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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

David Schoch, a prophet of God

David Schoch
by Archibald Thackeray

If there's one thing the Latter Rain Movement of 1948 is known for - it's prophecy (but, of course, there is more than one thing!) The LRM was used to restore to the Church the kind of prophecy that strengthens, encourages, and comforts (1 Cor. 14:3) and the kind that confirms gifting in a person's life (1 Tim. 4:14).

The late David Schoch (1920-2007) was a man used mightily in both forms and had a most effective ministry for decades.

Charisma magazine's obituary reads this way:

"David E. Schoch, a prophetic minister who became prominent in the Latter Rain movement of the 1950s and 1960s, died July 19 in his Benbrook, Texas home. Schoch founded what is now known as City at the Cross in Long Beach, Calif., and ministered around the world during 60 years of ministry.... He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Audene; a brother, daughter, son, eight grand children and five great grandchildren."

Schoch experienced the Latter Rain Movement at Immanuel Temple in Los Angeles (pastored by A. Earl Lee) back in 1948. Then in July 1950 he had this dramatic experience at Immanuel Temple:

"A prophet from Ireland named Adam McKeown was in the congregation on the morning that the Lord spoke to us. Pastor [Fred] Poole was speaking. There were about a thousand people in that morning service. The word of the Lord came to this Irish prophet, who began to call different ones by name and he set them into office. I didn't know this man and he didn't know me, but God knows who you are. All of a sudden the word of the Lord came, and he called my name. He didn't even mispronounce it.

McKeown and Poole
"He said, 'I've called my servant David Schoch to be a prophet to the nations, and I'm setting him apart and calling him out from secular life.' And then he prophesied something that was completely a surprise to me. He said that when I was born, my mother had received a phenomenal visitation which had to do with my calling and my ministry. I questioned him, asking whether he had any understanding or any knowledge of what he had prophesied. He said that is all he had received from the Lord. After the prophetic word came, they set us aside and ordained us to the ministry of the Lord.

"I took this man, Brother McKeown, home with me at one in the morning. I awakened my mother, who was living in Pasadena, and said, 'I must talk to you.' She said, 'Alright.' Then I brought Brother McKeown in, and I said to her, 'Tell me what happened when I was born. Did God visit you? Was there something that happened to you concerning my birth?' And my mother started to cry. She said, 'Who told you? I have said nothing to anyone except your father.' My father had died about three years prior to that. I explained to her how the word of the Lord had come to Brother McKeown. Then she told me about a vision God had given her in relationship to the call of God. I prefer to leave that just between the Lord and myself." [Schoch's full account - with much more detail about the LRM at Immanuel Temple - can be read on John Adams' blog, Latter Rain Movement).

Schoch's Pentecostal roots go all the way back to Azusa Street as his parents were baptized in the Spirit in that revival. His brothers Ray and Paul were also Full Gospel preachers.

Adam McKeown's word to David Schoch definitely came to pass as Schoch went on to become a
Dick Iverson and David Schoch
prophet renowned for his accuracy and integrity. Sadly that cannot be said of everyone that prophesied back then. Dick Iverson, the founder of Bible Temple and Portland Bible College in Oregon, wrote the following:

"David Schoch ... and Pastor Reg Layzell ... were two sincere men of God who came out of the 'latter rain' movement dedicated to protecting and keeping pure the fruit of that outpouring. While others twisted, distorted, and indulged in various chicanery, these men among a handful of others, preserved the essence of the Holy Spirit's great gifting" (The Journey: A Lifetime of Prophetic Moments)

Schoch was not a minister who just gave prophetic utterances, though - the man could preach! But often as he paced back and forth across a platform boldly proclaiming the word of God he would suddenly stop and say something like, "If you'll permit me - I've got a word for this couple ... seated right back there behind the man with the yellow shirt ... yes, you - the Lord says ....", and then he would go on to spell out what the Lord was showing him.

Sue Curran
Sue Curran, who founded Shekinah Church in Blountville, Tennessee in 1973 with her husband John, knows that experience:

"We were still in the earliest stage of developing our property and constructing our buildings, and we had only a small congregation working with us. John and I went for a visit to the church in Virginia Beach, pastored by our friends, John and Anne Gimenez. It turned out to be a fortuitous visit, indeed.

"We were entirely incognito in the congregation while Prophet David Schoch was ministering. We had not been introduced. Suddenly, he interrupted his message to point to my husband and me, and he began to speak to us personally in an authoritative, yet comforting, voice. I will never forget his words:
I have a word for the young couple that is standing near the drummer boy. You have begun a work that is very unusual. It is a church, but more than a church. You have land and buildings ... it is more like a community. And the Lord wants you to know that when you return to your charge you will find that He is sending responsible people to help with your ministry. You will find that he has gone before you to prepare for every need. It's going to be a new day for you from this moment.
"That prophetic word of encouragement began to be fulfilled shortly after we returned to our home, and it has continued to be true to this day. God sent professional people who embraced the vision, helping with their skills and financial resources, as well as with their commitment to prayer and to living the commandments of Jesus.

"From that time, Prophet David Schoch and his wife, Audene, became personal friends who ministered with us in conferences and mentored us. We grew to deeply appreciate the accurate, godly prophetic ministry of David Schoch that edified our lives and ministry. Some in our congregation have described his godly character as liquid love flowing over every life he touched, bringing the healing power of God to them" (Define Your Destiny Through Prayer: Your Journey to Divine Revelation).

Once at the Bethesda Missionary Temple during the dark days of recession early in Ronald Reagan's presidency, Schoch challenged the leaders and congregation to band together in intercessory prayer every Sunday morning until the economic stranglehold on Detroit was broken. That was in November 1982 - the very month that economists like Jimmy Pethokoukis tell us the Reagan Recovery began.

In 1961, a young man named Dennis Balcombe believed that the Lord told him that he was going to be used in ministry in Red China - remember that was 1961 he heard that! The prospects for ministry in Red China were not very promising in 1961, not very promising at all.

Two years later, Balcombe started attending the church David Schoch pastored in Long Beach, which was then called, Bethany Chapel:

"The Bethany church conducted occasional prophecy sessions during which prophets would take turns to pray over individuals according to the word they received from the Lord. In one such meeting a prophet said that I had been called 'into full-time ministry'; a second one noted that I was 'to leave the United States and go overseas.' Yet another added that I would be 'ministering to people who have yellow skin and black hair.' And then David Schoch prophesied, 'I see this young man is going to Red China.' What confirmations! Pastor Schoch went on to release spiritual gifts into my life, gifts that included prophecy, healing, and words of knowledge."

In 1966, Balcombe was drafted in the U. S. Army, which was then engaged in the Vietnam War.

"Before I left Long Beach for my inductive courses, David Schoch delivered another prophetic prayer over me, 'You will go [to Vietnam] and you will come back because God is going to send you to Red China to preach the gospel. Not one hair on your head will be harmed'" (China's Opening Door: Incredible Stories of the HOLY SPIRIT at Work in One of the Greatest Revivals in Christianity).

In 1978, Balcombe did begin ministering in Red China! You can hear Dennis tell that wonderful story in this video (including the David Schoch part of the story).

Lastly - though there would be no difficulty writing more - there is the startling word Schoch gave to Dick Iverson's Portland, Oregon church years ago. Iverson writes:

"David Schoch came to Bible Temple for our 'prophetic assembly' in April, 1973, and one morning when he began to prophesy, his word was almost a rebuke to us. 'Rise up and don't profane my word. Knock out these four walls and build as I said.' Then he prophesied that we should go back and listen to what the Lord had already said to us.

"Even as he spoke I thought to myself, 'There's no way we can knock out these four walls.' We had attempted to buy the remaining land behind us and to the side of us but it was not available. Now the Lord was saying to rise up and knock out the four walls.

"Brother Schoch continued, 'Even now the walls are falling.' I thought to myself, 'I sure hope you are in the Spirit, Brother Schoch, because there's no way we can build any more here.' Also, I worried that what he'd said would bring confusion to the people who had supported my efforts to buy out in the suburbs.

"The very same day of the prophecy, one of the Bible college students came to me and said, 'You know, the home that joins our property in the back of the building?' I said, 'Yes,' knowing it quite well as that particular piece of property was critical if we were ever to build more in that neighborhood. The house was on a very large lot and I'd tried to buy it many times. However, since the owners hated the church, they had absolutely refused to sell.

"'Well,' the student went on, 'last night something strange happened. We heard this loud crash like a car wreck and when we went outside to investigate, we discovered that the retaining wall on that property had fallen down.'

"The full length of that retaining wall which had stood in front of the house for probably fifty or sixty years had fallen over onto the sidewalk for no apparent reason. Suddenly I remembered the prophecy, 'even now the walls are falling.' And, of course, the prophet had spoken with no knowledge of what was going on outside.

"I went back into the office and asked our administrator, Warren Steele, to write a check for ten thousand dollars. He looked at me with amazement and said we didn't have ten thousand dollars in the bank. I told him to write the check anyway and I would make sure it was covered. I knew the Holy Spirit had spoken to us and that God was doing something supernatural.

"I walked over to the neighbor's house and knocked on the door. I'd talked to him many times in the past, and he'd always mocked the church while refusing to sell. This time, though, when he came to the door and I asked him again he agreed to sell. Of course, he wanted more than it was worth - fifty thousand - but I gave him the ten thousand as earnest money and within thirty days we'd raised the additional forty thousand from among the congregation. The wall falling down as confirmation of the prophetic word was a rather dramatic testimony as to what the Lord wanted us to do." (The Journey: A Lifetime of Prophetic Moments)

Now, it may appear that I have taken up quite a bit of space merely writing about a man - David Schoch - and the gift of prophecy. That perception will get you accused in some quarters of "lifting up Man" and "being more focused on gifts than on Jesus". To those prone to leveling such criticism, I would gently remind that:

"It was he [Jesus] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers" (Eph. 4:11, NIV)


"the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10, NIV).

We praise God for all that he is ... and we thank him for his gifts!

Schoch and Spiers - Latter Rain rally with Layzell ... 1951Schoch and Spiers - Latter Rain rally with Layzell ... 1951 · Wed, Aug 29, 1951 – Page 7 · The Chilliwack Progress (Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada) ·


  1. Adam McKeown was from the Apostolic Church which was perhaps a forerunner of the Latter Rain movement, with an emphasis on prophetic ministry and (I think) the restoration of the five fold ministry. His brother James served as a mighty apostle in Ghana: there's a book about him called Giant in Ghana by Christine Leonard.