Road Trips

History Book
History Book
History Book

In 1912, four years after the establishment of the headquarters in Portland, the organization purchased a Federal truck with hard rubber tires. Detachable seats were installed so the truck could be used by workers for holding street meetings. In the fall of that year, this vehicle was used for a missionary trip to the north. As the workers passed through villages and by country homes, they made announcements through a megaphone, inviting people to come and receive an Apostolic Faith paper. Men would leave their farms or places of business and run to get the Gospel literature. Some time afterward, a Lippert-Steward car—the first car with pneumatic tires—was also purchased for Gospel work.

The Evangel took workers into remote regions, where they distributed literature and held church services.

The next vehicle was a seven-passenger Oldsmobile, purchased in 1915. Mechanics in the church converted it into a Gospel car by placing long seats on each side. A similar car, the Pathfinder, was purchased and it, too, was equipped for Gospel use. Each of these cars carried twelve workers who would sing and testify from a built-in platform at the rear of the vehicle. Loaded with workers, the vehicles were quickly recognized in the city of Portland as the Apostolic Faith Gospel cars.

The Evangel on board a ferry.

In 1915, a coast-to-coast evangelistic trip was made by four workers, and meetings were held in New York, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and also in the states of Oklahoma and Virginia. Results were rewarding; among the converts was a tobacco-grower whose home was completely transformed when he came in contact with the message of salvation.

Ever interested in expanding and improving outreach efforts that had proved successful, in 1927, the Apostolic Faith organization obtained a beautiful Mack bus, which they named The Evangel. After a bit of remodeling work, this 21-passenger coach provided cooking facilities and sleeping quarters for a party of eight workers. Equipped with a public-address system, The Evangel became a “home away from home” for a crew of ministers, a male quartet, and other Christian workers. It was literally a church on wheels.

The Gospel car, The Evangel, with some of the workers who traveled in it.

Trips were made up and down the coast with this bus, where stops were made in small communities. Often immense crowds gathered where meetings were conducted. Sometimes the services were held in auditoriums, at other times, out-of-doors. Gospel messages were also given from the bus through the loudspeaker. In one place the workers were told that they never should have come, that no one would be out to hear them, but the first night almost the whole community turned out.

Allen Crabtree, beloved itinerant evangelist.

Some years later, a similar large bus, which became known as a “Drive-in Church,” was used by the Medford, Oregon, branch church. The missionary-minded minister in charge of the Southern Oregon work, Clarence Frost, lost no opportunity in using the bus for evangelistic purposes. Meetings were held in mountain areas throughout southern Oregon and also down into California. Every effort put forth was rewarded, and numbers of men and women were brought into the Gospel.