The first of January, 1893, I gave up Army work, as it was hard on my lungs and voice to sing so much in the open air, and went up to Georgetown where I had two years before been in school. By this time I had become engaged to Miss Sally Harper and on January 10, 1893, we were united in holy wedlock. That was another epoch-making day in the history of my life. Two years later the Lord sent little Sally to bless our home. This was our first-born child and of course it was natural that I should name her for her mother. After all these years she’s still to us little Sally, though at this writing she is married and has seven sweet, beautiful children. Three years after little Sally was given us the Lord sent little Ruby to bless our home. And while she is our baby and in a sense as little and sweet as she used to be, she is also grown and married, but lives with her mother and father. Little Sally married the Rev. W. A. Welch, a fine sanctified young preacher. Ruby girl married the Rev. George C. Wise, also a fine sanctified young man and called to preach and sing the gospel.
In 1898 we left Georgetown, Texas, and I organized and worked on the Hubbard Circuit of Hill County, Texas. At that time, I had united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Hubbard Circuit was in the Fort Worth District and in the Austin Annual Conference and Rev. R. L. Selle was my presiding elder. After two years we changed elders and then the Rev. T. H. Corkel was my elder until I left the Hubbard Circuit on the last day of August, 1900. In 1899 we had established the Texas Holiness University at Greenville, Texas. I was called to Greenville to hold the spring session of the Greenville campmeeting, which always meets now in August; but this spring session met in May. In May, 1899, during the convention the school board that we had gotten together called Rev. A. M. Hills to take charge of the new school. He arrived in Greenville during this meeting. The plans were all laid to establish a school to open the September following.
I went back on the circuit and worked until the last of July and then went to North Texas and held one campmeeting at the Bates camp ground and one at the camp ground at Denton, Texas, and then went to Greenville for their campmeeting in August. We had bought a lot on the school ground. We went to Hubbard again and packed up our things and shipped them to Greenville and left the Hubbard Circuit on the last day of August, 1900, and moved to Greenville and located on the school ground. During the fall and winter of 1900 I evangelized, going as far north as Chicago and as far south as Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. During 1901 I had a full slate and did more traveling than I had ever done up to that time, traveling more than 20,000 miles.
When the spring of 1902 rolled around Rev. Will H. Huff, of national and world-wide fame, joined me and we made up the Huff and Robinson Evangelistic Party and traveled together for six years. Brother Huff had gone to Asbury College at Wilmore, Kentucky, in 1898 and studied a year under Dr. A. M. Hills. He was so well pleased with Dr. Hills that he came to Texas with him in 1899 and studied under the Doctor for 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901 and until the last of May, 1902. He says that Dr. Hills is the greatest teacher that the holiness movement has ever produced.
Our first trip after Brother Huff and I united, my wife and Brother Huff and myself left Greenville in May and made a trip to Sioux City, Iowa. Brother Huff was a stranger to the people there. I had done some work through Iowa in 1901 with Mrs. M. J. Tylor, the president of the Woodbury County Holiness Association. Mrs. Tylor called me for her May meeting that was to be held on the grounds of Morningside, a suburb of Sioux City near the Morningside College. In this meeting Miss Metta Tylor, the youngest daughter of Mrs. Tylor, was beautifully sanctified. She later became Mrs. Will H. Huff. From Sioux City we went to Denison, Iowa, to a very great campmeeting. The called workers for that camp were Rev. Seth C. Rees, Rev. Andy Dolbow, Bud Robinson and Will Huff. Rev. Thomas A. Teas was the song leader.
From Denison, Iowa, we went to the great Rocky mountains, spending a day in Colorado Springs, taking in the Garden of the Gods, Glenaria, Manitou Springs, the Seven Falls and climbing the bluffs to see Helen Hunt Jackson’s grave. Our first meeting there was in Pueblo, Colorado. There the Lord gave us a very great revival. We worked there with Rev. Kent White. We went then to Cripple Creek. I have before me a beautiful letter from J. N. Tomlin. He says that the convention in Cripple Creek and Victor was from June 16 to 19, and that Brother Tomlin and wife were in charge of the work at Cripple Creek while Miss Leak was in charge at Victor. In those days Cripple Creek, Victor and Bull’s Hill were the gold fields of Colorado. Brother and Sister Tomlin and Miss Leak were at that time working under Mrs. Kent White with her headquarters on Champa street in the city of Denver.
Brother Tomlin writes, “You were a great blessing to me and my wife and the blessing remains with me until today. At this writing and for the past four years I have been with the Church of the Nazarene.” He writes me this note from Haxton, Colorado, where he is pastor of the church. May the Lord bless Brother and Sister Tomlin.
When we left Cripple Creek we stopped again for a day or two in Colorado Springs and it was arranged for me to preach in one of the Baptist churches. There I met the Rev. I. G. Martin for the first time, and for all of these years we have been the warmest of friends. While we preached in the First Baptist church he and Brother William Lee had called Rev. L. Milton Williams to hold a big meeting in Colorado Springs and there we heard Brother Williams for the first time. This was in June, 1902. Since then the Lord has allowed me to fight many battles with these two warriors. Martin and Williams have been great soldiers and have fought the devil from ocean to ocean and from the Lakes to the Gulf.
From Colorado Springs we ran over to Denver and held a meeting for Mrs. Alma White. Had nearly two weeks in Denver. This brought us down to the middle of July. At that time Miss Emma Baller had arranged a campmeeting at Kensington, Kansas, and had called Brother Huff and me to be the preachers, so we went from Denver to Kensington. We had a good meeting and went from Kensington to our home in Peniel, Texas. This brought us to the first of August, 1902.
After a few days’ rest we went to a big campmeeting at Marthasville, Louisiana. At that time I was almost killed by the mosquitoes and had a congestive chill and I suspect I would have died if it had not been for the prayers of Brother Huff and Sister William Matthews from Peniel, Texas. One got on each side of the bed and prayed me back to life. Then we went back to Arkansas and held a campmeeting in Beebe.
We went back to my Peniel home and Sister Robinson, Brother Huff and I left Peniel, Texas, the last of September, making our way East to join Dr. Fowler in the city of Boston on the third day of November, to make a coast-to-coast campaign. We stopped and preached in Evansville, Indiana. From there to Tipton, Indiana, and preached for the dear old boys in their annual conference of the Holiness Christian Church. Had a glorious time with these boys. We went from there to Indianapolis and had a great meeting in the holiness tabernacle with Dr. Bye, Brother Fergerson, Andy Dolbow and precious old Father Haney. At this writing Father Haney and Ed Fergerson both have gone to live with Jesus. Our meeting was a wonderful revival.
Leaving Indianapolis we stopped a few days in East Liverpool, Ohio, and stayed a few days with Brother Huff’s brother, Elmer, who a few years ago went up to live with Jesus. Our next stop was in the First Methodist church in Washington, Pennsylvania. God gave us a great revival in that church. They had a fine pastor. He and his good wife and two sisters were gloriously sanctified in the meeting and more than fifty members of his church. We stopped two days in Washington, D. C., sight-seeing in the city. We stopped a couple of days in New York City to behold the wonders, and on Friday morning, November 3, 1902, we pulled into Boston. The convention opened that night at the Bromfield Street church. Here we had a great convention. It was simply marvelous what God did. In this convention Dr. E. F. Walker was with us for three or four great services. The music was in charge of J. M. and M. J. Harris, at that time the greatest gospel singers in the United States.
At the close of the Boston convention as we had more work than we had time to give, we divided the party, Dr. Fowler and his wife, Dr. E. F. Walker and J. M. and M. J. Harris going to Providence, R. I., for a great convention and Dr. Fowler sent Will Huff, my wife and me to Haverhill, Mass., to hold a convention in the holiness church of which the Rev. Isaac Hanson was pastor. We ran there over ten days and this was very great convention. I was there one night last October and met people who were sanctified in the convention of November, 1902.
At the close of the Haverhill convention our little party boarded the train and were headed for Jamaica, Long Island, down in New York state. When we reached Providence, R. I., Brother and Sister Fowler, Dr. Walker and Brother and Sister Harris boarded the train.
We went to New York and transferred across to Jamaica. The convention was held there in a large Methodist church. Dr. Burns was the pastor. He was one of the finest Methodist preachers, the most loving, gentle, kind, sweet-spirited man that I think I had ever met up to that time. He wrote my wife and me after that several times a year until he went to heaven. Our convention there was a very great convention. There were many fine holiness preachers at that time known as the Association of Pentecostal Churches in New England. I remember Brother William Howard Hoople of Brooklyn, New York, was with us during this convention. He was one of the great men that later on brought the Association of Pentecostal Churches into the Church of the Nazarene. Brother Hoople was one of the leaders of that great movement; in fact, he was the founder of the Pentecostal Church.
From Jamaica we made our way to Reading, Pennsylvania. Here God gave us a great convention. From Reading, Pennsylvania, we made a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. There I visited for the first time God’s Bible School. Our convention in the city was owned of the Lord. At the close of this convention Brother Fowler went to Chicago for a few days of business just before the holidays, and sent Brother Huff and wife and me to Troy, Ohio, to a holiness convention that was held by Brother and Sister Warner. At the close of our convention we joined our party in Cleveland, Ohio, and had one of the greatest meetings I had ever seen up to that time, with Brother and Sister Malone in the Friends Bible College on Cedar avenue.
Our trip from Boston to Los Angeles took over six months’ travel and in the Friends Bible School we received the largest offering on this entire trip. There was one little wad of bills rolled up and tied hard in a little knot. When they were straightened out and counted there was more than three hundred dollars in that little bundle. No finer people ever lived than Brother and Sister Malone, but bless her memory, she has gone to glory.
Our next convention was in Chicago. This was a very remarkable convention. People came by the multiplied hundreds, the altars were lined day and night. Our next stop was in the St. James church in the city of Denver. Our good Brother Allen, who has long since gone to heaven, was pastor there. From Denver we went to Colorado Springs. Our convention was owned of the Lord. When we closed in the Springs, we came back to Denver and spent the night and left Denver on the first day of March, 1903, headed for California. That trip was one never to be forgotten. I remember that Brother S. B. Rhodes and wife and some from Colorado Springs went with us to Denver and we almost filled up one Pullman car from Denver to Sacramento. We had in our party Dr. C. J. Fowler and wife, J. M. and M. J. Harris, Brother Jim Harris, the brother of John, Brother Will Huff, S. B. Rhodes and wife and son, Bud Robinson and Miss Sally. Our trains did not make as good time as they make now and we were several days coming from Denver to Sacramento.
Our convention there was held in Peniel Hall, which was run by Brother and Sister Ferguson in those days. It may be that some readers of this book remember Brother and Sister Ferguson had a string of missions from Southern California to Alaska and other parts of the world. There are still at this writing a few of these missions in operation. From Sacramento we ran to San Francisco. We were there over two Sundays and had a very great convention. I will never forget one afternoon that Dr. Fowler was preaching a fine-looking woman, handsomely gowned, well loaded with jewelry, sat on the front seat, just as drunk as she could be. While he was preaching she would look up and say, “The Lord pity the poor old devil.” It was so embarrassing to Dr. Fowler that he could scarcely preach. After a while she went to sleep and fell off of the bench and that was too much for the dear old doctor. I got up and said, “Doctor, sit down and let me have this service.” The great, good man turned around and said, “Brother Bud, you can have it.” If ever the Lord helped me to preach and shout He did that afternoon. We knelt all around the drunk woman and God saved her.
While we were in Sacramento and San Francisco Rev. C. E. Cornell from Cleveland, Ohio, one of our greatest and best evangelists in those days, had come to Los Angeles to hold a meeting for Dr. P. F. Bresee, the founder and organizer of the first Church of the Nazarene in the United States; or, as far as we know, in the world. We closed our convention in San Francisco the second of April and on that day in Los Angeles the great Nazarene church on the corner of Sixth and Wall streets had just been completed. That noble band of Nazarenes marched from the old tabernacle on Los Angeles street to their great church home on the corner of Sixth and Wall. In one offering they laid on the table that day more than ten thousand dollars in cash.
We left Frisco on Monday after the first Sunday in April and landed in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Here we were met at the depot by Dr. Bresee and Brother Cornell and a great band of the Nazarenes. Our great convention opened on Tuesday night. But here is one point I must not forget: A year before Rev. C. W. Ruth, of Indianapolis, had come out to Los Angeles as Dr. Bresee’s assistant and stayed until after Christmas, 1903. We met him in Denver in the St. James Methodist church and that was the first time I had ever met Brother Ruth. He preached for us one afternoon and brought us a great message from the third chapter of Matthew, on John and Jesus as the two baptizers water representing the new birth and the Holy Ghost and fire representing sanctification. By the time we came out and held the conventions in Sacramento and Frisco, Brother Ruth had come from the East and joined with us in the great convention at Los Angeles. It was in this meeting in the First church where I met for the first time Rev. Joseph Jemerson, a great Irishman, born across the mighty deep. I believe he was one of the greatest orators at that time on the American continent. I will never forget some of the prayers that man prayed. I have known him to pray until men and women would rise up on their knees in the congregation and look at him.
Our convention was one that I will never forget. On Sunday morning, Rev. J. P. Coleman, who had united with the Church of the Nazarene from another denomination, stood on the great platform and read one of the Psalms. It was the most beautiful I had ever heard. How wonderfully God does things. At this writing as my home is in beautiful Pasadena, after twenty-three years of wandering up and down the land, behold Brother Coleman and I live just one block apart and he visits my home almost every day. At the close of our great revival in the Nazarene church I had a few services in the Peniel Hall in Los Angeles for Sister Ferguson. Then my wife and I went out to East Los Angeles and held a meeting in a little Southern Methodist church for a young Brother Fisher, a fine young man. At that time Brother and Sister J. M. and M. J. Harris and Will Huff and Jim Harris all took off a month for rest and went to Catalina island. Our trip over there was very interesting. I had never seen people seasick before. Among others who went over was Brother C. W. Ruth. He got so sick that he lay down on the boat and when asked what he wanted, he said he wanted his mother. I remember Will H. Huff became almost as limber as a rag and about as pale as a corpse, dark green circles came around his eyes and he got down on the floor and called for a bucket. But it was a wonderful day.
While our good friends were resting on the island my wife and I made our way back to Colorado Springs. There we rested up for a month with the exception that I preached every Sunday morning and night for Brother Will Lee in the People’s Mission. We roomed in their home. When we left California we had written to my wife’s niece, Miss Maggie Price, who lived with us and kept house for us in Peniel, Texas, and took care of our girls, little Sally and Ruby girl, while we traveled. We sent for them and they joined us in Colorado Springs. We had a full month together. We went out almost every day to see the great springs and mountains and canyons. We visited the Garden of the Gods and Williams canyon and South Cheyenne canyon and North Cheyenne canyon and the beautiful Manitou Springs, the Seven Falls; also we took our girls to Helen Hunt Jackson’s grave. This lady was a very great novelist and wrote her novels up above these great falls. When she died she requested to be buried up there. Our stay in the home of Brother and Sister Lee is one that will linger for many years. Our precious Brother Lee has been translated since then. We stayed with him over the last Sunday of May and ran down to the city of Denver and had a three days’ convention for the National Holiness Association. From there we went to the National Holiness Campmeeting at Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Fowler was in charge of this great camp and Brother Huff and J. M. and M. J. Harris joined us at Des Moines. There we had a great campmeeting. I remember a great man that came from Missouri, J. M. O’Brien, and he brought with him a number of young preachers on purpose to get them sanctified. One young man I remember very distinctly was Rev. C. F. Wimberly. From that day to this Brother Wimberley has been one of the outstanding writers and second blessing holiness men of the South. He later on went to Louisville, Kentucky, and entered the office of the Pentecostal Herald and worked for Dr. Morrison for many years. At the close of this camp Dr. Fowler hired Rev. Will H. Huff and myself for the entire summer. We had meetings in such cities as East Liverpool and established the great campmeeting at Sebring, Ohio, which has become of national fame. We also preached in such camps as Findlay, Ohio, Portage and Hollow Rock. These camps are well known to the readers of the various holiness journals.
In finishing up our summer’s campaign, working through September and October we again went to Boston and joined Dr. Fowler and made another national coast-to-coast campaign. We made almost the same run as the year before. We were in Boston, Haverhill, Providence, Rhode Island; Jamaica, Long Island; Cleveland, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; and Denver, Colorado, in the St. James Methodist church with our beloved Brother Allen, that we referred to in our first campaign across the country. Brother Allen is now walking the golden streets of the New Jerusalem. He was one real walking saint.