Lester Sumrall


Dr. Lester Sumrall, a missionary statesman, ventured into a worldwide ministry in 1934.  For over 60 years, he tirelessly worked to raise up evangelistic centers in capital cities around the world. He served in 119 countries, journeying the world like very few in his generation.

Born in 1913, Lester lived a normal life in New Orleans, Louisiana, until he contracted Tuberculosis at 16. For six months, he lay bed-ridden, vomiting blood and parts of his lungs until he weighed a mere 90 lbs. Unable to get a pulse, the family physician took his parents aside and signed Lester’s  death certificate.

That night he had a supernatural encounter that changed his life forever. Faced with a choice between a wall-sized open bible and a levitating casket that was “just his size.” He knew he had to choose between life or death. In that moment, his heart and mind changed. He chose to surrender to God’s calling and woke up the next morning healthy and whole.

In the face of the Great Depression Lester stepped out in faith ministered in country school houses throughout the South. In 1932, he met Howard Carter, an English theologian and missionary.  Over the next few years they travelled around the world together on the verge of WWII.

After over 30 years in ministry Dr. Sumrall realizing the importance of communication technology became a media pioneer and founded the LeSEA Broadcasting Network.

In his final mission, Dr. Sumrall founded Feed the Hungry to share God’s love in practical ways in poor and disaster torn nations.

Over the last 4 years of Dr. Sumrall’s life he mentored his grandson and namesake Lester L. Sumrall as they travelled together doing ministry and relief work in 30 countries of the world.

On April 28th, 1996, Dr. Sumrall passed away.  His legacy of faith lives on. Dr. Sumrall is survived by 3 sons and eleven grandchildren that continue to pursue God’s call for their time.