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Personal memories of Norvel Hayes

 
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Post Personal memories of Norvel Hayes JStephenConn
When my sister, Sarah Conn Wesson, was dying of cancer at the hospital in Cleveland, TN, back in January of 1970, Norvel Hayes came to her hospital room, prayed for her, and proclaimed that she was healed. I was present on that occasion, as were many other people, including my father, who was then the General Overseer of the Church of God. I was a friend of Norvelís and he had ministered on several occasions in the church I was pastoring at the time. Sarah, the mother of three children, was married to Steve Wesson, who served as pastor at the Parkway Church of God in Sevierville, TN.

A few days after Norvelís prayer and proclamation of healing, Sarah died. Norvel blamed Sarahís death on the the Conn familyís lack of faith. As I recall, he said that she had been healed when he prayed the prayer of faith over her, but that the cancer had returned because of our unbelief. Very truthfully, I FULLY expected Sarah to be healed and was shocked when she died. I was also thrilled to be at her bedside at the time of her death, when she repeatedly said she heard the angels singing, and then said she saw Jesus enter the room. From her hospital bed she weakly reached out her arms to Jesus and told Him that she loved him, literally with her final breath.

It was sometime after that, that I heard Norvel on nationwide television boasting that he did not allow his children to have childhood diseases such as chicken pox or measles. He said no oneís child need ever suffer any disease, and that if they do it is only because the parents allow it. He seemed to speak with disdain toward those who allow their children to be sick.

I am saddened to hear that he has now lost his own daughter to cancer. My prayers are with him during this difficult hour. I donít expect him to give me a call and admit that he was wrong in 1970.
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11/29/15 1:02 am


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Post Eddie Robbins
Stephen, it seems like I remember your Dad saying that he received a call from Oral Roberts who told him that Sarah would not be healed. Do you recall that?

I am sad that I never got to know her but her children are the best!
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11/29/15 7:24 am


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Post Nature Boy Florida
I suspect Hayes sadly unscriptural teachings and condemnation are something you can never forget.

Thanks for sharing.
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11/29/15 7:26 am


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Post JStephenConn
Eddie, I remember Oral Roberts praying for Sarah, but that was before she developed colon cancer. At the time Roberts prayed for her, she was suffering from an ulcerated colitis, which eventually lead to the cancer. I do not personally recall him saying that she would not be healed. I do know that many thousands of Spirit-filled Christians around the world were fervently praying for Sarah.
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11/29/15 8:30 am


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
Stephen, thank ya so much fer sharin this story. This is the very kind of stuff the ole timer is referencin in the other thread bout Norvel Hayes. The whole woffie house a cards is a fragile infrastructure just waitin to come crashin down.

What you describe in your story bout ya sister is exactly the kinda whimsical nonsense I been talkin bout. If God had said your dear sister would live and not die, she would have lived. For Hayes to lay the burden at the feet of your family, stating she was healed but your family's lack of faith caused her to lose the healing, is unconscionable. But as long as folk like this has got followers, supporters, sympathizers, advocates (some of whom are right here on Acts), the nonsense will continue.

Agin, thank ya for ya story.
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11/29/15 3:01 pm


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Post Bro. Stephen... Aaron Scott
what a shame that anyone, especially at such a moment, would resort to the blame game.

While I do believe that God will heal if we can have faith, I also know that in all my life, out of THOUSANDS of prayers, I have only prayed the prayer of faith 2 or 3 times. I knew something was different when I prayed--and the results bore it out.

But I'm afraid that all those thousands of other times, even though I was sincere, and even though God still, at times, answered my prayers as I wished, I cannot say I prayed the prayer of faith.

This is a decided shortcoming in the WOF world. To act like we can easily pray the prayer of faith each time is just not something we have achieved yet. To me, it is the same sort of "blame someone else" game that too many resort to. It's the sick person's fault; the family's fault, God's fault--anyone but MY fault.

I am so sorry that at such a sensitive moment someone cared more about their doctrine and "record" than the hearts of those around them. How much better it would be to simply admit that we have prayed the best we knew how...but for some reason, it did not happen.

We are still in pursuit of the ideal that was seemingly represented in the Book of Acts and by Jesus. We have not yet attained it at all.

May God help us to be more sensitive, all while continuing to believe in divine healing.
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11/29/15 4:27 pm


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