THE SECOND RADVILLE SOJOURN
In the last chapter we stated that we moved to Radville in the fall of 1936. I was in charge of the school that winter as Brother Orr was in British Columbia. In the summer of 1937 I arrived home from a meeting. I do not remember where now. When I had paid a few bills and was ready to leave for three meetings, I had two dollars left. I left one dollar for my wife to buy stamps, etc. Groceries could be bought on credit. I took the other dollar with me. I first held a meeting at Estlin, Saskatchewan. There has never been any results from that meeting of which I know. Then I went to Mazenod, Saskatchewan, for the second meeting. American brethren had moved in there in the early days. Meetings had been held but most of these brethren had moved out again and those that remained had grown discouraged and were no longer meeting. In the meeting the church was revived and some of these brethren were among our most faithful members until they were called from earthly scenes. There were some fifteen baptized there that year in two meetings.
From there I went to Shamrock for a meeting. At least it was in a schoolhouse, south of Shamrock, and was the beginning of what is known today as the Shamrock church. They meet in the Standon school house. There were five baptized in that meeting. They were all young people. How little we realized then what a meeting we held. Allen Bell and his sister Sarah were baptized. Allen served the Lord faithfully for a number of years as a missionary in Africa. They plan to return to Africa next year (1961). Billy and Walter Bell were also baptized. Walter is still faithful in the Shamrock congregation and Billy is now a member of the Weyburn church. Clarence Bien was the other one baptized and he is now an elder in the Moose Jaw congregation. Sarah, whom we know as Tibby, is also a faithful member of the congregation (Moose Jaw).
This meeting brought a feeling of personal satisfaction to me in a very special way. Sister Eva Bell, the mother of Billy and Walter mentioned above, was a daughter of Brother Peter Elford, that first invited my grandfather to hear the gospel. With this meeting I felt that a debt had been paid at least in a measure. Elford, an older brother, had been baptized by me a year before at Radville in the Summer Bible School. Thousands of dollars has gone into the work of the church as a result of that meeting. I have held meetings that were more fruitful at the time but perhaps I never held a meeting that was more fruitful in the after results and the end is not yet. Children of the next generation are now rendering obedience to the gospel.
The summer of 1937 was very dry. It was the most complete crop failure much of Southern Saskatchewan had ever known. It was decided that the school that winter would be held at Perryville. This is a country district near Punnichy, Saskatchewan. It was conducted by Brother Claude Perry. He was a former student in the school. It was just held there one year and then returned to Radville and was there until it was moved to Weyburn and became Western Christian College.
In April, 1937, our youngest daughter was born. Mavis has never been strong but she is now a married woman and has a good husband and a dear little daughter. There are a number of things to remember about 1937. Our second son rendered obedience to the gospel. Soon after that though he was only ten years of age he announced that he wanted to preach a sermon. His subject was, How to Use the Lord's Day. Though not a preacher he takes a good interest in church work and preaches upon occasion.
The church in Canada had been without a religious paper for a number of years. The Gospel Herald was started by Brother Robert Sinclair about the time we moved back to Radville. I served as an associate editor from the start. At first the paper was only mimeographed. Then Bob began to print it. At first the paper would appear without an editorial. I suggested to Brother Bob that it might help if there was some one to see that there was an editorial each month. He asked me to be editor. I consented. The paper picked up for a time but soon the interest in the paper fell off again. What happened next belongs to the next chapter so we shall wait until then to tell that story.
In the spring of 1938 I held a meeting in a new place, Pinto View school house, near Kincaid, Saskatchewan. It never drew a big crowd, yet the end results have been good. In this mission meeting there were two baptized. They were both women, and sisters. Sister Betty Roemer, now a faithful missionary in Berlin, Germany, was one of the women, and the other one was her married sister. Through the influence of these women, a younger sister was baptized. She is the wife of Brother Magnar Knutson now serving the Lord in Norway.
People are wont to play practical jokes on one another. While staying at the Bell home during a second meeting in the Shamrock district one night I complained that my new teeth were hurting me and that I would like a cup of water to take to my room with me. In the morning these teeth of mine would not fit. There were two young ladies staying there that overheard what I had said. They also noted that Sister Bell had removed her teeth. While we slept they went into the two rooms and made an exchange. They did not know, at the time, how completely they had fooled me. When I went out for breakfast Sister Bell asked me,
Would you like to have your own teeth? and I told her, that I would be very happy. I am sure NOW I enjoy the joke more than these two very fine Christian women do.
It was the fall of 1937 that we visited my wife's folks who were living in Missouri then and I held the only protracted meeting I ever held in that State.
I shall never forget an event that happened while I was without teeth. In fact, the very day I had had the last teeth extracted a young man came to the door of our home and asked me if I would perform a marriage ceremony the next evening. I said,
You can see what kind of shape I am in but if it is all right with you it is all right with me.
I had four boys that ranged in ages from 12 to 8. I sent them upstairs and threatened what would happen if they made any noise. They were as curious as boys that age are wont to be. There was a heat register where they decided they could view the proceeding. At a very inopportune time one of the twins slobbered. The saliva made its descent between me and the couple that were being married. I was rather unhappy and embarrassed. There were three boys that thought it was an immense joke. Can you guess which one did not think it was so funny?
During the following winter a new idea was forming and reached fruition. We would put on a daily radio programme like a protracted meeting. I asked brethren this question, Are you in favour of a radio program? Usually the answer I got was, Can we afford it? I would say in reply, I did not ask you if you can afford it, I asked if you were in favour. The reply was in the affirmative. We agreed for time on CKCK each morning at 6:45 and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. (CKRM). Brother Arthur Goodchild put up the money and we started. Brethren sent in the money for the programme. We paid Brother Goodchild back his money, and we stopped because of other commitments, not for lack of cash. While were on the air each day I held a meeting in Regina. Sister Betty Popascul was baptized. She has been a good personal worker. She and her good husband were responsible for starting the Bible studies that led to the formation of the church at La Fleche, Saskatchewan, in June, 1961.
There were a number of letters came during the broadcast. One was from a place called Gouldtown, Saskatchewan. It was addressed to the Rev. Bailey. The letter stated that there was a little independent group there that met on a Friday evening. They had heard the broadcast and they would like me to drop in some Friday night. I arrived there on Monday instead. By Wednesday we had a meeting under way in the Low Farm School house. The meeting lasted for two weeks and three days. By the time we had concluded, eleven had rendered obedience to the gospel. Not all have been faithful but the last time I made a count there were members that had come from Gouldtown in six different congregations.
I had one of the most peculiar things happen while I was at Gouldtown that has happened in my entire career. Sister Bell had written me from Shamrock and said she would like me to come there for a Sunday and when I did they would give me the few dollars in the treasury. I looked up Gould town on the map. However, I misjudged the distance. When I got to Gouldtown I had a half tank of gas and I was broke. It had been farther to Gouldtown than I had thought. It was further over to Shamrock than I thought too. The meeting had to be advertised. We carried on. There would be enough money in the treasury at Shamrock to finish the meeting but I was in Gouldtown. I was sure that some one would send me some money on the mail Friday so I would be able to get to Shamrock. The mail came. There was no money. There was no meeting on Saturday night. How was I going to get to Shamrock? Would I ask some one that I had never seen until a few days before for a dollar? If I stayed without going to Shamrock then I would miss the breaking of the bread. I was in a great strait betwixt two. I reached in my hip pocket and I felt something that felt like money. I pulled it out and it was a one dollar bill. How it got there I have not the slightest idea. And you haven't either. Often in telling this, people suggest an answer but where it came from I have not a clue. I do know that it was right and proper for me to go to Shamrock for the breaking of bread. I needed enough money to carry on the next week and the Lord provided the dollar and then the few brethren at Sham rock provided of their collections. The Lord said, He would supply our need, and He did.
Nor was this all the fruit from our radio work. Sister Edith McDougald was a student at the school the winter before we put on the broadcast. When she left the school she went to Kisbey to her sister's place in order that she would be sure to listen to the broadcast. Edith had told me that she would like for me to talk to her sister. I had made arrangements to hold some meetings in Ontario that summer but before I left I had a spare week. I went to Kisbey and we had meeting on Sunday night on the porch of the home of' Jim Morris. There was a good crowd. The next day I was Helping Evelyn Hugo around the house in order to have the opportunity to talk to her. I made this remark,
I certainly have a lot of things that I need to get done before I leave on this trip east.
She said, I have a job for you while you are here.
I said, I will be glad to do it if it is something I can do.
She replied, You can do it all right. I want to be baptized.
I must have had a very dumfounded look on my face for Mrs. Hugo quickly added, I know what I am doing. When you were on the air last spring I took down every Scripture that you used.
The years have proved how true that statement was. Few people have been more faithful to the church through the years, than Sister Evelyn Hugo. When we went to the Morris View School house that night for the meeting, I started something like this:
I had intended to preach a sermon tonight but instead of that I am just going to talk to you. There is a woman here that has asked to be baptized, and I am just going to tell you why. I had only talked for a few minutes when another woman spoke up and said, 'I want to be baptized too.' Thus began the Kisbey church.
I was reading after George Bailey not long ago. We are not related only in the Lord. He said that he would like to have the experience of Pentecost when men cried, What shall we do? This experience was close to that. The woman did not wait for any formal invitation. She heard. She believed, and she said so.
As I already stated I only had a week at Kisbey at this time. I held some meetings in Ontario but where for sure, or with what results, I do not now remember. I do remember this, that the Meaford church asked me to come and work with them in mission work the next summer and I consented but that belongs to the next chapter.
In the fall when I returned from Ontario I went back to Kisbey and when the work ended that fall, fourteen had rendered obedience to the Lord. Most of these have been faithful and others have been added to the Lord from time to time.
Talking about people not being orthodox in the way they make the confession I want to return to Gouldtown again. Of the eleven that made the confession only three came forward during the singing of a hymn. With the eight others as I walked around talking with people after the meeting they would say, I want to confess my faith in Christ. I would call the meeting to order and all would hear the confession.
Money was scarce in the hungry thirties but we put on the radio broadcast with less appeal for money than we would have to make today. Several suggested to me that my radio sermons should be published. It costs money to put out books but if they should be published, they should be published. We had a printing made of 1200 copies. They have been all sold long ago and even to this day I get orders for the book THE PLAN OF SALVATION. There has not been sufficient orders, however, to justify a reprint.
I know that one soul is as precious in the sight of God as another. To each of us the most important thing that happens in our life is when we are converted to Christ. Yet, there are certain people that stand out in a way that I think it is well to tell the story . A young lady at Radville married a young man that was not a member of the church. He was much opposed to the church. There were two couples that got married at the same time and they took my car, and went to North Dakota and were married. They did not tell me that they were getting married nor that they were taking the car to North Dakota. When my car came back a day or two later I was not very highly pleased to think that my car had been used to help a young man marry a young lady that was a member of the church. I had it on my mind to tell him plenty but I said never a word. Argument was not the beginning of this man's conversion. He said that he saw Bible hospitality in the church of Christ and he saw it no other place. Would he have seen it in you? The thought came to him, if these people are right on this subject, could be that they are right on these other questions? He began to study. The Bible School was on and he was unemployed. His wife suggested that he take in some classes. He finally consented. I could see the effect the Word of God was having on his thinking. He hesitated after the work for the day was over one day and said,
Brother Bailey would you baptize me?
I assured him that I would be happy to do so. Brother Norman Hoffman has preached much since. I am not sure of his present whereabouts but I know that he is faithfully serving the Lord wherever he is.
It was during this period of time under review that there was some trouble in the Perryville Church. They asked me to come and see if I could help settle it. I took Brother Spafford with me and began a study of the situation. It did not deal with any real doctrinal issue. It was a matter of personalities. I then asked each one if they would be willing to say that they wanted to drop the past and forgive and be forgiven. To this all consented but one person. That meeting when the church joyfully came together to worship God as one body in that community again found this one person sitting cold and resolute in her determination not to acknowledge any fault. Can you imagine how I felt when I learned later that on the following Thursday they buried her? Could I have been a little more persuasive.
We have already mentioned the obedience to the gospel of our two oldest boys. It was November, 1939, that our twins became obedient to the faith. They are men now with families. Both their wives are devoted members of the church. Ray is with the Radville church. Roy is with the Harptree congregation. In a few years now some of their children will be rendering obedience to the gospel.
I should have mentioned earlier in this narrative that at the time that Brother Norman Hoffman rendered obedience to the gospel we were having a protracted meeting and there were six that were obedient to the faith. I am not sure just who all of them were now but I know that at least one of the Hoffman boys and two of Norman's sisters were obedient to the faith. So far as I know all are faithful to their Master.
The winter of 1939-40 found me teaching my last term in the Bible School for four years. I had agreed to go to Meaford for three months in the summer of 1940 but that three months turned out to be four years. This story, however, belongs to the next chapter.
In number of baptisms in the same period of time, in congregations started, this was the most fruitful period in my life.
I had planted, and to a great extent I had watered, but God gave the increase and to Him all glory must go. He saved me to save others and I had but done partly what I could do. I am sure that He has seen fit to pardon my imperfections.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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