Many of the names mentioned in this article are familiar to an older generation. If younger believers were writing their own experiences, would your name be listed?
It has been a thrill to go over some of heaven’s touches in my life, occasioned by the following individuals, although many others have contributed to the person I am today. May these comments be a blessing to the reader.
My father: I saw him as a solid Christian, which impressed me that I personally needed a genuine experience of the New Birth, or I would never see heaven. Dad wasn’t perfect by any means, but I was proud of his stand. He loved honesty and couldn’t stand what he deemed to be hypocrisy or shadiness. After my mother tucked my brother and me in bed at night occasionally dad would come up and sit at the bottom of the bed and preach to us, and when leaving, be would say; “Boys, give your soul a chance.” Yes, dad left an indelible mark upon me. Thank God!
An elementary school teacher: When I was in third or fourth grade, I heard her voice coming out strong, clearly enunciating words. It made me want to speak distinctly like that. Of course, at that time I was not saved nor had any thought of a day coming when public speaking would become a major part of my life.
John Spreeman: This man was allowed of God to point me to the Savior May 18, 1930, in the Bracondale Gospel Hall, Toronto. I saw and heard him for the first time in my life. Being impressed by his unpretentious manner, I was disarmed, and I listened. He shot an arrow that settled in my mind that I must be saved that very night, if, indeed, there was salvation for me. When sitting with him after meeting reading John 5:24, and desperate for help, I asked him if he would mind reading that verse again. He did with a confidence which showed as he reread: “Verily, verily” commenting “truly, truly” and immediately I saw God’s gospel love for me was divinely “true,” and before the verse was finished I had passed from death unto life.
J.R. Littleproud (Founder of the Sunday School Teachers Manual): When in my late teens, I attended his Bible classes held during winter months in the Central Gospel Hall, Toronto. On one occasion he asked us to go home and write an article on the subject of “redemption.” I wrote on John 14:6 and handed in my paper next session, eagerly awaiting the verdict. He wrote in red ink atop my paper (graciously), “A good gospel subject, but does not answer at all to the subject of redemption.” The light went on. I learned we must recognize Scriptural terms and their intended meaning.
W.G.Smith: In the summer of 1938, bro. Henderson Moore (now with the Lord) and I went on vacation together We stopped in Detroit for a day or two, then headed south to the home of bro. Smith in Huntingdon, W. VA.. We were late arriving. He pinned a note on his front door: “The work of the Lord must go on.” He was in his tent preaching and came home later. Next day, he had us speak in his tent. Then he took sick, and we were left on our own. On a Saturday night (he didn’t stop for a breather on that night either), we came home, and he asked how the meeting went. We gave a pretty good report, especially of numbers. Next night was Sunday and we expected even more people, but there were fewer. When he asked about the meeting, I blurted out, “Oh, I think they are sick and tired of hearing us. There weren’t so many out.” I’ll never forget Mr Smith’s reply. “Ah, brother,” he said, “it’s a sin to be discouraged.” Through that remark, I perceived that he believed in speaking God’s Word, and leaving results to Him. It taught me a big and important lesson.
Although still not yet commended; I was with Mr. Smith under canvas a year later in Lincoln, Neb. We were going out to visit, and as I followed him through the house to the door, he dropped on his knees in the middle of the kitchen floor, and said, “Let’s pray.” There was no chair or table on which to rest our elbows or steady ourselves. What simple faith, and dependence on God!
Sam McEwen: He was preaching one night in the Bracondale Gospel Hail, Toronto in ministry; I do not remember his text, but I remember a remark he made that seemed to be right for me, which was during the time of my exercise about full time service. Concerning his own personal venture, Mr. McEwen said, “I went out to try it, and I’ve been trying it ever since.” Again, praise the Lord! We must not boast of some super extraordinary revelation or voice or vision, but simple faith, step by step, not boasting of tomorrow.
W.J. McClure: One night in my impressionable years, possibly 17 years old, I recall sitting under his ministry in a packed hall. His subject was “the Tabernacle.” He described God’s gathering center so clearly, and with such joy and warmth in his own soul, I could see the picture and ‘feel’ with joy one’s assembly position. This has never left me, and to this day, in my mind, I like to associate the picture with my conversion. Christ was in my view at conversion, and Christ is in my view today, always as the collective gathering center of His redeemed ones.
Albert Joyce: This man was an influence on me on more occasions than one. It was his patience with me as I pumped him with many questions. His answers made sense, so that I was content with them; and still go by them. One was about music in the assembly. He went along with me that in itself it may not be enough to break fellowship, “but” he added, “it’s a symptom.” Sure enough! Again, when discussing my future, I mentioned I was willing to continue in secular work, and serve the Lord in spare time if it was His will. His reply was: “It’s not workable to try two worlds.” I
was back at the great cross-roads of life. I must take the road of His service.