Daniel Long

Maria Woodworth Etter: Demonstrator of the Demonic

Daniel Long
Maria Woodworth Etter: Demonstrator of the Demonic
There hasn’t been a greater demonstrator of God’s Spirit since the book of Acts in Pentecostal history than Maria Woodworth-Etter.
— Roberts Liardon- God's Generals
The dear Saviour stood by me one night in a vision and talked face to face with me, and asked what I was doing on earth. I felt condemned, and said, “Lord, I am going to work in Thy vineyard.” The Lord said, “When?” and I answered, “When I get prepared for the work.” Then the Lord said to me, “Don’t you know that while you are getting ready souls are perishing? Go now, and I will be with you.” I told Him that I could not talk to the people; I did not know what to say, and they would not listen to me. Jesus said, “ You can tell the people what the Lord has done for your soul; tell of the glory of God and the love of Jesus; tell sinners to repent and prepare for death and the judgment, and I will be with you.”
— Maria Woodworth Etter- Signs and Wonders

Maria Woodworth Etter (1844-1924) was a very popular “evangelist/faith healer” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was known as “the trance evangelist,” because during her meetings she would she would go into trances and see visions of heaven and hell. One newspaper reporter sarcastically wrote that she had more visions and worked more miracles than all the apostles combined!


People in her audience would also fall into trances, some standing rigid gazing into heaven, others lying on the floor unable to move for hours or even days. People screaming, crying, singing, moaning, violent shaking, and rolling around on the floor were just some of the strange occurrences that were common in her meetings. Unfortunately, these strange manifestations were and still are blamed on the Holy Spirit.


In his book God’s Generals, Roberts Liardon calls Etter “a demonstrator of the Spirit,” and states:  

She was an incredible woman of vision and spiritual strength who stood in the face of fierce opposition, lifted her tiny hand, and allowed the Holy Spirit to spread His fire.
— Liardon: God's Generals

But Etter was no demonstrator of the Holy Spirit.  Her meetings were chaotic and disorderly, similar to what takes place in many hyper-charismatic churches today.


In the following video we will take a look some old newspaper articles that describe what took place during her camp meetings. We will see that Etter, praised by Liardon as the greatest “demonstrator of the Spirit” since the book of Acts, and who’s “mantle” has finally come to rest on Benny Hinn, was nothing more than a liar and a fraud. She used her demonic trance episodes to draw large crowds in order to gain popularity, and to manipulate people out of their money.


Here are some other articles/videos in this ongoing series:

Dowie’s Den of Death

The Parhamite Killings

John G. Lake’s Clandestine Affair

3 Early Newspaper Articles Proving That John G. Lake Was a Fraud

Here is a fascinating conversation between Steven Kozar and historian Barry Morton about the earliest Pentecostal con men on Fighting for the Faith:

Pentecostal Conmen Miracle Workers

Daniel Long is co-host of The Long For Truth podcast, and the Long For Truth blog.