Do you remember the “Happy Hunters”? I know I do. I was 25 years old when I first met Charles and Frances Hunter, both of whom were healing evangelists for the Lord with a passion for walking in the Spirit’s supernatural power. I first saw them at an event they hosted in Kissimmee, Florida. That night, I watched my friend, Gene Lilly, get healed of multiple sclerosis. The Hunters’ ministry made such an impact on me that I wrote about them in one of the first articles I ever did for Charisma back when I founded the magazine in 1975.
Both the Hunters have since gone on to be with the Lord—Frances in 2009 and Charles in 2010. They left a legacy of 40 years of ministry that changed the lives of countless people. I had the opportunity to talk to their daughter, Joan Hunter, who is also a healing minister. You may remember I interviewed her several weeks ago about how she is helping others walk in supernatural healing during the COVID-19 pandemic. For today’s podcast, we took a trip down memory lane and discussed the many things God did through her parents’ lives.
Joan tells me she remembers the night Gene Lilly got healed of multiple sclerosis.
“He came in on a walker, you know, and then he got slain in the Spirit and totally healed of MS,” she says. “So he gets up, and he goes, ‘My feet hurt.’ Now, for years, he has not had any feeling in his feet. And it turns out his shoes were too small—that his wife had been buying him too small [a size] of shoes. So they went out and got him some normal-sized shoes that fit his foot properly.”
Healings like this weren’t out of the norm for the Hunters. They regularly prayed over people and saw them, as we in the charismatic community often call it, “slain in the Spirit” and supernaturally healed of diseases and abnormalities.
One thing that is especially interesting about Frances Hunter is that she wasn’t saved at an early age as many evangelists are. She was 49 years old when she gave her heart to Christ. (This was before she met and married Charles.) Joan remembers it clearly. She was 12 years old when her mother became a Christian, and she was so impacted by the change she saw in Frances that she wanted Jesus in her life too.
When Frances gave her heart to the Lord, she truly fell in love with Jesus. Frances had always been a hard worker, Joan tells me. Before she knew Christ, she worked “24/7,” Joan says of her mother. But once she became a Christian, she “worked 24/7 except on Sundays.” Sundays were reserved for church and inviting everyone over for dinner afterward.
Frances was so focused on Jesus that she told people she would never remarry.
“She was going, ‘I’m never going to remarry, because I’m going to have a wild love affair with Jesus the rest of my life,'” Joan says of her mother. “And then she goes over to Texas [for a speaking event], she meets this man, she shakes his hand and five minutes later, they’re realizing they’re still holding hands. And 88 days later, they’re married. … So that was an exciting time. And all of a sudden, I got a dad in my life. And he was an amazing guy.”
Frances and Charles made a wonderful pair as they ministered side by side. They certainly lived up to their nickname—”the Happy Hunters.” They were always so happy, so full of love for each other and for Jesus.
Frances wrote over 70 books throughout the course of her ministry, and when she married Charles, she forced the publishers to change her name on all the books she wrote from her maiden name to her married name. The two traveled extensively as they preached the gospel.
If you remember Charles and Frances, I encourage you to listen to my full podcast with Joan. I think you’ll love hearing Joan’s perspective of her parents—and you may learn new stories about the two evangelists you’ve never heard before!