My Dad…Part IV

Summer of 1948. A moving van was hired to move our belongings from Covington, Oklahoma to East Peoria, Illinois. It was a sad day for the family. So many good friends were being left behind. But for Dad and Mother, it meant being together again as a family.

The last thing Dad said to the truck driver was, “You can deliver our furniture any day but NOT Sunday.” When the family arrived in East Peoria several days later, Dad was told, the furniture had arrived and was unloaded on Sunday! The parsonage was connected to the church! East Peoria FMC and parsonage.  The furniture and boxes were stacked in the annex, the room between the parsonage and the church. This is a picture of the church and parsonage back when we lived there. A new church has since been built. I don’t know who took the picture or who the people are in this picture. There was a very high hill directly behind this property! I loved hiking up the hill! I doubt Dad ever climbed it!

Dad’s mother, Rose Williamson, died on October 5, 1948.

That fall, another person, loved by our family, died. Those were the years of the terrible epidemic of Polio. Eddie Pennington, a young boy from the Des Moines Free Methodist Church died of polio. He was the only living child of a prominent family in the church. It was a blow and tremendous loss to the family, to the church and to our family.

Dad and Mother, both,  enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course. They both enjoyed it and did well.

Dad was the pastor at East Peoria for just one year, it was a congregation pledged with problems. The family moved back to Waterloo, Iowa and Dad went back into evangelism.

He was a very much-loved evangelist. His sermons were right on target. He included stories which held folks attention and served to illustrate the point he was making. I have a few cassette tapes of his sermons. Resurrection.  Fervent in Spirit. We Have An Advocate. Witness of the Spirit. Let Your Light Shine. Rejoice Evermore. More Blessed to Give. The Roast Pig Story was a favorite of everyone. He tells of a true experience during his ‘chef’s helper’ days. My Brother Roy, plus a few more.

Scan_Pic0106 The next few years were unforgettable for the family. First we lived with Grandma Aanas, Mother’s mother, for about six months. During that time, Dad’s nephew, Roy Gray, was remodeling, a never-used building meant to be a chicken house, on his acreage, into an apartment building. Dad was the first one to rent an apartment from Roy. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is a recent picture of the apartment building, still in use today! Dad bought a lot from Roy where he built a small house for our family while we lived in the apartment! That is, he built it in between holding revival meetings! He hired some friends to work on it. Richard, also worked until he became ill with meningitis. I remember Bro. Arms and Nate Olson working, and Bro. Rasche painting the living room.

While we lived in our little house, Richard went away to a high school in with Wessington Springs Jr. College in South Dakota. It was expensive, but Dad and Mother felt it was important. A few days after Richard left someone in our church gave the money for Lorraine to also attend the school. Life at our little home in Elk Run Heights, sub burg of Waterloo, Iowa was never the same! Mother got a job as head cook at the school Billy and I attended.

It was also during those years that Dad became the cook at camp meetings! He and Mother loved cooking and they were very good Dining Hall Worker's Manual (2)at it! They cooked at the Iowa Camp Meeting and Conference and at the Wisconsin Camp in Oregon, Wisconsin. Dad even wrote a book about cooking at camps. I have a copy of it and treasure it. Illustrations were drawn by Richard! This picture, on the cover, is of the crowd of hungry folks at the Iowa camp. I recognize many of the people!

We only lived in our little house in Elk Run Heights, Waterloo, Iowa for about three years. Then the conference asked Dad to once again pastor the church in Des Moines. Dad and Mother prayed about it and decided, yes, we should move back to Des Moines where he would be at home again with the family and pastor the church they loved and the people loved them.     Scan_Pic0105

In 1956, Dad was asked to join Lyle Northrup in Winona Lake, Indiana in the Office of General Evangelism. Bro. Northrup was General Secretary of Evangelism. Dad became his assistant.

Family life was changing.  Richard was in the army in Augusta, Georgia. Lorraine was married and living in Wessington Springs, South Dakota. Anita was now attending high school at Wessington Springs Jr. College. Bill was living at home.

Life as Assistant Secretary of Evangelism was very busy. Mother also worked in the office. Dad was doing a lot of speaking and writing, promoting evangelism across the church. A Free Methodist school in Shreveport, Louisiana came to the forefront. Dad was very busy promoting the school. He made many trips down to Shreveport and was 100% behind the school and it’s directors. He even made a movie, “It Took A Miracle” about the school to be shown in the Free Methodist Churches all over North America to raise funds to help the school. It was a very prestigious school in Shreveport with a good reputation.

Dad then became Secretary of Interracial Evangelism along with being Assistant Secretary of Evangelism. He was very busy but a happy busy man.

Family life was also booming! Grandchildren were coming along and increasing the family. Richard, Lorraine and Anita each had three children, at this point. There were more added later.

Dad was a proud grandpa! When he saw pictures of his grandbabies he saw a great way to show off his grandbabies and to raise money! Who could say no to a beautiful baby asking for money for a good cause?  Dad promotes TEL '60 (2)   Dad promoting TEL with Pammy 1960 (2) Dad promoting TEL 1960 with Pammy (3) Dad promoting TEL with Pam 1960 (2) Dad promoting using Teddy 1962 (2)

A new chapter of his life came when he was asked to be Conference superintendent of the Colorado Conference. A move was made to Canyon City, Colorado.

He was also writing books. The first was a biography of  Julia Shelhamer “Julia, Giantess in Generosity.” He Book Julia  dedicated the book to Mother. “To Corina, loyal companion, without whose gentle prodding and unselfish assistance, the story of her good friend, Julia, would never have been written.” This is copyrighted, 1969, published by Light & Life Press.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day

Christmas – Christ Candle

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The white candle reminds us that Jesus is sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for His death; His death was for our birth!

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  John 3:1-8

 

My Dad… Part II

Today Dad would have been 105 years old! He died four days before his 96th birthday! P16_253_338  In this picture, Dad was 93!

In about 1939 Dad and Mother decided to go to the Waterloo, Iowa Free Methodist Church to hear Dad’s old friends, JK French and Oscar Leper, sing. They were good singers, but Dad couldn’t imagine them singing in church! They always sang in bars! Dad and Mother were pleasantly surprised and even saw a different kind of countenance and lifestyle in their friends and decided to find out what had happened to them. JK and Oscar, along with their wives, told Dad and Mother how they had become born-again Christians and what a difference it made in their lives! After thinking and meditating for a few days, Dad prayed for forgiveness and accepted Christ into his life. Then a few days later, Mother prayed. What a life changing experience for each of them and for their marriage! What a difference in their family life! Breaking old habits were hard but with the help of the Lord and with determination it was accomplished.

Dad was a gifted speaker and was sometimes asked by Pastor Walls to fill in for him in the evening services when he had to be gone. He was given an Exhorter’s License in 1941.

When Pastor Walls was appointed to the Free Methodist Church in Des Moines he asked Dad to consider moving to Des Moines as his assistant. There was a small Free Methodist Church on the east side of the city that he was also responsible for. He asked Dad to take charge of that small church, Fairview Free Methodist Church. The folks at Fairview couldn’t afford to pay a pastor so he would need to work elsewhere at the same time.

Scan_Pic0004  The move to Des Moines was made. There isn’t room here to tell the story of their trip from Waterloo to Des Moines pulling a trailer with all their belongings. God was definitely in this move! Dad was now working two jobs, cooking in a large hotel downtown and pastoring a small church along with assisting Pastor Walls.

World War II was going on in Europe and December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. The USA was thrust into World War II. A young, Free Methodist Japanese couple escaped the exodus of the Japanese people on the west coast and came to live in our upstairs. See former post: World War II Memories-Displaced Japanese Americans.

At the beginning of 1942 Mother discovered she was pregnant again with their fourth baby. It was a difficult pregnancy, the baby was due in October. One day in August Dad came home from work finding Mother having convulsions. An ambulance was called. Mother wasn’t expected to live and the baby wouldn’t live either. Friends and relatives came to help out our young family. Grandma Aanas, Mother’s mother, came and stayed to help.  The church family was all praying for Mother and for our family. Mother’s body was full of uremic poisoning. She even lost her eyesight. She could see when a person entered the room but she couldn’t tell who it was until the person spoke.

Mother’s oldest brother, Obie and Ev, his wife, came to visit and offered to take me home to raise as one of their own, if Mother didn’t live! Dad thanked them and said he’d think and pray about it. The next day, he thanked them but said he couldn’t do it. Somehow he knew the Lord would help him make it through life with his children.

On August 25 the doctor’s told Dad the baby would be born that day but he shouldn’t expect the baby to live. They would do everything possible to save Mother.  God answered prayer. Mother lived through the delivery. The next morning as Dad walked through the hospital hall one of the doctors met him and said, with a smile, “Say, that little engine is still a puffin!” William Claude weighed 2 pounds, nine ounces! The hospital didn’t have an incubator so they put hot water bottles around the baby to keep him  warm! Mother and the baby both lived; Mother’s eyesight returned although she was left color blind. We called the baby, Billy.

More changes in Dad’s career came. He quit his job as a chef and became senior pastor of the Des Moines Free Methodist Church. A big change came in the church while Dad was the pastor. There had not been any musical instruments up to this time. In the 1946 General Conference, it was voted upon to have a piano or organ in the sanctuary!

He was very successful for not having a college degree and not having been ordained yet. But, somehow he felt he wasn’t doing what God had called him to do. He felt he should be an evangelist! That meant traveling and holding two-week evangelistic campaigns. Dad and Mother began to pray about this and decided God must be calling him to be an evangelist. A house was purchased and the family moved out of the parsonage.

Scan_Pic0107  Richard and Lorraine, in back. Dad, Anita, Mother holding Billy.

Requests came from all over the country for Dad to hold revivals. Many evangelists of that day required a promised certain amount of pay at the end of the revival…but not Dad. Whatever money came in, he accepted. Most of the time it wasn’t quite enough to cover expenses at home and his traveling expenses!

The coal bill for the house in Des Moines was a problem. A move to Covington, Oklahoma was suggested, where he had held a revival. The temperature was almost always warm, the people were always warm. There would be no coal bill!

So in 1946, the house in Des Moines was sold and a house in Covington was purchased. Dad moved the family to Covington, Oklahoma.

To be continued…

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                                                                                  Candle of peace. Candle of Love.

God sent His Son to earth to save us because God loves us.

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

Third Sunday of Advent

The third Sunday of Advent is Joy. We light the pink candle of Joy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”   Luke 2:7-12

The angels sang a message of joy.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”    Luke 2:13-15

 

Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the second Sunday of Advent. The Candle of love, peace, preparation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Get ready. Help us to be ready to welcome you, O God!

 

 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
 Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”  Luke 3:4-6

 

How Do You Worship?

We, my husband, Jerry; daughter, Pam; son-in-law, Gene; son, Tim and myself, recently visited some cousins in Iowa. I wrote about this wonderful trip previously.

On Sunday morning, we worshiped. However, we were all in different locations! The important thing here is that we worshiped. Lutheran, Methodist, Gospel Hall, Free Methodist, Christian and Missionary Alliance.

 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. I Chronicles 16:29

Here we were, five of us in my family worshiping with seven cousins on this Sunday morning. So here is what our worship looked like: A Lutheran Gene and a Christian and Missionary Alliance Tim attended a Methodist Church with cousin, Lucky. A Free Methodist Jerry attended a Lutheran Church with cousins, LeRoy and Carolyn. Cousin, Kay, who is Methodist, Pam, who is Lutheran and I, who am Free Methodist all attended the Gospel Hall with cousins, Louis, Iris and Bob.

Were we able to truly worship? An absolute YES. God, who is Omnipresent, accepts our true and sincere worship, wherever we are.

It happened to be All Saints Day. Both the Lutheran and the Methodist churches honored each member, who had died during 2014, with a lit candle.

The architecture of all three churches was entirely different. The Lutheran Church was beautiful with very high ceilings and magnificent stained glass windows. There was a sense of reverence as one entered the building. Scripture readings were read and hymns sung before the sermon was given by the pastor.

The Methodist Church was a small country church with white clapboard siding, a few stained glass windows. Inside was the typical layout of pews facing the front with the pulpit and alter. Scripture readings were read and hymns sung. There was open communion. A loaf of homemade bread was broken open so each person took a piece and dipped it into the wine.

The Gospel Hall was a church building, neat and clean, efficient for worshiping and meeting the needs of the members. I felt welcome, even though as a visitor, I was an observer and could not participate in Communion. I could and did worship. Women covered their heads with a scarf or hat. Only men had active participation in the service, leading the singing of hymns and praying beautiful prayers of praise to God. A few requests were read out loud and prayed for.  Chairs were in a square, about five rows deep, with a communion table in the center of the square. Visitors sat in a section near the back of the sanctuary. On the communion table were a loaf of homemade bread and a pitcher of wine. The bread was broken into two halves and passed around as each person took a piece representing the body of Christ. Wine was poured into two glasses and also passed around for folks to take a sip representing the blood of Christ.

Three forms of worship all to the same God! All six of us, visitors, worshiped and felt the presence of God!

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into  the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Scan_Pic0026  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                          These four pictures of churches are not the churches I’ve written about here. The first one is a very old church, The Church On The Green! It’s in Massachusetts and today is a Congregational Church. The second one is Stavanger Lutheran Church outside of Ossian, Iowa. The third picture is of a Baptist Church in Massachusetts. The last one is Midland Free Methodist Church of which I am a member. I’m showing them here to put my readers and myself  into a worshipful mood! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I took all of these pictures.