by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.
I am currently in Oslo, Norway and am getting the opportunity to discover and learn more about some significant revivalists of this land. A powerful Pentecostal pioneer I would like to introduce to you today is Thomas Ball Barratt (1862-1940). Originally born in Cornwall, England, when he was a child, his family moved to Norway for his father’s work in 1867 and he became a naturalized citizen of Norway. He was very involved in building up great ministries in Oslo. In 1906, he was sent out by the mission he founded in the city to go to the United States with the original plan of raising money for his mission.
During the time he was over there, he began to hear stories about a revival that was gaining momentum in Los Angeles at Azusa Street. Several ministers who were baptized in the Spirit at the Azusa Street Mission and who were passionate about helping others encounter God in this way, intersected with Barratt in New York when he was on his way home. There he discovered more of the Pentecostal revival and he asked for prayer to receive the same blessing they had received. He was baptized in the Spirit on November 15, 1906 and thereafter spoke and even sang in tongues. Here’s his encounter in his own words:
“There were not many people at the evening meeting, but God’s power was mightily manifested. I asked the leader of the meeting, a little before 12 o’clock, to lay hands on me and pray for me. Immediately the power of God began to work in my body, as well as in my spirit. I was like Daniel, powerless under the Divine touch (Dan. 10, 8) and had to lean upon the table on the platform, where I was sitting, and slid down on the floor. Again my speaking organs began to move, but there was no voice to be heard. I asked a brother, a Norwegian, who had often heard me preach in Christiania, and the doctor’s wife, to pray for me once more.
‘Try to speak,’ the Norwegian said, but I answered, that ‘if the Lord could speak through a human being, He must make me do so by His Spirit! There was to be no humbug about this!’
When they were praying, the doctor’s wife saw a crown of Fire over my head and a cloven tongue as of Fire in front of the crown. Compare Acts 2, 2-4. The brother from Norway, and the others, saw this supernatural highly red light.
The very same Moment, my being was filled with light and an indescribable power, and I began to speak in a foreign language as loudly as I could. For a long time I was lying upon my back on the floor, speaking – afterwards, I was moving about on my knees with my eyes shut. For some time this went on; then at last I sat on a chair, and the whole time I spoke in ‘divers kinds of tongues’ (1 Corinthians 12, 10) with a short interval between. When speaking some of these languages, there was an aching in my vocal chords. I am sure that I spoke seven or eight different languages…The most beautiful of all was the singing – when the inspiration reached its climax, I burst out in a wonderful baritone solo…
This lasted until about four o’clock in the morning. There were nine persons present until 3 a.m., who can testify to the truth of every word I have written; some of them stayed till 4 a.m.”
After this, he headed back to Norway without the funds he intended to raise but with something much greater to bring back to his nation. Not knowing how all of his friends would respond to this new move of God in his life, he pre-determined that no matter what it might cost him, he would follow the Holy Spirit. This was what he said once he arrived:
“And now I was in Norway once more. What would be the results there of my new stand, and how would my old friends take it? I was determined, nevertheless, to be led by the Spirit in all things, whatever might take place.” 
Barratt eventually left his previous societies and planted the first Pentecostal church in Norway in Oslo called Filadelfia. This became a significant center to help spread the Pentecostal fire all through the nation and Europe. Alexander A. Boddy from England heard about what God was doing and came over to visit Barratt to seek his Spirit Baptism. He also invited Barratt to be a part of the conference he set up in Sunderland, England to gather those who were hungry for a fresh encounter with God to step into receiving this blessing. Through Barratt’s influence on Boddy, he eventually received his Spirit baptism experience and spoke in tongues. This English vicar would go on to lead many in his nation to have this experience, including healing evangelist Smith Wigglesworth (see Defining Moments to learn more). Barratt was also influential in igniting the fire in Pentecostal pioneer in Sweden Levi Petrus and many others. The ripple effects of the fire that Barrett received and carried throughout Europe continue on to this day.
Testimony of when I visited T.B. Barratt’s church
When I was in Norway earlier in the year, on my last day in town on March 18, 2019, I had a crazy divine appointment in T.B. Barratt’s church Filadelfia. I was getting a tour of the city with a friend and we went to the basement of Barratt’s church to find a 24/7 prayer room there. We were talking to the two ladies standing outside who run it and when I shared I was from California, one of the ladies looked at me and asked if I was from Redding. Then she asked if I teach revival history and how to write books. Somehow she had recognized my face even though I had never met her in my life.
She said that she had been praying to meet me and even messaged her friend in Redding to see if that person knew me but never received a response. So there I was on a last minute trip to Norway, stopping by a prayer room for 5 minutes and intersecting with the woman who founded the prayer room 10 years ago, who was sick that day and barely even made it out that day. I ended up praying for her and her writing that night and was in utter shock and amazement of what God had arranged.
Fast forward. Several months later when I was planning my return trip to Europe, I decided to go first to Norway since I was only here for four days last time and it was much too short. My friend Marianne asked me if I wanted to do a Writing in the Glory workshop and then she reminded me of this divine appointment I had with Anna-Lie. So this week, about five months from that one divine appointment, I had the privilege to do the first ever Writing in the Glory workshop in Norway in that very prayer room in the basement of T.B. Barratt’s church with Anna-Lie’s help.
We were also able to do a Revival History Night this week in this well of revival and release the Azusa Street Revival story. It is so amazing to see how God waters the seeds and goes before us to make a way. Special thanks to Marianne, Eirik, Anna-Lie, Timothy and friends at Filadelfia church for being such a special and impart part of this incredible journey!
God is moving here in Norway and around the world. He is stirring up hunger and igniting His fire to come and burn in us. Like Barratt, may we welcome a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our hearts today and live in uncompromising surrender and allegiance to His call.
 When the Fire Fell: An Outline of my Life by T.B. Barratt (Alfons Hansen & Sfanner, Norway, 1927) but now 2013 by PentecostalBooks.com, p. 105-106.
 When the Fire Fell: An Outline of my Life by T.B. Barratt, p. 114.
*To read more about people encountering a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit for today see Spirit Flood: Rebirth of Spirit Baptism for the 21st Century and to learn more about the Azusa Street Revival see Ignite Azusa