How a Dentist and His Wife Pioneered

A story worth sharing.

R. E. CRAWFORD, Public Relations, Georgia-Cumberland Conference

[A refreshing modesty characterizes our doctors whom the Lord has blessed in their medical evan­gelism. In response to our request for certain in­formation, Dr. Carman recently wrote: "I have not read Elder Crawford's article, but I do hope it is not too one-sided. Our church group here is the result of all our efforts, and certainly nothing I have done myself." Since Dr. Carman first went to Marietta, Georgia, Drs. Robert Klingbeil, Henry Gorman, and W. H. Harp have also opened offices in this industrial center, and are members of the busy, growing local church. We know the Lord will bless these consecrated physicians and dentists as they witness for Him in their practice.—B. G.]

Marietta, Georgia, a suburban town ad­joining Atlanta, is growing into a thriv­ing, important city. One of the largest buildings in the world from the standpoint of acreage covered, which houses the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, is situated there. Up until re­cently, so far as Adventism was concerned, it was considered a conservative, prejudiced place. But a remarkable change has come. There is friendliness now, we have a church organiza­tion, and will have a church school before the end of the year.

What factors brought about the change? Per­haps we should say that God used many agen­cies. We will enumerate a few. Throughout the years a few of our faithful people have lived in the area. Their consistent lives have had a silent leavening influence. A few more of our people accompanied the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation from California when it migrated to this city. They settled in and around Marietta. Then Dr. E. E. Carman and his wife set up a dental practice in the city in September of 1949. Mrs. Carman is a graduate nurse. In addition to being medical workers, they are mis­sionaries—medical missionaries.

Mrs. Carman soon gathered together the Ad­ventist women of the district and formed a Dorcas Society. All were surprised at the num­ber of families and children. Agitation to form a church school was begun. This led to a dis­cussion of the establishment of a church. Then Dr. Carman was called to the Army, where he remained until October of 1952. In the interim the question was dormant.

But back to Marietta they came at the end of his military service, fired with the same pur­pose. They started holding prayer meetings their home. It was discovered that more families had come into the area and that the number of children had greatly increased. The idea of a church and a school was revived. In the mean­time, largely through the good offices of Dr. Carman, another Seventh-day Adventist dentist and two physicians from the College of Medical Evangelists located in Marietta. All these fac­tors, plus a lot of prayer and arduous work giv­ing Bible studies and enrolling students for the Bible correspondence course, resulted in a church of fifty-five being organized on March 5 of this year. Around eighty persons are in regular attendance at the services, which are now held in a rented church building.

This group was not long to be satisfied wor­shiping in rented quarters. A church and a school of their own was a must, and was there­fore an item that entered every discussion per­taining to Marietta. And so, recently, as a final result of these deliberations, a beautiful six- or seven-acre tract of land was bought. Already on the plot is a building that will serve as a fine church school, and in due course a church building will be erected to house this rapidly growing congregation.

It is very easy when thinking of our medical work to think of buildings, equipment, facul­ties, and administrative problems. And these are all important. We like also to think of the end result—the consecrated practitioners in their offices melting away prejudice, giving Bible studies, rallying our people into groups that later become churches, working together as a ministerial-medical team with the local pas­tor, and in other ways building up the areas of which they are a part, for the hastening of the coming of the golden dawn. We are not only thankful for what our dentists and physicians have done in Marietta to date, but we look forward to what we know is going to develop as a result of future activities they will foster. Thank God for the great medical arm which opens so many doors.


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R. E. CRAWFORD, Public Relations, Georgia-Cumberland Conference

October 1955

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