It was June, 1964. The place—Chesapeake Conference camp meeting. The baptismal service had been announced. But it was obvious that the people were perplexed.
"A baptism?" questioned one good brother with concern. "That's fine, but where will we conduct it?"
Believe it or not, there is a fine baptistry in the Chesapeake pavilion. (It has been there for about fifteen years.) "But," this brother continued with amazement, "I didn't know we had one, and I have been coming to camp meeting here for years."
An unused baptistry is a pathetic thing —a tragic thing—so the Chesapeake Conference committee, at the suggestion of the president, Cyril Miller, voted to turn the night services at camp meeting into an evangelistic series with evangelists from many parts of the country participating.
And they came—Elders Barron, Walter, Spangler, Vandeman, Detamore, Richards, Jr., Weis, Sauder, and Holly—and each made a specific call for baptism—and eighty people joined God's remnant church by baptism or profession of faith.
Camp meeting thus became our most productive evangelistic series for the first half of 1964. Twenty-nine were baptized on the last Sabbath of the encampment. And most of the balance of the eighty who took their stand either have been baptized by now or will be ready shortly.
And to think that we could have settled for the conventional camp meeting and perhaps never found those eighty people!
Surely, brethren, with this crisis hour upon us we need to uncover our baptistries and make all meetings evangelistic, with solemn calls to accept Christ, and His last message of warning, at each service.
Or else we may be found guilty of making long-range plans for this crisis that completely miss the point—and of conducting meetings that have little or no bearing upon the emergency that confronts us.
The devil will do anything to keep us from our first work—that of calling upon men and women to accept Christ and His truth. We must fiercely resist him and put our "Father's business" at the top of the list. Then angels from heaven will join us, and the church will once again quickly "turn the world upside down."