Organization History


The foundation of Christian Healing Ministries, Inc. (CHM) was laid many years ago with the beginning of the ministry of Francis MacNutt, one of the first Catholic priests to become involved in the charismatic renewal movement and the ministry of praying for healing. Although he was ordained in 1956, it was in 1967, when Francis was baptized in the Holy Spirit, that he experienced a dramatic turning point in his ministry. Soon after he became involved full-time traveling the world speaking about spiritual renewal and praying for healing. In 1974 he wrote the best-selling book, Healing, now termed a "classic." He also has written Power to Heal, The Prayer That Heals, Overcome by the Spirit, Deliverance from Evil Spirits, Homosexuality: Can It Be Healed?, and The Healing Reawakening.

In 1980, Francis married Judith Sewell, a clinical psychologist and former missionary in Israel. As a result of their marriage, he was no longer able to exercise ministry as a Catholic priest, so together Francis and Judith co-founded CHM in Clearwater, Florida.

Since that time there has been a deep reconciliation between the MacNutts and the Catholic Church, and they are both in good standing with the Church. In addition, they enjoy an excellent relationship with their Catholic Bishop and with the leaders in the national and international Catholic Charismatic Renewal. (To read more, see A Special Note regarding the MacNutts and the Catholic Church)

In 1987, at the invitation of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, the MacNutts relocated CHM to Jacksonville, Florida where they expanded the ministry to include Schools of Healing Prayer. The blending of Francis and Judith’s spiritual gifts created a unique healing ministry. Their combined ministry of teaching and praying for physical and emotional healing brought completeness to their individual ministries. As two of the most recognized and respected leaders in the healing ministry, Francis and Judith have traveled the world teaching about the love of Jesus Christ, and the power and effectiveness of healing prayer. Since its inception, CHM has operated as a Christ-centered, ecumenical and non-profit organization dedicated to the practice and teaching of healing prayer.

In 2008, Francis named Judith his successor as President of CHM and Francis now enjoys the status of President Emeritus. As Director of Ministry and President of CHM, Judith oversees the organization, writes, teaches, and travels as a conference speaker. In 1988, Judith co-authored (with Francis) Praying For Your Unborn Child, and in 2012, she authored Angels Are For Real.

For more information about Francis MacNutt see Francis MacNutt's Biography.
For more information about Judith MacNutt see Judith MacNutt's Biography.

Doctrinal Statement


Christian Healing Ministries affirms the historic Christian beliefs as contained in the creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed), which have served as the basis of Christian belief since the first century. Because of the nature of our prayer ministry, we stress in particular the need for the power of the Holy Spirit, in order that we might serve as vessels of God’s healing power.

We also affirm the value of the medical and counseling fields, since they too are ways in which God’s healing power is manifested. Beyond medicine and human means, we believe God can work miracles of healing through Jesus Christ, and we see this as part of His role as our Saviour.

As our name, Christian Healing Ministries, suggests, we are explicitly Christian and accept Sacred Scripture as our guide and norm. We realize that there are many denominations, and we do not want to further divide but to bring together all strands of Christian truth. What we do exclude, by the very nature of our ministry as Christians, is anything that goes counter to established Christian truth, as well as any kind of healing that relies upon a spiritual power other than that of Jesus Christ (e.g., spiritualism). We pray that our courses on prayer for healing draw students closer to our Lord and His Holy Spirit.

Vision & Mission Statement

Vision:
To make Christian healing prayer a way of life in families, churches, and medical professions.

 

Mission:
To be a visible presence of Jesus’ desire to heal in the world today by:

 

  • Providing healing prayer for the sick
  • Training for those who want to learn to pray
  • Lending leadership support to pastors, churches and seminaries
  • Offering a bookstore and resource center for ministry and training materials
  • Expanding the role of healing prayer in medical professions 

Biblical Foundation


In the healing ministry it is vital to establish that what we believe and teach is scripturally sound. When Jesus announced His ministry in Luke 4:18, He said He came to proclaim the year of the Lord, a time of restoration.

People today still seek restoration. They hunger and thirst to know God in a direct, experiential way. The sick still need healing, just as much as they did in Christ’s day.

When (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ And He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then He began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth." —Luke 4:16-22

The numbers of people who were healed by Jesus during His ministry is astounding. When He sent out His disciples to further His ministry, “He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick." —Luke 9:1-2

It is the belief of Christian Healing Ministries that this commandment is still very relevant to Christians today, and that the gift of healing is very much available to those who will simply ask God.

A Special Note about Francis & Judith MacNutt and the Catholic Church


Francis MacNutt was perhaps the first Catholic priest to become actively involved in the ministry of praying with the sick for their healing.

In 1975 he went to speak in Jerusalem where he met Judith Sewell, a missionary there. In 1980, after consultation and prayer, they decided to marry. Immediately, Francis sought a dispensation (laicization) from Rome. In 1993 it was granted, and their marriage vows were renewed and blessed by the local bishop at the Catholic Retreat Center in Jacksonville, Florida. They have lived in Jacksonville since 1987 and are Catholics in good standing.

In addition, there has been a deep reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and the MacNutts were invited to Rome for Church-sponsored colloquia, culminating in two international conferences in Jacksonville for Catholic charismatic leaders from all over the world.

In Florida, where Francis and Judith now direct Christian Healing Ministries, they enjoy an excellent relationship with the Catholic Church.

For more information about Francis MacNutt see Francis MacNutt's Biography.
For more information about Judith MacNutt see Judith MacNutt's Biography.

Francis S. MacNutt, Ph.D.


francis mcnutt bio photo

Born 1925, Francis MacNutt grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and had hoped to become a physician after finishing college and medical school. However, ten days before entering Washington University Medical School, he was drafted into the Army, where he served as a surgical technician during World War II.

Following military service, Francis returned to college on the GI Bill. He graduated from Harvard University with honors and then earned an M.F.A. from Catholic University of America (in the Speech Department). At Catholic University, Francis was profoundly affected when he read Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain. Francis’ father was a deeply religious man who instilled in his son a sincere love and reverence for the Church. Francis’ life took a new direction when, at Catholic University, he felt drawn to the priesthood.

In 1950, Francis joined the Dominican Order, the Order of Preachers, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1956. At the Aquinas Institute, he earned a Ph.D. in Theology, and then was appointed to teach homiletics (preaching) at the Dominican seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. During his seven years of teaching, Francis wrote three books on preaching. He helped found the Catholic Homiletic Society (which no longer exists) and served as its president and, later, as its executive secretary.

In 1967, Francis was invited to a week-long charismatic Protestant retreat. Among the leaders were Rev. Tommy Tyson and Agnes Sanford. It was at this retreat that Francis asked for prayer to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Not long after, he experienced a dramatic turning point in his ministry. Agnes Sanford told him that he would be used to bring healing prayer back to the Catholic Church. He began praying for the sick and many were either completely healed or noticeably improved. More and more he realized that a very important part of Jesus’ ministry (healing and deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit) had been commonplace in the early church, but had been largely overlooked or ignored in the modern church. In 1977, Francis was one of the speakers at the famous Conference on Charismatic Renewal at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

Francis was one of the first Roman Catholic priests to be involved in charismatic renewal and in an active healing ministry. He was an instrumental member of the group of charismatic leaders that formed the Charismatic Concerns Committee (CCC) in the early 1970s. The CCC was later re-named the Charismatic Leaders Fellowship, and Francis has served as its chairman for the past several years.

As the charismatic movement gained momentum in the early ‘70s, Francis became widely known and respected among Catholics and Protestants for his teachings about healing prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives. He resigned his administrative positions and began a full-time traveling ministry, preaching and teaching with teams that included Catholic and Protestants, such as Fr. Mike Scanlan and Ruth Carter Stapleton. In just a few short years, Francis ministered in 31 countries on five continents. Merton House in St. Louis was his home base, as well as a center for charismatic renewal in St. Louis, where 60 priests were involved. In 1976, Francis became a founder of the Association of Christian Therapists, whose purpose was to bring healing prayer into the medical profession.

Francis first met Judith Sewell when he was a speaker at an international conference in Jerusalem (1975). Their paths crossed again, through ministry, two years later. They were married in 1980 and settled in Clearwater, Florida, where they established Christian Healing Ministries that same year. Since the very beginning of their marriage, Francis and Judith have travelled widely, speaking and ministering together. In 1987, at the invitation of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and expanded Christian Healing Ministries into a healing center for prayer ministry and training.

In 1993, Francis received a dispensation from the Church and their marriage was celebrated with a ceremony officiated by the Most Reverend John Snyder, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, at Marywood Retreat Center in Jacksonville. Francis and Judith have two grown children, Rachel and David.

In 2007, the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service in the Vatican co-sponsored an international conference with Christian Healing Ministries for 450 Catholic leaders from 42 countries. Held in Jacksonville, the purpose of the six-day conference was to bring the teachings of Francis and Judith to the worldwide Church.

Francis’ entire ministry has been dedicated to bringing healing prayer back to its rightful place among Christians. In 1974, he wrote Healing, which has become a classic. He also has written Power to Heal, The Prayer That Heals, Overcome by the Spirit, Deliverance from Evil Spirits, Homosexuality: Can It Be Healed? and The Healing Reawakening. He and Judith co-authored Praying for Your Unborn Child.

In 2008, Francis named Judith his successor as President of CHM, and Francis now enjoys the status of President Emeritus.


For more information about Judith MacNutt see Judith MacNutt's Biography.

Judith C. MacNutt, M.A.


judith mcnutt bio photoJudith C. MacNutt is a native of Jackson, Kentucky. As a young girl, Judith would frequently observe her mother praying in their home for the hurting people who were drawn to her for help. Judith too began to experience a deep desire to help others. This led her to earn a Master’s degree in psychology at Eastern Kentucky University.

Upon graduation, Judith moved to Boston, where she worked as a clinical psychologist at several area hospitals. As she worked with her patients, she discovered that psychological therapy alone was inadequate to meet the needs of suffering people. Judith had a deep faith and prayed to God for an answer as to why the patients did not improve. More and more, she sensed that the Lord was saying, “Bring them to Me.” As she began to quietly pray for her patients, she saw immediate results as they began changing in remarkable ways.

In 1974 Judith felt drawn to move to Jerusalem, where the Southern Baptists offered her a property where she started a House of Prayer. The House of Prayer was unique in that they ministered to both Jews and Arabs. Judith remained in Jerusalem for three years where she had the opportunity of seeing many people healed through prayer at a time when healing prayer was not well known or practiced in the life of the church. Her experience in Jerusalem only served to confirm her belief that all people suffer in similar ways, and need God’s healing touch if they are to be made whole.

In 1977, Judith moved to Clearwater, Florida, and opened a private counseling practice which provided both prayer ministry and professional help to members of the Christian community. She saw many clients whose lives were dramatically transformed by prayer.

Judith first met Francis MacNutt briefly in Jerusalem in 1975 and they married in 1980. That same year they co-founded Christian Healing Ministries, Inc. (CHM) in Clearwater, Florida. In 1987, at the invitation of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, the MacNutts relocated CHM to Jacksonville, Florida where they expanded the ministry to include Schools of Healing Prayer.

The blending of Francis and Judith’s spiritual gifts created a unique healing ministry. Their combined ministry of teaching and praying for physical and emotional healing has brought completeness to their individual ministries. Together and separately, they have been invited as key speakers at healing conferences, seminaries and hospitals. Their common goal has always been to help people become more aware of the love of Jesus Christ and the power and effectiveness of healing prayer.

Judith has dedicated her life to helping those bound by hurt, pain and trauma, that they may find freedom and wholeness through inner healing prayer. She is known and respected for her wisdom, love and compassion.

In 2008, Francis named Judith his successor as President of CHM. (Francis now enjoys the status of President Emeritus.) As Director of Ministry and President of CHM, Judith oversees the organization, writes, teaches, and travels as a conference speaker.

Following the births of their two children, Rachel and David, Judith (with Francis) co-authored Praying for Your Unborn Child, and in 2012, she authored Angels Are For Real.


For more information about Francis MacNutt see Francis MacNutt's Biography.