Ern Baxter (1914-1993) is remembered as one of the greatest Christian preachers of the 20th Century, and he served the Lord for more than 60 years as evangelist, teacher, worship leader, and prophetic teacher. William John Ernest Baxter was born on the prairies of western Canada in Saskatchewan. Though he did not complete High School, he was a voracious collector and reader of books, and traveled worldwide in ministry. He became an orator without parallel.
After experiencing a life-changing miraculous healing, Brother Ern testified of being filled with the Holy Spirit and began to preach across Canada. In the 1940s, he was the Bible teacher for the William Branham Crusades, which often reached crowds in the tens of thousands, up to 100,000 at a time. However, Brother Ern’s strong respect and allegiance to Scripture led him to a point of disagreement with some of Rev. Branham’s later claims, and the two parted ways.
Ern Baxter became the pastor of the largest church in Vancouver, British Columbia, and also had significant spiritual leadership in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to a growing influence in the United States. In the early 1970s, be began to be featured in New Wine Magazine, and eventually became part of the Board of Directors for that ministry.
One of the true landmark moments in the history of the Charismatic Movement was when 5,000 leaders from all major backgrounds gathered in Kansas City to hear Brother Ern deliver his now-famous message, “Thy Kingdom Come”. The congregation pulled off their shoes and worshiped the Lord in response. Many who attended still say it was the best Bible teach message they have ever heard. Another message for which he is well-known is “Life on Wings” or “The Eagle Sermon”.
Ern eventually collected nearly 10,000 books and periodicals. He called his books “my friends” and said that through his books he could know the great people of the ages. He looked everywhere for out of print books – in old bookstores of Europe and the U.S. – and found classic works, adding them to his library. His teaching reflected the breadth of his study and the depth of his devotion to Christ. He was not merely interested in knowledge; he worked to pass it on to young people whom he affectionately called “Timothys.”
Along with his wife, Ruth, he moved to Mobile, Alabama, in 1980, and later to San Diego, California. Brother Ern went home to be with the Lord in San Diego on July 9, 1993.
From 2000 through early 2015, the Ern Baxter Memorial Library was stewarded and owned by Charles Simpson Ministries in Mobile. In February, CSM donated the entire library to The King’s University at Gateway in Southlake, Texas, where it will be a treasured resource for a new generation of Christian leaders.