“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” — 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV
My Dad was a gifted artist who trained and practiced his talent. He designed and produced posters promoting Vacation Bible School and special events.
November 1938, the Harwood-Jones-Drawz evangelistic team conducted meetings with excellent music and effective preaching at Second Street Baptist in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Their scriptural theme:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” — Colossians 3:16 NKJV
The team introduced Pinebrook Songs, compiled by Percy B. Crawford and his wife Ruth. Invitations to Pinebrook Bible Conference in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains and announcement of the opening of the Kings College were included on the inside and back covers of the songbook.
In October 1931, Percy Crawford had begun “The Young Peoples Church of the Air” radio broadcast. It originated in Philadelphia, and soon a New York station was added.
The Crawfords used upbeat music and easy to learn choruses. Harwood-Jones-Drawz used Crawford-style music in their evangelistic endeavors.
Under conviction, but not yet convinced enough to respond to the Gospel, I held back. Even though young, I knew my sins needed to be forgiven, but I was not quite willing to receive God‘s gift of eternal life.
Meanwhile, my Dad was commissioned to construct and paint a message to display behind the pulpit. In the center of the words “Christ died for our sins” there was a neon cross. When plugged in, the cross turned blood red. It was a stunning sight! I had been fascinated watching my dad build and paint the sign, and he even let me help paint the cream-colored background.
February 1940, evangelist Paul Levin and blind singer Bob Finley conducted meetings at Second Street Baptist.
Born of Swedish-immigrant parents, Paul was converted to Christ very young — at age 4. He dedicated his life to the Lord as a teenager at 15, and began preaching with his pastor-evangelist brother. By age 17, he was engaged in full-time evangelism. As a 19-year-old, Paul Levin recruited Bob Findley to join him, forming a traveling team.
In 1938, Paul and his wife Dorothy founded Bible Tracts, Inc., beginning by printing two articles he had written for “The Evangel,” a Christian magazine. In 1958, Paul and Bob began a 15-minute daily radio broadcast, “Bible Tract Echoes.”
Paul Levin and Bob Findley continued serving the Lord together in evangelism ministry for 40 years. Bob Findley was promoted to heaven at age 81 in 1985. Paul Levin went to his heavenly reward in 1996 at age 81. The Paul and Bob legacy continues.
The Bible tract ministry begun by the Levins has printed over 588 million tracts and made them available without charge. Bible Tracts by Paul Levin have been printed in multiple languages and sent to 170 countries worldwide.
On the final Sunday night of the Levin-Findley meetings in Mt. Carmel in 1940, my parents hosted the team for dinner at our home before the service. Bob Finley asked me to read verses from John 3 aloud for him. He then typed John 3:16 for me on a braille-like device.
When the invitation was given, I responded. I knew I had sinned, asked God to forgive me, and decided then and there to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” personally. My parents and my pastor knelt by my side at the altar. I was born again!
At home that evening, my parents explained that now that I had received God‘s gift of eternal life, I could pray about anything and anyone. It was very meaningful, and that night my prayer life began.
For eight decades God has heard and continues to answer prayer. What is your relationship today with the Creator of the universe? Have you admitted you have sinned? Have you made the personal decision to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?”
Who have you told? Who have you invited to respond to the Gospel presented in 1 Corinthians 15?
Are you praying for God‘s guidance and blessings as you share His Good News?