DAYS IN GEORGIA
Lovic Pierce was known as the apostle of holiness in the days immediately
following the Civil War; in fact, he preached the doctrine before the war, and
when too old to attend the annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, of which he was a member, he was asked to preach a sermon on entire
sanctification, but being too feeble he wrote it, and it was read at the
conference, and afterward it was published for years in book form by the
publishing house of his church, and read by thousands of Methodists, who were
led into the experience by it.
following this great apostle of holiness in Georgia, came Dr. W. A. Dodge, who
was converted at the age of fourteen, and licensed to exhort on his sixteenth
birthday, and licensed to preach on his seventeenth birthday, and entered the
Civil War in 1862 as a chaplain in the Confederate army, where he remained
during the war. During his entire life he preached holiness of heart and life,
and became the acknowledged leader of holiness in Georgia, and throughout the
southern states in his day. He traveled largely, preaching at many of the great
holiness campmeetings in the South, and establishing campmeetings where there
was gloriously sanctified in the study of his own church in the city of Atlanta,
where he was pastor. He launched the first distinctively holiness paper in the
South in March, 1882, called The League of Fire, was afterward called The Way of
Life, and later sold to Rev. H. C. Morrison and the name changed to The
Methodist, or rather it was merged into The Methodist, in 1895, a paper then
published in Louisville, Ky., by Rev. H. C. Morrison, which was afterward
changed again and called The Pentecostal Herald, which is still published under
that name. Below we reproduce from “The Life of Rev. W. A. Dodge,” written
by Mrs. W. A. Garbutt, the article of consecration drawn up and signed by
W. A. DODGE’S CONSECRATION IN 1876
Ga., April 15, 1876
this day make a full consecration of all I have to God; Now, hence forth,
forever. Myself, my body, eyes, tongue, hands, feet, mind, and heart.
wife, Mary Dodge, my boy, Wesley Atticus Dodge, and my little daughter, Mae
Belle Dodge, my books, clothes, money, all I now have, and all I ever expect to
have. Yes, all my means are, and shall be Thine. My time, and if there is
anything else that appertains to me, that I have not mentioned, I lay it on the
altar to stay there forever.
do this from a conviction of duty that all I have belongs by right to Him. Not
as a compromise, but from a sense of duty, simply asking that I may be aided by
Him to keep it there.
sealed, and delivered in the study of St. Paul Church Atlanta, Ga., April 15,
1876, in the presence of Him who sees all things.
W. A. Dodge
months after Brother Dodge went to the good world. The above consecration was
found written on a sheet of paper, in an old trunk in which he kept valuable
the envelope enclosing it, after it had been sealed, he wrote the following
is to stay sealed during my natural life, being the instrument of my
‘consecration’ to God.
W. A. Dodge.”
Dodge lived up to his profession for thirty years without wavering from his
position on the second work of grace, entire sanctification, as a clear and
definite experience received instantaneously by faith in Jesus. He fully
believed the gospel he preached and expected sinners to get converted and
believers to get sanctified under his ministry, and as a result thousands of
people were led into the experience in his meetings. He was one of the purest
and sweetest men in all Methodism. He put his soul into his work and yet never
ignored his church, nor abused it, but, on the contrary cooperated with all her
institutions. He was for years the treasurer of the board of church extension
and held that office when he died.
Dodge organized the Georgia Holiness Association. Again we copy from “The Life
of Rev. W. A. Dodge”:
OF THE GEORGIA HOLINESS ASSOCIATION IN 1883
holiness convention held its business meeting at the house of Rev. A. J.
Jarrell, in Gainsville, Ga., May 17, 1883.
A. J. Jarrell was called to the chair.
A. Dodge was elected secretary pro tem.
C. A. Jamison, Milton Harris, Miller Willis, W. O. Butler, B. E. L. Timmons, J.
H. Little, S. D. Evans, William Pennington, E. G. Murrah, Brother Mealy, W. C.
Dunlap, W. C. Davis, A. J. Jarrell, W. A. Dodge, George D. Watson.
with prayer by W. C. Dunlap for divine guidance.
prayer, Rev. George D. Watson, of Newport, Ky., gave an account of similar
organizations over the land. They were associations of brethren and sisters in
the enjoyment of the blessing (without constitution or by-laws), banded together
to spread the doctrine and experience of holiness throughout the churches in the
land. The roll is annually corrected.
That we, the friends of Scriptural holiness organize ourselves into an
association, to be known as the “Georgia Holiness Association,” for the
spread of scriptural holiness throughout the churches of our state, and that we
cordially invite all persons in the enjoyment, and all those who are thirsting
for the experience, to unite with us in the work, and to enroll their names as
such, and to pray for each other.
was carried unanimously.
following names were enrolled. (See list.) [The list shows 181 names, among them
were forty preachers.]
That the officers of the association or convention consist of a president, two
vice-presidents, secretary and treasurer, the last two to be combined in the
convention then went into the election of officers.
J. Jarrell, president, Gainesville, Ga.
F. Farris, first vice-president, West Point, Ga.
H. Patillo, second vice-president, Griffin, Ga.
A. Dodge, secretary and treasurer, Atlanta, Ga.
to hold for one year, or until their successors are elected.
That the convention elect annually an executive committee of five, consisting of
the officers of the association, and one additional. Adopted.
A. J. Jarrell, Gainesville, Ga., chairman; Rev. B. F. Farris, West Point, Ga.;
Rev. G. H. Patillo, Griffin, Ga.; Rev. W. A. Dodge, Atlanta, Ga.; Rev. W. C.
Davis, Macon, Ga.
That the convention adopt The Way of Life, edited and published in Atlanta, Ga.,
by Rev. W. A. Dodge, as the organ of the association, and that we work for it.
That we hold in autumn of this year another holiness convention or campmeeting.
Time and place to be arranged by the executive committee. Carried.
convention then adjourned sine die.
J. Jarrell, President.
A. Dodge, Secretary
the fall meeting of the association, in 1889, the thought of a great central
campmeeting was conceived by Dr. Dodge, and the matter discussed, and a
committee appointed to locate such a camp. This committee, W. A. Dodge, H. A.
Hodges, J. H. Curry, and G. W. Mathews, located the camp at Indian Springs, and
the first meeting was held under a tent and was conducted by Dr. Dodge and other
Georgia Methodist preachers.
was the great Indian Springs campmeeting born, and it has become possibly the
most largely attended, and best appointed camp in the South, where all of the
greatest preachers and workers of the movement have been called from time to
time to hold the meetings.
later years, through the instrumentality of Mrs. Lonie Shingler and her husband,
T. J. Shingler, the Pentecostal Nazarene church has been organized in Georgia.
It was first an independent holiness church at Donalsonville, organized in 1902,
and in 1903 united with the Holiness Church of Christ, at Pilot Point, Texas,
and in 1907 went into the Pentecostal Nazarene church at the union of the
Pentecostal church and the Nazarene church at Chicago. There are now about a
dozen churches in Georgia. Mrs. Lonie Shingler, a woman filled with the Holy
Ghost, passed away to her eternal reward in 1911, but because of her burden and
zeal for a holiness school in the South, she had started plans for the splendid
school building, and this was erected at Donalsonville, principally by her
husband, after her translation. It was named the Southeastern Nazarene College,
and in the fall of 1918 united with Trevecca College, of Nashville, Tenn., for
the purpose of making a strong institution for the church in the South and
located at Nashville.