Faith healer, John Graham Lake, was a prominent evangelical preacher and contributor to the founding of the American Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s. He began the first healing rooms in Spokane in 1915, and many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, have been known to journey thousands of miles to witness and/or partake in his ministry of healing. Lake traveled across the west, starting up churches and healing room ministries in Washington, Oregon, California, and Texas. Today, the John G. Lake Ministries are led by Curry Blake out of Dallas, Texas.
Lake grew up around sickness and death - 8 of his 16 siblings had died young. At the age of 16, he became a born-again Christian and by the time he was 21, he was married and ordained in the Methodist Church. After witnessing a few miraculous healings, Lake yearned to know what the Bible said about healing and studied divine healing under the tutelage of John A. Dowie for 7 years. After his training, the Lakes moved to South Africa in 1908 to minister and start churches, but sadly, Jennie died the first year they were there. This, however, did not stop Lake from continuing his mission, with his sister by his side to help raise his 7 children.
He returned to the United States in 1913, married his second wife, Florence, and traveled across the country, preaching and reacquainting with family and friends before making a trip to England. There he met with several Pentecostal leaders, and founded the International Pentecostal Council; and upon his return to the U.S., helped to establish the Assemblies of God before moving to Spokane in September 1914.
In 1915, he opened Lake's Divine Healing Rooms and the Divine Healing Institute, where he trained healing technicians to assist in the ministry. It has been reported that over 100,000 healings took place in the period 1915-1920. But, as with many such ministries, there were skeptics who challenged the validity of these claims and even reported Lake to Spokane's Better Business Bureau for fraud. However, after meeting with the ministry team and questioning several people who claimed to have been healed, the BBB stopped their investigation.
After closing the healing rooms in Spokane, the Lakes moved to Portland, then California and Texas to start up similar ministries. He returned to Spokane in 1931 to restart a church and healing ministry, but this was short-lived as he died in 1935.
Today, there is no official John G. Lake Ministries affiliation in Spokane. People often mistakenly associate the Spokane Healing Rooms, an affiliate of the International Association of Healing Rooms, with the ministries of Lake. This is not hard to understand considering the imprint of faith healing Lake left on Spokane. Interestingly, the office at Riverside Memorial Park receives more requests each year for Lake's grave location than any other. In fact, they have pre-made maps highlighting how to get to his grave.