Minnie Tingley Draper was born in Waquoit, Falmouth, Massachusetts on June 5, 1857. She was the second of five children born to Charles Tingley and Ellen (Childs) Draper. Within two years her family moved to Ossining, New York. The home was a happy one and the family was tight-knit. Charles was 23 years older than Ellen, however, the couple had not married until he was about 40. Draper decided to become a teacher and she completed her education in a Boarding School in Farmington, Connecticut. Tragedy struck when Charles died and the family came under financial stress. They had to sell their home and move into a much smaller one. Draper became the primary financial provider of her school teacher’s salary. Unfortunately, the stress of being the breadwinner took a toll on her. She suffered a collapse and was a bedridden invalid for four years. She sought medical help, but there was no relief in anything that she tried.
There was a move of God in A.B. Simpson’s Gospel Tabernacle in New York City. Simpson had been healed of a heart condition by God and subsequently taught and prayed for healing. News about it came to Draper and she made a trip to New York City to receive prayer. She was anointed with oil and was miraculously healed. She also had a significant experience with the Holy Spirit that she identified as sanctification and being endued with power for gospel works. She committed, from that time forward, to believe in God for healing. She never went to a physician or took medicine again. Draper also became an associate with A. B. Simpson in his evangelistic and healing work. She was best known for praying for the sick. Over the years she saw hundreds of healings. She assisted him at conventions in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine. These conventions included healing lines and prayer for the sick. She worked with Sarah Lindenberger in Berachah Healing Home, as a prayer warrior and support, in Nyack, New York. She also served on the Executive Board of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) organization until 1912.
In 1906 news of the Pentecostal outpouring had reached New York. Many of the people who were associated with Simpsons were zealous for more of God. Draper was one of those hungry for a deeper relationship with Jesus. Although initially cautious, Draper had a supernatural experience. One night the Lord appeared to her in her room. C.J. Lucas in his memorial message about Draper says that “hours elapsed wherein she saw unutterable things and when she finally came to herself she heard her tongue talking fluently in a language she had never learned.” Draper immediately began attending Pentecostal meetings and helped with the founding of the Bethel Pentecostal Assembly in Newark, New Jersey, and the Ossining Gospel Assembly in Ossining, New York. The issue of tongues as evidence of the infilling became a separation point for many churches in the C&MA. Some of the churches left to join Pentecostal organizations and others remained within the C&MA fold. Draper left the C&MA in 1913 after a re-organization made the loose-knit church alliance a separate denomination.
Draper’s life was dedicated to intercessory prayer, healing prayer, teaching, and missions. She often was awakened in the night to intercede for those on the mission field and to pray for the lost. Draper served on the Executive Board of the Bethel Pentecostal Assembly and saw a tremendous evangelistic and missionary thrust after 1910. The group helped to found the Pentecostal Mission in South and Central Africa and the Bethel Bible Training School. She served as the president of the board until her death on March 8, 1921.
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