John Graham Lake(1870–1935) was born in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada. While he was still a child, his parents moved to the United States. At the age of twenty-one, he became a Methodist minister; however, he chose to start a newspaper in Harvey, Illinois, instead of accepting a church ministry. From the newspaper business, Lake expanded his career pursuits by opening a real estate office in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and then in 1904 he bought a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. Through his real estate deals and his business acumen in insurance and investments, Lake amassed a sizeable fortune by today’s standards.
In the meantime, his wife Jennie had suffered with a prolonged, progressively debilitating illness, but she was miraculously delivered under the ministry of John Alexander Dowie in April 1898. This experience forever altered the direction of John G. Lake’s life and ministry.