Changed Lives

History Book
History Book
History Book

Some of the early-day converts came in through the services held by Apostolic Faith workers on the street corners. Often those who heard the street meetings followed the Gospel workers back to the mission building to attend a service. One night, a man who had contemplated the murder of a number of people was in a meeting. After arising from prayer, he went outside, removed the revolver from his pocket and threw it into the river. Another person who came into the services was delirious and had to be held down by the workers until they prayed for him and cast out the demons that had him bound.

An early church paper records this account: “A drunkard came one night to the Mission and the Spirit of God got hold of him and convicted him. The next night he was saved. He was restored back to his family. He began to sell off his property and make restitution. After all was straight, he came and sought for a clean heart. . . . He called the saints one day to pray for his sick child, and the child was instantly healed. He invited them to come out to dinner the next day. They came, and after dinner got down to pray. The Lord sanctified him and baptized his wife with the Holy Ghost. That night he came to the mission and God wonderfully baptized him. He has been living this salvation ever since. God has healed him of typhoid fever since then. He was deaf in one ear, and God healed that.”

Even the city newspapers occasionally carried accounts of the transforming power of God. One article was headlined, “Erstwhile Sinner is Making Amends.” The article identified the man and gave his address. Then it went on to tell how he “hit the sawdust trail at the Apostolic Faith mission last December and since that day he has been following back another long trail and at places where he took the wrong turn he is setting things right as best he may. He has contributed to various conscience funds with the result, he said last night, of a peace and satisfaction he never knew before.”

As the new converts were nurtured in the Gospel, there was an ongoing need for patient teaching, instruction, and correction. When confusion or differences arose, Florence Crawford dealt with the matter in a straightforward manner. While still at the Second and Main Street church, the first “saints meeting” was held.  After the close of a regular service, the members gathered with the founder in a second floor hallway. No chairs were there, so the group sat down on the floor. Using the Scriptures, she laid out before them different attitudes and actions that could disrupt the unity of the Spirit.

Florence Crawford with her children, Ray and Mildred, within a few years of the move to Portland.

A woman who was present at that meeting recorded in her personal notes: “I will never forget how that meeting affected us, and how we reacted. We were all eager for God to have His full way in our lives and were willing to yield anything to do His will and to have His Spirit in our midst. We needed teaching, and she gave it to us. As she talked, different ones in the group spoke up and asked forgiveness of someone else present. This had a wonderful effect on all who were there. The work then went forward with more power. The presence of God’s Spirit was mightily manifested in the meetings, and more souls were saved than ever before.”