The Immediate Future in the Apostolic Power by Billy Cole

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William H. “Billy” Cole was born to Reverend Jewel C. and Reverend Mary S. Cole in Newark, Ohio, on July 28, 1934. He was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ at 7 years of age and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of 12 at the Buckeye Lake Camp in Ohio. Nathaniel Urshan was the evangelist and S.G. Norris was the daytime teacher.

At the age of 19, Billy married Shirley Ann Kelbaugh in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on December 22, 1953. After moving to Weirton, West Virginia, for work in the laboratory at Weirton Steel, he recognized that God was calling him to preach. God revealed this to his wife while Billy was away working the night shift. One night God awoke shirley and she heard an audible voice ask, “Are you willing to sacrafice if I call your husband into the ministry?” She was frightened and didn’t answer. The second night it happened again, and she responded in the same way. Thr third night it happened, God’s voice came to her three times, very loud and strong. Shirley leaped out of bed and told the Lord, “If this is really You and I am not having some kind of illusion, cause Billy to say something to me this morning when he comes in.” Sure enough he did, and she was convinced.

They began their ministry by going door to door witnessing. Pastor Allen Cayton came to them after Sunday morning service and asked, “Why haven’t you told me God has called you to preach?” Later, without notice, Pastor Cayton called upon Billy to preach. After his first sermon, a catholic lady, whom the Coles had brought to church, received the Holy Ghost.

Brother and Sister Cole’s first major effort was to open a new church in Ravenswood, West Virginia. Not a single Pentecostal of any sort resided in the whole county. They began by pitching a small tent and preaching every night for a month, resulting in 16 adults being baptized in Jesus’ name.

In Ravenswood, they saw their first great healing miracle. One day they received a call that Sister Barnes, who had been baptized and had received the Holy Ghost, was dying, and the doctor was on the way to the house. Rushing there, praying all the way, Billy believed God had promised to heal her. However, when he got there, the house was filled with people. The doctor had already closed her eyes and covered her with a sheet. The doctor said, “You’re too late, Preacher; she’s gone!” But Billy, believing God to heal her, told the family he would pray for her anyway if they wanted him to. Pulling the sheet down to her shoulders, he prayed. nothing happened. He prayed louder, but still nothing happened. Then he got angry and shouted, “Sister Barnes, get up!” She sat straight up in bed and was healed. Reverned Ziegler, her former United Brethren pastor who was there, fell face down on the floor.

After pastoring in Ravenswood a few years, Brother and Sister Cole traveled as evangelists. A number of people received the Holy Ghost and were baptized. During this time they also witnessed several notable apostolic events. Then they pastored a church in Spencer, West Virginia, with a congregation of one hundred people. The church was debt free when the Coles moved on.