1. PATRICK HENRY
Before the United States won its independence, three ministers, in the state of Virginia, were put in the jail for preaching the gospel. In the court the accusation was read that they were accused of disturbing the peace because they preached the gospel of the Son of God. But God was to provide for them a protector; a famous lawyer from Virginia who knew that those Christians suffered wrongly because the state didn't permit the freedom of conscience and religious freedom. This lawyer, Patrick Henry, rode horseback and walked twenty-five miles in order to defend those persecuted Christians. He entered the court while the accusation was being read that they preached the gospel of the Son of God. He took the document, and waved it three times over his head and pronounced a speech that made the judge tremble. The judge, pale and trembling set the prisoners free. That speech for the cause of religious freedom was earth shaking, like the earthquake in the jail at Philippi: both had been sent by the providence and power of God.
Patrick Henry wrote in his will: "I have now disposed of all my property to my family; there is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they have that, and had not been given one shilling they would be rich; and if they have not this, and I had given them all this worlds riches, they would be poor."
2. GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
General Robert E. Lee was asked what he thought about an official in the Confederate Army that had made some unkind statements about him. The general said some kind words about his work. The person that asked the question was confused. "General, I suppose you don't know what he has been saying about you." "I know, replied the general, But you asked me my opinion of him, not his opinion about me."
3. ELIJAH KIMSEY
Elijah Kimsey was a great uncle of Dr. George W. Truett. Kimsey was a very effective mountain evangelist. At one time in Clay County, North Carolina; they were having a tent meeting. The meetings had been going on for about a week, and no one had been saved.
On a certain morning, Elijah Kimsey came before all the pastors and said, "I have prayed all night. God has laid it upon my heart to preach. I have come to you for the unusual purpose of requesting that I preach:" They knew him and believed in him; therefore, they said, "All right, we have four preaching hours. They are at 8:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. Which hour do you want?"
"The sooner the better for me." They gave him the 8:00 a.m. hour, and he began preaching. The power of God came on them.
Uncle Elijah, as he was known, was one moment in the pulpit preaching, the next moment walking in the aisles. At one moment he was speaking personally to an unsaved one. At the next moment, he was kneeling by the side of a friend. News of the service went out through the mountain coves and across the mountaintops. People came. They came in oxcarts, walking, riding - any way they could get there.
The services did not close for the 11:00 hour, nor for the 4:00 hour, nor for the 7:00 hour. It seemed that no one ever knew at what hour in the night the service did close. That day five-hundred men and women and young people gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some people say that service meant more to that section of the country than anything that had ever happened.
4. ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Kindness is one of the most powerful tools in the believer's kit of virtues. Without it, he cannot build Christian character.
Despite his busy schedule during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the wounded. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. "Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the compassionate President. "Please write a letter to my mother," Came the faint reply. Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth dictated: "My Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won't recover. Don't sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and father. Kiss Mary and John for me." The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this post- script: "Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln." Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness. "Are you really our President?" he asked. "Yes," was the quiet answer. "And now, is there anything else I can do?" The lad feebly replied, "Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end." The tall, gaunt man granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn.
5. MARTIN LUTHER
Martin Luther, born of humble parents in Eisleben, Germany, in 1483, was used of God to awaken many hearts on the Bible theme of justification by faith. Luther was reared a Catholic, and after extensive education he became a monk.
Someone said of him: "He was the most rigorous of monks, his monastic life became a prolonged soul agony which was not ended until he received his light on 'justification by faith.' He came to the knowledge through reading the book of Galatians where it says: "The just shall live by faith".
Martin Luther was born in 1483 in a little town in Germany. The house was at that time an inn. It was rather strange that this one was born in an inn and died in one. At the other end of the town is the house, where Luther died.
He had come to Eisleben on a mission of reconciliation, and his last days were spent in preaching the Gospel and bringing men and women to Christ.
On the night of February 18, 1546, Luther awoke in great pain. He sank into a stupor and was roused out of it only when a friend said to him, "Sir, do you stand firm by Christ and the doctrine you have preached?"
In a child's whisper, he answered, "Yes." Then the man who had stood his ground against great enemies in the preaching of salvation by grace closed his eyes and departed to be with Christ.
6. LEE ROBERSON
You have heard me give the story of my conversion so many times. A Sunday School teacher by the name of Mrs. Daisy Hawes was the first one to start me thinking. On the first Sunday morning when I sat in her Sunday School class she asked all of the young men, "How many of you are saved?" I laughed at her question. I ridiculed the word "saved." But as you recall, after the second Sunday morning I was brought under conviction by the Word of God and by the work of the Holy Spirit. I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I cannot forget my reaction toward that word "saved."
I recall at some three or four years after my conversion we were having a family reunion near English, Indiana. The place was not more than a mile from where I was born. It was in the home of an uncle. I was asked to sing at this meeting. But before I did so, I gave a brief testimony and mentioned my salvation. When I mentioned the word "saved", a number of young people laughed. They laughed just as I had laughed.
There was a day when a committee from this church interviewed Dr. John C. Cowell of Decatur, Alabama, with regard to coming as pastor. He turned down the offer of the committee and said, "I will give you the name of someone to consider." He gave my name to the committee.
I remember quite well the day the committee came to the First Baptist Church in Fairfield, Alabama, to talk with me. I preached that morning on "Hearing the Word."
They invited me to come to speak here. I accepted. On a cold October Sunday morning in 1942 I paid a visit to Highland Park. It was a gloomy day. I was a gloomy speaker. The prospect seemed gloomy.
This church called me as pastor. They notified me. I told them I would consider the call. To help consider the call, the church sent Dr. T. W. Callaway to Birmingham to spend a day with me. I met him at the train station, talked with him during the day. He never once tried to persuade me to come to Highland Park. He had too much sense for that. Around 5:30 I took him back to the train station. It was a very uneventful day.
But God did lead me to this pulpit. I began my ministry here November 18, 1942. We began on a prayer meeting night. God has been good to us. The work of this church is known around the world. I see write-ups on our church from time to time, and the expression is used, "The famous Highland Park Baptist Church." This is good, if God is glorified in it. Lee Roberson
7. CHARLES SPURGEON
He was saved in 1850. At age 19 he became pastor of the Parkstreet Baptist Church which later became known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Here he stayed until he went into the presence of his Saviour 38 years later. He never attended a formal school of higher learning or seminary and was never ordained by a church or denomination.
At the first service there were 80 people present in an auditorium that would hold 1,200 people. Soon the membership went from 40 to over a 100 and the auditorium was packed out. His first sermon as pastor was in April of 1854.
Soon there was need for a larger auditorium and from 1856 until 1859 they used Surrey Hall which held 10,000 seated and it was soon filled. The new auditorium was finished in 1859 and would seat 4,600 and had standing room for 400 more. During the next 31 years every seat was filled three times a week. Many times Spurgeon asked the members to stay home so visitors could come for a service. In 1881 the building needed to be refurbished and the church met in the Agriculture Hall which would hold 20,000. This too was filled to capacity for over nine months.
Rich and poor all came from all walks of life. Tickets were given out freely for every service they were always in demand. Many times Queen Victoria would come in common clothes to hear the great speaker.
During the first ten years 3,569 people were baptized and the church had a membership of 4,417 members in 1875. During his ministry over 14,700 people were added to the church. There were 10,800 by baptism, 2,933 by letter and 947 by profession.
He believed in open communion but not in open membership, a person had to profess salvation by faith to be a member. He never gave an invitation to come forward in the service but ask people to receive Christ where they were seated. He once said that he believed someone had been saved in every seat in the auditorium. He told any who were saved during the service to come to his office the next day for consul. There were no musical instruments but they did sing hymns and have specials.
He was zealous soul winner and on Saturdays he would make over 70 visits. On one occasion the church gave him a $32,780 gift and he gave it to start a home for old folks. Later he was given $22,000 and this too was given to the Lord's work. The church supported many missionaries gave thousands of dollars to print and distribute Gospel literature.
After suffering for several years with a sever gout in his knee joints he finally was confined to a wheel chair. A special ramp was constructed so he could get to the platform. He always stood holding on to the pulpit to preach even though he was in great pain. His last sermon was on June 7, 1891. They say that at his funeral over 60,000 people passed by his body. He was 58 years old when he was called home.
8. PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON
Just before President Wilson was nominated for the Presidency of the United States, while he was still Governor of New Jersey, he stood in a church pulpit one day and for one hour he unfolded his defense of the Bible, the noblest defense of the Bible I have ever heard from human lips. In that address, he told us that he had staked his all on Christ, for life and death, and for the great beyond forever, and that he would not give up his hope in Christ for the whole world. It was known that he was ostensibly a candidate for the highest office in the Nation, and yet he declared, humbly and most earnestly, that he would not give up his hope in Christ for the entire world.
9. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
When John Quincy Adams was a very old man he was met one day by a friend with the usual salutation. He replied, "Thank you, John Quincy Adams is very well himself, sir, but the house in which he lives is falling to pieces. Time and seasons have nearly destroyed it. The roof is well worn, the walls shattered. It trembles with every gale. I think John Quincy Adams will soon have to move out. But he himself is very well, sir."
10. PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON
Most grownups have tucked away in their memories some of the stories told of that great man we, call "the father of his country." But my favorite ones of George Washington are the two that follow. The first had a fearful fascination for me because I was seldom punctual, and it prodded my conscience so often that I never forgot it.
One morning, it is related, Washington's secretary came hurrying in to work a few minutes late. There sat the great man waiting. Much embarrassed, the secretary explained that his watch was slow. Washington made but one brief, forceful comment, "Either you must get a new watch, or I a new secretary." We may safely conjecture that the secretary, thus rebuked, turned up punctually on all occasions thereafter.
Washington realized that he, too, was "a man under authority"; indeed, he appears to have rarely forgotten it. He was mindful of that fact on the day he and a companion stopped at the house of a poor widow and asked for a meal. Plain fare she could give them, she said, but no other. Content with her answer, they entered. Later, as they sat at the table, one of the gentlemen, noting the wistful face of the widow's little boy, asked him what he wanted.. Now the child had long been wanting a Bible of his own, but in those days the Book of books cost much more than his poor mother could possibly pay. So in his simplicity the boy told the stranger that he wished very much to have a Bible. His mother, overhearing him, said hurriedly, "Never mind! I will take you to see General Washington next week." But the youngster only replied, "I'd rather have a Bible than go to see General Washington!"
This answer apparently pleased one of the strange gentlemen, for he remarked that he hoped the lad would always be as fond of the Bible. Presently they left, the poor widow knowing no more about her guests when they withdrew than she did when they entered, but the next day there came for her boy a beautiful Bible, on the flyleaf of which were written the words, "From George Washington."
So the widow's son, unknown to him had seen and talked with General Washington. They had not needed to go his way; he had come their way, and now they had besides for all the days ahead, George Washington's Guide, the Book of the living God, whom the general loved and honored above all others in serving his country- men.
11. EDWARD KINBALL
Mr. Edward Kimball was the Boston business man led D. L Moody, the young Boston shoe clerk to the Saviour. Where would all Mr. Moody's wonderful work for Christ have been if he himself had not been led to the Saviour by the faithful personal work of his Sunday school teacher?
12. A. B. McDonald
I once visited the tabernacle in Kansas City where Billy Sunday preached. I walked upon the grounds where the famous evangelist walked.
Thousands and thousands of people came to Jesus Christ through the ministry of Billy Sunday. A. B. McDonald was one of them. He was a feature writer for the Kansas City Star. In this capacity, he won a prize for being the most: effective feature writer in the newspaper world in the United States. When Billy Sunday conducted his campaign in Kansas City, A. B. McDonald was assigned by his paper to cover the revival.
At that time, Mr. McDonald felt himself an agnostic. Night after night he wrote the dramatic aspects of the Sunday campaign. He was enjoying a close-up of mass psychology, while he himself remained aloof from the revival currents.
He wrote of the crowds, the singing of the huge choir, the delegations from the large business firms, and the dramatic eloquence of Billy Sunday.
In the meantime, the reporter remained untouched by the fervor of the preacher. Then the Holy Spirit took hold of A. B. McDonald and would not let him go until he became a believer in Christ. He was brought under conviction for his sins and pointed to the Saviour through the preaching of Billy Sunday. From the night that Mr. McDonald was saved to the day that he died, he took advantage of every opportunity afforded him to testify to the mighty power of Christ the Saviour.
13. PETER CARTWRIGHT
The pioneer evangelist Peter Cartwright spent 70 years in the work of the lord and always preached the Word of God without fear or favor. One Sunday he was asked to speak at a Methodist church in the southern part of the United States. During a song before the message the local pastor whispered to him that the renowned Andrew Jackson had just entered the sanctuary. He cautioned Brother Cartwright to be very careful of what he said lest he offend their famous guest. The evangelist, however, knowing that "the fear of man bringeth a snare" Proverbs 29:25, was determined not to compromise the truth. He also knew that great leaders need the lord as much as anyone, so he boldly proclaimed the Gospel. In fact, half- way through .his sermon he said, "I understand that Andrew Jackson is among those present in the congregation today. If he does not repent of his sins and accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he will be just as lost as anyone else who has never asked God for His forgiveness." Instead of becoming angry, the illustrious visitor admired the preacher for his holy boldness. He listened with keen interest to the message and felt such deep conviction that after the service Cartwright was able to lead him to the Lord. From that moment on, the two became the best of friends.
Peter Cartwright was born in Arnher.st County, Virginia. His father was a colonial soldier in the War of Independence. Shortly after the war, the family moved to Kentucky. Peter Cartwright was reared in frontier surroundings, and like many of the young men in that primitive area, engaged in sinful practices. His mother, a devout Christian woman, opened their cabin home for preaching by the Methodist circuit preachers. As a young man of sixteen, Peter was convicted of his sins as a result of these meetings, and after several weeks of deep agony and contrition, he was "soundly converted" at an outdoor revival meeting. His new faith completely changed his life, and Cartwright immediately began to witness for Christ, One year later he was licensed as an "exhorter" and began riding a circuit of his own. His appointments were few and far between, and he preached wherever people would open their homes, because "meeting houses" were few. This was the beginning of his long career as a circuit-riding Methodist preacher. Cartwright was a "hell fire and brimstone" preacher after the style of Wesley, and his character and personality often matched his sermons. Often he personally thrashed the "rowdies" who disturbed his camp meetings, after which he saw many of them "get religion." His fearlessness is described in an incident which took place in Nashville. As he was preaching, General Andrew Jackson entered the service the local preacher whispered the news to Cartwright which prompted him to thunder, "And who is General Jackson? If General Jackson doesn't get his soul converted, God will damn him as quickly as anyone else, "Jackson smiled and later told Cartwright that he was a "man after my own heart." In over fifty years of traveling circuits in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Cartwright received ten thousand members into the Methodist Church, personally baptized twelve thousand people, and preached more than fifteen thousand sermons. He was strongly opposed to easy religion, education and culture in the ministry. His equipment consisted of a black broadcloth suit and a horse with saddlebags, while his library was composed of a Bible, a hymnbook, and a copy of Methodist Discipline. He was the epitomy of the Methodist circuit riders who firmly planted the "old time religion" in the frontier of the infant United States of America,
14. JENNY LIND
I have read the beautiful story of Jenny Lind many times. Jenny Lind was the world-renowned Swedish singer of the last century. She came to New York City to give concerts: In the course of these concerts, she paid a visit to a boat in the New York harbor. This boat was a chapel of a man named Pastor Olaf Hedstrom. It was in 1851 that Jenny Lind came to New York, arid at the height of her fame and influence in the musical world, she paid a visit to the ship and heard Pastor Hedstrom preach. At the conclusion of the service, she went into the pastor's study where the man of God talked to her faithfully about her need of salvation. Soon they were kneeling and Jenny Lind wept and called upon the name of the Lord and was gloriously saved. The pastor did not. mince words. He talked about heaven and hell. He talked about sin and judgment. He pointed her to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. After this occasion, Jenny Lind wrote the pastor many times and expressed her appreciation for the fact that he led her to the Lord. After a while she wrote him and said that she would never again appear in the theatre. "She decided to leave the operatic stage. Because of this many expressed strong words against her religion and against pastor Hedstrom, but she kept: her promise. She never again appeared in an opera. She only sang at concerts for some definite philanthropic purpose.
Some years after all of this happened, a visitor found Jenny Lind reading her Bible. The visitor said, "Why did you leave the stage?"
Looking toward a beautiful sunset the singer said simply, "Because it blinded my eyes so that," And then looking down at her Bible, she added, "And because each day my thoughts were distracted.
At the time of her conversion, Jenny Lind had said, "There is no peace in created things. They cannot give happiness, but only increase my anxiety. Many people have discovered that the only peace that means anything is the peace that comes from Jesus Christ the blessed Saviour. Some have not discovered this yet, but you can discover it right now. By repentance and faith, you can come to the Lord Jesus and have everlasting life. Christ is able to satisfy your heart and give you a peace and a joy unspeakable. Will you receive Him as your Saviour? Lee Roberson
More than 100 years ago the best known singer in the world was Jenny Lind, the Swedish soprano. Discovered to have a fabulous voice in 1829 at the age of nine, she was carefully trained in Sweden, France and Germany. From 1838 to 1849 she had a brilliant career in opera and on the concert stage. .
The famous American showman, P.T. Barnum, brought, "the Swedish nightingale" to the United States in 1850. She was guaranteed $1,000 per night for a tour of the country lasting 150 nights. Following this she made other highly successful tours and concert appearances. But in 1852, while still a young woman, she gave up opera and the stage.
Considering her voice a gift from God, she said, "I will sing for God." Thousands of dollars were given away by her for religious and charity work. She sang only religious songs for the salvation of lost souls and to bless the lives of those who heard her.
Once a friend found her sitting alone reading her Bible. The friend inquired why she had given up fame and fortune at the height of her career. Jenny Lind holding up her Bible replied, "When every day made me think nothing at all of this, what else could I do?"
15. J. PIERPONT MORGAN
The will of the famous financier J. Pierpont Morgan contained about 10,000 words and incorporated 37 different articles, all of which were necessary because a vast fortune had to be properly disbursed. What Morgan valued most, however, was indicated by the opening statement of that legal document. It read: "I commit my soul to the hands of my Savior, full of confidence that, having redeemed it and washed it with His most precious blood, He will present it faultless before the throne of my Heavenly Father. I entreat my children to defend, at all hazard the blessed doctrine of complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ once offered, and through that alone."
What a testimony! This wealthy man recognized that of everything he owned, his most valued "possession" was the priceless gift of salvation. How complete was the Gospel message he included in his statement: First, salvation is available through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who shed "His most precious blood" for us. Second, salvation is received by faith. Morgan said, "I commit my soul to the hands of my Savior." Third, salvation is all of grace, "through the blood of Jesus Christ once offered, and through that alone." Yes, the Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; ...not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2:8-9.
16. JOHN WANAMAKER
John Wanamaker, an outstanding merchant of the 19th century, began his career as an errand boy at $1.25 a week and later became one of America's 1eading businessmen. When asked what he considered to be the best investment he had ever made, he replied, "I have, of course, made large purchases of property in my lifetime, involving millions of dollars. But when I was only 11 years old, I made my biggest purchase of all. From my teacher in a little mission Sunday school, I bought a small, red- leather Bible. It cost me $2.75. I paid for it in small installments from my own money that I had earned."
The Bible was Wanamaker's greatest acquisition because its priceless truths brought spiritual vitality to his life and gave him strength of character. By reading and believing God's Word he not only established a solid foundation for his business, but he also was guided by Biblical principles in everything he did. Someone has said, "If you leave the Bible out of your life, you have lost a life that can be found nowhere else but in the Bible."
17. HENRY M. STANLEY
After finding David Livingstone in Central Africa, and spending four months with him there, Henry M. Stanley wrote: "I went to Africa as prejudiced as the biggest atheist in London. But there came a long time for reflection. I saw this solitary old man there and asked myself "How on earth does he stay here? What is it that inspires him?" Little by little my sympathy was aroused; seeing his piety, his gentleness, his zeal, his earnestness, and how he went about his business, I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it."
18. WILLIAM BOOTH
Two strangely connected events that occurred in 1865 impact American lives today. General William Booth founded the Salvation Army, and now legions of former drunks and ex-bums rise up to praise him. John Wilkes Booth, a distant cousin, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln that same year and became one of the most despised men in American history. One cousin blessed the nation, the other cursed it. The gospel made the difference.
19. HENRIETTA MEARS
Dr. Henrietta Mears, one of the greatest Christian women of our century, was used greatly by God. She had a profound impact on Bill Bright, for it was in her home that he came to Christ and launched the ministry of Campus Crusade. Billy Graham has testified that no woman outside of his mother has had a greater impact on his life. In addition, thousands of young people came to Christ and hundreds have gone into Christian service because of her ministry in their lives. Yet, when Dr. Mears came to the end of her life, someone asked her what she would do differently if she had life to live over again. Her response was quick and to the point, "I would simply believe God more!"
20. GEORGE WHITFIELD
One of the most influential preachers of all time, George White-field, the English evangelist, was born in Gloucester, England- He was the son of a saloon operator. His father died two years after George's birth, and his mother kept the tavern to support the seven small children. George was a real "scamp," owing to his environmental upbringing. However, he did develop a love for reading and acting plays that contributed to his later success as a great orator. He desired to attend Oxford and did so, working his way through by waiting on tables. Prior to his conversion Whitefield had several times expressed his desire to become a clergyman. He attempted to please God through his efforts, but would alternate between spells of "saint" and "sinner." He met the Wesleys, and they became close friends. Because this was previous to John's own conversion, what they had to offer was strict legalism. He would deny himself all physical comfort by fasting and refusing to do things he enjoyed. After one period of fasting, he physically collapsed, and it was during his recovery that the way of salvation became clear to him. He experienced what he characterized as "joy unspeakable and full of glory."
Whitefield was ordained a deacon in 1736 and began to preach in jails. Later he did missionary work in the colony of Georgia. He made seven trips to America, where he played an important role in the Great Awakening.
During the early stages of his ministry he was popular, hut after arriving back in Great Britain and preaching quite strongly against the drinking and frivolities of that day, he found it increasingly difficult to obtain a pulpit in the established church. This resulted in his turning to the "open-air" meetings which became his trademark. He preached wherever crowds gathered, even at dances and races. The people flocked to hear him. Although he condemned their practices, thousands were converted to Christ. Benjamin Franklin was puzzled over the fact that so many came when they were so plainly condemned for their wickedness.
Whitefield operated the first orphanage in the United States, Bethesda, in Georgia.
His speaking often had remarkable effects upon his audiences. On one occasion, referred to as the Cambuslang Revival, he preached at noon, again at six, and again at nine. At eleven there was a commotion. Conviction seized the sinners, some began weeping. Soon thousands wept, and at times their wails would drown the voice of the preacher. It is said that his voice could be heard for a mile without amplification.
David Hue, the great scientist and philosopher who was not particularly noted for "friendliness" toward evangelical preachers, declared that he would go twenty miles to hear Whitefield, He was indeed a "mighty voice" for thirty-four years of ministry, averaging ten sermons a week. His printed sermons produce some disappointment, being detached from the man. On a balcony not far from his deathbed, he preached his last message to more than two thousand people and died within an hour after extending the invitation to the lost to repent and receive Christ.
21. JOHN WESLEY
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, was born in 1703 at Epworth, England, where his father, the Reverend Samuel Wesley, was rector. John's mother, Susanna, was most influential in shaping the lives of her children. She gave each of the children one hour per week on a fixed day for religious conversation and prayer. John was so apt a learner that his father thought him fit for partaking of Communion at a very early age. This religious training accounts for much of his later work among children.
Wesley entered Oxford in 1720, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1727. At that time he was not yet converted to Christ, although he endeavored to lead a clean, moral life and pursue the subject of religion. Faith, during this period, seems to have meant little more than "right opinion."
Wesley was ordained a deacon in September 1725 and preached his first sermon at South Leigh, a small village near Witney. In March 1726, he was elected Fellow of Lincoln College. During this time he became a religious devotee and determined to give all his energy to the ministry.
Commenting on his preaching activity following his first four years at Oxford, Wesley says, From the year 1725 to 1729 I preached much, but saw no fruit of my labour. Indeed it could not be that I should; for I neither laid the foundation of repentance nor of preaching the Gospel, taking it for granted that all to whom I preached were believers, and that many of them needed no repentance. From the year 1729 to 1734, laying a deeper foundation of repentance, I saw a little fruit. But it was only a little — and no wonder: for I did not preach faith in the blood of the covenant.
During John's absence from college in 1727, his brother Charles (four years younger) had become serious in seeking God, along with a few undergraduates. The group came to be known as the Holy Club and later as the Methodists, because of their methodical habits. Upon John's return, he was made the head of this company. Their activities included visiting prisoners, instructing ignorant children, relieving the poor, fasting and holding Communion on a weekly schedule. Among the early members was George Whitefield, who later continued John's work in Georgia and was influential in the Great Awakening revival movement in America.
In 1735 John, along with his brother Charles, journeyed to the colony of Georgia as a missionary of the Propagation Society. Moravian missionaries in Georgia, with whom Wesley had contact aboard ship, were influential in his later conversion to Christ. lie had never appropriated Christ as his personal Saviour but had been a High Anglican churchman, rigidly adhering to ritual and law with a tingling mixture of mysticism. John Wesley left Georgia a failure in his ministry to the colonists and Indians.
On May 14, 1738, at a meeting of a religious society in Aldersgate Street, London, Wesley testified that, "I felt my heart strangely warmed. . . ." The following spring after hearing the account of Jonathan Edwards' success in New England and of George Whitefield's successes at outdoor preaching, Wesley obtained bis first significant results. The Methodist Revival was launched, and he remained at its head for more than fifty years. He spent the rest of his life preaching in the fields, the streets, and in the Methodist preaching chapels. He was up each morning before five o'clock for prayer and Bible study, and rode on horseback fifteen to twenty miles a day, preaching four or five times daily. During his lifetime Wesley traveled two hundred and fifty thousand miles preaching a total of forty-two thousand sermons. His activities and administrations are recorded in his Journal and letters. He died at the age of eighty-eight and preached up to the very month of his death.
22. CHARLES WESLEY
Charles Wesley ... was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, -- perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, [England] December 18, 1707.
In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepened, and he became one of the first band of "Oxford Methodists."
In 1735 he went with his brother John to Georgia. His stay in Georgia was very short; he returned to England in 1736, and in 1737 came under the influence of Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians. At Whitsunday, 1738, he "found rest to his soul". Henceforth his work was identified with that of his brother John, and he became an indefatigable itinerant and field preacher.
On April 8, 1749, he married Miss Sarah Gwynne. His marriage, unlike that of his brother John, was a most happy one; his wife was accustomed to accompany him on his evangelistic journeys, which were as frequent as ever until the year 1756, when he ceased to itinerate, and mainly devoted himself to the care of the churches in London and Bristol. Bristol was his headquarters until 1771, when he removed with his family to London, and, besides attending to the churches, devoted himself much, as he had done in his youth, to the spiritual care of prisoners in Newgate.
He died in London, March 29, 1788, and was buried in Marylebone churchyard. His brother John was deeply grieved because he would not consent to be interred in the burial ground of the City Road Chapel, where he had prepared a grave for himself, but Charles said, "I have lived, and I die, in the Communion of the Church of England, and I will be buried in the yard of my parish church." Eight clergymen of the Church of England bore his casket. He had a large family, four of whom survived him; three sons, who all became distinguished in the musical world, and one daughter, who inherited some of her father's poetical genius. The widow and orphans were treated with the greatest kindness and generosity by John Wesley.
As a hymn-writer Charles Wesley was unique. He is said to have written no less than 5,500 hymns, and though, of course, in so vast a number some are of unequal merit, it is perfectly marvelous how many there are which rise to the highest degree of excellence. His feelings on every occasion of importance, whether private or public, found their best expression in a hymn. Some of his beloved hymns are: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?, O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
23. CHRISTMAS EVANS
Christmas Evans was born near the village of Llandyssul, Cardiganshire, on Christmas Day, 1766. His father, a shoemaker, died soon after, and Christmas grew up as an illiterate farm laborer in the care of a godless, cruel uncle. At the age of seventeen, he became a servant to a Presbyterian minister in whose church he was converted during a revival meeting. He learned to read and write and then took such an interest in spiritual things that his former companions in sin beat him severely, putting out one of his eyes. The Baptists of Llandyssul influenced him greatly, and he joined the Baptist Church. The warm acceptance of Christian hospitality left a lifelong impact on this young lad.
In 1790 at the age of twenty-four, Evans was ordained and began to travel the entire country of Wales, preaching in churches, coal mines, and fields. The forgiveness of sin and grace of God were constant themes in his preaching. A remarkable manifestation of the Holy Spirit accompanied his ministry, and revival swept the country. Thousands were converted, and many thousands of Christians began to openly witness for Christ and sing hymns publicly as testimony of their salvation. Called the "Welch revival," the fame of the spiritual renewal spread around the world. A newspaper man reported that the grace of God visited men and women at various places in the country, usually without a human preacher, convicting of sin and moving people to seek repentance — a visitation from heaven. Those in the church attributed the revival to Evans — both his preaching and his praying. In spite of his early disadvantages and personal disfigurement, Christmas Evans was a remarkably powerful preacher. He united a nimble mind and an inquiring spirit with his supernatural calling from God- Evans' character was simple, his piety genuine, and his faith fervently evangelical. His chief characteristic was a vivid and affluent imagination, which under the control of the Holy Spirit, earned for him the name of "The Bunyan of Wales."
24. WILLIAM CAREY
William Carey, known as the "Father of Modern Missions," was born in Northamptonshire, England. Carey showed a great desire for learning early in life, but due to the poverty of the family, he had to work as a shoemaker's assistant. Carey did not mind the work, and to his joy he had the opportunity to learn several languages through acquiring books on the subjects and through private tutoring by friends. He mastered Dutch, French, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew before he was twenty years of age. Two years later he joined the Baptist Church and began preaching immediately, mostly on the theme of foreign missions. Carey desired to see his denomination engage in missionary activity.
Once at a ministerial meeting held at Northampton, he proposed mission work among the heathen. He was promptly told, "Sit down, young man, when God sees fit to convert the heathen, He will do so of His own accord."
Carey continued to cherish the dream of missions and wrote a treatise entitled, "An Inquiry on Missions." This was published and formed the basis for his great sermon on Christ's mission work, which he delivered on May 31, 1792, in Nottingham. This laid the foundation for Baptist mission work in India. Choosing Isaiah 54:2, 3 as his text for this occasion, Carey emphasized two lessons from it, that Christians expect great things of God and that they attempt great things for God.
He helped organize the English Baptist Missionary Society and was one of its first missionaries to India. In spite of several obstacles including scorn for being a cobbler, Carey made the voyage. His services were remarkable for their range and depth.
Carey translated the Bible into forty-four languages and dialects. In addition to soul-winning, Carey founded the Serampore College. He was also instrumental in developing grammars and dictionaries in Bengali, Sanskrit, and other native tongues.
25. ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE
Robert was eighteen when his brother David who was a devout Christian died peacefully. With eyes red rimmed and swollen from weeping, Robert sought comfort in his brother's Saviour. From the day of David's death, the first streaks of spiritual dawn showed in his heart. His poetry blossomed into hymns of faith. His brilliant mind centered upon the Scriptures. Less than a year after his brother's death, he found Christ as his Saviour and entered the Divinity College at Edinburgh.
The young brother moved on to become the most popular Presbyterian minister in Scotland and the British Isles. At twenty-three he became pastor of St. Peter's Church of Dundee, where his flock numbered over four thousand.
Robert's ministry lasted only seven years, from 1836 to 1843. During that time he was referred to as the holiest man in Scotland. Wave upon wave of spiritual power flowed from his sermons. Crowds came hours ahead of time to hear the Scriptures expounded by the silver-tongued youth. Revival fires sprang up wherever he preached. Even during the last months of his life when his chest was racked with a tearing consumptive cough, he delivered the message of Christ. Even in his delirium he talked about Christ.
He died when he was barely thirty. On the day of his funeral, business houses closed in respect. Torrents of tears poured from the eyes of weeping thousands who had been blessed by his ministry. Later when Robert McCheyne's memoirs were published, the Christian world learned that David's prayers and untimely death had brought Robert to Christ.
He was the youngest son of Adam McCheyne, and was born in Edinburgh, May 21, 1813. At the age of four he knew the characters of the Greek alphabet, and was able to sing and recite fluently. He entered the high school in his eighth year, and matriculated in November 1827 at Edinburgh University, where he showed very versatile powers, and distinguished himself especially in poetical exercises, being awarded a special prize by Professor Wilson for a poem on 'The Covenanters.' In the winter of 1831 he commenced his studies in the Divinity Hall, under Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Welsh; and he was licensed as a preacher by the Annan presbytery on July 1, 1835. In the following November he was appointed assistant to the Rev. John Bonar of Larbert and Dunipace, Stirlingshire. His health, which had never been robust, broke down under the strain of his new office; but his fame as a preacher spread through Scotland, and on November 24, 1836 he was ordained to the pastorate of St. Peter's Church where he served until his early death. The congregation numbered eleven hundred hearers, and McCheyne addressed himself to the work of the ministry with so much ardour that his health again gave way, and in December 1838 he was compelled to desist from all public duty. On Saturday March 25, 1843 he was seized with sudden illness, and died. He was buried beside St. Peter's Church, Dundee, where an imposing tombstone marks his grave.
McCheyne devoted all his energies to preaching; and although he was an accomplished Hebrew scholar, he left few permanent proofs of his erudition. He had refined musical taste, and was one of the first of the Scottish ministers to take an active part in the improvement of the congregational service of praise. Long after his death he was constantly referred to as 'the saintly McCheyne.'
26. T. T. MARTIN
T. T. Martin was born in Smith County, Mississippi, April 28, 1862. Following a childhood and youth amid the extreme poverty of the postwar South, he graduated from Mississippi College, where his father both preached and taught mathematics. While preparing a career of law, Martin felt a growing impression that he must preach. After a period of intense and prayerful self-examination, he gave up his legal ambitions and devoted himself to preparing for the ministry. He graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1891, While awaiting assignment for the foreign mission work, Martin was stricken with an almost fatal attack of food poisoning, and was advised by physicians that moving to Colorado was the only chance for recovery. From 1897 to 1900 Martin was pastor in Cripple Creek, preaching in nearby camps, often in the open air, Martin recovered his health and developed the unusual strength of voice that was to carry him through almost forty years of exceptionally strenuous preaching. Martin entered full-lime evangelistic work in 1900, and his ministry .soon became noted for its effectiveness in bringing conviction and conversion. In the early 1900's, he began to use large tents for his meetings because most of the churches could not accommodate the crowds. Soon invitations began to come from all sections of the country. In order to fill the many requests, he gathered around him a group of evangelists and musicians whose presentation of the way of salvation was clear and sound. He personally scheduled these men in organized teams throughout the country. Active until the last few months of his life, he died on May 23, 1939, and was buried at Gloster, Mississippi. On his gravestone are the dates of his birth and death and three Scripture texts which were the core of his ministry: John 3:18, Acts 16:31, and John 5:24.
27. ADONIRAM JUDSON
Adoniram Judson, the son of a Congregational minister, learned to *ead at the age of three and by his tenth year knew Latin and Greek. A serious student of theology, Judson entered Brown University at the age of sixteen and graduated three years later as the valedictorian of his class. At Andover Theological Seminary he could not get away from the words of a missionary appeal, "Go ye into all the world." This occurred after hearing a sermon entitled, "The Star in the East," which had as a text Matthew 2:2. The leading thought of the sermon was the evidence of the Divine power of the Christian religion in the East. In a letter written many years afterward, he says:
Though I do not now consider that sermon as peculiarly excellent, it produced a very powerful effect on my mind. For some days I was unable to attend to the studies of my class, and spent my time in wondering at my past stupidity, depicting the most romantic scenes in missionary life, and roving about the college rooms declaiming on the subject of missions. My views were very incorrect, and my feelings extravagant; but yet I have always felt thankful to God for bringing me into that state of excitement, which was perhaps necessary, in the first instance, to enable me to break the strong attachment I felt to home and country, and to endure the thought of abandoning all my wanted pursuits and animating prospects. That excitement soon passed away; but it left a strong desire to prosecute my inquiries and ascertain the path of duty. It was during a solitary walk in the woods behind the college, while meditating and praying on the subject, and feeling half inclined to give up, that the command of Christ, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,' was presented to my mind with such clearness and power, that I came to a full decision, and though great difficulties appeared in my way, resolved to obey the command at all events. In ISlO Judson helped form the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and two years later lie and his new wife, Ann, sailed for India. When they were refused entrance, they went to Burma, where (hey worked for six years before winning the first convert to Christ. During those years (hey were plagued with ill health, loneliness, and the death of their baby son. Judson was imprisoned for nearly two years, during which tirne Ann faithfully visited him, smuggling to him food, books, papers, and notes which he used in translating the Bible into the Burmese language. Soon after his release, Ann and their baby daughter, Maria, died of spotted fever. Judson withdrew into .seclusion into the interior of Burma where be completed the translation of the whole Bible into Biurmese. In 1845 lie returned to America, but the burning desire to win the Burmese people sent him back to the Orient, where he soon died. As a young man he had cried out, "I will not leave Burma until the cross is planted here forever." Thirty years after his death, Burma had sixty-three Christian churches, one hundred and sixty-three missionaries, and over seven thousand baptized converts.
Adoniram Judson Gordon was born in New Hampton, New Hampshire, on April 13, 1836. His parents were Christians. His youth was characterized by hard work in his father's woolen mill, long walks to school, and a devout church life. At about age fifteen Adoniram was converted to Christ. Soon after his conversion he was baptized and received into the church. A year later he felt the call of God to the ministry.
He attended nearby New London Academy and then Brown University. In 1860 he entered the Newton Theological Seminary. Upon graduation in 1863 he accepted the call to be a Baptist pastor at Jamaica Plain, near Boston. For six years he pastored this church while he grew in his spiritual experience. In 1869 he accepted the call to the Clarendon Street Baptist Church in Boston. He remained there for more than a quarter of a century.
In 1878 he began editing the Watchword, a monthly magazine, and in 1888 he became chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Baptist Missionary Union (since 1910, the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society). In 1889 he founded the Boston Missionary Training School (now Gordon College and Divinity School).
Gordon saw the Clarendon Street Baptist Church completely transformed into one of the most spiritual and aggressive churches in America. He was also one of the most prominent leaders and speakers in Dwight Moody's great Northfield Conventions, and one year Moody left the convention entirely in his charge. In his Ministry of the Spirit, which is perhaps his greatest work, Dr. Gordon presents the work of the Holy Spirit in a three-fold aspect — sealing, filling, and anointing. Among his better known hymns are: "My Jesus, I Love Thee" and "I Shall See the King in His Beauty." On the morning of February 2, 1895, Dr. Gordon, with Victory as the last clearly audible word on his lips, fell asleep in Jesus.
28. GEORGE MUELLER
George Muller was born and raised in Prussia, and lived in sin and crime even while studying for the ministry of the state church. He was converted at a prayer meeting in a private home, and from that time his life was changed. Muller moved to England and there sought acceptance by the London Missionary Society as a missionary to the Orient. After his rejection he began preaching and ministering wherever the door was opened. His preaching led him to Bristol, where in 1834 he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad. One year later he opened his first orphans' home for twenty-six girls, even though he had no financial assistance. By 1870 he had built five large orphans' homes and was feeding 2,100 orphans daily. He solicited no financial help and told only the Lord of the daily needs. Only born-again Christians were accepted for service in the institutions. Many children were won to Christ each year. The Scriptural Knowledge Institution also was instrumental in sending missionaries, Bibles, and Gospel literature around the world. The various schools operated by the institution matriculated over 121,000 students, with thousands of them receiving Christ while in the schools. The institution distributed almost three hundred thousand Bibles in different languages in addition to one and one-half million New Testaments. One hundred and sixty-three missionaries were sent out and/ or supported, and over 111 million tracts distributed. In all, in a period of sixty-three years God poured out in response to the faith and prayers of George Muller over seven and one-half million dollars for the spreading of the Gospel. Muller read the Bible through over two hundred times, half of that on his knees, where he claimed the promise, "Open wide thy mouth and I will fill it." Psalm 91:10. He spent his last seventeen years touring the world, telling of the blessing of a life of faith. Muller died at the age of ninety-three, leaving an estate valued at less than one thousand dollars. He had given back to the Institute almost one-half million dollars of personal gifts received during seventy years of ministry.
29. HUDSON TAYLOR
James Hudson Taylor was born on May 21, 1832, at Barnsley, England, the son of a Methodist minister. Through Christian training received from his parents, Taylor was endowed with strength of character, resoluteness, unshakeable faith in God, determination for duty, love, and consideration for others. Because he was a weak and frail boy, he received his early training from his parents. His father had desired to become a missionary to China and prayed that his son might go in his place. Even at the age of four, James was heard to say, "When I am a man I will be a missionary and go to China." He experienced conversion at the age of seventeen.
After studying medicine and theology, Taylor went to China in 1854 as a missionary under the auspices of the China Evangelization Society. In IS58 after working in a hospital for four years, he married the daughter of another missionary. He returned to England in 1860 and spent five years translating the New Testament into the Ningpo dialect. He was extremely able in sharing his vision of the missionary enterprise, and God used him to establish the China Inland Mission in 1866. This was strictly a faith mission and became the subsequent pattern for many of the faith missions of today. In 1870 his wife and two of their children died of cholera. He later remarried to Miss Faulding. The rest of his life was spent in recruiting missionaries around the world but particularly in England and North America. He was in and out of China on numerous occasions. Before his death he established 205 mission stations with 849 missionaries from England and 125,000 witnessing Chinese Christians. His ability to motivate people to give themselves and their possessions to the cause of Christ was significant- He died in Clumgsha, China, in 1905.
30. ROBERT MOFFAT
Robert Moffat was born in Ormiston, Scotland, of pious but poor parents. At a young age he became an apprentice to learn gardening. Upon the completion of this apprenticeship, he moved to England, where he was led to Christ through the efforts of the Wesleyan Methodists. Already having an intense desire to serve the Lord, Moffat attended a missionary conference held in Manchester, where he felt the divine call to carry the Gospel to the heathen. He was later accepted by the London Missionary Society, and at the age of twenty-one sailed for Cape Town, South Africa. The hardships and primitive conditions did not deter him as he pushed northward into the interior, where he led lo Christ the most dangerous outlaw chief in that region. Returning to Cape Town in 1819, he met his fiancé arriving from England, and they were married. Together they spent the next fifty-one years on the mission field experiencing many hardships and sorrows of that primitive area. Three of their children died in infancy and youth; however, five remained in Africa as missionaries. Mary, the oldest daughter, became the wife of David Livings tone. The work of Moffat was, as it were, the stepping stone which others used in spreading the Gospel throughout the dark continent. He opened many mission stations and served as a pioneer missionary in an area of hundreds of square miles. He translated the Bible into the language of the Rechwanas after reducing the language to written characters. In 1870 after fifty-four years in Africa, he and his wife returned to England, where she died one year later. Moffat continued to promote foreign missions the rest of his life. He raised funds for a seminary at the Kuruman Station, where native students were prepared for missionary work among their own people. At his death in 1883, the London newspapers said: "Perhaps no more genuine soul ever breathed ... he addressed the cultured audiences within the majestic halls of Westminster Abbey with the same simple manner in which he led the worship in the huts of the savages."
31. CHARLES FINNEY
The United States' "new measure" evangelist was born in Warren, Connecticut, and grew up in Oneida County, New York. He taught school for a few years and studied law privately. In 1818 he entered the law office of Benjamin Wright and Adams, New York.
While reading Black-stone's Commentaries on Law, he noted continuous reference to the Mosaic institutions. Blackstone repeatedly mentioned the Bible as the highest authority. Finney soon bought a Bible and was reading it more than law. The Word of God brought deep conviction to his soul, and on October 10, 1821, out in the woods, he was converted to Christ. With his conversion he became convinced that he had been given a "retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead His cause," so he dropped his law practice to become an evangelist, and within two years he was licensed by the Presbyterians.
Finney's methods involved using features of frontier revivals and addressing the people as he would a jury. These methods, after being carried into the larger cities, were labeled as "new measures." He received much opposition from the trained ministers from the New England schools. However, he managed to polish his methods somewhat and was exceedingly successful in the larger cities. The highlight of his evangelistic ministry was the "nine mighty years" of 1824-1832, during which he conducted powerful revival meetings all over the eastern cities of Gouvemeur, Rome, Utica, Auburn, Troy, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Boston and New York. During his meetings in Rochester, New York, it is reported, "the place was shaken to its foundations"; twelve hundred people united with the churches of Rochester Presbytery; all the leading lawyers, physicians, and businessmen were saved; forty of the converts entered the ministry; and the whole character of the town was changed. As a result of that meeting, revivals broke out in fifteen hundred other towns and villages.
In 1832 he began an almost continual revival in New York City as the pastor of the Second Free Presbyterian Church. He didn't completely agree with the Presbyterian polity, and his supporters built the Broadwav Tabernacle for him in 1834. Two years later he withdrew from the Presbytery, and the church became Congregational in polity. In 1835 he became professor of theology at Oberlin College, Ohio, dividing his time between the school and his New York Tabernacle. In 1837 he broke with the Broadway Tabernacle to become minister of the First Congregational Church in Oberlin. From 1851 to 1866 he also served as president of the college. He died August 16, 1875.
Over five hundred thousand people responded to his public invitations to receive Christ. Finney was personal, home-spun, dramatic, and forceful, and his revival lectures are still studied by Bible-believing preachers, teachers, and evangelists.
32. A. B. SIMPSON
The fourth of nine children, Albert Simpson was born December 15, 1844, at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada. His parents were Scottish. Concerning his early religious experience he says, "My first definite religious crisis came about fourteen years of age. Prior to this I had for a good while been planning to study for the ministry. There grew up in my young heart a great conflict about my future life; naturally I rebelled against the ministry because of the restraints which it would put upon many pleasures. One irresistible desire was to have a gun and to shoot and hunt; and I reasoned that if I were a minister, it would never do for me to indulge in such pastimes." The young Siinpson saved his money and purchased a shot gun and hid it from the family, sneaking off now and then to hunt. When discovered he says, "It was a day of judgment; and when that wicked weapon was brought from its hiding place, I stood crushed and confounded as I was sentenced to the deep humiliation of returning it to the man from whom I bought it, losing not only my gun but my money.
"That tragedy settled the question of the ministry. I soon decided to give up all side issues and prepare myself if I could only find a way to preach the Gospel." His father talked to his eldest son and Albert, telling them he only had enough money to send one through school to prepare for the ministry. It was the duty of Albert to stay home so his older brother could attend. Crushed, Albert agreed but asked if he could attend if he found his own means of support. He received his father's blessing.
Albert became quite ill, and during this trying period his conversion to Christ took place. In 1861 Simpson entered Knox College located on the campus of the University of Toronto. He managed to earn his way through college by teaching and preaching and also won several awards and scholarships in competition. He was ordained September 12, 1865, after successfully completing college, and accepted his first pastorate in Knox Church, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Simpson was married the following day.
Later Simpson accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. His work there prospered, and a tabernacle was erected for the purpose of evangelistic services which grew out of Sunday evening services held outside his own church. One incident reflects his pastoral work: Simpson felt compelled to visit a man late one evening during a storm, and the gentleman was so impressed with Simpson's concern that he was converted to Christ that night.
In 1881 Simpson founded an independent Gospel tabernacle in New York. There he published the Alliance Weekly and wrote seventy books on Christian living. A number of mission works were started by workers influenced by his ministry.
A major portion of Dr. Simpson's ministry involved conventions. They had the fervor of camp meetings, evangelistic campaigns, and missionary convocations. Out of these missionary societies, first the Evangelical Missionary Alliance, and eventually the Christian and Missionary Alliance came into being.
Dr. Simpson was a man of action, a leader, an author and editor, and a man of prayer. Regarding prayer he said, “An important help in the life of prayer is the habit of bringing everything to God, the moment as it comes to us in life”. Albert Benjamin Simpson died October 29, 1919.
33. LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Bible lecturer and theologian, was born on February 27, 1871, at Rock Creek, Ohio. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1892 and was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1900. Chafer launched into evangelism, demonstrating talent as a Gospel singer and preacher. He toured as a renowned Bible lecturer from 1914 until 1924. While conducting this active ministry, he became burdened for young men entering the ministry. He recognized the need for a preparation that emphasized expository preaching and teaching of the Bible. He contacted other noted Bible scholars and shared his concern with them. As a result of his vision, classes began at Dallas Theological Seminary in the fall of 1924, with Chafer as president. He remained in that office till his death. He wrote many books, including his monumental eight-volume Systematic Theology. His students remember best his deep reverence for the Word, and a daily, humble dependence on the Holy Spirit. Dr. Chafer died on August 22, 1952, but his work continues through his books and his students. Thousands of individuals gained new spiritual understanding and power from reading his books. Each book has become a standard work in its field.
34. R. A. TORREY
Torrey was an excellent educator and much of the credit for the success of Moody Bible Institute is attributed to his able leadership. He was a man of prayer and wrote a booklet entitled, How to Pray. A student once went to Dr. Torrey's office with a particular need, so they knelt in prayer. The student remarked later that Torrey had interceded vigorously and a pool of tears remained when Torrey arose.
Dr. Torrey was also an excellent Bible teacher. Dr. James M. Cray wrote: 'To the church at large Dr. Torrey was known as an evangelist, and with good reason; hut to some of us who were associated with him in the 80's and 90's he was always the Bible teacher. Few men were better equipped than he to expound the Holy Scriptures before a popular audience or in a classroom.
Torrey also served as dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (Biola) from 1912 to 1924, and he pastored The Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. He was author of more than forty books on salvation, soul-winning, and theology. He died on October 26, 1928, having left behind the fruit of thousands of souls, having written material to influence men for Christ, and having contributed to the furtherance of the Gospel through his leadership in Bible institutes.
35. C. T. STUDD
C. T. Studd was the son of a wealthy Englishman, Edward Studd. The young Studd became an excellent cricket player, and at the age of nineteen was captain of the team at Eton, He attended Cambridge University from 1880 to 1883 and was converted there to Christ through the preaching of D. L. Moody. Shortly afterwards young Studd and six other students dedicated their lives and wealth to the Lord Jesus Christ and offered themselves to Hudson Taylor for work in China. Once asked what mission board he was with, he told the inquirer that it was directed by three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They sailed to China in 1885. Studd continued to work for several years before ill health forced him and his wife to return to England, where they turned over their property to the China Inland Mission. Studd and his wife toured the world to raise funds for missions. While touring southern India he found a climate suitable for him and his wife. He served there six years, and afterward he returned to England to make plans to go to Africa. In December 1912, he left his family and went to Africa for two years in evangelistic work. He returned home for a short time and then went back to Africa for five more years. Mrs. Studd did not join him until 1928, one year before she died. Studd died in Malaga, Africa, in 1931.
36. JOHN VASSAR
He was born at Poughkeepsie, New York, and a cousin of Matthew Vassar, the founder of Vassar College. He worked in the Vassar brewery at Poughkeepsie, but after his conversion, he withdrew from the company and devoted his time and money to missionary work. He devoted himself to religious work in the South and was popularly known as "Uncle John" Vassar.
He was saved at the Lafayette Street Church in Poughkeepsie, New York in March of the year 1842. After the service as he walked home with some friends and began singing loudly everyone knew he had been genuinely converted. For the next 37 years “Uncle” John Vassar as he was best known, spoke up for Jesus, many times with such boldness that many thought he was crazy. When his wife and children all died of disease he entered whole heartily into the work the Lord had for him. He was never ordained and went from church to church giving his testimony and winning the lost to his Saviour. In 1850 the American Tract Society gave him a small salary for colporteur work. He was a man of prayer and turned many services into prayer meetings and many fell under conviction and turned to the Saviour. During the Civil War, he witnessed to the soldiers on the front line and one chaplain estimated that one tenth of the soldiers were converted. Once a student returning from school met him on the road and asked what his business was. “I’m looking for some lost sheep”, was his reply. When he arrived at home the youth told his parents about the strange man looking for sheep. “Why that’s Uncle John Vassar, the tract missionary”, his father responded. “He’s searching for people to win to Christ.”
Uncle John died in 1878 and was known as one of the most skillful personal soul-winners in America. No one will ever forget his prayers and prayer meetings where many gave their lives to Christ.
37. MEL TROTTER
Mel Trotter was born in Orangeville, Illinois, as the son of a godly mother and a drunken father. His mother tried to teach him to pray, but he followed the footsteps of his father and became a drunkard. He left home at the age of seventeen, but [he prayers of a faithful mother followed him constantly. After years of drink and sin, and on the verge of self-destruction, Mel ventured into the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago where he heard the Gospel. That night he responded to the invitation to receive Christ as his Saviour, and his life was transformed. Pacific Garden Mission was responsible for the social and spiritual salvation of a number of men on "skid row" and Trotter never forgot the impact the mission made on his life. Later he entered the ministry and was ordained a Presbyterian minister. After conducting some evangelistic meetings he was called to be superintendent of a rescue mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He preached with pathos in his voice and frequently gave his testimony of the deliverance that came only through the power of God. Those who knew Trotter testified that thousands of "drunks and winos" were dried out and given purpose and stability in life through the influence of Trotter. Still, thousands more, who never tasted drink nor were on "skid row," were reached for salvation through his preaching in churches and evangelistic crusades. His unusual burden for the spiritual needs of the "down and out" prompted him to establish sixty-seven rescue missions from Boston to San Francisco. America will long remember Mel Trotter as the "Bishop of the Bowery" and the preacher who never forgot the habit from which he was delivered. He was known as the man who "raved about Jesus,"
38. POLAND SOLOMON GINSBURG
He was born in Poland and was a Baptist missionary to Brazil for thirty-five years. With Erik Alfred Nelson, they founded the first Baptist church in the Amazon Valley.
Solomon Ginsburg was born near Suwalki, Poland, on August 6, 1867. His father was a Jewish rabbi. When he was six years old he was sent to live with his mother's people in Koenigsberg, because he could secure much better educational opportunities in Germany than in Poland. At his father's insistence he returned home at the age of fourteen to find practices and plans which were very distasteful. He revolted against the pharisaical strictness which decreed, for instance, that no match could be lighted on a Sabbath day and no handkerchief could be carried in one's pocket. Mr. Ginsburg wanted his son to follow in his steps and become a rabbi.
At fifteen years of age he left home and wandered through Poland and Germany for some time, then took passage at Hamburg on a sailing vessel carrying horses to London. There he secured employment as assistant bookkeeper in the large dry goods store of his uncle, a typical orthodox Jew.
One Saturday afternoon while passing along Whitechapel Street he was accosted by a converted Jew, who said: "I wish to invite you to go with me to a service at the Mildmay Mission. I am going to speak on the 53rd chapter of Isaiah." He attended the service and listened with fascinated interest as the speaker called attention to the wonders of the life of Jesus and showed how every prophecy was fulfilled in Him. He listened intently and did understand that Isaiah 53 was a divinely given picture of the coming Messiah and that its prophecies had their exact and revealing fulfillment in the drama that took place on Golgotha's brow. Ginsburg secured a copy of the New Testament and as he read it, he was soon convinced that Jesus Christ was the promised but rejected Messiah of Israel and had a glorious conversion. After telling his uncle about his conversion he was told to leave. When he returned to his uncle's house about midnight, he was greeted with a shower of curses, broom sticks and hot water, and was driven from home. "Although I had only a few shillings," he said, "in my heart I was happy for being permitted to suffer for my Saviour." The story of his conversion and persecutions spread widely and a crowd of over three thousand came to his baptism.
This indomitable convert to Christ soon felt the call to missions. He prepared for foreign work and when a favorable opening came, dedicated himself, to the evangelization of Brazil. For over thirty years he served the Lord with ceaseless devotion and wonderful success in that vast land. The converted Jew followed God's leading to Brazil -- to Brazil by way of Portugal, for he stayed some months in the mother-country for language study. He soon mastered Portuguese, and with Jewish intensity started then and there on mission work. Though but a month in the land he had composed a tract in Portuguese, "St. Peter was never a Pope", and began selling copies on trains and in the streets. When three thousand had been disposed of he wrote a second, "The Religion of Rags and Bones," with severe animadversions on relics and idolatries. After he had sold a few hundred of these, he was warned that he had better leave the land. The Jesuits were preparing to imprison him. So he embarked for Rio de Janeiro, reaching the Brazilian metropolis in June, 1890.
Backing him at this time was no society. He was a colporteur making the barest living by selling Bibles and religious books. One day he sold a hundred copies of the Gospel of John to persons coming out of the Catholic Church on Ouvidor Street. He was on hand in outlying towns on market days "putting my Jewish instinct for salesmanship" into action. At Cabo he sold out his stock on four successive Saturdays. On the fifth Saturday he noticed a crowd of rowdies making for him, clubs in hand, and led by the parish priest. He evaded them and took the train back to Pernambuco, selling Bibles all along the road and reaching home with satchel empty as usual. Today there is a splendidly organized Baptist church in Cabo.
Later we find Mr. Ginsburg evangelizing in Campos, laying the foundation for the Baptist Church there. At his death there were sixty organized self-supporting congregations with a membership of 8,000, together with 150 preaching places.
In 1891 when Solomon Ginsburg joined the Baptist mission in Bahia, there were two flourishing churches and a number of smaller churches and out-stations in the interior. By 1920 the number of churches had reached 820, with a total membership of 20,155. In this great advance the converted rabbi's son played an important part, so that some even single him out as the Apostle of Brazil.
39. DWIGHT L. MOODY
Undoubtedly one of the best-known and loved American evangelists, Dwight L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts, on February 5, 1837. His father died when Dwight was four. Dwight's formal education ended at age thirteen, and at seventeen he became a clerk in his uncle's shoe store in Boston. Edward Kimble, his Sunday school teacher, led Moody to Christ in the shoe store. Moody went to Chicago in 1856 and became a traveling salesman for a wholesale shoe firm. He did extensive Sunday school recruitment in his spare time and became affiliated with the YMCA in its early years in Chicago. He resigned from business in I860 to devote his full time to the work of Christ. He married Ernma Revell in 1862.
During the Civil War, Moody served with the United States Christian Commission, ministering to the troops on both sides, and often was found at the front of battle. Here the eternal value of individuals became clear to him and provided him with the impetus which later enabled him to preach to adults. Moody became the president of the YMCA of Chicago in 1866.
Moody organized and built an independent church in Chicago by popular demand of those he led to Christ. In 1873 he went to England with Ira D. Sankey and held a series of revival meetings which captured Britain. He left America virtually unknown in any national .sense and returned as a famed evangelist. Upon returning in August of 1875 he made his home at Northfield, Massachusetts, his beloved birthplace. During the next six years he conducted revivals all across the United States. In 1879 he established the Northfield Seminary for Young Women and in 1881 the Mount Hermon School for Young Men.
In 1879 he was invited to return to England to conduct a second series of meetings. In 1884 he returned to do evangelistic work in America and Canada. In 1889 he founded the Chicago Bible Institute (now Moody Bible Institute), which has been a fountainhead for Christian workers throughout the world.
Moody was effective because of his love for the souls of men and his personal concern for their physical welfare. His preaching was known for its use of anecdotes and stories. Though not an educated man, Moody was respected by the educated. It is claimed that over one million people were converted to Jesus Christ during his ministry. His work continues today through the Moody Memorial Church and the Moodv Bible Institute of Chicago.
40. RODNEY (GIPSY) SMITH
Rodney Smith was born in a gypsy tent near Leytonstone, England. He received no formal education. His mother died from smallpox when he was young, and she was buried by lantern-light. Her last words were, "I know God will take care of my children." His father accepted Christ and then led Rodney to Christ at age fifteen. He was a stern man who would walk a mile on Saturday night for a bucket of water, rather than travel on Sunday. Two years later the young gypsy joined General William Booth's mission and began preaching to crowds that numbered from one hundred to fifteen hundred. In 1878, two years after joining Booth, Smith married Anne Pennock.
Continuing his evangelistic work, he became known as "Gypsy." He was dismissed from the Salvation Army and made the first of some thirty trips to North America in 1886. He ministered to his own people via a Gypsy Gospel Wagon Mission begun in Edinburgh in 1892. He conducted evangelistic campaigns in the United States and Scotland for over seventy years. He twice traveled around the world as an evangelist. In the Paris Opera House, he had one hundred and fifty conversions from the "cream" of Parisian society. Rodney "Gypsy" Smith died August 4, 1947, en route to America. It is said that he never held a meeting without conversions.
41. WILLIAM ASHLEY (BILLY) SUNDAY
Billy Sunday was born at Ames, Iowa, as the son of a Civil War soldier, on November 19, l862. Because his father died when he was less than a year old, he was raised in an orphanage. His young days were hard, working in a hotel and later for Colonel John Scott. During high school young Sunday worked as a janitor. In 1883 he joined the "White Sox," becoming a professional baseball player. He was converted to Christ in 1886 through the street preaching of Harry Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago-Sunday gave up his baseball career in March, 1891, and became an assistant YMCA secretary. After three years of work at the YMCA and acting as assistant to the evangelist, Reverend Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, Sunday began preaching in his own services. He was ordained to the ministry in 1903 by the Presbytery of Chicago. Sunday preached in the army camps during World War I and later held city-wide meetings in the various cities across America. He refused to accept the invitations offered him to go abroad. In Philadelphia, over 2,300,000 people attended his crusade during a period of eight weeks. Sunday held campaigns for over twenty years and literally "burned out for Christ." At the close of each service throngs of people came forward and grasped Sunday's hand thus testifying to their eon-version. Such action was called "hitting the sawdust trail" because the tabernacle floors were covered with sawdust. Sunday was noted for acrobatic feats on the platform as he preached.
The worst ever said of him was that he occasionally let his humor run wild; the best ever said of him was that he reached a million lives for Christ — the drunken, the down- and -outer, the homeless, the common man. His blazing-fisted hare-handed evangelism lives in American history.
Sunday was probably a factor in preparing the country for the passage of the 18th Amendment, and a not uncritical observer concedes that "he greatly aided the cause of temperance." Sunday died in Chicago, November 6, 1935. Services were held in Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, with 4,400 present.
42. SAM POTTER JONES
Sam Jones was born at Oak Bowrey, Alabama, in 1847 and was reared at Cartersville, Georgia. He studied to be a lawyer, but drinking and gambling brought him to the brink of ruin. At his father's deathbed, he fell on his knees, repented of his sin, and trusted Christ as his personal Saviour. He preached his first sermon one week later and was licensed to preach in the Methodist church only three months after his conversion. He served several pastorates, but gained fame as a lecturer and evangelist, conducting campaigns in some of America's largest cities.
His success seems to have rested almost entirely on his mastery of audiences. He was considered as perhaps the foremost American public speaker of his generation. The secret of his mastery seems to have been in part his physical and moral courage and in part his understanding of the common man's dislike of sham and hypocrisy and delight in hearing them exposed and condemned in homely words and epigrammatic style.
A year before his death Sam Jones was called to the speaker's platform in Atlanta by President Theodore Roosevelt, who said to him, "Sam, you have been doing as a private citizen what I have tried to do as a public servant." The vast audience cheered. His funeral in Georgia in 1906 was an affair of state. Much of the wit of Will Rogers is traceable to Sam Jones. Well over five-hundred thousand people were converted to Christ as a result of his ministry.
43. GEORGE W. TRUITT
George W. Truett was born on May 6, 1367, at Hayesville, Clay County, North Carolina. He was converted to Christ at the age of nineteen and surrendered his will to God for service. In 1890 he was ordained into the Gospel ministry. In 1897 he graduated from Baylor University and in September of that year was called to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, remaining there for forty-seven years. Under his leadership the First Baptist Church grew into the largest church in the world at the time. Dr. Truett served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1927-1929 and as president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1934-1939. He was one of America's greatest preachers. He always preached for a decision. He authored many books and maintained correspondence to the unsaved two mornings each week-. Under his ministry there were 18,124 additions to the church; 5,337 baptisms; 4,000 in Sunday School. He went to be with the Lord on July 7, 1944, at Dallas, Texas.
44. HARRY A. IRONSIDE
At the age of twelve, H. A. Ironside heard Dwight L. Moody preach, and received Christ two years later. He described his conversion, "I rested on the Word of God and confessed Christ as my Saviour," From that moment the Word of God seemed to be like a burning fire in his bones, and he gave his first public testimony three nights later at a Salvation Army meeting. Shortly afterwards Ironside began preaching and became known as "the boy preacher of Los Angeles." Although he had little formal education, his tremendous mental capacity and photographic memory caused him to be called the "Archbishop of Fundamentalism," A prolific writer, he contributed regularly to various religious periodicals and journals in addition to publishing over eighty books and pamphlets. His writings included addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the prophetic books of the Old Testament, and a great many volumes on specific Bible themes and subjects. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, he was pastor of the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. He went to be with the Lord on January 16, 1951, while on a preaching tour in New Zealand,
45. JAMES A. GARFIELD
He was born near Orange, Ohio on a farm on November 19, 1831. His father died when he was three years old and left his mother to raise three older children which she did with the help of the Lord. She was a Godly woman and always prayed for God’s hand to be upon young Jim. When he was sixteen he left home and went to Cleveland to find a job. After working on a riverboat for a year he returned home. He contracted malaria and passed six months before recovering. He then attended Geauga Academy with hopes of becoming a teacher. He got a teaching position near his log home and was known for his regular church attendance. On March 4, 1850 he was he found Christ as his savior. A few months later the man who would one day become president wrote: “When I consider my history so far, I can see the providence of God in a striking manner.”
After his conversion, James A. Garfield moved ahead fast. He went to Williams College in Massachusetts and after graduating he was given a professor’s post at Hiram College and on the weekends served as a lay preacher in nearby churches. He was now 26 and a year later became president of the college.
At twenty-eight he became the youngest member of the Ohio Senate. Next came congress and in 1879 he was elected to the U. S. Senate. But before he could take his seat he was nominated to run for the highest office in the country. He defeated Winfield Hancock in a close election and took his oath of office. He continued to practice his Christian convictions and only gave jobs to those who he felt were qualified.
After only six months in office he was shot by a mentally deranged job seeker. His presidency was cut short when he was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881 while entering a railroad station in Washington D.C.. Garfield was the second United States President to be assassinated. Near death he told the doctor: “God’s will be done, doctor, I am ready to go if my time has come.” and on September 19th, 1881 he entered into the presence of his Lord.
46. RUSSEL HERMAN CONWELL
He was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as pastor of the Temple Baptist Church and the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for his inspirational lecture Acres of Diamonds. He was born in South Worthington, Massachusetts and was buried in the Founder's Garden at Temple University.
The son of Massachusetts farmers, Conwell left home to attend the Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy and later Yale University. In 1862, before graduating from Yale, he enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. From 1862-1864 Conwell served as a captain of a volunteer regiment.
After the Civil War, Conwell studied law at the Albany Law School. Over the next several years, he worked as an attorney, journalist, and lecturer first in Minneapolis and then in Boston. Additionally, during this period, he published about ten books.
Russell H. Conwell became pastor of the Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia on October 16, 1882. The church was finishing a new auditorium that would seat 700. The church grew greatly under the ministry of the new pastor and soon a large building was needed. The story of Hattie May Wiatt is one of importance to the Baptist Temple as it was now called. Her story describes the role of a child in encouraging the congregation to grow and build a new educational building. Hattie was found crying because there was not enough room in the Sunday School for her to attend. Conwell placed her on his shoulders and carried her through the waiting crowds into the church. She began saving her pennies to build a larger Sunday School. She had saved only fifty-seven cents when she contracted diphtheria and died. Her parents gave the money to Conwell with an explanation of her reason for saving the money. The 57 pennies were later used as the first down payment for the Broad and Berks building. Hattie May Wiatt's picture can still be found on the wall of the Children's Sunday School room. This story so touched Conwell that he repeated it many times. The Wiatt Mite Society was formed to carry on Hattie’s dream. The membership of the church continued to grow under the leadership of Conwell.
Seeing the need to train young people for missions and the ministry Temple University was founded. Seeing that many young people wanted to attend but didn’t have the resources Russel Conwell preached a sermon "Acres of Diamonds" over 6,000 times around the world and raised over five million dollars to help young people attend his school. Later two hospitals were started and many other schools were founded. Russell Conwell continued to serve as the pastor at the Baptist Temple for 43 years until his death at 82 in 1925.
While pasturing he also continued to lecture and write, authoring close to 40 books. Taking some time away from his duties at the church and the college each year, he traveled across the country to lecture at Chautauqua Assemblies and Redpath Lyceums. He donated the fees he received for such lectures to pay for Temple students who could not afford the tuition.
47. CHARLES E. FULLER
Charles E. Fuller was born April 25, 1887. After graduating magna cum laude from Pomona College, he married Grace Pay ton and ventured into the fruit packing business. Fuller was converted in 1917 when he went to the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles to hear Paul Rader preach. The next year die Fullers traveled as itinerant missionaries to the remote villages of the Western states. Fuller left the fruit packing business and entered the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. He became a renowned Bible teacher in his community and formed a church from a small Bible class which he served for ten years. From the sanctuary of Calvary Church of Placenlia, California, Fuller launched his radio ministry in 1925 over a single local radio station. He later became director of "The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour." The broadcast's joyful format gained immediate acceptance and enabled it to expand rapidly to other stations. During the 1940s Fuller also directed a large number of evangelists in many parts of North America through the Fuller Evangelistic Foundation. Meanwhile the Gospel Broadcasting Association continued to expand the Old Fashioned Revival Hour's coverage from North America to almost every spot on the globe. For fifteen years, beginning with World War II, the program was produced each Sunday afternoon from the Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California, where it drew huge audiences. At the time of Dr. Fuller's death in March 1968, the broadcast was heard on more than five hundred stations around the world,
48. BILLY GRAHAM
He grew up near Charlotte, North Carolina. When he was seventeen an evangelist came to Charlotte by the name of Mordecai Ham, but the city pastors thought him to be too much of a disturber because of his old-fashioned finger-pointing, hellfire preaching which made a frontal assault on sin.
But with the help of laymen the exboxer put up his tent just outside the city limits. The crowds came, some estimated them to be more than five thousand after the third week. Billy began attending the services and one night he felt the impact of the message and told his friend Grady, “Come on Grady” and the two made their way to the front.
Recalling his decision, Billy said, “It was like being outdoors on a dark day and having the sun burst through the cloud cover.” Everything looked different. I knew for the first time the joy of being born again.
Since that memorable night in 1936, Billy Graham has preached to millions and seen tens of thousands come to Christ.
49. JAMES WILSON
Today, few know the story of Captain James Wilson, but he was one of the great pioneer missionaries of his time, but instead of being the preacher, he delivered the preacher. Once converted, he became the go-to captain for the London Missionary Society on the S. S. Duff, taking missionaries to India, the Pacific Islands, and many other parts of the world. He was a man of great faith, patience and zeal for the Lord.
He was one of nineteen children and his father worked at the docks of England where he grew up among the worst of dissolute sailors. At nineteen he sailed on a ship and soon earned the respect of the captain. A few years later he was captain of a ship and sailed to many parts of the world. When he was thirty-four he had earned enough money to buy a beautiful estate near Hampshire, England thought to settle down to a life of ease, but one night a friend came to visit him with his pastor John Griffin. That night James Wilson gave his heart to the Lord. He soon had a hunger to do something for his Saviour and attended a three day meeting in 1795 when the London Missionary Society came into being. He volunteered himself to missionary service and with his extensive nautical experience was readily accepted. Many others volunteered also to go to the South Pacific as missionaries including Henry Knott.
He sold his mansion and gave thousands of pounds to the Missionary Society and seeing a need for transportation he bought the ship Duff for five thousand pounds on June 28, 1796. On September 24 the ship set forth carrying only missionary volunteers. After a trip of twenty-two thousand miles and nine months at sea the ship anchored near the island of Tahiti on March 5, 1797. The missionaries left the ship and began their work on the uncivilized and cannibalistic island. On July 11, 1798 the ship Duff returned to England after a voyage of nearly fifty thousand miles. A second voyage was attempted in 1799 but the French were at war with England and the ship was taken and the crew and passengers returned to England. In 1801 another ship, the Royal Admiral had been purchased by the missionary society and Captain Wilson answered the call to take it to Tahiti with eight new missionaries and much needed supplies for the missionaries he had left there four years earlier. After a voyage of nearly forty-five thousand miles the ship returned safely to England.
After his return to England he settled down with his wife and was ever a zealous supporter of missions. On August 12, 1814 at the age of fifty-four he took his final voyage on the Good Ship Grace to the port of his final destination.
50. MARY SLESSOR
Mary Slessor was a Scottish missionary who served the Lord Jesus Christ in Africa where she was commonly called "Ma" Slessor. She was born at Gilcomston, Aberdeen, Scotland, December 2, 1848. As a teenager, she began work in a factory to help support the family because her dad spent a large part of his earnings on "strong drink."
Mary was won to Christ at an early age by the influence of her Godly mother and was a faithful worker in her church. Early in 1874 when she heard of the death of David Livingston she was stirred for missionary work. After her call to missionary service she was appointed by the United Presbyterian Church to Calabar as a missionary teacher, and sailed on the steamer Ethiopia to Calabar on August 5, 1876. Here was the scene of the life-work of Mary Slessor. Calabar is in southeastern Nigeria which is located in Western Africa.
Her health was fragile but she never doubted her call to Africa. She made six trips back to her native land and was honored by her government but never doubted that her work was in Africa. On a visit to Okoyong; she received a Royal Medal for the work that she began at Odoro Ikpe. At this time she was working three stations (Use, Ikpe, and Odoro Ikpe and constantly going between them).
She suffered a broken leg and never fully recovered and finished her work on January 13, 1915 after 41 years of tireless work in Africa. A government boat was then sent to carry her body down the river to Duke Town where she was buried on a hillside by the mission station where she had first served.
51. SADHU SUNDAR SINGH
Sundar Singh was born into an important landowning Sikh family in Patiala State in northern India on September 3, 1889. The death of Sundar Singh's mother, when he was fourteen, plunged him into violence and despair. He took out his anger on the missionaries, persecuted Christian converts, and ridiculed their faith. Being in anguish of soul he decided to take his life or find peace for his troubled soul. Listen to what he wrote about his conversion to Christ.
“I arose at three o’clock in the morning, determined to find peace or to end my life by casting myself before the train that passed near our house at five o’clock. After a bath, I spent an hour and a half in prayer. I kept praying, ‘O God, if there be a God, reveal Thyself to me, show me the way of salvation and grant peace to my troubled soul’. I hoped to see Krishna or Buddha. Presently I saw a globe of light in the room and in the light there appeared, not the form I had hoped to see, but the Living Christ whom I abhorred. He showed me His hands in which the nail prints clearly showed and said, ‘Why do you persecute me? I am your Saviour. I died on the cross for you and for the whole world.’ My heart was immediately filled with joy and I was changed for all eternity.”
When he told his family of his decision to follow Christ he was expelled from his home. After eating his last meal he boarded a train but soon became very ill. He left the train at Rampour and sought the home of a Indian pastor. A doctor was called and gave the diagnosis that he had been poised and there was no hope. But the Lord had other plans for him and he recovered and was baptized at the age of sixteen on September 3, 1905.
After much prayer he solemnly dedicated his life to follow in the steps of his Saviour and live a humble life as did his Saviour. On October 6, 1905 after having given away all his earthly possessions he took a simple robe that showed he had chosen a simple religious life. With bare feet and no human promise of support, with his beloved New Testament in hand and his adorable Lord in his heart Sundar Singh set out on a campaign of preaching the message of the Gospel that lasted until earth’s sunset ushered into heaven’s sunrise.
Year after year he traveled without purse or script through the mountains of Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Nepal and Tibet preaching the glorious Gospel of his Saviour. Everywhere he was persecuted and many times beaten. After 13 years of travels he fame was growing and he was invited to address several conventions in India and Syria where thousands heard his message. In the spring of 1920 he boarded a ship bound for England and the United States where he ministered for over a year. He returned to India and two years later embarked on another trip to the west where he had an audience with the Queen of England. Thousands of people were saved and many accepted the challenge to follow in his steps and enter missionary service. He returned to India and in 1929 after twenty-four years of witnessing for his Saviour he left for Tibet and was never heard of again. It is almost certain that he died a martyrs death.
52. HENRY KNOTT
He was born in Broomsgrove, England in 1774 and was a bricklayer by profession. He grew up in a Christian home and at the age of twenty-three volunteered for missionary service and was among the first group of missionaries sent out by the newly organized London Missionary Society to the Islands of the South Pacific. He sailed on the first ship with only missionaries on September 12, 1796 and arrived near the island of Tahiti on March, 5, 1797.
After disembarking on the island the missionary group of twenty people held their first service on the Island on Sunday March 19, 1797. Several years before the arrival of the missionaries, two drunken sailors had made the island their home and had learned the language of the people and acted as translators for this service. Henry Knott had an aptitude for the language and soon mastered it and was able to minister to the natives in their own language.
The people of Tahiti were a destitute people who knew only barbarism, cannibalism and wallowing in sin. They were in a continual state of war and murder between the tribes on the island. The missionaries worked tirelessly with little to show for their efforts. In 1808 the natives destroyed the missionaries houses and stole most of what they had. Many of the missionaries fled the island and by the year 1810 Henry Knott and his wife were alone on the island. Their only child had been lost in the jungle or was taken captive by the natives, but in spite of all these obstacles they continued witnessing to the natives, with special attention to the leader of the Island, Pomair II. Finally in 1819 Pomair began attending services on a nearby island and with his help a chapel was built on Tathiti. In the first service 31 natives responded and in a couple months more than 800 had been saved and baptized. Finally on May 16, 1819 Pomair himself accepted message of salvation and was baptized. In this service over 5,000 were in attendance and soon the group grew to over 10,000 every Sunday.
For over 50 years Henry Knott labored on the Island of Tahiti and dozens of other smaller islands. He only returned to his homeland twice and on his last trip in 1836 he was able to have the whole Bible that he had translated into the native language printed. During this visit to England, Queen Victoria invited him for an interview and he gave her a copy of Tahitian Bible. He returned to the island and labored on until he heard the Master’s summons and went to his heavenly home on May 1, 1884.
53. GEORGE GRENFELL
Grenfell was born at Sancreed, St Buryan, near Penzance, Cornwall. In 1875 he went as a Baptist missionary to Cameroon, West Africa, with Alfred Saker (1814-80), and thereafter did some exceedingly important work in exploring little-known rivers of the Congo Basin. In 1877 he removed to Victoria and explored the Wouri River and in the following year he ascended Mongo ma Loba Mountain. In 1881, cooperating with the Rev. T. J. Comber and others, he established a chain of missions at Musuko, Vivi, Isangila, Manyanga, and other points, and in 1884, in a small steam vessel, he explored the Congo to the equator. He established headquarters at Arthington, near Leopoldville, in 1884, and launched on Stanley Pool a river steam vessel, the “Peace”, in which he explored the Kiva, the Kwango, and the Kasai rivers, discovered the Ruki, or Black River, and ascended the Mubangi for 200 miles (320 km) to Grenfell Falls, at lat. 4° 40' N. In 1885 he explored with Curt von François other tributaries of the Congo, notably the Busira, along which he found the dwarf tribes of the Batwa. In the following year he examined the Kasai, the Sankuru, and the Luebo and Lulua, and made careful records of the Bakuba and Bakete tribes. He was awarded the medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his map of the Congo Basin.
His last years were darkened by illness but the ever increasing harvest of souls stirred him to keep on laboring for his Saviour. In 1902 he wrote, “Our services are crowded as they have never been before. God’s Spirite is manifestly working.” Soon after opening up a new station at Yalemba, he had a fever and was very ill. His native boys who called him Tata (father) gently loaded him on the “Peace” and steamed downstream but he grew weaker and his soul departed on July 1, 1906. His last words were, “Jesus is mine”. He was buried in his beloved land at Bapoto, Africa.
54. DAVID LIVIGSTON
David Livingstone was born the son of deeply religious but humble parents, who lived near Glasgow, Scotland. He studied medicine and at the University of Glasgow. Livingstone tried to go to China as a missionary in 1838, but when the Opium War in China closed the doors, he went to South Africa. He had been challenged by Robert Moffat, a missionary to that country, who said, "On a clear morning the smoke of a thousand villages can be seen where the name of Christ bad never been heard, their sir is your field." He joined Moffat and later married his daughter. Livingstone pushed two hundred miles north of Moffat's assigned station and founded another mission station, Ma-hosta. Livingstone continued on the mission field and advanced fourteen hundred miles into the interior in spite of the hardships. His purpose was to open the door of Africa to the Gospel. He was attacked and maimed by a lion, his home was destroyed during the Boer War, his body was often racked by fever and dysentery, and his wife died on the field. One morning in May, 1873, a faithful native found Livingstone by his bed, kneeling and dead. The natives buried his heart in Africa as he had requested, but his body was returned to England and buried in Westminster Abbey.
Many felt no single African explorer had done so much for African geography as Livingstone during his thirty years' work. His travels covered one-third of the continent, from the Cape to near the Equator, and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Livingstone was no hurried traveler; he did his journeying leisurely, carefully observing and recording with the eye of a trained scientific observer. His example and his death acted like an inspiration, filling Africa with an army of explorers and missionaries, and raising in Europe so powerful a feeling against the slave- trade that through him slavery may be considered as having received its death blow.
Henry M. Stanley, a newspaper correspondent sent by The New York Herald, set out to find Livingstone after he had not been heard from for a long period of time. Stanley was so impressed with Livingstone that after his death he carried on mission work, leading the king of Buganda to Christ.
55. JAMES CHALMERS
James Chalmers was born in a small town called Ardrishaig, Argyleshire, Scotland, the only son of an Aberdonian stonemason. The family moved to Inverary when James was seven. There he went to the local school and before he was 20 decided to become a missionary. In 1861, he joined the Glasgow City Mission as an evangelist. Here he met the Samoan missionary, George Turner, who suggested he apply as a missionary candidate. On 17 October 1865 he was married to Jane Hercus and two days later was ordained to the Christian ministry. It had been decided that he should go to the South Pacific island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, although he had hoped to work in Africa.
On 4 January, 1866 Chalmers sailed on the missionary ship John Williams to Australia, where he arrived in May. After a stay of three months he arrived at Rarotonga on 20 May 1867.
Chalmers was initially disappointed to find the island partially Christianized, but soon found there was much work to be done. There was much work to be done in fighting drunkenness and in directing the natives' energies into wiser practices. He learned the language, did much teaching, and became personally popular. His Raratongan name was Tamate. Chalmers also produced a monthly newspaper. He gained much experience which was to be used in his later work, but he felt a strong urge to devote his life among those who had never heard the Gospel.
In 1877, Chalmers had his desire for pioneering work fulfilled and was sent to New Guinea, then an almost-unknown land. He and his wife arrived at Port Moresby on 22 October 1877. During the next nine years he explored much of southern New Guinea in dangerous conditions, and was everywhere the peacemaker.
After ten years Chalmers took a furlough and upon his return to New Guinea, he did a great deal of exploring and gained a detailed knowledge of much of the country and it’s inhabitants. When British New Guinea was made a colony in 1888, Chalmers and his fellow missionary, the Rev. William G. Lawes had established many mission stations. He took another furlough in 1894-5 and did much speaking in Great Britain. Chalmers was anxious to further explore the Fly River and established more mission stations there. His last station was Daru and in April 1900 he was joined by a young missionary, the Rev. Oliver F. Tomkins. A year later, he was on a vessel with Tomkins near Goaribari Island, and was visited by natives who appeared to be in a dangerous mood. Chalmers resolved to go ashore and Tomkins insisted on going with him. Both men were killed by the natives on April 8, 1901. There is a stained glass window to their memory in the college chapel at Vatorato.
Chalmers' first wife died on February 20, 1879. In 1888 he married Sarah Elizabeth Harrison, a widow who had been a childhood friend of his first wife. She died in 1900. There were no children by either marriage.
56. JONATHAN GOFORTH
He was the first Canadian Presbyterian missionary to China with the Canadian Presbyterian Mission. With his wife, Rosalind Goforth, Jonathan Goforth became the foremost missionary revivalist in early 20th century China and his evangelistic efforts were a major element in Protestant China missions.
Goforth grew up on an Oxford County, Ontario farm, the seventh of eleven children. As a young man he taught school in Thamesford, Ontario. Hearing fellow-Oxford County native George Leslie Mackay, Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan, speak, he claimed to sense a call from God to go to China. He attended University of Toronto, and Knox College, where he graduated in 1887, and was awarded the Doctor of Divinity in 1915. During his training, Goforth met Rosalind Bell-Smith at the Toronto Union Mission. She had been born in London, England, and had grown up in Montreal. They married in 1887, in his final year at Knox, and eventually had eleven children, six of whom survived childhood.
Goforth was greatly supported by his fellow classmates to become an overseas missionary. He had also read the book by Hudson Taylor: China's Spiritual Need and Claims, a book that he ordered many copies of and mailed them to many pastors that he knew to promote missionary work in China.
The Goforths were sent to pioneer the North Henan mission in 1888. Their work was difficult and they lost five of eleven children to sickness. In 1900, the Goforths had to flee for many miles across China during the Boxer Rebellion. Jonathan was attacked and injured with a sword, but they both survived and escaped to the safety of one of the "Treaty Ports".
The Goforths returned to Canada for a year. After their return to Henan in 1901, Jonathan Goforth felt increasingly restless and returned to China through Manchuria in early 1908. During this extended visit there he held many evangelistic campaigns and thousands were saved. These meetings transformed Goforth's life and ministry; from then on he was primarily an evangelist and revivalist, not a settled missionary. He also became one of the best known of all China missionaries, admired by many, but criticized by some for "emotionalism."
In 1925, despite their age and frailities, began work in Manchuria, where they remained until his eyesight failed in 1935. Goforth remained active into the 1930s, especially in Manchuria; in 1931 the Goforths coauthored "Miracle Lives of China". In ill health they returned to Toronto and Jonathan went to meet his Master in 1936. Rosalind, a capable writer wrote the popular "Goforth of China" in 1937, with many reprints, and her own autobiography, "Climbing: Memories of a Missionary's Wife" 1940.
Their final work in Canada was spent recounting their stories to many congregations. He died at his son's home in Wallaceburg, Ontario, after preaching the previous evening in nearby Wyoming, Ontario. The funeral service was held in Toronto's Knox Church, and he is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the same city.
One of his famous statements was: "I love those that thunder out the Word. The Christian world is in a dead sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can awake them out of it."
57. JOHN ELLIOT
The man to whom posterity has accorded the foremost place among our Indian missionaries by giving him the name of “Apostle to the Indians” was John Eliot, who spent nearly a half century of his life as a missionary among the Indians and gave them the Bible in their own language. It is the life of this man which we would sketch here briefly.
John Eliot was a Puritan. He was born at Nasing, Essex County, England, in November, 1604. He pays this tribute to his God-fearing parents, "My first years were seasoned with the fear of God, the Word, and prayer."
He was educated at the University of Cambridge and acquired a thorough knowledge of the original languages of Scripture. It seems that he had a natural aptitude for languages. This later stood him in good stead for his Work among the Indians.
On leaving the university he became a school-master in a private school conducted by Thomas Hooker. It was through his intercourse with this pious Puritan that Eliot afterwards decided to cast his lot with the persecuted non-conformists who were making settlements in Massachusetts.
A little later we find Eliot pastor of a Puritan congregation at Roxbury, not far from Boston. He served this congregation nearly sixty years and during this ministry also did his great work in behalf of the Indians.
Soon after settling in Roxbury Eliot became interested in the Indians. He began to study their language which was slow and tedious work. Finally in October, 1646, he conducted his first service and preached his first sermon in the camp of chief Waban. The service lasted three hours because the Indians had many questions about this new teaching. Gradually results became apparent, even though the medicine men opposed his missionary work.
Desiring to civilize as well as Christianize the Indians, Elliot asked the colonial authorities to set aside a parcel of ground for the establishment of a Christian Indian community. Seeing the success of this Christian village many other chiefs asked for John Elliot to help them also and it is estimated that about 3,600 were converted to Christ.
The outstanding part of Elliot’s work was the translating of the Bible into the language of the Indians and having it printed.
During all these years of missionary activity Eliot continued to pastor the church in Boston. When Eliot became too old to visit the Indians, he instructed the negro workers of some of his congregation and became the first to preach the Gospel to this group of people.
He died in 1690 at the age of eighty-five.
58. DAVID BRAINERD
David Brainerd was born on April 20, 1718, at Haddam, Connecticut. His father died when David was nine and his mother died five years later. Early in life, Brainerd felt the call to the ministry and looked forward almost impatiently to the day when he could preach the Gospel. His formal education consisted of three years at Yale, after which ill health forced him to return home. He was an excellent student. He completed his studies privately until he was licensed by the association of ministers in Fair fie Id County, Connecticut, to preach. He turned down the offers of two pastorates in order to preach the Gospel to the American Indians.
Brainerd did his greatest work by prayer. He was alone in the depths of the forests unable to speak the language of the Indians, but he spent whole days in prayer. Once he preached through a drunken interpreter, a man so intoxicated he could hardly stand, yet scores were converted through that sermon. Plagued by ill health and the hardships of the primitive conditions, lie died at the early age of twenty-nine at the home of Jonathan Edwards, to whose daughter he was engaged. After his death, William Carey read his diary and went to India; Robert McCheyne read it and went to the Jews; Henry Martyn read it and went to India. Though it was not written for publication, his diary influenced hundreds to yearn for the deeper life of prayer and communion with God, and also moved scores of men to dedicate themselves to missionary work.
59. JOHN WYCLIFFE
Wycliffe was a Saxon, born in Hipswell, England, From Oxford University he received the doctor of theology degree in 1372, After serving as envoy to France, representing England in a dispute with the Pope, he returned to England and wrote against the secular power of the Papacy, In spite of attempts by the Church to have Wycliffe arrested and assassinated, he continued to write and preach, lie maintained that no Pope or council was infallible, and that if their views contradicted the Bible, those views were wrong. He taught that the clergy should not rule as "princes of the church," hut should help the people and "lead them to Christ."
No preacher ever regarded the condition of the people more sincerely or set about to help them more persistently than did John Wycliffe. Mingling among the common people, he developed an understanding for the poor. In a day when monks and friars were neglecting the ministry to the poor, Wycliffe's attitude was one of a shepherd rather than a hireling. Like Jesus in Galilee, John Wyclilfe preached to the poor and lo.st (he favor of those in high places, lie opposed their blind worship of .something they did not understand while the priests made their understanding darker and their ignorance greater.
Wycliffe's purpose was to bring to the common people the truth that the way of salvation lay through an understanding of spiritual light. In his preaching, he sought to develop an understanding of the Bible and its message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Convincingly he confronted his listeners with the demands of the Christian life. John Wycliffc's message was one of hope and salvation in the midst of poverty, corruption, and misery.
In answer to the question, "How must the Word of Cod be preached?" Wycliffe once answered, "Appropriately, simply, directly, and from a devout, sincere heart."
Finally prohibited by the Bishop of London from preaching, Wycliffe confined himself to writing and translating the Bible from Latin to English. Thirty-one years after his death, the Church ordered all his hooks burned, his bones dug up and burned, and his ashes scattered on the Thames River.
60. WILLIAM TYNDALE
Bible translator and reformer, Tyndale was ordained as a priest in 1521, having studied Greek diligently at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Following his studies he joined Sir John Walsh's household, with duties not easy to define. Some accounts describe him as a tutor to Sir John's children; some make him chaplain to the household; while another suggests he acted as secretary to Sir John. One day Tyndale was engaged in a discussion with a learned man who told him it was better to be without God's law than that of the Pope. To this Tyndale retorted that he defied the Pope and all his laws, adding that if God were to spare his life, before many years passed he would cau.se a boy who drove the plough to know more of the Scriptures than this learned man. Tyndale had found his vocation — translation of the Bible into English.
Tyndale conferred with Luther in Germany and stayed on the continent translating the Bible from Greek into English. The printing of the translation was begun at Cologne in 1525, but was stopped by an injunction obtained by Johann Dobeneck, a vain and conceited man who hated the Reformation and opposed it in every possible way. Tyndale fled to Worms, where the book was printed. Copies were smuggled into England, where Archbishop Warham and Bishop Tonstall ordered them seized and burned.
Eventually Tyndale was betrayed by a friend and arrested in Brussels, Belgium. Despite the efforts of Thomas Cromwell and others to save him, he was tried for treason and heresy against the Church. He was condemned, degraded from holy orders, strangled, and his body burned. His last words were a prayer, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."
Tyndale's influence upon English literature was great, chiefly through the use made of his renderings in the King James Version of the Bible (1611), It is estimated that 60 percent of this translation is derived from that of Tyndale.
61. JOHN BUNYAN
John Bunyan, called the "Shakespeare among divines," was born in Elstow, England, near Bedford, where he spent most of his life. Although today he is regarded as a literary genius, he had little formal education. At the age of sixteen, this rough and profane young man enlisted in the army of Parliament and saw active duty during the English civil war. In 1647, at the age of nineteen, he married a young woman who persuaded him to attend church with her regularly. Here he heard the Gospel, and after a deep and prolonged soul struggle he made a complete surrender to Christ, after which he was baptized and joined the Baptist church of Bedford, Soon he began to preach in the church and in the surrounding villages. The people recognized in Bunyan the elements of leadership as well as an ability to expound the Scriptures, continuing in his trade as a tinker, he witnessed wherever he went. He spent his holidays and Sundays preaching in barns, shops, village greens, as well as in the. open air, where he attracted great crowds. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1660 for conducting a conducting a religious meeting without the permission of the state church. When offered his freedom if he would promise not to preach, he refused and was jailed. While imprisoned he studied, wrote, and supported his family by making and selling shoe laces. It was while a prisoner that he wrote his immortal Pilgrim's Progress. In 1672 he was released and immediately resumed his ministry. During the last sixteen years of his life he was active as pastor, writer, counselor, administrator, and pas tor-in-chief to a multitude of churches and young ministers. Bunyan was a champion for the cause of religious libertv and freedom of conscience in spiritual matters. One who knew him wrote: "The grace of God was magnified in him and by him and a rich anointing of the .spirit was upon him; and yet this great saint was always in his own eyes the chiefest of sinners and the poorest of saints." He died in 1688 after riding forty miles in a driving rain on horseback to London to preach. He was always a poor man, yet through his example, his ministry, and especially his pen, he left invaluable riches to posterity.
62. PAUL RADER
Paul Rader, American evangelist and pastor, was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of a Methodist minister. He was converted to Christ as a boy and became a soloist in his father's meetings. Rader was educated at the University of Denver, the University of Colorado, and did post-graduate study at Harvard University. During this time in college he drifted into liberalism and entered a business partnership, thinking little of Cod or of serving the Lord. While walking near Times Square in New York City, God spoke to him through an illuminated sign. Rader sought a place to pray amid the busy crowd of New York City, rented a room at a nearby hotel, and fell on his face before the Lord, dedicating his life to God. The incident transformed his life and he spoke of it many times in his future preaching. He left the business world and entered the ministry. His pastorates included a Congregational church in Boston; Christian and Missionary Alliance Tabernacle in Pittsburgh (1912-15); Moody Memorial Church in Chicago (1915-21); Chicago Gospel Tabernacle (1922-33); arid Gospel Temple in Fort Wayne, Indiana (1936-37).
Rader's ministry was not characterized by the conventional American pulpit. He built huge tabernacles and his dynamic preaching attracted the crowds. The best speakers of the day were invited to the tabernacles and large services were held on Sunday afternoons and evenings to attract those from other churches. Usually, no membership was involved and little church organization was promoted. Great preaching was the catalyst of Rader's ministry. In a day when the industrial cities of the North were attracting emigrants from Europe and the poor of the South, Ryder became a "minister to the rootless," and their search for meaning in life was ended in the dynamic preaching of Rader. Rader served as president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance from 1921-1923. His radio broadcasts were heard on various Chicago stations as well as the CBS Network. He was instrumental in sending scores of missionaries to countries all over the world in addition to influencing hundreds of young men to enter the ministry.
63. CYRUS SCOFIELD
Born in Lenawee County, Michigan, August 19, 1843, Cyrus Scofield became one of the foremost names among Bible students. His mother died at his birth, but before she died she prayed that this boy might become a minister. This was not told to Cyrus until after lie entered the ministry. His family moved to Tennessee, where he received his early education.
As a boy, Cyrus had a thirst for knowledge and was exceedingly thorough in his investigations. Whenever he came upon a person or event of which he knew little, he would pursue the subject until he became knowledgeable concerning it. This prepared him to become a competent scholar later in life. Although his parents were Christian and the Bible was read in the home, Cyrus didn't consider it a book for investigative study but one to enjoy merely for its stories. His religious experience prior to conversion was superficial.
The Civil War prevented him from entering the university and he never did receive a formal collegiate education. At seventeen he entered the Confederate Army, and because he was an excellent horseman he became an orderly. He frequently carried messages under gunfire. The Confederate Cross of Honor was awarded him for bravery at Antietam.
When the war was over, Scofield studied law in St. Louis, and afterward moved to Kansas, where lie was admitted to the bar in 1869. He served in the Kansas State Legislature and at the age of twenty-nine was appointed by President Grant as United States District Attorney for Kansas. Later he returned to St. Louis and re-entered law practice. During this time he began to drink heavily. However, this passion for drink was completely removed when he received Jesus Christ through the efforts of Thomas S. McPheeters, a YMCA worker.
Scofield immediately became active in Christian work. He was ordained in Dallas, Texas, October 1883, where he began his ministry as pastor of the First Congregational Church.
As a result of diligent and systematic study of the Scriptures during his years of ministry, he produced the Scofield Reference Bible and the Scofield Bible Correspondence Course.
Through the influence of private talks with Hudson Taylor of the China-Inland Mission and also a hook by a brilliant journalist-traveler, William Eleroy Curtis, Scofield fell God directing his attention toward the Central American region for missionary activity. The church at Dallas began giving more to missionary work than to the home work. They established the Central American Mission in 1890.
Concerning the Reference Bible, he asked himself this question: "What kind of reference Bible would have helped me most when I was first trying to learn something of the Word of God, hut ignorant of the very first principles of Bible study?" This was a tremendous undertaking and took a great deal of tedious work and genius. He and his wife made trips to England and the continent while completing the work. The Oxford libraries wero opened to him, and the Oxford University Press published it. It was completed in 1907 and presented to the public in January 1909.
In reflecting upon his own lifetime Scofield recalls the two great epochs of his life: "The first was when I ceased to take as final human teachings about the Bible and went to the Bible itself. The second was when I found Christ as the Victory and Achievement."
Scofield died on Sunday morning July 24, 1921, at Douglaston, Long Island, Hundreds of thousands now appreciate and use his famous Scofield Reference Bible.
64. J. WILBUR CHAPMAN
John Chapman was born in Indiana and educated at Oherlin College and Lane Seminary, He received the LLD degree from Heidelberg University. Chapman held pastorates in Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He conducted evangelistic campaigns in Canada, Hawaii, the Fiji Islands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Japan, Tasmania, and the Philippine Islands. Chapman became the director of the Winona Lake Bible Conference and helped establish conferences at Stony Brook, Long Island, and Montreat, North Carolina. He became executive secretary of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1903. He was responsible for winning thousands of souls to Jesus Christ and influenced hundreds of young men to enter the ministry. He was cultured, earnest, enthusiastic and consistent. In his preaching, Chapman was never coarse or thoughtless. His preaching was calm, but forceful, emotional, but not dramatic.
65. JOHN HYDE
John Hyde, better known as "Praying Hyde" was born in Carrollton, Illinois. His father was a Presbyterian minister who faithfully proclaimed the Gospel message and continually prayed to the Lord to thrust out laborers into the harvest. His father prayed this not only in the pulpit but also in the home at the family altar. An indelible impression was made on young John as he grew up in this atmosphere. John graduated from Carthage College with high honors and was immediately elected to a position on the faculty. However, he had a divine call to the regions beyond, so he resigned his faculty position and entered the Presbyterian .Seminary in Chicago. He graduated in the spring of 1892 and sailed for India the following October. His ministry of prayer in India during the nest twenty years was so well known that the natives referred to him as- "The man who never sleeps." Also, he was called the "Apostle of Prayer," but more familiarly he was known as "Praying Hyde." John Hyde was all these and more, for deep in India he sought the Lord, and the strength of meeting his Master face to face prepared him for missionary service. Often he spent thirty days and nights in prayer and many times was on his knees in deep intercession for thirty-six hours at a time, His work among the villages was so successful that for years he led four to ten people a day to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hyde was instrumental in establishing the annual Sialkot Conferences, from which thousands of missionaries and native workers returned to their stations with new power for the work of reaching India with (he Gospel. Hyde's life of sacrifice, humility, love for souls and deep spirituality, as well as his example in the ministry of intercession, inspired many to follow his example in their own lives and ministries. He died February .17, 1912. His last words were: "Shout the victory of Jesus Christ."
66. M. R. DEHAAN
M. R. De Haan was born in Zeeland, Michigan, the son of a cobbler who had emigrated from the Netherlands. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. On June 25, 1914, he married Priscilia Venhuizen and soon became a successful physician in Western Michigan. The teaching of his godly parents bore fruit during a period of illness, when he sensed the distinct call to preach the Gospel. He gave up his medical practice and completed training at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He pastored two churches in Grand Rapids which grew rapidly under his clear and forceful preaching. The Lord endowed him with the ability to make Bible truth simple and easily understood. De Haan began sharing this gift with several large Bible classes, and in 1938 as an outgrowth of one of these classes in Detroit, the Lord led in the expansion of this teaching by means of radio. The program, known as the Radio Bible Class, grew rapidly and was soon heard over two national networks. In more than a quarter of a century, without ever appealing to the radio audience for funds, De Haan saw the broadcast grow under God's direction from a local venture on a filly-watt station to a ministry of more than six hundred selected stations around the world. During those years he spoke at many Bible conferences across the country and wrote twenty-five books and numerous booklets. He edited and published a monthly devotional guide, Our Daily Bread, which has circulation of over eight hundred thousand. The entire literature production of the Radio Bible Class now exceeds a million pieces per month. On December 13, 1965, M. R. De Haan was called home to be with the Lord.
67. JONATHAN EDWARDS
Especially known as a leader of the Great Awakening, Edwards was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, October 5, 1703. His father was minister there for sixty years.
Jonathan was the only son among ten daughters. The whole family was well educated and they helped Jonathan to gain remarkable intellectual facility at an early age. When ten years old he wrote a semi-humorous tract on the immateriality of the soul. He entered Yale College in 1716 at only thirteen years of age. He struggled with God's absolute sovereignty, considering it a horrible doctrine until his last year of college when it came to be for him, "exceedingly pleasant, bright and sweet." His conversion followed shortly after graduation.
He was ordained in February 1727 at Northampton, becoming an assistant to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He spent thirteen hours a day studying. Sarah Pierpont, age seventeen, became his bride that same year. She was the daughter of James Pierpont, a founder of Yale and a great granddaughter of Thomas Hooker.
In 1729 Stoddard died, leaving Jonathan with sole charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony, Edwards delivered a lecture two years later entitled. Cod Glorified in (he Word of Redemption by the Greatness of Mans Dependence Upon Him in the Whole of It, which was published with a preface by two Boston ministers. It was the start of a lifelong fight against eighteenth-century rationalism in New England theology. He attacked Arrnirianism, and while yet a student compiled two collections of his writings: Notes on Natural Science and Notes on the Mind, both concerned with Calvinism and man's volition.
Edwards viewed the pastor as one who should act as a prophet by expounding the laws of God to the unlearned. He resolved not to make it appear "as if I was much read, or was conversant with books, or with the learned world." His preaching technique was as unemotional as possible. Putting little fervor into his messages, he would use vivid, common illustrations to forcefully convey Scriptural teaching. His famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God states, "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked."
Edwards' first great revival began in 1734 at Northampton. He himself wrote an account of this revival, "A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God" (1736), which was published in England and on the continent. In 1740 the colonies were engulfed in the Great Awakening revivalistic fervor of the great preacher, George Whitefield.
Because of Edwards' viewpoint on membership in the church, and also the backwash of (he revival, the church at Northampton deposed him. He delivered his Farewell Sermon on June 22, 1750. He then became a missionary to the remnants of the Mohican Indians living near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and pastor of the village church. He developed the works which brought him recognition as a metaphysician and theologian. In 1758 he was invited to be president of the College of New Jersey (now Prince ton University). Immediately afterwards he died from a smallpox vaccination.
The revival of his day ran from 1734 to 1744. Through Edwards' preaching thousands were converted to the Lord Jesus Christ.
68. JOHN NEWTON
John Newton was the son of an English sea captain. His mother, a deeply pious woman, gave him spiritual instruction until she died when John was seven years old. At the age of eleven John went to sea and spent the next twenty years as a sailor engaged in slave trading. His life was spent in the lowest sort of wickedness. At one time he himself was the property of an African woman who fed him only that which she threw under her table. He was nearly killed several times during terrible storms at sea. During one of these storms his wicked life passed before him, and deep conviction caused him to cry out to God for salvation. The nest several years were spent in preparation for the ministry. He learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and studied the Scriptures intensively. In 1764 he was appointed pastor in the parish of Olncy, England, where he served for sixteen years before moving to St. Mary Woolnoth in the city of London. In addition to his pastoral duties, Newton was an ardent writer. His works included Omicron, Narrative, Review of Ecclesiastical History, and Cardiphonia, His greatest fame came from his work as a writer of hymns, the most familiar being "Amazing Grace" which depicts in its verses the life story of John Newton.
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch
like me! I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see.
grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed;
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
69. JOHN G. PATTON
John G. Paton was horn near Dumfries, Scotland. Later his family moved to Torthorwald, where, in a humble thatched cottage of three rooms, his parents reared five sons and six daughters. The middle room of the cottage was known as the "sanctuary," for it was there that John's father went three times a day to pour out his heart in prayer to God for the needs of the family. At the age of twelve, John was helping his father in the stocking business but also studying Latin and Greek. Later he left home to stndv medicine and theology in Glasgow. Not long after, he became a missionary to the poor in the slums of Glasgow. The work was discouraging, but during ten years of faithful labor, Paton won many to Christ, including eight boys who later became ministers. When John was about thirty years old, the Reformed Church of Scotland asked for a missionary lo help with the work in the New Hebrides Islands. John answered the call, and soon he and his new bride were on their way to the South Pacific in spite of the news that the previous missionaries had been murdered and eaten by cannibals. The Patons settled on the island of Tanna and began their ministry. Since the natives had no written language, John communicated with them in sign language. Gradually he learned a few native words and after many months mastered their language and reduced it to writing. While there, his wife and infant son contacted a tropical fever and died. The natives repeatedly stole his equipment, his life was in constant danger, but still Paton remained and preached to them. Moving to the island of Aniwa, Paton built a home, a mission headquarters, two orphanages, a church, and a schoolhouse, and after many years of patient ministry, the entire island professed Christianity. In 1899 he saw his Aniwa New Testament printed and missionaries on twenty-five of the thirty islands of the New Hebrides, He went to be with the Lord in 1907.
70. THOMAS DEWITT TALMAGE
An extremely prolific writer and preacher, Talmage has been one of the most popular and most widely read of the preachers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Talmage was a "country boy" of humble, pious parentage. Born at Bound Brook, New Jersey, he was the last of twelve children. Even as a youth he possessed such gifts as a fervent imagination, fondness of nature's charms, unusual powers of expression, a manner dramatic in the highest degree, a mature vivaciousne.ss, electric and spontaneous. Already at this age others had begun to predict great things for him. He graduated from the University of New York with distinction. He began a course of study for the legal profession but after a year he felt the need to pursue the work of the Lord and entered the New Brunswick Theological Seminary connected with Rutgers College. He was converted at age eighteen and united with the Dutch Reformed Church. Talmage says of his youth:
I had many sound thrashings when I was a boy (not as many as I ought to have had, for I was the last child, and my parents let me off), but the most memorable scene in my childhood was that of father and mother at morning and evening prayers. I cannot forget it, for I used often to be squirming around on the floor and looking at them while they were praying.
During (he Civil War he served as chaplain in the Union Army. In 1869 he became pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York. This decision was a difficult one since the request came at the same time as four others, all of which were larger churches. Brooklyn, a failing church of only nineteen remaining members, grew so under his ministry thai within a year a new building, known as the Brooklyn Tabernacle, was erected. That building was destroyed by fire in 1872, but it was rebuilt. It also burned to the ground, as did a third church building.
Talmage was known as a lecturer as well as a clergyman. He had a fine, erect figure, strong, clear-cut features, and a winning manner,
71. WILLIAM REED NEWELL
Born on May 22, 1868. William Reed Newell, American Bible teacher and pastor, attended Wooster College in Ohio, graduating in 1891. After studies at Princeton and Oberlin Seminaries, he pastored the Bethesda Congregational Church in Chicago until 1895. At this time Moody invited him to become the Assistant Superintendent of Moody Bible Institute under R. A. Torrey. In this position Newell demonstrated his extraordinary gift of Bible exposition. Great audiences in Chicago, St. Louis, and Toronto flocked to hear his city-wide Bible classes. This led to the publication of his well-known commentaries, especially: Romans, Hebrews, and The Book of Revelation. During this period Newell wrote the beloved Gospel hymn, "Al Calvary." He was called into the presence of his Lord on April 1, 1956. Few men have had a clearer grasp of the magnitude of God's grace in Christ, and few have been able to convey it with such lasting results.
72. WILLIAM BELL RILEY
W. B. Riley was born in Green County, Indiana, but the family soon moved to a log cabin in Boone County, Kentucky. In 1880 he completed sufficient schooling at a normal school in Valparaiso, Indiana, to receive his teacher's certificate. After teaching in country schools he attended college in Hanover, Indiana, where he received an A.B. degree in 1885. He served several Baptist churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, in addition to studying at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, On March 1, 1897, he began his ministry as pastor of the First Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, which he served for the next fifty years, A gifted orator and preacher, lie championed the cause of fundamental, evangelical Christianity. He conducted large evangelistic campaigns in which thousands were saved and built up the membership of his church to more than twenty-five hundred. On more than one occasion he debated against evolution at the University of Minnesota. In 1942 he retired from the active pastorate to devote his time to Northwestern School, which he founded on October 2, 1902. The school is known for the hundreds of ministers and missionaries who are trained in its classrooms. Dr. Riley authored at least sixty volumes, numerous booklets, and sermons in pamphlet form.
73. MARTIN R. DE HAAN
M. R, De Haan was born in Zeeland, Michigan, the son of a cobbler who had emigrated from the Netherlands. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. On June 25, 1914, lie married Priscilla Venhuizen and soon became a successful physician in Western Michigan. The teaching of his godly parents bore fruit during a period of illness, when he sensed the distinct call to preach the Gospel. He gave up his medical practice and compelled training at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He pastored two churches in Grand Rapids which grew rapidly under his clear and forceful preaching. The Lord endowed him with the ability to make Bible truth simple and easily understood. dc Haan began sharing this gift with several large Bible classes, and in 1938 as an outgrowth of one of these classes in Detroit, the Lord led in the expansion of this teaching by means of radio. The program, known as the Radio Bible Class, grew rapidly and was soon heard over two national networks. In more than a quarter of a century, without ever appealing to the radio audience for funds, De Haan saw the broadcast grow under God's direction from a local venture on a fifty-wait station to a ministry of more than six hundred selected stations around the world. During those years he spoke at many Bible conferences across the country and wrote seventy-five books and numerous booklets. He edited and published a monthly devotional guide. “Our Daily Bread”, which has a circulation of over eight hundred thousand. The entire literature production of the Radio Bible Class now exceeds a million pieces per month. On December 13, 1965, M. R, De Haan was called home to be with the Lord.
A. B. McDONALD 12
A. B. SIMPSON 32
ABRAHAM LINCOLN 4
ADONIRAM JUDSON 27
ADONIRAM JUDSON 71
BILLY GRAHAM 48
C. T. STUDD 35
CHARLES E. FULLER 47
CHARLES FINNEY 31
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON 33
CHARLES SPURGEON 7
CHARLES WESLEY 22
CHRISTMAS EVANS 23
CYRUS SCOFIELD 63
DAVID BRAINERD 58
DAVID LIVIGSTON 54
DWIGHT L. MOODY 39
EDWARD KINBALL 11
ELIJAH KIMSEY 3
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE 2
GEORGE GRENFELL 53
GEORGE MUELLER 28
GEORGE W. TRUETT 73
GEORGE W. TRUITT 43
GEORGE WHITFIELD 20
HARRY A. IRONSIDE 44
HENRIETTA MEARS 19
HENRY KNOTT 52
HENRY M. STANLEY 17
HUDSON TAYLOR 29
J. PIERPONT MORGAN 15
J. WILBUR CHAPMAN 64
JAMES A. GARFIELD 45
JAMES CHALMERS 55
JAMES WILSON 49
JENNY LIND 14
JOHN BUNYAN 61
JOHN ELLIOT 57
JOHN G. PATTON 69
JOHN HYDE 65
JOHN NEWTON 68
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 9
JOHN WANAMAKER 16
JOHN WESLEY 21
JOHN WYCLIFFE 59
JOHN VASSAR 36
JONATHAN EDWARDS 67
JONATHAN GOFORTH 56
LEE ROBERSON 6
LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER 33
M. R. DEHAAN 66
MARTIN LUTHER 5
MARTIN R. DE HAAN 73
MARY SLESSOR 50
MEL TROTTER 37
PATRICK HENRY 1
PAUL RADER 62
PETER CARTWRIGHT 13
POLAND SOLOMON GINSBURG 38
PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON 10
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON 8
R. A. TORREY 34
ROBERT MURRAY McCHANE 25
ROBERT MOFFAT 30
RODNEY (GIPSY) SMITH 40
RUSSEL HERMAN CONWELL 46
SADHU SUNDAR SINGH 51
SAM POTTER JONES 42
T. T. MARTIN 26
THOMAS DEWITT TALMAGE 70
WILLIAM ASHLEY (BILLY) SUNDAY 41
WILLIAM BELL RILEY 72
WILLIAM BOOTH 18
WILLIAM CAREY 24
WILLIAM REED NEWELL 71
WILLIAM TYNDALE 60
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