Lloyd Ashwell

Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers

Many years ago my parents received a Gospel paper back in the state of Virginia, and through reading that paper they came into contact with the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon.

We continued receiving these papers, and I shall never forget how the Spirit of the Lord came down and blessed us as we read them. The Lord revealed to us that He had a group of people in Portland, Oregon who were preaching the whole Word of God and were living it.

I well remember the day my mother was saved there on the farm in Virginia. She had been praying, and came into the house with her face was shining like an angel. She told me the Lord had saved her. Although I was only a child, I was mightily impressed.

At that time my father was suffering with cancer and doctors had not been able to help him. An Apostolic Faith paper arrived at the same time, and it said they prayed for the sick. My mother said, “Let’s send out there and have those people pray for you.” He said, “I’ve heard that stuff all my life. I don’t believe it.” He continued to grow worse and thought his life was coming to an end. Finally he said, “Go ahead and write. If it doesn’t do any good it won’t do any harm.”

I shall never forget the glorious peace and happiness that flooded my soul!

My mother wrote the letter and about six days later—in those days it took about six days for a letter to get to Portland from Virginia—when they prayed in Portland, the Lord instantly healed my father. He said, “We’ve got to go out there to see those people.” He sold the farm and we came to Portland.

Although I knew that God was real and the most important thing in life was being right with Him, I still had a love for the things of the world in my heart and couldn’t seem to surrender my life to God.  I ran away from that good home, thinking surely the things of this world would satisfy. For a number of years I spent my time in the frivolous pleasures of the world. In time, I was deep in sin and felt I didn’t have a good thing left in my life. I often wished I had never been born. I wanted to get rid of my sin but wondered if God would still save me.

One wonderful night, at the downtown church at Sixth and Burnside Street, I surrendered my life unconditionally to God and He marvelously saved me. I shall never forget the glorious peace and happiness that flooded my soul! It was the greatest night of my life. For days and days, I seemed to be in a different world. The birds, the flowers, the clouds all seemed to rejoice with me, and in my heart was the love of God. All desire for sin was gone, and I had victory. About a year after I was saved, as I was praying one morning, God laid it upon my heart to volunteer for work in the church printing plant. I worked there until I was called into the army during World War II. I was in the service for almost five years—from buck private to master sergeant. There in the barracks, with gambling, drinking, and sin of every kind around me, God kept me with victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. The officers and men I served with knew I lived a Christian life.

I am one serviceman who thanks God for that True Comrade. I find Him real and true in my life; something I feel every day. If it wasn’t for that Comrade, I don’t know where I would be these days. I know one thing; I would be down in the depths of sin. As it is, today I have a life of victory. I can say that the song, “This World is Not My Home,” is my testimony. I do not feel at home in this world anymore. I thank God that I have a hope of Heaven down in my heart that I didn’t have for years.

I have never appreciated this Gospel more in my life since I have been in the Army.

For the years I spent in the service of my country, I have proved the keeping power of God. I have been stationed up and down the Coast. Part of my time was served at the Presidio in San Francisco, where sin was on every hand in that large city. If there had been any desire in my heart for sin, I would certainly have gone after it. Everything that the old world has to offer is right there in that city. I am thankful to God that you would never find me in those places of sin. Instead, down on Market Street there was an Apostolic Faith Church where I would go to worship with the saints of God. There is where I loved to be.

I have never appreciated this Gospel more in my life since I have been in the Army. I know the power of God just keeps me there, and when things don’t go exactly right, I feel the hand and power of God holding me steady.

It does my heart good to hear requests for prayer coming into the church from the men in the service of our country. I thank God a few of them are getting stirred up. I know what it is to live in the barracks among the young men in the Army; and I know God can keep you living a Christian life anywhere. Surely I appreciate what God has done for me.

After returning home from the service I was given the privilege again to work as a linotype operator in the Apostolic Faith publishing house. These days the joy of my heart is to see the true Gospel going forth in literature that will bless the people of all nations.

After God saved my soul, the greatest thrill I ever had was when I realized I had that treasure in my soul—the thing I had wanted all my life. Thank God I still have it. I’ve got those wonderful memories that I will keep until Jesus takes me Home. I praise Him with all my heart.