The Story of Jewish Evangelist Lee Krupnick

This Week in AG History —2 August 1941

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 5 August 2021

Lee Krupnick (1900-1984) was a well-known Jewish Assemblies of God evangelist. He had formerly been an award-winning news photographer for the Tulsa World and a movie cameraman. As a photographer he won many awards and had the reputation of one “who always got his picture.”

His wife, Bonnie, often prayed for his salvation. He became upset whenever she prayed or talked about Jesus, but Bonnie remained faithful to her Christian faith. Her godly lifestyle paved the way for his conversion and eventually led him into full-time ministry.

At one point Lee suffered from an ulcerated stomach. The doctors were unable to heal him, and the pain became unbearable. He consented to let some Christians pray for him on two different occasions. But the pain seemed to only get worse. Finally he allowed his wife and young daughter to pray over him, and instead of rejecting their prayer, he trusted the Great Physician to heal him. Almost immediately he was completely cured of that terrible ulcerated stomach.

Soon after this, Lee Krupnick was converted in 1935 at a revival service conducted by evangelist Watson Argue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Full Gospel Tabernacle [Assembly of God] at Fifth and Peoria on Easter Sunday. The service was packed, and the Krupnicks had to take a seat up front. The sermon topic was, “God raised Jesus from the dead.”

As a Jew, Krupnick had a really hard time with this topic. He had developed a hatred for the name of Jesus. Over and over he heard the evangelist say with authority, “God raised Jesus from the dead.” He began thinking to himself, Why, I thought Jesus was still in the grave. If God raised Him from the dead, no wonder my wife’s life has been so changed.

Soon he could not ignore the proddings of the Holy Spirit as he came under conviction. “I jumped from my seat and ran to the altar while the evangelist was preaching,” said Krupnick. “I couldn’t wait until the end of the sermon.” Twenty-five other people ran to the front, and the altar was filled. He cried for four hours and prayed, “Lord, I was sincere in my hatred of Jesus; I thought I was doing you a favor when I cursed Jesus. Can you ever forgive me, Lord?”

After his conversion he began sharing his testimony. He had already been preaching for 10 years when he was ordained by the Oklahoma district in 1945. His wife, Bonnie, was also ordained as an evangelist. For seven years Krupnick traveled part time as an evangelist and still worked as a photographer. After that the Krupnicks traveled full time in evangelistic work until retirement. For 37 years they traveled all across the U.S. conducting over 600 revival campaigns. Many times he shared his conversion testimony.

Lee Krupnick contributed a number of articles to the Pentecostal Evangel. One of these was a testimony of salvation that took place under his ministry. He told the story of a couple who were alcoholics and drank and partied. “People told me it was a waste of time to even talk to them,” reported Krupnick, “especially the husband, that they were too far gone, and that nothing could deliver them from the drink habit.”

But Krupnick remembered that Jesus did not give up on Mary Magdalene, the demoniac in the tombs, or the leper. So he didn’t give up on this couple. He began praying that the Lord would save them.

“One day a young lady applied for a job in my studio,” said Krupnick. It turned out this was the same woman he had been praying for. He told her that if she would let him talk to her a little while about the Lord, then when she sobered up, he would give her a position in the studio. As he told her about the Lord, she wept.

The next day she came to work and confessed that she really didn’t want to drink, but her husband would force her to, as he wanted her to participate in parties he held at their house. Krupnick remembered that his wife was hosting a weekly ladies Bible study that day and invited the woman to go. He said he would pay her the same as if she was working in the studio, so she agreed. He called his wife on the phone, and told her about the woman coming, and then he called a taxi to take her to the Bible study. “That day she got gloriously saved,” said Krupnick.

Not long after this, her husband also got saved, and also the woman’s father and her sister. This truly was not a waste of time for him to witness to the couple. The husband and wife soon began accompanying Lee Krupnick on many of his preaching engagements. They insisted on driving him, and they would testify on the platform about their miraculous transformation since they met the Lord.

Read the article, “A Miracle of Grace,” by Lee Krupnick, on page 3 of the Aug. 2, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Cleansed, Clothed, and Crowned,” by T. J. Jones

• “Upward or Downward,” by Ernest S. Williams

• “God’s New Thing,” by Horace S. Williams

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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