After the Christmas holidays were all enjoyed, the first of January, 1922, I went to Alhambra to hold a meeting for Brother Howard Eckel. This was a beautiful convention and many people were saved in the ten days. Brother Will Eckel and wife had come home from Japan. They gave us a great missionary rally, one of the most beautiful missionary services that I had ever seen. There is no finer man on earth to work for than Brother Howard Eckel.
When we finished up in Alhambra I made a run down to Whittier, California, with that greatest of pastors, C. W. Griffin. This was a great convention. We had our church packed to overflowing. We desired to secure a larger place but none was available. Brother Joseph E. Bates came down from Pasadena and we put on a special service and marched to a beautiful lot and broke dirt for the new church. So the reader can see that we made history in that convention. Many precious souls were saved.
From Whittier I went back to Los Angeles. I was there for three Sundays with one of the greatest old boys that is now living, that cultured gentleman, Dr. A. O. Henricks, who at this writing is president of Trevecca College, Nashville, Tennessee.
From Los Angeles I made a trip down that beautiful valley to the beautiful little city of Escondido. At that time my old friend and brother, Metcalf, was the pastor. We had many remarkable things to take place in that meeting. I referred to praying with a dying Christian Scientist and a lady jumped up and said, “I see now that a man can profess holiness and lie at the same time.” “For,” she said, “Christian Scientists don’t die.” I told her that it was very strange, for they took the man out and buried him and I couldn’t believe an undertaker would knowingly take and bury a live man. She walked out of the church and said she would never darken that door again. But the next morning she came to the parsonage and brought a couple of fine Belgium hares dressed nicely for a love offering to the Nazarene pastor and family and the evangelist. She met us at the church that afternoon and got up publicly and begged pardon and came to the mourner’s bench. She did some good digging. We prayed loud and long; she wiped the tears off her face and said she knew that God had saved her.
The little valley in which Escondido is located is about thirty miles back from the ocean and thirty miles northeast of San Diego. They tell me that Escondido means hidden valley. This valley is as near full of the white Leghorn chickens as I have ever seen anywhere on the face of the earth. You can go up on one little point in the city, a pretty little round hill, and look over the valley and count between forty and fifty great chicken farms. This is a very interesting place.
I came home from Escondido and rested up for two or three days, then ran into Los Angeles for the all-day meeting where Brother Fred Ross was holding meetings in the Euclid Avenue Methodist Episcopal church. I went from there to Elysian Heights and stayed two days with good Brother Matthews, who has built the big church in East San Diego. From there I ran down to beautiful Santa Ana. There I had a beautiful meeting with my old friend, H. L. Humphreys. We had a glorious meeting there. We had a good time and God gave us a splendid revival.
From Santa Ana I went down to Cucamonga and joined Brother E. M. Hutchens. The Lord gave us a beautiful meeting in Cucamonga. We put on a great drive there for the Sunday school. We agreed to give every boy a nickel that would come to school with his overalls on and bring some other boy with him. We called it the overall brigade and my, my, the boys that piled into that church. We had a most beautiful revival and a number of converts, who desired to be baptized by immersion. We had the baptismal service in the church in Upland where we have a nice baptistry.
We went over one afternoon to baptize our converts, I think it was our last Sunday of the meeting, the third Sunday of April. At the close of our baptismal service a number of ladies from one of the big churches in town came to Brother Hutchens and said, “We have been wanting to be immersed and our pastor did not believe in it. Will you baptize us by immersion?” He said, “Sure I will.” He got ready and baptized as many Methodists as Nazarenes.
At the close of this convention I came home for a few days’ rest and went to Glendora with a band of our schoolboys who were holding a campmeeting. We had a glorious time there and saw people saved at a regular mourner’s bench in the beautiful little city of Glendora, where some people said a revival could never be held; but, beloved, God can save people anywhere in the world when they get through and want Him. It was wonderful how God worked in these meetings. If we put on a tent meeting in Southern California, especially in a town where we have no Nazarene church, it is anything but an easy job; it is a proposition of a lifetime. Nevertheless, our boys can do the job. There is no band of boys that is harder to defeat than a band of red-hot Nazarenes; in fact, they never know when they are defeated. That is one thing in a man’s favor who doesn’t know so much about this old world. When a man is bound to this old world it seems he is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, therefore it takes spiritual dynamite to open his blind eye and unstop his deaf ear; but, thank God, He is ready for the emergency.
Leaving California the first of May, 1922, we had a chain of short conventions across the country reaching the campmeeting at the Olivet College about the last of May. That year Dr. John Matthews and the writer were the engaged preachers. We had a great many fine singers on the ground connected at that time with the college. At the close of this great Olivet Camp I worked through Ohio, putting in ten days at the great Sebring Camp. Then back as far north as Red Rock, Minnesota, through Romeo, Michigan, to Pontiac, and then a trip into the northern part of Michigan to the beautiful town of Selkirk in a little Quaker church where we had a powerful convention.
From there back by Cleveland and a little later, after making a few short stops across Ohio, I joined Brother C. R. Chilton, District Superintendent of the Ohio District. Here we made twenty-five towns in a month. We were in Cincinnati over the great Thanksgiving day, where we fed several thousand children and had a great feed for the men at old George Street Mission at night. At that time Brother Lew Standley was in charge of the mission with his two beautiful daughters, Misses Ruth and Lily. The precious little girls were the most untiring workers I have ever known.
From Cincinnati I worked my way across the country, reaching home for Christmas. The first of January, 1923, Brother Harry Wenger, who is choir leader of First church, Pasadena, at this time went with me to Phoenix, Arizona, and we joined E. G. Roberts in a great campaign. This was one great meeting. At night there would not be one vacant seat or any standing room left.
At the close of this campaign Brother Wenger came back to Pasadena to school and I boarded the train for Miami, Florida. My, my, but this was a long run. Rev. I. G. Martin, who had been appointed District Superintendent of Florida, had put on a great tent campaign in Miami. Our beloved Brother Roby was the pastor and the church board had secured Brother Charles D. Tillman for the song leader and his daughter Jewel for the pianist. They had put in two pianos and Brother John Harris’ wife was selected to play one and Jewel the other. Our campaign ran here for over a month. We had multiplied hundreds at the altar and during the month preached to people by the thousands. Dr. H. C. Morrison, editor of the Pentecostal Herald, also president of Asbury College, was there taking his rest in Miami at that time. He brought us some very great messages. We had with us in the meeting all the time Brother and Sister Huffman from Philadelphia, Brother and Sister Strong from Detroit, and Brother W. P. B. Kinert, from Epworth, South Carolina. All of these workers brought messages during this great campaign. They had a fine delegation of good holiness preachers come down from North Carolina and as Miami was full of tourists at that time we had people from all over the nation.
At the close of the campaign at Miami I ran up the coast one hundred and twenty-five miles to Fort Pierce. There I was met in an auto by two fine old boys who had come across nearly a hundred miles from Sebring, Florida. Brother Orville Sebring had been down a few days in Miami and engaged me to preach a few days in the Methodist church. This trip was a whole day’s run, but we drove into Sebring in time for supper. I had three or four days that were beautiful. I ran across from Sebring and stopped a night in Waycross, Georgia, and preached in the Southern Methodist church.
From Waycross I ran across to Birmingham and preached two days for the Wesleyan Methodist boys. Brother Robert French was in charge. We had two great days. I went from there to Jasper, Alabama, and gave them two days in the Nazarene church. We had a glorious good time there with Brother Hooker and Brother Lancaster. From there I went to Florence, Alabama, and gave them a couple of days. I went out and looked at the great Wilson dam and saw many interesting things about Florence.
I ran from Florence to Nashville and gave them a day at the school and from there I ran across to Wilmore, Kentucky, and gave them two days in Wilmore. From Wilmore I ran over to Louisville for a day with the Nazarene boys. From there I ran to Upland, Indiana, and was with Dr. John Paul three days at the Taylor University.
I ran from Upland back into Ohio and joined Brother C. R. Chilton again and during the month of March we made over twenty-five towns again. We literally worked Ohio like working a field. We preached to people by the multiplied thousands. I closed with him on the last Sunday of March. I came across from Ironton through Columbus, on across to Akron and was with Brother Macrory for one night and then went over and gave Brother Mattox a day and night in Warren, Ohio.
From there I made a run to Jackson, Michigan, with Brother Bush, our good pastor. I was with him Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and had a glorious good time, and on Saturday, the last day of March, I ran into Detroit. There I joined battle with Miss Essie Morris of Springfield, Tennessee, as song leader. My old friend, Marvin Cooper, was their fine pastor, and Brother Guy Nelson was chairman of the board.
Here is a little piece of history. The first meeting I ever held for Brother Joe McClurkan, Brothers Guy Nelson, Marvin Cooper and Miss Essie Morris were all three sanctified in the same service, and behold, when I reached Detroit the first day of April, 1923, the three young people who were sanctified in the same service at Nashville, were now yoked up in a great battle for full salvation in Detroit. We had fifteen days that were beyond description for seekers and crowds.
I ran from there to Cleveland, Ohio, and I gave our good Brother Butler, president of Friends College, two days and nights in the Bible College. I also gave Brother C. Warren Jones two days and nights. I ran from there to the Chicago Central District and joined Brother E. O. Chalfant, and for the last ten days of April and all of May he and I toured that great district. I have a beautiful letter from him before me, telling all the places that we had toured. It might be a little tiresome for the reader to undertake to visit all these places for we made thirty towns in Illinois, winding up about May 21, at the great Olivet Camp. But in his letter he states that out of this campaign sixty Nazarene churches have been organized. That one campaign had added to the church property a quarter of a million dollars. We also raised money to buy twenty gospel tents. Under these tents during the summer season between eighty and ninety great tent campaigns were put on, running a month at a place. There were hundreds of thousands of people preached to under these tents during the four months of the summer season. Brother Chalfant says that he is very largely indebted to Uncle Buddie for helping to put this great district to the front; that he never could have done it without the assistance I gave him. We put the Herald of Holiness in hundreds of homes. Through that campaign he received hundreds of calls for meetings. He usually had from three to four good workers with each tent, which as the reader would see gave him a band of workers numbering seventy or eighty. These tents ran from the last of May until the last of September. At their District Assembly in September his report that was published in the Herald of Holiness was the greatest that had ever been for one year’s time.
At the close of the Olivet Camp I boarded the train for the south. Stopped one night in Kansas City; went on to Oklahoma City and was met by Brother Stephen White who was president of Bethany-Peniel College. He took me out to Bethany and I preached in the afternoon and at night. We had great crowds and a glorious time. After preaching at night he ran me back to the city and at midnight I left for Fort Worth, Texas.
Here I joined Brother Mayfield, the head of the great Union Mission. I was with him for ten days. The Upchurch band of workers from the Berachah Home had charge of the music. There is no way to tell how much good a campaign like that did for Fort Worth. We had our buildings packed until the people stood up along the wall. At the close of the convention there I boarded the train for Pasadena, California. After having only two days’ rest I took my family and we went out to the Pacific Palisades to the great campmeeting. We ran through there and closed on July 8, coming in home that night.
On Monday of July 9, my wife and daughter Ruby and the Rev. George C. Wise and this old globe-trotter left Pasadena headed for the Yellowstone National Park, but we had plenty of time so we ran to the ranch where my children lived at Rich Grove, California, and stayed a couple of days, then to Fresno, California, and took the Blackstone Trail into the Yosemite Valley. We drove in that night a few miles from the Mariposa woods. We spent the night in the Fish Lodge. This was a beautiful camp built of big logs. We were up early the next morning and drove up to the big forest before we had breakfast. These were the largest trees that I had ever seen up to that time. The largest one in that forest is known as Grizzly Giant, nearly three hundred feet tall, and thirty-two feet through) There were hundreds of other trees almost as large. It is in that forest that a highway is cut through one of the trees. We drove through this great tree and had our pictures made. There was one log that had fallen down and looked like the top had broken off and disappeared. This log was some two hundred feet long and the highway built along the side of it. It was nearly three times as high as our automobile top. There is one log, however, near the old Clark cabin that twenty-four horses have stood on at one time and had their pictures made. We had breakfast at the Montana. The reader will remember that these big trees are named for the different states and the Montana is a tree that is about twenty-eight feet through and nearly three hundred feet high. They have scaffolds up twenty or thirty feet and have built a big dining room out of logs and heavy lumber. It is very interesting. The big kitchen is off to one side and great heavy flooring nearly twenty feet long is laid on the great platform and runs endways up to the big tree and in a circle until they go clear round the tree; then the big banisters are put around and great logs stood on ends around the tree where they have laid heavy plates running to the corner post and that great circle is covered and makes a very unique dining room. After breakfast we went to Yosemite Valley and spent a couple of days. They claim the highest falls in the world are in this valley. There is one river that leaps out of the clouds and falls 1730 feet. Our two days were very delightfully spent in the Yosemite Valley. Horseback riding and hunting and fishing were the order of the day.
When we left the valley we made a run to Sacramento and joined Brother E. E. Mieras, our good pastor, and preached with him for one full week; from there we ran to Oakland and joined Brother Ralph Gray and gave him a week. Leaving Oakland we ran back to Sacramento in time for dinner. Brother Mieras’ folks had planned a great chicken dinner and many of the good friends ran in. After dinner we made a run to Gridley. There Hunter and Martin were in a great tent meeting and we stayed and preached for them two nights.
When we left there we headed for the north, going through northern California and stopping at Shasta Springs and the great mountain, driving on through and putting up in good hotels at night. Finally, passing through northern California and beautiful old Oregon we reached Portland.- There we stopped for dinner. That afternoon we made the trip over the Columbia River highway, said to be the most beautiful highway in the world; in fact, I don’t see how it could be surpassed for beauty and grandeur. The highway follows the great Columbia river for more than a hundred miles. We pulled into the beautiful little city of Nampa, and stopped to rest a few days with our friends, but of course preached over Sunday at the Nazarene church and went up and preached one night in Boise and had a glorious good time.
We left there for the Yellowstone National Park. We drove into the park on Wednesday after the first Sunday of August. Went in from the west gate. Here we saw such sights and wonders that it would take a whole history itself to describe the Yellowstone Park. The great paint pots, and boiling lakes, and mammoth boiling springs, growling, roaring geysers, roaring mountains, herds of bears, great herds of elks and buffaloes, groundhogs enough to give everybody in the world two apiece it looked like, the great Yellowstone lake and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a trip over Mt. Washburn, 10,000 feet high, spending one night at Old Faithful Inn, one night at Yellowstone lake, and two nights at the great Mammoth Hot Springs. We were in the park altogether five days and nights. I don’t suppose any man living has been able to describe the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. It will pay any man on earth that can spare the time and money to spend a week in Yellowstone Park.
Leaving the park we had a nice long trip back across the mountains and plains of Idaho and stopped again in Nampa, resting up two or three days, making one little fishing trip and preaching one night in Meridian. Leaving Nampa we now headed back for the south; stopped off in Portland and preached on Sunday with Brother D. Rand Pierce, who was then pastor; working our way back through Oregon, preaching a few nights in Ashland, driving south through the great peach, plum and prune orchards, fields of cantaloupes, watermelons and grapes until it looked like there was no end to it; reaching Rich Grove’ California, again and spending a few days with our children.
Wife and Ruby and Mr. Wise came back to Pasadena but I stayed in Northern California District, giving the boys a boost. A couple of days in Bakersfield and a couple of days in Merced, going up to Fresno and Stockton, then to beautiful Santa Rosa, the home of the great Burbank, the plant wizard. I saw things that he had produced that look impossible, yet they were there to behold. From Santa Rosa I came down the coast by Frisco and down to beautiful San Jose. I gave three days there and closing on Sunday night at midnight I boarded a fast train for Kansas City, Missouri. Made the run from San Jose to Kansas City and was there for the opening of our great General Assembly, which already has been written up in a way that is impossible for me to do. However, we had hundreds of as beautiful people as live on earth.