I know this title may seem a little long, maybe a little strange, but you do not understand how important it is to me. My salvation, my whole life as I have known it, probably depended on a simple saint who was faithfully committed to prayer meeting.
It was in the early ’30’s when walking was more common than driving. Port Arthur, Texas was the place. A young couple from central Texas had moved there to work in the oil refinery. They called a small apartment home for themselves and their three young children. Church attendance was not on their weekly agenda. In fact, it was not on their agenda at all. But a faithful prayer warrior changed that.
Every morning a little before nine o’clock, a little lady passed in front of their little apartment with her Bible under her arm. To the young mother inside the little apartment it soon became a part of her morning routine to watch for the little lady who always passed her door a little before nine o’clock.
Where is she going every day? Why does she always have a Bible under her arm? Who is she? What is this about?
Then one morning, some would say as fate would have it, she stopped and knocked on the door. (From my vantage point, I know it wasn’t fate, but unspoken faith from a fertile heart.) When the young mother stood face to face with the lady from the sidewalk, she received an invitation to an old-fashioned tent revival. Few words were spoken, but the simple invitation seemed to speak to the young mother all day from its resting place on the dresser. By five-thirty in the evening the children were bathed and dressed for going out and supper was on the table. A little bewildered, the hardworking young man looked at his lovely dressed-up wife, wondering.
“We are going to church tonight,” she explained.
Willingly, he agreed.
It was a strange experience–the tent, the people, the praying, the preaching. But at the close of the service the young father said to his wife, “You go and pray. I’ll stay with the children.”
Kneeling at an altar, she was totally transformed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost!
Among those gathering around was the little lady from the sidewalk with the Bible under her arm.
“Where do you go every morning?”
“We have nine o’clock prayer meeting every day.”
“Could we come?” asked the young couple.
“Well, we normally don’t have prayer meeting on Saturday morning,” the Pastor interjected, “but we will if you want to come.”
Saturday morning, nine o’clock prayer meeting found the young couple joining the faithful saints. Prayer was made. Baptism was explained. Both agreed to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. Now, it was the young man’s turn for transformation as he broke the waters of baptism, speaking in tongues, filled with the Holy Ghost.
The young couple were my mother and father, E. W. and Johnnie Ruth Caughron. These events transpired before my birth. Consequently, I was born into a Spirit-filled home. My parents’ dedicated ministry carried them in soul-winning revivals and building of churches from Texas to Alaska. Dozens and dozens of preachers were called and hundreds and hundreds of saints were impacted by their ministry.
What if the little lady on the sidewalk with the Bible under her arm had not been faithful to prayer meeting? I shudder at the thought–I probably wouldn’t be writing this article.
Thetus Tenney, Guest Writer