Because of his many years of close fellowship with Brother Gilbert, the family, with consent of the author, has asked Lloyd Walterick to add this appendix.
The information given was taken from notes written by Brother Gilbert. In many places they are worded verbatim as he has written them.
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In 1917 when T. B. Gilbert was called of God to preach the Gospel in the towns and villages of the U.S.A. there seemed to be few preachers who could stay and help solely in a new work for any length of time. However God did use not only full-time workers but Christian businessmen, many elders from the Chicago area, including his father and others, who went some eighty to one hundred miles to help in preaching and baptizing in surrounding areas (1 Cor. 1:14-15).
The following pages will give some details in the lives of men who were closely associated with Mr. Gilbert, or were of help to him in his work for the Lord. Also given are some details of other pioneers and workers in new fields he was personally able to help during the years from 1938-1948.
Frank Detweilers’ Tent
On T. B. Gilbert’s travels, the state of Virginia became one of his main centers for meetings from 1938 on. In Marion he stopped with the Harold Mackays and the Frank Detweilers, and in later years he and his wife visited with the David Ednies. The fellowship in these homes and with new Christians they met was always sweet. Visits were made to Seven Mile Ford, Richmond and other places.
Mr. Gilbert was able to help Frank Detweiler in two places where he pitched his tent. They had become acquainted with one another in Chicago when Frank attended the Moody Bible Institute. He was commended to the work of the Lord by Grace Gospel Chapel in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. About the same time David Blackburn was commended from Chicago. These two men went to Bristol, Tennessee, where there was a small gathering in a home. These two brethren labored together in tent work for three years when a chapel was built. In later years others have come in, and at the time of writing the David Ednies are giving real help. Brother Blackburn was killed walking on the highway, so Brother Detweiler went to Marion to help a similar work as that at Bristol. Harold G. Mackay came to help too. Since then, he has seen a big work for the Lord develop at Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 1939 T. B. Gilbert helped Frank Detweiler with tent meetings in Johnson City, Tennessee, where there was a small group of Christians meeting in Christ’s name alone. The meetings were most encouraging with good numbers and many Christians interested in the truth. T. B. Gilbert wished he could have stayed on with them, but commitments in Tucson, Arizona, made it impossible.
In 1938 Mr. Gilbert was at Marion for a tent campaign. The meetings ended with a Bible conference. John Bramhall was helping. Two brethren from Roanoke, Virginia, came to that conference, one of them being W. Fischer Hunter, a preacher he knew well in Chicago. He was about to begin tent meetings in Roanoke where he had seen a work started, and they wanted T. B. Gilbert to help them. This was the beginning of a long series of visits to Roanoke; the next year Mr. Gilbert again helped in tent meetings with Raymond Schuster leading the singing. Some years later Frank Detweiler moved to Roanoke to help the assembly there and also in helping to build a chapel. T. B. Gilbert gave valuable help from time to time seeing many saved and helped. The present chapel became too small so when the new building was built it was called Fleming Chapel. They continue to see encouragement.
The Life Of Alfred P. Gibbs
Alfred P. and Edwin Gibbs, twin brothers, were born in Birmingham, England, October 22, 1890. When they were seven years old, after the death of their mother, they moved to Johannesburg, South Africa. Many may recall hearing the story of their conversions as told by Alfred. His brother Edwin was saved first, then Alfred was very concerned so Edwin drew a line across the ground and explained, “Those standing on your side of the line are sinners Christ came to save and those standing on my side are Christians who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour and have believed God. The Bible says, all who will accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour and believe that He died for their sins and rose again, will be saved. If you will step over the line and say, ‘I accept Christ as my Lord and Saviour, God says you will be saved.’”
Alfred stepped over the line and said, “I accept Christ as my Saviour” and was saved. There were many opportunities to witness for Christ in Africa. Alfred and Edwin decided to come to the United States and attend Moody Bible Institute—Edwin came first, then Alfred came in 1921.
Mr. Gilbert knew them both from the time they arrived in Chicago as they all attended the Gospel Hall Mission there. Alfred’s twin Edwin married Dorothy Fea, granddaughter of Donald Ross—a pioneer preacher, of the Austin Assembly in Chicago. They went to Izingolweni, South Africa, where a great work has been accomplished for the Lord.
Later Alfred P. Gibbs returned to South Africa, but decided God had a bigger field for him in the United States. On his return he helped H. Lockhart get a young people’s summer camp started in Guelph, Ontario, Canada; he also helped at Cedar Lake, Indiana; Greenwood Hills, Pennsylvania (participating for twenty-nine summers), as well as many other places.
A very dear friend, Robert I. Thompson, has great praise for Brother Gibbs. He was living in Durban, South Africa, when in 1915 Alfred came from Johannesburg with a group of children sent there for a summer vacation on the beach. In 1923 Alfred encouraged Thompson to attend Moody Bible Institute. Later Mr. Thompson married in Houston, Texas, and returned to Africa. While he was there Alfred visited him giving help among railroad men. He was interested in the Thompsons returning to the States; and asked his help in camps at Cedar Lake and other places. Thompson learned Gibbs’ ways with children and this has become the background for the Thompson’s work.
Alfred P. Gibbs was suddenly and tragically killed on September 9, 1967, in Canada, when his car left the road killing him instantly. At the time he had been suffering from shingles. He is remembered by many in many different ways. Children and young people alike loved him and he in return loved them. Others will remember the hymns and choruses he wrote and sang. He wrote on many scriptural subjects, and was admired for his faithfulness to the truth. Not a few will remember his graphic and his unique sayings.
Mr. Gibbs believed there was only one church and every true Christian was a member of it by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13). It is called the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord (I Cor. 1:9). The local church is the outward expression of that fellowship. The basis of that fellowship is the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17). 1 Corinthians 10 speaks of the Lord’s table where every Christian may sit. 1 Corinthians 11 shows the Lord’s supper is the outward fellowship of that Oneness in Christ. All Christians have a right to participate of the supper unless barred by sin or error. It says, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat” (1 Cor. 11:28).
James G. Gilbert
Although a businessman, James Gilbert left his office for weeks at a time to help spread the Gospel. His messages in the Gospel brought real conviction of sin to the unsaved and many were brought to know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In his ministry he not only taught the Word, but many of the saints were edified and comforted by it.
James Gilbert often held series of meetings alone in tents and buildings, but more often with his brother, even on street corners. He worked and corresponded with his brother for over forty years; until he was called home to be with the Lord in 1959 at the age of seventy years.
Mr. Gilbert is remembered by many Christians, young and old, in Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee and elsewhere, as well as by those in his home assemblies in Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska. He sought to be and always was faithful to the Lord and His Word.
Mr. And Mrs. Ernest Gross
It was a joy and privilege for the Gilberts to visit a new gathering of Christians started by Ernest Gross at Greenville, South Carolina. T. B. Gilbert had known Ernie’s wife, Virginia, from a little girl of four. He often stayed in her parent’s home (the Hurnies) in St. Louis, Missouri. Ernest Gross was saved when James G. Humphrey had children’s meetings in Yonkers, New York. He often spoke of Mr. Humphrey as his father in the faith, and since T. B. Gilbert had led James Humphrey to the Lord, as his grandfather in the faith.
Mr. and Mrs. Gross were both commended for the work of the Lord from Yonkers, New York. Both have kept busy in camps, Bible schools and other phases of the Lord’s work as they have reached out in the gospel. They spent two years with Lester Wilson helping at Greensboro and Burlington, North Carolina. They then settled in Florence helping out in the work as the Lord led. Harold Harper told them of a work at Greer, North Carolina, where they sought to help for a while. He also told them of a large field, without an assembly, around Greenville, so they moved on there.
The assembly in Greenville first started in a home, then went to Parker High School for larger quarters; then they purchased lots and the Over-brook Gospel Chapel was built. A large number now attend the Family Bible Hour and there is also a good-sized Sunday School, with some fifty or more believers in attendance for the Lord’s supper. A number of students attend from the Bob Jones University which is located there. Each year for nineteen years the Grosses have had a Sunday School workers’ conference. Brethren in Greenville are now reaching out with the gospel as far away as fifty miles, continuing steadfastly in their calling. Several years ago their son Ron went out to Africa to help Dr. Dick, and others, with the work. Both Ron and Dr. Dick with two other co-workers were drowned when their car went through a bridge over a swollen river. God has given the Grosses grace to accept this tragedy as from Himself.
Harold M. Harper
Harold M. Harper and T. B. Gilbert were the closest of friends for over fifty years. They first met and labored together in Chicago at the Gospel Hall Mission during the years 1914-1917. They studied prophecy together in Mr. George Barnes’ weekly Bible class, and also benefited much from the teaching of some of the best teachers in the U.S.A., and men from abroad such as Alfred Mace, Harold St. John, C. F. Hogg, Thomas Baird, Alexander Clark and others. Many fine singers from the British Isles attended so we learned many new hymns. T. B. Gilbert after learning so many of these new hymns at the Mission, saw the need for publishing a new hymn book and Harold Harper was his biggest helper.
Mr. Harper had come to Chicago to attend the Moody Bible Institute, but prior to that he had learned to bear the yoke in his youth at Rochester, New York. The Congress Avenue Chapel was started, mostly composed of young people, and much of the ministry fell upon his shoulders. His first convert here was John W. Bramhall, whose Christ-exalting ministry has been a blessing to many.
While attending the Bible Institute he was asked to hold meetings in a home in the Irving Park district of Chicago. Henry Petersen, now laboring in California, was saved at those meetings. After he graduated he and Edwin S. Gibbs held tent meetings in that district. From the many saved at this time an assembly was gathered which now meets in the Portage Park Chapel. Later another group hived off to start another assembly now known as the Norwood Park Gospel Chapel. He had no trouble being commended to the Lord’s work because God had mightily used him.
In 1919 Mr. Harper married Miss Margretta Righter, also a graduate of Moody’s. She always found much to do in the Lord’s work. In 192 0 when Harper and Gilbert were together in St. Louis, Missouri, preaching, she was in Virginia helping a sister who worked with children. In 1922 the Harpers were living in Pennsylvania. He was asked to preach in a school house, twenty-five miles from Philadelphia at Plumsteadville. For two years he continued preaching in the area with good attendance and with many being saved and baptized. Some of these visited a Bible conference at Collingdale, Pennsylvania, and were so pleased with what they saw and learned they asked him to teach them the scriptural principles of gathering which resulted in an assembly being started of the group with some twenty-two in fellowship. This all resulted in the growth of the group and a building was erected at Curley Hill, Pennsylvania, near Doylestown. Welcome Detweiler was saved through Brother Harper and is now serving the Lord in Durham, North Carolina.
In the early 1930’s the Harper and Gilbert families were invited to the Rhodes Grove Conference Grounds near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, for gospel meetings arranged by two brethren who were anxious to see the people saved who lived near the grounds. Since that time, the conference has moved to Greenwood Hills. In later years Mrs. Harper had a big part in the monthly letters known as “Workers Together.” It was at the Rhodes Grove meetings that T. B. Gilbert was asked by Brother Harper to visit Mr. George Landis of whom we shall hear more about later.
Harold Harper was often called to Bible Conferences and meetings in large assemblies, but he had a burden for the pioneer fields and small assemblies. He often sought to help T. B. Gilbert in such places. For fifty years they corresponded and enjoyed unbroken fellowship. In 1933 James Spink, then editor of Light and Liberty, asked Brother Harper to take over the Young People’s page, and T. B. Gilbert to edit the Home Workers’ page; thus working side by side on the pages of this magazine. Harold Harper was a wonderful shepherd and cared much for his sheep. By circular letter or otherwise he kept in constant touch with those he led to the Lord, and others who needed help. He was a succorer of many and especially young men. His beloved wife, Margretta, will share his reward. She encouraged him to go whenever a call came for “help,” even to Palestine when the opportunity arose. She was willing to stay at home with the family and was a great source of strength and encouragement to him. We often wondered how he kept up, as he suffered from diabetes for his last twenty-five years.
Harold Harper was a liberal giver to missions and workers despite a large family. He confidently told how over the years the Lord had enabled him to give ten percent, then twenty percent, thirty percent and finally fifty percent of what he received. Those who gave to him will never know how many of their gifts were passed on to others. No doubt his ministry was enhanced and blessed of God because of his liberality, “for the liberal soul shall be made fat and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Prov. 11:25). His record is on high and will be declared in that day.
Mr. Harper had a big part in compiling the hymn books Choice Hymns of the Faith and Hymns of Worship & Remembrance. He was one of two who had to delete 150 hymns from Choice Hymns of the Faith in order to reduce it to size. The last fifty were choice hymns indeed! During the last eighteen months of his life, he and T. B. Gilbert had much correspondence and the latter paid two visits to Florence, South Carolina, to see him regarding hymns for the new hymn book Hymns of Truth and Praise.
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert visited their home for a week shortly before he died. Both say it was a week ever to be remembered. Circumstances forbade them going to the funeral, but they understood that John W. Bramhall gave a very fitting message. He was a beloved brother, and a faithful servant of Christ. He was putting Christ first in everything and we know he is now gazing upon the face of His beloved Lord and Master.
He left a family of five children and fifteen grandchildren. His oldest son, Harold, has been a steadfast helper in local churches; John is teaching at Emmaus Bible School; Robert has been pioneering and helping assemblies in Wisconsin and Florida. The two daughters, Betty Dunn and Ruth are in South Africa. Betty went out as a missionary and is helping her husband in service for the Lord. May they all follow their parents’ example is our prayer.
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An interesting sequel to the association between Mr. Harper and Mr. Gilbert occurred after both had passed into eternity. Mr. Harper’s grandson David, son of John met Mr. Gilbert’s granddaughter Karyl Lynn Snider while they were students at Emmaus Bible School in 1973. This meeting budded into a romance and on September 1, 1974 they were united in the holy bonds of matrimony.
James G. Humphrey
Younger businessmen also gave of their time and talents to help those pioneering days in Indiana. James Humphrey of Chicago, who was married to T. B. Gilbert’s sister, Florence, had a gift for working with children and he had gathered many object lessons for this work. He was able to leave his business to help in new and needy places, and at times in larger assemblies.
After T. B. Gilbert moved to Arizona, Mr. Humphrey went to a rural district where T. B. had preached. The Holy Spirit really worked as people remained until eleven or twelve o’clock each evening wanting to be saved. It was on the advice of T. B. Gilbert to the leaders of the Champaign, Illinois, assembly to have Jim Humphrey come there. Later an elder wrote to T. B. Gilbert saying, “If you have any more preachers like him send them along. We have never had a series of children’s meetings before, and the adults enjoyed them as much as the children.”
While Mr. Humphrey was holding children’s meetings in Yonkers, New York, our beloved Brother Ernest Gross was saved. He now serves the Lord most capably in South Carolina and other areas.
J. Douglas Ibbotson
The Gilberts were privileged to visit Mr. and Mrs. J. Douglas Ibbotson at Charleston, South Carolina. They were old friends of his from earlier days in Chicago and Mr. Ibbotson had married his cousin. God gave him a burden to help small and needy assemblies. He felt called of God while reading Revelation 2:3, “Strengthen the things that remain and are ready to die.” He was led first to Savannah, Georgia, when he heard the leading brother there had had a heart attack and was in need of help. From the start they were very active in tract distribution, personal visitation, children’s meetings and Bible study classes.
In 1939 Mr. Ibbotson purchased a tent and pitched it in five different places, and also held meetings in school houses within a radius of fifty miles. He saw many saved and gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. People often wondered how they lived, as he had no salary and never took a collection. He was trusting the One who called them and He supplied their needs. After a chapel was built, men were raised up, or came in, who could carry on the work in a scriptural way.
In 1942 Mr. Ibbotson received a Macedonian call to Charleston, South Carolina, where they needed help. He continued to reach out with the gospel as he had in Savannah. Many were saved, baptized and helped. The women were active in visiting and distributing gospel literature. Many Christian army and defense personnel moved into the city who were a big help. The Sunday School grew to 300, then to 500. The men, including the preacher and Joseph Pollock, a builder by trade, now a missionary among the Indians at Flagstaff, Arizona, all worked hard in building the Whipper Barony Gospel Chapel in Charleston.
During 1953-1954 Mr. Ibbotson felt that with elders able to carry on, he should reach out further afield. In 1955 he became Chaplain at the Belmont Hospital in Chicago, where he has seen many helped and blessed.
George M. Landis
Mr. and Mrs. George M. Landis were students at the Moody Bible Institute when Alfred P. Gibbs attended in 1921. He was assigned to the table where the Landis’ were the hosts. They had many talks and discussions over the Scriptures. Mr. and Mrs. Landis had been Methodists but now saw believers’ baptism by immersion.
When the school term ended, a call came for a young man to assist the pastor of a Baptist church in Marion, Ohio. George Landis accepted the call. President Harding was a member of that church. When he died, the pastor was ill so George Landis was asked to preach his funeral service. Many of the news men complimented him, after the service, because he spoke so loud and so clearly.
Mr. Landis moved to New Castle, Pennsylvania, and took over a church there. One Sunday, he announced that he would tell them why he was a Baptist. His friend, Alfred Gibbs, came through the city and decided to stay and listen. When they reached home after the service Alfred said, “George, I heard strange things tonight.” George afterward said, “I wished that the floor had opened and swallowed me.”
T. B. Gilbert heard of George Landis through Harold Harper when they were together in Pennsylvania that same year. Mr. Harper encouraged Mr. Gilbert to stop and see him, which he did. Some months later, enroute to a Moody Alumni meeting of which George Landis was president, he stopped off for a visit with the Gilberts to discuss the Scriptures. That summer they both met again at a Bible Conference at Cedar Lake, Indiana. One afternoon after Mr. Alfred Mace had spoken, George Landis said, “I have seen the risen glorified Man in heaven and I am willing to step out and trust Him.” Another brother told him that he should write a book giving his reasons. Later he did publish My Reasons. It took his wife a little longer to accept the path of faith, without a salary, simply trusting the Lord to supply all of their needs. She did, however, and found God always faithful in supplying their needs.
Mr. Landis kept busy preaching the Word in meetings and on radio. He moved to Greenwood Hills Bible Conference grounds and was a great help through the years in many ways—so much so—that he was called “Mr. Greenwood Hills.” A year before he died, a Mennonite preacher visited the conference, much concerned about the path of faith, apart from denominationalism. He purchased the booklet, My Reasons, inquiring about the writer. He learned that Mr. Landis was a very sick man, but on inquiry found he was willing to meet him. Before leaving he asked Mr. Landis “If you had it to do over again would you do anything differently?” and he replied, “Yes, just one thing.”
“What would that be?”
“I would have left the denomination sooner.” He has now gone to be with the Lord whom he loved and faithfully served. He is missed by many, particularly by those in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Landis went to be with the Lord before her husband. The Gilberts always found a welcome in the Landis’ home, enjoying particularly their last visit just prior to his last illness.
In 1944 Herman Luhm came to Hinton, West Virginia. He had been to Bible School and was commended to the work of the Lord by his home assembly in San Diego, California. He stayed in Hinton thirteen years working hard and reaching out with the gospel. He pitched his tent in a mining town called Allen Junction fifty miles from Hinton. He saw souls saved, a Sunday School begin, and later Christians began meeting in the name of the Lord Jesus. Finding he could not look after two places, Mr. Luhm was happy when he found Harry Pilkington of Canada who was willing to move to Allen Junction. Some years after this he became burdened to see a work begun in Morgantown, West Virginia. Harry Pilkington labors now in Hin-ton, with David G. Pollock settling in Allen Junction where they are seeing much blessing.
Herman Luhm moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1957 and has been there more than fourteen years. After a Sunday School was started, Christians began to meet as an assembly on New Testament principles. There was a need for a permanent meeting place. Four of his preaching brethren offered to come and help erect a chapel known as Crescent Hills, namely, Brethren Welcome Det-weiler, Preston Keith, Worth Ellis from North Carolina and Ermal Robinson from Virginia. This was a real testimony to the people of the neighborhood and city. “They had never seen such hard working preachers before!” The work goes on with continued blessing.
Another family moved from Morgantown to Terra Alta, West Virginia, where another new work was started. Two years ago with the help of Preston Keith they built Hillcrest Chapel and have a very good number in the Sunday School. Herman Luhm may not be as well known as others of the Lord’s servants, but he has seen four out of the five known assemblies in the state established with the help of others.
A Personal Testimony to Alfred Mace by T. B. Gilbert
Mr. Alfred Mace was born in Norwich, England, January, 1854, and died September, 1944, at the age of ninety years, eight months.
It was my privilege to know Mr. Mace for over a period of thirty years. My parents attended his second wedding in Chicago, to Dr. Grace Atkinson of Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Mace travelled together to all parts of the English speaking world, for thirty years. On each visit to Chicago they found a warm welcome in my parents’ home. Mr. Mace and I had many personal visits together over the years.
Mr. Mace was a large man in stature, the son of Gem Mace the last world champion bare-fisted prize fighter. A perfect gentleman and a man of God who could preach the Word with clearness and power. He was associated, in England, with some of the great Bible teachers of his day, among them J. N. Darby, William Kelly, C. H. Macintosh and others. He often preached the gospel with George Cutting who wrote the tract Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment which has been used much of God in the salvation of souls. Mr. Mace often spoke of his great respect for William Kelly. When many others did not hold fast to the truth of the One Body, and that all believers had a right to the Lord’s supper—unless scripturally disqualified—he did. From the first time I met Mr. Mace he was of the same opinion, and ever ready to minister to all Christians who gathered in Christ’s name.
His ministry centered around the Glorified Man now in heaven—the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to show the difference between the sacrifice of the Old Testament priests and that of the Lord Jesus Christ in Hebrews 10:11, 12. The Old Testament priests could never sit down. They offered “often the same sacrifices which could never take away sins,” while Christ “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins sat down in perpetuity at the right hand of God” (JND trans.). Christ will never have to arise to offer another sacrifice for sins. God has accepted that sacrifice and His blood in heaven—now “we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way.” “We have a high priest over the house of God” (Heb. 18:21). “Our sins and iniquities are remembered no more” (Heb. 10:17). “He hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Many Christians know these things in theory but they are more wonderful when faith makes them real and we believe them.
Mrs. Mace had gathered many hymns from around the world with thoughts of publishing a hymn book. When it did not materialize she took great pleasure in helping with the compilation of Choice Hymns of the Faith hymn book. It was my privilege to spend a week with them in their home in British Columbia in the 1940’s to check hymns with her.
In 1937 she was troubled with asthma and they decided to move to Tucson, Arizona, where we also lived at the time. They arrived in time for Mr. Mace to speak at my wife Elma’s funeral. Mr. Mace passed away in 1944 and she continued living in Tucson where she spent the rest of her days.
After we left for Tennessee and returned at different times for meetings, she always insisted that my present wife, Lena and I, should stay in her home. It was a joy knowing both Mr. and Mrs. Mace and only eternity will reveal the results of his ministry in the lives of such brethren as Harold Harper, Alfred P. Gibbs, George M. Landis, myself and many others. Mr. Mace lived and walked in the presence of his Lord, the Man in the Glory! He, Christ, was his all in all (Col. 3:11).
I personally recall my acquaintance with this great man of God. He not only taught me the Scriptures from the platform but also in personal conversations. One occasion, I asked him the meaning of the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5. As I sat with my Bible open, he said, “It will help you to notice the Trinity is mentioned in these verses.” Verse four says, “There is one body and One Spirit.” We know that it is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we become members of the one body (1 Cor. 12:13). Verse five then says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”—that’s water baptism for those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Then in verse six it says, “One God and Father over all.” His remarks helped me to see clearly that the “one baptism” is water baptism. Thus, I have thanked God every day of my life that I heard and knew personally Mr. Alfred Mace.
William G. McCartney
William G. McCartney is another young businessman who helped with the work in Indiana. After T. B.’s tent meetings at Calumet City, near Hammond, Indiana, he and James Humphrey continued holding children’s meetings in homes, with many Catholic children attending.
At the present time Brother McCartney is head of Christian Missions Press, Waynesboro, Georgia. He still has time as a businessman to help small and new assemblies in that area.
In those early days in Indiana, Mr. McCartney and many other young men have said they learned much scriptural truth and got a real vision of the need in the unreached sections of our country. Some of these same men later started Letters of Interest to keep the Lord’s people informed about pioneer work, then later added Stewards Foundation to help build chapels. The first editions of Letters of Interest were devoted wholly to pioneer fields and workers.
We might well thank God for the many men in assemblies who gather to Christ’s name, who have been used of God, and others being used today to further His work, as many fulltime workers commended to the work are doing.
In the early church God used not only apostles, but disciples and deacons of the churches in wonderful ways. He called Ananias, a disciple, to go and baptize Saul (Paul the Apostle) and to give him his sight, and heal him after he had been blinded by a light from heaven in Acts nine. He sent Philip, a deacon, one of the seven chosen to look after the funds in Acts six to go to Samaria, whore he preached the gospel, healing and baptizing many. He says the whole city turned to the Lord, Acts eight. Stephen, another of those six men of Acts six, became the first martyr of the church. First Timothy 3:12 says, “They that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree and great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus,” and this is true today where churches follow the Bible.
William J. Oglesby
The T. B. Gilberts enjoyed giving two weeks of meetings at Victoria, Virginia, in 1962, having warm fellowship in the Lord with the William J. Oglesbys. The assembly was started by Ralph West of Durham, North Carolina, in 1953. After eighteen months Mr. West had to move and the Oglesbys living then in Reading, Pennsylvania, came often during the years 1955-1956 to help them. In 1956 the family moved there. He saw fine children’s groups gathered and through the children he reached many of the parents. He also conducted Bible classes using Emmaus Bible courses, thus reaching many different Christians. Series of gospel meetings were held each year too. After seven years the Oglesbys moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Tommy Steele, Jr. has been helping at Victoria, besides helping his father in the broadcast of the gospel.
Ermal A. Robinson
The Gilberts visited the E. A. Robinsons living near Etlan, Virginia, where they enjoyed their kind hospitality. It made a real impression upon them to see Mrs. Robinson driving a bus to needy places to bring the people in to hear the gospel at the meetings being held. It was a joy to hear these dear folks sing the gospel hymns. In later years the Robinsons were able to reach many of the ranchers in the area with the gospel.
The Sunnybrook Gospel Chapel was built near Syria, Virginia, with God raising up elders to take care of the work, leaving Brother Robinson free to travel more and to preach the gospel as an evangelist. God has and is giving real blessing with souls being reached and saved. Like many others today, our brother feels the greatest need is for more evangelists to be raised up. “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest” (Matt. 10:37, 38).
Vernon B. Schlief
T. B. Gilbert’s first contact with Vernon B. Schlief was by a letter he received from him, regarding an article written on the Home Worker’s page in the Light and Liberty magazine. This was of help to him concerning his going forth in faith to serve the Lord. Vernon Schlief says that Mr. Gilbert with his pioneer spirit has been one of the greatest influences in his life. Like T. B. Gilbert, Brother Schlief had a good job with a packing house, and an assembly background. He felt led to go forth in Christ’s name without Bible School or Seminary training. He received the commendation of his local assemblies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. He went to New Orleans, Louisiana, to serve the Lord. His first contacts with the Catholic community were in visiting, Bible classes, and street meetings. It was hard, uphill work.
During World War II when soldiers were coming through New Orleans, he felt led to start a Christian servicemen’s center. He rented a large building where he could hold meetings, have a snack bar, and sleeping quarters upstairs. With little money and little help, he and his wife Gladys labored on. T. B. Gilbert was able to visit them during the years he traveled, giving help and encouragement. They were always hospitable and kind, being used of God in seeing souls saved and helping Christian young men. Over 200,000 men heard the Word at the center.
After the war, they thought of these young men coming back with no work and no place to go so they purchased land across the river and started a chicken farm. The young men were then able to work, with Brother Schlief seeking to teach them the Word of God. After several years the government wanted this land for an air base and he had to sell it. Then, he heard of a Christian who owned a large tract of land in Belle Chasse. Vernon Schlief told him of his work and exercise so the man offered him forty-two acres at a reasonable price. The man died a few days later before the deal was closed; however, the Lord worked another miracle regarding the sale and the land was bought. Mr. Schlief thought of having a home for children, with a lake for the children and where people could go fishing, and he in turn could get to know them and talk with them of the Lord.
The cost of digging such a lake would have been about $20,000.00. After deciding to go ahead and dig the lake, the government came and tested the dirt and purchased the dirt. The lake was a reality and Brother Schlief had over $4,000.00 to the good. There was a Navy base near by and the airplanes had to fly over his property. For air rights, that was to keep him from building tall buildings, the government paid him over $30,000.00. He formed a non-profit corporation, and soon was able to build for themselves a home and a chapel for the assembly. In recent years a larger chapel was erected which will seat two hundred and eighty-five people.
More recently he thought of erecting a building to sell antiques in connection with the Christian book store, so that he might contact some of the higher class of society. God has used this effort; some have been saved and brought into the assembly. It has also been an outreach for the Emmaus Bible Courses with many thousand of them being sent out, and of God raising up other workers to help in the work. The gospel has gone out by radio and other means. Over three hundred have been saved in the Roman Catholic community of Belle Chasse.
Vernon Schlief has been used of the Lord in helping to start eleven assemblies in the Deep South area. Recently a Spanish speaking assembly in New Orleans, and an assembly in a French community have been established. Many workers have been going further afield holding Bible classes, some among black people. Brother Schlief s wife and two children have been faithful helpers in the work and God continues to use them in various ways. Each year a school bus load of folk go to the Mid-South Bible Conference near Nashville, Tennessee. Many have been saved and helped in the things of the Lord. Retirement homes on the property in Belle Chasse are available for saints.
Let us pray that the Lord will continue to send forth men who have faith in the Living God to supply all their needs without solicitations; desiring to see New Testament churches raised up by God, around the person of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17; Matt. 18:20).
William G. Smith
William G. Smith was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1884, and was saved at the age of twenty, coming to Virginia in the year 1911. He was a carpenter by trade, but had a great desire to serve the Lord. In Virginia he helped Hugh Thorn with meetings who was preaching in a tabernacle.
In 1914, for health reasons he moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where he continued with his tract work, later finding an old house they used for meetings. He made backless benches for the many people who brought their own lamps. He saw many saved and others being greatly blessed. Three assemblies in Virginia wanted to commend him to the Lord’s work. He now believed the Lord had called him to go forth in Christ’s name, so he accepted their commendation. Brother Smith had varied experiences as do all pioneers. His tent was stolen the next year, but Mr. Sam McEwen asked him to help in his tent work at Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. The next year Mr. McEwen sent his tent for Brother Smith to use at Asheville, where an assembly was begun and continues to the glory of the Lord. Some years later, the Lord sent the James Innis family there; more recently Clarence Low moved in where he has been a big help with the work which has branched out to other cities.
In 1930 the Smiths moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where he pitched a tent and after the meetings he was told of a school house thirty miles outside of town that could be used. Harold G. Mackay wrote offering to help and many were saved that year. The tent was pitched again with meetings continuing for two years. Breaking of bread was commenced in a farm home. Brother Mackay felt they should have a D.V.B.S. in town, in order to reach both old and young. A garage and later a store room were made available. Lester Wilson came for special meetings and saw a number saved. The Mackays moved on to help with other works, with the Smiths remaining over fifteen years and seeing a chapel building built there before leaving.
T. B. Gilbert visited the William G. Smiths at Huntington, West Virginia, and later, with Mrs. Gilbert, they enjoyed sweet fellowship and hospitality. For many years the Smiths have lived in Burlington, North Carolina. They have been a big help in the work here and have been greatly used in counseling and helping many young preachers.
In 1943-1944 while still living in Huntington, Mr. Smith pitched his tent in Hinton, West Virginia, one hundred miles away. The work was helped by various brethren such as F. W. Schwartz, William McBride, and also Frank Monroe, a Christian in the radio repair business. The Lord led in establishing an assembly. Brother Smith continued to stay with the work even though others felt they must leave. Since it became too much with distances so great, Brother John Bramhall heard of Herman Luhm laboring in Kentucky where he was working among the school children presenting the gospel. Brother Luhm after much prayer moved to Hinton and the work began to make real progress.
Labors in North Carolina and Georgia
As he travelled across the United States, Mr. T. B. Gilbert was privileged to visit the Piedmont area of North Carolina. On a number of occasions he went to help Lester Wilson. This brother had a remarkable experience when he was called to go forth in the name of the Lord Jesus to proclaim the gospel. He was born of assembly parents and was saved at nineteen years of age. While working for a railroad in Canada, he became so burdened for lost souls as he saw them on the way to hell, he could hardly eat, work or sleep. He finally got peace when he surrendered to the Lord’s call, “Go and preach the gospel,” and “taking nothing from non-Christians” (3 John 7, Phillips Trans.).
In 1931 he learned of an assembly at Raleigh, North Carolina. It was quite small but hearty and solid. He knew of no other assembly in the state, but branched out from there twenty-five miles or so with the gospel. One day while looking at a map he noticed four good sized cities, on a line, out from Raleigh; namely, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. He prayed saying, “Lord, I am going to trust you to put assemblies in each of these cities,” Lester Wilson started at Winston-Salem and within twelve years saw his prayer answered, with an additional assembly at Siler City; five years later another at Sanford. For some years he has been at Albany, Georgia, where he has seen another fine work develop. At the present time there are eighteen assemblies in the Piedmont area, also a home for orphans and one for the aged. There are now three assemblies in Winston-Salem.
Mr. Wilson was preaching in a store room at Winston Salem when Mr. T. B. Gilbert first met him in 1938. Then, when Glenn Avenue Chapel was built, he was asked to preach there. When Brother Wilson bought a portable tabernacle he went to Greensboro to give help. In the year 1940 he was so busy looking after two to three chapels being built; he seemed happy for Brother Gilbert to take the meetings. Lester Wilson has been fortunate for the men with gift that God gave to follow up his work in each place. Harold G. Mackay has spent many years at Greensboro where a very nice chapel has been built to replace the old one. William G. Smith has labored long and hard at Burlington. Clarence Low stayed in Sanford, and has now gone to Asheville, reaching into newer fields as well. All of these men came from Canada. It would seem while the U. S. assemblies have overlooked their Judea—the South; the Canadians have come to their Samaria—the U. S. South.
Welcome Detweiler, from Pennsylvania, went to Durham and saw the assembly grow so rapidly at times they had one thousand in attendance. Now there are two assemblies there. Woodrow Murphy who labored in Siler City, is now in Tampa, Florida, where the work in a new chapel is progressing. Others who gave help in the Piedmont district were Brethren Bousfield, McConkey, Gross and William Brown, each staying from one to four years. This field has developed some real gifts in preachers, elders and deacons.
Everywhere Brother Wilson has gone God has used him in a great way. However, if one were to ask him about his great work, he would doubtless answer, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” He often said, “Vessels must have been hard to find, when the Lord used me.” Did not Jesus say, “I am the vine and you are the branches… without Me ye can do nothing.” Therefore, one must first see his own nothingness before God can use him. Let us pray that the Lord will raise up more ‘nothings’ to do great things through them for His own Name and glory.
Lloyd G. Walterick
The above businessman, Lloyd G. Walterick, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, has been another faithful helper to T. B. Gilbert in his work for the Lord. These men were associated in the magazine Light and Liberty for over thirty years. T. B. Gilbert edited the workers’ page. Mr. Walterick worked with him in getting his gospel tracts printed; also helped in publishing hymn books and other publications. They, with others, were able to compile an Assembly Address Book which is still being published. This enabled Christians who were traveling to find a place to worship on Sundays, etc. The book is not perfect, and not all assemblies are listed, but it has proved a blessing to many.
Different people expressed a desire for a Fund to which individuals or estates could leave money to help home workers and workers abroad. Brother T. B. Gilbert suggested the Gospel Perpetuating Fund to take care also of hymn book profits. This was included. Later, Lloyd Walterick and others started Christian Workers Fellowship, Inc., through which gifts can be sent to workers. The address for Gospel Perpetuating Publishers and Christian Workers’ Fellowship Fund, Inc. (the name fund being dropped with the beginning of CWFF Inc.)is Box 348, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 50501. More details concerning this brother’s help will be given in the section “Publication of Hymn Books.”
The Publishing Of Hymn Books
In the past twenty-five years three hymn books and several abridged editions have been published by the Gospel Perpetuating Publishers, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, primarily because of the exercise and efforts of T. B. Gilbert. A publisher of hymn books once made the remark, “Few people realize the great work entailed in getting out a hymn book.”
The compiler of these hymn books has often wondered why God chose him for this task. He is neither a musician or a scholar. He soon found it required a lot of traveling and much help from others to accomplish it. It would be impossible to name all those who helped through the years, but we do know whatever has been done was in love to Christ and in His name will be rewarded.
The first consideration in publishing a hymn book is the finances. It not only costs to set up the type, print and bind a book, but there are copyrights to be purchased and other considerations. A few privileges to use copyrights may be granted; while others will cost $25.00, $50.00, $150.00 and another up to $1,000.00 for the use of each song. Those who own many copyrights may sell only two to four for each edition. Thus, we cannot expect all of our favorites in one book.
The compiling of a hymn book takes much writing, traveling and prayer. The Lord only knows how much time and labor the Lloyd Waltericks have contributed over the years in contacting copyright owners; taking care of funds; also in the printing, and publishing of tracts and song books. They, and many others helped in checking the words and notes of hymns before they were set up and printed. Lloyd Walterick with help set up the indexes for Hymns of Worship & Remembrance. Obie Snider worked on the topical indexes for Hymns of Truth and Praise. Richard Reetzke with the help of his family made up the regular index, as well as taking the responsibility of checking hymns, copyrights, etc., for Hymns of Truth and Praise. He also worked very closely with the music type-setters and in many other phases of compiling the new book. Conrad Baehr, with a group of friends and relatives in New Jersey and New York, added many pages and checked others. When Hymns of Truth and Praise was ready to go to press, a special group met to give it the final checking.
T. B. Gilbert was able to set up a fund in memory of his first wife, Elma Doehring Gilbert, who shared his exercise in getting out the first hymn book Choice Hymns of the Faith. Profits through the years have been small, if any, but they are the Lord’s to be used in His work.