When this beautiful convention was closed Brother Norberry went back east to New York and Brother C. W. Ruth, Professor Wells and wife and this old soldier made a run to the north. Our first convention was at Portland, Oregon. At that time Brother Alpin Bowes was our pastor, but he secured the large Southern Methodist church for this convention and we had great crowds as the church was a very large one and at that time there was in the Oregon State Holiness Association at least one thousand members and with so many holiness people in the city it was easy to have a very large crowd. We were in Portland one year before going south, and this year we are going north.
Our next stop was in Seattle, with our good pastor, Brother McShane. We had a fine convention in Seattle having some services in the Free Methodist College and one service in the
First Methodist Episcopal church, where one afternoon I gave my hospital experience to a very large crowd. We had in that one service nearly forty saved. The crowds came to the Nazarene church until just about half of them had to stand outside of the church.
At the close of this great convention we made a run to Walla Walla, Washington. I stopped off on Monday night and gave them one night at North Yakima. At that time Brother Will Nerry and his good wife were in charge at Yakima and we had one great night and on Tuesday I joined the rest of the party at Walla Walla. At that time Rev. U. E. Harding was their noble pastor. We had a great time in Walla Walla. As I had held a number of meetings there it insured us large crowds. Brother C. W. Ruth also had held a number of good meetings in Walla Walla, and our old friends and new ones came in droves so our convention was very large and a very beautiful gathering. From Walla Walla we made a long run, stopping at Greeley, Colorado, where my old friend of other days, Rev. C. H. Lancaster, was in charge, and our good District Superintendent Brother A. E. Sanner was with us. We had a most remarkable revival with the good people from all parts of that great Colorado country. Brother A. G. Crockett from Denver came up with a great band of his fine people and we had several carloads from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and from many other places. We had there a very remarkable experience. While the convention was going on we had a telegram from Dr. John L. Brasher, telling us that his son Paul was at the point of death, asking us to pray for his recovery. Brother C. W. Ruth read the telegram to the church and called them to prayer, and while we prayed the saints were so blessed that many shouted all over the church and every one of us felt that God had healed him, but God had done something better. His beautiful, blood-washed spirit had been translated. Some time after that I met Dr. Brasher and he told me that everybody that had prayed for Paul was so blessed that everyone thought he was healed. One of the poets wrote, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.”
From Greeley we made another run on east, stopping at Burr Oak, Kansas. Here our good Brother Dameron was in charge. My home was with Brother John Korb. We had in Burr Oak one of the finest meetings that we probably had on the entire campaign. People, people! My, my, how they came to that convention. To say hundreds is putting it tame; the crowds were so large that many of the good people would take their lunches and after the afternoon service they would stay there in the church until the night service for fear that they could not get room at night.
After this good time with the saints we had to make another run to the east and our next stop was with Rev. William E. Fisher, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, Missouri. At that time Professor Ben Sutton and his beautiful little wife, Sister Margie, were in charge of the music and were assistants to Brother Fisher. This convention was much longer than most of the conventions. We opened on Tuesday night and ran through two Sundays. As a rule we only ran over one Sunday, but all hands felt that in that city at our headquarters we ought to stay longer than a week. We had very large crowds. I have often seen every seat up and downstairs taken and then extra seats brought in and then all the standing room taken. We had there, I judge, the finest singing that we had on the entire trip, as the Wells children and Brother Ben and Sister Margie were all great singers, and the four together almost lifted the roof from the big church. I don’t think I have ever heard four gospel singers that sang better together than the Wells and the Suttons. While in the great city we had the privilege of visiting the Publishing House almost every day. One day at noon we dropped in on the boys and they were praying a fellow through at their noon prayermeeting and then I wrote these lines on the Publishing House:
I found by observation That our house of publication, Keeps up its reputation As a soul salvation station; And as a bureau of information On the line of full salvation It is the fairest in the nation Or in all God’s creation.
Our stay at headquarters was of much interest to us boys on the field.
From Kansas City we made a run to Kearney, Nebraska. There Sister Wheeler, the noble pastor, had everything in fine shape, and our good District Superintendent, Brother Ludwig, and his good wife were with us in the convention. We had a most glorious time in Kearney. At the close of this campaign, Brother and Sister Wells left us to go into their campmeeting work.
Brother Ruth and I made a run to Mitchell, South Dakota. Our old friends, Brother and Sister Brandyberry, were in charge and there we had a great convention in the courthouse, or perhaps it was in the city hall, but we had plenty of people and a great revival. At the close of our Mitchell campaign our coast-to coast party was brought to an end. Brother Ruth and I left Mitchell together and ran down to Sioux City, Iowa, and changed cars for Chicago, reaching there the next morning in time for breakfast. We transferred across the great city, I to go east and Brother Ruth south. I was headed for Cleveland and Brother Ruth for Indianapolis. We separated at the station. We had then finished two years of coast-to-coast work. It was hard for us to separate. We stood and looked at each other and then put our arms around each other and wept like children and promised each other to stand true to the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification as a second work of grace until we met each other on the shores of eternal deliverance.
I believe we have never had a finer leader in the holiness movement than Brother C. W. Ruth. He can plan and hold more holiness conventions than any man in the great holiness movement and have the best revivals in these great conventions. I have worked with almost all the holiness boys in the United States and no man ever yoked up with a truer yoke-fellow than Brother C. W. Ruth.
I found in Chicago that the regular trains would not get me to Cleveland in time to preach that night but I also found that I could pay five dollars extra and take that fast train from Chicago to New York which made only two stops between Chicago and Cleveland. We ran into Cleveland that night in time to open up in the big tabernacle. I was met at the station by Brother C. Warren Jones and in a short time we were in the Nazarene parsonage, which is about as near heaven as any place on earth. There is nothing finer above dirt than the home of a good Nazarene preacher. My, my, but they are the sacks of salt for the hungry sheep to lick at. Brother Jones had everything in fine shape and the meeting was well advertised. Brother Jones had secured the student body from the Friends Bible School to have charge of the music. Sometimes as many as a hundred would be on hand. We also had the famous colored quartet. They were great singers.
From Cleveland I made a run with Brother and Sister Jones and their delegates to Pittsburgh to the District Assembly. This was a beautiful trip, from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. The Nazarenes were there from every quarter. Good Dr. Sloan, District Superintendent, with Brother Reynolds, General Superintendent, had the work well in hand and everything was beautiful. I stayed with them three days, preaching two nights.
From Pittsburgh I made a run to the campmeeting at Olivet, Illinois. We had one of the best camps that had ever been held on the grounds up to that time. This was one great camp; people there by the thousands and hundreds were at the altar.
From there I started west. I stopped one night about the first of June at Wray, Colorado, with my good friend and brother, L. E. Grattan. At that time Brother E. Arthur Lewis was out on the plains, some twenty miles away, but they dismissed their crowds and came by several automobile loads. He sang that night one of his famous songs, “When the Old Man Died.”
From Wray, I ran over for one night in Colorado Springs. Here a good brother, Jim Black, was in charge. We had a fine service.
I left there with Brother A. E. Sanner, our good District Superintendent. We made a run from there to Florence, Colorado, and preached in the afternoon. While we were there preaching a great rain came and we made a run up the valley to Canyon City, but it rained so hard there that for three days we could scarcely get to church and I could not get out of the town. It was on this night, June 3, of the awful storm that flooded the Royal Gorge, overflowing the Arkansas river and destroying Pueblo, Colorado, where hundreds of homes were swept away. The big depot was destroyed, one passenger train washed away and hundreds of freight cars, some of them: washed ten miles down the river.
Leaving Canyon City I ran over to Grand Junction and stayed three days with a good Nazarene pastor. Leaving Grand Junction I made a hot trip across the desert back to Los Angeles in time to take in the campmeeting at the Palisades. The workers that year were Rev. Joseph Smith, Rev. Fred Ross, and this writer. The Lord gave us a most beautiful campmeeting.
I then made a trip back east holding a number of campmeetings, visiting Wilmore, Kentucky; Camp Sychar, Ohio; Romeo, Michigan; back through Dayton with a chain of short conventions through northern Indiana; through Kansas City and on to Henryetta, Oklahoma, reaching there for the District Assembly.
As my friends may know, Henryetta is in the Eastern Oklahoma District. Our beloved Brother Mark Whitney was District Superintendent and was reelected by a unanimous vote. Dr. John Goodwin presided in this great assembly. The Eastern Oklahoma District that year had the largest increase of membership and more churches organized than I had ever known up to that time. Rev. M. B. Jobe was pastor at Henryetta. As many people know, Brother Jobe is one of the finest pastors in our great connection. At this writing he is pastor of the First church at Walla Walla, Washington. Jobe is a wonderful man because he comes from the wonder state, Arkansas.
There have been more bad things said about Arkansas and there are more good things connected with it than any other state in this nation. More good preachers have come out of one community in Arkansas than any place I have ever known. Our late Will Dallas was from that part of the state; President N. W. Sanford of Hutchinson, Kansas; Rev. Joseph N. Speakes, District Superintendent of the Northwest District; Rev. B. H. Haynie, pastor of First church in Akron, Ohio; Rev. J. E. Moore, pastor of First church in Houston, Texas; Rev. G. E. Waddell, pastor of First church in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Brother Harmon, pastor of First church of Henryetta, Oklahoma; his brother, pastor of First church at Lufkin, Texas; and Brother Sharpe, who has been a great pastor and District Superintendent At the present time there are a number of the finest young pastors in Arkansas who have gone out from that community. I might add that Arkansas has the most beautiful mountains and largest cotton farms and largest peach orchards, has the largest rice fields, has more mineral springs and health resorts, and the only diamond field in the United States is located in Arkansas.
But you must forgive me for this little detour. We are back in the great District Assembly in Henryetta. My home was with Brother C. P. Curry, the Southern Methodist pastor, a good friend of mine of twenty years’ standing. Our convention was a great one. It was during this convention that my mother went to heaven. The night mother went up from Hubbard, Texas, to the New Jerusalem, someone said to mother, “Grandma, you are very feeble; shall we send for Buddie?” Mother said, “Why, children, don’t you know Buddie is in a meeting and what if he should come to see me go up to get my crown and a dozen souls should be lost?” That night while I preached my heart was overflowing and there were a dozen men out of the oil fields, who had been wild and reckless and God’s Spirit gave them a touch and a dozen of them wept their way to the altar and just before midnight we had prayed the last one through. An hour later I received a long distance call that mother had gone to heaven. I notified them to put mother away nice and beautiful and in a week or two I would come down and take care of the expenses. The next day I walked the streets of Henryetta and laughed and cried. I laughed because mother had received her crown and I wept because I was an orphan boy.
At the close of the meeting in Henryetta I ran down to Allen, Oklahoma, and gave a week’s convention, closing on Sunday in the afternoon and made a run across to the beautiful little city of Ada, Oklahoma, and preached Sunday night. I then got a train out that night that got me next morning into Dallas, Texas. I made my way out from there to Hubbard City, Texas, where I spent a couple of days with my brothers and one sister. They and their families took care of my mother’s last expenses. The reader will remember that a few pages back I described my last visit with my mother and how she stood in the yard and shouted. On the last trip to Hubbard City I could not bear to even go to the cemetery, for I knew mother was not there. I left Hubbard City, headed for the City in the skies.
I made a long trip to Sioux City, Iowa, where Rev. C. K. Spell was our splendid pastor. We had a ten days’ meeting in which he raised me more money than was ever paid to me for one ten days’ meeting in my life. If you want to hunt up somebody that is good, go and look at C. K. Spell, and to know Sister Annie and the children will bless you as long as you live. At the close of my meeting in the Nazarene church I gave a three days’ meeting in the city to the Holiness Association. At that time my beloved Brother Will Hahn and his good sister Barbara were the leading workers in the mission. We had a glorious time in that old mission.
From there I made a run to Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was in November as you will remember. I reached there in a great snowstorm; the wind was so cold that it seemed to me that it would shave a man without the use of lather or a razor. Rev. E. E. Wordsworth was the pastor of that church. In the spring before Dr. John Goodwin and E. E. Wordsworth, with a few faithful workers, such as Ben Mathisen and his good wife, opened up a new work in Minneapolis. They bought the large German Methodist church and organized with some thirty-five members about the first of May. By November they had sixty-five. Brother Wordsworth had secured for the singers Brothers Kim and Nilan of Chicago. Brother Kim was born and reared in Denmark and Brother Nilan in Norway. Our good Brother Wordsworth was born in England; we took our meals with Brother Anderson who was born in Sweden, and my people had come over from Ireland. So in this meeting we had five nationalities represented as workers, England, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. At that time there was a great deal of talk in the public press about a league of nations. In this meeting these five nationalities stood on the platform and locked arms and showed the congregation that holiness would solve the league of nations. As we had five nationalities represented in our band of workers we had people there from almost every country in Europe. I have never seen a much better meeting held in my life. Kim and Nilan had their musical instruments and such playing and singing you will scarcely hear in a lifetime, and the people came until there was no end to it. I remember one good brother in that city was not at all friendly to the organization of a Nazarene church, but when he saw they were going to organize anyway he said, “Oh, well, let them go on, nobody will come when they are organized.” I remember we opened on Thursday night about the middle of November and by Sunday not half of the crowd could get into the church. This good brother came and waded around in the snow knee-deep for awhile and finally had to leave. He could not even push his way into the vestibule for the crowds. In spite of the prophecy of some good men concerning the Nazarene movement it is still moving. I think at the close of our convention we had almost a hundred members in the Church of the Nazarene.
I left Minneapolis headed for the Northwest. I made a run to Spokane, Washington, for a three days’ convention with that beautiful young man, Weaver Hess. We had a tremendous crowd. On the second day we got up early in the morning and went away down to the city of Colfax, where they were having a district Sunday school convention. I preached in the morning for them. We had a nice lunch at noon; I went to preaching again at one, finished up at two, and at two-thirty we were headed again for Spokane. When we reached Spokane good Sister Hess had secured about three dozen of that little fish called the smelt and had us a great fish supper. My, my, but it was great and our convention was one of delight.
I made a run from there to Everett, Washington, where I preached in the old holiness tabernacle. We had a tremendous time. On Sunday morning I preached in the Nazarene church. Brother E. G. Anderson had just sent out word for all the churches to take an offering for foreign missions on the first Sunday of December. Our little church thought they could raise fifty dollars but two or three people had been sanctified in the meeting who were well-to-do and they all went down to the Nazarene church on Sunday morning. I asked how many people would give ten dollars and pretty soon it ran to one hundred dollars and some gave smaller gifts and brought it up to one hundred and fifty dollars in cash. In the afternoon I was to give my hospital experience. There were people from Snohomish, Bellingham and Seattle, Washington. We had a tremendous time and a great service. In that Everett convention I met an old friend whom I had not met for fifteen years, Brother Newberry, whom I used to work with in Virginia. He moved into New York about the time I moved to California and went with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and I had gone to the Church of the Nazarene. He brought his family and attended the convention in Everett.
I went from Everett to Seattle and there I was met at the train by Brother Newberry and he ran me over by the Nazarene parsonage. There Brother McShane gave me the slate that had been made out by himself and the Holiness Association. I was to go with Brother Newberry to Alliance Bible School and take dinner; he was to take me to the Greenlake Free Methodist church for the afternoon service. At that time Brother A. P. Gouthey was holding a convention in that church. We had a large crowd and a most interesting service. That night I was to preach in the Bible school. I have never had a much better service than I had that night in the Bible school. The auditorium was packed to overflowing. That night Brother Newberry was to take me to the home of Brother McShane and I spent the night or a part of it in the Nazarene parsonage. The next morning all hands of us were to go to the Free Methodist College for a morning service. At the close of this service we were to go to the home of Brother A. P. Gouthey for dinner, so the band of workers all went, and my, my, what a dinner that old boy had gotten up! Brother Gouthey knows how to do the thing. There was everything in Seattle that is good to select from. When dinner was over we hurried back to the Nazarene church where I preached in the afternoon and night. No more could get in the building and we didn’t have room at the altar for any more. They came in droves. The next morning Brother Newberry came for me in his beautiful new Essex car and drove me down through that great highway and that lovely forest to Tacoma, Washington. There I had a two days’ convention in the Church of the Nazarene with Brother and Sister Burns. Many of my old friends had attended the services in Seattle; Brother H. D. Brown and wife, and Brother Charles Rose and wife from Texas. Several car loads of them came down to Tacoma and gave us a boost there.
From there we made a run to Portland, Oregon. We had a three days’ convention in the Nazarene church with Brother Bowes. I ran from there to Newberg, Oregon, and gave them an afternoon and night. I was there with that good Brother Pounds. He is one great boy. From Newberg I ran over to Salem and gave an afternoon and night with our good Brother Wells. We had lots of people saved in each one of these one day conventions.
Down the coast I go, stopping for a day and night with Brother Russell Gray in Berkeley, California. I reached home for Christmas as tired as a preacher could be but as happy as a bald-headed bumblebee in a hundred acres of red-top clover. This finished up the entire trip for 1921.