Four days before Christmas in 1973, Benny Hinn went with his friend, Jim Poynter, on a charter bus trip from Toronto to Pittsburgh to a meeting of Kathryn Kuhlman.
He knew very little about her ministry, but little did he know that It would be a day that would change his life forever!
She was going to minister in The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh. As at the time they got there, hundreds of people were already there, but the door was not opened as it wasn’t yet time for the program. What a wonderful thing to know multitude are panting after God.
Benny Hinn stood in line, but as he was standing, he suddenly began to shake, nothing like that had ever happened before and it also didn’t stop. He felt too embarrassed to tell Jim his friend or anyone around me.
When they got in, they were able to sit close to the front on the third row of the auditorium, but still the shaking still continued. Soon he began to enjoy it he said “The longer it continued, the more beautiful it became”.
Then Kathryn Kuhlman appeared on stage. The atmosphere in the building changed immediately. Everyone began to singing “How Great Thou Art.” Tears gushed down his face, it wasn’t just tears but it was the feeling of intense glory. He also was literally singing the words from his soul.
Benny Hinn in his young Christian experience, he has been touched severally by God but on that day it was special because the way God was touching him was not as it used to be, it was unique and powerful and he felt as if the waves of a gentle breeze were flowing around him.
As Kathryn Kuhlman began ministering to the people, he was so lost in the Spirit that all he could whisper was, “Dear Jesus, please have mercy on me.” He felt he was so unworthy and that propelled him to say those words again and again.
The service was three hours which may have been so long for some people but to Benny Hinn it seemed like a fleeting moment. He said he saw the deaf begin to hear; people rise from their wheelchairs, saw tumors vanish, and so much more. Then everything stopped.
Benny Hinn said he prayed silently, “Please, Lord, don’t ever let this meeting end.” Because he was enjoying what the Holy Spirit was doing to him and other people around.
Kathryn was burying her head in her hands, sobbing so loudly that everything came to a standstill. Then, standing just a few feet in front of Benny Hinn, he said “her eyes seemed aflame as she took on a boldness he had never seen in anyone before then she began pleading as she looked out over the audience, “Please, don’t grieve the Holy Spirit!”. But he felt as if her eyes were looking straight at him. Then she said, “Don’t you understand? He’s all I’ve got!” That statement got Benny Hinn thinking, “What is she talking about?” She continued speaking, “Please! Don’t wound Him. He’s all I’ve got. Don’t wound the One I love!”
Benny Hinn said “i will never forget those words; I can remember the intensity of her breathing when she said them. Those moments are etched permanently into my memory. Then she pointed her finger down at me and said with such powerful clarity, “He’s more real than anything in the world!” At that moment, I cried and said, “I’ve got to have this!” Then, within moments, the service was over”.
Benny Hinn was still shaking but at this time he was shaking to the core. He knew that God had used that service and His mighty evangelist to reveal His power that day.
All through his way back to Toronto, he kept thinking, “What did she mean? What was she saying when she talked about the Holy Spirit?”
On getting home he was totally exhausted, but he could not sleep.
Benny Hinn said “As I lay on my bed, I felt as if someone were pulling me off the mattress and onto my knees. It was a strange sensation, but I didn’t resist. I had never spoken to the Holy Spirit before. I didn’t know He could be addressed that way. Finally, I prayed, “Holy Spirit, Kathryn Kuhlman says You are her Friend. I don’t think I know You. Before today, I thought I did. But after that meeting, I realize I really don’t. I don’t think I know You.” Then, like a child with my hands raised, I asked, “Can I meet You? Can I really meet You?”
He said a few brief moments passed, then like a jolt of electricity his body began to vibrate all over again, exactly like at the church in Pittsburgh. But this time he was afraid to open his eyes. He also felt like a warm blanket of God’s power was wrapped all over him.
That continued until he finally slept that night. But still could not tell what really had happened to him.
The next morning, three days before Christmas, he woke up and the first words he spoke to his newfound Friend were, “Good morning, Holy Spirit!” At that instant, he knew He was there with him.
Benny Hinn went on to say “As I opened my Bible, He was there sitting beside me and from that moment, everything about the Bible, my prayer life, my worship, and my relationship with God took on an entirely new dimension. For the next eight hours I had an incredible experience with the Holy Spirit that changed the course. Tears of wonderment and joy coursed down my cheeks. I had just turned twenty-one. Christmas was just around the corner. I had received the best present ever!”
Less than a year later, God open the door for Benny Hinn to step behind a pulpit to preach for the first time, and in that moment He would simultaneously heal a lifelong stuttering problem and that gave birth to a ministry that is eventually reaching out to people around the globe.
That’s why, forty years later, I commemorate all that God has done! As I boarded the charter bus for Pittsburgh back in December 1973, who could have fathomed all that would happen as a result of that momentous little trip to see Kathryn Kuhlman? Says Benny Hinn.