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The Faith Healer 

On Mrs. Oleson's invitation, the Rev. James Danforth comes to Walnut Grove to give residents his charismatic, fiery style of preaching. The hypnotic Danforth claims to have actually "... See full summary »


Maury Dexter


Blanche Hanalis (developed for television by), Laura Ingalls Wilder (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls Kendall (credit only)
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Richard Bull ... Nels Oleson
Katherine MacGregor ... Harriet Oleson
Alison Arngrim ... Nellie Oleson
Jonathan Gilbert ... Willie Oleson
Merlin Olsen ... Jonathan Garvey
Hersha Parady ... Alice Garvey
Patrick Labyorteaux ... Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (as Patrick Laborteaux)
Kevin Hagen ... Dr. Hiram Baker
Dabbs Greer ... Reverend Robert Alden


On Mrs. Oleson's invitation, the Rev. James Danforth comes to Walnut Grove to give residents his charismatic, fiery style of preaching. The hypnotic Danforth claims to have actually "witnessed" the Word of the Lord and can perform great miracles as a faith healer. He demonstrates his abilities during one of his revivals, restoring sight to a blind person and giving a crippled person the ability to walk. The people are awestruck and soon flock to his services. Rev. Alden, Dr. Baker and Charles have all seen Danforth at work and reject his ministry; in the aftermath, attendance at Rev. Alden's Sunday services declines sharply, while Dr. Baker's practice also suffers. Later, a farmer's son complains of abdominal pain and places complete trust in Danforth to have it healed. Dr. Baker is nearby and urges the farmer to have surgery instead, but Danforth seems to heal the boy. But later that night, the boy's appendix bursts (just as Dr. Baker feared was about to happen) and he dies; the ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

19 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Charles decides to travel the 30 miles back to Walnut Grove at night he says there is a full moon so he will be able to find his way. The next shot (a classic, day-for -night shot) is clearly in broad daylight with a bright blue sunlit sky in the background. See more »


Harriet Oleson: If Reverend Danforth is really what they think he is... well, I'm gonna look like an absolute fool!
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User Reviews

25 August 2013 | by mitchrmpSee all my reviews

A new preacher arrives in Walnut Grove and excites the town by leading a faith healing service. After three people are suddenly cured, people turn to him as their new minister of choice. But when a young boy comes down with appendicitis, the father chooses to take him to see the faith healer instead of getting an operation. The boy is supposedly cured, but Dr. Baker believes the boy was only tricked into believing he was cured. When the boy dies, the minister takes a different approach and asks Reverend Alden to share his church with him. Reverend Alden refuses, and as a result believes he needs to leave Walnut Grove for good. But we know Charles and his come-to-Jesus talks. Well, he's no different here!

Incidentally, there is an episode in Season 1 about a circus man who comes to town, claiming to have special powders that heal. If you remember, Harriet Olsen was suffering from the very same thing as the boy in this episode. Her condition became chronic and Dr. Baker did surgery. I'm not sure why he couldn't operate on the boy...

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