The Doctor-Evangelist Combination in Ohio

In the work of Jesus, the preaching of the gospel was combined with the healing of the sick. It was with this twofold approach that He went about doing good. And this approach is being employed in Ohio.

C. L. DUFFIELD, Evangelist, Ohio Conference

In the work of Jesus, the preaching of the gospel was combined with the healing of the sick. It was with this twofold approach that He went about doing good. Infinite Wisdom knew wherein man needed help, and moved to sup­ply the remedy. Jesus came "to seek and to save that which was lost."

In every area of life man had fallen. He was wholly lost, and needed to be wholly redeemed. In His ministry our Lord clearly set the pat­tern to effect this redemption. That we might understand the importance of His mission from the standpoint of example, He said, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." Again in the commission He states, "Go ye therefore, . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." In these last days the unchanging Christ would minister through us to reach the people where they are and supply the remedy for their need.

The full impact of this vital truth has etched itself deeply into our consciousness during the past year. The doctor, pastor, and evangelist working closely in a campaign can achieve wonders under God in bringing people to Christ. Having just completed a ten-month campaign in the city of Columbus, Ohio, I am thrilled to say that I believe the possi­bilities are unlimited in the field of evangelism when the approach is made with this combina­tion.

Doctors Join in Meetings in Columbus

The Harding Sanitarium is situated on the edge of Columbus, Ohio. It is operated by Drs. George Harding III and Harrison Evans. Shortly after arriving in Columbus, I made contact with these men and explained my pro­gram, inviting them to share in the meetings. Such hearty support as I received from the staff at the sanitarium would warm any evange­list's heart. In every possible way these doctors contributed to the meetings.

The sanitarium enjoys an excellent reputa­tion in the area, in fact, in the entire State. Even the man from whom the auditorium was rented, made mention of the splendid work being done by our doctors. When I told this man that Drs. Harding and Evans would be associated with the evangelistic campaign, he said, "Mr. Duffield, I think your plan to approach the city in this manner is both unique and wise."

During this campaign several well-advertised healing programs came to the city, but were unable to get a crowd. The fact that my fellow workers and I followed closely the divine pat­tern is doubtless the reason we were able to hold our large audience. It is our conviction that the problem created by the so-called heal­ing campaigns is best met by teaming with our doctors.

We see a marked trend toward healing cam­paigns in our day. Nearly every evangelist, it seems, has suddenly become a healer. There is need for healing in our time. This much is certain. We find no fault with the diagnosis of the healing groups. But some of us who are converts to the Adventist faith know that heal­ing in most cases bears a relationship to time. Habits of thinking and living play the major role in the restoration of the body and mind. Reasonable and intelligent people cannot fail to recognize the true means of healing.

Besides Drs. George Harding III and Har­rison Evans, five other Adventist doctors spoke at our meetings: Dr. George Harding IV, Dr. Francis Harding, Dr. Jack Whieldon, Dr. Har­old Caviness, and Dr. Paul Saxon. Our meetings were planned to keep interest at a high point. At each meeting one of these doctors spoke for about ten minutes. In these concise, pertinent messages the people were challenged, and the interest ran high. We provided mimeographed copies of the material for those requesting it. This provided another means of obtaining names.

The doctors very aptly presented their mes­sages to lay the groundwork for the presenta­tion of the great truths of our Christian faith. Emphasis was placed on the importance of obeying the truth. The text, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," was repeatedly quoted by the doctors. "Facing the Future Without Fear" was the title used for the medical talks.

In an hour when men's hearts are failing for fear, who is in a more advantageous position to prescribe the remedy than the Christian doc­tor? Having a distinctly spiritual tone, their messages provided me with the opportunity to allude frequently to what "Dr. Harding said" or "Dr. Evans said." These doctors, for the moment, doubtless carried about as much weight as Dr. Luke.

Somehow people have a profound respect for the medical doctor. This may stem from a sense of insecurity, a sense of dependence on the part of fallen man whose inner consciousness keeps him in a state of awareness that all is not well with the human family since sin has come into the picture. Whether this be the reason or not, it is a recognized fact that most people look up to doctors, particularly if they believe in the Bible and are praying doctors. We ought to capitalize on this fact and draw on the resources we have, if we expect to arrest the attention of the world in this hour of many voices.

The evangelistic field is crowded with self-styled miracle men making spectacular claims regarding their powers. For instance, not long ago I was invited to attend a church where it is claimed they pray down fire from heaven, fire that makes its entrance and completely encir­cles the church. On every level we see prophecy fulfilling. What an hour to be going forth, the doctor and the evangelist together, proclaiming God's message: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

The facilities we have are calculated to ful­fill this divine injunction. As I listened to the talks given by the doctors I reveled in the fact that we have a message of sanity to set forth amid the madness of our times. God reveals the intimate relationship between the body and the soul in Paul's prayer wherein he petitions that both be sanctified in preparation for the glori­ous prospect of the coming of the Lord. To reach men with salvation in these areas the doc­tor-evangelist team is the ideal combination.

Our experience in the Columbus meeting was a happy one. Everything seemed to click. Much was accomplished in breaking down prejudice. In fact, the very atmosphere that surrounded our team seemed to lead the people to view the speaker, whoever he might be, as one having authority.

For twenty-six weeks our meetings continued, and we maintained a consistent crowd. The union stage hands at the Hartman Theater told us they had been present at about fifty evangelistic campaigns in Columbus, and that none was attended like ours or was able to continue over such a long period of time as ours.

Without question there is a heart hunger in the world among men. Outer dangers and inner conflicts have played havoc with humankind. Many are looking for an answer to their need. If they come and hear the message we have, how can they fail to recognize it as the voice of God speaking to modern man? Truly the time has come for a great work. And in this extraor­dinary hour the message and movement are distinguished by mighty power.

Doctors Will Join in Next Campaign

Plans are now under way for the opening of our meeting in the city of Cincinnati at the Taft Auditorium, seating twenty-five hundred people. By the time this appears in print we should be just entering the fourth week of this second campaign. The doctors from Harding Sanitarium are planning to take part in this campaign also. For this we are most grateful.

It would be difficult indeed to attempt to evaluate the advantages that stem from this doctor-evangelist combination. The approach becomes dynamic, putting one on vantage ground from the very outset of his program. Because of all the quackery and pretentious­ness that exist in our day, thinking people are inclined to view evangelists with suspicion. Hav­ing a prominent doctor associated with the evangelist removes any shadow of doubt re­garding the integrity of the program. In our advertising and in every other aspect of the meeting our approach is positive, and hun­dreds are attracted who would never be reached otherwise. During the ten months we were in the Columbus area we baptized 165 souls and planted the seed for other fruitage that will one day appear.

We are profoundly grateful to our busy doc­tors who give of their time and effort so un­stintingly. They share with us the conviction that the fruitage of our combined efforts will far more than compensate for whatever contri­bution we have made.


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C. L. DUFFIELD, Evangelist, Ohio Conference

October 1955

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