By Josiah Wold // Summer 2009
“Nick! A man I met on Sunday is sitting outside in his pickup!” Samuel shouted as he peered out the front door of the church.
Soon Samuel stepped around the corner, followed closely by a rugged-looking farmer. “Whatʼs your name?” asked Nick Johnson, a deacon at the church.
“Edward,” the man replied.
Nick invited him to eat fellowship lunch. During Edwardʼs meal, a few church members shared the truth with him. By the time Edward left, he had an outline of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. Nick invited him to return the following Sabbath and promised to study the Amazing Facts Bible guides with him.
Edwardʼs farm sits nestled in the hills close to the church. Samuel had met Edward the week before, while colporteuring one summer in rural Indiana. Edward wore rubber boots and dirty farm clothes, along with a full beard and pony tail. By all appearances he seemed to be an unpromising customer. He didnʼt buy any books from Samuel, but he did hear about the Sabbath and where the Taswell Seventh-day Adventist Church was located.
Edward visited the church a few times before he brought his girlfriend Jennifer along. The following Sabbath, Edward showed up at the church, clean-shaven and with no pony tail. After studying the Bible for a few weeks, Edward and Jennifer were convicted of the seventh-day Sabbath and decided to take a stand. This caused Jennifer to lose her job.
The influence of the canvassing efforts didnʼt just stop with Edward and Jennifer. Next, Edwardʼs parents started coming to church. “They have been coming faithfully ever since,” Nick said.
In the fall, Edward proposed to Jennifer. Shortly thereafter, they announced that they wanted to be baptized. Jennifer quit smoking, and they continued to study the Bible.
Then Edwardʼs niece Christine started coming to church and took a stand for the Sabbath as well. An all-star basketball team invited her to join, but when she found out that the games would be on Sabbath, she declined. At Edward and Jenniferʼs wedding, a family member chided her about going to church.“I know Sundayʼs wrong,” she said, “so if I go to church it has to be on Sabbath.”
The Sabbath after their wedding, Edward and Jennifer both went into their watery graves. Then Edwardʼs parents joined the church on profession of faith. Christine comes to church every Sabbath, and other family members have begun to visit occasionally.
Samuel could have passed Edward by as an unpromising contact. Instead, he reached him in a way that is causing a fire to grow in southern Indiana.
Originally Published in Hartland Ministry Report, vol. 16-2.