1934 Theologue: The Story of John A. Davis Part 4: "What Wonders God Hath Wrought"
I hope everyone has been learning something new about the life of the founder of Practical Bible Training School/Practical Bible College/Davis College. His life is a very interesting one as any life like that is consecrated to God. Here is part 4 of the 10 part series of the life of Dr. John Adelbert Davis.
“WHAT WONDERS GOD HATH WROUGHT”
Environment was not the chief cause of the joy that flooded the hearts of the faithful little band that forty ago met for worship in the old school house of
When the cool evenings caused too much discomfort at prayer-meetings, the small group sat around a stove with a cherry fire built by
The Boy Evangelist had the faculty of enlisting the interest and services of many railroad men. He frequently jumped on cabooses and engines, to become acquainted with the men. Many of them are now in glory through the personal work of this Boy Evangelist, who, in the great-acquainted talks showed them their need of a Saviour; and how to make this Saviour their Saviour. It became quite customary for those men to read their Bibles in their cabooses as the opportunity offered. The round house was a good place at the noon hour to go for a few minutes to chat, and there dispense lemonade and invite the trainmen to the tent evangelistic meetings. Men responded, too. It was true of
The young pastor made a practice of calling in the home with telling effect, such as: “Don’t fail to be at prayer-meeting tonight. A great time is expected! Come early and bring your family.” In another home: “How about it? Are you willing, Mr. Blank, to quote a chapter from the Bible next Sunday evening?” Again at some gathering: “Let’s have a real Thanksgiving sunrise prayer meeting. Everyone who can do so, please bring something, -- either groceries or baked goods for those less fortunate than we; then distribute them among the shut-ins and needy after the meeting.” Enthused with this plan, the merchants in town contributed flour, sugar, tea, coffee, butter, and other staples. At each place a song, a bit of Scripture and prayer added to the Thanksgiving spirit. One lady attending the next prayer-meeting at the church, said she came to see what sort of folks were doing such kind deeds. Later she and her husband joined the church. Their boys also came to Sunday School. Friends brought to the sunrise meeting, turkeys and chickens enough to supply each of the fourteen bushel baskets with one.
What thrilling and blessed sunrise meetings those were! The youngsters were also on hand to do their part. Isaiah 50:7 was a favorite verse of the pastor’s: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed.” He was first, last and always, a zealous personal worker, Bible teacher, Evangelist and pastor. Never was he made “ashamed” when his face was set like a flint, to follow the Lord’s leading. To illustrate: There was ample evidence of the need of a church ground for a foundation. At the same time of this excavating, men’s hearts were cleansed of rubbish for God’s service. They hauled stones and helped to lay them, doing anything and everything possible to erect this new structure. In the course of construction, also after completion, it was a common thing for two or more men to be found at the church praying. This was one of the happiest ways wherein God kept His word that He would not allow His followers to be “confounded.” Steady growth was another, for many were added to the church. A special prayer-meeting was held the night previous to the dedicatory services, December 3, 4, 1895, asking God to lead the people to pledge $4,000 on the church building fund the next day. He did, and $4,000 was pledged. What a dedication this was!
Christian activities were contagious in the community. Soon the Presbyterians built a fine brick church. The Methodists, too, built an attractive house of worship. Good fellowship prevailed. Evangelistic campaigns were wonderfully blessed by God, souls were born again. Great was the rejoicing when drunkards were saved, and saloons lost much patronage or were put entirely out of commission. The pastor, though young, glimpsed the sore tests that would come to such converts when they would draw their monthly pay, meet their old pals, be urged to drink and gamble away the support for their families, the church, and payments due on their debts. What was done to prevent their yielding to such temptations? PRAYER.
Evangelism was carried on in various ways.
The baby organ was an important factor, for it seemed to say:
“I’ll go where you want me to go dear Lord,
I’ll do what you want me to do.”
That meant going into various homes with groups of enthusiastic young people for praise and prayer services, Bible study, and personal work. Again the organ accompanied zealous young Christians to a school house or a distant church for religious meetings. In those days a Gospel wagon was kept busy to convey singers and speakers to distant localities for services. The choir was accustomed to meet for prayer and praise previous to each service and to invite those whom they wished to win for
How the parish and village was stirred one day as a young man ran his bicycle at top speed, that he might proclaim to his friends and neighbors the new of a new arrival in town, and at his home! A baby boy named Gordon C,
The Hallstead Fire Company invited similar companies from
The following quotation is from a booklet, entitled “History of the First Baptist Church of Hallstead, Pennsylvania.” “During
Coming up Part 5: “Do the Work of an Evangelist”