LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Chapter 23

 

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT PILOT POINT, TEXAS

 

 

The second General Assembly of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene met October 8–14, 1908, at Pilot Point, Texas, being the thirteenth General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, the thirteenth annual association of the Pentecostal Churches of America, and the fourth annual council of the Holiness Church of Christ.

This Assembly was the result of special efforts of the leaders of these various bodies to secure union of all the holiness people in America into one body, for the more effectual spread of scriptural holiness throughout the world. We quote from the minutes of this Assembly:

 

PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

THURSDAY OCTOBER 8 -- AFTERNOON

 

A great gathering of saints with happy faces filled the great pavilion as the time came for the convening of the second General Assembly at Pilot Point, Texas, October 8, 1908 at 2 p.m.

After a very enthusiastic song service led by Rev. I. G. Martin, Rev. J. D. Scott, pastor of the local church called the multitude to order and spoke a few words of greeting. He said that the time had arrived for the opening of the Assembly and called to the platform General Superintendents P. F. Bresee and H. F. Reynolds, and President H. B. Mitchum. Dr. Bresee, as Senior Superintendent took the chair and called the Assembly to order. The Assembly arose and sang with great earnestness and triumph, “Hallelujah Amen.”

The service of the hour—the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper—was at once entered upon. Dr. Bresee read a part of the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, making very apt and most inspiring comments. After several prayers the elements were passed to the kneeling partakers amid the singing softly of “When I see the blood” and other hymns which speak of the suffering and death of our Lord, and waves of tenderness swept over the audience, tears of joy being freely shed Rev. I. N. Short led in prayer at the close of this precious service, and as the congregation sang “The home of the soul,” the fire fell on the people, and they shouted and praised God for some time.

Dr. Bresee then briefly addressed the Assembly, referring to the rise of the work in the different parts of the country of the spirit of unity which had been drawing together the different parts, of the union accomplished at Chicago a year ago, and the provisional arrangements there made, which, through the action of the councils of the Holiness Church of Christ, had brought about this Assembly.

The secretaries of the last general council of the Holiness Church of Christ, and of the last General Assembly of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, were called forward to act as secretaries pro tem of the Assembly.

On motion. It was unanimously ordered that all ordained ministers of the Holiness Church of Christ be recognized as members of the Assembly. The roll, as made up by the secretaries, was then called, those present answering to their names.

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13 -- MORNING

 

Dr. Bresee called the Assembly to order at 8:30 a.m. Brother DeJernett led the devotional service, which was a gracious season.

The minutes of the previous session were read and approved.

Rev. R. M. Guy, a former president of the general council of the Holiness Church of Christ, was introduced and spoke a few words of greeting, giving his experience in the work of the Lord in the Southland.

Brother W. H. Hoople addressed the Assembly on the prospective joy of the union of the two churches, and expressed satisfaction in seeing nothing but the spirit of Jesus in all the deliberations. “It is holiness that has done it, and Jesus is responsible for it.”

Brother H. B. Mitchum spoke in a very tender way of the gracious leadings of God up to this moment. He desired to move that “The union of the two churches be now consummated.” After some remarks from Brother Ruth on the way this union wave had begun and had continued from the first steps, he said, “Being of one heart, we should all be one organic body.” He seconded the motion.

Brother John N. Short also spoke of the union of the Pentecostal Churches and the Church of the Nazarene. He had come on purpose to say “Amen” to this marriage. He said he loved these people more today than ever. “We are here to live and die with you.” He also seconded the motion.

Brother J. B. Creighton spoke of the rise of the foe to holiness—fanaticism, and said that he believed this movement of organized holiness was God’s movement to deal the death-blow to it. He also seconded the motion for the Northwest.

Brother C. B. Jernigan said that this was the greatest day of his life, for what we see today he had hunted ever since he got the blessing. He desired to second the motion for the Southland.

Brother Hosley, of Washington (D. C.) District, spoke to the motion and seconded it for his District.

Several others spoke to the motion amid great gladness and joy, especially when brethren of the South hugged brethren from the North.

In putting the motion, Dr. Bresee said that this was an epoch-making time. This is the answer to Christ’s prayer, but it is only the early dawn and we are going forth to victory. The motion being put, it was passed unanimously by a rising vote, amid great enthusiasm, at 10:40 a. m. October 13, 1908.

The burst of holy joy continued for several minutes. Brethren of the South throwing their arms around brethren of the North, East, and West, at the same time singing a new hymn written for the occasion by L. Milton Williams and I. G. Martin, to the tune of “Dixie.” Soon the inside of the tent became too small for the freedom of such a joy, and the people began marching out and around the great tent, with waving handkerchiefs and shouts of joy, and eventually formed in an immense solid circle on the grounds, where Dr. Bresee mounted a chair and addressed the multitude in words of inspiration, which moved the hearts of all.

At the time of the General Assembly at Pilot Point, the Holiness Church of Christ had two good schools: the Arkansas Holiness College, located at Vilonia, Ark., and the Missionary and Bible Training School, located at Pilot Point, Texas. They also had eight missionaries already on the field: Rev. L. A. Campbell and wife, Rev. Andy Fritzlan and Miss Ollie Nelson in India; Rev. S. M. Stafford and Rev. B. A. Hunt in Mexico; and Misses Lula Williams and Lillian Pool in Japan.

There was also a paper The Holiness Evangel, published at Pilot Point, Texas, which was the official organ of the church, with Rev. C. B. Jernigan and Rev. J. D. Scott, editors. This paper had a wide circulation and had stirred up a lively interest in holiness church work.