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Lives of Power & Glory
(Biographies of Great Christian Leaders)
Edited By Dr Terry W. Preslar Copyright (C) 2007. Terry W. Preslar All rights reserved.
“...when thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13) Psalms 107:2 S É S Romans 12:1-2
P.O. Box 388 Mineral Springs, N.C. 28108 1(704)843-3858
The Home Bible Study Library Lives of Power & Glory
(Biographies of Great Christian Leaders) Abbreviations of the names of the books of the Bible used in this book and many other reference books in the Fresh Waters Digital Library.
Genesis . . . . . . . . . Exodus . . . . . . . . . . Leviticus . . . . . . . . Numbers . . . . . . . . Deuteronomy . . . . . Joshua . . . . . . . . . . Judges . . . . . . . . . . Ruth . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Samuel . . . . . . . . 2 Samuel . . . . . . . . 1 Kings . . . . . . . . . 2 Kings . . . . . . . . . 1 Chronicles . . . . . 2 Chronicles . . . . . Ezra . . . . . . . . . . . . Nehemiah . . . . . . . Esther . . . . . . . . . . Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . Psalms . . . . . . . . . . Proverbs . . . . . . . . Ecclesiastes . . . . . . Song of Solomon . . Isaiah . . . . . . . . . . . Jeremiah . . . . . . . . Lamentations . . . . . Ezekiel . . . . . . . . . . Daniel . . . . . . . . . . Hosea . . . . . . . . . . . Joel . . . . . . . . . . . . Amos . . . . . . . . . . . Obadiah . . . . . . . . . Jonah . . . . . . . . . . . Micah . . . . . . . . . . .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... . . . . . . . Gen. . . . . . . . . Ex. . . . . . . . Lev. . . . . . . Num. . . . . . . Deut. . . . . . . . Josh. . . . . . . Judg. . . . . . . . Ruth . . . . . 1 Sam. . . . . . 2 Sam. . . . . . 1 Kings . . . . . 2 Kings . . . . 1 Chron. . . . . 2 Chron. . . . . . . . Ezra . . . . . . . Neh. . . . . . . . . Est. . . . . . . . . Job . . . . . . . Psa. . . . . . . Prov. . . . . . . . Eccl. . Song of Sol. . . . . . . . . Isa. . . . . . . . . Jer. . . . . . . . Lam. . . . . . . Ezek. . . . . . . . Dan. . . . . . . . Hos. . . . . . . . . Joel . . . . . . Amos . . . . . . . Oba. . . . . . . Jonah . . . . . . . Mic. Nahum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nahum Habakkuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hab. Zephaniah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zeph. Haggai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hag. Zechariah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zec. Malachi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mal. Matthew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Matt. Mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Luke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luke John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Acts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acts Romans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rom. 1 Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Cor. 2 Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Cor. Galatians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gal. Ephesians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eph. Philippians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phil. Colossians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Col. 1 Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Thes. 2 Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Thes. 1 Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Tim. 2 Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Tim. Titus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Titus Philemon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phm. Hebrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heb. James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James 1 Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Peter 2 Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Peter 1 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 John 2 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 John 3 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 John Jude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jude Revelation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rev.
Copyright (C) 2003 Terry W. Preslar All rights reserved.
No part of this publication (in the printed form or the electronic form) may be reproduced in any form, by Photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, which are now known, or to be invented, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the copyright owner.
Terry W. Preslar – PO Box 388 – Mineral Springs, NC 28108-0388 – USA
The Home Bible Study Library Lives of Power & Glory
(Biographies of Great Christian Leaders) The Editor disclaims originality in this book. Other men have labored, I have but entered into their labors. Some of these Christian characters were heretics, scoundrels and cult leaders but some of these were the greatest leaders the church has ever produced. Most of these are deceased and have no way to defend themselves; therefore I have been careful to be kind in my reports of each. You may read these articles and say that you know more about these than is here; but remember, someone else will also write your biography too. The Editor has only proposed to himself the modest task of summarizing, arranging and condensing this mass of material into a convenient form. This book is dedicated to servant-hood and it is hoped that these names listed here will not be construed as the only ones who served God. (See the article on the Unknown Christian) TWP (9:50 AM, 8/24/05) At Home in Mineral Springs, NC Allen, Richard (1760-1831) — Richard Allen was born a slave boy to Benjamin Chew of Philadelphia, in February 14, 1760. His mother and father, and four children were sold to Delaware state near Cover. He lived there until he was twenty. He was saved and accepted Christ at that time. He and his brother joined the Methodist Society and started going to their classes with John Gray (their class leader) in the style of the Methodist Church. They were blessed to have a master that let them attend these meetings. Some of their neighbors were saying that religion would make the slaves worse servants. So he, and his brother worked hard to ensure that all the field work was completed to prove them wrong. His master allowed them to hold meetings at their house, and he converted to Christianity. He felt it was wrong to own slaves, so he proposed to them, freedom for $2,000 continental money. Richard bought his and his brother’s freedom in 1783. Richard Allen was a man of sublime courage and indestructible and passionate faith. Equipped with these two spiritual weapons he could not be beaten down. In 1787 when he and others of African descent were denied the freedom to worship God in the St. George Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as the United Methodist Church) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania he politely walked out. The movement which was begun as a result of the walk out blossomed into the African Methodist Espiscopal (A.M.E.) Church. Richard Allen felt that he had a special duty to spread the gospel among Africans and people of African descent as well as those of all ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds. These were the people, who, because of segregation and discrimination in church and state, were being dehumanized, ostracized, exploited, robbed, by-passed and otherwise mistreated. They needed to be organized and needed to have a Christian guiding principle of action. With these high goals and noble purposes in mind, he proceeded to take the ugly social situation which made his movement necessary, and, like Joseph of old, used it as a channel of blessing which stirred up in the African a burning determination to be first class Christians and first class Americans. Between 1815 and 1830 Richard Allen was often recognized as a leader of free Blacks in the north. In 1816 Richard Allen was consecrated the first bishop of this new denomination. In 1817 his Bethel A.M.E. Church hosted the first general mass meeting by Blacks to protest the deportation policies made by the American Colonization Society. After this was over he continued his career of preaching and organizing. He died in 1831. Arminius, Jacobus, (1560-1609) — Dutch theologian. He tried to liberalize severe Calvinist views on predestination, which stated that God unconditionally chooses some people to be saved and others to be -1-
damned (see Predestination). Arminius denied absolute predestination. He taught that predestination was based on God’s knowing in advance who would believe in Jesus. But people can still resist the Holy Spirit’s call to grace and even lose salvation. Thus, complete assurance of final salvation is impossible. Arminius’ doctrines were called Arminianism. Arminius’ followers published a Remonstrance in l610 that summarized his views. Orthodox Calvinists claimed that Arminianism would weaken Dutch national unity by dividing Calvinism, the national religion. A council called the Reformed Synod of Dort (1618-1619) condemned Arminianism. The doctrines still spread to England and the English colonies in America. Arminianism influenced other Protestant denominations, especially Methodism. (From The World Book Ency. 1996) Armstrong, Herbert W. — Herbert W. Armstrong was born July 31, 1892. He did not get involved in religion until 1926, when his wife “discovered” that Christians were keeping the wrong day of the week as the Sabbath. Angered at her “religious fanaticism”, Armstrong threatened divorce. But rather than divorcing her, he developed an interest in the Bible himself, and as his business failed, he spent more time reading the Bible. This study, Armstrong claimed, led to his conversion to sabbatarianism, the belief that God’s people should worship on Saturday rather than Sunday. He continued his religious work and in 1932 became a licensed minister in the Oregon Conference of the Church of God, a spinoff of the Seventh-Day Adventists. In 1933, Armstrong began delivering a 15-minute morning devotional from a radio station in Eugene, Ore. The next year, it was expanded to 30 minutes and Armstrong began calling it “The World Tomorrow,” the name the show carries today. Armstrong also began printing THE PLAIN TRUTH magazine that year. Its first printing was 250 copies, run off by hand on a mimeograph machine. Armstrong’s communication empire has come a long way. In 1985, his radio and television broadcasts reached every part of the United States, and Canada and Australia and part of other countries. THE PLAIN TRUTH now boasts a press run of 7.5 million copies per issue. Armstrong considered himself Christ’s sole true Apostle on the Earth. Armstrong’s name made the news from time to time. In 1984, his church lost a $1.26 million libel and slander suit that had been filed by the former wife of a church executive. She claimed in the suit that Armstrong and other church leaders had tried to smear her reputation after her divorce in 1976. That same year, Armstrong divorced his second wife, Ramona, after seven years of marriage. The case reportedly cost the church more than $5 million in legal fees before finally being settled in 1984. The church was wracked during the 1970s and 1980s by defections, personnel changes and allegations by several ex-members that Armstrong and other leaders had diverted millions of dollars in church money for their own use. These dissidents succeeded in getting the California attorney general’s office to place the church’s finances under control of a church-appointed receiver in 1979. But the allegations were never proven and the charges were dropped in 1980. All this transpired shortly after Armstrong’s son, Garner Ted, once an eloquent and dynamic spokesman for the church and heir-apparent to his father’s position, was excommunicated. Garner Ted then founded his own church, the Church of God International, in Tyler, Texas. While no one can deny Armstrong succeeded in disseminating what he called the “true original Gospel”, one can easily question his claim to its fidelity. Herbert W. Armstrong died Jan. 16, 1986. But Christians should not regard this as the beginning of the end for his church. The WCG probably will continue to mislead many with its appearance of biblical authority unless Christians pray for its members and potential victims and witness more effectively against its lies. Augustine, of Hippo (354-430) — Christian theologian and philosopher. Augustine’s Confessions gives us an intimate psychological self-portrait of a spirit in search of ultimate purpose. This he believed he found in his conversion to Christianity (386), which took place only after worldly and philosophical confusion. As bishop of Hippo (North Africa) from 396-430, he defended Roman Catholic orthodoxy against the Manichaeans, the Donatists and the Pelagians. According to the doctrine of his Enchiridion (421), he -2-
tended to emphasize the corruption of human will, and the freedom of the divine gift of grace. The City of God (426), perhaps his most enduring work, was a model of Christian apologetic literature. Of the Four Fathers of the Latin Church, which also included Ambrose, Jerome and Gregory, Augustine is considered the greatest. Baxter, Richard (1615 - 1691) — Richard Baxter was born in Rowton, England. His parents were poor, his early education was limited. Later he attended school at Wroxeter and read with Richard Wickstead at Ludlow Castle. His eager mind found abundant nourishment in the large library of the castle. Later, he was persuaded to enter court life in London, but returned home to study theology. While reading theology with the local clergyman, he met Joseph Symonds and Walter Cradock, two famous nonconformists, whose piety and fervor influenced him considerably. In 1638 he was appointed master of the free grammar school, Dudley, in which place he commenced his ministry, having been ordained and licensed by John Thornborough, bishop of Worcester. His early ministry was not successful, but during these years he took a special interest in the controversy relating to nonconformity and the Church of England. Rejecting episcopacy, he soon became alienated from the Church, and known as a moderate conformist. In April 1641 at twenty-six, he became pastor in the village of Kidderminster and remained there for nineteen years, accomplishing an unusual work of reformation in that place. His ministry was interrupted often by civil war. At one time he served as chaplain of the army. After the Restoration in 1660, Baxter went to London and ministered there as chaplain to King Charles II until Parliament passed the Act of Uniformity, which required all clergymen to agree to everything in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Baxter refused and lost his position as chaplain and Bishop of Hereford. In addition he was prohibited from preaching in his parish of Kidderminster, and from 1662 to 1687 he was continually persecuted. He retired to Acton in Middlesex for the purpose of quiet study and writing. While there he was arrested and imprisoned for conducting a conventicle. His most memorable words at this time were: “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” In 1685 he was accused of libeling the Church of England in one of his books. His trial is regarded by many historians as one of the most brutal perversions of English justice in history, and he was again imprisoned. During the years of oppression, his health grew worse, yet these were his most productive years as a writer. His books and articles flooded England. Finally in 1691 ill health, aggravated by eighteen years in prison, caused his death. He had preached before the king, the House of Commons, the Lord Mayor of London; his prolific pen had produced one hundred and sixty-eight theological and devotional works. His saintly behavior, great talents, wide influence, added to his extended age, had raised him to a position of unequaled reputation as the “English Demosthenes” in the conflict for liberty of conscience. Biederwolf, William Edward (1867-1939) — William Biederwolf was converted to Christ at the age of twenty. After extensive education in universities in France, Germany, and Princeton, he was ordained at thirty years of age. After three years in the pastorate and one year as an army chaplain, he began a life of evangelistic work that lasted thirty-five years. He preached in America and around the world and established a leper home in Korea in 1920. In 1923 he established the Winona Lake Assembly in Winona Lake, Indiana. After his active work in evangelism, he devoted his remaining years to pastoring in Florida and also to writing. He was the author of many books, among which were The Millennium Bible (The Second Coming Bible); The Wonderful Christ; The Growing Christian; and The Whipping Post Theology and a book about the Jehovah’s Witness cult. Booth, William (1829-1912) — William Booth was born in Nottingham, England to an Anglican family. At thirteen he was converted in a Wesleyan Chapel in London. Soon his growing burden for the souls of men led him to begin bringing street people to the church. -3-
Mr. Booth, whose job as a pawnbroker showed him the need of London’s poorest, began preaching at 17. He brought so many of the poor and ragged drunkards to church that he was asked to leave. He was the pastor of a Methodist church until 1861 when he withdrew from the denomination. In 1865 he began the East London Christian Mission, the work that would become known as the Salvation Army. They fed the hungry, housed the homeless and, most importantly, preached the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The organization began using the name Salvation Army in 1878. It was known for military discipline. William Booth realized the power of music to attract crowds for his services, so he began the bands for which the Salvation Army is still famous. During his lifetime, the Salvation Army remained focused on salvation as opposed to the social gospel which is its trademark today. It is believed that more than 2,000,000 souls were converted by this great work. When Queen Victoria asked Mr. Booth the secret of his ministry, he replied, “I guess it is because God knows I am hungering to keep souls out of Hell!” William Booth died at the age of 83, still seeking to win men and women to Christ. Bounds, E. M. (1835-1913) — Edward McKendree Bounds was born in Shelby County, Missouri, August 15, 1835, and died August 24, 1913, in Washington, Georgia. He received a common school education at Shelbyville and was admitted to the bar soon after his majority. He practiced law until called to preach the Gospel at the age of 24. His first pastorate was a Monticello, Missouri Circuit. After the Civil War (he spent several years as a prisoner of war), Rev. E.M. Bounds was pastor of churches in Tennessee and Alabama. After serving several pastorates he was sent to the First Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, for one year and to St. Paul Methodist Church for three years. At the end of his pastorate, he became the editor of the St. Louis Christian Advocate. He was a forceful writer and a very deep thinker. He spent the last seventeen years of his life with his family in Washington, Georgia. Most of the time he was reading, writing and praying. He rose at 4:00 AM each day for many years and was indefatigable in his study of the Bible. His writings are read by thousands of people of every Protestant denomination. It can be said that E.M.Bounds is the “Prayer Warrior” of the Fundamentalist Movement. His books on prayer and Holiness are without comparison. No Fundamentalist can call himself true to the cause until he reads E.M.Bounds. There are three books that seem to be most important: Power through Prayer, Preacher and Prayer and Purpose in Prayer. These can be found in a set at inexpensive prices. Brainerd, David (1718-1747) — Few men have accomplished more in such a short life than did David Brainerd. From the moment of his salvation at 21 in 1739 his life was wholly dedicated to God. He cared not for pleasure or comfort, only for the will of God. Mr. Brainerd was expelled from Yale for criticizing the worldliness of members of the faculty. He was deemed to be “too religious for the then-Christian school. His heart became burdened for the salvation of the Indians. At that time, there was almost no attempt being made to reach the savages with the Gospel. Church leaders argued whether they even possessed souls to be saved. Mr. Brainerd ignored their distractions and contempt and proceeded to his work. He preached all along the eastern coast, traveling thousands of miles on horseback in all kinds of weather he suffered from tuberculosis, but he refused to put his health needs above the salvation needs of the Indians. One well-known story tells how the Indians who had crept to his camp intending to kill him but left him alone after a rattlesnake refused to bite him. The next day he was accorded a warm welcome to the village, and many were saved. Mr. Brainerd fell in love with Jerusha Edwards, the daughter of Jonathan Edwards but his ill health prevented them from marrying. At the age of 29 while in Edwards home David Brainerd died of tuberculosis. Jonathan Edwards edited Mr. Brainerd’s diary into a book that has been used by God to challenge Christians around the world to greater service. Among those greatly influenced by its pages were the missionary heroes William Carey and Henry Martyn. Bray, Billy (1794-1868) — Billy Bray was born into a -rough mining town in Cornwall, England in - 1794. Although his family was saved, Billy showed no interest in the things of God. At 17 he ran away to -4-
Devonshire. He lived a drunken and debauched life, far from God. He married a Christian girl, but it did not slow his sinful ways. Twice he was nearly killed, once in a mine accident and again as he drunkenly rode a stolen horse. Finally a copy of John Bunyan’s: “Visions of Heaven and Hell” came into his hands. Convicted and miserable, he woke one morning about 3:00 AM and knelt by his bedside, asking God to save his soul. Mr. Bray’s whole life was changed. He came home from work the next payday sober, having skipped his weekly trip to the bar. He gave up smoking and drinking forever when he was saved. His friends thought he would soon return to his old worldly ways, but he never did. Billy Bray became a fervent soul winner. It is said that he never met a person without inquiring as to the condition of his soul. He became a frequent speaker at meetings, urging his fellow miners and neighbors to come to Christ. Bray had a shouting religion. He said, “I lift up one foot and it says, ‘Glory!’ and I lift the other foot and it says, ‘Amen!’ and so they keep on like that all the time I’m walking.” He was sometimes criticized for his fervor, but his love for God was very real. When his wife died, he still praised the Lord. ‘Bless. the Lord! My dear Joey is gone up with the shining angels!’. he shouted. The goodness of God made him glad even in times of sorrow. On his deathbed he asked the doctor who had just told him he was dying, “When I get up there, shall I tell them you will be coming too?” Billy Bray died at 74 years of age, still praising the Lord. Bryan, Andrew (1737-1812) — Andrew Bryan, the founder of the First African Baptist Church, was born enslaved in 1737, on a plantation outside of Charleston, South Carolina. He served as coachman and body servant to Jonathan Bryan, who along with his brother Hugh and several other planters, was arrested for preaching to slaves. Jonathan Bryan’s plantation became the center of efforts by dissenting groups of planters to evangelize their slaves. In 1782, Andrew was converted by the preaching of George Liele, the first black Baptist in Georgia, who was licensed to preach to slaves along the Savannah River. Liele baptized Andrew and his wife Hannah. When Liele and hundreds of other blacks left with the British later that year, Andrew continued to preach to small groups outside of Savannah. With his master’s encouragement, he built a shack for his small flock, which included a few whites. Although he brought hundreds into his church, 350 others could not be baptized because of their masters’ opposition. Fearing slave uprisings and desertions to the British, Georgian masters forbade their slaves to listen to Andrew’s sermons. Even slaves who had passes were stopped and whipped, and members of the church, both slave and free, were harassed, whipped, and jailed. Jonathan Bryan and several other sympathetic planters protested Andrew’s imprisonment. Upon his release he continued to preach in a barn on the Bryan plantation, between sunrise and sunset. With the support of several prominent white men of Savannah who cited the positive effect of religion on slave discipline, Andrew was ordained and his church certified in 1788. When his own master died, Andrew Bryan purchased his freedom. In 1794, Bryan raised enough money to erect a church in Savannah, calling it the Bryan Street African Baptist Church – the first black Baptist church in Georgia (and probably the United States), as well as the first Baptist church, black or white, in Savannah. By 1800, the church had grown to about 700; they reorganized as the First Baptist Church of Savannah, and 250 members were dismissed in order to establish a branch outside of Savannah. Bryan died in 1812, having obtained a house of his own, property in Savannah and in the country, and the freedom of his wife – though his “only daughter and child, who is married to a free man” remained in slavery along with her seven children, since according to law children inherited the condition of their enslaved mothers. Calvin, John (1509-64) — A French theologian, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation; born as Jean Chauvin. He first prepared for a career in the Catholic Church but then turned to the study of law and, later, the classics. He experienced what he termed a “sudden conversion” that caused his departure from Catholicism around 1533. He converted to Protestantism and began work on his Institutes of the Christian Religion (published 1536). -5-
In this work, frequently revised and expanded, he presented the basics of what came to be known as Calvinism. To avoid persecution, he traveled in France, Italy, and Switzerland. In 1536 he was persuaded to stay in Geneva, Switzerland, and advance the Reformation there. He began a thoroughgoing, austere revamping of the life of the city. Opposition to him emerged, and he was banished in 1538, but he was welcomed back in 1541 and remained there until his death. He established a theocratic type of government In that year his Ecclesiastical Ordinances provided a framework for church and civic life in what came to be called the “Protestant Rome.” Regulation of conduct in Geneva was extended to all areas of life. Economic development was promoted by emphasis on such virtues as thrift, industry, sobriety, and responsibility. Supposed witches and heretics (such as Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake in 1553) were persecuted. Education was promoted. Along with Luther, Calvin was one of the forerunners of Protestantism His principal writing, called The Institutes of the Christian Religion, maintains that humanity is lost in the state of sin and totally depraved. In this state, humanity cannot only not save itself, but it cannot even will to be saved. Therefore, salvation is the result of God’s decision to bestow grace upon an individual through the death of Christ. Involved in this grace is also the gift of faith, since no one can will to believe because all are completely evil. For Calvin, then, God predestines some to receive grace and be saved, whereas others God predestines to damnation. Philosophically, under the doctrine of providence, God is the primary cause of every event in the world. though Calvin admits to secondary causes, every event can be connected to its primary and sufficient cause, which Calvin says is God. Calvin split with the Lutherans over the nature of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and vigorously trained many French refugees to act as missionary pastors to that country. He also intrigued with various French nobles in the events that led to the Wars of Religion (1562-98). By the time of his death the brilliant and charismatic Calvin saw the beginnings of the great impact his doctrines were to have throughout Western Europe. Carey, Lott (1780-1828) — A African-American Slave, Missionary and Colonial Leader who lived during the early days of American history. It is called Charles City County, Virginia. But there is no city there, not even a town or village in the rural county north of the James River. Early in the 1600'’s plantations and tobacco farms sprang up along the James, and farming continues to be the main occupation. It was in this rural Virginia county that Lott Carey was born about 1780. Lott was born a slave on the estate of William A. Christian, about thirty miles from Richmond. Though his parents were illiterate, Lott’s father was a respected member of the Baptist Church. When he was twenty-four, Lott was hired out as a laborer in the Shockhoe tobacco warehouse in Richmond. As a young man he was profane and given to drunkenness. In 1807 Lott was converted and joined the First Baptist Church of Richmond. Hearing a sermon on John 3 caused Lott to want to learn to read the story of Nicodemus in John 3 for himself. Soon he learned to read and was licensed to preach by the church. Lott was an excellent worker, and his efficiency, faithfulness and literacy soon earned him a promotion to shipping clerk in the tobacco warehouse. The merchants often rewarded him with an extra $5 and allowed him to collect and sell the waste pieces of tobacco. In 1813 Lott’s wife died, but he was able to purchase his own freedom and that of his two young children with $850 he had saved. While preaching to the slave population around Richmond, Lott continued to work in the tobacco warehouse. He was able to purchase a house for $1,500 and see that his children received an education. By 1820 he was receiving an annual salary of $800. In 1813, about the time Lott bought his freedom, William Crane from New Jersey came to Richmond and took an interest in the young blacks of the town. Crane worked with Lott Carey to organize the Richmond African Missionary Society. The Society collected funds for mission work in Africa and within five years had collected $700. The Richmond Society worked with the Triennial Baptist Convention and the American Colonization Society in sending missionaries to Africa. Lott Carey and Collin Teague, another Richmond free black, were chosen as missionaries to Africa. When Carey announced he was going to Africa as a missionary, his employers at the tobacco -6-
warehouse offered him a $200 annual increase if he would stay on the job. Carey was not tempted; he wanted to be where his color was not a hindrance to useful service, and he was eager to preach the Gospel in Africa. Shortly before Carey, Teague, and their families departed, William Crane gathered them and a few Baptists in the upper room of his Richmond home and organized the emigrants into the First Baptist Church of Monrovia, Liberia. On January 16, 1821, they set sail from Norfolk for West Africa. During the forty-four day journey across the Atlantic the missionaries held regular worship services. At the beginning of March they joined the other settlers of the American Colonization Society at Sierra Leone. Soon after their arrival, Lott’s second wife died. Lott was more interested in missionary work among the natives than in establishing a colony, but in 1822 he moved to Monrovia. There he established the first church in Liberia, Providence Baptist Church, and ministered to the congregation as well as to native tribes. One native named John walked eighty miles to Monrovia from Cape Mount, adjacent to Sierra Leone. John had first heard of Christianity from the British but wanted to learn more. Under Lott Carry’s ministry he was converted and baptized. He returned to his people with Bibles and hymn books and iron bars used in trade. Carey preached several times a week at the church and gave religious instruction to the native school children. He used his own money to maintain a weekday charity school in Monrovia and established a school at Big Town in the Cape Mount region. Moslems of the Mandingo tribe raised a great deal of opposition to the school, but Carey persevered to see the school completed. It was a 15 by 30-foot school which soon had thirty-seven children enrolled. Carey found a teacher, whom he paid $20 a month. He requested friends in the States to send forty suits of clothes “as soon as practicable,” since school regulations said children should wear clothes! When 105 new settlers arrived in Monrovia in February 1823, many of them were sick with a fever, and there was no physician available. Though not a doctor, Carey used his common sense and knowledge of herbs to nurse many of the people back to health. In 1823-24 Carey became the leader of a resistance against Jehudi Ashmun and Liberia’s colonial authorities. The settlers were dissatisfied with the distribution of town lots in Monrovia, and Carey sided with the insurrectionists. An armed vessel of the US was sent to deal with the situation in the summer of 1824. After an investigation, Jehudi Ashmun was retained as a colonial agent, and Lott Carey was punished by the Colonization Society. He was forbidden to preach until “time and circumstance had evinced the deepness and sincerity of his repentance.” Carey and Ashmun were soon reconciled, and Carey became vice agent for the colony. Carey was truly repentant that he had encouraged the rebellion, feeling that he had “inflicted in his character a wound that could not be healed in this world, and betrayed the great confidence reposed in him.” As vice agent, Carey was given the responsibility of caring for freed Africans arriving from the States. Trade Town was a slave market located near the colony, and some of the slaves were recaptured from there and given their freedom in Liberia. Carey and Ashmun established a school for these newly freed Africans. The slave trade still continued on the African Coast. In 1825, 8-10 slave traders on the coast had contracts out for 800 slaves to be furnished in four months. In 1828 Jehudi Ashmun returned to America, leaving the government of Liberia in Carry’s hands. Ashmun urged Carey to become the permanent agent for the colony. Before Carey could assume a larger role in the colony, however, he was mortally wounded in a munitions explosion. Lott Carey died November 10, 1828. Carey Chronology 1780 Born 1807 Converted and baptized; buys Bible and learns to read and write 1813 First wife dies; buys his freedom for $850 1815 Marries second wife 1817 American Colonization Society founded -7-
1821 Sails from Norfolk for West Africa in January; arrives Freetown, Sierra Leone in March; second wife dies 1822 Colony of Liberia founded; establishes church in Liberia 1823 Leads resistance; suspended as minister 1826 Opens school to tribes people 1828 Governs in Liberia 1828 Dies “This step is not taken to promote my own fortune, nor am I influenced by any sudden impulse. I have counted the cost and have sacrificed all my worldly possessions to this undertaking. I am prepared to meet imprisonment or even death in carrying out the purpose of my heart. It may be that I shall behold you no more on this side of the grave, but I feel bound to labor for my brothers, perishing as they are in the far distant land of Africa. For their sake and for Christ’s sake I am happy in leaving all and venturing all. – Carry’s words before sailing for Africa He had been indefatigable in his efforts to uplift the colony. The morale of the settlement was greatly lifted. Drunkenness, profanity, and quarreling were unknown; the Sabbath was observed with strictness. Nearly the whole adult population had come under the influence of Christianity. On the site of a once desolate forest consecrated to demon worship was erected the commodious chapel, which stood as a monument of the overthrow of heathenism and as a tribute to the Son of God. (Taken from Miles Mark Fisher in “Lott Carey, The Colonizing Missionary” Journal of Negro History, 1922, p.409.) Lott Carey has been called the first black American missionary to Africa, however Daniel Coker probably has a slight edge on him. Coker was born a slave in Maryland and purchased his freedom. He organized the first school in Baltimore for African-Americans. Along with Richard Allen of Philadelphia, in 1816 Coker became one of the founders of the American Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1820 Coker was sent as a missionary to Sierra Leone by the American Colonization Society. He founded many churches in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The American Colonization Society, founded in 1817, was among the earliest of the anti-slavery societies. John Marshall, James Monroe, Henry Clay, and John Randolph were among its leaders. Its purpose was to raise funds to buy freedom for slaves and reestablish them in Africa. Under the Society’s auspices, as many as 12,000 blacks emigrated to Africa, and the country of Liberia was established. Many of the colonists, however, died from disease and suffered from insufficient support from the Society. By the 1830's most anti-slavery people in America realized colonization was not a feasible solution to the slavery problem. Sixty years after Carry’s death, African-American Baptists in America established the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, now based in Washington, DC. In 1996 Ned Carey, Lott’s greatgreat-great grandson traveled to Liberia to help the church Lott established begin the year long celebration of its 175th anniversary. Carey, William (1761 - 1834) — William Carey, known as the “Father of Modern Missions,” was born at Northamptonshire, England, and became a cobbler at the age of fourteen. He studied privately on his own and mastered Dutch, French, Greek, and Hebrew before he was twenty years of age. Two years later at the age of twenty-two, he joined the Baptist church and began preaching immediately, mostly on the theme of missions. He helped organize the English Baptist Missionary Society and was one of its first missionaries to India. His services there were remarkable for their range and depth. In addition to soul winning, Carey founded the Serampore College, and with the aid of other linguists, he translated the Bible into forty-four languages and dialects. Through his efforts the Bible was made available to three hundred million people before the American civil war. He was also instrumental in developing grammars and dictionaries in Bengali, Sanskrit, and other native tongues. Carroll, Benajah Harvey (1843-1914) — Baptist minister and educator, B. H. Carroll was born in Carrolton, Mississippi, the son of a preacher-farmer and one of twelve children. At the age of eighteen -8-
he was graduated from Waco University in Waco, Texas, and then spent the next four years in the confederate army during the Civil War. In 1865 at the age of twenty-two, he was converted to Christ in a wood shed through the efforts of a Methodist evangelist and was ordained to the ministry one year later. During the first years of his ministry immigrants were moving into Texas by the thousands and he labored for their evangelization. After pastoring several Baptist churches, he became Secretary of the Education Conference of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1899. He served this capacity until 1901 at which time he became head of the Bible department at Baylor Theological Seminary which later became Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Carroll served as president of Southwestern from 1908 until his death in 1914. In addition to his intellectual and argumentative abilities in an age of denominational debates, he possessed a lovable nature. He once said, “When I come to know a man and love him as a friend and a brother, nothing can destroy the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.” He believed in the Baptist interpretation of the teachings of the New Testament and was devoted to spreading these teachings to “the uttermost part of the earth.” Cartwright, Peter (1785-1872) — American Methodist circuit rider. Peter Cartwright was born in Amherst County, Virginia. His father was a colonial soldier in the War of Independence. Shortly after the War, the family moved to Kentucky, which was then a wilderness filled with thousands of hostile Indians. There, in those frontier surroundings, Peter Cartwright was reared. And, like many of the young men in that primitive area, became wild and wicked, engaging in many sinful practices. His mother was a devout Christian woman, who opened their cabin home for preaching by the Methodist circuit preachers. As a young man of 16, Peter was convicted of his sins as a result of these meetings. And, after several weeks of deep agony and contrition, he was soundly converted at an outdoor revival meeting. His new faith completely changed his life, and he immediately began to witness for Christ. One year later, he was licensed as an “exhorter” and began riding a circuit of his own. His appointments were few and far between, and he preached wherever people would open their homes, because meeting houses were few. At the end of three months, he had taken 25 people into the Methodist Church, and had received a salary of $6.00. This was the beginning of his long career as a circuit-riding Methodist preacher. Cartwright was a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher after the style of Wesley, and his character and personality often matched his sermons. Often, he personally thrashed the rowdies who disturbed his camp meetings after which he saw many of them “get religion.” His fearlessness is described in an incident which took place in Nashville. As he was preaching, General Andrew Jackson entered the service. The local preacher whispered the news to Cartwright, which prompted him to thunder, “And who is General Jackson? If General Jackson doesn’t get his soul converted, God will damn him as quickly as anyone else!” Jackson smiled and later told Cartwright that he was “a man after my own heart.” In over 50 years of traveling circuits in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, Cartwright received 10,000 members into the Methodist Church, personally baptized 12,000, conducted over 500 funerals, and preached more than 15,000 sermons. He was strongly opposed to comfort in religion, education, and culture in the ministry; his equipment consisted of a black broadcloth suit and a horse with saddlebags, while his library was composed of his Bible, hymnbook, and Methodist discipline. He was the epitome of the Methodist circuit riders who preached, traveled, suffered, and firmly planted the old-time religion in the frontier of the infant United States of America. Chafer, Lewis Sperry (1871-1952) — American Bible lecturer and theologian. Lewis Sperry Chafer was born February 27, 1871, at Rock Creek, Ohio. Graduating from Oberlin College in 1892, he studied under Dr. Frank E. Finch and was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1900. Chafer launched into evangelism, demonstrating talent as a Gospel singer as well as a preacher. He toured as a renowned Bible lecturer from 1914 until 1924, when he founded Dallas Theological -9-
Seminary and became its first president. Chafer was widely honored, receiving a D.D. from Wheaton (1926); Litt.D. from Dallas (1924); and Th.D. from the Aix-En-Province, France, Protestant Seminary (1946). He wrote prolifically, producing his widely read Grace, Salvation, and True Evangelism; and his monumental Systematic Theology. Through all the acclaim and accomplishments, his students remember best his deep reverence for the Word, and a daily, humble dependence on the Holy Spirit. Dr. Chafer died August 22, 1952, but his work continues through his books and his students. Chapman, John Wilbur (1859-1918) — Presbyterian evangelist, J. Wilbur Chapman was born in Indiana and educated at Oberlin College and Lane Seminary. He received the LL.D. degree from Heidelberg University. He held pastorates in Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He conducted evangelistic campaigns in Canada, Hawaii, the Fiji Islands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Japan, Tasmania, and the Philippine Islands. Chapman became the director of the Winona Lake Bible Conference and helped set up conferences at Stony Brook, Long Island, and Montreat, North Carolina. He was made executive secretary of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1903. He won thousands of souls to Jesus Christ and influenced hundreds of young men to enter the ministry. He was cultured, earnest, enthusiastic and “sane.” In his preaching and manner of life he was never coarse or thoughtless. His preaching was calm, but forceful, emotional, but not dramatic. Chavis, John (1763-1838) — At a time when few African-Americans were free and almost none were educated, John Chavis occupied a unique place in North Carolina society. Though little is certain of Chavis’ early life, there is much speculation. Chavis was a free man, born in 1762 or 1763. Scholars debate his birthplace, showing evidence for the West Indies, Pitt County or Granville County, NC, or Mecklenberg County, VA. He was possibly the “indentured servant named John Chavis” mentioned in the inventory of the estate of Halifax attorney James Milner in 1773. Stories also differ as to how Chavis was educated. Milner had an extensive private library that included books in Greek and Latin. This library was inherited by The Reverend William Willie of Sussex, who may have also played a role in Chavis’ training and education. One story even suggests that Chavis was sent to Princeton Seminary to settle a bet that blacks could not learn the classics. He was not allowed to attend classes, but studied to become a minister under the seminary president, John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He became a scholar of Latin and Greek. A certificate made out in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on April 6, 1802, attests that John Chavis was known to the court and considered a free man and that he has been a student at Washington Academy at Lexington, Virginia, now Washington and Lee University. His education was exceptional for the age. This is evident in his correspondence and in his professional accomplishments. He was probably the most learned black in the United States. Chavis played a role in our nation’s independence as a soldier in the Fifth Regiment of Virginia, in which he enlisted in December, 1778. He served for three years in the Revolutionary War. Captain Mayo Carington, in a bounty warrant written in March 1783, certified that Chavis had “faithfully fulfilled (his duties) and is thereby entitled to all immunities granted to three year soldiers.” In a 1789 tax list of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, he was shown as a free black owning one horse. He and his wife, Sarah Frances Anderson, had one son, Anderson Chavis. Chavis was licensed to preach in 1799. It is recorded in Presbytery of Lexington records, “the said Jon Chavis (was voted a license) to preach the Gospel of Christ as a probationer for the holy ministry within the bounds of this Presbytery, or wherever he shall be orderly called, hoping as he is a man of colour, he may be peculiarly useful to those of his own complexion.” Six months later he transferred to the Hanover Presbytery with this recommendation: “...as a man of exemplary piety, and possessed of many qualifications which merit their respectful attention.” From 1801 through 1807 he served as a missionary for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to slaves in Maryland, Virginis, and North Carolina. He was provided a horse and lodging. He came to Raleigh in 1807 where he was licensed to preach the Christian Gospel by the Orange Presbytery. He continued to preach to black and -10-
white congregations in Granville, Orange, and Wake Counties. Chavis’‘ preaching days ended abruptly in the 1832 after Nat Turner, an educated slave and preacher in southern Virginia, led a bloody rebellion that ended in the murder of dozens of whites. Slave-holding states quickly passed laws forbidding all African-Americans to preach. The presbytery continued to pay Chavis $50 a year until his death and continued payments to his wife until 1842. An educator as well as preacher, Chavis taught full time following the ruling. He taught white children during the day and free black children at night. He prepared the white children for college by teaching them Latin and Greek. The school he opened in Raleigh was described as one of the best in the state. It surely was an excellent school, for some of the most powerful men in white society entrusted their sons’‘ education to Chavis. His students include Priestly H. Mangum, brother of Senator Willie P. Mangum; Archibald E. and John L. Henderson, sons of Chief Justice Henderson; Governor Charles Manly; The Reverend William Harris; Dr. James L. Wortham; the Edwardses, Enlows (Enloes), Hargroves, and Horners; and Abram Renchu who became Minister of Portugal and Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Thus John Chavis’ influence was far reaching. Chrysostom (John of Antioch) (347 - 407) — John was born and reared in Antioch, Syria, where he studied the scriptures and served as a deacon. Later he became the pastor of the leading church. During his ten year pastorate there he taught the scriptures and wrote commentaries. He was made Archbishop of Constantinople in 397 and preached there for six years condemning sin everywhere, even in high places. The Empress Eudosia banished him because she said that he had insulted her. He was soon recalled but not tamed. He continued his strong preaching against sin until banished again, he died in the desert. Thirty years later his bones were taken back to Constantinople and buried with great pomp. His oratorical powers caused him to be called Chrysostom which means “the golden mouth.” Columba (521 - 597) — Irish missionary Columba was born in Donegal, Ireland. Very little is known about his early life and education. He studied at Celtic schools and in 551 was ordained a priest. Later in 563 at the age of forty-two, he and twelve of his followers sailed to Scotland where he established a center of missionary activity at Iona. His labors resulted in reaching the entire island with Christianity. His ministry contrasted sharply with that of Augustine, who later came to Britain, in that Augustine represented the Roman Church while Columba was a product of the Celtic Church of Britain. Revered by both Scotland and Ireland as a great spiritual benefactor and saint, he was found dead beside the altar of a local church where he had been engaged in midnight prayer. Many historians consider his work and ministry of promoting Christianity in the British Isles far greater than that of the first “Archbishop of Canterbury.” De Haan, Martin R. (1891-1965) — M. R. De Haan was born in Zeeland, Michigan, the son of a cobbler who had emigrated from the Netherlands. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. On June 25, 1914, he married Priscilla Venhuizen and soon became a successful physician in Western Michigan. The teaching of his godly parents bore fruit during a period of illness when he sensed the distinct call to preach the Gospel. He gave up his medical practice and completed training at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He pastored two churches in Grand Rapids which grew rapidly under his clear and forceful preaching. The Lord endowed him with the ability to make Bible truth simple and easily understood. De Haan began sharing this gift with several large Bible classes, and in 1938 as an outgrowth of one of these classes in Detroit, the Lord led in the expansion of this teaching by means of radio. The program, known as the Radio Bible Class, grew rapidly and was soon heard over two national networks. In more than a quarter of a century, without ever appealing to the radio audience for funds, De Haan saw the broadcast grow under God’s direction from a local venture on a fifty-watt station to a ministry of more than six hundred selected stations around the world. During those years he spoke at many Bible conferences across the country and wrote twenty-five books and numerous booklets. He edited and published a monthly devotional guide, Our Daily Bread, which has circulation of over eight hundred thousand. The entire literature production of the Radio Bible -11-
Class now exceeds a million pieces per month. On December 13, 1965, M. R. De Haan was called home to be with the Lord. Dixon, A. C. (Amzi Clarence) (1854-1925) — “All conclusions drawn by faith are comforting. Reason is a servant, not a master. It is the most abject slave in the world. It does the bidding of ignorance, or sin, of virtue, of vice, of knowledge, of faith or of unbelief. Every fact to the eye of faith may be comforting because ‘all things work together for good to them that love God.’” Born on a plantation near Shelby, North Carolina, on July 6, 1854, Amzi Clarence Dixon was a microcosm of an era of Fundamentalism. His father, a Baptist preacher, was a godly man, so young Clarence consistently received the highest caliber of Christian example and training. Destined to become a great Bible expositor and elegant pulpiteer, A. C. Dixon knew early in life that he must preach the Gospel. After graduating from Wake Forest College, Dixon served two country churches in North Carolina. Leaving both congregations in a state of revival, he then went to study under John A. Broadus at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dixon is most often remembered for his big-city churches in the North, though he always considered himself a southerner. He enjoyed powerful and fruitful pastorates at many places, but particularly at the well-known Chicago’s Moody Church and London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. During his 10-year ministry at Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn (1890-1900) Dixon often rented the Brooklyn Opera House for Sunday afternoon evangelistic services. In 1901, he became pastor of Ruggles Street Baptist Church, Roxbury, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. Here Dixon taught at the Gordon Bible and Missionary Training School and wrote his famous Evangelism Old and New, an attack on the Social Gospel movement. In 1906 he accepted the pulpit of the Chicago Avenue Church (Moody Memorial Church), and he spent the war years ministering at Spurgeon’s Tabernacle in London. During these years he was conspicuous at Fundamentalist gatherings; he spoke at great Bible conferences. A. C. Dixon suffered a heart attack and died on June 14, 1925, just one month before the Scopes Trial. Dixon, like many other Fundamentalists, fought the good fight almost to the midnight hour of his life. Erasmus, Desiderius (1466-1536) — Edited the Greek text which was later to be known as the Textus Receptus. Desiderius Erasmus was born in 1466 and died in 1536 at the age of seventy. This was no mean feat during the days when the plagues, coupled with primeval medical practices, worked together to limit the average age of a man’s life to approximately 35-40 years. Both of his parents fell victim to that same plague while Erasmus was just a lad. He and his brother were then placed in the care of an uncle who promptly sent them off to a monastery just to be rid of them. Thus Erasmus’s destiny was sealed long before he could ever have a say in the matter. Young Erasmus became well known for his charm, urbanity and wit, and was in possession of an obviously above average intellect. He was later to choose to be an Augustinian on the sole attribute that they were known to have the finest of libraries. His behavior was somewhat bizarre by Augustinian standards. He refused to keep vigils, never hesitated to eat meat on Fridays, and though ordained, chose never to function as a priest. The Roman Church had captured his body, but quite apparently his mind and heart were still unfettered. He is known to history as one of the most prolific writers of all times. Erasmus was a constant and verbal opponent of the many excesses of his church. He berated the papacy, the priesthood and the over indulgences of the monks. He stated that the monks would not touch money, but that they were not so scrupulous concerning wine and women. He constantly attacked clerical concubinage and the cruelty with which the Roman Catholic Church dealt with so-called “heretics. “ He is even credited with saving a man from the Inquisition. One of his many writings consisted of a tract entitled “Against the Barbarians” which was directed against the overt wickedness of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a constant critic of Pope Julius and the papal monarchy. He often compared the crusade-leading Pope Julius to Julius Caesar. He is quoted as saying, “How truly is Julius playing the part of Julius!” He also stated, “This monarchy of the Roman pontiff is the pest of Christendom.” He advised the church to “get rid of the Roman See.” When a scathing satire, in which Pope Julius was portrayed as going to Hell, written in anonymity, was circulated, it was fairly common -12-
knowledge that its author was Erasmus. He was offered a bishopric in hopes that it would silence his criticism. He rejected the bribe flat. Erasmus published five editions of the New Testament in Greek. They were brought out successively in 1516, 1519 1522, 1527 and 1535. His first two editions did not contain 1 John 5:7 although the reading had been found in many non-Greek texts dating back as early as 150 AD Erasmus desired to include the verse but knew the conflict that would rage if he did so without at least one Greek manuscript for authority. Following the publication of his second edition, which like his first consisted of both the Greek New Testament and his own Latin translation, he said that he would include 1 John 5:7 in his next edition if just one Greek manuscript could be found which contained it. Opponents of the reading today errantly charge that the two manuscripts found had been specially produced just to oblige Erasmus’s request, but this charge has never been validated and was not held at the time of Erasmus’s work. The Roman Catholic Church criticized his works for his refusal to use Jerome’s Latin translation, a translation that he said was inaccurate. He opposed Jerome’s translation in two vital areas. He detected that the Greek text had been corrupted as early as the fourth century. He knew that Jerome’s translation had been based solely on the Alexandrian manuscript, Vaticanus, written itself early in the fourth century. He also differed with Jerome on the translation of certain passages which were vital to the claimed authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome rendered Matthew 4:17 thus: “Do penance, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Erasmus differed with: “Be penitent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Erasmus was also a staunch defender of both Mark 16:9-21 and John 8:1-12 which our modernday scholars cannot seem to find. Possibly Erasmus’s greatest gift to mankind was his attitude toward the common man. In the rigidly “classed” society in which he lived, he was an indefatigable advocate of putting the Scripture in the hands of the common man. While Jerome’s Latin had been translated at the bidding of the Roman hierarchy, Erasmus translated his Latin with the express purpose of putting it into the hands of the common people of his day, a practice that the Roman Catholic Church knew could be dangerous to its plan to control the masses. Erasmus is quoted as saying, “Do you think that the Scriptures are fit only for the perfumed? I venture to think that anyone who reads my translation at home will profit thereby.” He boldly stated that he longed to see the Bible in the hands of “the farmer, the tailor, the traveler and the Turk.” Later, to the astonishment of his upper classed colleagues, he added, “the masons, the prostitutes and the pimps” to that declaration. Knowing his desire to see the Bible in the hands of God’s common people, it seems not so surprising that God was to use his Greek text for the basis of the English Bible that was translated with the common man in mind, the King James Bible. It has been said that “Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched.” There is probably far more truth to this statement than can be casually discerned. For the reformers were armed with Erasmus’s Bible, his writings and his attitude of resistance to Roman Catholic intimidation. Of Luther he said, “I favor Luther as much as I can, even if my cause is everywhere linked with his.” He wrote several letters on Luther’s behalf, and wholeheartedly agreed with him that salvation was entirely by grace, not works. He refused pressure by his Roman Catholic superiors to denounce Luther as a heretic . If Erasmus had turned the power of his pen on Luther, it would undoubtedly have caused far more damage than the powerless threats of the pope and his imps were able to do. As it is, only his disagreement with Luther’s doctrine of predestination ever prompted him to criticize the Reformer with pen and ink. Erasmus’s greatest point of dissension with the Roman Church was over its doctrine of salvation through works and the tenets of the church. He taught that salvation was a personal matter between the individual and God and was by faith alone. Of the Roman system of salvation he complained, “Aristotle is so in vogue that there is scarcely time in the churches to interpret the gospel.” And what was “the gospel” to which Erasmus referred? We will let him speak for himself. -13-
“Our hope is in the mercy of God and the merits of Christ.” Of Jesus Christ he stated, “He...nailed our sins to the cross, sealed our redemption with his blood.” He boldly stated that no rites of the Church were necessary for an individual’s salvation. “The way to enter Paradise,” he said, “is the way of the penitent thief, say simply, Thy will be done. The world to me is crucified and I to the world.” Concerning the most biblical sect of his time, the Anabaptists, he reserved a great deal of respect. He mentioned them as early as 1523 even though he himself was often called the “only Anabaptist of the 16th century.” He stated that the Anabaptists that he was familiar with called themselves “Baptists.” (Ironically, Erasmus was also the FIRST person to use the term “fundamental.”) So we see that when Erasmus died on July 11, 1536, he had led a life that could hardly be construed to be an example of what could be considered a “good Catholic.” But perhaps the greatest compliment, though veiled, that Erasmus’s independent nature ever received came in 1559, twenty-three years after his death. That is when Pope Paul IV put Erasmus’s writings on the “Index” of books, forbidden to be read by Roman Catholics. Falwell, Jerry (1933-2007) — US clergyman and Moral Majority leader, b. Lynchburg, Va. After graduating from college in 1956, he founded an independent Baptist church in Lynchburg that grew to a membership of 17,000. A popular figure on religious television programs, his “Old-Time Gospel Hour” reaches a nationwide audience. In 1979 he founded Moral Majority, a group that was influential for a decade and supported conservative candidates and causes. Fuller, Charles Edward (1887-1968) — Charles E. Fuller was born April 25, 1887. After graduating magna cum laude from Pomona College, he married Grace Payton and ventured into the fruit packing business. Fuller was converted in 1917 when he went to the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles to hear Paul Rader preach. The next year the Fullers traveled as itinerant missionaries to the remote villages of the Western states. Fuller left the fruit packing business and entered the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. He became a renowned Bible teacher in his community and formed a church from a small Bible class which he served for ten years. From the sanctuary of Calvary Church of Placentia, California, Fuller launched his radio ministry in 1925 over a single local radio station. He later became director of “The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour.” The broadcast’s joyful format gained immediate acceptance and enabled it to expand rapidly to other stations. During the 1940s Fuller also directed a large number of evangelists in many parts of North America through the Fuller Evangelistic Foundation. Meanwhile the Gospel Broadcasting Association continued to expand the Old Fashioned Revival Hour’s coverage from North America to almost every spot on the globe. For fifteen years, beginning with World War II, the program was produced each Sunday afternoon from the Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California, where it drew huge audiences. At the time of Dr. Fuller’s death in March 1968, the broadcast was heard on more than five hundred stations around the world. George, David (1742-1810) — David George was born into slavery in Virginia in 1742, but ran away to South Carolina where he hid for several years – first as a servant to Creek chief Blue Salt, then to Natchez chief King Jack, who sold him to a plantation in Silver Bluff, South Carolina, near the Georgia border. Between 1773 and 1775, George, his wife, and six other slaves owned by George Galphin were converted to Christianity and baptized by Joshua Palmer, a white Baptist itinerant minister. Following Dunmore’s proclamation, white ministers were prohibited from preaching to slaves “lest they should furnish...too much knowledge.” Upon Palmer’s recommendation, George took on responsibility for the Silver Bluff group. With help from Galphin’s children, George learned to read and write by using the Bible. The Silver Bluff church grew under George’s leadership, gradually increasing in number from eight to more than 30. George Liele, the first black Baptist in Georgia, occasionally preached to the congregation. In 1778, when their Patriot master abandoned the plantation as the British advanced, the whole Silver Bluff group fled to British-occupied Savannah. There, George “kept a butcher’s stall” while his wife took in laundry -14-
for the British troops. George continued to preach in Savannah, and was once again baptized, this time by Liele. With borrowed money, George and his wife made their way to Charleston. When the British evacuated over 5,000 blacks from the city in 1782, most of them to slavery in the West Indies, they were among the handful who found their way to Nova Scotia. George settled in Shelburne, where he quickly became one of the leading black preachers, founding what was the first Baptist Church in Shelburne and the second in Nova Scotia. His powerful preaching attracted both black and whites to his camp meetings and mass baptisms. Since the arrival of the British refugees, tension had been building over competition between blacks and whites for scarce jobs and resources. In 1784, riots erupted when George attempted to baptize two whites. His July 26 diary entry records, “Great riot today. The disbanded soldiers have risen against the free Negroes to drive them out of the town.” A few days later, “Riot continues. The soldiers force the free Negroes to quit the town – pulled down 20 of their houses.” The soldiers entered George’s church, beat him, and drove him into the swamps. He wrote; “forty or fifty disbanded soldiers...turned oer my dwelling house...I continued preaching til they came one night, and stood before the pulpit and swore how they would treat me if I preached again.” George and his family fled to Birchtown, where he was required to obtain a preaching license that restricted his ministry to blacks. He also faced opposition from black Anglicans, forcing his return to Shelburne, where he gained a widespread following. George’s ministry sparked many independent congregations in Nova Scotia (over the next thirty years making Baptists the majority among blacks); he himself established seven Baptist churches and trained a number of other black preachers. His work, along with that of other black religious leaders, created the first movement of black churches and benevolent organizations in North America. Eventually, after a decade of persecution in Canada, George left to become a founding father of Sierra Leone and of the first Baptist Church in West Africa. Goforth, Jonathan (1859-1936) — Jonathan Goforth was born in Ontario, Canada in 1859. He was reared in a Christian home, although he was not converted until he was 18. He later testified that he had been under so much conviction at age 10 that he would have gladly been saved if someone had only told him how to accept Christ. While attending college, he was Challenged to go to China by reading Hudson Taylor’s book “China’s Spiritual Need and Claims.” With his young wife, Rosalind, Mr. Goforth went to China in 1888. He and his wife would have eleven children, five of whom they buried on the field. Language studies proved very difficult to him. At one point he was nearly at the point of despair when, in answer to special prayers from their home church, he began making rapid progress. During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, Mr. Goforth and his family repeatedly were miraculously spared by God from the angry mobs. As “foreign devils,” their lives were constantly at risk, and they had to return to Canada for a year. When they went back to China, God opened the floodgates of blessing on their work. Where converts had come in ones and twos, they now came in dozens and scores. Missionary Goforth traveled across Northern China, Manchuria and Korea, and revival followed everywhere he went. Hundreds of native Christians were trained as evangelists (and supported with Mr. Goforth’s personal money) and sent out to win souls and start churches. When the Canadian Mission Board suffered a financial setback, the Chinese churches sent hundreds of dollars to Canada to help pay the mission boards bills?. For the last few years of his life, Jonathan Goforth was blind due to detached retinas. But the work continued to prosper. In his last full year on the field (1934) he had nearly 1,000 adult converts baptized. In 1935 he and his wife returned to Canada where he continued to travel and speak in churches until his death in 1936. Graham, “Billy” (William Franklin) (1918- ) — US evangelist, b. Charlotte; N.C. Although ordained as a Southern Baptist, he became the “first evangelist” (1944) of Youth for Christ. The Billy Graham -15-
Evangelistic Association serves as a base for worldwide crusades. He has a weekly syndicated column, delivers radio broadcasts, and founded the magazine Decision (1960). Peace With God (1952), World Aflame (1965), and Angels (1975) were successful books, and he also has great facility with mass audiences and mass media. Greene, Oliver Boyce (1915-1976) — Oliver Boyce Greene was born on February 14, 1915, in Greenville, South Carolina. He accepted Christ as his Saviour when he was twenty years old. Five months later the Lord called him to preach; and to prepare for this he entered North Greenville Baptist college. After attending College for two years, he entered the full-time ministry as an independent Baptist evangelist. For thirty-five years he conducted revivals all across America in churches and in his own tent until failing health forced him to stop. Also, he preached a daily radio broadcast over a network which grew from one station in 1939 to 180 stations at his death. The Gospel Hour is still heard coast-to-coast by his taped messages. Dr. Greene was a prolific author, writing and publishing many verse-by-verse commentaries on the Bible in addition to numerous sermon books and soul winning booklets. The soul winning booklets were a literary form pioneered by Dr. Greene, whose dream it was to see short, well-written and attractive booklets placed in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Dr. Greene was called home to be with the lord on July 26, 1976, but his work lives on. His influence will continue to be felt for years to come through his radio ministry, through the millions of soul winning booklets currently in circulation, but most important, through the tens of thousands of people he led to the Lord through his efforts. Ham, Mordecai (1878-1959) — More than 33,000 conversions were reported during the first year of evangelist Mordecai Ham’s ministry. As a result of his city-wide crusades and evangelistic crusades in churches, more than 300,000 new converts joined Baptist churches in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas in a period of thirty years. The author of the amendment for prohibition stated that Billy Sunday and Mordecai Ham had nearly put the saloons out of business. A close observer wrote concerning him: “He exalts Christ and fights sin with all his might ... there is no middle ground in his campaigns. Under his preaching I have seen murderers saved, drunkards converted, homes reunited, and men and women dedicate their lives for special service.” Billy Graham was converted under Mordecai Ham’s preaching. Haynes, Lemuel (1753-1833) — Lemuel Haynes was probably the first African American ordained by a mainstream Protestant Church in the United States. Haynes, the abandoned child of an African father and “a white woman of respectable ancestry,” was born in 1753 at West Hartford, Connecticut. Five months later, he was bound to service until the age of 21 to David Rose of Middle Granville, Massachusetts. With only a rudimentary formal education, Haynes developed a passion for books, especially the Bible and books on theology. As an adolescent, he frequently conducted services at the town parish, sometimes reading sermons of his own. When his indenture ended in 1774, Haynes enlisted as a “Minuteman” in the local militia. While serving in the militia, he wrote a lengthy ballad-sermon about the April, 1775 Battle of Lexington. In the title of the poem, he refers to himself as “Lemuel a young Mollato who obtained what little knowledge he possesses, by his own Application to Letters.” Although the poem emphasized the conflict between slavery and freedom, it did not directly address black slavery. After the war, Haynes turned down the opportunity to study at Dartmouth College, instead choosing to study Latin and Greek with clergymen in Connecticut. In 1780 he was licensed to preach. He accepted a position with a white congregation in Middle Granville and later married a young white schoolteacher, Elizabeth Babbitt. In 1785, Haynes was officially ordained as a Congregational minister. Haynes held three pastorships after his ordination. The first was with an all-white congregation in Torrington, Connecticut, where he left after two years due to the active prejudice of several members. His second call to the pulpit, from a mostly white church in Rutland, Vermont that had a few “poor Africans,” lasted for 30 years. During that time, Haynes developed an international reputation as a -16-
preacher and writer. In 1804, he received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Middlebury College, the first ever bestowed upon an African American. In 1801, he published a tract called “The Nature and Importance of True Republicanism...” which contained his only public statement on the subject of race or slavery. Haynes was a lifelong admirer of George Washington and an ardent Federalist. In 1818, conflicts with his congregation, ostensibly over politics and style, led to a parting; there was some speculation, however, that the church’s displeasure with Haynes stemmed from racism. Haynes himself was known to say that “he lived with the people of Rutland thirty years, and they were so sagacious that at the end of that time they found out that he was a nigger, and so turned him away.” His last appointment was in Manchester, Vermont, where he counseled two men convicted of murder; they narrowly escaped hanging when the alleged “victim” reappeared. Haynes’s writings on the seven-year ordeal became a bestseller for a decade. For the last eleven years of his life, Haynes ministered to a congregation in upstate New York. He died in 1833, at the age of 80. Nearly 150 years after his death, a manuscript written by Haynes around 1776 was discovered, in which he boldly stated “That an African... has an undeniable right to his Liberty.” The treatise went on to condemn slavery as sin, and pointed out the irony of slave-owners fighting for their own liberty while denying it to others. Hyde, John (1865-1912) — John Hyde, better known as “Praying Hyde” was born in Carrollton, Illinois. His father was a Presbyterian minister who faithfully proclaimed the Gospel message and called for the Lord to thrust out labourers into his harvest. He prayed this prayer not only in the pulpit but also in the home around the family altar. An indelible impression was made on young John as he grew up in this atmosphere. John graduated from Carthage College with high honors and was immediately elected to a position on the faculty. However, he had a divine call to the regions beyond, so he resigned his faculty position and entered the Presbyterian Seminary in Chicago. He graduated in the spring of 1892 and sailed for India the following October. His ministry of prayer in India during the next twenty years was so well known that the natives referred to him as “the man who never sleeps.” Also, he was called the “Apostle of Prayer,” but more familiarly he was known as “Praying Hyde.” John Hyde was all these and more, for deep in India he sought the Lord, and the strength of meeting his Master face to face prepared him for missionary service. Often he spent thirty days and nights in prayer and many times was on his knees in deep intercession for thirty-six hours at a time. His work among the villages was so successful that for years he led four to ten people a day to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hyde was instrumental in establishing the annual Sialkot Conferences, from which thousands of missionaries and native workers returned to their stations with new power for the work of reaching India with the Gospel. Hyde’s life of sacrifice, humility, love for souls and deep spirituality, as well as his example in the ministry of intercession, inspired many to follow his example in their own lives and ministries. He died February 17, 1912. His last words were: “Shout the victory of Jesus Christ.” Ignatius of Antioch (35 - 107) — The Bishop of Antioch where disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11), he was a native Syrian and a contemporary of John the Apostle and Polycarp. He was the first man to use the term “catholic,” but he never used it in any letter as referring to anything more than the body of born-again believers who were in Christ by the Holy Spirit. At no time does he suggest that such a term applies to anything Roman or connected with Rome, nor does he ever connect it with anyone who thinks that water baptism is a part of salvation. The attitude of Ignatius was: “I would rather die for Christ than rule the whole earth. Leave me to the beasts that I may by them be a partaker of God ... welcome nails and cross, welcome broken bones, bruised body, welcome all diabolic torture, if I may but obtain the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ignatius was thrown to the lions and eaten alive in 107 A.D. Ironside, Harry A. (1876-1951) — Bible teacher and preacher. At the age of twelve, H. A. Ironside heard Dwight L. Moody preach, but he did not receive Christ until two years later. His own words, “I rested -17-
on the Word of God and confessed Christ as my Saviour.” From that moment on, the Word of God seemed to be like a burning fire in his bones, and he gave his first public testimony three nights later at a Salvation Army meeting. Shortly afterward, he began preaching and became know as “the boy preacher of Los Angeles.” Although he had little formal education, his tremendous mental capacity and photographic memory caused him to be called the “Archbishop of Fundamentalism.” A prolific writer, he contributed regularly to various religious periodicals and journals in addition to publishing over eighty books and pamphlets. His writings included addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the prophetic books of the Old Testament, and a great many volumes on specific themes and subjects. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, he was pastor of the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. He went to be with the Lord on January 16, 1951, while on a preaching tour in New Zealand. Jasper, John (1812-1901) — John Jasper was born a slave, the last of twenty-four children. He grew up on a plantation where he labored in the fields until he reached adulthood. One day in 1839, while working in a tobacco factory he was converted to Christ. Immediately sensing a Divine call to the ministry, he began to tell everyone of his salvation. He preached for sixty years, twenty-five of them as a slave. After the Civil War, he started a church on an island on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The congregation grew to thousands before his death. Legislators, judges, governors, and many men of distinction went to hear him preach. He preached the fundamental doctrines of the faith with unsurpassed ardor. Jasper believed the Bible to be the source of all authority, and he preached it in nearly every county and city in Virginia and often beyond. He was sought after continually, and in that respect he stood unmatched by any man of his race. His moral and religious ideals were very lofty, and he lived up to them to a degree not true of many men. Many of the most distinguished white ministers of the country went to hear him preach when they were in Richmond. John Jasper was called the most original, masterful, and powerful Negro preacher that this country has ever produced. Jones, Robert Reynolds (Bob) (1883-1968) — American evangelist and educator, Robert Reynolds Jones was born in Dale County, Alabama on October 30, 1883. He was converted to Christ at age 11 and began to preach revival meetings at 13; he was licensed to preach the Gospel at age 15. Bob Jones preached in cotton fields, country churches and under brush arbors. Later he conducted city-wide campaigns in American cities of all sizes and on many foreign mission fields. In 1927, the Methodist evangelist founded Bob Jones College (now BJU) where each year thousands of students from all states in the USA and many other countries are educated. The school in Greenville, South Carolina is the outgrowth of Dr. Bob Jones’ ministry among young people whose faith had been shaken in other schools of higher learning. His vision was to build a school that would combat the atheistic trend in education and become a center of Christian learning. Throughout his entire ministry, “Dr. Bob” was a leading spokesman for the fundamental, conservative, and scriptural position against modernism, neo-orthodoxy, and neo-evangelicalism. The thousands of graduates of Bob Jones University serving the Lord in churches at home and abroad are an extension of his ministry to this hour. Jones, Samuel Porter (1847-1906) — Sam Jones was born at Oak Bowery, Alabama and grew up in Cartersville, Georgia. He studied to be a lawyer, but drinking and gambling soon brought him to the brink of ruin. Beside his father’s deathbed, he repented of his sin and trusted Christ. He preached his first sermon one week later and was licensed to preach in the Methodist church after only three months in the ministry. He served several pastorates, but gained his reputation as a lecturer and evangelist. He conducted campaigns in some of America’s largest cities; as a result, everywhere he preached liquor stores closed, theaters closed, jails were emptied, and cursing was reduced to whispers. The famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee was built by a wealthy businessman to house a Sam Jones meeting. His life was threatened on several occasions, but none deterred his strong preaching. He died en route to an evangelistic meeting in Oklahoma. Much of the wit of Will Rogers can be traced to that -18-
of Sam Jones. Well over five-hundred thousand people converted to Christ as a result of his ministry. Josephus, Flavius (c.37-100) — A Jewish leader and historian, b. Joseph ben Matthias in Jerusalem. A member of the Pharisees, who sought cooperation with the Romans, he was sent to Rome in 64 to obtain the release of Jewish prisoners. Returning to Jerusalem, he was reluctantly drawn into the revolt against Rome (66-70). Appointed military governor of Galilee, he defended the city as best he could, then fled (67) to a cave with 40 diehards. All but Josephus and one other died rather than surrender. Josephus ingratiated himself to the Roman commander, Vespasian. When Vespasian became emperor in 69, Josephus took his family name, Flavius, as his own. In 70 Josephus went to Rome where he obtained citizenship and remained for the rest of his life. Between 75-79 he wrote his History of the Jewish War, the only detailed account of the revolt. In The Antiquities of the Jews he traced their history from the Creation up to the outbreak of the revolt. His Against Aplon is a defense of Judaism. King James, the First — King James I of England, who authorized the translation of the now famous King James Bible, was considered by many to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, monarchs that England has ever seen. Through his wisdom and determination he united the warring tribes of Scotland into a unified nation, and then joined England and Scotland to form the foundation for what is now known as the British Empire. At a time when only the churches of England possessed the Bible in English, King James’ desire was that the common people should have the Bible in their native tongue. Thus, in 1603, King James called 54 of history’s most learned men together to accomplish this great task. At a time when the leaders of the world wished to keep their subjects in spiritual ignorance, King James offered his subjects the greatest gift that he could give them. Their own copy of the word of God in English. James, who was fluent in Latin, Greek, and French, and schooled in Italian and Spanish, even wrote a tract entitled “Counterblast to Tobacco,” which was written to help thwart the use of tobacco in England. It might also be mentioned here that the Roman Catholic Church was so desperate to keep the true Bible out of the hands of the English people that it attempted to discredit and scandalize (It is well known that the false story was told of the King’s homosexuality - and still is repeated by some today) and later to kill King James and all of Parliament in 1605. In that year a Roman Catholic by the name of Guy Fawkes, under the direction of a Jesuit priest by the name of Henry Garnet, was found in the basement of Parliament with thirty-six barrels of gunpowder which he was to use to blow up King James and the entire Parliament. After killing the king, they planned on imprisoning his children, reestablishing England as a state loyal to the Pope and kill all who resisted. Needless to say, the perfect English Bible would have been one of the plot’s victims. Fawkes and Garnet and eight other conspirators were caught and hanged. It seems that those who work so hard to discredit the character of King James join an unholy lot. Knox, John (c. 1515-72) — A leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest but took up the cause of the Reformation. He was imprisoned in France and later lived for a time in exile in England and after Mary I came to the throne (1553) went to Geneva, where he was influenced by John Calvin. Knox continued to promote the Protestant cause in Scotland. He struggled with Scotland’s new Catholic ruler, Mary Queen of Scots, from 1561, and his side prevailed by the late 1560's. He is one of the great leaders of Presbyterianism. Lakin, Bascom Ray (1901-1984) — B. R. Lakin was born on a farm near Fort Gay, West Virginia. Although his parents were devout Christians, it was not until he was sixteen that he was converted to Christ during a revival meeting. The minister who baptized him was the nephew of Devil Anse Hatfield of the Hatfield-McCoy feud families. One week later he preached his first sermon and soon after became a circuit preacher riding a mule to country churches near the forks of the Big Sandy River. After attending Moody Bible Institute and pastoring several churches, he was called to assist E. Howard Cadle at the Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana. Upon Mr. Cadle’s death, Lakin became pastor and during the next fourteen years the ministry grew until he was preaching to ten thousand people each Sunday in addition to broadcasting the services nationwide. He was given honorary -19-
doctorates by Bob Jones University and Kletzing College. In the early 1950's Dr. Lakin began a thirty year itinerant ministry that included the largest churches in America. He traveled fifty thousand miles annually and preached to an average of four thousand people per week. He witnessed more than one hundred thousand conversions to Christ. His sermons were a combination of “sanctified wit,” good Bible teaching, and a strong appeal for people to “come to Christ.” After more than sixty-five years of preaching, Dr. Lakin “hung his sword on the summery walls of the city of God” and went to be with the Lord on March 15, 1984. His funeral was conducted at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia and was attended by more than five thousand people. Lee, Robert Greene (1886-1978) — R. G. Lee began his career on a farm near Post Mill, South Carolina where he was born of poor, but deeply religious parents. Early in life he felt the call to be a preacher and in spite of many obstacles he heeded that call. He won many scholastic and oratory honors at the Furman Preparatory School and Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He graduated with an A. B. degree in 1913. He took postgraduate work at the Chicago Law School, receiving a Ph. D. in International Law in 1919. He was ordained at his boyhood church at Fort Mill, South Carolina in 1910. His first full-time pastorate was at Edgefield, South Carolina. It was followed by pastorates at First Baptist Church in Chester, South Carolina; First Baptist Church of New Orleans, Louisiana; and, Citadel Square Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee from December, 1927 until April 10, 1960. During his pastorate at Bellevue, over twenty-four thousand people joined the church, over seventy-six hundred of these for baptism. Dr. Lee preached his famous sermon, “Pay Day - Someday” over 1200 times in the United States and other countries. He died July 20, 1978 at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. Liele, George (1752-1825) — George Liele was the first black Baptist in Georgia, and the first black Baptist churches in American resulted from his evangelism. Liele was born in Virginia in 1752, but lived much of his life as a slave in Georgia. He was converted and baptized by Matthew Moore, an ordained Baptist minister. When Liele felt the call to preach, he was encouraged by his master, Henry Sharp, a Baptist deacon and a Loyalist. Liele was licensed as a probationer around 1773, and for two years he preached in the slave quarters of plantations surrounding Savannah, including the congregation formed at Silver Bluff, South Carolina. Sharp freed Liele sometime before the Revolutionary War began. After Sharp’s death in battle in 1778, Liele made his way to British-occupied Savannah, where Sharp’s heirs would have re-enslaved him but for the intervention of a British officer. Over the next few years, he built a congregation of black Baptists, slave and free, including the Silver Bluff group led by David George(See George, David). One of his converts was Andrew Bryan (See Bryan, Andrew), who continued the work in Savannah after Liele and his family sailed with the British to Jamaica in 1784. Settling in Kingston, Liele formed a church on his own land. Liele’s church flourished, despite persecution from whites. In exchange for a number of concessions, including inspection by authorities of every prayer and sermon, his ministry was tolerated, and he was allowed to preach to the poor and enslaved on plantations and in settlements. In 1791 he wrote, “I have baptized 400 in Jamaica....We have nigh three hundred and fifty members; a few white people among them.” One of Liele’s priorities was the organization and promotion of a free school for black children, taught by a black deacon. A few adult members of his congregation also learned to read, and he wrote that “all are desirous to learn.” Over the years, Liele kept in touch with Bryan, George and other Baptist pioneers that he had converted. He wrote with a hint of pride of their far-flung ministries, noting that “a great work is going on...” Livingstone, David (1813-1973) — Seldom are God’s great giants honored by the world but Livingstone joins the class of men who rank as the greatest explorers the world has ever produced. Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Charles Lindbergh, Edmund Hillary, and Neil Armstrong all have thrilled the -20-
world with their exploits. Add the name of Livingstone who opened up Africa to civilization and Christianity. No wonder the natives gave him the longest funeral procession in history, after burying his heart under a tree near the place where he died. Livingstone traveled 29,000 miles in Africa, added to the known portion of the globe about one million square miles, discovered many famous lakes, the Zambesi and other rivers, was the first white man to see Victoria Falls, and probably the first individual to traverse the entire length of Lake Tanganyika. Had his health not failed he would surely have succeeded in also discovering the source of the Nile. He never lost sight of one of his great objects bringing Christ to Africa although healing and exploring were often the vehicles he used. Born the second son of poor and pious parents, Neil and Agnes (Hunter) Livingstone, he had three brothers and one sister. The seven were crowded into a two-room house. The father, while delivering tea to his customers, would also distribute religious books. At age ten young David was put into the cotton-weaving mills factory as a piecer to aid in the earnings of the family. He purchased Rudiments of Latin, which he used to help himself study that language at evening school. His hours at the factory were long, from 6 a.m. till 6 or 8 p.m. He attended evening school from 8 to 10 p.m., then studied until midnight or later. Often he placed a book on a portion of the spinning jenny so he could catch a few sentences in passing. By age 17 he was advanced to cotton-spinner and the pay was such that he could put himself through medical school in Glasgow, entering in 1830. By the time he was 22 he had studied Greek, theology and medicine in college courses at Anderson’s College and Glasgow University. During this time he was soundly converted at age 20 (1833) while reading the book Dick’s Philosophy of the Future State. He continued his studies in London, where he received a medical degree with honors in 1840. During these years of study several things happened. First he applied to the London Missionary Society in 1838 and was provisionally accepted. Then, in 1839, God sent Robert Moffat into his life. Home on furlough, Moffat gave stirring messages that aroused Christian people to the missionary possibilities in Africa. One statement burned in Livingstone’s soul and haunted him as he tossed on his bed. Moffat had said: “I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a house and villages, where no missionary has ever been.” Livingstone decided it was God’s will for him to go to Africa. Finally he received his appointment Kuruman in southern Africa which Moffat had built and managed. In 1841 he landed at Algoa Bay. Here two qualities of his life manifested themselves immediately characteristics which were to demonstrate future greatness. One, the ability to cope with the difficulties of travel, whether by ox-wagon, horse or on foot. And, second, a quick understanding and sympathy for the native Africans. Kuruman was 700 miles due north of Cape Town, so after a ten-week journey from Cape Town he arrived at Kuruman July 31, 1841. A few months after his arrival he made a journey with another, covering over 700 miles, winning the confidence of the natives wherever he went by his medical activity. A second trip, alone, was made into the interior February to June, 1842. Returning, he stayed until February, 1843, teaching, preaching, caring for the sick, and building a chapel at an outstation. Then it was off to the interior again in search of a suitable location for another mission site. On this trip he discovered the beautiful valley of Mabotsa in the land of the Bakatia tribe. Upon his return in June 1843 when he finally found a letter authorizing his formation of a settlement in the regions beyond, he went back to Mabotsa in August to open a mission station there. Crowds of sick, suffering folk begged the great white doctor to heal them. At night around the fire he would listen to their stories, then he would tell them about Jesus. The only problem with the area was that it was infested with lions. Livingstone decided to rid the valley of them, for he heard that if one in a troop is killed, the rest leave the area. He took with him Mebalwe, a native teacher and here happened one of the most famous incidents of his entire life. Livingstone shot a lion. Then, as he began to reload his gun, the wounded lion sprang up on him and shook him as a cat does a rat. His left arm was crushed to the bone. Mebalwe grabbed his gun and, seeing the motion of the upraised gun, the lion left Livingstone and sprang upon Mebalwe, biting him through the thigh. Another man coming on with a spear was bitten as well before -21-
the lion toppled over dead as a result of the bullet wound. Livingstone’s arm was stiff and useless from then on and, when he raised it, intense pain shot through his body. The left arm had loss of power the rest of his life. He returned to Kuruman to have his arm treated and to recuperate. Mary Moffat, Robert’s daughter, was now looking prettier every day. The two began to be drawn to one another, and so they made some plans. As soon as his arm healed, he would hasten back to Mabotsa to build a comfortable little stone house. Returning, he was married in March, 1844, with Robert Moffat performing the ceremony. Then came the 200-mile ox-wagon honeymoon. They remained at Mabotsa until 1845. A fellow missionary named Edwards, who had joined them, made life miserable for them, so they moved 40 miles away to Chonuane to work among the Bakwains. Misfortune struck them the second time. The lack of rain brought the threat of famine and a scarcity of water. One evening he announced he was leaving and the next morning everyone was packed and ready to follow David Livingstone. They found a suitable locality at Kologeng and settled down for five years to what would be his last home on earth. By the time they left there he had four children, three of whom were boys. However, things became very parched for lack of rain. Rumors came about a huge waterfall. Livingstone was challenged to find it, believing the banks of a large lake would make an ideal location for a mission state. Not only did mysterious Lake Ngami challenge him, but there was a powerful chief of the Makololo tribe named Sebutuane, still farther north, under whom he hoped to establish a mission station beyond the range of both the Boers and the militant tribe of the Matabele. On August 1, 1849, the Livingstone party came to the northeast end of Lake Ngami and were the first white people to see the lake. The presence of tsetse flies and the obstruction of a local chief prevented them from going the additional 200 miles north to meet Sebituane and so they retraced their steps with reluctance. They found the mission station destroyed by the Boers. In the spring of 1850 they were to start out again. As before Livingstone took his wife and children with him, fearful that they might be molested by the Boers. But, rather than the Boers, the disease malaria struck the party at Lake Ngami, and they had to turn back. Back at Kologeng a baby girl was born to the Livingstones, but she soon took fever and died. They then retreated to Kuruman, where he remained with his family for rest until the spring of 1851. In April of that year they set out again, determined not to return to Kologeng but to a hill region where health conditions surely must be better. He, his family, and a fellow explorer named Oswell found Chief Sebituane on the Chobe River, which they had discovered by taking a new route. Now came one of life’s crucial decisions the family. Where health was safe, hostile tribes lived. Where friendly people lived, health conditions were bad. He decided to send his wife and children back to England until he could find a suitable location for them. So back to Cape Town they all went, and for the first time in eleven years Livingstone saw civilization. He was 39 and it was a sorrowful parting. He fully intended to join them in two years. The family left for England on April 23, 1852. Frustrated in not being able to find a healthful site for a mission station, he gave attention to a second objective to find a way going to the sea. Going to Linyant on the River Tshobe, which was the capital of the Makololo territory, he set out upon the trail of many waters, declaring, “I will open a path into the interior or perish.” It was in November, 1853, that he started his famous journey through unknown country to the west coast of Africa with 27 Makololo men loaned to him by a friend, Chief Sekeletu. It was a horrible journey, with sickness, hunger, swamps, hostile tribes six months of hardships but on May 31, 1854, some 1,500 miles of jungle had been conquered as they arrived at Luanda. Broken in health, Livingstone was invited by ship captains to take passage back to England. However, he had brought men to a place where they could not return by themselves. He was not going to leave them! He would guide them back to their homes. Africa had never known such loyalty. He then took his party on an even longer and more perilous journey back to Sesheke. Contending with wet weather, they could find no dry place to sleep en route. He was nearly blinded as a result of being hit in the eye by a branch in the thick forest, and nearly deaf because of rheumatic fever. Then there were the -22-
perils of crocodiles, hippopotami, javelins of hostile savages. His return was considered a miracle. Two months of rest followed. The boat he considered going back to England in sank and with it all his maps, journals and letters. He now determined to find a route to the east coast of the continent. Sekeletu gladly furnished him with the means of following down the Zambezi River, giving him some 120 tribesmen. He started east in November of 1855. Only 50 miles en route, he discovered a magnificent waterfall that he named Victoria Falls. His food consisted of bird seed, manioc roots and meal. His bed was a pile of grass. He arrived at Quilimane on the coast in May, 1856, and was given hospitality by the Portuguese before finding a ship to take him back to England. He left his Makololo tribesmen in good hands at Tete. Before he left, he received a letter from the London Missionary Society, stating they did not like his efforts of diverting from settled missions to exploration. It was a shock to him, since he felt himself just as sincere a missionary as ever. But he accepted a severance of relations after 16 years of service. However, the London Royal Geographical Society was not quite so naive, as they awarded him their gold medal, their highest honor, when he returned home. Why? Because Livingstone had done something no one else had ever done he had crossed the entire African Continent from west to east. Arriving home for the first time in 16 years, he found himself famous. His father’s death while Livingstone was en route home cast a pall on the celebrations. He was forced into a limelight which he disliked. He was asked to give lectures, which was a burden, for he had never been a good public speaker. Neither did he care to write, but he did put together his Missionary Travels at the urging of many. The universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Glasgow all gave him honorary degrees. Now came the second segment of his life of exploration, from 1858 to 1865, which took him into the Zambezi River area under the auspices of the British government. He was appointed the Consul for the East Coast of Africa, and he was given a command that included his having anything he wanted or needed. He was now on governmental salary, had better equipment and ample funds. His wife and youngest son returned with him, his own health was much improved, and it looked like a bright future, as he accepted the challenge of exploring the eastern and central portions of the continent. But many disappointments were ahead. In March 1858 at age 46 he set out for Africa. Soon after arriving at Cape Town the trials began. His wife’s health was poor, preventing her from going further with him. She took the child and went to her parents, the Moffats, at Kuruman. Then a second serious problem arose. Livingstone could command and organize Africans, but managing white colleagues and a large expedition was a total disaster. His greatest mistake was in taking his younger brother, whose temperament was totally unsuited to expedition work. Six years of disharmony and frustration were to follow, with a man named John Kirk being the only capable associate of this group. Third problem: He found out that there were myriad obstacles to the navigation of the Zambezi. Fourth reversal: His modern equipped boat, the Ma Roberts, was more of a hindrance than a help. She was so slow that a native canoe could easily outdistance her. She burned so much fuel that half of the time was given just to cut wood for her. On September 8, 1858, he did reach Tete and his beloved Makololo tribesmen. Much exploration followed, including the finding of Lake Nyasa on September 18, 1859, plus the discovery of the Shire River and the Kongone entrance to the Zambezi, which was Lake Shirwa. On November 4, 1859, he received a letter informing him that he had a little daughter born at Kuruman on November 16, 1858, a year before. Much of 1860 was spent with his old friends, the Makololo. At the beginning of 1861 a new boat, the Pioneer, came to replace its antiquated predecessor. On the boat were missionaries under the direction of Bishop Charles Mackenzie, to minister to those who lived on Lake Nyasa. He explored the Rovuma River and helped establish the mission station on the Shire River in Nyasaland. This had been one of his dreams – an interior mission station but the dream was soon -23-
shattered. Bishop Mackenzie died on January 31, 1862. Several of his helpers also died. That month, Livingstone’s wife rejoined him after a separation of four years. In the intervening time she had taken the youngest son and baby girl back to Scotland, and then returned to rejoin her husband. But her failing health prevented the reunion to last for long. She died on April 27, 1862 just three months after she was reunited with her husband. She was buried under a great baobab tree at Shupange on the lower Zambezi. Livingstone was 49 years old and considered this a terrible loss. Out of 18 years of marriage, the two were together less than half the time. He put together a boat called the Lady Nyasa, and sought to launch her in June, 1862, on the lake for further exploration purposes. But weather conditions prevented the launch. Slave trading continued to plague him. Human skeletons showed up everywhere. Finally, the Portuguese king promised to cooperate with Livingstone, but the officers in Africa ignored such royal suggestions. Livingstone’s work actually helped rather than hindered them, for wherever he explored in Portugese East Africa, the officers would come in and tell the natives they were Livingstone’s children. Thus, through lying and trickery, they would obtain even more slaves in Livingstone’s own name. Then came a dispatch from the British government recalling the expedition, saying it was more costly than the government had anticipated. But the truth was that the Portuguese government had written to the British Foreign Office that Livingstone’s work was offensive to them, and the Portuguese asked for his removal. This latest blow in 1863 failed to stagger him. He decided to sell the boat, but not to the Portuguese because it would be used in slave trade. Rather, he decided to go to Bombay, India, and sell it there. With a small crew, only 14 tons of coal, scant provisions including little water, and having never navigated a boat on the ocean, he left Africa April 30, 1864, and arrived in Bombay on June 16. He was received warmly but could not sell the boat, so he sailed to London, arriving July 10. This was his second and last trip home. He spent his time with his children, associating with William Gladstone and other notables, giving speeches against the slave trade and writing another book, The Zambezi and Its Tributaries. While home, his mother died. Another tragedy in his life Livingstone’s son Robert, who at this time was fighting in the American Civil War to free the slaves, was killed and buried at Gettysburg. Now the third phase of his explorations began to shape up. The Royal Geographical Society planned and sponsored his last expedition, which was from 1866 to 1873. His influential friend, Sir Roderick Murchison, had encouraged him to go back to find out more about the slave trading and also to discover the sources of the Zambezi, Congo, and Nile Rivers. He returned to Africa by way of Paris, France, where he put his daughter Agnes in school, and then Bombay, where he finally sold the boat at a loss of $18,500. The money he got was invested in an Indian bank, which shortly went broke and all his funds were lost. He sailed from Bombay on January 3, 1866, and arrived in Zanzibar on January 26. This time he was once more going to be the only white man, having some 60 carriers consisting of Indians, plus Chuma and Susi from Africa and animal transport. They landed at the mouth of the Rovuma River in April, 1866, intending to pass around Lake Nyasa far from the influence of the Portuguese. However, in five months, he lost by desertion or treachery all but eleven of his men and all the animals. For four years he was befriended and cared for by people he despised slave traders. During this time he discovered the southern end of Lake Tanganyika (1867) and Lakes Moero and Bangweolo (1868). In 1869 he reached Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika, the headquarters of the trade in ivory and slaves. By this time Livingstone was desperately ill, only to find his supplies and mail sent from the coast plundered and gone. He spent the next two years striving to explore the upper Congo. He struggled back to Ujiji a broken and disappointed man beginning on July 20, 1871. On this trip a spear was thrown at him, missing his head but grazing the back of his neck. Also, a huge tree crashed across their path, missing Livingstone by a yard. Arriving on October 22 with three attendants, he thought surely mail and medicine would be waiting for himbut it was not. The medicine had been sold and the letters destroyed or sold by Arab traders. On October 26, 1871, four days after his arrival, when his spirits were at their lowest ebb, with awful sores on his feet, dysentery, loss of blood, fever, and being half-starved he heard Susi, one of his faithful followers, come running at top speed, gasping, “An Englishman” J.G. Bennet -24-
of the New York Herald had called for a famous English reporter, Henry Stanley, to search for and find Livingstone at all cost, or verify his death, which by this time had been rumored. Shortly, when Stanley saw Livingstone approaching, he pushed through the crowd of natives to see him with the now-famous and legendary, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” A supply of food and mail was like a tonic to the tired explorer. Stanley lived with the missionary during the winter and did everything to nurse him and encourage him to return to England. Failing to convince him to return to England, in March, 1872, the two men now good friends parted. Livingstone accompanied Stanley to Unyamuembe. He was to wait until men and supplies, which Stanley going to Zanzibar promised to send him, would arrive. Waiting was difficult, but finally the promised men and supplies did arrive. Stanley summed up his relationship with Dr. David Livingstone with these words: “I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it.” In August the new party started toward Lakes Tanganyika and Bangweolo. Jacob Wainright became a valuable and trusted aid, along with old-time stalwarts, Susi and Chumah. Trials were reduced to such things as ants and floods. When Livingstone grew too weak to travel, Susi carried him on his shoulders. He found himself entangled in the swampy region of Lake Bangweolo in the middle of the rainy season. Because of an accident to his sextant, for a while he was lost. His dysentery attacks were almost continuous, but he kept going across the great swamps, reaching the southern side of Lake Tanganyika, mapping to within a day of his death. Soon he could not walk at all. He was carried on a litter and reached Chitambo, a village in Itala where a hut was built for him. His last written words by letter were: “All I can say in my solitude is, may Heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one American, English, Turk who will help heal this open sore of the world.” (He referred to the slave trade and the injustice of civil roghts abuses). At 4 a.m. on May 1, 1873, his friends heard an unusual noise, lit a candle and found him dead on his knees in the hut. They removed his heart and buried it reverently at the foot of a mulva tree, with Wainright reading the service. A wood monument was erected. They embalmed his body by filling it with salt, leaving it in the sun to dry for 14 days, then wrapping it in cloth, before enclosing the body in the bark of a Myonga tree, over which they sewed heavy sail cloth. This package was tied to a long pole so that two men could carry it. Along with his papers they started toward Zanzibar on a 1,000-mile trip that was to take nine months. They arrived in February of 1874 and gave the body to the officers of the British Consul. When the body arrived in England on April 15, there was some doubt about the identity of the remains. However, upon examination of the mangled left arm, the doubt disappeared. On April 18, 1874, London came to stop as he was buried in Westminster Abbey with the kings and the great. At his funeral were his children, Susi (one of his faithful Aferican followers), Henry Stanley and the aged Robert Moffat (his father-in-law), who started it all. Luther, Martin (1483-1546) — German leader of the Protestant Reformation and founder of Lutheranism. He left the study of law in 1505 to become an Augustinian monk and later became a priest and a professor of theology. He agonized over the problem of salvation, finally deciding that it was won not by good works but was a free gift of God’s grace. Luther’s beliefs made him object to the sale of indulgences (which remitted penalties for sin) by the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1517 he posted his 95 Theses in Wittenberg. This started a quarrel between Luther and church leaders, including the pope. Luther decided that the Bible was the true source of authority and renounced obedience to Rome. He maintained his stand in debates with Johann Eck and at the Diet of Worms (1521). For this he was excommunicated, but strong German princes supported him, and he gained followers among churchmen and the people. Thus the Protestant Reformation began in Germany. Luther wrote hymns, catechisms, and numerous theological treatises and translated the New Testament into German. He married a former nun, Katharina von Bora, in 1525 and had six children. Meyer, Frederick Brotherton (1847-1929) — F. B. Meyer, English Baptist clergyman, was born in London and educated at Brighton College. Between 1870-95 he held several successful pastorates. Between the years 1872-74 he met D. L. Moody and introduced him to the British churches. -25-
During much of Meyer’s ministry he engaged in social work and temperance work. He headed a movement to close saloons, was the force in closing nearly five thousand brothels, and labored for the reclamation of released prisoners. In 1904-05 he served as president of the National Federation of Free Churches; and thereafter, was evangelist for that organization. He conducted missions for them in South Africa and the far east. For many years he was closely associated with the Keswick Conferences. F. B. Meyer died in his eighty-second year. Moody, Dwight Lyman (1837-1899) — American evangelist Dwight L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts. His father died when Dwight was four years of age. He left school at the age of seventeen to find work. Moody was led to Christ by his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimble, and later began his own Sunday School class with thirteen street urchins. The class increased its enrollment to fifteen hundred in a period of four ears. Moody did personal work with the soldiers during the Civil War. After the war, he built churches and schools and started the Moody Bible Institute. He traveled in Europe and America holding campaigns and personally dealt with over seven hundred and fifty thousand individuals. He preached to more than one hundred million people and had over one million first-time conversions to Jesus Christ. His work continues today through the Moody Memorial Church and the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Morgan, George Campbell (1863-1945) — G. Campbell Morgan was born in Tetbury, England. His home was such that he wrote, “While my father could not compel me to be a Christian, I had no choice because of what he did for me and what I saw in him.” At the age of twelve he was preaching regularly in country chapels during his Sundays and holidays. In 1886 at the age of twenty-three, he left the teaching profession for which he had been trained and began devoting his full time to a teaching ministry of the Word of God. His reputation as a preacher and Bible expositor soon encompassed England and spread to the United States. The many thousands of converts from the ministry of D. L. Moody needed a teacher of the Bible to strengthen their faith. G. Campbell Morgan went to the United States and became that teacher. After five very successful years, he returned to England in 1904 and became the pastor of Westminster Chapel, London. His preaching and his weekly Friday night Bible classes were attended by the thousands. Leaving Westminster Chapel in 1919, he once again returned to the United States where he conducted an itinerant ministry for fourteen years. Finally in 1933 he returned to England to again become pastor of Westminster Chapel until his retirement in 1943. He died on May 16, 1945. His paramount contribution lay in teaching the Bible and showing people how to study the Scripture for themselves. Morrison, Henry Clay (1857-1942) — H. C. Morrison was born in Barren County, Kentucky. His parents died when he was very young and he was raised by his grandparents. The rugged religious atmosphere and the constant spirit of revival throughout the Blue Grass region made a profound impression upon him. It awakened his consciousness to his need of Christ and the assurance of deliverance from sin. About the age of 11, he was converted and soon after felt the call to the ministry. Although he made no attempt to preach for about eight years, he was much occupied with church work. At the age of 19, he was licensed to preach and demonstrated the validity of his call. In his work as a circuit rider and station pastor, he was called to one of the most responsible Methodist churches in Kentucky. In 1890 he left the pastorate to give himself to the work of evangelism and to the publishing of a religious paper called, The Old Methodist, which later became The Herald. Morrison’s evangelistic leadership in Methodism grew rapidly from Kentucky to most of the other states and foreign lands. A contemporary said of him, “To him was given by God a heart to move the multitude, a mind to think God’s thoughts, and a voice to rouse his century, his church, and his country.” The camp meeting became one of his chief instruments; and perhaps no other man ever gave more time or effective leadership to this phase of evangelism than he. In addition to this, he served as President of Asbury Theological Seminary in 1923. William Jennings Bryan said, “I regard H. C. Morrison the greatest pulpit orator on the American continent.” And at Morrison’s death in 1942, it was -26-
written of him, “... a tall tree has fallen in the forest, but it went down with a great shout of victory. He died as he lived ... in the midst of a campaign for souls.” Patrick (389 - 461) — Patrick was born in Scotland. His father was a Roman Centurion and also a deacon in a local New Testament church. Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave, but he escaped. After his conversion to Christ, he studied on the mainland in Gaul and then returned to the heathen tribes in Ireland as a missionary. He began scores of churches and baptized (immersed) thousands of converts. He is largely responsible for the large number of Bible-believing Christians in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. Patrick, his father and his grandfather were proud of the fact that they were not controlled by the Roman church, and that they were responsible only to God. Patrick was later canonized by the Roman church as a political move to control the Irish churches. He was thereafter known as Saint Patrick. Polycarp (69 - 155) — Polycarp was born in Smyrna and later became Bishop there. He was a disciple of the Apostle John and also a friend of Ignatius. He was a very dedicated student of the Pauline Epistles and The Gospel of John. He had very little to say about sacraments or ritual. He maintained that each church was independent of any outside human authority. He never referred to the ministers as priests, and he never taught that water baptism had anything to do with salvation. As a very old man he was arrested, tried, and condemned. When asked to renounce his faith in Christ, He replied, “Eighty-six years have I served Him and He hath done me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?” Polycarp was burned alive, and when the flames refused to consume him, he was killed with the sword and then burned. Porter, Gaylord Ford (1893-1976) — Ford Porter was born in Ottawa County, Michigan on February 5, 1893. the influence of the family altar and the godly lives of his parents contributed to Ford’s decision to receive Christ to be his Saviour at the age of 11. A year later he spoke to a group of Junior boys and girls. At which time his pastor remarked that Ford could then quote more verses of scripture than “any other person in town.” As a young man, Ford served as a Sunday School teacher and later assisted Dr. Ernest Reveal at the Evansville (Indiana) Rescue Mission. On July 6, 1919, he answered God’s call to preach, after which he studied at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago under Dr. Kenneth Wuest and Dr. James M. Gray. In the years that followed, Ford Porter served several churches in Indiana and was used of the Lord in various ministries. In 1947 he launched that Berean Gospel Ministry (now Lifegate, Inc.) which has become worldwide through the printing and distribution of Gospel tracts. The Berean Ministry included Bible conferences, evangelistic campaigns, radio broadcasts, Children’s Bible Crusades, Camp Berean, Vacation Bible School Institute, Gospel Films, and the Indiana Baptist College. The most far-reaching ministry of Ford Porter is the Gospel tract, “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation”, which he wrote in 1933. That tract has been printed in more than ninety languages and Braille. The worldwide distribution of over 310 million copies has resulted in the salvation of thousands of people. Ford Porter ended a fruitful and effective ministry when he went to be with the Lord on November 20, 1976, at the age of 83. Raikes, Robert (1736 - 1811) — Sunday School, the greatest lay movement since Pentecost was founded by a layman. Robert Raikes was the crusading editor of the Glouchester Journal. After becoming frustrated with inefficient jail reforms, Raikes was convinced “vice could be better prevented than cured.” While visiting in the slum section of the city, he was distressed with the corruption of children. Raikes shared the problem with Reverend Thomas Stock in the village of Ashbury, Berkshire. They conceived of a school to be taught on the best available time - Sunday. They decided to use the available manpower - laymen. The curriculum would be the Word of God and they aimed at reaching the children of the street, not just the children of church members. The movement began in July, 1780 when Mrs. Meredith conducted a school in her home on Souty Alley. Only boys attended and she heard the lessons of the older boys who coached the younger. Raikes wrote four of the textbooks, but the Bible was the core of the Sunday School. Later, girls were allowed -27-
to attend. Raikes shouldered most of the financial burden in those early years. Within two years, several schools opened in and around Gloucester. On November 3, 1783, Raikes published an account of Sunday School in the columns of his paper. Excitement spread. Next, publicity was given the Sunday School in Gentlemen’s Magazine and a year later, Raikes wrote a letter to the Armenian Magazine. Raikes died in 1811, but by 1831 Sunday School in Great Britain was ministering weekly to 1.25 million children, approximately 25 percent of the population. Ray, Dr. Percy (1910-1991) — The life of Percy Ray begins in the year of 1910 in the town of Chalybeate, Mississippi. To his parents, he was a precious son, but no more special than the other children who were already a part of their lives. No doubt, their neighbors rejoiced with Luther and Lucy Jane at the arrival of little Percy. Yet I doubt if they thought that they were looking at a child who would be one of the most outstanding preachers of the 20th century or of any other century. Percy’s father, Luther Crawford Ray, was born in Chalybeate, Mississippi on November 21,1874. When he was 21 years of age, he fell in love with a girl named Lucindy Jane Gray who was from Middleton, Tennessee. Though she was almost 3 years older than he was - having been born on February 17,1872 - Luther felt that he had found the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. On February 20,1896 they were united in marriage. They kept themselves for each other all the rest of their lives. God gave them the privilege of living together for 63 years. Their marriage vows were only broken by Lucy Jane’s death on July 12, 1959. God gave six children to Luther and Jane Ray. Their firstborn was a girl born on November 29,1896 whom they named Bertha. Next came James Lewis (usually called J.L.) who was born July 23,1898. Florence was born on January 29,1902. John Sidney (usually called Johnie) was born January 15,1904. Next to be born was Hugh Giles. He entered on life’s journey on November 27,1907. The last child to be born into then Luther Ray family was Percy Alexander. He arrived at Chalybeate, Mississippi on the 21st day, a bright spring day, in May in the year of our Lord 1910. The Ray family lived on a sprawling farm in the northeastern corner of Mississippi almost on the Tennessee line. This was a very private family - hard working, honest and respected by their peers in then small community called Chalybeate. The heart of the village was a row of stores, a Baptist Church and a miller where corn was taken and a ground into meal. Cornbread was a staple item in the meals of farmers e who often ate it out of a glass of sweet milk. Luther Ray was a strong Baptist, and Lucy Jane was a foot-stomping, shouting Methodist who united with Luther in later years. This strong-willed, energetic, orator trained his boys on the farm, where by the sweat of their brow they worked from sun up to sun a down, plowing the fields, tending their stock, planting a garden and providing food for the family. Lucy, a very talented wisp of a woman, ran a well organized household. She gathered foods from the garden early in the morning and started her meals, often canning the food products for the winter months when there was no more than mustard greens being grown in the a garden. Bro. Percy was a false professor and preached and pastored for several years before he was gloriously saved and took on the call of God to preach in earnest. Before he was saved he was the terror of his school and a notable cheat, rip, gambler and infidel. Once, while yet unsaved he was offered a contract to play gangster parts in Hollywood movies because of his wicked appearance and experiences in the dark world of crime. He often said that the fact that he did not take the job was proof that God was in control of his life and would use him in a mighty way later. Afterward, he preached so sternly against these evils that people often doubt the story of his false profession. Bro. Ray received his education from Tippoh County Agricultural High School, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee and latter received two degrees from Covington Theological Seminary of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia (Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Sacred Laws and Letters). Dr. Ray was an outstanding evangelist, who built some 40 churches throughout several southern -28-
states. His greatest accomplishment was leading Myrtle Baptist Church, where he pastored more than 50 years. He also built and moderated Camp Zion, which started in the year 1948. Camp Zion moves on today, under the direction of Dr. Ray’s successor, Brother Earl Farley, calling America back to God. Many people were saved because a man sent from God, Dr. Percy Ray, gave a plain, simple, powerful message of a holy God who would judge sin. At the same time, Dr. Ray gave hope and forgiveness through a Christ who was not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. His evangelistic efforts were the force to revive many churches. Through this part of Dr. Ray’s life’s work changes were made in the lives of people that never has been forgotten. He does not have books to his credit and he never receive the accolades of popularity; but by many of us, he will never be forgotten. We are reminded almost daily of his power of preaching, his persistence in prayer and the presence of his person. He was an imposing man in a humble way that seemed, for all, to be a testimony of God’s unction on him.. He had very few treasures of this world but had invested his life in the lives of others so fully that the dividends will return for generations to come. The work that God put in his heart years ago, Camp Zion, still goes on, built on the solid foundation that Dr. Ray laid many years ago. I have watched the crowd in a camp meeting fall under the conviction that accompanied his powerful preaching and saw 50 folks saved while the black clouds of a storm waited until the invitation was over. The unusual was normal with Dr. Ray. People literally screamed out and cried for mercy as Brother Ray preached his message on “The Red Light of Hell.” May there be many preachers even today that preach hell hot and heaven sweet. Dr. Ray died on April 11, 1991 after a long illness. (Much of the facts in this article were found in the authorized biography, “Percy Ray: A Ray For God” by Dr. Estus W. Pirkle) Rice, John Richard (1895-1980) — John R. Rice was born in Cooke County, Texas, on December 11, 1895, the son of William H. And Sally Elizabeth LaPrade Rice. Educated at Decatur Baptist College and Baylor University, he did graduate work at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago. On September 27, 1921, he was married to Lloys McClure Cooke. Six daughters were born of that union, all of whom, with their husbands, labored in full-time Christian service. Although Dr. Rice served as pastor of Baptist churches in Dallas and Shamrock, Texas (plus starting about a dozen others from his successful independent crusades), his primary work was as an evangelist. He had been a friend and peer of Billy and Ma Sunday, Bob Jones, Sr., W. B. Riley, Homer Rodeheaver, H. A. Ironside, Robert G. Lee, Harry Rimmer, and other leaders of that era. He held huge city-wide crusades in Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, Seattle and numerous other key metropolitan centers. Called by his biographer “The 20th Century’s Mightiest Pen,” Dr. Rice authored more than 200 books and booklets circulating in excess of 60 million copies before his death, about a dozen of which were translated into at least 35 foreign languages. His sermon booklet, “What Must I Do Be Saved?” had been distributed in over 32 million copies in English alone, 81 million in Japanese, and nearly 2 million in Spanish. In 1934 he launched the Sword Of The Lord which, by the time of his death, had become the largest independent religious weekly in the world with subscribers in every state of the union and more than 100 foreign countries. Thousands of preachers read it regularly, and it undoubtedly had the greatest impact upon the fundamentalist movement of any publication in the 20th century. Rimmer , Harry (1890-1952) — “There is no such thing as an unregenerate Christian. Christianity begins for us when Jesus Christ is formed in our hearts through faith by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are born again.” Dr. Harry Rimmer wore many hats in his lifetime – lecturer, scientist, archaeologist, author, pastor, crusader, debater, fundamentalist, soul winner – and one of America’s most thrilling speakers. As president of the Science Research Bureau, he delved into all the so-called evidences for evolution and with scientific evidence proved it a foolish and untenable theory. After his lecture about the creation, the Flood, Joshua’s long day, the miracles, the Bible account seemed the most reasonable and scientific thing in the world, while the guesses of the evolutionary theory proved to be scientifically ridiculous. -29-
A Christian who heard him did not long feel like a shipwrecked mariner clinging with despair to the broken pieces of his ship of faith in a stormy sea. Instead, he felt like he was on an unsinkable ocean liner driving steadily on a proper course to a well-known haven under the safe hands of a master Mariner! He made you want to stand up and cheer for the Bible. No man in America could more strengthen your faith in the Bible than this man. Dr. Rimmer was a working scientist, for years spending six months in excavation and examination of fossils and in other scientific research, then six months on the platform. He was long pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Duluth, Minnesota. He was author of many books; among them: Dead Men Tell Tales, Harmony of Science and Scripture, and Modern Science and the Genesis Record, all highly recommended to young people. In March of 1953 he slipped across that “Valley of Deep Shadow” to occupy his bit of property – for after taps comes reveille for the Christian! Roberts, Evan (1878-1950) — Evan Roberts, leader of the Welsh revival, worked in coal mines, but he walked in the Heavenlies. Never without his Bible, he prayed and wept for eleven years for revival in Wales. He entered the preparatory school for the ministry at Newcastle Emlyn when about twenty-six. He never finished. Compelled by the Holy Spirit he returned in November, 1904, to his home village of Loughor to tell of Christ. And fire fell. Evan did not preach, he led the meetings, praying, “Plyg ni, O Arglwydd!” – “Bend us, O Lord,” and urging, “Obey the Holy Spirit...Obey!” The Calvinistic Methodist Church was moved until all Loughor became a praying, praising multitude. Taverns were emptied, brothels were closed, the churches were filled daily. Fire spread until all Wales was brought in repentance to its knees at the cross. Roberts’ life ministry was burned out in the short months of the 1904-05 Welsh Revival. Broken in health, he retired from public view for the remaining half-century of his life. Robertson, Pat (1930- ) — US evangelist and politician, b. Marion Gordon Robertson in Lexington, Va. He founded the first US Christian television station in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1960, gradually transforming CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) into one of the largest US cable networks by 1986. Hosting “The 700 Club,” he gained national prominence, going on to an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988. Robinson, Reuben (Uncle Bud) (1860-1942) — Uncle Bud Robinson was born in a log cabin in the primitive mountain region of Tennessee. When he was sixteen his father died, and his mother sold what little they had and moved to Texas. In August 1880, during a camp meeting he felt deep conviction for his sin and received Christ as his Saviour. That same night, while lying under the wagon, he felt that the Lord had called him to preach. He had no formal education, and stuttered so badly that he could hardly pronounce his name clearly. Yet in the first year of preaching he saw about three hundred conversions in his meetings. On January 10, 1893, he married Miss Sallie Harper at Georgetown, Texas. For the next two years he preached on the Hubbard Circuit. The remaining forty-seven years of his ministry were given to evangelism. Uncle Bud had a wisdom all his own, with unusual insight into the purpose for the redeemed man here on earth, a holy walk day by day. His personal philosophy is reflected in the following request he prayed each morning: “O Lord, give me a backbone as big as a saw-log and ribs like sleepers under the church floor; put iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches and hang a wagon load of determination in the gable-end of my soul, and help me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I have a vision and bite him as long as I have a tooth, and then gum him till I die. Amen.” During his long ministry Uncle Bud is estimated to have traveled over two million miles, preached over thirty-three thousand sermons, was the human instrument responsible for more than one hundred thousand conversions, personally gave more than $85,000 in assisting young people with their Christian education, secured over fifty-three thousand subscriptions to his church paper, The Herald of Holiness, and wrote fourteen books that sold more than one-half million copies. God used him greatly. From Boston to Los Angeles thousands thronged to hear him, charmed by his homespun wit and his unique presentation as a preacher of the old-fashioned Gospel to the common man. -30-
Roloff, Lester (1914-1982) — A modern-day prophet, and remembered well by many still living, Lester Roloff in the last years of his life had become a symbol and example to all who believe man ought to obey God rather than men. Until his death in an airplane crash in 1982, he was engaged in a battle against some of the forces of the State of Texas, primarily the Welfare Department that would silence or greatly curtail his ministry if they could. The irony of it all is that he had done nothing but help change lives of countless youngsters who had nobody else to help them. It is hard to believe that the story you are now going to read could happen in America. Roloff was born on a farm ten miles south of Dawson, Texas, to Christian parents on June 28, 1914. He was saved in a little country church called Shiloh Baptist when about twelve, in a revival in July, 1926, under the ministry of John T. Taylor. High school was completed in Dawson. Reared on a farm he took his milk cow and went off to Baylor University in 1933 and milked his way through college. He graduated in 1937 with an A.B. degree. While at Baylor he was far from idle. He started pastoring among the Southern Baptists in a succession of pastorates. First was the Prairie Grove Mills Baptist Church in Navarro County where he had 67 converted in a revival to begin things. He also preached at his hometown church at Shiloh which was located outside of Dawson. Then he preached a revival at the First Baptist Church of Purden, Texas, and had 143 additions baptizing some 100 of them. This led to his call there while he retained the ministry at Navarro Mills. This latest venture happened his last year in college. Roloff went on to Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth for three years, 1937 to 1940, while he maintained his ministry at Purden, going then to the First Baptist Church of Trinidad, Texas, his last year in seminary. He married Marie Brady on August 10, 1936, at the First Baptist Church of Galveston, Texas. They had two daughters, Elizabeth, born June 20, 1937, and Pamela Kay, an adopted daughter. From 1941 to 1944 he pastored the Magnolia Park Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, which had great crowds and much blessing. He was president of the local pastor’s conference during some of this time. In 1944 he went to Corpus Christi where he spent the rest of his life. The Park Avenue Baptist Church extended a call to him, where he went in March 1944. On October 15, 1944, the church burned, and later property was purchased in another location of town and the church became known as the Second Baptist Church which he pastored from 1944 to 1951 with some 3,300 additions during this time. A branch mission church was started, called the West Heights Baptist Church. Roloff began a radio ministry on May 8, 1944, with his Family Altar Program, first broadcast over a 250-watt station locally. Soon it was on more than 22 stations, approximately 65 hours per week. By the early 1980s, it was broadcasting on more than 150 stations nationally. Some of the broadcasts were 15 minutes in length, some one-half hour. Starting on the small KEYS station, the program had an interesting history. Roloff was kicked off the radio ten months after he started his fight against liquor being a prime reason. The next day he started to broadcast on KWBU, a 50,000-watt station where he held fort for eight years. In 1954 the managers of KWBU decided to remove him because he was a controversial figure. Some businessmen bought the station, and he was again on the air for a year. But not for long. The new managers, like today, were “ratings” minded, and felt some more popular programs would bring in more listeners and more revenue. That squeezed Roloff’s program off the air once again. However, within one year, the owners of the station lost more than $70,000. By this time, Roloff decided to try to buy the station and asked how much they wanted. The answer was $300,000, and Roloff didn’t have a dime. However, with the help of God and the money of friends, $25,000 was put down as earnest money with $100,000 needed 90 days later. He had all the required funds short of $7,250 on the last day. By the last hour, he was still short $250, but 45 minutes before the 2 p.m. deadline it was all there! Others of course became stock holders and owned the station, but Roloff was the vehicle used to get it in the right hands. After Roloff bought the station, it changed its call letters to KCIA. Roloff founded the Park Avenue Christian Day School in 1946. The school even now operates a -31-
kindergarten and continues through upper grades. His headquarters continue at the Park Avenue Day School, located on the property of the former Park Avenue Church. In April 1951 he resigned as pastor at Second Baptist Church to enter full time evangelism. He founded the Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises, a nonprofit organization which sponsors many projects of faith. In May 1955 he printed his first issue of Faith Enterprise, a quarterly publication dedicated to the salvation of lost souls and strengthening believers. In August of 1954, with convictions about being independent of the Southern Baptist Convention or any other denominational influence, he founded a church in Corpus Christi which was to be called the Alameda Baptist Church. He and four others put up $2,500 on ten and four tenths acres of ground, and it was organized with 126 members on October 24. He pastored here until about 1961. On March 13, 1956, Roloff stood in Waco Hall, in Waco, Texas, and spoke to more than 2,000, giving his swan song to Baylor University. He stated all the issues in no uncertain terms. Other ministries soon developed. Roloff described at least six major ministries that he became responsible for: Thirty years ago, we started the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission that is still in operation. More than twenty years ago, the CITY OF REFUGE was started in an old Quonset hut given by Dr. Logan and put together by alcoholics at Lexington, Texas. The City of Refuge is now located in Culloden, Georgia, on 273 acres of an old antebellum home with lovely dormitories for men and women. The LIGHTHOUSE houseboat was built by Brother E.A. Goodman and taken down the Intra-coastal Canal in 1958. On the way down, a boy fell off and went under this boat and missed the propeller. He was rescued by an unsaved boy who was going down to the Lighthouse for help, and one of our preacher boys, Bob Smith, who is now a missionary. This is where Bill Henderson, Ricky Banning and many others found God’s will for their lives. We have preacher boys that come to the Lighthouse now studying for the ministry in other Christian schools. I have just dealt with three eighteen year old boys in Corpus Christi within the last week who are drug addicts. The Lighthouse is located forty miles down the Intra-coastal Canal from Corpus Christi and it can only be reached by plane or by boat. The PEACEFUL VALLEY HOME for our older retired Christian friends is the prayer place. It is located near Mission and Edinburg, Texas, with many acres of citrus fruit and lovely vegetables that are grown there, in the midst of a lot of nice weather. This home is just for Christians who want to retire in a lovely place and still be of service to others. It began in 1969. The ANCHOR HOME FOR BOYS with three big two story buildings for dormitories, a cafeteria, gymnasium, shop building and dining room, is located at Zapata, Texas. It has a capacity of nearly three hundred. The BETHESDA HOME FOR GIRLS in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is for girls in trouble. It is a very beautiful home, located on Blue Lake, for both pregnant and delinquent girls. It has made many friends and received a warm welcome in Mississippi. The REBEKAH HOME FOR GIRLS, located in Corpus Christi, Texas, is our largest home. We have had fifteen hundred girls in about seven years and the three dormitories have a capacity of about three hundred beds. It is located on 440 acres of land. This has been the most miraculous work we have ever seen and has been fought and despised by the devil. I have never seen such miracles in all of my ministry. The REBEKAH CHRISTIAN ACADEMY is the school for the Rebekah Home. It has a beautiful two story air conditioned building with the finest of equipment. From 1961 to 1973 Roloff was developing these varied enterprises, and ministering as an evangelist in many churches, plus carrying on his radio ministry. He was an experienced pilot, having flown about 12,000 hours in his 1966 Queen Air that a friend helped him to get, and also his 1968 Cessna Skywagon that was used for Lighthouse work, which could land on the beach with people and provisions. These planes belonged to the Enterprises and had their own mechanic and radio men to maintain them and help fly them. Roloff landed his plane at least four times on one engine, and in unusual places such as a highway. His flying lessons began in 1958. His themes through the years had been Christ Is the Answer and Now the Just Shall Live by Faith. The last of his varied works of good will which, by the way, made no charges for those they helped, was the Rebekah Home in Corpus Christi, which was the scene of controversy during his remaining years and, in fact, still is. This was founded in 1967 along with the People’s Church, a place where girls in -32-
trouble could get worship as they got straightened out. This school specialized in taking cases other agencies and homes refused to take. And no wonder Roloff got results. He ran his schools by Bible directives and naturally got Bible results, changed lives. Over $3,000,000 were tied up in the Rebekah project alone. In September, 1970, the Gulf Coast storm Celia hit, but miraculously did not touch the Lighthouse, nor their home, although severe damage was almost everywhere else. In 1971 their homes were filled to capacity, and they had to start turning people away. In May, 1972, the Roloffs moved into their lovely, large new home on the acreage where the Rebekah Home and other buildings were already located. An other 118 acres of land was purchased. It had a runway on it for their plane, and they could farm some of the remaining acres. During the summer of 1972, workers built another big two story building, which became the Rebekah Christian School. At the close of 1972 they had four days of dedication for the following new items: chapel at the Intra-coastal Canal; their new home; the land adjoining the Enterprises property; a big new boys’ home at Zapata, Texas; five new units at the Peaceful Valley Home; the high two story dormitory at the Rebekah Home; the two story Rebekah School; and the People’s Church, which is nearly two blocks long. The battle with the State of Texas developed ironically out of one of the most compassionate ministries done anywhere. Rebekah Home was founded as a place to help girls in trouble by giving them the answer, which is Christ. A Dallas probation officer attests to the fact the place to send young people in trouble is Roloff’s work. Children rejected elsewhere were welcomed with open arms and a book could be written, telling of the amazing changed lives. Some of the young men from the Lighthouse have married some of the girls from Rebekah Home (“the bumblebees meeting the honeybees”). The talk of licensing began in 1971. This threatened to shut the work down, unless they conformed to rules and regulations that would have greatly increased the cost of the operation without improving on what they were doing. Roloff’s legal problems began in April, 1973, when the state Welfare Department filed a suit in an attempt to have his Rebekah Home licensed. Had Roloff agreed to do this, he would then have had to follow Welfare Department guidelines, which would have been totally alien to Bible principles and the philosophy upon which the girls’ home was founded. Roloff had no desire to fight the Welfare Department or put them out of business, but simply wanted this unconstitutional interference to stop. It was government interference with religion. “Licensing a church home is as unnecessary and wrong as licensing a church,” Roloff contended. At issue was the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. If licensed, the home would have been required to hire a home supervisor who holds a degree in social work and who is approved by the Welfare Department. That supervisor would be required to complete an additional fifteen hours of college level social studies every two years. Not only that but the home would be required to file financial reports regularly with the state Welfare Department. The home would also have to hire one state approved worker for every eight girls. The home would also be forced to serve foods from a menu prepared by the Welfare Department. The Welfare Department also objected to Bible discipline, which would have to be eliminated. (Translation: no spanking or other corporal punishment.) One could readily see that Roloff would not be running the home he gave birth to, so naturally he chose to fight this invasion of privacy. When the welfare officials appeared, he asked them what they wanted. When they presented new rules he simply took out his Bible and told them he was satisfied with God’s rules. On August 3, 1973, an injunction was signed, in which Roloff was enjoined from operating a child care institution without a license for those under sixteen years of age. On October 5, 1973, a district judge heard the case and fined Roloff $500 and $80 in court costs for contempt of court when he refused welfare guidelines. With Roloff refusing to have the home licensed, the Welfare Department leveled charges of brutality against the home, based upon the testimony of a few of the girls. This adverse publicity was widespread. It was found that, of the 1,500 girls who had spent time at Rebekah Home, fewer than a dozen could be found who would testify against it. One set of parents were found willing to testify for the Welfare -33-
Department. None of the 1,490 who were helped or thankful for the home or their parents were consulted. Finally, on January 31, 1974, the case went to court again in Corpus Christi and Roloff was found guilty fined $5,400 and sentenced to five days in the county jail on contempt of court charges. The court also ordered him to “purge the home,” which would mean to “dump the girls into the street.” On February 4th he was given the opportunity to present his argument on the constitutionality of state licensing of a church operated home before the Provisions Committee of the Texas State Senate. What was to have been a five minute presentation blossomed into a three hour session when the senators began questioning Roloff on the accomplishments and problems of Rebekah Home. His jail term was limited to one day, February 12, pending appeal to the Texas State Supreme Court, and the fine was stayed as well, pending appeal. He was released from jail on a writ of habeas corpus. On March 24, 1974, Roloff and his attorneys appeared before the nine judges of the State Supreme Court of Texas in a hearing to determine if a discharge of the charges could be obtained. This request was made on the grounds that the judgment was ambiguous and unclear in that it does not define what age constitutes a child or children. The former policy was that individuals up to age sixteen were considered children, but a recent state attorney general’s ruling stated a person to be a child up to age eighteen. Questions were also raised in the minds of the judges as to what constituted a childcare home. Answers were unclear from the Welfare Department and, in one instance, contradictory. The high court agreed that children sixteen or over could be cared for by Roloff and as a result overturned the contempt of court charges May 20, 1974. Roloff received the news May 29, while at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, receiving an award “for those who have made special contributions to the defense of the faith.” The Austin decision of the Supreme Court, however, did not end the fight. The Welfare Department has since been adamant in getting the under eighteen years of age law declared as needing a welfare license. Roloff continued to help girls of any age who came to him for help. He estimated that, while he could not actively recruit for the younger ages, would there be no harassment, he could handle up to 700 young people over against his approximate 200 who were then cared for. To illustrate the problem, two girls, aged 13 and 15, ran away after two warnings for other offenses. They were told they would be spanked for the next violation. They were found four days later in a locked bar. They had spent this time with ten men and had a woeful story to tell. Roloff kept his word and spanked them. Word got out about the incident and Roloff was served a summons for child abuse. At the hearing the girls admitted the offenses and the spankings. The judge declared Roloff could keep them until the trial. Roloff refused until the judge would ask them a question as to where they would like to go back to Roloff or to some alternate arrangement. Hugging their “daddy” with great affection they said they wanted to be with Brother Roloff. By March, 1975, the Texas Welfare Department had filed against Roloff again for contempt and for being in violation of their rules and regulations. The Rebekah Home now housed only 200 girls, half of what they had previously when forced to close. Even more tragic was that they turned away 3,000 during the legal problems. A legislative bill slipped through the Texas State Senate on March 13, 1975, clearly aimed, many people felt, at outlawing the Roloff homes and work. It passed through the Texas House of Representatives in May, 1975. In June another court order was issued whereby they would be held in further contempt if they did not allow inspection of the premises of their homes. They allowed the inspections, having nothing to hide. On July 4 and 5, 1975, a great rally was held in Garland and Dallas, Texas, where hundreds of people gathered to join in the battle, with such as Jack Hyles and Bob Jones, III, addressing the crowds. On July 25, shortly thereafter, the Lighthouse dormitory burned to the ground. Later, a tall boy got saved and confessed to setting the fire. By January 1, 1976, the new guidelines by the Welfare Department became law, making it illegal for unlicensed homes to take in children under the age of eighteen. -34-
In May, 1976, a judge order instructed Roloff Enterprises to allow state welfare workers to inspect the homes. This time Roloff refused. On June 3 a great rally with some 400 people was held in Austin, preceding Roloff’s court appearance to fight state licensing. Again he was put in jail on June 21. He was released June 25, just prior to his 62nd birthday. He was fined $1,750 also. In the fall of 1976 a final ruling was laid down, giving him freedom until the Supreme Court of the United States would hear the case. On November 1, 1977, a great freedom rally was held at the convention center in Dallas. Great crowds came, including over 1,500 preachers, and public sentiment again swelled for Roloff. Nearly a year later, on October 2, 1978, the United States Supreme Court ruled against hearing the case from Corpus Christi. Attorney General John Hill of Texas said the case was frivolous, and the justices must have believed it. Appearing on the nationwide CBS television program 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace on October 22, 1978, gave Roloff some favorable national coverage long overdue. Then, on November 7, this same thorn in the flesh, John Hill, was defeated in his bid for governor of Texas by William Clements in a very close election. Clements indicated he would use his powers to free Roloff from all charges. It seems that even now, a decades later, Roloff’s case, still in litigation, is being considered a test case by many. What happens may determine the ultimate status of many other preachers. On the morning of November 2, 1982, Lester Roloff donned his pilot’s clothing and boarded his Cessna Skywagon for the last time, on his way to a preaching engagement at the Calvary Baptist Church of Kansas City, Missouri. With him were three members of his men’s quartet and an assistant. Approximately one hundred miles north of Houston, at 10:00 a.m., the plane disappeared off radar screens. There was much stormy weather in the area. The wreckage of the aircraft was later found by sheriff’s deputies. All five aboard were killed when the craft smashed into the ground. Though shocked and stunned at the sudden home going of their founder and other close associates, the Roloff Enterprises vowed to continue the fight. Lester Roloff’s personal battle was over, but legal battles continue to this day. Currently, the Rebekah Home has been closed, and the Lighthouse has not been allowed to reopen after reconstruction. Two other homes remain open. Perhaps justice will still be meted out. Scarborough, Lee Rutland (1870-1945) — L. R. Scarborough was born in Colfax, Louisiana, on July 4, 1870, one of five children. Lee was converted to Christ at seventeen. After graduating from Baylor University in 1892, he taught at that institution for the next two years. Then he entered Yale University, where he received an additional degree in 1896. Upon completion of his seminary work at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1900, Scarborough pastored in Texas for the next eight years. In 1908 he went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, as a professor in the School of Theology, a post he held until he was elected president of the seminary in 1915. He served in that capacity for the next twenty-seven years, until he retired in 1942. During this period he also served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (1929-31); vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1938-41); and vice-president of the Baptist World Alliance (1940-41). Dr. Scarborough was the author of fourteen books (The greatest of which might be “With Christ After The Lost”), as well as a great preacher and soul winner. He died in Amarillo, Texas, on April 10, 1945. Scofield, Cyrus Ingersoll (1843-1921) — Born in Lenawee County, Michigan, August 19, 1843, Cyrus Scofield became one of the foremost names among Bible students. His mother died at his birth, but before she died she prayed that this boy might become a minister. This was not told to Cyrus until after he entered the ministry. His family moved to Tennessee, where he received his early education. As a boy, Cyrus had a thirst for knowledge and was exceedingly thorough in his investigations. Whenever he came upon a person or event of which he knew little, he would pursue the subject until he became knowledgeable concerning it. This prepared him to become a competent scholar later in life. Although his parents were Christian and the Bible was read in the home, Cyrus didn’t consider it a book for investigative study but one to enjoy merely for its stories. His religious experience prior to conversion was superficial. -35-
The Civil War prevented him from entering the university and he never did receive a formal collegiate education. At seventeen he entered the Confederate Army, and because he was an excellent horseman he became an orderly. He frequently carried messages under gunfire. The Confederate Cross of Honor was awarded him for bravery at Antietam. When the war was over, Scofield studied law in St. Louis, and afterward moved to Kansas, where he was admitted to the bar in 1869. He served in the Kansas State Legislature and at the age of twentynine was appointed by President Grant as United States District Attorney for Kansas. Later he returned to St. Louis and reentered law practice. During this time he began to drink heavily. However, his passion for drink was completely removed when he received Jesus Christ through the efforts of Thomas S. McPheeters, a YMCA worker. Scofield immediately became active in Christian work. He was ordained in Dallas, Texas, October 1883, where he began his ministry as pastor of the First Congregational Church. In the book “The Pursuit of Purity,” David O. Beale reported: “When Scofield had been a Christian for only four years, his unconverted Roman Catholic wife filed for divorce. She would no longer tolerate his new lifestyle. Scofield objected to the divorce; but she filed again and succeeded in 1883. The following year, Scofield, on the basis of 1 Cor. 7:15, married Hattie Van Wark, who remained his companion until his death.” “Although scorned by some, Scofield was later recommended to the pulpit of the Congregational Church at East Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1895 by D.L. Moody. He remained Moody’s pastor until Moody’s death in 1899.” (From “The Final Authority” by William Grady, page 315) As a result of diligent and systematic study of the Scriptures during his years of ministry and the help of editors like his friend A.C. Gaebelein, he produced the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909 (over two million were sold within the next two years) and later the Scofield Bible Correspondence Course. Through the influence of private talks with Hudson Taylor of the China Inland Mission and also a book by a brilliant journalist traveler, William Eleroy Curtis, Scofield felt God directing his attention toward the Central American region for missionary activity. The church at Dallas began giving more to missionary work than to the home work. They established the Central American Mission in 1890. Concerning the Reference Bible, he asked himself this question: “What kind of reference Bible would have helped me most when I was first trying to learn something of the Word of God, but ignorant of the very first principles of Bible study?” This was a tremendous undertaking and took a great deal of tedious work and genius. He and his wife made trips to England and the continent while completing the work. The Oxford libraries were opened to him, and the Oxford University Press published it. It was completed in 1907 and presented to the public in January 1909. In reflecting upon his own lifetime, Scofield recalls the two great epochs of his life: “The first was when I ceased to take as final human teachings about the Bible and went to the Bible itself. The second was when I found Christ as Victory and Achievement.” Scofield died on Sunday morning July 24, 1921, at Douglaston, Long Island. Hundreds of thousands now appreciate and use his famous “Scofield Reference Bible”. Scroggie, William Graham (1877-1958) — William Graham Scroggie was born at Great Malvern, England, of Scottish parents. He was one of nine children in a home without normal educational advantages. He grew up among the brethren, and after a few years in business he entered Spurgeon’s College in London at the age of nineteen to train for the Baptist ministry. He was turned out of his first two churches in London and Yorkshire because of his opposition to modernism and worldliness. Scroggie began to study the Bible; and during the next two difficult years, when he lived with little support, he laid the foundation of all his subsequent work. After pastorates in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, the United States, and Canada, he became pastor of the famous Spurgeon Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. During World War II his home was bombed on three occasions, and his historic church building destroyed during an air raid. Increasing ill health forced him to retire in 1944. He devoted his remaining -36-
years to completing his literary work, The Unfolding Drama of Redemption. He died on December 28, 1958. Savonarola, Girolamo (1452 - 1498) — An Italian reformer, Savonarola was in a Dominican monastery for seven years. He began to preach the Bible in Florence, Italy, in 1481. The city became a “republic” due to Savonarola’s preaching and his immense popularity with the common people. They elected him to be the city manager. Pope Alexander VI offered him a cardinal’s position if he would quit preaching the Bible and exposing the sins of the Vatican. Savonarola refused the “red hat” of the cardinal and replied, “I’ll take a ‘red hat’ of blood.” He was excommunicated, imprisoned, tortured, then burned at the stake. Before dying he said, “Rome will not quench this fire ...” Sightler, Harold B. (1914-1995) — “The church should not have a missionary society; it should be a missionary society. When I walk through the Eastern Gate, I want to be able to hold my head up...look Jesus Christ my Lord in the face and declare that I remained true, by saying, ‘I yet believe the Book. I yet believe in Jesus. I yet believe in the church.” Harold Bennett Sightler was born May 15, 1914 in the lower part of his beloved South Carolina-the state where he lived his whole 81 years and ministered faithfully 55 of those years. He often preached on the importance of Christian training in a child’s life and praised God for his own Bible-believing heritage: “Among my earliest recollections is an old grandmother with God’s Word in her lap reading the story of Jesus and His love.” After brief pastorates in Mauldin and Pelham, South Carolina, he founded the Tabernacle Baptist Church on White Horse Road in Greenville in 1952 and was the pastor for 42 years and 2 months until his death in September of 1995. During his years at Tabernacle, Dr. Sightler founded a children’s home, the Tabernacle Baptist Bible College, a Christian school, the Helen Grace Sightler Widow’s Apartments, a day-care center, and two radio stations. The church gives $10,000 per week to foreign missions. In addition to preaching at Tabernacle, Dr. Sightler held revival meetings nationally and international. From 1948 to 1984 he preached an average of 40 revivals per year. In 1943 he founded his daily radio ministry, the Bright Spot Hour, which is still heard on 45 radio stations across America. He was an author from whose pen had come more than 70 books and booklets, including 11 Bible commentaries. A pioneer of independent Baptists in the Carolinas, he was highly respected with independent Baptists nationwide. Dr. Sightler was a prince of preachers, with a resonant voice in a deep southern accent pronouncing unflinching, uncompromising truths and at the same time presenting God’s grace with eloquent pathos. He was a courageous, devoted servant of Christ, an unrelenting advocate for the King James Bible and independent Baptist fundamentalism. Simpson, A. B. (1844-1919) — A. B. Simpson was born in Canada of Scottish parents. He became a Presbyterian minister and pastored several churches in Ontario. Later he accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. It was there that his life and ministry were completely changed - during a revival meeting he experienced the fullness of the Spirit. He continued in the Presbyterian Church until 1881, when he founded an independent Gospel Tabernacle in New York. There he published The Alliance Weekly and wrote seventy books on Christian living. He organized two missionary societies which later merged to become The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Smith, Joseph — (1805-44). The founder and first leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more commonly called the Mormon church was Joseph Smith. His writings and the Bible form the basis for the organization’s teachings. Smith was born in Sharon, Vt., on Dec. 23, 1805. When he was 11 the family moved to Palmyra in western New York. Beginning at age 14 he began experiencing visions, and said that God would grant him a revelation of the true nature of Christianity. In 1827, according to his own account, Smith was directed by an angel to a hill near Manchester, N.Y. There he dug up golden plates on which was written a history of the American Indians. Smith translated the tablets as the ‘Book of Mormon’ and published -37-
it in 1830. Non-Mormon scholars regard the book as a collection of Indian legends, fragments of Smith’s autobiography, and religious and political controversies of the time. On April 6, 1830, Smith founded his church at Fayette, N.Y., as a restoration of the original Christian faith. The following year he and his converts moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Then in 1838 they went to western Missouri before settling in Nauvoo, Ill., in 1839. There the church developed into a local power, though there was considerable friction with non-Mormons especially over the practice of polygamy, or multiple marriage. Smith may have had as many as 50 wives. Nauvoo, with its 20,000 Mormons, was then the largest town in Illinois. Smith served as mayor and commanded the local militia. In 1844 Smith announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. Mormon dissenters attacked him in their newspaper. He ordered their press destroyed. He and his brother Hyrum were then jailed in Carthage, Ill. On June 27 a mob stormed the jail and murdered both brothers. Smith was declared a martyr by the Mormons. He was succeeded by Brigham Young. Smith’s son Joseph became head of a dissident Mormon group. Smith, Rodney (Gipsy) (1860-1947) — Gipsy Smith was, perhaps, the best loved evangelist of all time. When he would give his life story, the crowds that came to hear usually overflowed the halls and auditoriums. His trips across the Atlantic Ocean were so numerous that historians seemingly disagree on the exact number. Born in a gypsy tent six miles northeast of London, at Epping Forest, March 31, 1860, he received no education. The family made a living selling baskets, tinware and clothes pegs. His father, Cornelius, and his mother, Mary (Polly) Welch, provided a home that was happy in the gypsy wagon, despite the fact that father played his violin in the pubs at this time. Young Rodney would dance and collect money for the entertainment. Yet he never drank or smoked, which may have contributed to his longevity. Cornelius was in and out of jail for various offenses, usually because he couldn’t afford to pay his fines. Here he first heard the gospel from the lips of a prison chaplain. He tried to explain to his dying wife what he heard. Rodney was still a small lad when his mother died from smallpox. A child’s song that she had heard sung twenty years earlier about Jesus came back to her, comforting her as she passed on. Her dying words were, “I believe. Be a good father to my children. I know God will take care of my children.” Rodney never forgot seeing his mother buried by lantern-light at the end of a lane in Hertfordshire. God did take care of the children as the four girls and two boys (Rodney was the fourth child) grew up under the stern eye of their father. They all went into Christian service. Following his wife’s death, Cornelius had no power to be good. One day he met his brothers, Woodlock and Bartholomew, and found they too hungered after God. At a tavern at the Barnwell end of town, they stopped and talked to the woman innkeeper about God. She groaned that she was troubled also and ran upstairs to find a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress. Hearing this read to them, they decided this is what they wanted. Cornelius encountered a road worker who was a Christian and inquired where a gospel meeting might be found. He was invited to the Latimer Road Mission were he eagerly attended the meeting with all his children. As the people sang the words, “I do believe, I will believe that Jesus died for me,” and There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood, Cornelius fell to the floor unconscious. Soon he jumped up and said, “I am converted! Children, God has made a new man of me. You have a new father!” Rodney ran out of the church thinking his father had gone crazy. The two brothers of the father were also converted Bartholomew, the same night. Soon the three formed an evangelistic team and went roaming over the countryside preaching and singing the gospel. Now Cornelius would walk a mile on Saturday night for a bucket of water rather than travel on Sunday! From 1873 on, “The Converted Gypsies” were used in a wonderful way with Cornelius living until age ninety-one. Soon after their conversion, Christmas came, and the six children asked their father, “What are we going to have tomorrow?” The father sadly replied, “I do not know, my boy.” The cupboard was bare and purse was empty. The father would no longer play the fiddle in his accustomed saloons. Falling on his knees, he prayed, then told the his children, “I do not know what we will have for Christmas dinner, but we shall sing.” And sing, they did... Then we’ll trust in the Lord, And He will provide; Yes, we’ll trust in the Lord, And He will provide. A knock sounded on the side of the van. “It is I,” said Mr. -38-
Sykes, the town missionary. “I have come to tell you that the Lord will provide. God is good, is He not?” Then he told them that three legs of mutton and other groceries awaited them and their relatives in the town. It took a wheelbarrow to bring home the load of groceries and the grateful gypsies never knew whom God used to answer their prayers. Prayer now took on a new meaning, as the teenager heard father pray, “Lord, save my Rodney.” Rodney’s conversion as a sixteen-year-old came as a result of a combination of things. The witness of his father, the hearing of Ira Sankey sing, the visit to the home of John Bunyan in Bedford all contributed. Standing at the foot of the statue of Bunyan, Smith vowed he would live for God and meet his mother in heaven. A few days later in Cambridge, he attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Fitzroy street. George Warner, the preacher, gave the invitation and Rodney went forward. Somebody whispered, “Oh, it’s only a gypsy boy.” This was November 17, 1876, and he rushed home to tell his father that he had been converted. He got a Bible, English dictionary and Bible dictionary and carried them everywhere causing people to laugh. “Never you mind,” he would say, “One day I’ll be able to read them,” adding, “and I’m going to preach too. God has called me to preach.” He taught himself to read and write and began to practice preaching. One Sunday he went into a turnip field and preached to the turnips. He would sing hymns to the people he met and was known as the singing gypsy boy. At seventeen, he stood on a small corner some distance from the gypsy wagon and gave a brief testimony...his first attempt at preaching. One day at a convention at the Christian Mission (later called the Salvation Army) headquarters in London, William Booth noticed the gypsies and realized that young Rodney had a promising future. He asked the young lad to preach on the spot. Smith sang a solo and gave a good testimony. Though he didn’t try to be funny, there was a touch of sunshine in his ministry. On June 25, 1877, he accepted the invitation of Booth to be an evangelist with and for the Mission. His youngest sister was converted in one of his early meetings. For six years (1877-1882), he served on street corners and mission halls in such areas as Whitby, Sheffield, Bolton, Chatham, Hull, Derby and Hanley. He was married on December 17, 1879 to Annie E. Pennock, one of his converts from Whitby, and their first assignment together was at Chatham. Here the crowd grew from 13 to 250 in nine months. Their first child, Albany, was born December 31, 1880. Then it was six months in Hull in 1881. Here the name “Gipsy” Smith first began to circulate. Meetings at the Ice House grew rapidly and soon 1,500 would attend an early Sunday prayer meeting. A meeting for converts drew 1,000. Then came Derby with defeats and discouragements. However, the Moody 1881 visit in London was a big encouragement. Their last move was to Hanley, in December 1881. He considered this his second home for the rest of his life. By June 1882, great crowds were coming and the work was growing. On July 31st a gold watch was given him and about $20.00 was presented to his wife by the warm-hearted folks there. Acceptance of these gifts was a breach of the rules and regulations of the Salvation Army, and for this, he was dismissed from the Army. The love in Hanley was returned by Smith, for when his second son was born on August 5th, he named him Alfred Hanley. His eight assignments with the Salvation Army had produced 23,000 decisions and his crowds were anywhere up to 1,500. Now Cambridge became Gipsy Smith’s permanent home for the rest of his life. However, the urging o the people at Hanley to return as an independent preacher was strong. So he returned ministering there for four years. Crowds reached 4,000 at the Imperial Circus building which was used for three months during this time. These were the largest crowds in the country outside of London. At one pre-service prayer meeting in 1882, the crowd of 300, including Smith, toppled to the room below as the floor collapsed under them injuring seventy people! In 1883 came his first trip abroad with a visit to Sweden and on February 1, 1884, his third child was born...a girl named Rhoda Zillah. His brief appearance on the program of the Congregational Union of England and Wales Convention swamped him with several offers. Because of this, he traveled extensively from 1886 to 1888, hampered for nine months during 1886 with a throat ailment. On January 18, 1889, Gipsy Smith left Liverpool for his first trip to America, arriving later in the month on a wet -39-
Sunday morning. He didn’t know a soul in America. He had nothing but credentials from friends back home which he used to introduce himself to some church leaders. Similar to moody’s experience some years earlier in England, the ones who had originally invited him had either died or become indifferent. Dr. Prince of the Nostrand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church o Brooklyn opened up his pulpit for a three week crusade with him. The 1,500 seat auditorium was jammed and between 300 and 400 people found the Lord. Following this, he traveled from Boston to San Francisco thrilling large audiences with his story and message. When he returned to England later in the year, he became assistant to F. S. Collier, of the Manchester Wesleyan Mission. Meetings were greatly used of God in a ten day campaign there. The midnight service saw people leaving theaters and bars to come in. Busy as he now was, he never grew tired of visiting gypsy encampments whenever he could on both sides of the Atlantic. His second trip to America was in August 1891. The old James Street Methodist Church of New York, with Pastor Stephen Merrit, hosted his first meeting in September. There was a great revival. He went to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a Methodist campground with a 10,000 seat auditorium. After a couple sermons here where he made many new friends, he returned to the Brooklyn church mentioned previously for a repeat crusade. Then a month-long crusade was held at the Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church of New York with Pastor James Roscoe Day. Many were saved. A good series followed back in Edinburg, Scotland in 1892. From this series came the Gypsy Gospel Wagon Mission, devoted to evangelistic work amongst his own people. In 1892, he took his third trip to America, this time with his wife. He was invited to hold special “drawing room meetings” for some of the elite in one of the largest mansions on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was not a public meeting, but personal letters were sent to various aristocratic ladies of New York, inviting them to be present. There were to be six meetings and at the first there were 175 ladies present. Facing Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, and such, he simply preached on “Repentance.” He said, “I only remembered that they were sinners needing a Savior.” He visited Ocean Grove, Lynn, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia in meetings sponsored by the Methodists. The newspaper coverage was good to Gypsy in a united campaign in Yonkers, New York. Denver, Colorado was exceedingly generous to them. From September, 1893 to January, 1894, he returned to Glasgow, Scotland for a seven-week crusade in seven different churches over a five-month period. The whole city was stirred. On May 22, 1894, Gipsy Smith arrived in Australia and began a six-week campaign in Adelaide. Then on to Melbourne and Sydney where he received a cable that his wife was very sick. This aborted his visit here after only three months, but 2,000 people came to his sendoff. Stopping in New York, the news was that his wife was some better so he spent time at Ocean Grove and in an Indianapolis crusade. It was here that an old man met Gipsy, suddenly reached up and felt Gipsy’s head, saying, “I am trying to find your bumps, so that I can find the secret of your success.” Smith replied, “You must come down here,” and placed the man’s hand upon his heart. Home, in November, he found his wife regaining her health. In 1895 he went to London for three months and then on to Alexander MacLaren’s church in Manchester. Thorough preparation here produced 600 converts in an eight-day meeting. Then it was on to other towns, Swansee, Wales and back to Edinburgh, Scotland. On January 1, 1896 he made his fifth trip to America and held a great campaign in the Peoples Temple in Boston. This was the city’s largest Protestant Church, with Pastor James Body Brady. Gipsy saw a sign outside the church, Gipsy Smith, the Greatest Evangelist in the World. He made them take it down. The four-week crusade went seven weeks with 800 being received into the church. He then had a good campaign with Pastor Hugh Johnstone at the Metropolitan Episcopal Church of Washington, D.C. There he met President Grover Cleveland, one of the two presidents he was to meet, and also had blind 70-year-old Fanny Crosby on his platform one night, singing one of her hymns. Upon his return home, he was made a special missionary of the National Free Church Council from 1897 to 1912. Staying in England for a while, his 1899 crusade at Luton had 1,100 converts and his 1900 crusade at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London had 1,200 converts. A Birmingham, England crusade resulted in 1,500 converts. One of the highlights of his life was his trip to South Africa in 1904 (age 44). He took his wife along. He daughter, Zillah, was the soloist. They spent six months there. He closed out in Cape -40-
Town on May 10th seeing some 3,000 come to the inquiry rooms during his crusade there. A tent meeting in Joannesburg started on June 9th in a 3,000 seat tent. He finally left in September, and it was estimated that 300,000 attended his meetings with 18,000 decisions for Christ during the whole African tour. The 1906 crusade in Boston, Massachusetts was one of his most renown. Under the auspices of the Boston Evangelical Alliance and personal sponsorship of A.Z. Conrad, Smith conducted 50 meetings at Tremont Temple attended by 116,500 people. Decision cards totaled 2,290. In 1908 and 1909 France was his burden. Speaking to the cream of society at the Paris Opera House, he saw 150 decisions made. In 1911 and 1912 he was back in America working with the Men and Religion Forward Movement. Duing World War I, he was back in France beginning in 1914 and for three and a half years ministered under the Y.M.C.A. auspices to the English troops there, often visiting the front lines. The result of this? King George VI made him a member of the Order of the British Empire. In 1922 the Nashville, Tennessee crusade seemed to achieve great heights of pulpit power. He had 6,000 black people out at a special service. Once when preaching to blacks only in Dallas, someone called out, “What color are we going to be in heaven? Shall we be black or white?” Gipsy replied, “My dear sister, we are going to be just like Christ.” An “amen” rang out all over the hall. In 1924, his crusade at the Royal Albert Hall in London had 10,000 attending nightly for the eight-day meeting. In 1926 he made his second trip around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, radio greatly enlarged his ministry. In seven months he accumulated 80,000 decision cards from the large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, etc., as well as in areas of Tasmania. His twenty-fifth trip to the U.S.A. was in 1928 with his son, Albany, who was also a preacher. They visited many churches. In Long Beach, California, he preached in a tent seating over 5,000. He also visited Toronto for the first time since 1909. England was not responding to union crusades which Smith deemed necessary, so he was back in America in 1929. Now almost seventy, he traveled from Atlanta to Los Angeles with great power. He spoke to 10,000 people at Ocean Grove. San Antonio, Texas had 10,000 decision cards signed in three weeks. One of his greatest Crusades was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in a tobacco warehouse seating 6,000. Fifteen thousand attended his last meeting with the total of decision cards for the whole crusade being 27,500. A large youth crusade was conducted in London in 1931. The year 1934 found him at an open air meeting near the spot where his gypsy mother died. Some 3,500 heard him. A church was started there as a result, called the North Methodist Mission. In June, 1935, he had a rally at Epping Forest near the spot where he was born. Ten thousand showed up to hear him talk about his life. His 1936 tour of America featured a great crusade in Elizabeth, New Jersey with 5,000 attending the last night which was the 60th anniversary of his conversion! Hundreds were saved. His favorite song, He Is Mine, was sung. Another great Texas crusade held at Dallas in the Dalantenary Fairgrounds resulted in 10,000 decisions. Gipsy Smith’s wife, Annie, died in 1937 at the age of 79 while he was in America. All of their children turned out well: a minister, an evangelist, and a soloist. Harold Murray was his constant friend and biographer for thirty years and was pianist for him starting with the First World War. Front page headlines on June 2, 1938 carried the news of the 78-year-old widower marrying Mary Alice Shaw on her 27th birthday. This, of course, brought some criticism. But it was a good marriage, for she helped him in his meetings, sang, did secretarial work, and later nursed him when his health failed. He toured the United States and Canada from 1939 to 1945. In 1945 they went back to England. He preached a bit, but the country was preoccupied with recovery from the Second World War. Gipsy was now very tired, and, thinking the sunshine of Florida might be good for his health, they embarked again for America. Three hours out of New York, on August 4, 1947, he died on the Queen Mary, stricken by a heart attack. Some say this was his 45th crossing of the Atlantic. His funeral was held August 8, 1947 in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church of New York. A memorial with a plaque was unveiled on July 2, 1949 at Mill Plain, Epping Forest, England, his birthplace. So ends the life of one who once said, “I didn’t go through your colleges and seminaries. They wouldn’t have me...but I have been to the feet of Jesus were the only true scholarship is learned.” And learned it was to even compel Queen Victoria of England to write him a letter. Gipsy never wrote a sermon out for preaching purposes. Only once did he use notes -41-
when he needed some Prohibition facts. Smith wrote several books: “As Jesus Passed By” (1905), “Gipsy Smith: His Work and Life” (1906), “Evangelistic Talks” (1922), “Real Religion” (1929), “The Beauty of Jesus” (1932) and “The Lost Christ”. He would sing as well as he preached. Sometimes he would interrupt his sermon and burst into song. Thousands wept as he sag such songs as, Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah with tears running down his cheeks, or such as This Wonderful Saviour of Mine and Jesus Revealed in Me, a song that he wrote: Christ the Transforming Light, Touches this heart of mine, Piercing the darkest night, Making His glory shine. Chorus: Oh, to reflect His grace, Causing the world to see, Love that will glow Til others shall know Jesus revealed in me. Another song that he wrote was Not Dreaming. This was written while he was resting in a corner of a railway compartment. He was reflecting on all the wonderful events of a recent campaign and some teenagers said, “Oh, he’s only dreaming.” He soon had a song to give the world... The world says I’m dreaming, but I know ‘tis Jesus Who saves me from bondage and sin’s guilty stain; He is my Lover, my Saviour, my Master, ‘Tis He who has freed me from guilt and its pain. Chorus: Let me dream on if I am dreaming; Let me dream on, My sins are gone; Night turns to dawn, Love’s light is beaming, So if I’m dreaming, Let me dream on. Other hymns written were, Thank God for You, and Mother of Mine. C. Austin Miles wrote “But This I Know,” and dedicated it to Smith. B.D. Ackley composed the music for Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me, and dedicated it to Smith. Although he was a Methodist, ministers of all denominations loved him. It is said that he never had a meeting without conversions. Spurgeon, Charles Haddon (1834-1892) — Many have declared Spurgeon to be the greatest preacher since the apostle Paul. He was an English Baptist preacher born at Kelvedon, Essex, June 19, 1834. His father was an independent minister. After attending Colchester school, young Charles was appointed usher in a school at Newmarket in 1849 and formally joined the Baptists in 1850. He was converted at age sixteen, and immediately began preaching. Spurgeon’s extraordinary ability was immediately recognized and he began pastoring the first church in 1852. In 1854 he took a small deteriorating church in south London. At once throngs of people were attracted to the small church. After moving several times (1859-1861) the congregation finally built the great Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating six thousand people. Here Spurgeon, who had become the most popular preacher in London, had his pulpit for the rest of his life. Spurgeon was a convinced Calvinist. He repudiated baptismal regeneration, and distrusted the rising tendencies of modern Biblical criticism. Beginning in 1855, he published a sermon each week. In 1865 he began to edit the monthly Sword and Trowel. He excelled not only in preaching but also in public prayer. His membership included over five thousand, and it is said that he knew them all by name. He observed the Lord’s Supper almost every Sunday either at home or in the tabernacle. He led in the establishment of many benevolent institutions. Spurgeon always appealed to the Scriptures as authoritative, and his sermons were based on Old Testament texts as well as those from the New Testament. His simplicity and his voice were great assets to preaching. Spurgeon excelled in his use of illustrations and anecdotes. He was criticized in his own day for his use of illustration, but like Jesus, Spurgeon believed in appealing to both eye and ear. He looked on the Gospel as a “gift of God to the imagination.” In one particular lecture he said that a sermon without illustration is like a house without windows. Before his death in 1892 he had published more than two thousand sermons and forty-nine volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations, and devotions. Sunday, William Ashley (Billy) (1862-1935) — US Presbyterian revivalist; full name, William Ashley Sunday was born in Ames, Iowa as the son of a Civil War soldier, on November 19, 1862. Because his father died when he was less than a year old, “Billy” was raised in an orphanage. His young days were hard, working in a hotel and later for Colonel John Scott. During high school young Sunday worked as a janitor. In 1883 he joined the “White Sox,” becoming a professional baseball player; he played in the major leagues for seven years. After these years in professional baseball, he was converted to Christ in 1886 through the street preaching of Harry Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, he turned -42-
to full-time religious interests soon and became a famous preacher at evangelical mass meetings across the country. Sunday gave up his baseball career in March, 1891 to become an assistant YMCA secretary. After three years of work at the YMCA and acting as assistant to Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, Sunday began preaching in his own services. He was ordained to the ministry in 1903 by the Presbytery of Chicago. Sunday preached in the army camps during World War I and later held city-wide meetings in the various cities across America. He refused to accept invitations offered him to go abroad. In one meeting in Philadelphia over 2.3 million attended his crusade during a period of eight weeks. Sunday held campaigns for over twenty years and literally “burned out for Christ.” Homer A. Rodeheaver led hymn singing at these meetings. At the close of each service throngs of people came forward and grasped the evangelist’s hand to signify their conversion. Such action was called “hitting the sawdust trail” because the tabernacle floors were covered with sawdust. Sunday was noted for acrobatic feats on the platform as he preached. The worst ever said of him was that he occasionally let his humor run wild; the best ever said about him was that he reached a million lives for Christ - the drunken, the down and out, the homeless, the common man. His blazing-fisted bare-handed evangelism lives in American history. He was probably a factor in preparing the country for the passage of the Eighteenth (Liquor prohibition) Amendment to the US Constitution. Billy Sunday died in Chicago, November 6, 1935; services were held in the Moody Memorial Church with 4,400 present. Tertullian, Quintus Florens (160 - 220) — A north African defender of the faith, Tertullian was born of heathen parents in Carthage, Africa. He studied law and lived an exceedingly sinful life until he received the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of thirty. He became an intense, hard-hitting defender of the fundamentals of the Christian faith against the traditions of Romanism. He joined the Montanists, a group of pre-millennial, Bible believing Christians and spent the rest of his life writing and preaching primitive Christianity as opposed to Romanism with its ecclesiastical traditions and ceremonies contrary to the scriptures. Torrey, Reuben Archer (1856-1928) — R. A. Torrey was educated at Yale University; he also studied at Leipzig and Erlangen Universities in Germany. In 1889 he was called to Chicago to supervise the Moody Bible Institute and serve as pastor of the Moody Memorial Church; he served until 1908. He toured the world conducting evangelistic campaigns with song leader Charles Alexander. They held meetings in Tasmania, Australia, China, Japan, India, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and the United States. Torrey served as dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA) from 1912-24; he also served as pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. He authored more than forty books on salvation, soul winning, and theology. Trotter, Melvin Ernest (1870-1940) — Mel Trotter was born in Orangeville, Illinois, the son of a godly mother and a drunken father. His mother tried to teach him to pray but he followed in the footsteps of his father and became a drunkard. He left home at the age of 17. After years of drink and sin, and on the verge of self-destruction, Mel ventured into the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago where he heard the Gospel. That night he responded to the invitation to receive Christ as his Saviour, and his life was transformed. He later entered the ministry and was ordained a Presbyterian minister. After conducting some evangelistic meetings, he was called to be superintendent of a rescue mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His unusual burden for the spiritual needs of the “down and out” prompted him to establish sixty-seven rescue missions from Boston to San Francisco. He was known as the man who “raved about Jesus.” Truett, George W. (1867-1944) — George W. Truett was born on May 6, 1867, at Hayesville, Clay County, North Carolina. He was converted to Christ at the age of nineteen and surrendered his will to God for service. In 1890 he was ordained into the Gospel ministry. In 1897 he graduated from Baylor University and in September of that year was called to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, remaining there for forty-seven years. Under his leadership the First Baptist Church grew into the largest -43-
church in the world at the time. Dr. Truett served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1927-1929 and as president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1934-1939. He was one of America’s greatest preachers. He always preached for a decision. He authored many books and maintained correspondence to the unsaved two mornings each week. Under his ministry there 18,124 additions to the church; 5,337 baptisms; 4,000 in Sunday School. He went to be with the Lord on July 7, 1944, at Dallas, Texas. Tyndale, William (1494?-1536) — English Bible translator, pamphleteer, and Protestant martyr. After disputes with ecclesiastical authorities, Tyndale fled in 1524 to Germany, where he issued an English Pentateuch and New Testament. Copies introduced into England were destroyed. Their author was captured at Antwerp and strangled. His last prayer was that God might open the eyes of the King of England, it would be until 1604 that God answered this prayer as King James agreed to the translation of our English Bible (AV 1611). He was an ardent soul winner and all of Tyndale’s work is noted for its sound scholarship. Unknown Christian, The — There was a humble Christian man who wrote under this pseudonym in the first half and middle of the 1900's but it seems that God has many “unknowns.” We find them all around us. This Christian never made the headlines as a great theologian or a silver-tongued orator. He (or she) is a faithful, consecrated, born-again layman, the foot soldier in the Gospel army and can be found in the seats of thousands of local churches around the world, while modernistic churches are in decline. He (or she) is a colporter of tracts, a preacher in homes for the aged, a chaplain of lonely prisons, a street preacher, a Sunday School teacher, an usher, a singer, a bus worker, a nursery helper, a parking lot attendant, or a prayer warrior. His (or her) service is unheralded but vital in the cause of Christ. His (or her) testimony adorns the Gospel as he (or she) faithfully witnesses daily “in the temple, and in every house,” sacrificing time, talent, and tithe to the Lord and are doing the work of GOD in this lost world; while the Liberals are Discrediting the Word of GOD with Higher Criticism, Discouraging the people of GOD with intellectual elitism and Defaming the Master's name with Humanism and Evolution. Fundamentalism is the inspiring force that causes the Solders of CHRIST to stand and be counted; while the detractors of FAITH decry the very SAVIOUR that would save them from doubt unto Life in CHRIST. Having served the Lord in the home, the church, and the world, this Christian will one day hear the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21). Ussher, James (1581-1656) — Irish prelate and biblical scholar, who established a long-accepted chronology for the Old Testament. Of Ussher’s numerous writings the most important is the Annals of the World (2 vol., 1650-54; trans. 1658). In that work he established his biblical chronology, with the creation fixed at 4004 BC, a date widely accepted and included in the page margins of many editions of the Authorized, or King James, Version. As a rule the dates given in the margin of our Bibles are based on his chronology. Vick, George Beauchamp (1901-1975) — George Beauchamp Vick was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the son of a lawyer politician. When young Beauchamp was a year old, his father quit politics and entered Louisville Seminary as a student-pastor. As a young child, Vick assisted his ailing father on pastoral visits, and the experience undoubtedly influenced his later emphasis on the visitation program as the key to church growth. Vick’s first paid position was the superintendency of the young people’s department at J. Frank Norris’ First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas. Under Vick’s dynamic leadership, the department averaged nearly a thousand per Sunday and annually led First Baptist in additions. In 1929, Vick “hit the sawdust trail” as the advance man and song leader for Evangelists Wade House and Mordecai Ham. In 1936, Ham held a revival at the Temple Baptist Church in Detroit where Norris was attempting a dual pastorate. Due to the thirteen hundred-mile distance involved, Norris was unable to conserve the results achieved during his visits; and Vick was induced to assume the role of General Superintendent, which due to Norris’ protracted absences was tantamount to the pastorate. He -44-
became co-pastor in 1948 and sole pastor in 1950. For nearly forty years Vick led the Temple Baptist Church to the pinnacle of influence among fundamentalists. During that period, he also became President of the World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship, President of the Bible Baptist Seminary, President of Baptist Bible College, primary founder and titular head of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, leading figure in the Fundamental Baptist Congresses, and the spiritual diplomat who most successfully bridged the gaps between the sundry fundamentalist islands. Watts, Isaac (1674-1748) — Isaac Watts was an English pastor, preacher, poet, and hymn writer. Wrote about 600 hymns including When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, and Joy to the World. Considered the founder of English hymnody and children’s hymnody. Published books of poetry, hymns, and three volumes of theological discourses. Emerging from the fiery trials of the Reformation, Protestant churches greatly desired to remain faithful to their battle cry of “sola scriptura” in every detail of faith and life. One implication of this was found in their view of church music. Most (Lutherans excepted, who turned to hymnody relatively early) believed that even in the area of song, the Bible provided sufficient revelation. John Calvin, in particular, was one champion of the notion that church music should consist of nothing more and nothing less than the Psalms of David. Most, in fact, who followed Calvin insisted “that God had provided His people with a set of inspired hymns in Holy Scripture, chiefly in the Psalms, and that it was not for us to pronounce His work incomplete or inadequate ...” The Psalms, therefore, were set to a metrical tune and used almost unaccompanied for the first few generations following the Reformation. The Bay Psalms Book – also known as the Whole Book of Psalms – published first in 1562, was the standard anthology of these metrical Psalms until 1696 when Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady updated the anthology. Enter Isaac Watts in 1674. Born in Southampton, England and the first son of a family of rather humble origins, Watts rose to assume the title often bestowed upon him today: “the father of English hymnody.” Watts was the eldest of nine siblings, the children of a Huguenot mother and a father bold enough to be jailed twice for his religious convictions. The elder Watts belonged to the Dissenters, or the Nonconformists – the English brand of Puritanism. One author has claimed Mrs. Watts “suckled [Isaac] on the steps of the gaol (British for “jail”) in Southampton, inside which his father was in bonds for the gospel of Christ.” Though Watts came of age near the end of the second generation of Dissenters, his life and work proved to be just as radical as his religious forefathers. Little beyond Watts’ basic life history has been recorded for posterity – his work itself has received the majority of scholastic attention. As mentioned above, Watts came from a humble family in Southampton, England. He was educated by his father and taught, from the youngest age, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. A promising youth, Watts was offered a university education in which he would learn towards the end of being ordained as an Anglican minister. Following in his fathers footsteps, Watts refused the offer and received his higher education from a Nonconformist Academy. Upon graduating from the Academy at age twenty, he returned home where he took to writing hymns. The bulk of his great works were produced in these two “golden” years proceeding his graduation. From the earliest age, Watts showed promise in the area of prose and rhetoric. Legend has it that one day during family devotions, Watts laughed aloud and when questioned about his actions, he declared that he had just observed a mouse crawling up the bell tower rope and he had put the account into verse: A mouse for want of better stairs, Ran up a rope to say his prayers. His mind for rhetoric and poetry only grew with age. One day Watts made known to his father his ennui (boredom) with the metric psalms. His father challenged him not to complain, but rather to produce something himself worth singing. Watts accepted the challenge and eventually produced upwards of 700 hymns, Psalms, or spiritual songs. Though writing music may have slid off his pen like butter, gaining their acceptance by the public was another matter altogether. The controversial issue was whether or not musical worship should “be -45-
confined, as Calvin insisted, to the actual language of the Bible.” Though the hymns themselves were very Calvinistic in nature many rejected his work because it was not itself scripture. Watts believed that though “the ancient writers were to be imitated, they were not to be copied.” Furthermore, if one could pray to God spontaneously and in words not exactly Scripture, why was it any different to sing so? Watts did not completely abandon the singing of Scripture, however. On the contrary, one of his most hailed accomplishments was rewriting the Psalms of David in rhyming English verse. His well-known “Joy to the World” is one example. At the heart of the whole issue was Watts understanding of the nature of the Psalms. Though they were undoubtedly inspired, they nonetheless were Jewish texts, with little specifically Christian doctrine. Watts, in response, appended “some wherever possible, to give what he called ‘an evangelical turn to the Hebrew sense’...” Students of Watts hymnody have claimed that Watts can best be understood within his historical context. He is influenced heavily by the “scientific discoveries of Boyle and Newton.” These scientific philosophies of the day turned his attention toward nature and gave him and admiration for the created order of the universe. Much of this played out in his songs which are rich with natural imagery. Though he had plenty of room in his theology for reason, Watts believed that reason must be supplemented with revelation. As one author states, “[Watts’ hymnody] celebrates the glory of God in the created world, but it does not stop there, because it insists on the importance of revealed religion and on the saving grace of Jesus Christ.” Watts was officially introduced in America in 1729, with Benjamin Franklin’s reprinting of Psalms of David originally having been printed in England some two decades previous. For the most part Watts’ work was not accepted in American churches until the 1740s with the Great Awakening. George Whitefield’s lively preaching style needed to be supplemented with something other than the dissonant sounds of the dry metric Psalms. Watts, along with a few other English hymnists, proved to be the perfect remedy. Whitefield played a great role in introducing hymn-singing to New England, and consequently “quickened an interest in hymn-singing, and increased the popularity of Watts’ work.” The American Puritan divine Jonathan Edwards even commented in 1742 that his Northampton congregation sang Watts’ hymns, almost to the exclusion of Psalms. Watts and Edwards had a mutual respect for one another and each made the other’s work well-known in his own land through printing, and through allowing the other’s work in their pulpit. For Watts, this meant reading Edwards’ A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God to his congregation and overseeing its printing; for Edwards this meant introducing Watts’ hymnody into regular worship services. Watts’ real profession was not hymnody. His first vocation was as a minister in a Church of Christ in London. Several of his sermon manuscripts survive today, yet little is known about him as a shepherd of the people of God in London. This could be due to his health, which failed and remained poor before he had even reached age thirty. Though he remained a minister for many years, he required an associate minister to assist in guiding his congregation. Watts never married, and actually lived with the family of Sir Samuel Abney for more than thirty years, primarily due to his health. He was considered an invalid for the majority of his life. His “happy day” – the day that “finish[ed] the long absence of my beloved, and place[d] me within sight of my adored Jesus” – finally arrived in November of 1748. Among Watts’ most-loved works, in both Old and New England and the world over, have been “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?” and “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past.” Today, though hymns have somewhat been replaced by the modern praise chorus, Watts’ influence on England, America, and the rest of the Christian hymn-singing world must not be overlooked. Flip through any hymnal and one will find page after page of work ascribed to Isaac Watts. He was “radical, experimental, and adventurous” for his day, and we can thank him for his great hymns that point toward God’s mercy and man’s sinfulness in a way that makes God seem sweet to the soul. Weigle, Charles Frederick (1871-1966) — Charles Frederick Weigle’s keen interest in music led him to attend the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he received training that later proved invaluable. -46-
He became both an inspiring preacher and a gifted songwriter. He wrote more than one thousand Gospel songs, the most famous was, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”; which he wrote after his wife had left for the last time. On December 3, 1966, the Lord called him home after he had spent his last fifteen years on the campus of Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga. Wesley, John (1703-91) — The English theologian and evangelist who founded Methodism. With his brother Charles, Wesley founded the “Holy Club” at Oxford. The brothers, both clergymen, went to Georgia (1735) where the “first rudiments of the Methodist societies” were formed. Because of a relationship with a married woman, he was forced to go home in 1738. There, on May 24, 1738, while listening to the reading of Luther’s preface to his “Commentary on Romans,” Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed,” and he experienced a conversion (his brother Charles had had a similar experience two days earlier), and soon after he was preaching in the fields an extremely emotional personal sense of Christ’s saving grace. In Notes on the New Testament Wesley’s Evangelical Arminianism is clearly indicated. Methodism, as his religious views were called, spread remarkably after his return to England. His Journal (1739) records the great extent of his itinerant preaching, which often brought Christianity and organization to many who had not known either before. Westcott and Hort — Two unsaved Bible critics. Brook Foss Westcott (1825-1903) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) were two non-Christian Anglican ministers. Fully steeped in the Alexandrian philosophy that “there is no perfect Bible,” they had a vicious distaste for the King James Bible and its Antiochian Greek text, the Textus Receptus. It cannot be said that they believed that one could attain Heaven by either works or faith, since both believed that Heaven existed only in the mind of man. Westcott believed in and attempted to practice a form of Communism whose ultimate goal was communal living on college campuses which he called a “coenobium.” Both believed it possible to communicate with the dead and made many attempts to do just that through a society which they organized and entitled “The Ghostly Guild.” Westcott accepted and promoted prayers for the dead. Both were admirers of Mary (Westcott going so far as to call his wife Sarah, “Mary”), and Hort was an admirer and proponent of Darwin and his theory of evolution. It is obvious to even a casual observer why they were well equipped to guide the Revision Committee of 1871-1881 away from God’s Antiochian text and into the spell of Alexandria. They had compiled their own Greek text from Alexandrian manuscripts, which, though unpublished and inferior to the Textus Receptus, they secreted little by little to the Revision Committee. The result being a totally new Alexandrian English bible instead of a “revision” of the Authorized Version as it was claimed to be. It has only been in recent years that scholars have examined their unbalanced theories concerning manuscript history and admitted that their arguments were weak to non-existent. Sadly, both men died having never known the joy and peace of claiming Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Wheatley, Phillis(1754-1784) — Phillis Wheatley was the first African American, the first slave, and the third woman in the United States to publish a book of poems. Kidnaped in West Africa and transported aboard the slave ship Phillis to Boston in 1761, she was purchased by John Wheatley as a servant for his wife. Young Phillis quickly learned to speak English and to read the Bible with amazing fluency. Because of her poor health, obvious intelligence, and Susannah Wheatley’s fondness for her, Phillis was never trained as a domestic; instead she was encouraged by the Wheatleys to study theology and the English, Latin and Greek classics. She published her first poem in 1767, and six years later, she published a book, Poems on Various Subjects. That same year, John Wheatley emancipated her. Wheatley achieved international renown, traveling to London to promote her book and being called upon as well as received by noted social and political figures of the day – including George Washington, to whom she wrote a poem of praise at the beginning of the war, and Voltaire, who referred to her “very good English verse.” Wheatley lived in poverty after her 1778 marriage to John Peters, a free black Bostonian. Although Wheatley advertised for subscriptions to a second volume of poems and letters, she died before she was able to secure a publisher. Her final manuscript was never found. -47-
Whitefield, George (1714-1770) — One of the most influential preachers of all time, George Whitefield, the English evangelist, was born in Gloucester, England. He was the son of a saloon operator. His father died two years after George’s birth, and his mother kept the tavern to support the seven small children. George was a real “scamp,” owing to his environmental upbringing. However, he did develop a love for reading and acting plays that contributed to his later success as a great orator. He desired to attend Oxford and did so, working his way through by waiting on tables. Prior to his conversion Whitefield had several times expressed his desire to become a clergyman. He attempted to please God through his efforts, but would alternate between spells of “saint” and “sinner.” He met the Wesleys, and they became close friends. Because this was previous to John’s own conversion, what they had to offer was strict legalism. He would deny himself all physical comfort by fasting and refusing to do things he enjoyed. After one period of fasting, he physically collapsed, and it was during his recovery that the way of salvation became clear to him. He experienced what he characterized as “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Whitefield was ordained a deacon in 1736 and began to preach in jails. Later he did missionary work in the colony of Georgia. He made seven trips to America, where he played an important role in the Great Awakening. During the early stages of his ministry he was popular, but after arriving back in Great Britain and preaching quite strongly against the drinking and frivolities of that day, he found it increasingly difficult to obtain a pulpit in the established church. This resulted in his turning to the “open-air” meetings which became his trademark. He preached wherever crowds gathered, even at dances and races. The people flocked to hear him. Although he condemned their practices, thousands were converted to Christ. Benjamin Franklin was puzzled over the fact that so many came when they were so plainly condemned for their wickedness. Whitefield operated the first orphanage in the United States Bethesda, in Georgia. He appealed to crowds on both sides of the Atlantic for its support. Franklin wanted it to be relocated in Philadelphia, and when Whitefield refused, he resolved not to support the work. However, his resolution was not fulfilled as he describes it, “I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold. As he proceeded I began to soften and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his oratory determined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collection dish, gold and all!” In 1741 the breach between John Wesley and Whitefield occurred. Whitefield was Calvinist, and Wesley was Arminian. They were reconciled before Whitefield’s death, and Wesley preached a noble memorial sermon for his friend. His speaking often had remarkable effects upon his audiences. On one occasion, referred to as the Cambuslang Revival, he preached at noon, again at six, and again at nine. At eleven there was a commotion. Conviction seized the sinners, some began weeping. Soon thousands wept, and at times their wails would drown the voice of the preacher. It is said that his voice could be heard for a mile without amplification. David Hume, the great scientist and philosopher who was not particularly noted for “friendliness” toward evangelical preachers, declared that he would go twenty miles to hear Whitefield. He was indeed a “mighty voice” for thirty-four years of ministry, averaging ten sermons a week. His printed sermons produce some disappointment, being detached from the man. On a balcony not far from his deathbed, he preached his last message to more than two thousand people and died within an hour after extending the invitation to the lost to repent and receive Christ. Williams, Roger (1603-1684) — Founder of the First Baptist church in America, Roger Williams was born in London and raised in the Episcopal Church, of which he was made a rector. Becoming dissatisfied with the ritual and ceremony of his church, he became a Puritan. He came to America and preached in Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he taught separation of church and state and complete religious freedom. Williams created quite a commotion within a short time after his arrival and this is readily seen in an article of Cotton Mather’s Magnalia: In the year 1654 a certain windmill in the Low countries whirling around with extraordinary violence by reason of a violent storm then blowing; the stone at length by its rapid motion became so intensely hot as to fire the mill, from whence the flames, -48-
being dispersed by high winds, did set a whole town on fire. But I can tell my reader that, above twenty years before this, there was a whole country in America like to be set on fire by the rapid motion of a windmill in the head of one particular man. The windmill in the head of Williams was nothing more than stubborn honesty and forthrightness of speech. He denounced the failure of the churches publicly to separate themselves from the false practices of the Church of England. In addition he attacked the charter of the colony on the ground that the king had no title to the land and that a valid title could be secured only from the Indians. Williams was banished from Salem for his convictions and preaching, after which he went to Narragansett Bay, where he did missionary work among the Indians. It was there that he founded the settlement of Providence, Rhode Island, on land purchased from the Indians. At this time he became a Baptist and was immersed in water for the first time since his conversion. He served as governor of the colony from 1654 to 1657, but he practiced his separation of church and state doctrines even as a civic ruler. He was distinguished from other New Englanders by the singleness of devotion with which he pursued the implications of assumptions common to them all. The will of God must be done in spite of all earthly considerations. Wilson, Walter Lewis (1881-1969) — Walter L. Wilson was born May 27, 1881, in Aurora, Indiana. Son of a Methodist minister, he was “The Preacher” whenever neighborhood children played church, and later held evangelistic street meetings at the age of 16. After medical training he began practice as a physician in Webb City, Missouri in 1904. Everywhere he went he told people how Jesus Christ could transform their lives. Soul winning characterized his life, and he used every possible tool to accomplish it. A pioneer in radio, he initiated his own program in 1924. He founded, and for forty years pastored, Calvary Bible Church in Kansas City; founded and served as President of present-day Calvary Bible College; wrote 22 books; and, traveled widely as a conference speaker. He died on May 24, 1969, but his heart pulse lives on: “The blessed privilege of winning souls for Christ is most interesting, profitable, and eternally blessed.”
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thes. 5:17-18)
Dr. Terry Wayne Preslar (1947- ) Dr. Terry Wayne Preslar has pastored First Baptist Church of Mineral Springs, North Carolina for over 30 years. It is his second call with two and one half years having been served at Howie Baptist Church of Waxhaw, North Carolina. Brother Preslar and his wife are happily married with five children, with the youngest being eighteen years old and eight grandchildren. He is an old fashion Baptist Preacher with firm convictions and a passion for souls. The Editor organized Mineral Springs Baptist Mission late in 1975. Since then Pastor Preslar has worked in this calling. He works with the “Preaching Mission” of the church, at the rest-home several times each month and three services each week in the pulpit at First Baptist. Given the occasion he preaches on the street and in prisons. He teaches Bible College Classes in Monroe in the Gospel Schools of the Bible in Monroe N.C. and writes Sunday-School material for several classes. He preaches several revival meetings, speaks in mission revivals and Bible conferences and attends a number of campmeetings each year. He can be contacted for appointments at the below address or phone number. (No church is ever too small – God’s people need a preacher...) Dr. Terry W. Preslar PO Box 388 - Mineral Springs, N.C. 28108 Voice (704)843-3858 email@example.com
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This electronic version of this portion of “The Christian Bible Study Library” has been prepared and published to you in this format to allow all readers to have access to the knowledge of the Bible within practical means. A Copyright for this material is claimed (©2007) to protect the work and arrangement of this data from some who might squander it and discourage more from being produced. All rights are reserved for the reproduction of this document by: Terry W. Preslar through The Fresh Waters Digital Library – PO Box 388 – Mineral Springs, NC 28108. (704)843-3858. The reproduction of this document is allowed under the “fair-use” doctrine of the copyright laws of the USA for academic archival purposes. The Fresh Waters Digital Library is dedicated to the goal of placing these Bible study volumes and many classic documents into the hands of the most humble readers. Technology has become advanced enough to allow the easy and economical publication of this work in the form of an “E-Book.” This is a new method of distribution but a CD-ROM can be made that contains the complete series of books that make up this major project.
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S É S Romans 12:1-2
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