Brethren Archive
Monday January 21, 2019

"The Christian Worker's Conference" in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1944

"Christian Workers Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 7th, 8th, 9th, 1944
The Christian Workers Conference held at Grand Rapids, Mich., was a very profitable time for the good number that attended. The Christians from both Assemblies were gracious hosts. More particulars will be given in  next issue, D. V."



Reading from left to right-
Row 4-George Leest, Peter Pell, Wm. Pell, 0 . Hoffman, G. Coombs, J. Smart, W.  G.  Smith,  F.  W. Schwartz, W. Brown, F. Detweiler, T. Williams, R. W.P ike, E. Harlow, J. M. Martin, W. Belch, J. Balsam, J. Nieboer, A. Ludwick.
Row 3--J. Grace, F. Pelon, E. J. Fort, J. Sietman, H. K. Downie, C. Lacey, T. Lacey, A. Cotton, W. Cooper, W. McCartney, L. G. Walterick, D. Lawrence, J. Scollon, F. E. Trulli, C. Van Ryn, T. B. Gilbert, W. Murray, R. M. Winslow.
Row 2-E. Beck, C. Bulander, C. Bellinger, W. Munro, H. Armerding, J. Grosholz, B. Smith, K. Pfaff, A. Rodgers, G. Law, D. Tyler, Mr. Henschelwood, V. Schlief, A. Peterson, B. Tuininga, C. McArthur, C. Johnson, D. Taylor, S. Ledyard, D. Fraser, L. VanRyn.
Row 1-C. Trowbridge, Mr. Greer, C. Hausman,  B. M.  Nottage,   H.  Miller, H. Becker, N.  Kion,  P.  D. Loizeaux,  Duncan  Fraser, P.   Pelon, E. Froh, H. Stadt, F. Vander Til, A. E. Horton, J. Drougsville, A. Van Ryn.


In This Section

Marty said ...
Seventh Annual Christian Workers Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan

THIS Conference was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 7, 8 and 9, 1944 and was, perhaps, the best of its kind yet held. The proceedings were marked by orderliness, under the able chairmanship of Walter Munro, New York, and kindly forbearance on the part of all present, especially those who took an active part in the discussions. There were about 70 workers from different States, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Minnesota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Louisiana, Florida, Ontario, Canada, A. E. Horton, Africa, and James Scollon, Honduras. There were also present quite a number of elder brethren, not wholly engaged in the work of the Lord, whose presence gave weight and stability to the gatherings.
Various subjects were discussed, each being opened by a selected speaker, who was followed by others who commented, generally favorably, on what was said. One speaker pointed out that such gatherings were valuable in that they promoted a better understanding between worker and worker, worker and elder brethren, and also between younger and older men. Such meetings are indeed worthwhile if they result in a closer bond of fellowship between those who are actively engaged in the work of the Lord and those who are actively interested in it.
In a letter saying that he regretted inability to attend the Conference, Inglis Fleming raised a few questions, two of which were discussed. One, regarding the use of instrumental music in meetings. This was ably handled by two brethren, one of whom took the "for" and the other the "against" side. All present felt that there was a good deal to be said on either side, and the impression left on the minds of the majority was that the value of instrumental music largely depends on circumstances. Sometimes it is a help, and at other times it is not. All were agreed that the question was not important enough to justify controversy, and that an instrument should not be forced out where it is in, or forced in where it is out.
The other question was regarding the lack of ministry in the Assemblies on the truth of the Lord's second coming. It was fully considered, and the conclusion was reached that although, perhaps, it did not bulk as largely as it might in the ministry of the Word, it still maintained a prominent place in all preaching.
One of the outstanding contributions to the Conference was that of A. E. Horton of Africa, who dealt with the subject, "Lessons from Missionary Methods." In the course of his remarks, he laid special emphasis on Centralized Work, and pointed out its advantages. He referred to the apostle Paul, who spent over two years in Ephesus and eighteen months in Corinth. Centralization is helpful in the evangelization of a district, because the preaching of the Gospel should not only consist of exhortation, but also exposition. As a rule, people are ignorant of the truth of the Gospel and it takes time to teach them such truths. It also takes time and travail to win souls for Christ. Salvation is not the main thing; there is also teaching the saints the truth of God and that takes time. Just a night here and a night there, is missing the mark. Some of the dangers of centralization were also pointed out, one of which was "Local Authority." The local worker might become a clergyman in everything but name, and ministry kept in the hands of one man. There was also the danger of the worker becoming so deeply rooted that he could not be moved.
"What an Assembly expects from a visiting preacher," was ably handled by A. Cotton, Chicago, who took the apostle Paul as an example of correct behavior on the part of the preacher. The visiting preacher should know nothing but Christ and Him crucified; he should not speak lightly of other servants of the Lord; he should not interfere with local affairs; there should be an absence of frivolity in his preaching; and he should not abuse the hospitality extended to him.
The other side, "What a visiting preacher expects from an Assembly," was in the hands of E. Harlow, Toronto, whose main points were that there should be preparatory prayer on the part of the Assembly; suitable advertising of the meetings; and a comfortable building to which outsiders could be invited.
Walter Munro, New York, talked to us about Inter-denominationalism, drawing attention to the inroads of modernism into the different denominations. This was felt to be a very open question, to be treated solely on the ground of its merits. Some of the preachers felt that it would not be wrong to go into a so-called denomination and preach, if they happened to be in a district where there was no Assembly, and if they were allowed to go in with an open book. However, it was pointed out that one should not go into those places as "sheep stealers." The Gospel should be preached and sinners saved, in the first instance. The general feeling was that it would be inadvisable to go elsewhere if there were an Assembly in the vicinity. The Assembly should always have the priority.
At one of the evening meetings, the workers introduced themselves one by one, giving their name and the place from which they came. The editors and publishers of magazines, of which there was half a dozen, were also introduced to the audience. W. G. Smith, West Virginia, ministered the word after the introductions were completed.
The morning session which was devoted to answering written questions, was very interesting. As usual, there were some questions easily and more or less satisfactorily answered, while others of the perennial variety, had to be left wide open.
The question, "Do results justify a continuance of radio work?" was dealt with by three brethren who have had some experience in that kind of work. According to their reports, there was good reason for continuing the work although the results were not always what one might expect, and in some cases were very meager.
Quite a number of those present were engaged in work amongst servicemen, and they had a meeting by themselves, prior to one of the morning sessions. A. B. Rodgers, who is working in Kansas City, in fellowship with the Assembly there, gave a little account of his work. This work amongst servicemen seems to be very encouraging indeed and productive of good results. It is quite evidently THE work of the moment. The brethren engaged in that work are faced with the "follow up" problem, not only now, but when the boys return home, and this is a matter for earnest prayer on the part of all the Lord's people.
The brethren who attended the Conference were all greatly encouraged by it, and the workers returned to their spheres of labor much refreshed.
The Evangel Hall and Baldwin St. Assemblies cared for all in a royal way. The saints in Gospel Hall, Baldwin St., where the meetings were held, were much encouraged; they saw a conversion at the first Gospel meeting; following the conference also two saints who had been away from the meetings for some time, made application for fellowship. H. K. Downie

From: “Light and Liberty” 1945
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 : 02:01

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