an unevenness in the spiritual atmosphere.  Some were truly blessings to the participants, but others were decidedly arid.  He observed that to the extent the camps dwelt on contentious or controversial issues, they lost their spiritual power.[34] He yearned for a Christian camp in which harmony would rule, and the principal concern would be prayer. 
            In the summer of 1929, Clark vacationed with his family on an island off the coast of Maine the locals called "the island farthest out."  Here, he tentatively planned a summer camp to be called the "Camp Farthest Out."  The objective, to promote a place of Christian fellowship in which the art of prayer would be exercised, and ideas and prayer techniques he had learned could be tried without contention.
            Later that year, despite the fact that the nation was into the Great Depression, the members of his Sunday school class agreed to finance the camp –  many of its members were from the professional and business elites of the Twin City region.. The first "Camp Farthest Out" (CFO) was held in August 1930 at Minnesota's Lake Koronis.[35] Seventy participants attended with Professor Clark as "coach," for he modeled the camp after football camps. Here, Christians were exercised as "athletes of the spirit" in the way that imitated Brother Lawrence’s life. For three weeks, Clark gave two talks a day on prayer, and like football camps there was drill and practice as campers prayed for and with one another in small groups.
            Glenn Harding, a young man who attended the first camp, and in subsequent years became a major speaker and leader at CFOs, recalled:
We knew it was to be a training camp – a place of action. We were not there just to sit down and listen to lectures – but for a new adventure! And adventure it was! Glenn was not only a teacher, but a coach – and there is a vast difference between the two. We were there not to pass examinations but to learn by doing ….As a coach, Glenn knew how deadly criticism and self-consciousness can be to an athlete in restricting his true ability and performance. …He made sure that in all our sharing, we were to find and see only the good in ourselves and others – never the negative – and the effect was like magic in releasing power and freedom from fear…He was a layman. With very few exceptions, we were all laymen together. This meant that we didn’t have to be “churchy”. …We could try anything we wanted to, provided only that it was an expression of Christ’s spirit of love and harmony.[36]
            Other activities included devotional singing, classes in art appreciation and creative writing, and rhythmic exercises where the campers prayed as they exercised to music.[37] Some campers put on dramatic skits to emphasize a prayer lesson - or just for fun.[38]  A mid-day period was left to recreation and rest.  The underlying tenet of the camp was that God's Spirit could and would inspire the wholesome creative activities of lay Christians, whether in work, writing, exercising, or dramatic skits. This was the assumption of Brother Lawrence's classic, Practicing the Presence of God which had such a profound impact on Glenn Clark's life.
            The first camp was an unqualified success. It continued at Lake Koronis yearly, and soon other camps were started in several states. In the beginning years the only speaker was Clark himself.  He was fearful that other speakers might not share his beliefs in the power of prayer, and bring in theological contention.

Healing Prayer:

            After the astonishing success of The Soul’s Sincere Desire Prof. Clark was deluged with prayer requests from all over the country.  Most were for physical healing.  This troubled Clark, for although he believed in modern day miracles, he was still influenced by the cessationist error and did not associate healing prayer with the present day Kingdom of God.  Clark’s wife, Louise, was especially fearful that he not pray for healing, as that was a “cult” activity of Christian Science.  In spite of this, Prof. Clark felt that he was duty bound by the plain testimony of the Gospels to pray for healing.  He did so, and was astounded by the effectiveness of his prayers. He collected data on his own healing prayers and began systematic readings from New Thought and Unity writers on the topic. Healing prayer became a major teaching topic of the CFO camps.
            In 1940 Prof. Clark published his first book on healing prayer, How to Find Health Through Prayer.[39] In this work are combined the idealist perspective of New Thought with biblical accountability, and his own original discoveries.  Prof. Clark divided healing prayer into four categories or types of healing prayer.[40] The first was the “denial” method which is most purely idealist in method. Clark cited the incident in Luke 8:49-56,  as biblical warrant for this method. Clark wrote:

My first experiment in the field of effective prayer was with this method. I based it upon Jesus’ statement that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Using that as my starting point I would say emphatically and aloud, “There is no sickness in heaven. All is harmony, wholeness and health.”[41]

            Note the subtle but profound difference between Clark’s position and that of pure Christian Science.  He is not denying that evil and sickness exist on earth, rather he is affirming that by activating the Kingdom of God on earth, its heavenly qualities can be brought to bear on the negative earthly situation.

May be purchased as a used work HERE

            The opposite of the denial method of prayer is what Clark calls “knowing” prayer. In the Holiness/ Pentecostal tradition, of which he was unaware at the time, this is called the “Prayer of Faith.”  In Clark’s understanding, the knowing method happens when  prayers are spoken with full assurance of success.  This takes much spiritual discipline and an ability to unite the desires of the conscious and unconscious with faith (as in his earlier The Soul’s Sincere Desire). 
            The most traditional method of healing prayer that Prof. Clark described is what he called “relinquishing” prayer. Relinquishing prayer lifts the patient up to the throne of God for his or her “highest good” which in the case of serious illness might even be death.  Clark encouraged this type of prayer in cases where the patient and prayer petitioner are close, as in parent and child.  This method seems to release the petitioner form the fear and anxiety associate with the situation and allows for a greater flow of God’s healing love.[42]
            Prof Clark had intimate experience with this type of prayer  In spite of his athletic prowess, he always had a heart murmur, but by middle age it had become a serious problem. He had made it a habit not to travel to high elevations, as that would trigger dangerous heart palpitations. However, he was invited to a national YMCA conference as main speaker and prayer leader that was scheduled in Estes Park Colorado – 8,000 feet elevation. He declined the invitation, but felt uneasy about it until he reversed himself and accepted. He said good by to his family knowing he was in God’s will, but not knowing if he would see them again this side of heaven. The first night at the conference center facility he felt his heart racing and pounding itself to death. He prayed as he looked out at the beautiful mountains:
            You made me, Father. I am more wonderfully made than the mountains. If you want to take me –take me. If you want to preserve me You can easily preserve me. I leave it entirely to You, O Lord, for I am your man.[43]
By the time the weeklong conference was over, his heart was completely healed.
            Another method of healing prayer suggested by Clark was most unusual and curiously prophetic - laughing at illness.  Clark experimented with this method when his three year old daughter’s ear infection lingered and did not respond to other forms of prayer. His daughter was surprised by Clark’s laughter, but in fact healed.[44]  Unfortunately this method of healing prayer was not followed up by other Christians, and an elaboration of the relationship between laughter and healing had to await for forty years when the physician Norman Cousins discovered the effectiveness of laughter in his own serious illness.[45]
            How to Find Health Through Prayer was quite successful. By 1940 Clark had a wide reputation as prayer teacher and his writings were sought after by major publishers. Harper published How to Find Health Through Prayer and it remained imprint for years. Clark reworked its materials in the early 1950s into a correspondence course format which was managed through CFO headquarters.[46]
            In the fall of 1945 Prof. Clark called a special meeting of established Christian healers to share with each other their witnesses, what they had learned, and what needed to be learned. The meeting took place on the shores of lake Idi Hopi, near Minneapolis. The keynote speakers were Louise Eggleston, Ruth Robison and Agnes Sanford, all of whom might accurately be termed “Christian New Perspective.” Professor Clark referred to them as the “wonderful triumvirate.” Persons from Unity and Divine Science (a form of Christian Science) were also invited.  Dr. Rebecca Beard, who later established an important healing center in Vermont, and who would become a fixture at CFOs wrote:
            The spirit of the people whom I met at the first Healing Advance was beyond anything I had ever experienced. I had attended many medical conventions where everyone was stampeding be heard. Here were thirty five or forty consecrated people with the light of God shining in their faces, every one of whom said, “I would rather not talk. I want so much to hear what you have discovered’ – eager and willing they were to step aside.[47]

              In the next five years Prof. Clark called three similar leadership conferences. These meetings solidified a network of Christian New Perspective ministers who kept in communication with each other. By the 1950s Prof Clark no longer found it necessary to call such meeting, as the yearly Order of  St. Luke conferences at St, Stephen’s functioned as the networking vehicle for the Christian healing movement and many in CFO leadership positions were also in the OSL.


The noted Pentecostal scholar Dr. Jon Ruthven wrote a very positive review of my latest book, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal. You can access it HERE.

The book may be purchased on Amazon, either print or inexpensive Kindle HERE You can purchase the print version at a discount from the publisher HERE

My wife has written a funny and inspiring story of how she transited from a cessionist and Baptist to a Spirit-filled Believer. The book has many stories of our three decades of ministry together.  It may be purchased HERE.

Watching God Work: The Stuff of Miracles by [DeArteaga, Carolyn Koontz]

[1]Mrs. Sanford wrote about Glenn Clark and the CFO approvingly in her own autobiography, Sealed Orders (Plainfield: Logos, 1972).  This sparked my interest and I attended several CFO camps during the 1980s and early 1990s and made special efforts to talk to the “old timers” who remembered the camps in the earlier days. The Rev. Tommy Tyson (1922-2002), Methodist charismatic evangelist and frequent CFO speaker, was especially kind in sharing his CFO memories. During 1986-88 my wife and I served on the (Georgia) Golden Isles CFO “council ring,” the local governing group.  A brief, early version of this chapter was published as “Glenn Clark and the CFO,” Sharing (Nov./Dec., 1992), 13-19. Then a more extensive and formal article in 2003, “Glenn Clark’s Camps Farthest Out: Schoolhouse of the Charismatic Renewal,” PNEUMA, 25, #2 (Fall 2003). A larger version is found in my recent book, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2015).
[2]The exception is the excellent long article, "Charismatic Movement," by P. D. Hocken in: The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988).
[3] Though much reduced in vitality and number from their peak in the 1970s, a few CFO camps are still active and can be contacted through the web at:
[4] The principal biographical sources for Glenn Clark are: his autobiography, Man's Reach, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), which was reissued with an after-word by Marcia Brown, (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1977) – it is still in print; also, Miles Clark’s biography of his father, Glenn Clark: His Life and Writings, (Nashville; Abingdon, 1975) ; and Glenn Harding, The Saga of Glenn Clark and the Camps Farthest Out, (n.p.: privately printed, n.d.). So many editions of Glenn Clark’s works were printed from the 1930s that copies of his works are found in many used book stores or better yet, on the web used book stores. My favorite is, and recent search there turned up his principal works at reasonable prices. 
[5]Clark, Man's Reach, 319. It is difficult to imagine the wholesomeness and security of life in rural America at the end of  the 19th Century. The novels of William Keepers Maxwell Jr. describe this era and are a pleasure to read, and a reminder of that lost past.
[6] On how the YMCA lost its Evangelical focus and became a sports activity organization see: Dominic Erdozain, The Problem of Pleasure: Sport, recreation and the crisis of Victorian religion (Suffolk: Woodbridge Boydell Press, 2010).
[7] Maurice Maeterlink, Buried Temple (London: Allen, 1902).
[8] Man’s Reach, 101.
[9]F. L. Rawson, Life Understood: From a scientific and religious point of view, and the practical method of destroying sin, disease and death. (London: The Crystal Press: 1917) 1st ed. 1912.
[10] Man’s Reach, 154-155
[11]  Man’s Reach,158. Underhill still stands as one of the great expositors of Christian mysticism. See especially her: Mysticism: A study in the nature and development of man’s spiritual consciousness (New York: Dutton, 1911), many other editions after.
[12]Man's Reach, 158-159, for a description of his readings in these formative years.
[13] Man’s Reach, 159.
[14]Man’s Reach 159.
[15] Man’s Reach, 161.
[16] Man’s Reach, 161-162.
[17] See Lake’s biographical sketch in: Robert P. Casey, Silva Lake, & Agnes Lake, eds., Quantulacumque: Studies presented to Kirsopp Lake (London: Christophers, 1937). vii-viii
[18]Kirsopp Lake, “Prayer,” Atlantic Monthly (August 1924) 163-166.
[19] This is not an isolated or extreme view of early 20th Century liberal belief on prayer. The great saint of Liberal Protestantism, Florence Nightingale, believed similarly. See: Timothy Larsen, “St. Flo: The Improbable Life of Florence Nightingale,” Books and Culture (Nov./Dec. 2008)
[20] Ralph Waldo Trine, In Tune With the Infinite (New York: Dodd & Mead, 1921).
[21] Glenn Clark, “The Soul’s Sincere Desire,” Atlantic Monthly (August 1924), 167-172.
[22] “Sincere Desire,” 169
[23] Clark “Sincere Desire,” 169
[24] Clark, “Sincere Desire,” 170-171.
[25]Glenn Clark, The Soul's Sincere Desire (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1928), after eighty years still in print!
[26] Clark's insight on the importance of parables in the spiritual life of the believer preceded by almost half a century the expansion in parable studies that currently engages many linguistic and biblical scholars. The publication of Jorchim Jeremais' The Parables of Jesus (New York: Scribner, 1955) ushered in a new era of understanding of parables in the ministry of Jesus, which continues in such scholars as John Dominic Crossan. However the academic literature on parables does not addresses the issue that Clark raised - use of parables and parable thinking in the Believer's prayer life.
[27] Clark, Sincere Desire, 24.
[28] Sincere Desire 18-20.
[29] Glenn Clark, The Power of the Spirit in the Athletic Field (n.p.: privately published, 1929), and: Power In Athletics (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1935). Perhaps the most readily available document of Clark's athletics-as-spiritual-activity genre is found in his pamphlet The Thought Farthest Out (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1930).
[30]For a summary of Glenn Clark’s views on business see his The Secret to Power in Business (St. Paul: Macalester Park,1945).
[31]Compare Clark’s views on business with the description of the IBM founding ethic in :Thomas J. Peters, and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. In Search of Excellence (New York: Harper & Row, 1982).
[32] Glenn Clark I Will Lift up Mine Eyes (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1937).
[33] See also the Apostle James' admonition not to be double-minded, James. 1:7-8.
[34] See Prof. Clark's description of a particularly contentious YMCA in Man's Reach, 191-192.
[35]Described briefly in: Glenn Harding, The Saga of Glenn Clark and the Camps Farthest Out (St. Paul: privately printed, cir. 1981). Also see a description of the early Lake Koronis camps by Vivian Osburn, "Koronis," Fellowship Messenger [CFO Newsletter], (April, 1985), 2-4.  
[36] Harding, Saga, 10.
[37] This now popular form of prayer is described in: Joan Hake Robie, Devotion in Motion
(Lancaster: Starburst, 1981).
[38] The combination of serious creative purpose and fun with others seems to work well in both religious and secular activities. Niels Bohr’s physics center and retreat camp outside of Copenhagen where the theory of quantum mechanics was hammered out was similar to the CFO settings. The younger physicists delighted in producing dramatic skits that spoofed the serious business at hand. See: Gino Segré, Faust in Copenhagen (New York: Viking Adult, 2007).
[39] Glenn Clark, How to Find Health Through Prayer (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940).
[40] Clark, Health, 86 ff.
[41] Ibid., 86.
[42] Health, 21. Cf. with Cathearine Marshall’s experience of her prayers for her granddaughter, in: Cathaerine Marshall,, Something More (New York, Avon, 1976), 13-14.
[43] Man’s Reach, 191.
[44] Health, 89. For a similar case, see Kenneth Hagin’s description of the healing of his son’s illness: Kenneth Hagin, “Living the Life of Faith, Part 1,” Word of Faith (June 1986), 3.
[45] Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. (New York: Norton, 1979).
[46] Glenn Clark, Correspondence Course in Spiritual Healing. (St. Paul; Macalester Park, 1953).
[47] Rebecca Beard, M.D. Everyman’s Search (New York: Harper, 1950), 6.