We lost the fall of 1918 for nearly ninety days. Dr. A. O. Henricks had secured me to hold a meeting in First church, Los Angeles, during the month of January. I recommended John Moore for song leader and they secured him. Brother and Sister Moore came out from Oklahoma and joined me in Pasadena and stayed a day or two and we opened up the first of January. There were still some cases of flu and we put in a day of prayer and fasting and the flu gave way, and the people apparently got well. Then we had a great revival in old First church, the mother church.
I held meetings in and around Southern California up till the last of May. We had a great revival in Brother Cornell’s church, the First church of Pasadena, in February. Miss Shaffer came out to California for this meeting.
We had a great closing up in Pasadena and from there Rev. E. G. Roberts, then pastor of our church in Pomona, called me to do the preaching and Miss Shaffer for song service and God gave us a most wonderful revival. From there Rev. I. M. Ellis, who was then pastor in Holtville, in Imperial Valley, called us to hold him a meeting. Brother W. E. Ellis was living there at the time and B. F. Neely was in the valley then and all hands of us had a great revival there. From there we came back up and gave one day to Brother Cornell in First church in Pasadena and the people came until the police put them out. Then we went to Los Angeles for an all-day meeting and from there we went down and had a good revival in Venice, California, where Jim Black was pastor.
At the close of this meeting Miss Virginia went back East and I gave one day to the preachers’ meeting in Los Angeles First Methodist church of which Dr. Locke was pastor. We had one of the greatest days that I have ever seen. I had been requested by the preachers to preach on the conversion of the disciples before the day of Pentecost. We had one hundred and fifty preachers in that meeting and many of the professors from the great Southern California University. Dr. Locke came and led me to the pulpit and said, “Brother Robinson, there is not one string on you; be just as free as in your own meetings.” Dr. Locke is a beautiful gentleman. At the next general conference he was elected bishop. At the close of that service I was called to twenty-five churches in and around Los Angeles but I couldn’t go to any of them. One preacher said at the close, “It will take me a month to get my theology straight for I have been preaching that the disciples were not converted until the day of Pentecost and now I will have to change my theology.”
From Los Angeles I made my way up the valley to San Francisco and while there preaching with C. E. Cornell and Brother Shelby Corlett leading the singing in the First Church of the Nazarene, of which Rev. Donnell J. Smith was pastor, it was there on Sunday night, June 1, 1919, that I was broken up by the big automobile.
There is no use to say anything here about that smash-up, as it is in a pamphlet and I have already referred to it in another place in this book. But I was on my back the most of the time until late in the fall. When I got out of the hospital I stayed at home a little while but had to go back to my doctor every day for treatment. Finally he told me that if I would get out and go to preaching I would improve faster than any other way, so the first of November I left Pasadena, California, on a through train for Boston. However, I stopped off in Chicago, reaching there on Saturday and was met by Brother Schurman and taken to the home of my old friend, F. M. Messenger. During the afternoon he took me to see a good doctor and my arm that was still giving me a great deal of trouble was dressed by the doctor, while I talked to him about his soul. Brother Messenger told me a year later that the doctor always referred to what I said to him.
I spent one Sunday in the First Church of the Nazarene. That was one great day. In the morning Sister Stella Crooks brought a great message. In the afternoon I sat in a chair and tried to give them my hospital experience. I will never forget how the good people wept and cried. At night Brother Schurman preached on the subject of the sin against the Holy Ghost and as I had heard no preaching then for several months, it seemed to be one of the most powerful and terrific messages I had ever heard.
There is no man living that can describe the scene that took place at the altar. The people came from every part of that great church; I have never heard such wailing in my life. One case I can’t forget; a big bald-headed man came running down the aisle as fast as he could run with both hands in the air! and if he had been sliding into the pit of eternal despair his wails could not have been more fearful and awful than they were. When he got within a few feet of the altar he seemed to give a leap into the air and fell over the chancel rail and Brother F. M. Messenger ran to him and got his arms around him. I have never heard a man pray louder, or weep more than that bald-headed man did for almost an hour. I have never seen a more desperate battle in any church or camp ground in my ministry. It seemed that the devil had him in his grip and refused to turn him loose. After an hour’s awful battle he got up straight on his knees and got his arms around Brother Messenger and wept with his head on his shoulder. He said, “God has won out in this awful battle and I am one time more free from the clutches of the devil.” He said, “For a long time I have been a backslider and under such awful condemnation that when I would go down the street and look at this church my poor heart would almost break. Now, thank God, He has restored the sweet peace to my heart.” Fifteen or twenty people prayed through that night. That was on Sunday night, November 9, 1919. After preaching Brother Messenger took me home with him and we had a great talk that night and early next morning we were up and had prayers and Brother Messenger and Brother Harry and Sister Mabel drove me to his big publishing house where he makes the Scripture text calendars. It was very interesting to see how they are made. He was turning them out by the million I think. After going through this big publishing plant Brother Harry Messenger took me in the big car to the station. I had a through ticket to Boston and a good Pullman and he was good enough to put me in my good berth; told me good-by and I saw him go down the steps of my Pullman. When it comes to good folks there is no way this side of heaven to improve on these Schurman and Messenger families. They surely are sacks of salt for the hungry sheep to lick at, and pans of honey for the bees to gather around.
I had a nice trip across the great northeast part of our great country and pulled into Boston on Tuesday about noon, November 11. I went downstairs and into the ground to get a subway, a lightning express, as they are called, and we went through that dark tunnel fairly flying. It wasn’t long until they told me I had reached my destination. I was on my way to Cambridge, Mass., where I was to join Brother Ruth, Will H. Huff, Kenneth Wells and wife for a great convention in the First Evangelical church. When I slowly poked up that long flight of stairs and came out of that hole in the ground, thank the Lord, there was a kind-looking policeman standing at the top of the steps. I told him what number and street I wanted to go to and he called a taxi and put me in with all the loving kindness of a Christian brother.
In a few minutes the taxi driver unloaded me at the home of Brother and Sister Burns; for twenty-five years he had been a presiding elder in the Evangelical Church. When it comes to loving kindness he and his wife are simply the limit. I was so weak and tired; I still had one lame leg and a very bad arm. But precious old Mother Burns dressed that arm every day and they were taking care of me as though I was in a great hospital. May God bless the memory of these holy saints. If they have not yet gone to the New Jerusalem they are not very far from the gates.
That night I met Brother Ruth, Brother Huff and Brother and Sister Wells for the first time that I had seen them since I had been broken up the first day of June. There is no way to tell how my heart rejoiced when I saw those holy brethren. I remember when Paul was making his trip to Rome after months of suffering and hardship we read that when he saw the Three Taverns he took courage, and when I saw that band of holy saints my heart leaped for joy.
Our convention there was one of power and glory. The holy people came from all parts of that Boston country. Bands of students came over from the college at Wollaston, Massachusetts. At the close of this convention we went to Lowell, Massachusetts. We held a meeting in the First Church of the Nazarene of which my old friend, Rev. John Gould, and his beautiful wife, Sister Olive Gould, were in charge. Brother A. L. Whitcomb was closing a big convention in that church with Brother Gould. He preached for us on Monday night and our convention opened Tuesday night. Some good saint may read this and remember that Lowell is the home of that old saint, Brother Riggs. I suppose no more beautiful saint has ever lived on earth.
By the time we closed this convention we had more work outlined than we had time to do, and as Brother Ruth had found that he could secure Brother Gouthey and wife he sent Rev. Will H. Huff and Brother Gouthey and wife to Lynn to a great convention there, while Brother Ruth, the Wells and I went to Perkasie, Pennsylvania. We held a convention there in the First Evangelical church. Perkasie is a small town on the Reading and Philadelphia Railroad thirty-five miles north of Philadelphia, but I give you that piece of history to lead up to the facts that I want you to know. Just out a mile or two from this little city in a beautiful little rich valley Rev. C. W. Ruth was born and reared, saved and sanctified and called to preach in that little town. Beloved, the thing that makes the little city of Nazareth in the Holy Land famous is not the age of the city, though it is very old. It is not the size of its population, but the fact that the boy Jesus grew up there. The fact that the blessed Christ was born in a manger in the city of Bethlehem makes it one of the most famous and honored cities in the known world. For the birth of Jesus Christ has changed the history of the world and has changed all of the calendars and has changed the heading on every legal paper, for all notes must have the birthday of Jesus Christ on them or the money could never be collected. As great as was Moses, God’s great law giver, as great as was St. Paul, God’s greatest theologian on earth, you could not collect money by placing the name of Moses or St. Paul on your paper. Beloved, it is about time for the infidels to keep quiet and somehow be enabled by divine grace to stop up the rat hole in their “noggin” and keep their tongues in their mouths when even if one infidel lends money to another they must put on the note the birthday of Jesus Christ. If it were today they would have to put on their note, February 9, 1927, or their note would not be worth the amount of paper it was written on. Thank God, we believers just take courage and shout on.
A number of Brother Ruth’s relatives live in the beautiful city of Perkasie. I had been there once before and at each visit my home was with a beloved brother by the name of Dill. He and his good wife are beautiful saints. The first time I was there I did not have as much joy in preaching as I usually have from the fact that I thought those beautiful old German brethren were displeased with my preaching, for at the close of each service someone would come up and look me right in the face as solemn as the judgment day and say to me, “You said in your sermon that God had turned a hogshead of honey into your soul and that the honey was oozing out between your ribs and that you had just cut a bee tree and that your bees had already swarmed once that day. I want to know what you meant by that.” Well, brother, I was up against a proposition, but I would say kindly, “Now, beloved, that is only one of my expressions of joy and hilarity. That is the way I am feeling in my soul.” He would nod kindly and walk away. But maybe by the next sermon another old fellow would walk up and say, “You said today that you were as happy as a baldheaded bumblebee in a hundred acres of red top clover. Now what did you mean?” I would do my best to explain and he would turn and walk away. Maybe by the next time I would finish my discourse another old fellow would walk up and say, “You said today that you could turn a somersault in the big dipper and shave the man in the moon and cut off his hair and hang your hat on the seven stars and put your tie and collar on a flying meteor and march up the milkmaid’s path to the New Jerusalem. What did you mean?” Then it was up to me to explain again.
But, thank the Lord, by the close of this meeting eighty people had been saved and sanctified. I left town feeling like I had made a failure but a few years later I was called to North Reading, Pennsylvania, about twenty miles north of Reading, to hold their campmeeting. It is probably seventy-five or one hundred miles from Perkasie, but one day about noon there were nine carloads of those old Dutchmen who came driving up to the camp. They had started in time to get to the morning service but having some trouble were delayed. I had preached in the morning and had announced the other preacher for the afternoon but when dinner was served one of these old fellows walked up and said, “Now you are going to preach this afternoon.” I said, “No, I can’t do it. I preached in the morning and the other man will preach this afternoon.” He said, “Well, the other man will be all right but he is not going to preach. Here all forty of us came to hear you preach and you’ve got to preach.” I said, “I couldn’t turn this other man down.” He said, “This other man is going to keep quiet,” and said, “You are going to preach.” Then he looked at me very solemn and said, “We have come to hear you and we want you to make your bees swarm and we want you to tell about the hogshead of honey turned over in your soul and we want you to tell about shaving the man in the moon. We have come all the way to hear you say those beautiful things and we have talked about it ever since you were in Perkasie.” Nothing would do them but I must call the other man out and let this beautiful old Dutchman talk to him, and he was glad to get out of it and take the evening service. I had thought these good people were displeased with what I said, but after several years they drove a hundred miles and requested me to preach and give them all those things I had given them in Perkasie. You can’t always tell when a good Dutchman is pleased. But one thing is sure, when a Dutchman says yes to God he will come as near standing right there till the day of death as any human being on earth.
But we are back down to Perkasie in our convention. At the close of our convention Brother Ruth had planned for Huff and Gouthey to go to Wilmington, Delaware, while Ruth, Robinson and Wells went to Baltimore. There the International Holiness Church, of which Rev.
John Coleman was pastor, and the Free Methodists and the Church of the Nazarene had united for one great convention in Baltimore which was held in the International Holiness church. My home was with Brother Ed Slocum and his good wife and his daughter, Miss Cora. These are among the finest people that have lived on earth, really since Adam died. There is no way to improve on them for manhood, womanhood and Christian integrity. Our beloved Brother John Coleman is now pastor of First Pilgrim Holiness church of Cincinnati, for since that meeting the International Holiness Church and Pentecostal Pilgrim Church have united under the name of the Pilgrim Holiness Church, and Brother Coleman is one of the leading men in that denomination.
At the close of these two conventions, Baltimore and Wilmington, Brother and Sister Gouthey had meetings of their own to conduct and we began again with our first party, Ruth, Huff, Robinson and the Wells, and our next convention was held in Chicago, in Sister Venard’s beautiful Bible school known as the Chicago Evangelistic Institute. We had here a most beautiful convention, for anyone would know that in any school like that we would have a great backing. We have no finer lady in the nation than Sister Venard. She is one of God’s handmaidens of the earth. When it comes to a great mind and a beautiful character, I suppose Sister Venard is equal to any in the nation. We were well provided for and our convention was one that we will never forget.
Our next convention was held in Lansing, Michigan, in the First Methodist Episcopal church. This was a very great convention. We closed out there on Sunday night before Christmas and Monday morning Will Huff boarded the train for Sioux City, Iowa, to be with his family over the holidays and Brother Ruth and Brother and Sister Wells went to Indianapolis as their homes are in that city. Since I was so far from California I couldn’t go home, I stayed in Lansing over the holidays. Our good brother, W. R. Gilley, was pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene in that city and had done as much if not more to get this convention in Lansing than any other one man. He and his good people lined up with us. They stood by us with their presence, their prayers and their pocket books. I gave Brother Gilley four nights and during those four nights we had thirty-two people saved and sanctified. We just exactly averaged eight each night. Such entertainment I have never seen. For the four days we either had a turkey dinner, a goose dinner, a duck dinner, or a great chicken dinner and for these four days Brother Gilley raised me more money than I have often received for a ten days’ meeting. God bless the givers.
On Friday I ran down to Indianapolis and Brother Ruth and the Wells gave the last Sunday of December to First Church of the Nazarene. We had one most glorious good time. My home was with Brother Ruth, and there isn’t anything but making a trip to the New Jerusalem where you could have a better time than visiting Brother Ruth.
On Monday morning after the last Sunday of December at a very early hour we left Indianapolis for Versailles, Illinois. There we had a fine convention in the First Methodist church. We had many Methodist preachers from that part of the state to visit us. Among the good men who were there, was our old friend, Brother George Oliver, who was for a lifetime connected with old Camp Sychar, Ohio, but today he is in a far better country than this. He has outstripped us and gone to his reward, but he was a great blessing and uplift to the meeting. At the close of our convention, which was the first Sunday of January, 1920, our next convention was to be held in the city of Denver and on the way to Denver we changed cars at the home of the famous Mark Twain. Brother and Sister Wells went up and looked at his old home. As I was still on a lame leg I stayed at the depot and rested. By Tuesday we pulled into Denver and met Brother Huff. Our convention was in a big community church or something of that order of which Dr. Peck was pastor. The Holiness Association of Denver had arranged for this convention. I think the plans were arranged for Mrs. Emma Baller, who is at the present Mrs. Schaeffer, the secretary of the Holiness Association. I had not met her for many years but she had the same old shine on her face and ringing testimony and was doing all in her power to keep second blessing holiness alive. We had there a fine convention and there were many saved.
Our next convention was a long ways from Denver; we had to make a run from Denver to Tacoma, Washington, and while we generally open our conventions every Tuesday night, on this occasion we did not reach Tacoma until Wednesday. There we were in the Evangelical church and had a most glorious time. The people came from Seattle by auto loads and boat loads and from down the railroad as far as Portland. I don’t think I had enjoyed a convention up to that time more than I did there. The state of Washington can boast of the finest apples and the finest fish of the nation and for one week we feasted on the red apples, big salmon and little smelts. We all enjoyed our stay very much in Tacoma. They are a most noble people. The Evangelicals are almost all German by nationality and it has been said that when you convert a German three times; get his head, heart and his pocket book converted, that you have got the most noble character living. At this point I want to add that one time Bishop McCabe came nearest to knocking me clear out of the ranch at one blow of anything that ever happened in a religious service. In bringing one of his great messages he made this remark: “I can get two Irishmen converted while I am getting one German converted.” I jumped up and shouted as loud as I could and said, “Hurrah for the Irishmen,” and the congregation smiled. The old bishop looked very pleasant when he made this remark but he said the one German is worth the two Irishmen when you get him. Well, I was like the boy the calf ran over, and all I could say was, “Lord, help us,” and the people laughed until their laughter made the building ring, but I looked down my nose.
But here we are making that Irish detour closing a great convention in Tacoma. From Tacoma we ran down to Portland. There our convention was held in the First Church of the Nazarene of which Brother John T. Little was their faithful pastor. Our convention was one of great interest. We outgrew our churches until we had to change a time or two to get room. Portland, Oregon, is a great apple country and equally as fine fish as they have in Washington, for these two great states border on each other a few miles out from the city of Portland. Vancouver, Washington, is on the north bank of the Columbia river, while Portland is on the south bank. We have no finer band of holiness people than in Portland, Oregon. There were at least two good Free Methodist churches and two or three fine Friends churches to help the Nazarenes boost this convention. Also there are a great many fine holiness people belonging to the Methodist Episcopal churches of that city. The other Nazarene churches in the suburbs of Portland and other towns were in attendance. They came up from Salem and Newberg and Sellwood. We had a great attendance, and unusually fine interest.
We left Portland on January 26, 1920. On January 27, as we were coming over the great mountain range pulling around by the side of Black Butte and Mt. Shasta, we remembered that was my birthday. Brother and Sister Wells and this old writer celebrated my birthday on the top of the mountains in sight of Mt. Shasta. How good the Lord is. We were then headed for San Francisco where we were to hold a convention in one of the large Methodist churches of which at one time
Rev. A. C. Baine was pastor. To this day the church is called “A. C. Baine’s old church.” Beloved, the reason a name will stay with a church like that is because its pastor was a holiness man and it is remarkable how it will get out on a man and people will go for miles and miles to his church and pay no attention to any other. Until this day they talk about Dr. Carradine’s old church in St. Louis. The reason is that Dr. Carradine was one of the greatest holiness preachers in this nation in his day.
It was on June 1, 1919, that I was broken up in San Francisco and I was back the last of January, 1920, and you may remember this, that as this old man tells it, he dreaded the automobile traffic in San Francisco. I was afraid to get out of my room. Our good Brother Donnell J. Smith was still pastor there and the Nazarene churches in Oakland and Berkeley came over and gave us a boost in this convention. We had some souls saved but San Francisco is not an open field for the holiness movement. This fact might help the reader to understand that statement when you remember that out of 800,000 people we have between twelve and fourteen thousand Protestant church members and for every dollar that is given to Jesus Christ they give twelve dollars to Buddha. We talk about going to the foreign fields to get the heathen converted; it might not be out of order to put on some real conventions among the foreigners of San Francisco.
At the close of our convention we made a run for Los Angeles, California. Here the Southern California Holiness Association of which R. L. Wall is president and Brother Bert Clark is secretary, had secured the German Methodist church to hold this convention in. This church is a strictly red-hot, second blessing holiness church. I have known their good pastor for a number of years but there is no way in this world for me to know how to begin to make preparation to see if I could spell his name and I want to be honest enough not to make any attempt, but nevertheless he is a fine brother and if he ever reads this book he will know whom I am talking about. Our convention was very wonderful, our crowds were simply immense. The building was not over half large enough. We had fine entertainment and all of the good help we needed, for Los Angeles is a great church-going city, and with all the good German Methodists, Nazarenes, Evangelicals, Free Methodists, Quakers, Methodist Episcopals and Methodist Episcopals, South, you can get as many holiness people in a convention as any city in America. A good part of the time while there I stayed over at home with my family and went back and forth for the services. However, I had a beautiful room in one of the nice hotels there.
At the close of this great convention we made a run to San Diego. Our convention there was held in the First Church of the Nazarene of which Rev. Joseph Bates was pastor. Our convention was very interesting indeed, for there are many fine holiness people around San Diego. There are some fine Free Methodists, Quakers, Evangelicals and United Brethren that believe in the doctrine and experience of holiness as a second work of grace. At that time our beloved Brother James Elliott was pastor of the First Pentecostal Pilgrim church. He and his good people stood by us nobly. My wife came down a day or two after the opening of this convention and stayed with us. Brother Elliott and his good wife were as kind to wife and me as people could be on earth. While we stayed in our hotel at night they had us out to their home for a number of good meals. He put us in his car and took us over the country between services.
At the close of our convention in San Diego we came back up the coast and had a great convention at Long Beach with Rev. J. I. Hill, who is now the superintendent of the Nazarene work in the Barbados Islands. Our stay in Long Beach was very pleasant and our convention was owned and blessed of the Lord.
From Long Beach we had a long run; our next convention was in Newton, Kansas. We were from early Monday morning to Wednesday reaching Newton. It was held in the First Church of the Nazarene of which our good Brother A. L. Hipple was pastor. The reader will remember that A. L. Hipple and his good wife were in the big brown tent campaign. No finer people have ever lived than A. L. Hipple and beautiful Mabel. In all of my travels I have never seen a more beautiful Christian character than Sister Mabel. The dear Lord did not lend her to Brother Hipple and this country only for a few years until He took her unto Himself and today Sister Mabel is with her Lord.
The Newton convention made history. In that convention a fine young man, who worked in the railroad shops, and his wife were sanctified. This was our good Brother Mathis, who has just built and completed a great church in East Dan Diego. They were sanctified and Brother Mathis was called to preach. At the close of this convention, instead of going back to the shops, they boarded the train for our Nazarene college at Pasadena, California. He went to school for several years and became one of our leading pastors. He has built a very great church and work in East San Diego. At this writing he is just turning his church over to my old friend, Rev. Joseph Bates, and Brother Mathis is going to try the evangelistic field for awhile.
At the close of our convention at Newton our work had so piled up on us that the second time Brother Ruth had to divide the party, so he secured Brother and Sister Gouthey again and sent Brother Huff and the Goutheys to Mitchell, South Dakota, while Brothers Ruth, Robinson and the Wells went to Oklahoma City. We were there in the First Church of the Nazarene. One of my friends of nearly thirty years’ standing, Rev. John Oliver, who is now District Superintendent of the Arkansas District, was their noble pastor. Our convention was one of interest and profit. So many of the friends came down from the college at Bethany and for many miles the autos were buzzing from every direction. The spirit of the convention was lovely. At the close we made a run for Blackwell, Oklahoma. There Brother Drake, who is at this writing our pastor in the First Church of the Nazarene in San Diego, was the good Nazarene pastor at that time. They secured the big city hall for our convention and he worked in connection with the Oklahoma Holiness Association. This was a wonderful convention. My, my, the people came from every quarter.
At the close of this great convention we made a run to Emporia, Kansas. Rev. C. E. Woodson, an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a young man whom I have known for more than thirty years, at that time was located in Emporia. I might just add that C. E. Woodson was one of the young men that was put out of the great Southern Methodist Church on the same night that I was put out, so we have been friends for a long, long time. He had worked in connection with Dr. Wise, pastor of First Friends church, and with a fine Free Methodist pastor and they had put on this convention. Our convention was held in the Friends church of which Dr. Wise was pastor. Emporia at that time was the home of the noted Walt Mason, whose philosophy is published in hundreds of papers in the country, for everybody knows Uncle Walt. At the close of our convention Brother Ruth organized a splendid holiness association with C. E. Woodson as president with many fine assistants.
From Emporia we made a run to Decatur, Illinois. We were there with the First Church of the Nazarene. This was a very beautiful convention and a very profitable one. We had friends that came for two hundred and fifty miles to attend this convention.
At the close of this great convention we made a run down to Cairo, Illinois. I saw there a great catfish that was caught in the Mississippi river and brought into the market. His head was eighteen inches across and his great horns were nearly a foot long. He weighed nearly three hundred pounds. He was so big that his head looked like an ox’s head. The reader will say that is a fish story. Exactly so. I am the man that saw the fish, but I am not the man that caught it.
From Cairo we made a run to Louisville, Kentucky, and opened our convention in the First Church of the Nazarene of which our good Brother Trumbauer was pastor. Our convention took on such proportions that our church would not accommodate the women, much less the multitude, so we moved to the Christian and Missionary Alliance tabernacle, that would seat about one thousand people and had in connection a large inquiry room where the seekers were taken and instructed. When I related my hospital experience, in that one service we had between thirty and forty saved. We enjoyed working with the saints in Louisville very much. Almost every day we would have a little time to run up to the Pentecostal Publishing Company and talk with Brother Pritchard, the business manager.
From Louisville we made a trip up through the beautiful bluegrass region over to the lovely little city of Somerset. Our convention here was held in the First Southern Methodist church. This was a large, beautiful building, just completed. It was built by that fine Brother Clark. He is the same man that built the big Methodist church in Wilmore, Kentucky. He was one of the first graduates of Asbury College, back in the days of the famous Dr. John Hughes, who has been one of the greatest sin-killers and devil drivers, that old Kentucky has ever produced. Dr. John Hughes would die before he would compromise a hair’s breadth on second blessing holiness. He has turned out many great holiness preachers, and Brother Clark was one of the first ones.
At the close of our great convention I ran over to Wilmore, Kentucky, and gave them one night in the college. This was a beautiful night. God was glorified, the devil defeated and the kingdom of God was made to flourish and prosper with the souls of a number of men and women.
Our next regular convention was at Indianapolis in one of the large Methodist churches. Brother Huff and Brother Gouthey had come across from the north and joined us in Indianapolis and we closed up the first coast-to-coast campaign on the last Sunday of April, 1920.
Here the band was broken up, Huff and Gouthey going north, Brother Ruth stopping over at home awhile, and Brother and Sister Wells and this old globetrotter made a trip to the Southwest, stopping one night in Kansas City at First church and I stopped off two days in Emporia. The association that we organized when there a few months before had arranged for me to come back for two days. We gave one night to First Friends church and one night to First Free Methodist church.
From there I went down to Lyons and met Brother and Sister Wells there. Our stay in Lyons was very delightful. They had a large, beautiful tabernacle; splendid rooms in a good hotel; multiplied hundreds of people to preach to. Brother Thomas Keddie was the pastor in charge and this convention was supported by the good holiness people for miles around.
At the close of this camp Brother and Sister Wells took off a week or two to visit old friends in Kansas and Oklahoma, while this old soldier packed his grips and made a trip to Arlington, Texas, and was with Brother J. T. Upchurch at the great Berachah Home over the third Sunday of May, in their great anniversary. This was a beautiful convention. I preached to people by the hundreds and I suspect several thousands. The Berachah family had prayed the glory down and we had people from all parts of Texas and even Oklahoma. During our convention they had on a great chautauqua in Arlington and they had such orators as William Jennings Bryan, and yet the people said that the crowds at the great holiness convention were several times as large as at the chautauqua.
After closing Sunday, on Monday morning I ran down to Hubbard City, Texas, to visit my old mother who was at that time eighty-seven years of age. I spent two days with her. My little niece, Miss Eula Kain Hammers, took mother and myself to visit a great many of the beautiful old saints who listened to me preach over forty years ago. In those days I was a mere boy and they were middle-aged men and women. When I went to see them many of them were from seventy-five to ninety years of age. I will never forget that little trip. My mother and I sang old hymns together in every home I went to, and I had prayers with them and my mother and the old saints would shout together. That little trip lingers with me yet. That was the last time I ever looked on my beautiful, old mother’s face. The morning I left her, I will never forget. Mother and I sang and quoted Scripture and shouted together. After reading and praying together and having a shouting spell I had to tell mother goodby. Neither of us thought we would ever meet again in this world. The last time I saw mother she was standing in the yard waving her hand at me and shouting just as loud as she could whoop. The next time that I see her will be at the great marriage supper of the Lamb.
My brother-in-law, Brother Henry Ring, took me to town and I boarded the old Cotton Belt and started for Chase, Kansas. I reached there on Friday before the fourth Sunday in May. There Brother and Sister Wells joined me. Our good Brother A. L. Hipple was the pastor in Chase at that time and our home was with him and beautiful Mabel. We had one of the best times of our life, for we had spent eighteen months together in that big brown tent campaign a few years before. When we met it was one old-fashioned shouting time. I will never forget how Sister Mabel and Sister Eunice ran into each other’s arms and Brother Hipple and Kenneth got their arms around each other while I shouted for joy. At the close of our convention here we started north, stopping for one night in Kansas City, visiting the Publishing House and then making the run for Omaha, Nebraska. When we reached Omaha, Brother and Sister Wells went on to Shenandoah, Iowa, to visit his father and brothers, while I stayed for a three days’ convention. I was called to this convention by Brother Will Fozier, a great business man, who is nothing short of a miracle of God’s saving grace and healing power. At one time his face was nearly half eaten away and God healed him miraculously. I had three great days in his home and preached in a large, beautiful church, it seems to me that it was an Evangelical church. The singing was led by Miss Marie Danielson. I remember one night we had the altar pretty well lined up with Catholics and they were most gloriously saved, and the next night, I think, four of them were sanctified and united with that good pastor and his people.
Early Friday morning I was up and made a run to Oskaloosa, Iowa, to help in the campmeeting. The campmeeting that year was unusually interesting, from the fact that in the fall before Dr. C. J. Fowler, who had been president of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness for twenty-five years, had been called to his reward, and as Brother Ruth was field secretary, he was the one that put on the coast-to-coast campaign. During this campmeeting a new president was to be elected, and we had the members of the National Association from a number of states, some from as far as New York and many from the central states. They had a great band of workers for that year and the annual meeting of the Association was in session three or four days. Rev. Will E. Huff was chosen as president of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness. They had for their called workers that year Rev. C. H. Babcock, Rev. T. C. Henderson, Rev. A. P. Gouthey, Miss Minnie Lawhead, Miss Virginia Shaffer, Miss Stella McNutt and this writer, while the leading men of the Association were there to take part. Dr. John L. Brasher, who was president of Central Holiness University at that time, was elected president of the Iowa Holiness Association. From that convention they went out to all quarters of the nation. I have never seen more people taking trains and autos leaving one camp ground in my life than at the close of that great camp.
It had been arranged for Brother and Sister Wells and myself to go back to Shenandoah, Iowa, and give them a four days’ convention. We opened in the First Methodist church on Monday night after the second Sunday of June. In four days we had one hundred and eighty people at the altar. This was the first holiness meeting that had been in that church for twenty years. Twenty years before they had said publicly that no holiness man could ever come into that pulpit and preach the second blessing. They went on with their religious activities, they may have paid their pastor and taken in a lot of members, but they had run twenty years without a revival of Holy Ghost heart-felt religion, but God at last sent them one.
The presiding elder prevailed on me to run out to Blanchard, where they were having the annual meeting of the Epworth League, with over two hundred in attendance. In the morning service we had seventy-five at the altar seeking holiness. They adjourned in the afternoon and came in a body to Shenandoah for the closing service that night. There is no way to tell just how many were at the altar but altogether in four days it ran to one hundred and eighty. I was offered by one of their leading men a hundred dollars a night to help him campaign for a month, but I was so tied up and booked that I knew it would be impossible to change my slate so I had to refuse.
From there Professor Wells and wife and this writer made a flying trip to Lincoln, Nebraska. We were there in what is known as the Epworth Park in that great campmeeting. My, my, but the crowds we preached to. While we were there Dr. E. T. Adams and Brother Will Yates came by and stayed with us a couple of days. Brother Adams brought one great message and Brother Yates did some great singing, also Brother Brasher had come from the university and was going to do some work in Nebraska and stayed two days with us. He brought us one of the greatest messages on the dangers of the human soul and the oncoming judgment day that I ever heard.
At the close of our great camp Brother and Sister Wells went back East, and this old globe-trotter made a trip to the West. I made a run down to a little railroad junction and there got the fast train from Omaha to Los Angeles by way of Salt Lake City. This was one of the longest and heaviest trains I ever made a trip on. There were two large locomotives, six baggage and mail cars, two dining cars and twelve Pullmans. Every berth was taken, upstairs and down. It is remarkable what the railroad companies have done. We came through those great mountains making from thirty-five to forty-five miles an hour with that heavy train and pulled into Los Angeles, California, on schedule time. In making that run from Omaha they never lost one minute.