Asa Alonza Allen, known as A.A. Allen, was born in Sulphur Rock, Arkansas on March 27, 1911. His father was an alcoholic and his mother was unfaithful. He had a deeply unhappy childhood as he grew up in dire poverty and in an unpleasant environment. Allen used to make extra money by singing on the street corners when he was a young boy. At the age of 14, despondent duet to the peaceless situation at home, he ran away from there and survived by doing random jobs.
In 1934, at the age of 23, while he was driving by Onward Methodist Church in Miller, Missouri, the sound of joyous singing grabbed his attention. Allen being inherently interested in singing and desperate to receive happiness, went into the meeting. A woman evangelist was preaching. He went to the meeting again the next night and committed his life to Jesus Christ. Later, he came to know about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit through a home meeting and became filled in the Spirit.
Allen desired to preach the gospel to share the joy that he received through Jesus Christ. Therefore, he travelled to small towns to preach the gospel. During this time, he would chop wood to make money for his living. He soon realized the call upon his life and associated himself with the Assemblies of God organization.
In 1936, he met a young woman named Lexie Scriven, and he later married her. This was during the time of depression and he could barely make his living through the offerings that came in pennies at a time. In the same year, he moved to Holly, Colorado a small town near the Kansas border. His first child was born there. Later, Allen was officially ordained as an Assemblies of God minister. During this time, he spent more time fasting and praying and had divine encounters with God.
After this, he left the pastorate and began to hold meetings as a singing healing evangelist. He started seeing healings manifest in his meetings – a coal miner from Missouri who had been blind for several years was healed. Allen continued travelling to hold meetings and was constantly on the road. As the income was not stable and it was too much responsibility for Lexie, it was a strain on her and their four children. Nevertheless, Allen’s faith in God strengthened each day, and though it was difficult, he kept moving forward preaching the gospel.
He had a vision for reaching more people, but he wanted to settle down and have a family life. In 1947, he left the harvest fields of evangelism and accepted a request to pastor a church in Corpus Christi, Texas. The church grew, and he was happy too.
Two years later, in 1949, Allen attended one of the tent revival meetings of Oral Roberts. He was touched and his passion to reach the lost with God’s miracle-working power was kindled. He left the meeting hoping to form a divine healing ministry.
He continued pastoring the church and he wanted to reach more people. He asked the church board to allow him to advance the ministry through radio programs. But, to his disappointment, they refused his request. Allen finally decided to start his own ministry.
The Miracle Man
In 1950, Allen resigned from the pastorate once again and started holding healing revival meetings. People would be healed in their seats as he preached. During this time, he started contributing to the influential “Voice of Healing” magazine distributed by Gordon Lindsay.
In 1951, he started the tent meetings. By 1953, the vision he had to start a radio station flourished and he was on radios across the US, Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America. Allen’s ministry was facilitated using prayer cards to receive prayer requests before the meetings. He preached more on healing and confronted the spirit of poverty.
He was bold and outgoing. His television commercials professed, “See! Hear! Actual miracles happening before your eyes!” The count of reported healings in his meetings increased, and he established a large following. Therefore, in 1955, he purchased a larger tent. His meetings were like the other leading evangelist of the time such as William Branham, Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, etc. Soon, Allen became one of the most heralded evangelists in the Voice of Healing Movement and people fondly called him “the miracle man.”
In the same year, he went through a tough phase in his life. As the ministry was expanding, the enemy (devil) was trying hard to spoil his reputation. During this time, he was pulled over for suspected drunk driving, and rather than fighting, he paid the fine to avoid disputes so that his meetings can continue without any troubles. However, Allen had to resign from the organization but did not give up on the call on his life. At this time, he also resigned from the “Voice of Healing” association.
The Miracle Valley
Allen continued as an independent minister and started his own magazine called “Miracle Magazine.” Many were blessed by the magazine and by the end of 1956, he had over 200,000 subscribers. He had a vision to train and support young ministers. So, he began “Miracle Revival Fellowship” aiming at ordaining ministers, training them and supporting missions. At this time, he went through severe persecutions from other healing ministers.
On January 1, 1958, at a revival meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, Urbane Leiendecker, who was blessed by Allen’s ministry offered him 1,280 acres of land in Arizona. He was thankful to God and named the property “Miracle Valley.”
In the same year, he purchased a tent that could seat over 22,000 to be used for his revival meetings. His media ministry too outspread, and he appeared on 48 radio stations daily, as well as 43 TV stations.
Allen’s ministry expanded and “Miracle Valley” became the new headquarter of his ministry, A. A. Allen Revivals, Inc. In the subsequent years, he established “Miracle Valley Bible College” with classrooms, administrative buildings, a publishing and printing plant, a four-press phonograph record plant and a residential neighborhood called “Miracle Valley Estates.” In 1960, he also built a church with 4,000 seats on the property. At this time, through Miracle Valley Fellowship, ministerial support was provided for about 10,000 ministers.
Final Days and Legacy
In 1967, Allen and his wife, Lexie E. (Scriven) Allen divorced. After this, he started suffering from arthritis, but still he pressed on with his ministry taking young evangelists with him to train them. By the late 1960s, music formed an increasingly dominant part of his programs.
In 1970, he wrote his autobiography titled Born to Lose, Bound to Win with co-author Walter Wagner. In the same year, he travelled to California to redo radio contracts and to see a doctor for his knee pain. While in California, on June 11, 1970, Allen died while sitting in a chair.
At the time of his death, he was taking medication for arthritis and there was alcohol in his blood. So, there arose controversies about his death. The medical examiner’s preliminary finding was that Allen died of a heart attack, but he later changed the report to say that Allen was an alcoholic. his family fiercely disputes that claim. He made a greater impact in the world during the healing revival times. At the time of his death, the Miracle Valley headquarters was expanded to 2,400 acres with its own airfield, the Miracle magazine was circulated to approximately 450,000 subscribers and A. A. Allen Revivals, Inc. was publishing “well over” 60 million pieces of literature a year. His books are still a blessing to many. One of his children, Paul Asa Allen, is the author of In the Shadow of Greatness – Growing Up Allen.