Monday, January 22, 2007

The One Dollar Miracle

The following post is from the 1931 Theologue. It was an article written by Charles Baker entitled "What a Dollar Bill Did." I have added some images to enhanced the story of the one dollar that created PBTS. I am guessing that the dollar would have been given to John A. Davis in Late March or in April of 1900 as the first classes started in June of 1900. I am doing research trying to find when his Campaign would have been in Elmira during these months to pinpoint the exact day. Enjoy the article.

In the year of nineteen hundred there lived in Elmira a poor washer-woman who knew what it was to trust God for her daily sustenance and support, not only materially, but spiritually as well. She believed Philippians 4:19, and was trusting God to supply all her needs. Everything she possessed was on the altar of God, and she was depending upon Him for guidance to use all she had to tell of the love and compassion that she had found impersonated in the lowly Nazarene, Who, to her, was as real as any visible person.

L.A. Crossan (the wash woman)

One day she was given a dollar bill for which she thanked the Lord and promised to use it to His glory. In the brief history of this dollar bill and what it accomplished, we shall see an illustration of the truth, “Little is much if God is in it,” for truly God was in that gift from the beginning. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and his ways past finding out!” God has a plan for each and every one of our lives and He wants us to give ourselves over to Him that He may show what He can do. If we have unreservedly yielded our all, whether talents, money, or possessions; if we have consecrated our whole being to Him, intellect, emotions and will, He will make much out of what we have given Him, though it seems so little to us. It was so with this dollar bill. It was in the hands of a faithful steward who was waiting for the message from heaven in answer to her prayer that the Lord would present an opportunity to use it in His service.

An 1899 Silver Certificate (what I guess would have been given to her)

About this time the evangelist, John A. Davis, who later founded the Practical Bible Training School, while in a meeting in Hazelton, PA., had a vision in which the conception of the school came to him. He was wonderfully moved in which the message from God, which seemed to set forth the Lord’s plan for his life. But he was just “the Boy evangelist” and he could not understand how God could use him to establish a school. He prayed much about it but little did he know how the answer was to come. He was still undecided as to what to do, when he went for a campaign to Elmira, where lived this faithful servant of the Lord. During the campaign the answer to her petition had come, so one night after the service she handed him an envelope. Being busy shaking hands, Dr. Davis put it into his pocket without opening it. Thus he forgot it until along in the night when he remembered it and opened it. To his surprise out fell a dollar bill and a little note which read something like this, “I am a poor washer-woman but God has laid it on my heart to give you this dollar to help you carry out the plan He has revealed to you.” Gratefully Dr. Davis accepted the money, and realizing that God had thus set His seal upon his mission, he set out with great zeal and enthusiasm to accomplish the task of organizing a Bible School.
The first sessions of the school were help in rented rooms over a store in Lestershire, NY, now Johnson City, and continued during the season nineteen-hundred, from June to August, with Dr. Davis as instructor. In the summer of nineteen-hundred-one the school entered its own three-story building at 47 Harrison Street, made possible through the generosity of the citizens of Johnson City and many other friends.
For ten years the school grew rapidly and soon that location was no longer convenient. The Lord again intervened, and honoring the prayers of the president and faithful workers, He opened up new prospects. A notorious amusement park located on Riverside Drive which was offered for sale was providentially secured. Here a great reformation began. The various vices of Satan were put to rout and a place of vile repute was transformed into the most beautiful spot on the banks of the Susquehanna. Those who have spent a year or more at P.B.T.S. can testify to the wonderful devotional atmosphere of the school and the sincerity of the instructor. Not only has this place been reconstructed and remolded, thus benefiting the community, but it is the place where yearly the lives of approximately one hundred and fifty young men and women are being remolded and trained for the Master’s service.
This is what a dollar bill, having been dedicated to God, has done, and is still doing. Only eternity will disclose the recompense of a dollar given back to Him.

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