Executives Set the Pace
By S. A. Ruskjer
A few years ago we realized that one great need of the Western Canadian field was a stronger soul-winning program. The membership had almost stood still for many years. There is always a heavy exodus to warmer climates and places more favorably situated financially. In order to overcome this, a good number of believers must be won each year. And all these losses must be met before we can show any increase in membership. However, when those in responsible positions took the lead in soul-winning work, the tide turned, and the membership has shown a steady increase, rising from 3,200 a few years ago to above 4,600 by the middle of 1931. At the beginning of the current year, the leaders and workers of Western Canada decided to make this year, under God, a year of larger results in soul-winning work in this field.
We are glad to report that God has greatly blessed this endeavor, and that thus far during 1931 between. 600 and 700 new converts have been baptized. Approximately one half of all these baptisms are the result of evangelistic efforts made by the conference presidents and departmental secretaries, while the other half have been brought into the truth by our faithful evangelists. We believe that the conference officials and departmental secretaries have set the right example in thus undertaking city and country evangelism, and raising up new churches. We thank God for the success that He has given to conference leaders and other workers in soul-winning endeavor in this field of unlimited opportunities.
College Heights, Alberta.
Reworking Old Territories
By S. E. Wight
It is quite probable that West MichiJI gan has been as thoroughly worked as any territory in the world. The third angel's message has been proclaimed in this section for approximately eighty years, and the people generally are acquainted with Seventh-day Adventists. Ministers of other denominations publicly denounce us, and in many cases spend hours on the radio trying to persuade those who listen that our message is not from the Lord. In many cities the ministers will not open their churches to us, even for a baptism, because they feel that our doctrines are opposed to what their churches represent, and therefore it would be inconsistent for them so to do.
In the face of all this, the workers and laymen in the West Michigan Conference have gathered in 440 persons during the first ten months of 1931, by baptism and profession of faith. This has not been accomplished by expensive evangelistic efforts. The greatest number gained in any one effort was thirty-one, and the next greatest nineteen; but from north to south and from east to west, by persistent, patient work, getting a few here and a few more there, this encouraging increase has been made.
In two cases this year, old churches have been thoroughly revived, one through the efforts of the church elder and a minister, the other largely through the efforts of the elder alone. One church for which we had almost abandoned hope, has come to the front with an increased membership of fifteen during the last three months. This increase came by baptism of new converts.
Surely the Spirit of the Lord is working on the hearts of the people. We are looking forward to great results in soul winning during the winter before us.
Grand Rapids, Mich,.
By M.N. Campbell
The writer had been restless for several years over not being in active soul-winning work, and early in 1931 secured permission from the General Conference Committee to hold a tent effort.
The place selected was virgin territory—a mining town in northern Ontario. Sudbury is a city of 25,000 population, 60 per cent foreign and about the same per cent Catholics. We secured a fine corner lot one hundred feet square on the principal street of the city, decorated the tent simply but tastefully, had it well lighted and provided with a good piano and song books. The attendance ranged from 100 to 350 nightly. The meetings lasted eight weeks, and twenty-nine persons were baptized, with three uniting upon profession of faith. We organized a church of thirty-six members, with several more keeping the Sabbath, who will be received later.
I carried on the effort without ministerial help until the last three weeks, when a young man came to assist with the effort, and remain with it after I left. We had one regular Bible worker, besides two other persons who gave valuable assistance as their time permitted. Mrs. Campbell and my daughter also helped in Bible work and the distribution of literature. Naturally we feel encouraged over this incursion into the field of evangelism, and hope for another similar opportunity soon.