I reached home and had one day of rest and then took my family and little Sally and her tots and we made a run for the Southern California campmeeting, that is conducted by the Southern California Holiness Association at beautiful Santa Monica by the sea. Our workers that year were Rev. Joseph Smith, Rev. Will Kirby and Rev. Bud Robinson. We had a most beautiful camp out there. We ran over the Fourth of July and to say that we had people by the thousands is putting it tame. Oh, the good people that we saw saved and sanctified. We announced one day that the next morning from six to seven o’clock I would have a healing service. Beloved, by six o’clock the next morning the campmeeting was working alive with the people. I brought a short message and we began to anoint people and pray with them and they began to shout and that healing service ran until eight o’clock. There is no finer association to work for than the Southern California Holiness Association and no truer yoke-fellows to preach with than Brother Joseph and Will Kirby. This made the second camp that we had held together. The year before the same band of preachers held a campmeeting at Huntington Beach. There is nothing finer than the companionship, friendship and fellowship of preachers of the gospel. May God bless the memory of these two great men.
But how quick a campmeeting comes to an end when a tired preacher is camping on the banks of the ocean with his family. It was all too short, for at the close of this camp the Robinson family with the Welch grandbabies drove back into beautiful Pasadena. There I boarded the Southern Pacific and headed for Dalhart, Texas. My, my, but going through the deserts, talk about hot weather, it was well-nigh scalding. This meeting in Dalhart was arranged by our good Brother Lester Ketchum, who had been connected for a few years with the Pasadena College. My yokefellow in Dalhart was Rev. J. T. Upchurch, from the Berachah Home at Arlington, Texas, and his band of faithful workers were in charge of the music. To say that we had a good time is not half of it. Brother Jim would preach until his red head would almost strike fire and the Berachah Quartet would literally sing the heavens open. Our fellowship was beautiful and glorious.
But think of this, reader, and then pity an old, tired evangelist; in that hot, scorching weather I had to make a run from Dalhart, Texas, to Sale City, Georgia, away down near the Florida line. The campmeeting there had been established a few years before by that untiring worker, Rev. W. W. McCord. I have been in that campmeeting four times. It is no trouble to get crowds to preach to in Georgia in the summer time. We had them to peddle, by the hundreds and I judge by the thousands. I roomed in the home of Rev. W. W. McCord. He has a very large home and he filled it up with people. The workers and visitors made it their headquarters. Brother McCord hired two cooks and almost fed the campmeeting. He bought from twelve to fifteen large watermelons every morning and peaches and figs by the basket and chickens by the dozens, to feed the workers and visitors. My, my, what a time we had in that blessed old Southern home. The people are so clever and kind that it blesses you to just shake hands with them.
Now think of this run; I left Sale City for Chicago, Illinois. There our good Nazarenes had planned a big campmeeting in the suburbs of Chicago with such men as Schurman, Messenger, Jack Berry, Dave Anderson and Rev. C. H. Strong. The called workers were General Superintendent Williams and Dr. C. H. Babcock, Miss Virginia Shaffer and this writer, with Father Riggs from New England to hold the early morning prayermeetings. They had singers by the hundreds. Brother Schurman was the general manager of this great campmeeting. We had seekers until you could not keep up with the number. Thank the Lord for such campmeetings where the old-time gospel is preached in its purity and power with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.
I could only stay for one week in that great camp and my next run was to Conneautville, Pennsylvania. There I joined Rev. Will H. Huff and Rev. T. C. Henderson and Rev. A. P. Gouthey, with big Brother John Harris in charge of the music and Brother Jim Harris in charge of the camp as their general manager. This was the first and also the last time that I have ever visited that beautiful old camp ground. I was there for only a week. The camp was established some thirty years ago by that great man, Brother Hampe. The camp is called Peniel, and is located at Conneautville, Pennsylvania, on a beautiful lake. My stay was beautiful and the fellowship was sweet and complete.
While there Dr. and Sister Sloan were in a great campmeeting at New Castle, Pennsylvania, and they sent a man to Conneautville to take me to New Castle in a car. This was a lovely trip down through that beautiful old state. We arrived in time for the evening service and it looked like everybody was trying to get into that one night’s service. It was a most beautiful service.
At the close of the service, I made a run into Pittsburgh and there I got a train to Frankfort, Indiana, to join battle with Dr. John W. Goodwin and Miss Virginia Shaffer in the campmeeting that was run by the International Holiness Church. This was a great camp. Brother Ewing is their District Superintendent and one of the finest men that you will meet in a life-time’s travel. There were hundreds of fine workers, as their District Assembly was to be held at the close of this campmeeting. Their preachers and workers were there from all over the state and from several other states. They have a beautiful camp ground and a very large tabernacle and a great dining room. Our fellowship was beautiful and God gave us hundreds of precious souls.
From this camp I ran over for one night to Kokomo and there spoke in the First M. E. church to at least fifteen hundred people.
The next night I ran down to Marion and gave them one night and the next day I ran down to Seymour to attend the District Assembly. This was a most wonderful assembly. Rev. J. W. Short was District Superintendent and Dr. R. T. Williams presided in the assembly. As our church there had just been burned down, the pastor of the First M. E. church offered his church for all day services and the City Park was used at night. Brother George Church, our good pastor, had our church near enough completed to feed the great crowds in the basement. That was one of the largest District Assemblies I ever attended I preached at night from the grandstand to several thousand people. The people of that town said they had no idea that there were as many Nazarenes on earth as were in Seymour at that time.
From Seymour I ran down to Springer, Illinois, to the campmeeting. This camp was established by that good Dutchman, Jacob Flack, and the camp is called Jacob’s Camp. My yoke-fellows were Brother George and Sister Effie Moore. May God bless her precious memory to the good of every person that she ever preached to. I went to the camp ground for six years. At the close of this camp I went to Vincennes and joined my good friend, Callie Johnson, for a three days’ convention and from there we went for one night to Bicknell and joined our good friend, Brother Hertenstein. We had a great night; got forty subscriptions for the Herald of Holiness and raised $1400 for the church and had nearly twenty saved in that one service. From there I made a run to Akron, Ohio, and joined Brother H. B. Macrory and had one of the best meetings almost of my life.
From there I worked my way across the country and joined Brother C. W. Ruth and Professor Kenneth Wells and wife. I reached them on November 11, just one year to a day after I had reached them the year before. This time we opened in Brooklyn, New York, in the Utica Avenue church. At that time Brother William Howard Hoople was the pastor. The night before I arrived they had prayed all night and by the next day the glory was on until we could not preach. This was a most wonderful convention; wave after wave of glory would sweep the congregation until we could not preach or hardly sing a song. Professor Wells would start a song and the shouts would begin again until you could not do anything but just let them shout. Our home was with Brother Hoople. My, my, but what a beautiful brother he was. He, like so many others has gone to live with Jesus.
At the close of this great convention we made a run to Ashland, Kentucky. There we had a great convention and many precious souls were saved and sanctified. Our stay in Ashland was one of delight.
From Ashland we made a run to Chicago and had a great convention in the First Church of the Nazarene. Here we were joined by Rev. John Norberry, from Brooklyn. While we were in Brooklyn, Brother Ruth had engaged him to travel with the party and we were then together for four months. At Chicago we had one of the finest conventions on the entire trip as Brother Schurman has a very strong and a very spiritual church. On the last day in the afternoon they put on a great missionary rally. The speakers were Sister Stella Crooks and Miss Lela Hargrove. The missionary offering amounted to several thousand dollars. One man gave a thousand dollars to foreign missions.
From Chicago we made a run to Akron, Ohio. In this convention Dr. Sloan and his men met in a great preachers’ convention in connection with the coast-to-coast campaign. As we have already stated, Brother H. B. Macrory was the pastor. I have never been in a convention that was better entertained than the one in Akron. I don’t think I ever saw so much good provisions brought in to feed the workers as we saw there, but with Dr. Sloan and Sister Sloan on the district and Brother Macrory as pastor they simply could do anything they wanted to do. We must have had at least fifty preachers in attendance.
From Akron we made a run to Detroit, Michigan. There we had a wonderful convention, though we had only about thirty Nazarenes in the city. The work had just been organized but there was more money given in the Detroit convention than in any other on the entire campaign. Rev. I. G. Martin had just been there and held a great revival and organized a Church of the Nazarene. Our convention was held in one of the largest halls in the heart of the city. From Detroit we made a run to Dayton, Ohio. There we have a nice church; Brother Preston Roberts was the fine pastor and Brother E. E. Wordsworth was the District Superintendent of the Ohio District. We had people saved by the scores. Our District Superintendent was in charge of the preachers’ convention and it was far-reaching. People from all over the state were there.
Our next convention was held in First Church of the Nazarene, Indianapolis. We ran over the holidays and had a great convention, three big services each day, Ruth, Norberry and Robinson doing the preaching, and the Wells doing the singing. This was a most wonderful convention. The cold wave struck us and my, my, but we shivered in the cold, but the people came in droves. Brother Ruth slipped and fell on the ice-covered sidewalk and almost broke his back and we had to leave him at home for over two weeks.
Norberry and Robinson and Professor and Sister Wells went on to St. Louis for the first convention of the new year. We held it in the Maplewood Church of the Nazarene. Our beloved Brother Cox was the fine pastor and we had a great convention. On Monday night after we closed we all went to the Flower Memorial church for a great rally and had a great service.
At midnight we left for Little Rock, Arkansas, and there the two Arkansas Districts, the Eastern Oklahoma District and the Louisiana District all, as far as they could, united in a great preachers’ meeting and the coast-to-coast convention all in one. The city furnished us the large tabernacle and lit and fired it all at the expense of the city. We could not have had better crowds or better entertainment. Brother J. E. Moore, who was at that time in charge of one of the Arkansas Districts, was elected as the general manager of the entire convention. J. E. Moore is a gentleman of the first magnitude. He is now our pastor at the First Church of the Nazarene, Houston, Texas.
At the close of this great convention we made a run to Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene and were with my old friend, Rev. John Oliver, whom we were with a year before. Brother Ruth had so improved that he came on to Oklahoma City and joined us. We had a great convention.
From there we made a run to Sherman, Texas. We held our convention there in the First Southern Methodist church. Our good pastors, Brother and Sister Dillingham, had secured this great church for the convention and there we had another preachers’ meeting in connection with the convention. They had secured General Superintendent Williams to preach every morning to the preachers. They came from all parts of the country. Sherman is a great Methodist school town and there were a great many fine, old, superannuated preachers there, many of them from seventy-five to eighty-five years of age. This convention was a great blessing to them. They said they had heard the greatest preacher in the nation. We had a most glorious time and never had better crowds. The great church was packed day and night.
From Sherman we made a run to Hamlin, Texas. Hamlin is on the Hamlin District and Rev. Allie Irick was their untiring District Superintendent. He brought his preachers from all parts of
Western Texas. At that time Professor A. S. London was in charge of the Hamlin College. They had secured the First Southern Methodist church and we had there a great convention.
From Hamlin we made a long run west. We jumped from Hamlin, Texas, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our Hamlin meeting had grown so large that they wanted to run another week and so Brother John Norberry was left at Hamlin to run a week longer while the rest of the party went to New Mexico. We had a great convention at the First Southern Methodist church. Brother Lee Gaines was our Nazarene pastor and Brother Vanderpool was the Southern Methodist pastor. He opened up his large church and showed us all the kindness that a Christian gentleman could show a band of Christian workers of another church. At this writing Brother Lee Gaines is our splendid pastor at North Little Rock, Arkansas, and thank the Lord he is doing fine. At present Brother Vanderpool is the pastor of the First Southern Methodist Episcopal church at Holdenville, Oklahoma. I was in his church while touring Oklahoma in December, 1926, and the house was packed and a great service.
From Albuquerque we made a run to the First Church of the Nazarene at Phoenix, Arizona, and there we were joined again by Brother Norberry. We had a fine convention and enjoyed our old-time friends from Arkansas and Texas and also from Chicago. We were entertained by Brother Marvin and Sister Lillie Young and it was the limit for goodness. From Phoenix we made a run to Long Beach, California, and were there with Brother J. I. Hill, who is at this writing our superintendent in the Barbados islands. Our stay at Long Beach was a most delightful one. After working the inland states for a full year it was great to visit the old Pacific ocean again and see the blue breakers roll and splash and run out onto the sandbars and whoop and yell and pick themselves up and run back to the ocean and turn to saltwater again. We could not have enjoyed our stay more than we did.
At the close of the Long Beach convention we made a run to Ontario, California, and there had a most delightful convention. As many of my readers may know, Ontario is located in the great orange belt of Southern California, and of course everybody wanted to supply us with oranges off of their trees.