Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 10, 1952
NUMBER 35, PAGE 4-5a

Conversion Of A Preacher


The following story, an excerpt from a private letter to the editor, is the kind we love to publish. It reveals once again the old, old power of the gospel of Christ; it shows that sincerity and an open mind cannot but be rewarded by a finding of the truth. This is a story that is ever old, yet ever new. There are no doubt hundreds who read this page who have had a similar experience. The editor's own father, J. D. Tant, was once a devout and zealous Methodist preacher, being attached to the North Texas Conference of that denomination. Like the man mentioned below, he read the scriptures with an open mind and found the truth. But here is the story:

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Faith were baptized in Pueblo, Colorado, on November 2, 1951, during a meeting which I was conducting there. These fine people were first contacted by brother Lemley, who preaches for the church in Trinidad, Colo. He recognized their complete sincerity and their desire to please God, and got them interested in a plea for the pure gospel. Brother Lemley heard Leland Faith preach (he was a preacher in the Assembly of God church for about ten years), and recognized at once that here was a man with conviction and honesty of heart. Faith had become dissatisfied with the limitations put on his preaching by the Assembly of God people, and had gone into the "Bible Fellowship Way." He was searching for the truth. Brother Lemley made himself known to this evangelist, and began with him a careful study of the scriptures. Brother Lemley brought Faith and his wife to my meeting in Pueblo, and for several days they stayed and studied the scriptures with brother James W. Reynolds, (preacher for the Pueblo congregation), brother Lemley, and myself. We carefully canvassed every point of difference between us, and opened the Bible and read together on those subjects.

After about three days of such study, Leland, Faith and his wife were baptized into Christ. Brother Faith immediately wired the "Bible Fellowship Way" headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, that he was withdrawing from the organization, and therefore, was requesting that his scheduled meetings be cancelled. He secured a secular position in Pueblo in order to study and be associated with brother Reynolds and the elders of the Pueblo congregation. He hopes before too long to begin preaching the simple gospel of Christ, but he feels he needs more training in the truth before beginning that work. He is a humble and sincere man, and hesitated not one moment to obey, once he had realized what the truth was.

Brother Faith is about thirty years of age; attended the Denver University, and has an education and a pulpit ability far above that ordinarily seen among preachers in the Holiness groups. He is an effective and able speaker, and at the time of his baptism was engaged in holding evangelistic services all over the country among independent churches. I believe he will one day make a strong and useful preacher of the gospel of Christ. He gives every indication of becoming such.

That is an extract from a letter written to us by brother Melvin J. Wise, who preaches for Pearl and Bryan Streets congregation in Dallas. In a telephone conversation with brother Wise, he told us more of the circumstances of this case. It was the age-old story of an honest heart, a sincere soul, groping toward the light. And it was once again a fulfillment of the promise of the Lord to such souls that they "shall know of the teaching." (Jn. 7:17) Brother Wise, brother Reynolds, and brother Lemley were all most favorably impressed by the earnestness and honesty of this preacher. He certainly gave evidence of such a spirit when he immediately resigned from his work, cutting himself off from a livelihood, and secured secular employment which would enable him to further prepare himself to preach Christ. He was not looking, nor is he looking now, for a "pulpit to fill" among the churches of Christ. He wants to save his own soul from ruin, and as he gains a fuller understanding of the truth, he will want to teach it to others. Every sincere Christian will rejoice at such a conversion, and will pray God's blessings upon the future work and service of this fine Christian couple—now our brother and sister in Christ.

Why publish this story? Why give space to something that happens over and over again throughout the year? The answer is simple. We give space to it because it is so usual and ordinary! the very fact that it is a familiar story but serves to emphasize the fact of its power and glory. This is not an isolated case; this is not something unusual, foreign, and bizarre. It is the sort of thing that happens, and should happen, every day in the year. We publish it to give hope and encouragement to those who read these lines who may be struggling toward the truth. We publish it to give a bit of inspiration and a lift to those thousands of earnest Christians who are patiently, sympathetically, and anxiously seeking to guide some friend or loved one toward the truth. Do not lose hope; do not give up. The gospel of Christ is Gods power to save. And given an open heart and a sincere mind, that gospel will penetrate into and work a transformation in the life of any man!

We shall follow with sympathetic interest and sincere prayer the progress and growth of brother Faith. We shall hope one day to hear him preach the simple gospel of Christ. And we join with brethren Wise, Reynolds, and Lemley in a deep joy and thanksgiving to God that once again the truth has triumphed over error, that a fine man and his wife have been added to the body of Christ.

— F.Y.T.