From the beginning of Florence Crawford’s walk with God, she wanted to reach out to the lost. Her son, Raymond Crawford, related, “As soon as she got saved, she wanted to do something for humanity. She started into rescue work. She used to leave our home in Highland Park and go down to the city of Los Angeles and look for men and women who were down in the depths of sin that she might point them to Jesus and show them a way out. She went into prison work and she worked among the prisoners incarcerated in the jails in Los Angeles.” The spiritual zeal of the founder—a zeal that blossomed into a life-long passion when Florence Crawford received her sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Spirit—was an inspiration to the congregation that began to grow in Portland.
Those who made up the congregation in the early days were true pioneers in Gospel outreach, and they gave freely of their time and strength. Few, if any, had what would have been considered luxuries in those days. For the most part, the people who attended the mission were of the working class. Not many owned their homes. Only a few had cars. Workdays were generally nine or ten hours long, but these evangelistic-minded people were eager to participate in any endeavor that had potential to bring souls into the Gospel meetings. Some would rush home from a long day’s labor, eat a snack, change clothes, and hurry away to take part in street meetings. They first went to prayer, and then separated into groups to go out on the street corners to tell others about God’s grace and His power to deliver from sin. The same street workers came every night; there was no alternating of groups or times. Their intensive work of evangelism proved effective, and the group grew continually.