LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

The solidarity of any church or movement depends very largely upon its traditions, and “lest we forget” it is necessary for some one of each generation to commit the most precious of our traditions to writing. It is a matter of so great difficulty to repeat accurately what is told us that it is a happy fortune when the writer is himself conversant with the facts which he records. Also, it is a matter of impossibility for an outside observer to enter into spiritual sympathy with matters in which he has no experience or personal interest; therefore it is of first importance that the chronicler be “one of them” himself in order to insure the dependability of his interpretation.

The people known as “holiness people” will all agree that the matter contained in this book should be given to posterity. Intimate knowledge of the beginning of our distinctive work will soon be a matter of history; and yet this knowledge will always be necessary to a complete understanding of the work of holiness at any particular period. Just as the complete knowledge of the oak must imply an understanding of the acorn, so the Nazarene of the future should have at least some knowledge of those days when the doctrine of holiness as a second work of grace was preached by pioneers in tents and brush arbors without an organized support.

Rev. C. B. Jernigan has had more intimate contact with the men and movements which have made for the success of the work of holiness in the South than any living man. Also, his zeal, activity, and love for the work of holiness brought him into close touch with the men and movements of every part of the nation, so that he has the most synthetic knowledge of the early days of the holiness movement of any man of my knowledge. It is indeed fitting that he should write this book and thus perform a service due from his generation.

The book is full of human interest and will be read, not merely for its valuable history, but also for its devotional merit. It is, so far as I know, the only book of its kind and will serve a purpose that is both unique and important. It will have a wide reading and will commend itself for its candor and fairness.

As to the author, I can not feel that I either could or should introduce him to readers of holiness books, for he is better known to such people than I am. However, my intimate acquaintance with him does make it a real pleasure to commend him and his book to the reading public and to offer an earnest prayer that the good which the author desires may be accomplished.

 

In holy love,

 

James B. Chapman