'''Rev Brant Baker of Shekinah Fellowship'''
Brant Baker was a Christian man with an anointing from God similiar to Kathryn Kuhlman's in the early seventies on the West Coast of America. His meetings could be called a sensational healing revival. He came into the spot~light in a strip mall located on 7th Street in Long Beach CA. His fellowship was best known for the healing meetings on Saturday nights at Pastor Billy Adams' First Foursquare Church in Long Beach CA.Pastor Billy Adams and his wife can be seen here:
Shekinah Fellowship eventually acquired the old West Coast Theater across the street from the Convention Center on Ocean Boulevard . Some say that the Marquee out front had Brant's name in large letters above the name of Jesus Christ in smaller letters. It read, "Rev Brant Baker appearing with Jesus Christ."
This somehow reflected the slow decline of his ministry as he was falling back into his past at that time. http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/1971/
Brant's life has been ex·punged from the records by Christiandom possibly because he died in 1985 of aids. Brant was introduced to Jesus Christ by Lonnie Frisbee who also died from aids.
A documentary of Lonnie's life has been put together by David Di Sabatino http://www.Lonniefrisbee.com
This is not verified but some say that in the late sixties Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel fame would hold bible studies in Brant's mother's home in Newport Beach before taking the helm of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa located on Church Street in Costa Mesa CA.
Brant had a clothing store located on 17th Street in Costa Mesa across from The Builders Emporium hardware store. Brant gave away all the clothing to the Jesus People who were living in some of the communal homes of Calvary Chapel before going into the ministry. His Bible studies became noted for the moving of the Holy Spirit in powerful ways. As the study continued to grow it became known as Shekinah Fellowship.
Brant told in testimony of how he was involved in the Hollywood scene before his salvation experience. He told of how he hung with the rich and famous of that crowd during the many parties that he would attend. He experienced the emptyness and the futility of that life. He told of the darkness and the allurement that he experienced during this period of his life.
Brant would attend every meeting at the Shrine Auditorium in LA that Kathryn Kuhlman had there.
After those meetings he would sit outside on the steps and plead with God for the same type of an anointing upon his ministry. He would cry for hours afterward, saying, "God I have got to have that anointing or I will die!". One day as Brant was praying for people God started to heal them. And as word got out that God was moving at Shekinah Fellowship through Brant, people started coming from all walks of life.
As Shekinah grew in reputation Brant shaped and molded the ministry after Kathryn's. He had catcher's who stood behind people as he prayed over them because just like in Kathryn's meetings they would fall over backwards under the power of the Holy Spirit as he lightly touched them on the neck. He had a magnificient choir and several musicians in the fellowship. Brant had "workers" who moved in the word of knowledge who would be scattered throughout the crowd to prompt people who were healed during the meetings to go up and share the story of their healing. Today at Benny Hinns meetings you can observe somewhat the same format.
As Brant continued to pattern his ministry after Kathryn's he rented out the Long Beach Municiple Auditorium. It was full of people who had come to see God work. Brant continued to rent adutoriums in CA, holding healing type meetings where people were getting healed of all types of afflictions. His popularity continued to grow and churches started inviting his ministry to visit them.
Shekinah Fellowship got the attention of TBN the Christian television station. Paul and Jan Crouch invited Shekinah to their program. So Brant started to garner more followers as viewers became aware of his ministry. Brant was on his way to filling the space vacated by Kathryn...But such was not to be. Today no one at TBN will hardly mention Brant's name. Even Benny Hinn who eventually became Kathryns apparent replacement has not been told about Brant by TBN... not until Pastor Schumate of Shekinah Fellowship told the Brant Baker story to Benny Hinn at a Christmas party recently (Christmas 2005).
Just like Lonnie Frisbee who passed through the land like a modernday John the Baptist, Brant passed through the land like Jesus the healer. But strange as it may seem, no one wants to talk about Brant. Why? Because just like Lonnie, Brant died in 1985 from aids which can possibly be an embrassment to the fundamental evangelical mind set.
Brant's life radiated the love of Jesus Christ for a few bright fleeting moments before dimming out in his unexpected death. People were stunned and devastated! Many of the workers in his ministry backslide or just wandered away in deep dissapointment. Some who recovered still hold fond memories of those magnificient times in the Lord when the ministry functioned like a well oiled machine.
Brant's story is just as inspiring as other generals of the faith. He forged new territory when everyone else was involved in "cookie~cutter~christianity." As other churches were stressing correct theological and doctrinal foundations to the neglect of the supernatural side of God, Brant presented a Jesus Christ who loved everyone and demonstrated that love by healing the afflicted and making His presence known.
Brant's sermons always presented the person of Jesus Christ. Brant's Christ's presence transcended words in a sense. In his first letter, apostle John expanded on that, saying that He was the Word of life that they heard and saw and touched. It was Christ's physical presence that sealed it for them and for us all. Those who followed Him experienced Him. They heard, saw and handled the word of life in human flesh as Brant presented Jesus to the people in a powerful "preaching" way. Brant never read from notes as he spoke. His voice would go from being soft and intimate to loud and authorative during the course of his sermons. It was an identifyable moment when the Holy Spirit would come in and take over the service as Brant was preaching. At that point Brant would start to call out the healings taking place around him.
The lights were dimmed when Brant would speak. There would be a bright spotlight on him. He was dramatic to watch, almost like watching a stage performance. Brant Baker had the anointing upon him. If you stood face to face with him. you became aware of the childlike innocence he projected during ministry. There was that glowing sensation of the presence of the Holy Spirit that surrounded him. He was young, good looking,tall and thin, and always well dressed. He won over many people just by his likeable presence. Shekinah's choir could have been rated with some of the finest around.
Towards the end of Brant's life he had dyed his hair blond and did not seem to care that anyone was aware of his return to some of his past short comings.Anyone who had the privelege of sitting under Brant's ministry would tell you that of a certainty God had anointed this young man of God inspite of his personal struggles. The Jesus People would bring the hippies from the streets to Brant's meetings where they would receive salvation. Some would come in vans full of hippies from as far away as Laguna Beach CA.
Over time other churches started speaking against Brant's ministry and would publicly do so from their pulpits. This was hard on Brant who was very emotionally sensitive to what was being said. Like most sensitive people Brant often needed to be by himself to recenter his focus.There are those who are still struggling to recover to this day because of the way that Brant died from aids.
Anyone with a Brant Baker Video, audio tape, testimony or pictures of Brant or Shekinah Fellowship who would like to share in the telling of Brant's story...Please contac us at:
david.surfer51 AT gmail.com
Here is a sermon video of Brant at Google:
We at Shekinah Fellowship are currently attempting to put together the story of Brant Baker. We call it "The Brant Baker Project." Brant's story will not be told unless you help. Pastor Tilson and assistant Pastor David located Joe Ellen Baker, Brant's mother in the Palm Springs desert in the early nineties. Joe Ellen had all the video tapes and the audio tapes of Brant stored in an outside storage locker. She refused to release any of the material for a documentary about Brant. It has been reported that Ann Hume now has the archives. We do not know her or how to reach her so...
Perhaps now that the story of Lonnie Frisbee has been told by David Di Sabbatino, others will reconsider allowing Brant's story to be freely told by us...no profit motive...just restoration of the historical record.
For a short period of time Joe Ellen Baker tried to continue the ministry that her son had started in Long Beach CA. Dr. Michelle Corral came out of this fellowship. Here is her site:
This is my website where you will find pictures of Shekinah Fellowship and Brant Baker: