Armin R. Gesswein
Founder – Revival Prayer Fellowship
Armin R. Gesswein is best known as the founder and director of Revival Prayer Fellowship, Inc. and Ministers’ Prayer Fellowship. Both of these organizations had their beginning in 1953. Armin was a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary and also had a M.A. degree from Gordon Conwell, where he served on the faculty. Subsequently, he was recruited by Charles E. Fuller to establish a training school which later became Fuller Seminary.
Armin was ordained in the Lutheran Church and served in Long Island Lutheran Church. Not long after serving the Long Island, New York Church, he heard of the Great Revival that broke out in the Bethlehem Congregation in Oslo, Norway in the early 1930’s. Armin went to check out this revival and found it to be the greatest movement of spiritual awakening he had ever seen. The movement of the Holy Spirit and conviction of sin was so strong and real, he decided to stay and preach there for two years. It was during those days of revival that his wife to be, Reidun, a nurse, was wonderfully converted to Jesus Christ.
This awakening and revival lasted nine years and spread throughout all of Norway and Sweden. About 20,000 people came to Christ. When Armin left Norway to come back to America with his bride, Reidun, he was never the same. He traveled from coast to coast speaking on Prayer and Revival. He soon became “The Apostle of Prayer and Revival” in America. As David Bryant put it “All across the country, Armin would gather ministers from all denominational backgrounds for prayer.” It was Armin’s Ministers’ Prayer Gatherings in Los Angeles, CA that invited young Billy Graham to hold a Crusade in 1948–and the rest is history. Later, Armin became an Associate Evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
For decades, Armin and his wife, Reidun, gave leadership to Revival Prayer Fellowship. He was also involved as Dean of the National Colleges of Prayer. He and Reidun raised a family of two daughters and one son. They made their home in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Armin passed away March 10, 2001 at the age of 93. His wife, Reidon, passed away in April of 2002.
LaRue Goetz, former executive director of STEER, Inc. — STEERing money to missions – knew Armin for 30 years. They often traveled together in mission and prayer events.
One of Armin’s frequent words was “When Jesus went back to heaven, all He left behind was a prayer meeting.”
A Serious Call to Revival in Our Churches Now
We are living in crescendo times. They are filled with quick changes and new challenges. These are the last days, when “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3). However, these are also days when God is at work as never before.
There is only one throne and Jesus is on it, not the devil. Jesus is not playing catch up with the devil either! It’s the other way around; but it takes a watchful eye to observe that.
Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts