IT WAS nearing midnight as Pastor Don Gray and I sat visiting after the rest of the workers had gone to bed. Pastor John Osborn had asked me to come to the Southeastern California Conference workers' retreat to be held in the mountains. But in this appointment I was to receive much more help than I gave.
"Our plan, Fordyce, is for our members to take Bibles into the homes of the people along with the Bible lessons. New lessons are brought the student each week by the member, who can help him with any questions that may come up. When the course is completed, the student is allowed to keep his marked Bible," explained Don Gray.
The plan seemed so simple and reasonable; it impressed me immediately. It had a built-in advantage over the usual correspondence courses in that it brought the member in contact with the student each week. It also, in a most natural way, prepared the way for further studies in the home.
In one of the sessions John Osborn called for reports by different pastors and the response was thrilling. One worker after another told of successful series—follow-up of Bible-marking interests. The spirit in the meeting was most inspiring.
Another thing impressed me greatly. This was a conference-wide program that had the enthusiastic backing of pastors, department leaders, administrators, colporteurs, and laymen. All backed it so enthusiastically one felt each considered the plan his own—whether using Don Gray's lessons or E. C. Ward's.
We could not help being caught up by the enthusiasm running high in the whole field. So, when Pastor Osborn's committee arranged with the Florida Conference to release our team (Detamore-BentzingerCollar) for four campaigns, we were most happy to respond.
It is over now. In all of the four areas the pastors gave the meetings their full backing. Pastors Bill Hatch and Mike Bazzy rallied the laymen and colporteurs to action.
It was quite an experience to drop in on one of the precampaign rallies led by Walter Blehm. Participating in the program was the more-than-busy conference president, John Osborn, and the conference treasurer, Harry Schneider.
How could meetings fail with such backing? And you should have seen the way many of the doctors and teachers worked in the meetings. The loyal support our members as a whole gave would stir the heart of any evangelist.
Over and over I am asked, "What do you think of the 'Go Tell' [the name given to the Bible Marking Plan] program?"
I can answer without reserve that it is the best-developed and best-executed plan for soul winning I have witnessed. The plan does not come to an end at the close of a series but the harvest keeps on ripening.
To have participated in these reaping meetings and to witness the results of the united work of our leaders, our people, and the Holy Spirit in this great ingathering of souls brought a joy our team will never forget.