The first time as a child, I went with my folks to a meeting that they were having somewhere north of Iola. It was sort of a brush harbor meeting. My folks drove from over by Hord in a white wheel rim wagon that night to see what was going on. The thing that I remember about it was when they gave the altar call, several people went to the altar. People were crowding around to see what was happening. Ben Pemberton was there and he said, "Would some of you devils get back out of the way so that these people can get some air!" He was quite a character!
One of the things I remember about early Pentecost was going to baptismal services. We would follow the crowd to the pond or creek. One particular time we went to an old swimming hole somewhere. I remember how black the water looked and I said to myself, "That place is full of snakes!" But nothing bothered anybody. They baptized the people by the lights of an old black Model T.
In 1939 they were having a revival in the old church with Bro. & Sis. Wagoner. (Our seats were the old, splintery kind and we used a pot bellied stove!) During that 10 week revival (and we went every night), God let me know one night that He was giving me my last chance, my last call. As I started out the door that night I prayed, "Lord, if You'll just let me live to get back tomorrow night, I'll go to the altar." I told Clint that night to drive careful going home because I was scared to death something would happen to me before I could get back the next night. I went weeping and kneeling to the altar that night, repenting of my sins.
Sis. Wagoner was at the Hanson's and I went down one afternoon to pray with her and Sis. Hanson. Now when we had prayer meeting, we prayed until something happened! And something did happen that day---God filled me with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When I got home Clint said, "Well, I don't have to ask you if you got it, I can see that you did." I was baptized in Jesus name by the old trestle north of town. If I remember correctly, 40 some received the Holy Ghost and 45- 50 were baptized!
I remember Clint fasting one day and he and Jerry (our son) went to work in the harvest field. It was hard work and made for a long day, but he said he was going to fast and he did. When he came in for supper and we sat down to eat, the power of God was so strong it felt like electricity when we touched the silverware. We got up from the table, praising the Lord and went on to church that night.
I remember one particular night at another revival we had, a lady and her family were there. God called this woman but she would not answer His call. I saw her hold onto the back of the seat til her fingers almost turned blue. That night the Lord said, "Thy soul is required of thee." She died of a heart attack before midnight that night without answering His call.
One time we didn't have the money to buy gas, we had just enough gas to get to Iola. Somebody ran a filling station there and gas was 15 cents a gallon. I began praying, "Lord, help me find 2 or 3 dozen eggs." That would get us enough money for gas to get us to church for 2 or 3 nights. I went up in the barn loft, where the hens always hid their nests away, and I looked all in the hay and everywhere, but I didn't find any eggs. I thought, well Lord, You'll supply if You want us to go to church. So I went down out of the barn loft, and walked around the barn and I just happened to look up and through a crack in the barn I saw some eggs. There was one dozen in one nest and 2 dozen in another nest that I didn't see when I was up in the loft. God supplied. We went to church then for several more nights. Then we sold some cream to get enough gas to go on the weekend.
I can't begin to tell of all the good things that happened---so many of them have slipped my mind, but these were the early days of Pentecost as I remember it. We lived from day to day, and helped every man his brother.
by Emma Smith
Published in the Calvary Chronicle Special Edition
Volume No. 6, Issue No. 1, Date: 06/03/01