This is often a word bandied about concerning your life story after you move to heaven, legacy can also mean what you leave behind for others to pick up. Will it be a spiritual gift that people will treasure, as lifelong loyalty and integrity, or will it be mental garbage that needs to be trashed like unforgiveness and unfaithfulness?
Seeing a great legacy was obvious at the 90th birthday of Ralph Wilkerson. Pastor Ralph and wife Allene rode the crest of the wave of the charismatic movement with their explosive church next to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, in 1961. Starting with 29 people to 3000 some five years later would not be remarkable today in the era of megachurches, but Melodyland Christian Center was a phenomena at the time. Pastor Ralph was not deterred by religious spirits of the day, nor is he 56 years later when he stood up and declared how important it is for every Christian today to have the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Great preachers emerged from his church throughout the years, including Kathryn Kuhlman who ministered there often, Bob Harrison, Tim Storey, John Wimber and many others. Hailed as one of the greatest transition preachers in 100 years, Pastor Ralph declared how relationship is so much more important than ministry; He said, ‘Actually relationship IS ministry.’ He also told people, ‘If I can be used by God, YOU can be used by God.” His humility was always a defining part of his life.
Actually the word ‘charismatic’ was coined by Bob Harrison’s father when P Wilkerson was deliberating on how to describe the Melodyland outpouring. Buick cars had a new easier-to-use gearshift they were calling ‘cruisamatic." So Mr Harrison Sr., a professor of philosophy and divinity, told P Ralph, 'why not call this revival ‘charismatic,’ (which actually means ‘ going to a higher level.’) And so the term charismatic was created nearly 60 years ago through a church that exploded by speaking in tongues.