Southern Baptist Holds Charismatic “Healing” Service

Steve Gaines, Bellevue Baptist Church, Sept. 5, 2021

On September 5, 2021, Steve Gaines, a former Southern Baptist Convention president, conducted charismatic-style “healing” services at Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee. The people came forward in mass “to be anointed with oil and prayed over for healing that God will heal and restore.” Some of the men on the platform held their hands out charismatic fashion over the people as if healing rays were emitting from their hands. Contemporary rock music was playing during the “anointing.” Gaines preached from James, but he did not obey James, which says, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (Jas. 5:14-16). James describes a private, individual anointing for physical healing, not a public mass anointing for vaguely defined “healings” and “restorations.” James describes prayer for saints that are known to the elders, known members of a church, but at Bellevue the people had to tell the anointers their first names, because many were complete strangers and casual visitors. James calls for confession of faults, but at Bellevue the pastor made it clear that they didn’t have enough time for such things. Charismatic doctrine and practice has been leavening the Southern Baptist Convention since the 1980s. (See “Why I Am Not Southern Baptist,”

(Friday Church News Notes, September 17, 2021,, 866-295-4143)