Few evangelists have seen as much of the world as Lester Sumrall witnessed. As one of the most colorful preachers of the 20th century, Lester began as a fiery young preacher during the depression and by the time all was said and done left the world with a legacy of what simple and determined faith in God could accomplish. Lester Sumrall was a man who threw himself at the feet of Jesus Christ, possessing a zeal and commitment to God that still amazes those who knew him.
Lester Sumrall (1913-1996) was a world-renowned pastor and evangelist, entering full-time service for God after experiencing a dramatic and life-altering encounter with Jesus Christ. At the age of 17, as he lay on a deathbed suffering from tuberculosis, he received a vision. Suspended in midair to the right of his bed was a casket; on his left was a large open Bible. He heard these words: “Lester Sumrall, which of these will you choose tonight?” He made his decision – he would preach the Gospel as long as he lived.
When Lester Sumrall awoke the next morning, he was completely healed and served the Lord for sixty-five years.
Lester Sumrall was a man who threw himself at the feet of Jesus Christ, possessing a zeal and commitment to God that still amazes those who knew him. Epitomized in his declaration “I won’t be satisfied unless I win a million souls for Jesus… every day.”
Lester Sumrall traveled the world chasing that goal. Arriving in New Zealand chasing Howard Carter on fist ever trip, he soon found him in Melbourne. United together they travelled by land through South East Asia and China. Their journey took them through Eastern Europe and Germany before arriving in England to be mentored by Smith Wigglesworth before World War II broke out. Before he passed away, Dr Sumrall travelled to 110 countries and penned over 130 books.
In 1957 Lester Sumrall, with the help and support of his family and friends, founded LeSEA (Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association), a ministry which has subsequently given birth to well over one hundred books and study guides, eleven television stations, a satellite ministry, three FM radio stations, five shortwave stations reaching over ninety percent of the world’s population, and a quarterly magazine. In 2018, LeSEA Broadcasting changed its name to Family Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
In 1987 Dr Lester Sumrall had a midnight encounter with Jesus Christ who challenged him with these words:
“I am very concern that my church, my children, are dying of hunger before I return and I want you to do something about it.”
In response to the challenge, a 73 year old Dr Sumrall dedicated his remaining days (1913-1996) to a simple threefold vision of feeding the hungry, building the church and reaching the lost.