Who are we?
Introducing Bruce Reekie
Bruce Reekie is a fifth-generation Spirit-filled Christian, and a third-generation minister of the gospel. He is the author of seven books, including ‘Explaining God’s will for your life’, ‘The Holy Spirit and Israel’, and ‘The glory and power of His presence’, which have been translated into seven languages and distributed to pastors and churches in over one hundred nations.
In the year 2000, Bruce founded Word of the Father, a prophetic teaching resource for leaders in the developing world. Spanning more than 40 years, Bruce’s ministry emphasises the integrity of God’s Word and the prophetic anointing of the Holy Spirit. Bruce and his wife, Heather, are based on the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne.
A prophetic anointing … to the fifth generation
The spiritual journey of the Reekie family began over one hundred years ago in a little town on the Glenelg River in South-Eastern Australia. Their maternal ancestors, the Morrison family, lived on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. They were Gaelic speaking, God-fearing folk who were reared with the Bible as their only school book. A tweed company bought the island for the sake of the peat bogs that provided natural dyes for their heather-mixture tweeds, and the residents were compelled to leave. Thus the Morrisons decided to migrate to Australia in about 1853.
Landing at Port Adelaide, the Morrisons were accommodated in a camp at Hindmarsh on the banks of the River Torrens. They earned their living by cracking stones on the Port Road. As the older brother was very ill with tuberculosis (of which he shortly died), the twin sisters Ann and Jessie cracked stones for the benefit of the family. Rachel was about 13 or 14 years of age, and Archie was a mere child.
Very soon they joined a caravan of Scottish migrants and journeyed the 300 miles to Mount Gambier by bullock wagon. At least their goods were on the wagon, but as far as the men and women were concerned most of the travelling was on foot, so it took them six weeks to make the journey. Arriving at the Mount, they by-passed the rich volcanic lands and headed for the River Glenelg. They were ‘fish-folk’ and the river teemed with fish! Thereafter they eked out a living on fish and potatoes, the soil being practically useless, and the men went hither and thither sheep-shearing.
Rachel eventually met and married a Yorkshireman named Appleton and came to Hay Valley (near Nairne) in the Adelaide Hills, where she reared a family of eight. Their youngest child, Martha, was born in 1876.
One afternoon in about 1888 a woman was driving her cow along the road (which was little more than a bush track) on the Victorian side of the river, and was hailed by a horseman inquiring after his stray horses. He had ridden some 60 to 70 miles from Portland, Victoria, in search of the horses. The woman told him that she had not seen any stray horses, and then suddenly cried, “If you are a man of God, get off your horse and pray for my soul. I am going to hell.” Straightway, he slipped off his horse, knelt in the dust, and prayed for her until she ‘passed from death unto life’.
The woman in question, Mrs Francis, invited the man of God to her house for a meal and accommodation. He turned out to be a Methodist circuit preacher, and upon reaching the house, opened his Bible and told them about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Thereafter he visited them periodically until many of the scattered settlers had received the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues, prophesying, and dancing. Amongst those who received were Margaret McCuspie and her eldest son. Margaret wrote to Rachel, begging her to come down and receive the Spirit. Rachel had, besides raising a family, taken her turn preaching in the primitive Methodist chapel that her Yorkshire father-in-law and others had built.
Although seriously ill, Rachel made a superhuman effort, and together with her daughter Martha, boarded the train at Nairne and journeyed to Mount Gambier. When Rachel and Martha arrived in Mount Gambier there was no one to meet them, the friends being unaware of their coming due to the fact that they had not yet collected their mail from the post office. It was a distance of 26 miles from Mount Gambier to the river, and Martha, being only 13 years of age, was frantic with the responsibility of her sick mother. But having been taught to pray, Martha cried out to the Lord and through a miracle met Aunt Margaret’s son in the street, though she had never seen him before.
By the time Rachel reached Nelson, on the river, she had almost reached the end of her strength. After a few days of care she revived a little, and the believers arranged a daytime meeting, sending unbelieving Jessie off fishing with Martha. When the two fishers returned late in the afternoon, they were startled to hear shouting in the house. Dropping their fishing gear, they ran into the house, prepared for almost anything except the sight that greeted them. The desperately sick woman, who, a few hours earlier, had not been able to even sit up, was leaping and dancing and shouting praises to the Lord, not just in English but in languages that Martha had never heard before!
Shortly afterwards Rachel passed on to be with Jesus. Like the patriarchs and matriarchs of old, she spent the last few days of her life on earth interceding for her children and her children’s children that they would all come to know the Lord. She died with a prayer on her lips for the generations to come.
Rachel Appleton was Bruce’s great-great-grandmother!
Reflecting on these events, Bruce said, “There is no doubt in my mind but that my life and ministry are the result of the prayers that Rachel Appleton offered almost 130 years ago! God chose to visit our family in 1889. He poured out His Spirit. He imparted gifts and issued callings. He laid a foundation for succeeding generations. And now, by the grace of God, the seeds that were planted over 100 years ago are coming to fruition in end-time revival.”