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This Week in AG History -- November 5, 1967

He didn't think he could respond to God's call on his life, but then he was filled with the Holy Spirit and God healed his child — Arthur Phelps has been faithfully serving God ever since!

Arthur Phelps has served as an Assemblies of God pastor for 49 years. As a young man, however, he fought the call to the ministry. He was bashful and the thought of preaching intimidated him. But after God baptized him in the Holy Spirit and miraculously healed his son, his plans changed.

Arthur shared the remarkable story of his son’s healing in the Pentecostal Evangel in 1967.

At the time, Arthur was planting a church in Leachville, Arkansas. His son, Doug, had been healed of a life-threatening illness six years earlier, when he was just two months old. Doug grew up to become a healthy young boy, and Arthur submitted his testimony to the Pentecostal Evangel.

Arthur shared how he and his wife, Dora Ann, had experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. In February 1961, their infant son, Doug, fell ill and was having difficulty breathing. Arthur recalled, “it looked as if it took all his strength to inhale.” They went to a doctor, who instructed the worried parents to return home with their son and, if his condition did not improve overnight, to bring him to the hospital in the morning.

Arthur and Dora Ann went home and prayed loud and long for their ailing son. His breathing did not improve. Later that evening, they took Doug and drove to the home of Juanita Carmack, a friend who was well-known in the community as a prayer warrior.

Juanita greeted her friends and told them about a vision she had the night before. “I dreamed I was holding a baby and praying for it,” she recounted. “Its arms had turned black up to its elbows, and its legs were black to its knees.” In Juanita’s dream, God instantly healed the baby.

The parents unwrapped little Doug and, to their surprise, his arms and legs had turned black! It seemed just like Juanita’s vision. Arthur and Dora Ann were scared. They began to pray with great emotion and fervency, but Doug’s condition did not improve. Some other Christian neighbors came into the house and also joined in prayer, but Doug remained the same.

Then Juanita took Doug in her arms and prayed for him, supplemented by a chorus of prayer from the others who had gathered. Arthur recalled, “Soon the glorious presence of God filled the room, and God instantly healed Doug. His breathing became perfectly normal.”

Doug never experienced a recurrence of his breathing difficulties. Doug and his older brother, Ricky Lee, went on to become noted musicians. One of their endeavors was a short-lived country music duo named Brother Phelps (1992-1995), named after their father. Ricky Lee later became a Pentecostal minister.

For Arthur, his son’s healing became a moment to which he would return again and again. He promised God, “Everywhere I go I will testify that you healed Doug.”

To this day, Doug remembers hearing his father testify about the healing – at church, at revival meetings, at the dinner table, and in stores. “It obviously wasn’t my time to go,” Doug recalls. “As I grew up, I realized that I needed to do something meaningful with my life, and my father’s testimony really impressed on me the importance of serving God.”

Arthur Phelps was credentialed as an Assemblies of God minister in 1967, shortly before the article was published in the Pentecostal Evangel. At age 87 he continues in active ministry and serves as pastor of New Bethel Assembly of God in Paragould, Arkansas. And for 55 years, he has kept his promise to share the testimony of Doug’s healing wherever he goes.

Read Arthur Phelps’ article, “A Living Testimony,” on page 13 of the Nov. 5, 1967, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “An Interview with Cho Yonggi,” by J. Philip Hogan

• “Three Generations,” by Robert W. Taitinger

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Darrin J. Rodgers

Darrin J. Rodgers has served as director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) since 2005. He earned a master's degree in theological studies from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and a juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota School of Law. He previously served at the David du Plessis Archive and the McAlister Library at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Northern Harvest , a history of Pentecostalism in North Dakota. His FPHC portfolio includes acquisitions, editing Assemblies of God Heritage magazine, and conducting oral history interviews. His wife, Desiree, is an ordained AG minister.