Our workers should ponder this portrayal of an ardent lay evangelist who sells automobiles for a living, but whose spare time is enthusiastically devoted to the saving of souls through direct personal effort and by proxy—paying the salary of a regular conference worker. As is well known, Brother Hickman has saved thousands of dollars for our workers on their automobile purchases. There may be businessmen in other communities who could similarly be enlisted in a program of personal work and financial backing that would bring a host of souls into the message. Look over the possibilities in your community. Ask large things of our businessmen. Have you faith in great things? You may be astonished at some of the large responses.—Editor.
My missionary work locally is perhaps out of the usual order. First, I offered to pay the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference one half the salary of a minister if they would locate him here at Stearns, to work for my own relatives and neighbors and the people of this community. They sent H. D. Colburn. Besides paying half of his salary, I have spent several hundred dollars to further advance the work. He has been here two years, and an entire church has been raised up at Cave Creek, in the northern part of the county. The joy unspeakable of seeing souls saved more than compensates for the rather heavy expenditure.
This was in territory where an interest was created through my former colporteur work. I worked ten years as a colporteur, and scattered tens of thousands of dollars' worth of our literature. An old "Bible Readings" figured very strongly in creating a small interest in the Cave Creek community, which Brother Colburn and I followed up. As we presented the studies, the people would look at one another, shake their heads, and say, "That is what 'the book' says." After a few studies, we asked what they meant by this allusion to "the book," and came to find out that what they referred to was an old worn-out copy of "Bible Readings" that I had sold seventeen years before. It had been passed around in that rural community. We raised up a church there, helped them with the building program, and today they are housed in their own Seventh-day Adventist church building, happy in the truth.
A further outworking of Brother Colburn's work in this vicinity is that many of my relatives have taken their stand. We are starting to build a new church building here in Stearns, that will be a credit to the work locally. I conduct many Bible studies in near-by homes, and am elder of the 'church, Sabbath school superintendent, and a member of the local conference committee. I have made arrangements with R. E. Crawford, home missionary secretary of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, to cover my local county with the Bible Study League (the Good News program), billing me for the expense. I desire to find every interested soul in this part of the country, and propose to enlarge my work along this line in the future. I also have in mind to put on another worker at my own expense, to further the work still more in eastern Kentucky.
Perhaps my most important work has been to fully acquaint with the message men of high position in the automobile companies which I represent. Every time I go into the factories I search out the officials, give them literature, and sit down and talk to them about—not cars, but the advent truth. You would be surprised if you could hear sonic of my experiences with them. My friendship with these men and their friendliness to the message is a bright spot with me. I circulate "Prophecy Speaks" and other literature among them by the armload, and talk to them about the meaning of World conditions and the close proximity of the coming of the Lord. And believe it or not, they are more than stirred that a backwoodsman like me should talk to them personally about their need of a Saviour. There is opportunity for many of our lay businessmen to follow similar plans. Let us enlarge our service for the Master.