G. C. Bevington, Remarkable Incidents And Miracles Through Prayer And Faith
When I was in Ironton, Ohio, in the mission there, I had a baby organ, but could get few to play it on the street. One night a nice looking man came up, and said, “Now, brother if you can get someone to pump the organ, I will play for you every night and start each line in the songs. I am a consumptive, and haven’t strength to pump the organ.” “Well,” I said, “I think I can get pumpers and good ones at that.” So we did, and he played for several weeks. But he soon said, “I am getting no better here in this climate that I was so much in hopes would prove helpful to me.” (His home was in the south.) He said, “I am thinking of returning south.” So in a few weeks he was gone.
The next turn in affairs was for me to go to Cleveland, Ohio, and open another mission. Well, I fought that hard, as I was getting to love those dear poor children at Ironton, that we had been wrestling with for sixteen months. So I gave little attention to this Cleveland impression. But some way the thing would keep coming up about every time I would go to prayer, until it claimed and actually had majority in the petition that I would send up. So I finally had to give up, though through many tears.
I don’t know as I ever had such a time giving up a place as Ironton, as I had come up there through many a swamp and quagmire. I finally said, “Well, Lord, send someone to take my place, and I will go.” So in two days here came a man and wife to take up the work. Then I pulled out for Cleveland. I had no money, and knew but one person in Cleveland; so the first thing to do was to get still and pray down a mission, as I left everything at Ironton, and I never ran in debt. I went to this home of the only party I knew in Cleveland and was taken in. I put in six days fasting and praying, and on the seventh I was ordered out. I then went to find a room, engaged it, and went to cleaning it up.
A man came along, and said, “A saloon I suppose.” “No,” I said, “it is to be a Holiness Mission.” “Well,” he said, as his face brightened up, when are you going to open up?” “Saturday night.” And this was Thursday. “Got your seats I suppose?” “Well, they are not here, but we have them.” “Where are they? I have a team, and might haul them for you, as drayage is pretty high here in the city.” “Well I will let you know, just give me your name and address.” So he did. “Now,” he said, “tell me your name and where you are stopping.” So I did. And he got on the street car and went out to where I was stopping.
The man was at work, so he did not see him but he had a talk with the wife. He said, “What do you know about this man Bevington?” “Well,” she said, “I don’t know anything about him. He came here about ten days ago a stranger to me; he said he was acquainted with my husband. So we bade him come in until husband came. We assigned him a room, and he went in there and just groaned. I suppose he was praying, and for about a week he went on at an awful rate. He would not eat a mouthful, but after a week he came out and said that he was hungry. That was this morning, and he said that he was going to open a mission by Saturday night.”
“I suppose,” said the gent, “that he has plenty of money, as he said he had his chairs, and an organ, and song books. But he would not tell me where they are. I could have hauled them this afternoon “Well,” said the woman, “if he has money, I would like to know where he has kept it. Husband got a little uneasy about his actions, and we pulled his outfit out and went through all his grips and belongings, and all we could find was twenty-nine cents. We went through his pocketbook, and that was all he had.” “He told me he had the chairs and the whole outfit,” said the gent. “Well,” she said, “he sure is a funny fellow. I can’t understand him at all.”
So here he came in while I was cleaning, and said, “Now my team is idle, and I could draw those chairs and anything you need.” I saw at once that I had to explain myself, so I just quoted 1 John 5:14, 15. “Well,” he said, “I don’t understand you; you said you had those chairs.” “Well” I said, “I have them according to that verse, as I prayed through on them and expect to open Saturday night.” He said, “No chairs in sight! How can you do that?” “Why, on the Bible.” I saw that he was puzzled, so I just left him and resumed my cleaning, and looking for the stuff, as I had put out the sign “Pentecostal Mission,” and expected someone to bring the stuff and locate it by the sign.
Satan, as usual, came round, as he is so much interested in our work at times, and began reasoning with me, saying, “Now you are here a stranger, and you should make your wants known; that is the way all missions do. They go out and solicit help. And you will never open here till you do.” But I had tried that once before, and had enough of that sort of work. So I just rejected his suggestions. I stood my ground, though facing a great reproach, as the sign was out for the opening Saturday night. Well, the Lord used the brother where I was stopping, so that by Saturday night the mission was seated. I also got fine benches, song books and an organ. We never went after a thing nor told anyone of our wants, just lay before God and let Him attend to all of it; and He did it fine, too.
A brother from the First M. E. Church, of Ironton, came along and said, “Well, what is going to be opened here?” I said, “A Holiness Mission, a work among the poor people.” “Well,” he said, “if you haven’t chairs, I am sure I can furnish you good, nice benches.” I said, “If the Lord leads you to do that I will be very glad.” So in five hours here came fine benches with good backs; and while they were being unloaded, a sister came along, and said, “What is going on here?” “We are expecting to open a Holiness Mission here Saturday night,” I said. “Well, I have an organ I would like to put in here, and will play it, if you want me to.” I said, “Send it down.” And next morning here it came with forty good song books. And she played the organ. So you see when we get out of the way, God will work; and the reason He doesn’t work is that we get in His way. Oh! to tuck ourselves in some corner and get out of the way, then God will work.
Well we won’t detain you any longer at Cleveland, but will probably come back again, as many valuable lessons are to be gleaned from our stay at Cleveland. After I had been there quite a while, I received a letter from Sister Allen, of Chattanooga. She was the wife of Brother Allen that played the baby organ for me a while at Ironton, by having someone to do the pumping. She said, “By the time you get this letter Mr. Allen will be buried. The doctor just left and said there would be no more need of his calling again, as he bled over a quart and is now just alive. I can scarcely discern any life in him; and what I will do I do not know.”
Well, I took the letter into my prayer room, telling the brother that was with me not to allow anyone to come in or bother me. Well, I lay eleven hours to ascertain whether he was still alive. I had much on my hands, hence it took me some time to get still enough to get the voice of God. Then I saw him lying, as a dead man, white as he will ever be, perfectly still, and thought sure he was dead; but was not permitted to break the vision, and lay there five minutes more. And I saw him raise his right hand, and smile. So I said, “Amen, Lord; now for his healing.”
But I had to put in nine hours in finding out as to whether the Lord wanted to heal him or not. So there were twenty hours gone on my face. But I was then on the right track, and could proceed intelligently as I had the foundation laid. It took just forty-six hours more to see him a healed man. I then saw him sitting in front of a baby organ pumping and playing with all his might. So I said, “Praise the Lord, that is good enough.” After lying in the dark room for fifty-six hours, I could walk out a conqueror in the name of Jesus. So I went out and got something to eat, and sat down to write him, telling him that he was a healed man, and that in two weeks he would be working. I told him the exact time that I saw him at the organ, a healed man.
Well, before he received my letter, he and his wife had written to me. Now, in Cleveland, I saw him get up, sit on the edge of the bed, and rub himself; I saw him feel his arms, pinch himself, get up and look in the mirror, and heard him say, “Yes, this is Allen, sure, no doubt about it. Pretty poor, just nothing but skin and bones, but it’s Allen.” Now in his letter he detailed every act, just as I saw it several hundred miles from him.
He went out on the porch where his wife was washing. (As she had some washings to do, she had gotten up early, as it gets pretty warm down in Chattanooga.)
She was startled, and said that she had hard work to undergo so sudden a strain, but held her poise. She insisted on his going back to bed, as she expected him to drop dead there on the porch. But he insisted that he was hungry and wanted something to eat. “Why, Mr. Allen, you are sure out of your head; you ought to know that the doctor would not allow you to eat anything, as it would be sure death.” “Well,” he said, “I am out of the doctor’s care now. You must have written to Bevington, didn’t you?” “Yes,” said she. “Well, he has prayed through for me, and I am healed. Give me a square meal; I dare eat anything.” She was still insisting that he was going to drop dead out there on the porch, but he was insisting on something to eat. She said, “I will not be guilty of murder to give you something to eat.”
Just then his neighbor was coming in from his barn, going to his breakfast; and Brother Allen called him, and the man was thunderstruck. “But,” Allen said, “I am as hungry as a bear, and wife won’t give me anything. You tell your wife to bring me over a good big breakfast.” Well he went in, and said, “Wife, just come here and see a sight. Allen is up and out on the porch a-begging for something to eat.” So out she rushed only to see him as she had been told, and he begged her to give him something to eat. “I am not going to drop dead just now, I am healed,” and he went to pounding himself. Then the neighbor ventured with a soft boiled egg, and he swallowed that down and called for more. As he still retained his equilibrium, and did not fall over dead, she ventured again, until he had eaten a strong man’s meal. Well, in two weeks he went to work just as I had told him. That was in the spring.
I remained at Cleveland all summer, and in the fall would get inklings that I must go to Chattanooga. Well, I just thought ’twas because Brother Allen lived there, and I would not give it much attention. But the thing kept growing on my hands, until it got to be a monster, and soon had me under control. Chattanooga seemed to be rather a large dose for my limited faith, so as a more rapid transit out, I was switched off for Cincinnati. Well, that did not seem so hard a problem. I had become attached to Cleveland and did not want to leave there, so I did not listen to the Cincinnati call. It seemed to be calling loud, and incessant; so finally I said, “Lord, if thou wilt send someone to take my place, I will go,” though I could not for the life of me see what for, as I was getting under good headway there. But in three days here came a man and wife. As soon as she saw me, she burst out in a laugh, and said, “That’s the man; he’s the one.” And the husband said, “Yes he is. This is the place.” Well, though I h ad been praying for someone to take my place, yet I was not on guard, and was wondering what kind of folks they were. I could see no trace of former acquaintance.
They soon cleared up my confused state by telling me what they had seen two nights before at Rochester, N. Y. I readily assented to their familiarity, and said, “Well, you must be the people who are to take my place.” So I went into my room, fell across the bed, and broke out in tears and sobs, as I was not entirely weaned from that work. I lay there some time bathed in tears. Finally I said, “Oh, God I cannot doubt these people coming direct from Thee but, O Father, these tears, these moans! O God, I can’t leave in this condition. If it is really true that you want me to leave, relieve me from this work, remove the burden.” Soon the tears were all wiped away; the clouds lifted, and the sunlight broke in on me with such a beautiful mellowness that soon all desire to remain there was gone. Well, now, that was settled, but I had no money to go on. I had a baby organ with the other belongings, and while in that room praying about my railroad fare to Cincinnati, a knock was heard. I opened the door, and there stood a Salvation Army sister who had helped me much in my work. She said, “Brother Bevington, we are informed that you are leaving us. Now these people that have come to take your place have a baby organ and won’t need yours, and I want to buy it.” “Well,” I said, “I never did such a thing. (I had opened up fourteen missions, equipping them fully, but never took anything away with me nor sold anything.) Just then the dear brethren stepped in the door, and said, “Well, we won’t need the organ, and we both feel that you need the money; so you sell it at once.” The sister asked me what ’twas worth, what I had paid for it. “Well,” I said, “I paid $15.00 for it, and have used it four months. I reckon it is worth $10.00.” “Yes,” she said, “it is cheap at $12.00, I will give you $12.00 for it;” and she just laid the $12.00 down, and took the organ.
Well I needed some clothes. I had no clergy rates then, so had full fare to pay, which was $8.00. I bought $3.00 worth of clothing, which left $1.20 (I had 20 cents before).
Well I started. I landed in Cincinnati, and there got on a street car and went down to Constance. I stayed all night, and came back in the morning. I was running round town doing some business and while on Fourth Street was passing a large front window. As I looked in, I saw a large bulletin board with the words, “Your Last Chance.” Well I just passed on, but that “Last Chance” kept nagging at me, and I actually had to return, though I saw no sense in that as I was in a hurry. But I minded the impression, and went back, and looked in the window again. Yes, there it was. But what did it mean? So I opened the door, and saw at once that I was in a railroad office. I said, “Sir, what does that mean,” pointing to the board. “Why, Sir, it means just what it says.” “Well, what is it for?” “Why, Sir, haven’t you heard of the great reduction in the excursions to Chattanooga?” “No, I haven’t.” “Well,” he said, “it is the great reduction in the excursions and this is the last chance, the last day.” “What time does th e last train leave?” “At nine this evening.”
Well, I started out, but thought that I had not ascertained the price, and so returned. “What is the cost?” I asked, “Why, Sir, round trip $3.75, clear to Chattanooga and back.” I went out and up the street after my needs, not thinking anything more about Chattanooga, or the cheap fare, as I did not have a dollar.
But Chattanooga kept ringing in my ears, until I had to turn from my pursuit and start back — Chattanooga was all that I could hear. I got down near to where we took the street car for Constance, and the voice said, oh, so plain and positive, “Will you or will you not go to Chattanooga”? Well I was startled, but said, “Why, yes, Lord I will go — but!” (Yes there it is again that but. ) Oh, how many have been stranded on this little word.
Well I got on the street car, to go down after my grips, somewhat dazed, but determined to mind God. I got a lunch and struck down for the depot. I had only thirty minutes, but I was sailing down minding God anyway. I saw a man coming towards me eyeing me closely, real scrutinously, and I said, “Well, he would not get much money if he should waylay me.” But as I came nearer, he was smiling. When he met me he just threw his arms around me, and said, “Oh, this is Brother Bevington.” I dropped my grips, and said, “Yes, but I am in a hurry; I want to make a train in twenty minutes.” So he grabbed up the grips for me and we started down. “Now,” I said, “who are you?” He laughed and told me, and then I remembered him. As we came to the depot, he said, “You prayed for my wife four years ago, and Jesus healed her. Then she said, “Now we won’t have no more doctor bills, so let’s give Brother Bevington our doctor’s money. So in one year they had $5.00 for me, and he had packed it round for three years waiting to see me. God had him there from the country purposely to meet me. So you see that God understands His business, if we will
will we ever learn? Will we ever learn?
So we got to the train just in time for me to be shoved on the last coach. I sat down and said, “Now, Lord, here I am at your command; now what are you going to do with me?”
I did not feel that I ought to go out to Brother Allen’s, as it was a long ways out, and they were very poor, with a family. Well as was often the case when I questioned God, I got the answer, “What is that to thee, follow thou me.” I said, “All right, Lord, shall I pack those two large grips?” I was impressed to get them checked. This cost twenty cents, which left me, after getting my dinner, eighty cents. And there I was among strangers. Well I was impressed to go on somewhere, and was walking by a high board fence, and soon noticed a sign: “At 2:30 p. m, Sunday — every Sunday.” I stopped, looked around and saw nothing that would indicate anything of that sort. So was walking along slowly, wondering what that meant, when I heard a call. Looking back, there I saw a colored man, as black as could be. There was a shine on his face, that assured me that he was a real child of God. He was coming toward me with a great big smile covering his whole face.
He said, “Laws, bless you man! You’s de man; you’s de man!” Well I hardly knew what to conclude. Was he a fresh escape from the asylum, or what? So I said, “Well what about it?” “You’s de very man I’s been a looking fo’. You’s goin’ ter preach in the mission down here on de corner. De man what’s dere is done and broke down. And I wuz down fo’ to see him three weeks ago, and he done tells me all about how he’s no account and axes me ter pray fo’ a man ter come and give him a lift. So I comes inter my home, gets down, and lays the case afo’ de Lord, and He showed me you just as you is now, ‘cept dar is two big suit cases, one black and a yaller one. Now, Broder, whar am dem two grips?”
“Well,” I said, “I guess you have got the thing pretty straight.” “Oh, I know that, Sah, yes Sah. I get ‘em straight.” So he showed me where to go. “As you is going jes gib me your two checks, and I will bring dem to you in my cart.” So I did. As we were walking along another man called to us, and said, “I know you’se de man what Joe done tells me about. Jes come in my house and get a drink of cool water.” So I turned in and got a good cool refreshing drink. “Now,” he said, “let’s have prayer.” Well that suited me, so down we got, and he called on me to pray, and I don’t believe I ever had freer access to the throne in my life than there in that colored home. As I left, he gave me a dollar bill. Then he showed me the mission I was to preach in. So down I went, and the man of the mission was sitting at the window on the second floor, where he could see down the road. He saw me and knew from the description Joe had given him of me, about three weeks before. Down he came, and gave me a hearty welcome, and sho wed me his young wife. (He was about forty and she twenty. )
I began preaching that night. This mission was run by the different churches, the M. E. one night, the Baptist another, and so on, each coming in once a week. There were five meetings a week. Well, I soon saw that some of these meeting-house folks were not taking to my way of preaching very well. The M. E. folks took me all right. On the second night three fell at the altar — that was the M. E. night. We had a good time.
On the fourth night was the meeting for the other church. Well, as I was preaching in came a drunkard; and, as had been their custom, he was signaled out. But he did not seem inclined to go out. So the head man of the church said to the leader, “Put him out!” He started, but I said, “Hold on there, don’t put that man out.” But the boss motioned him to obey orders. So I jumped over the rail, and said, “Please don’t put that man out; Jesus came to save just such poor creatures as he.” “Well”, he said, “you don’t know that man; he is the lowest down creature in town. He must go out!” I said, “Oh, no; please don’t.” But he said, “Put him out! ” I sprang between the leader and the drunkard, and insisted on his remaining. But oh, what a terrible odor came from him! Well the boss and all his crowd left — taking out about fifty.
Then the leader said, “Brother Bevington, I know what Jesus came for. But we have been dealing with this man for ten years, and actually there is no hope for him.” I said, “My dear brother, you will never make me believe that. Jesus can and will if we give him a chance.” “Well,” he said, “you and him for it. I will put out all the lights but one up by the pulpit, and you and him for it. I can’t stand the odor.” And he left. He went up the stairs but could not sleep.
I took the man up to the front of the platform and got hold of God for him. He did right well till about 2:00 a. m., and then got boisterous. He said that he was burning up, must have some whisky. He said, “You get me a pint, and I will get all right. I would like to be a Christian, but am in hell now.” Well, I plead with him, but about three o’clock he was getting the best of me. He was much stronger than I, and was backing me toward the door in spite of all that I could do. By four we were within eight feet of the door, and I was getting exhausted and saw that something must be done.
I was impressed to call the man upstairs, but the Spirit rebuked me, and I held my peace and began to intercede at the throne more intensely. I soon just let go of him, and threw up both hands, and cried out, “O God, what did you send this man in here for? What did you send me here for? O God, come, come, come! ” And at the third “come,” the man fell prostrate on the floor. He actually crawled around under the chairs just like a snake and ’twas then that we plead to have the demon cast out. I said, “O God, cast him out, cast him out!” And in thirty minutes the man was as quiet as a lamb.
He got up and rubbed himself, and said, “Well is this Tom? I have got religion.” I said, “You may have religion, but you have no salvation as yet.” “Oh, I know better, why I have religion.” I said, “Come on up to the altar and get saved.” “Oh, I am saved right now.” “No, you are not saved; you just had that whisky demon cast out. Now you are a candidate for forgiveness.” Well he would have it that he was already saved. But finally at five-thirty we got him at the altar and he got down and prayed earnestly. Soon he saw that he needed salvation and at seven a. m. he prayed through, struck bottom, and of all the capering you ever saw, he did it there.
The woman came down and she was delighted. She called her husband, and down he came, and both seemed satisfied that Tom was really a saved man. Well I was somewhat worn after wrestling all night with that ferocious man, and wanted some rest. But I said to the leader, “Now you have some clothes to give out; so you get me a tub and a broom and a bar of soap, and a scrubbing brush. And you bring down some good clothing, and I will take him out there in the back yard and scrub him up. His wife sanctioned the suggestion, and brought me down some asafetida as a preventive; so I tied some on and went for him. I used up three tubs of water and a bar of soap, and succeeded in getting him fairly clean. They furnished some good clothing and soon we had him looking entirely different.
He was a well educated man, but whiskey had floored him. But God gathered up the fragments and got them in their places and polished them up so that he was in pretty good shape by the time we were through with him. “Now,” he said, “I want you to go with me down to my cousin’s. I used to be his foreman in his lumber-yard, but he hasn’t allowed me around for years.” So we went down about 11:30, and the cousin was there waiting for dinner. Tom had me stand in front; so I knocked at the door and we were invited in. The cousin looked at me and then at Tom and saw that we were strangers. He seemed confused as we did not make our business known. After some suspense I said, “Mister, did you ever see that man?” At that Tom smiled. The cousin said, “This can’t be Tom, can it?” And Tom sprang up, and said, “Yes it is; I am a new man, Bill. Jesus has saved me and this preacher has cleaned me up, and the mission man gave me this nice suit. Bill, I want to go to work again. I will join the M. E. Church with you, if they will take me in.” We were then invited in to dinner at 12:30, and I tell you I enjoyed it.
After dinner Tom took me outside, and said, “Now Brother Bevington, Jesus has sure cleaned me up on the inside, and you on the outside. Now I want you to go with me to see my wife.” “Have you a wife?” “Yes, I have or did have; I haven’t seen her for eleven years. They say that she is worse than I was. She is down on Pokey Row with the very poorest, onerous, colored people that there are in Tennessee.”
So we went down. The leader saw us coming, so came down to see if we had our dinner, and I told him our mission. He took me upstairs, leaving Tom down. He said, “Brother Bevington, I think I can get a fair reconciliation with the managers of the mission here, now that Tom is so different. But whatever you do or don’t do, please don’t get near that woman. It is unmistakably evident that God has undertaken for Tom, but that woman is a thousand leagues lower than Tom was or ever could have been. And if you undertake to have anything to do with her, it will kill all the prospects that now seem quite favorable for a reconciliation and for getting them all back again. But any movement toward getting that woman will kill all that has been done and will throw me out of this place and my health is not sufficient for me to make a living elsewhere.”
His dear wife had listened to it all, and she came and set down a nice cold glass of lemonade. She said, “Husband, I am young and strong, and am willing to take in washing to make our living. I believe that Brother Bevington is on the right track, and that he knows his God, better than either one of us. If God could save Tom, He surely can save Lizz, as you call her. I say let Brother Bevington alone; keep your hands off. Let him and God and Tom do their best; and if it comes to getting out of here, I will work our way through.” Well, I said, “Amen!” and took her by the hand, and said, ” God bless your dear good heart.” I just wept for joy, and admired her for her noble stand. The husband said, “All right,” and he kissed his wife saying, “You are the better of us two.”
I went out and said, “Come on, Tom,” and we went down the street into the poorer vicinity, and soon turned up an alley, and of all the poverty and ignorance and filth I had ever been in, this beat it all. But I said, “We have started and we will trust God.” I still had the asafetida on, but said, “I don’t know as Jesus needs any help,” so I took it off and threw it down. Tom said, “You had better keep it on; we are not there yet, and it’s much worse where she is.” But we went on holding our handkerchiefs over our nostrils. Finally we got there. Now a greater obstacle was in our way, that was to locate her; as she, we supposed, had changed her name many a time, and we did not know her by the name she was going by. But we ventured in a yard and began to make inquiries. We found no one that would interest themselves in what we were after; they all wanted tobacco, or whisky, or opium, or beer. We saw a stairway going up to the roof of a shanty, so we climbed that and got up some twelve feet above the filth. We thought that there we might escape some of the awful stench and we began to call on God for information. Soon a big black Negro, oh so dirty, came out and saw us kneeling there. He wanted to know what we were doing there. We told him. He said, “I know who you are after; I will bring her out.”
Well, in all our mission work at Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville, and Cleveland, we never had looked on such a vile, hopeless-looking case as this one. We told her what her name had been fifteen years ago. She remembered it and acknowledged it. “Oh,” we thought, “could Jesus do anything for such a creature?” We talked to her and finally we called Tom in and presented him to her. She said, “Is that Tom?” and she gave a low brutish glance at him. Well, he told her what God had done for him and said that he believed He would do as much for her. But she just swore one oath after another and was smoking an old pipe the odor of which was almost unbearable. But Tom kept telling her of Jesus. Well, I was getting faint and almost wished for that asafetida. I crawled down that filthy ladder, and said, “We will come back tomorrow at 10:00 a. m. Make up your mind that Jesus can do as much for you as he has done for Tom, and that you can live a respectable life again.”
We hurried out of that malaria; Tom went to his cousin’s and I to the mission where I went to bed as I was about done up. It was 5: 30 p. m. Well I slept fine, and woke up at six o’clock the next morning I went down and got a nice breakfast, and related our trip. The young wife was interested and gathered up a lot of her clothes for Tom’s wife, saying, “They are going to get her.” The husband tried to persuade us not to bring her there to the mission. “Well,” the wife said, “we will take her down to Uncle Ben’s coal house, and fight the thing through there.” Her uncle Ben was a saved man.
Well by nine o’clock here came Tom, full of hope and faith for the poor emaciated wife. So we went down and sure enough there she was away out at the head of the first alley a-waiting for us with a bundle of filthy rags to wear. We told her to drop them. The first thing to do was to get her cleaned up as Tom had been. We took her to the mission, and Tom took her into the same yard where he got his cleaning up. He used five tubs of water and two bars of soap, and got her pretty clean. Then nice clothes were put on her. The leader of the mission was not able to go, but the wife went with us and we took her to Uncle Ben’s coal house, which was nice and clean. Well I thought I had a terrible time with Tom, but it was nothing to what we went through with that wild, unreasonable woman. We wrestled there with her eighty-four hours, day and night. We had to have help; she had Tom all bruised up, and I did not escape her fury. She would grab me and use me quite roughly, until Tom would extricate me. She tore my clothes about to pieces, but we held her in, and fed her strong coffee and other food until the eighty-fifth hour, when she was knocked down by the power of God. She lay on her back cursing God and man. Froth foamed from her mouth, but she was powerless, perfectly helpless, and exhausted. Near the ninety-sixth hour, she got still and lay perfectly quiet. About 1:30 she raised her hands, and wept, and asked us to help her up. Her clothes were in shreds and so were Tom’s. We had to get both of them clothes before they could go on the street. But we got the clothes and took her down to Tom’s cousin. And next morning she prayed through most gloriously. She did not caper like Tom did, but just walked the floor with her right hand up, weeping and laughing, and all that she said was, “Oh, glory! ” She kept that up for two hours, and then we all went to dinner at Tom’s cousin’s.
The next day the cousin fitted them up a three-room cottage with all new furniture. He also gave them new clothes. He put them in there and gave Tom his old job back again. Well, now, you see that God was in the real saving business. That was what Jesus came for, and He did a good job at it, too. I saw Tom and his wife three times at the Cincinnati Camp and they gave their testimonies on the platform — a blessedly saved and sanctified couple. We insisted on their getting the Holy Ghost, and they both did in their new home. Well that created quite a stir among the professors, as many knew of them, if they were not personally acquainted with them.
I would like to insert a few things here relative to the mission, as the managers had given orders for the leader to pack up his belongings and go. He and his wife had both stood by me, and when Tom was prayed through (that was on Friday) it was noised around. There was no meeting Saturday night, but I preached Sunday morning, afternoon and night (that was the M. E. Church night) and twenty fell at the altar and several prayed through. Well, they allowed him to remain, and then I went after him to get the Holy Ghost. He was somewhat scary of that, but God got hold of him; and in a day or two he was seeking in good shape. Then the wife came, seeking the same blessing. With these two and Tom and his wife, we had a busy time for about a week. But glory to God, the Lord got them all through!
I well remember that during the time the leader was seeking the Holy Ghost, several came down to break up all those proceedings and ordered us all out; and out we went. They discharged the leader, but he had gone so far in this that he just could not turn back, but went through. He had two bedrooms of his own furniture which he had held for a few days. But when the wife got through, there was a reconciliation made, and they were permitted to remain. Some of the meeting-house folks pulled out, but the M. E. folks stood by him. But I was not allowed to preach any more, or they all thought it best not to, so I stepped down and out quietly. They gave me their spare room and my meals until I could get entertainment elsewhere. I have forgotten to mention the fact that I had the privilege of marrying Tom and his wife over again before they set up housekeeping. Neither of them went back into sin. They had three sweet children with them at the Cincinnati Camp, the last time I saw them.
I now want to take you back to Cleveland. You remember I said I saw Brother Allen sitting at the organ, a-playing with his mouth stretched, a-singing with all his might! Well when I answered their letter telling them of what I saw there, I then told them that I saw him at the organ pumping and singing, and that I expected some day to see him just that way. Well, the first Sunday I was at the mission at Chattanooga, we had no morning service. I was up in my room sitting by the window, where I could see the people passing to and fro, on the street. And as I sat there praying and reading the Word and meditating, I looked out, and saw a large man coming down the street, a-singing. He had a baby organ in one hand a-swinging it as I would a small grip. I looked closely at him, and said, “Well, I declare, believe that is Brother Allen;” and then he looked and I called. He dropped the organ, and began jumping and clapping his hands, and I knew ’twas he. I ran down to meet him. I had not seen him, or written him that I was there and at the mission.
Well he picked up the organ as if it were a peck of potatoes, and laughed, and said, “Now, Brother Bevington, I hold meetings every Sunday in the jail; and last Sunday I told them that you were here and that I was going to bring you out. So I want you to go out with me.” Well I was delighted to go, and we had a rousing time. When I got there, I heard the organ going in the hall, and I looked around and there he sat just as I saw him in Cleveland, about eight or ten months before. I just threw my hat and gave an Indian whoop, and stepped up and told him that was just what I had seen in Cleveland. You see God doesn’t give us visions on uncertainties. So we had a blessed time and I went out the next Sunday, and five claimed to pray through. Well, by this time we were out of the mission.
There was a business men’s prayer meeting in a first floor room which they rented for this purpose. They ate their dinner there, and then had a prayer service for thirty minutes. Often there would be fifty or sixty out, and it was beautiful. They would read a short lesson, and give requests for prayer. Then they would all get down and pray, sometimes everyone was praying. The leader of the mission took me there. So I went the next Monday after Brother Allen’s first visit. The leader introduced me and told of Tom and Lizz, as they were known.
Well, next day they gave me the Bible, and I read Romans 4:14-25, especially emphasizing the verses which tell of Abraham. They all seemed delighted, and invited me back to read another lesson. I went back and read and talked on faith and obedience. We could have only twelve minutes to read and talk. They had given in their requests for prayer, but the man who had the management of this group told about a long standing trouble he had. He had related it to others often but said that he wanted me to hear it. Well, when he got through, I talked ten minutes. Then I said, “Dear brother, I am sure Jesus can heal you, and I believe He wants to.” “I wish He did,” was the reply. He said that he had not walked to his office for thirteen years, and had to hire everything done in his office. He kept two girls and a doctor all the time, and he had not slept a natural sleep for ten years. We felt that we should pray for his body, so we got down and got real still before God; and more and more our faith took hold for him . I laid my hands on him, and got blessed and praised God for it. Then I said, “Brother, you are a healed man.” Our time was up, so we arose from our knees. I said, “Didn’t you feel the touch of Jesus?” “Well,” he said meekly, “Brother, I am sorry, but I will have to tell the truth. I have felt no change whatever.” “Well,” I said, “you are a healed man, and you will sleep tonight as good as you ever did, and that without remedies. And that isn’t all; you will walk to your office tomorrow morning.” I noticed when I said this, that there was a general exchange of looks all around, and some jeers were visible; but they all walked quietly out. They were in the habit of having a handshake every day at the close; but not a handshake that day. All went out with bowed heads; no one shook hands with me, and I returned to my room.
Now listen what Satan gave me. He said, “You go too far down here among these Southerners. You are not up North. These people won’t take a strong diet as you gave them today; you go too far.” Well, I had to go on my knees to ascertain as to the source of this, and soon felt convinced it was of Satan. I went back next day, but was a little late, and had to take a seat in the rear. They had had their song and the manager got up and read a short message. Then he called for requests, and several were given. Satan said, “Now you see it is just as I told you. You went too far yesterday, as he isn’t healed, for if he was he would have said so. You see he never mentioned a thing about the case. If you hadn’t brought up the walk to the office and that he would sleep like a baby, why you would have been all right. But you see you went entirely too far.” I said, “You are a liar, Sir, I never did; and if it were to do over again, I would go farther.” There was no visible sign that my prayer was answered or my assertion s carried out. We went to prayer and several prayed. Then he closed with prayer, but never said a word about his being healed. So Satan was there to remind me that I should learn discretion and common sense in my dealing with Southerners.
I said, “He is a healed man.” “Well, it looks like you haven’t as much sense as I gave you credit for, as anyone knows that if he had been healed, he would have been the first to tell it.” Then we had it there in that back seat. But I stuck to it that the man was healed. Well we got up, and the leader was supposed to have five minutes for closing remarks; When he rose, I said, “Now, Lord, make him confess it; break him up.” He undertook to talk and his lips began to quiver. I saw that he was determined to be a coward, so I just pressed my claim all the heavier. He soon began to cry, and said, “Brethren, I have a confession to make.” Raising his right hand and pointing to me he said, “That man’s prayers were answered last night. This morning I can’t do otherwise than admit that I am a healed man.
Last night I never thought about my medicine till I was almost asleep. Then I thought that I would get up, but I was oh, so sleepy, which was something entirely new to me. Then I was reminded of what the brother had said, that I would sleep well and that without remedies. So I just dropped off to sleep, and the first thing I knew wife came in saying, ‘Well, what is the matter with you this morning that you are not up? Here breakfast is ready and waiting. You will not get the first car now’.” Well he got up realizing that he had slept, just I had said he would. He got out just in time to see the car speeding away and ‘twould be an hour before another car.
And right here let me mention another thing that may help someone. When I made the assertion that he would walk to his office, I had no idea that he lived so far from it. I was under the inspiration of the Spirit and was not consulting even facts — just said what the Spirit gave me. Had I known that he lived near Missionary Ridge and would have over three miles to walk, the Spirit no doubt would have had trouble in getting me to make that assertion; but as I was ignorant of the distance, He could work through me; so it isn’t always best to be too wise.
When he saw that the car was gone, he said, “Well, I feel so well, I guess I will walk down the street a ways.” He did not think then of what I had told him, that he was going to walk to his office. Well he just kept a-going slowly and was gaining strength every square, and several times said, “Well, I must be healed, I feel so well.” And he said, “I just kept on a-walking. I was all the time a-speeding up quite a bit, and got within five blocks of the office when I looked back and here came the car. I thought I would get on, but soon was reminded of what the Brother said. So I just walked in. One of the girls did not come to work, and I took her place and have been working all day thus far. I ‘phoned her that she might stay home all day. And brethren,” he said, with both hands lifted. “I am without a doubt a healed man.”
The glory fell, and oh, what a time we had! They tore loose from all conventionalities and programs, time, and everything else and it was after two o’clock when we left the room, and they were supposed to leave four minutes before one. I tell you they all shook hands with me that day. They all went out a-singing, some shouting and some dancing, and all had their heads up. So we need to learn to take a stand and then to stand. Find out where we are and stay there. Oh! how Satan tried to get me to back down. And it surely looked as though I would have to; but I knew God, and He had satisfied me the day before that I had not gone too far.
I will now proceed to tell you about my three broken ribs. As I stated before I was out of the mission. So a dear brother came to me and said, “Now I have been going out in the suburbs for several years holding some services. I have a Sunday School out there, and I believe the Lord would be pleased to have you go out. I will take you out tomorrow night; that is our regular night out there.” So we went. He preached to them in a home, and kept it up for several nights. Four were saved and two sanctified and three healed. Soon the homes would not hold the people. So three sisters came and said, “We have rented a storeroom near here, and will fit it up for you to hold meetings in.” I said, “All right,” and turned in to help them. We had the seats and the stove, as it was in the fall of the year and somewhat chilly. On the second day I was polishing the stovepipe; was standing on a cloth-bottomed chair, and not wishing to soil the cloth I stood on the outer edges of said chair. I was rubbing quite hard, and stretching and reaching just about as high as I could, when the chair turned and I fell, striking my side on the chair, mashing the chair to pieces. I lay there for some time, don’t know just how long, but when I came to, that building was a-spinning at a tremendous rate, and I was so sick. I undertook to get up but saw that I could not, so fell back on the floor and lay there trying to pray. I was in such misery that I just could not do much at praying.
Finally I got some better and by the aid of three chairs got up on my feet. But, oh, my side! What in the world could be the matter with it? I found that by putting my hand on my side and pressing quite hard that it was easier.
Well I preached that night, but had to keep my hand pressing hard on my side. I never told anyone how the chair got mashed. The next morning I was in a fair way for a pull sure, as the only way I could get any rest was to take the machine cover and put it at my side, and lay the sheet over me. By having the sheet rest on the box, this kept the weight off my side. I would pray and get relief and drop to sleep. But at any move I would waken. It felt as though a thousand needles were running in on that side.
Well Brother Allen heard of my fall and came to see me the first day. He worked only five blocks from where I was stopping. So he got his meals down there and just stayed with me. He took my bed as I could not lie on a bed; I lay on the floor, and as I had two rooms given to me for use, I occupied the front room and Brother Allen the bedroom at nights. He went to his work each morning.
“Well,” he said, “Brother Bevington, I know that God healed me, but this seems to be a different case. There is surely something wrong with your ribs, you must have a doctor.” I said, “No doctor for me.” But the next day, the fourth day, I seemed to be impressed to go and see a doctor. “Why,” I said, “Lord, I don’t want any doctor, as Thou art my healer.” I stuck it out another day and was still strongly impressed to go and see a doctor. So I went. This was the sixth day, and I had not had anything to eat during all this time; I didn’t want anything. Women would come with eatables, but I could not eat anything, could not swallow even water without being thrown into a paroxysm of pain. I got up with the aid of two chairs, and got my hand on my side. I had a belt made to go around me, and would crowd cotton batting in under the belt as it seemed to give relief. Well I got a stick for a cane and ventured out in search of a doctor. After hobbling three blocks, I saw a sign, and as the sitting room opened onto the sidewalk, I had not much trouble in getting in. I stood by the door, and soon the doctor came out and offered me a seat. I did not want to take it as I knew I would have a time in getting up, so I stood there. But southern hospitality would not permit him to endure my standing there, and I had to stand a-leaning some, so he came out and insisted that I sit down. So I did. But, oh, how I did suffer there for about forty minutes, awaiting my turn! But it came. and he stepped out and motioned for me to come in. “Well,” I said, “Doctor, I don’t think I can get up alone.” At that three men were at my side, ready to assist me. They got me up and over to a settee. “Well,” said the doctor, “you seem to be somewhat crippled up.” I said, “I have been having a little trouble with my left side here.” So he laid his hand on it and I, not prepared for the act, halloed, and came near going down. I would have, no doubt, had not the men held me up. “Well,” the doctor said, “there must be something quite serious.” Then he laid me down on the settee, and put his hand on my side. I said, “You can examine it now; I was not prepared before.” He said, “I will give you a sleeper.” I said, “No, doctor, nothing of the kind, please. You just go ahead and make your examination.” He felt my side awhile and said, “You are not able to undergo such an examination as will be necessary. Let me give you a sleeper.” But I objected. He said, “Well, what is the matter anyway? Some mule kick you?” I said, “No.” I didn’t want to tell him; I wanted him to find out.
So he said, “What is your business?” I said, “I am a Holiness evangelist.” “Do you live here?” “No, I am from Kentucky.” “Oh! you are from the north. Were you holding meetings here?” “I have some, yes.” “Where abouts?” “Well, I first started in the Wilcox Mission.” And he stopped and looked at me critically, and said, “Are you the man from the north that saved old Tom and Lizz?” I said, “No; I never saved anyone.” “Well,” he said, “I had it pretty straight from a friend of mine that passes here every morning going to his work. What is your name?” I told him. He repeated it, “I tell you that sounds like the name. You must be the one.” “No, it is a mistake.” “Well now, I got this pretty straight. Then it was in the papers. That sounds like the name. Didn’t you hold a meeting in the Wilcox Mission?” “Yes.” “Well, you are the man.” I then explained to him that it was Jesus that saved them. “Oh, well I know. Well, well, and you are the party that fasted and prayed and stuck to them till you got them actually saved and remarried. Both, they tell me, are doing well.” “I guess they are,” I said.
“Well how much money have you? I would like to put the Xray on you.” I knew that in Cincinnati they charged $10.00 for that, so I said, “I am not able for an Xray.” But at the same time I felt that was just what God wanted me to come there for. “Well,” he said, “this Xray is not mine. I have to pay one dollar for every time I use it. So if you have a dollar I will use it.” Well I knew I did not have a dollar, but I bowed my head and soon said, “I tell you what I will do. I have a friend that will give you a dollar. So if you will, you may turn it on.” So he slipped in a silver dollar, and blindfolded me. He soon jerked off the bandage from my eyes, and said, “My good man, you are all torn to pieces.” “Oh, I reckon not.” “Well you are. I don’t see how you have lived these six days in this condition. Sir, your first rib is separated three-fourths of an inch, the second, half, and the third one about a quarter. What has caused you so much pain is, there is a sliver torn from your first rib, just the size of a horse shoe nail — looks like a large horse shoe nail. And that lies right across your ribs. “I can’t do anything for you,” he said, “but I have a cousin at Nashville who has charge of the largest, finest hospital in Tennessee. He and I were talking over the phone the other day about Tom and Lizz. He wants to see that northern fellow. Now I am sure that I can get you in there real cheap. Ordinarily it would cost you five hundred dollars, taking about seven months. But tomorrow I will see what can be done for you.”
Well, I went back saying, “Five hundred dollars and seven months.” I said, “Lord, Thou canst beat that,” and went into the room, and resumed my position on the floor, and at every move suffered tremendously. But I would soon get victory. The floor seemed to be getting harder and harder at each move. Well, night came and with it Brother Allen. I told him what I had done, and where I had been, and he said. “Well, what doctor did you go to?” I told him. “Why,” he said, “that is a dear friend of mine, a saved man. He is the one that bought the baby organ for me to play at the jail and on the street. He does all the doctoring at the foundry where I work. Everybody recognizes him as a Christian. He always gets down and prays at the foundry before examining patients. I will see him as I pass by his office as I go to work.” So the next morning he gave the doctor the dollar. And that dear doctor worked faithfully all day. To a casual observer he did a tremendous day’s work for me.
That night when Brother Allen came in, he was all perspiring; he had run those three blocks so eager to break the news of the wonderful developments of the day, through the insistent efforts of the dear doctor. He said, “I just stopped in at the office to see what the doctor had done. All things are ready, all planned out. They will have a fine stretcher here with four men, at nine o’clock in the morning. They will bear you to the depot, where a special has been chartered for you, to take you to Nashville; where you will be cared for, as but few are, at the remarkably low price of just what the material for the artificial ribs will cost. This will not exceed eighty dollars. All the work and care and board will be given you; hence you will be having donated to you nearly seven hundred dollars. And,” he continued, “I am so glad. Oh, the doctor is a dear man; I just love him more than ever for all these favors granted you.”
“Well, Brother Allen,” I said, “that is a great favor. I surely do feel thankful to the doctor for what he has done; but, Brother Allen, I can’t go to a hospital.” “What!” he said, “You won’t go to the hospital?” “No,” I said, “I can’t do that.” “But Brother Bevington, you must remember that you are not in the north now. You are here in the south, where gangrene springs up in all cases such as you have, and spreads rapidly, inoculating the whole city, and the Board of Health will have to interfere. You will be sent to the pesthouse. And Brother, I never can endure to see you sent to that place.” I said, “Brother Allen, didn’t the Lord heal you down here in this very city?” “Yes, but yours is altogether different. In the first place you are older than I; and then I had no ailments that would produce gangrene.” “Well,” I said, “is God circumscribed to conditions or places? Is God’s power conditional? Have these earthly matters got to be analyzed before God can operate?”
“Oh, well, Brother Bevington, you must exercise judgment. You must remember that you are not dealing with northerners now. It is hot-headed southerners that you are, and will be, dealing with and that right soon too.” I said, “Brother Allen, according to that God’s power is limited to places and people. Now Brother Allen, possibly you may believe that, but you will never make Bevington believe it. No, never, my dear man! I can’t go to the hospital. could not turn my back on my Doctor. No, never! He has done too much for me.”
He said, “But you will inoculate the whole city, which they would not have done for millions of dollars. You will have all the officers in town after you, and the pesthouse is where you will land. Then you ought to know what will be the result of that move. No one will be to blame but you.” Next morning he went to work, and met the doctor, who said, “Well, I suppose Brother Bevington was delighted with what has been done for him.” “Well doc, that fellow is a crank sure.” “Why?” “Well, he doesn’t want to go to the hospital. He has it in his head that the Lord is going to heal him.” “Nonsense,” said the doctor. “Well,” said Brother Allen, “he has said positively that he will not go.” “And, then, do I understand that he has turned down all that I have done for him?” “Yes, I am sorry to say he has.” “Well, well!” And off he went. His southern blood played to the tune of the “old man”. So about ten o’clock, here came three officers, and I tell you they raked me over the coals quite briskly. They gave me twenty- four hours to further consider my decision, leaving me well informed as to the pesthouse. Well the time limit would bring it up to about eleven o’clock the next morning. I went to praying as best I could.
The next day here they came at 11:30, ready to take me to the pesthouse. But I prevailed on them to give me till seven the next morning. They had a doctor with them, and he said, “Gentlemen, there isn’t the least sign of gangrene — a remarkable exception. And there is no inflammation, strange as it seems. It is a clean wound.” Brother Allen came in feeling desperate over my obstinacy, especially as I could not sit up nor lie only in that one position. I said, “Now Brother Allen, just keep quiet.” I was getting somewhat weak, and nervous. I had never been troubled that way to any alarming extent. I said, “Now Brother Allen, you just stand still and you will see the power of God.” I was well-nigh convinced that God was arranging to give the people there an object lesson, which they would not forget soon. My suffering seemed to increase, but I held on. About four o’clock next morning, I saw myself actually sinking down, getting smaller. I could see that I was on the trimming lathe, and was being trimmed down . So I began to praise the Lord. I did not dare to exert myself, nor did I want to, for fear of breaking the chain that was being woven round and through me. And I did not want to disturb Brother Allen. But I kept quietly saying, “Glory! Glory! ” At each utterance I could see the shavings a-flying and felt that I was getting the victory. So the “Glorys” would come regardless of Brother Allen’s sleeping in there and needing rest — out they came, louder and louder.
When I saw that it was time for Brother Allen to get up, I did not hesitate to open my mouth. I also saw that what little exertion I had made did not hurt me in the least and as I had not taken a long, down-deep breath for so long, I just wanted to so bad. So I tried it, and oh, what a relief! And best of all, it did not hurt me. I had wakened Brother Allen, and he lay where he could see me. Soon I raised my right arm, and felt no pain whatever. I then shouted, “O, glory ’tis done!” I jumped up and began pounding my fractured ribs, and at that Brother Allen bounded out of bed, ran in and grabbed me, frightened at my actions. I said, “Oh, Brother Allen, I am healed! ” “Oh, Brother Bevington, you will kill yourself!” “No, I am healed!” And in spite of his trying to hold me, I was pounding those ribs with all my might and feeling no hurt from it. I forgot to say that as I lay there realizing that I was healed, when I said, “It is done; I am healed.” I heard those ribs come together; I felt them rub together. God surely was in their coming together.
Brother Allen could not believe that I was healed. He actually thought that the suffering and the failure of getting healed and the prospect of the pesthouse had so worked on my mind that I had actually gone crazy. But Hallelujah, it is done, a most wonderful work of the supernatural! And I tell you as I relate it, I feel the same glory, the same power, as I felt then. So here at Ashland I rejoice in a Christ that heals. Hallelujah to His dear name. Oh! let us magnify Jesus; let us exalt Him above all other agencies and powers. Well, I was hungry, so I went and had a good early dinner. I had had but one meal during the eight days of struggle. I came back to the room and oh, how different things looked! I just fell on my face on the very spot where I had been healed, and sent forth my heart’s contents. There was a great landslide came into my soul, and I just laughed and shouted and jumped for about three hours.
Well, after I had gotten somewhat quiet and was getting adjusted to the remarkable change, I thought that I ought to go and let the doctor know what had happened. So up I went. I stepped in, and took a seat, and soon he came to the door. I spoke, but he gave a sort of grunt. His southern breeding had been insulted, and the “old man” in him was making a fine display of his goods on the inside.
When it came my turn, he stepped to his door, and motioned for the next one, ignoring me. But I jumped up, feeling that he could not fail to see the difference in my movements to what they were the first time he saw me. So my quick getting up had the desired effect. He stopped and looked at me in amazement, saying, “Well, what has happened to you?” “Well, Sir, Doctor, I am a healed man.” It was readily seen that he did not take much stock in that. But yet there were some facts staring him in the face; that much he could not very well reason out of. There I was, pounding my ribs, and he was staring wildly at me. The first thing I knew I was shouting right there in that doctor’s office, with a lot of onlookers gazing at me and the doctor a Presbyterian. He laid his hand on my side. I said, “round it, Doctor.” He did, and then dropped his head on my shoulder and wept and trembled till he shook my whole frame. He reminded me of an aspen leaf in the wind. He stood there weeping for several minutes. Then he said , “There must be something in this healing power. I never saw anything like it. And you say that Jesus really healed you without any remedies?” “Yes, Sir, and now doctor, here is another dollar, for I would like you to turn the Xray on.’; “Oh, I will gladly do it. I am interested in that sliver that lay cross your ribs.” I said, “You will find that splinter in its place.” So when he turned the Xray on, he just stood speechless, while I laughed. And again he laid his head on my shoulder, and wept and trembled.
I said, “How about that splinter, Doctor?” He said, “There is no splinter to be seen, and no trace of its ever being there.” And again the glory fell on me and I had to walk the floor. I didn’t dare to be too noisy out there in that office; so I just walked or rather flew, for it seemed my feet never touched the floor.
He said, “Brother Bevington, I want you to come to our church, (a Presbyterian) and give your testimony; I can stand for it. My church is on Lookout Mountain. I will come after you in the morning with my car.” I said, “All right.” So we went. There seemed to be no objections to my testimony. It took me an hour to tell it, though it was pretty dry to me, and no one seemed to be interested in it but the doctor, his wife and son and daughter. The daughter was nineteen and the son twenty-three. Then the doctor wanted me to preach that night. The pastor did consent, though somewhat reluctantly. However, I preached. I said but little about holiness, yet they all saw where I stood, and what I claimed. At the close, I said, “I feel that there is someone here that would like to get saved, get the old-time salvation. But I see there is no altar here.” But the word “here” had scarcely left my lips, until the doctor had two chairs put out. His son and daughter fell there and began praying. This did not suit the pastor , as they had been the stand-bys. But we held them over hell just the same. The pastor soon pronounced the benediction and had the lights put out, leaving most all of the congregation in the dark, and we all had to feel our way out.
I was happily surprised on Monday morning to see the doctor. He threw his arms around me, and said, “Brother Bevington, the children want to get through. So they came in and kneeled down and about 3:00 p. m., they both got saved. I went up to their Wednesday night prayer meeting and the son and daughter gave their experience. And the doctor got up and said, “I move we invite Bevington up here to hold a meeting.” Well that move never got a second. It was not only pigeonholed but was kicked out before it had a chance to show itself. So Thursday morning here he came, and said, “Brother Bevington, I want that blessing you preach about.” I said, “Doctor, are you sure you do?” “Yes, Sir, I am.” I said, “Do you want it bad enough to get down here and die out?” “Yes,” Sir, he said. “Then,” I said, “Doctor, die out to that Presbyterian Church!” “I have already done that. Last night’s action settled the Presbyterian Church with me.” “Can you die out to that proud wife of yours?” “Yes Sir, for she will be after the same thing.” So down he went in my bedroom. He remained there three days, groaning and pleading and wrestling.
Then I heard a knock at the door. I got up and there was the wife. I was somewhat fearful, but the second look at her allayed all fears, as she asked, “Is the doctor here?” in a more meek and humble attitude than I had ever given her credit for. The doctor called out, “Come in, Honey.” So in she went ahead of me. He was in the bedroom, and she had one room to pass through before reaching him, so by the time I got in there, she was down with her arms around him, crying and kissing him. Well, that was a happy surprise to me, as I really had expected just the reverse. She rose up, and said, “Brother Bevington, I want this same blessing.” So she went after it. She stayed there all night. Next morning she proposed to go to their own home and fight it out. Well I was a little scary of that, until she said, “We will take Brother Bevington with us. I don’t like to have the children alone there too long.” So I agreed with her and went with them. We were on our faces forty-two hours in their home, no one eating anything. In fact the doctor nor I had not eaten anything since the Thursday we came down, and this was the following Tuesday. They got through about 2:30 p. m., Tuesday. The four of them went to their prayer meeting on Tuesday night, all on fire, and all testified as to what God had done. They were sung down, and, at the close of the meeting, their letters were handed to them. So they were delivered from that ice chest. Then they both went on the street with me and were a power.
The doctor said, “I am going to pray over the matter. Wife is impressed to make a radical change of which I am a little afraid.” So he and his wife put in three days waiting on God. The doctor’s office was locked up now over a week. The following Monday they both came down, and said, “We are impressed to sell our place here, get a rig and drive through to California, preaching the old-time Gospel all the way. Would you give us an idea as to what we will need? We will want to eat, sleep, cook, travel and preach from this wagon.” So I made a list of the things needed. They sent to Studebaker at South Bend, Indiana, and got their outfit. The outfit complete cost them over $1200.00. They sold out and started, and were on the road eleven months, preaching and distributing tracts. The children, as they called them, were sanctified three weeks after they left. I feel impressed to state that I heard from them all the way through. They have sent me money, and I have met them at the camp meeting since.