Lewis Ashmore

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Lewis Ashmore

Lewis Leland Ashmore (October 18, 1931 – March 24, 2008)[1] was a 20th-century American religious leader and a member of the board of directors and the founding vice president of the Universal Life Church founded by Kirby J. Hensley.

When Ashmore helped his friend Kirby J. Hensley to found the Universal Life Church in Modesto, California (1959-1962), they were both freelance southern ministers who had migrated to California.[2] A Mississippi native, he ran a church in Tehachapi, California. While a member of the church he wrote the book The Modesto Messiah: The Famous Mail-Order Minister and produced a movie of the same title.[3] The movie did not see general release[1] and there are no known publicly available copies in existence.[citation needed]

Ashmore was a noted exorcist having performed hundreds of exorcisms since the 1950s. "For decades Rev. Lewis Ashmore cast out devils during tent revivals in the Central Valley. People foamed at the mouth, talked back to him in a strange voice and writhed uncontrollably on the ground." Aged 75, two years before he died, Ashmore concluded that demonic possession could be explained in the 21st century by modern medicine. "Back in Christ’s day, these mental conditions weren’t yet diagnosed,” he said. “All exorcisms can be explained by psychology and science."[4]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lewis Leland Ashmore's Obituary on Bakersfield Californian". legacy.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Los Angeles Times: Archives - BLESS THIS CHURCH". pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Universal Life Church, founded 1959 in Modesto - Official Site - Become Ordained". ulc.net. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Exorcism: Psychiatry Meets Faith". meta-religion.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.