In 1903, shortly after arriving in Hawaii, John Schaepe was unable to find work. Instead, he found his way toward the Honolulu waterfront where he intended to mug a passing sea captain with the aid of his 38 caliber pistol. What he found was a Salvation Army Mission into which he was drawn by the music. There he heard testimonies that made him desire "a better way of living." He returned to his room where he was converted and then quickly joined the Salvation Army.
Schaepe stated in his testimony that God "baptized me with the Holy ghost" on February 23, 1906, and that he spoke in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This would place his experience prior to the Azusa Street revival. It is probable, however, that it was actually in 1907 when he received his "baptism," since he was apparently working in Southern California, breaking horses, at the time the revival broke in Los Angeles.
The occasion for Schaepe's now famous revelation was a sermon delivered by Robert E. McAlister in April, 1913 at the Apostolic Faith World-Wide camp meeting held in the Arroyo Seco valley of Los Angeles. McAlister observed that in the Book of Acts, the apostles always baptized the newly converted, "in the name of Jesus Christ." He emphasized that the Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian formula was not used. Schaepe was sufficiently inspired by the message that he spent the entire night in prayer. Toward morning, this "would-be preacher" raced throughout the camp shouting out his revelation on the power of the name of Jesus. Many of the campers began to study the issue. Some, including, Frank J. Ewart, came to accept it, were re-baptized, and began to share their beliefs from the pulpit. Out of these beginnings came the Oneness Pentecostal movement.
In 1917, Schaepe was living just blocks from the Arroyo Seco comp ground at 6340 Arroyo Seco Avenue. He remained in that general area, moving a short distance to 3810 Eagle Rock Boulevard, where he remained until his death. He is buried in Vahalla Cemetery in Burbank, California.