“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected. Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry … the just shall live by his faith.” — Habakkuk 2:1-4 NKJV
The summer of 1952, Mary and I conducted Gospel rallies in Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia, sharing about the “Roadside Missionary” ministry. When classes resumed in September, each morning I parked the Jeep station wagon with Gospel Advertising Association, my name, and Mt. Carmel, Illinois and Greenville, South Carolina painted on the side, by WMUU radio, across from Rodeheaver Auditorium on the Bob Jones University campus.
Every weekday, I had an 8 a.m. class; following chapel and “Preacher Boys,” my last class ended at noon. Afternoons I worked for Gospel Advertising Association, making contacts for the “Roadside Missionaries” ministry.
When evangelist Bill Piper spoke in chapel and addressed “The Preacher and His Problems,” he talked about the need for quality advertising and promotion for evangelistic campaigns. Impressed with what he had to say, I wrote to him. He replied, inviting me to meet with him to discuss advertising evangelism. That resulted in producing bumper strips for his forthcoming meetings in Pennsylvania. Meeting with my Dad and me, he asked if we could design a poster for him, and suggested we contact his neighbor Dr. Monroe Parker and his brother Elmer Piper regarding producing advertising for their meetings.
Subsequently, Bill Piper gave me the “Christ for America“ directory of evangelists, suggesting we contact each of them, Sword of the Lord evangelists, Bob Jones University graduates involved in evangelistic efforts, and several Southern Baptist evangelists.
Mary used a manual typewriter, and we sent a letter to each evangelist every two weeks until we received a reply.
When Dr. Bob Jones Sr. founded what developed into Bob Jones University, Dr. Henry Morrison, evangelist and president of Asbury College, gave Dr. Jones sound advice: “Keep your chapel platform hot.” During my years at BJU, I heard many outstanding Christian communicators, evangelists, pastors, and Christian leaders proclaim God’s good news in chapel. It was a privilege to meet many of them one-on-one, and we began serving more and more evangelists wherever they ministered.
My father was endowed with outstanding artistic abilities. He designed posters for more than 100 evangelists to advertise their meetings in local churches and area-wide crusades. By 1960, over 250,000 people responded to the invitation to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” in meetings in 47 states where we provided posters, bumper strips, postcards, and brochures.
One evangelist having successful area-wide crusades was T.W. Wilson. He became a personal friend, and invited me to be his guest at the Youth for Christ international convention at Winona Lake when I graduated in 1954. As he promised, he introduced me to many Youth for Christ leaders and evangelists.
After graduating, I contacted Dr. Bob Jones Jr. regarding advertising his meetings. Soon we were producing posters and bumper strips for his area-wide crusade in Colorado, when my Dad‘s mother — my grandmother Maggie Gaines Dooms — went to heaven Feb. 22, 1955. My dad and mother and my wife Mary drove to Mt. Carmel, while I stayed behind to coordinate the completion of the project for Bob Jones Jr., shipping materials to Colorado. My very first airline flight was to attend my grandmother’s memorial service, flying from Greenville to Louisville and on to Evansville. It would be the first of multiple flights all across America in the weeks, months, and years to come.
While producing advertising materials for evangelistic outreaches, we continued securing locations and placing “Roadside Missionaries” along busy highways. Our major concentration was U.S. 41 between Macon, Georgia and Miami, Florida. Thousands of motorists saw the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ shining in their headlights with an invitation to “Believe on Christ to be saved.”
Make certain that you have made that eternal decision to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” turning to Him from your sins.
By faith, you can form a prayer, praise, and proclamation relationship with other believers. Together you can use every means and media possible to invite people to receive God‘s gift of eternal life.
“The just shall live by faith.” Will you begin today?