The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:

Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.

It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.

- Angela

Posts Tagged ‘preacher’

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

BORN: February 12, 1809
Hodgenville, Kentucky
DIED: April 15, 1865
Washington, D.C.

Sixteenth president of the United States, 1861-1865. Abraham Lincoln was one of the world’s truly great men. The American Union was preserved under his leadership. Lincoln expressed the deepest beliefs of the American People and, though primarily self-educated he created some of the finest examples of American literature. As president, he never lost touch with the common people who knew him as “Honest Abe” and “Father Abraham.”

Like many other Americans of his time, he was born in a one room log cabin, 16’x18′. The logs were chinked with clay and light came dimly through the single window. There was a dirt floor with a cornhusk stuffed mattress on top of a bed constructed of poles. He grew up in a farming family facing the hard times of frontier life. In the spring of 1811, the family moved to a farm on Knob Creek, ten miles northeast of Sinking Spring, Kentucky. This was the first home Abe would remember and he loved it. He learned to plant, hoe, husk corn, build hearth fires, carry water and chop wood. When he was six years old, his sister Sarah and he would tramp some two miles each way to a log schoolhouse where he learned reading, writing and arithmetic. Even in dusty or snowy weather, Abe would practice his writing using charcoal on the back of a shovel. At the age of seven, his family moved to present-day Spencer County, Indiana where his mother (Nancy Hanks) died early in the winter two years later. Abe’s father (Big Tom Lincoln), made her rough-hewn coffin which was held together by wooden pegs, hand-carved by little nine-year-old Abe. As she was buried in a shallow winter grave, Abe remembered her words: “I would rather Abe be able to read the Bible than to own a farm if he cannot have but one.”

Tom was an uneducated farmer descended from an English Quaker family who came to America only seventeen years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. His grandfather, also named Abraham, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, with his wife and five small children in about 1780. He was shot and killed by an Indian six years later. His son Tom, a wandering laboring-boy, grew up without an education. Somehow he learned enough carpentry to become competent in this trade. He was a sober, hard-working man, that was respected by his neighbors.

In 1816, Tom Lincoln settled with his young family in Indiana where they lived for about 15 years. Tom chose Indiana since slavery wasn’t practiced there. It was grueling work, covering 160 acres of virgin forest into workable farmland. They shared this primitive region with bears and other wild animals. That first winter, they lived in a make-shift cabin of three sides, a roof, and a continuous fire on the fourth side. Abraham was very young, but large for his age and strong enough to handle an ax. All winter, in fact as long as he lived in Indiana, he was seldom without his ax. Together they built a comfortable cabin for the family.

In the autumn of 1818, milk cows in the Valley of Pigeon Creek, Southern Indiana, were affected by a disease caused by eating poisonous plants. The result was an epidemic of “milk sickness” which spread over the countryside. Pretty Nancy Hanks Lincoln soon had the disease which had already fatally taken two other members of the family. On her death-bed, she called Abe and Sarah to her, touching them and admonishing Abe to care for his sister and be good to his father.

It was a terribly lonely time for the struggling family. Abraham’s sister, then twelve years old, kept house as best she could. Not only did Tom have his own children to care for, but also their three orphaned cousins; Dennis Hanks, plus Squire and Levi Hall. One day it became even more lonely as Tom left them with a promise to return as soon as he could. His destination was Elizabethtown, Kentucky to look up Sarah Bush Johnson, who he knew was also now a widow. He had proposed marriage to her many years previously, but she had chosen someone else. He found her willing to come and grateful that he would pay off her debts. Dennis explained it this way: “Tom didn’t drink or cuss none, so she married him.” They borrowed a team of horses, loaded a wagon with her belongings, including her three children, and hurried back to Pigeon Creek.

When the wagon rolled into their farmyard, the children ran out to greet the wonderful woman who became at once a loving mother to all. “Here’s your new mammy,” Tom announced, as Abe looked up into the strong, large-boned, rosy, kind face with steady, loving eyes. When she held him against her skirt it seemed like a heavenly gift, but when she traded his old cornhusk mattress for a soft featherbed, he knew God had indeed sent a miracle. There was never any partiality or resentment toward Tom’s kids. She accepted her stepchildren, as well as their cousins, as if they had been blood brothers and sisters to her own Matilda 9, Elizabeth 13, and John 5. Although she tried not to show any favoritism Sarah quickly took a special liking to Abe. She always made him “feel like a human being.” Tom was immediately inspired to greater potential by Sarah, who encouraged him to provide for them all. He put in windows and flooring for their one room cabin and she in turn kept both the cabin and the children spotless.

Sarah’s industrious personality was further enhanced by her ringing Christian testimony. Although Tom was a good man and attended church, it was Sarah who saw to it that the family Bible was always at hand. Family devotions were a part of every day and included Bible reading; Scripture memorization; morning and evening prayers; and a hymn or two in between. As a member of the Pigeon Creek (Hard Shell) Baptist Church, she was an exemplary Christian. The only contradiction was that she kept her hair curled. This was considered by some to be a frivolous, worldly act – but she smiled, kept it curled and maintained her testimony.

The nearest school was nine miles away, so Sarah talked her husband Tom into allowing Abe to study at home. A few years later a neighbor, Mr. Crawford, opened a school in his log cabin which Abe gratefully attended. Tom didn’t see any need for education. Sarah recognized Abe’s exceptional intelligence and determined to further his education in any way she could. Abe read every book that crossed his path – often borrowing from others in the community. When he came across a passage noteworthy, he would write it down on boards if he had no paper. He also used a board and charcoal to do his arithmetic before the big fireplace. Abe read the Bible until he knew much of it by heart. Other favorite books were “Aesop’s Fables,” “Robinson Crusoe,” “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and biographies of George Washington, Henry Clay and Benjamin Franklin.

Later, Lincoln described his education this way: “There were some schools, so called, but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond readin’, writin’, and cipherin’ to the rule of three. If a straggler supposin’ to understand Latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizard … when I came of age I didn’t know much, but I could read, write and cipher to the rule of three, but that was all.”

Long before Abraham came of age, he reached his full height of six feet, four inches. He was thin and awkward, big-boned and strong. His face was homely, his skin dark, and his hair was black, coarse and often standing on end. Everyone, however, seemed to like him. Even as a boy, Lincoln showed ability as a speaker. He would often amuse himself and others by standing on a stump and imitating some preacher or politician who had recently spoken in the neighborhood.

At age 19, Abe got his first contact with the outside world by taking a flatboat of cargo down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. From sunrise to sunset Abe and the boat owner’s son pulled on the long oars of the flatboat that measured 40 feet from bow to stern. The two brawny young men even had to fight off robbers as they guided their valuable cargo into port. They lived on board, cooking and sleeping in a rickety lean-to on deck. In New Orleans Abe got his first deep impression of slavery. He saw his first auction of slaves in May of 1831. Slavery was lawful south of the Ohio River. “If I ever get a chance to hit that institution, I will hit it hard,” he said.

Although he was free to strike out for himself, he spent his 21st year helping his father build a new log house in Illinois. Abe took down the trees, formed the logs for the cabin, and split the fence rails. From this experience he gained the moniker “Rail-Splitter” that stayed with him the rest of his life.

In 1830, the Lincolns, the Hanks, the Halls, and the Johnsons … thirteen in all, moved from their crowded Indiana farm home to Illinois where they settled in a cabin ten miles south of Decatur.

Soon Lincoln was on his own, but he never forgot his step-mother. A man of few words, Lincoln once explained his success thusly: “All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to may angel mother.” In further illustration of his devotion to her, the following narrative is included. “Even in the limelight, Lincoln never neglected his stepmother. Late in the evening of January 30, 1861_ , several persons had gathered at the depot of the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad in Charleston, Illinois to greet him, three months after being elected president of the United States. He had come 120 miles from Springfield, eluding office seekers and politicians who were dogging his every step, for a very special visit. He came on an evening freight train, so the few passengers there were stepped from the caboose several hundred feet down the tracks. Presently the President-elect was seen picking his way through mud and slush in a faded felt hat and a coat several inches too short for one of his great height. His battered bag, tied with an ordinary string, would not have impressed anyone, but Lincoln hadn’t come to impress anyone . . . he had come to tell his stepmother good-bye before leaving for the White House.”

At age 21, Abe moved to New Salem, Illinois where he stayed for six years. There he clerked in a store, served as postmaster and deputy to the county surveyor. When things were especially tight, he could always work as a farm laborer or salesman. In 1831, he was defeated for a seat in the Illinois State Legislature.

At the time of the Black Hawk Indian War in 1832, he was elected captain of a company of riflemen from the New Salem region. He really enjoyed that. In all, he served ninety days. During that time he saw no fighting, but, as he later said, he “made frequent attacks upon the wild onions and had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes.” In 1834, while he was campaigning for legislature, he began to study law. He overcame his doubts about his education. Perhaps he reasoned that if he could teach himself the fundamentals as a boy, and learn enough on his own to be a surveyor, he could learn law as well. He had to borrow the books, often walking to and from Springfield for this purpose. He tackled his legal studies with great vigor. While he was still in New Salem, a strong attachment developed between Lincoln and an attractive, intelligent girl of the village named Ann Ruthledge. The romance ended in 1835, when she died. For years Abe regularly visited the grave, seven miles outside of New Salem, Illinois.

Four times Lincoln was elected to the Illinois State Legislature as a representative of the Whig Political Party. He soon became a prominent political figure. He was witty, ready in debate, and so skillful in party management that he became the Whig floor leader at the beginning of his second term. In 1842 he declined further nomination. Meanwhile, in 1836, he had been admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Springfield (1837). During his leadership in the Whigs, he led a successful campaign to move the “Illinois State Capitol” from Vandalia to Springfield, where he lived and frequently lifted his voice in opposition to slavery.

It was in Springfield, a few months after his arrival that he and several other lawyers attended a camp meeting on the outskirts of town. Peter Akers, preached that night on “The Dominion of Jesus Christ.” In essence, his sermon said that the “dominion of Christ” could not come to America until slavery was abolished. The preacher further explained that it would take a civil war to destroy the evil institution of slavery. Lincoln was moved and said the next morning, “I shall be involved in that tragedy.”

On November 4, 1842, Abe married Mary Todd, a dark-eyed, lively Kentucky girl. They lived at a Springfield boarding house where they paid four dollars a week for their room and board. Eighteen months later, Lincoln bought the plain, but comfortable farm house that was to be the family home until he became President. By that time, his first son, Robert Todd was 9 months old. The second son, Edward Baker, was born March 10, 1846, but died four years later after a 52 day illness. The third son, William Wallace, born December 21, 1850, died in the White House at the age of twelve. Thomas “Tad” Lincoln was born April 4, 1853 and died in 1871 at the age of 18. Thus only one of the four children reached adulthood. The family lived humbly but comfortably. The portrayal of Lincoln as a poverty-stricken failure, is an inaccuracy. It is true that he often took care of his own horse and milked the family cow, but so did most of his neighbors. His marriage was often unhappy and turbulent, in part because of his wife’s pronounced instability. Her emotional sensitivity was certainly heightened by the loss of her three children.

In 1843, Lincoln was defeated for a U.S. Congressional Seat. In 1846, however, he defeated the Methodist circuit-riding preacher, Peter Cartwright for a seat in the National House of Representatives. In serving as a Whig representative from Illinois (1847-49) he was a strong voice denouncing the Mexican/American War. He was defeated for re-election to the U.S. Congress in 1848. Returning to private law practice, Lincoln became recognized as the leading member of the Illinois bar. The issue of slavery continued to trouble his conscience. He strongly opposed Stephen A. Douglas in 1854 on the question of slavery spreading to free territories. In 1855 he was defeated for the U.S. Senate and in 1856 he was defeated for the U.S. Vice Presidential nomination.

Abraham Lincoln became one of the founders of the Republican Party whose formation in 1856, was necessary to create a political vehicle that clearly opposed slavery. As the Republican candidate for U.S. Senator in 1858, he held a series of joint anti-slavery discussions throughout Illinois with the Democratic candidate, Stephen Douglas. These debates attracted the attention of the country. Although Lincoln carried the popular vote, he lost the senate election by just a few votes.

Two years later, Lincoln won the Republican presidential nomination. On November 6, 1860 he was elected president by a strong vote on the third ballot. It was a clear victory since the Democratic party was split by north and south. Lincoln received 180 electoral votes, John C. Brekenridge (Southern Democrats) 72, John Bell (Constitutional Union Party) 39, and Stephen A. Douglas (Northern Democrats) 12.

Inauguration day came on March 4, 1861. In his inaugural address, Lincoln argued the futility of secession, declaring the union perpetual. Several states had already seceded over the slavery issue and a few weeks later, The American Civil War was declared. Hostilities began with an attack by the Secessionists of South Carolina on the Federal troops at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. The fort surrendered on the 13th. On the 15th, Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to meet in Springfield, Illinois. The control of events passed from the cabinet of bureaucrats to the camp of soldiers. In a fever of excitement, far more volunteers than the government could equip responded. As Commander-in-Chief, Lincoln had to select officers capable of organizing green volunteers into armies. He also had to maintain strong popular support. After the first enthusiasm wore off, different opinions arose. Many Northerners were willing to fight to preserve the Union, but not to destroy slavery. Others wanted to put the destruction of slavery as the key fighting point. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution in states where it already existed, Lincoln faced an enormous political challenge. He needed to preserve the Union and in the process defeat the South so that slavery was no longer a government recognized institution. Time after time in public statements he declared that the purpose of the war was the restoration of the Union . . . by this course the border states remained during the first critical months of the war.

The Lincoln’s considered their “home” church in Washington to be the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Dr. Phineas Densmore Gurley, a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate of 1840, responded to a call from the “F” Street Presbyterian Church in 1850. Nine years later this church united with the Second Presbyterian Church to form the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where Dr. Gurley became Lincoln’s pastor in 1861. The last four years of his life, Lincoln heard Gurley preach the central doctrines of the cross. No phrase fell more frequently from his lips than “Christ and Him crucified.”

Lincoln expressed his appreciation for the Gospel message he received at this church: “I get enough politics during the week. When I go to Church I like to hear the Gospel.” Mrs. Lincoln joined the church. As was the custom at that time, she reviewed a chart of the church seats, selected a pew eight rows from the front on the center aisle and rented it for the then current rate of $50.00 per year. The pew today is marked by a silver plaque and is closed with a silver cord.

The death of their little son, William, in 1862, deeply affected the President and Mrs. Lincoln. After the funeral service, Lincoln presented the pastor with his son’s bank with coins saved for Sunday School missions. From this time on Lincoln leaned even more heavily on spiritual strength.

Noting his increased interest in spiritual things, a lady of the congregation approached Dr. Gurley with, “Why don’t you get Mr. Lincoln to unite with our church?” “We’ll be glad to have Mr. Lincoln when he is ready to join,” replied the pastor. Then he added, “Mr. Lincoln believes enough to join our church, but he doesn’t seem to think he does.”

There are two stories about his conversion: One takes place in Springfield, Illinois in May of 1839 Lincoln (age 30), heard a sermon by a Methodist pastor, James F. Jacquess on “Ye Must Be Born Again.” The preacher related, that following the sermon Lincoln visited him, consulted and prayed with him about his soul’s salvation: “I have seen hundreds brought to Christ,” this pastor said, “and if ever a person was converted, Abe Lincoln was converted that night in my house.”

The other salvation experience seems to be more reliable and plausible. When Lincoln was age 53, his twelve year old son, Willie, died in the White House. In his hour of great grief, Willie’s nurse shared with Lincoln her personal relationship to Christ and encouraged him to know the Savior. Some time later he told a friend he found peace, saying, “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me, I was not a Christian. When I buried by son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg, and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.” In the days that followed, Lincoln worshipped regularly at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, not only on Sunday, but at the Wednesday evening prayer service as well.

By late summer of 1862, it was clear to Lincoln that the time had come for a change in his policy toward slavery. He issued a preliminary warning September 22, 1862, declaring that effective January 1, all slaves would be freed in the rebelling states or where practiced in parts of bordering states. On January 1, 1863 he issued the famous, world-changing “Emancipation Proclamation.” This soon led to the writing of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution by which slavery in all parts of the Nation was ended.

Another especially moving experience was the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Lincoln proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for the victory. That same day, he went to church and heard Dr. Gurley preach on “Man’s Projects and God’s Results.” His Gettysburg Address of November 19, 1863, was a high point in the record of American eloquence.

In 1864, Lincoln was unanimously nominated for a second term. He received an overwhelming majority in the election; 212 electoral votes to 21 for George B. McClellan, the Democratic party candidate. He began his second term of office March 4, 1865. His second inaugural speech was a classic that reads like a sermon, with two complete verses of Scripture and fourteen references to God. A month later he entered Richmond, Virginia with the Federal Army, only two days after the flight of the Confederate Government. Five weeks after Lincoln’s second inaugural address, General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The tragic American Civil War was over on April 9, 1865.

Photographs of Lincoln taken at this time show the effect that four years of war had upon him. His face was gaunt and deeply lined. His eyes were ringed with black. He had slept little, eaten irregularly and found almost no relaxation . . . he was terribly weary. Nevertheless, he continued to see the widows and soldiers who called daily at the White House and when he could to help them in their troubles.

President Lincoln was occupied with plans for the Reconstruction of the South when he was shot at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. while watching a play entitled, “Our American Cousin.” A shot rang through the crowded house. John Wilkes Booth, one of the best known actors of the day, had shot the President in the head from the back of the Presidential Box. Leaping to the stage, Booth caught his spur in the folds of the American flag. He fell, broke his leg, limped across the stage brandishing a dagger, and crying “Sic semper tyrannis” (Thus ever to tyrants, the motto of Virginia). Lincoln died the next day, April 15, 1865, at 7:22 a.m.., bringing the nation and the world into mourning and sorrow. The timing of his death, just 8 days after the end of the Civil War, seemed to indicate that his life’s work was finished.

According to Dr. Gurley, Lincoln’s pastor, Lincoln had made all the necessary arrangements to make a public confession of faith in Christ on Easter Sunday, 1865, sadly, the assassin’s bullet ended his life before the events could transpire. Although he had long believed in Jesus Christ as his Saviour, Lincoln had some doubts on a few minor points of the Westminster Confession of Faith, a requirement for Presbyterian Church membership. When the pastor pointed out that as e laymen he didn’t have to subscribe to every article as long as he believed the essential parts, Lincoln had decided to unite with the church.

Lincoln was both one of the most loved end most hated men in American politics. Reflection has made him “The Greet Emancipator”, “Champion of Freedom” end “Hero of American history.”

His love for the Bible was boundless. He reed it end referred to it in his speeches. He wrote to e friend, “Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, end you will live and die e better men.” He also wrote, “I decided e long time ago that it was less difficult to believe that the Bible was what it claimed to be then to disbelieve it. It is a good Book for us to obey.” He was adamant in his faith, praying often and exhorting others to prey.

Undoubtedly, when Lincoln came to Washington, he was unsettled in his beliefs. From this period came many statements such as “I could join any church that teaches love to God end neighbor”, which were often quoted to prove he didn’t understand the Gospel’s plan of salvation. Uttered early in his residence et Washington, such sayings do not give time for his faith to grow end do not indicate his final beliefs.

Ultimately, Lincoln end Gurley became close friends. Occasionally, the President and his pastor used to cell together on the sick in Washington hospitals. When war clouds loomed menacingly, Lincoln would send for Gurley, even in the middle of the night, to come to the White House end pray. More then once Lincoln expressed his faith in Christ as God end Saviour to his friend. They had e special arrangement between them permitting the President to attend e prayer meeting at the church, unnoticed and unhampered. Whenever he could, one Wednesday night, the President would unobtrusively slip into the Pastor’s study from e seldom-used outside door and sit unnoticed in the dark, hearing the entire service clearly through doors slightly ajar. No reference was ever made to Lincoln’s presence in the adjoining room. Today, that room is celled the Lincoln Memorial Room. Lincoln’s blossoming friendship with Gurley was demonstrated in many ways including the delivery of e fat turkey for Thanksgiving the year before he died . . . end after he died, Mrs. Lincoln sent Gurley the hat worn by him, for the first end only time, et his Second Inauguration with the words, “While its intrinsic value is trifling, you will prize it for the associations that cluster around it.”

Dr. Gurley was with Lincoln et the end. At 10 o’clock in the evening on Good Friday, a White House carriage came to the pastor’s door with e message from Mrs. Lincoln, asking him to come immediately to her husband’s side. Not until then did he learn of the tragedy. All night long Pastor Gurley remained at Lincoln’s bedside until his death the following morning.

As President, Lincoln had sometimes been bitterly criticized. After his death, even his enemies praised his kindly spirit and unselfishness. To the millions that had felt e personal kinship to him – the image of e “Father Abraham” – his death mirrored the loss of e beloved parent. Thousands wept as the funeral train made its lonely journey from Washington to Springfield where he was buried on May 5, 1865 et The Oak Ridge Cemetery.

To all Americans, end to the people of many other nations, Abraham Lincoln has become a beloved symbol of union end democracy. Ed Reeves – Fundamental Publishers

Please view the Credits under “Biographies”  for Fundamental Publishers


Abraham Lincoln, as a Bible believing Christian, knew that his place in Heaven was secured by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for our sins when He died on the cross of Calvary. Brother Smith is with the Lord Jesus Christ right now, but do you know, with 100% assurance, from God’s Word, that you will be with Jesus when you die?

If you do not have this assurance, please read:

God’s Simple Plan of Salvation

These things have I written unto you
that believe on the name of the Son of God;
that ye may know that ye have eternal life,
and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1John 5:13

Curtis Hutson

Curtis Hutson

BORN: July 10, 1934
Decatur, Georgia

DIED: March 5, 1995
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

LIFE SPAN: 60 years, 7 months, 23 days

CURTIS HUTSON was a dynamic evangelist, pastor and editor of the Sword of the Lord, succeeding its founder, John R. Rice, in 1980. It was not always this way…. Curtis was so shy as a young man that he would take a zero before he would give an oral book report in school. Although people thought he was the least likely to ever become a public speaker, he would go on to receive five honorary doctorates.

Hutson was the second of five children, a son of a barber and hair dresser. One night, alone in his bed, he gave his heart to the Lord as he thought on what he had been taught about living a spiritual life. He knew that it had to start with his conversion. Later, at age 11 (1945), when he went forward in his church (Bethel Baptist of Redan, Georgia), his pastor called all his kinfolks to gather around him and pray. Only a few blocks from the location of his future church ministry, Curtis went on to Avondale High School. Barbara (Gerri) Crawford, (born August 22, 1934) was also a student there. While walking to work one day at the Scottdale Textile Mill, he met Gerri and asked for a date. On November 21, 1952, they were married. He had several jobs before he surrendered to preach. But God was dealing with this still shy, unassuming man and in 1953, he surrendered to preach.

The following year, the first of four children, Sherry, arrived (March 17, 1954). All the children would eventually enter full time Christian work: Sherry married Rick Camperson, pastoring in Suwanee, Georgia; Donna (February 1, 1956), married David Janney, pastoring in Orlando, Florida; Tony (December 6, 1962), with his wife Tracy, lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he pastors. and Rhonda Kay (December 3, 1969), married to Rick Chandler, pastoring in North Gainsville, Florida.

While supporting his family as a mailman, Curtis was invited to preach in several of the country churches around Atlanta. In 1956 he conducted a revival in Forrest Hills Baptist Church of Scottdale where 12 of the 40 members attended the first meeting. His preaching soon filled the church which only seated about 50 people. At the end of this revival, the pastor resigned and Hutson was called to pastor. For five years (1956-61) he delivered mail all week and preached on Sundays. During this time, he spent every opportunity studying the scriptures. Like others, such as Harry Ironside and Jack Wyrtzen, Curtis Hutson had no formal training. The Bible was his only source of “preparation” for the wide ministry God had for him in the years to come.

In the course of his postal work, one of his subscribers moved, not leaving a forwarding address. It was his duty to file forms with the senders of the 3rd class mail before destroying it. He decided to keep a piece of mail, a copy of a little paper called Sword of the Lord. It advertised a nearby meeting in Antioch Baptist Church, indicating that the speaker, Dr. Jack Hyles, had baptized 700 people that year. Hutson assumed it was a misprint, but made plans to take time off from his job to go meet Hyles and hear him preach. This was 1961, he would later testify:

“For the first time in my life, I heard sensible preaching. I was enlightened as to the New Testament Church and realized that I didn’t have a real church, even though I had been a pastor for five years.”

Hyles also gave his famous two-hour soul-winning lecture. Hutson’s heart burned within him and he felt that he too wanted to aggressively win the lost to Christ. Returning home, he went out the following Saturday and won three people to the Lord. Every week there after, for a number of years he led someone to Christ. As he began to preach about soulwinning his people began to grow and follow his pattern, winning others to the Lord.

In a step of faith, Hutson left the post office job to live on the $75 a month that the church was paying him. By 1968, the attendance had grown to 350. As it grew, the church moved to the Scottdale Elementary School, then a basement building in the middle of Scottdale. In 1969 it was another building and in 1972 they moved into their new building seating 2,500 on Valley Brook Road. From 1969-72 the church grew from 350 to 2,300 and the offerings were up to $10,000 a Sunday. It was now called Forrest Hills Baptist of Decatur, Georgia.

Many are the stories telling of Curtis Hutson’s soul-winning exploits. One worth sharing here is the time when his wife was gone visiting relatives and he couldn’t sleep. He called up one of the men in his church at 1 a.m. and said, “Let’s go soul-winning! I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.” They took a red gas can and drove out to Interstate 85. His friend kept asking, “where are we going?” After a few miles, they saw a stranded motorist. Hutson approached the driver stating, “I’ve been looking for you.” The poor fellow figured that Hutson was going to take advantage of his distress to make some money. When Hutson assured him he didn’t want any money, just an opportunity to talk with him, the motorist was very responsive. Hutson led the man, his wife and children to the Lord on the spot. That night he and his partner kept going back, refilling their red gas can and finding additional stranded motorists. They led 18 people to Christ before the sun came up. Hearing about Hutson’s patrolling of the interstate, a man left the church a pick-up truck in his will shortly thereafter.

Hutson soon developed his own lecture entitled, “How to Win Souls.” One night he visited a couple who had visited the church four months previously. He found a rental truck backed up to the front porch. He wasn’t sure whether someone was moving in or out. He learned the husband was moving out and separating from his wife. Hutson took the young husband to the back room and led him to the Lord. Then he talked to the wife and she too was converted. He then stayed on, happily helping them unload the truck to reclaim their marriage. There are a number of couples in the church that Hutson remarried to their original mates after winning them to the Lord.

The first news of Hutson’s ministry in the Sword of the Lord appeared December 25, 1970. In 1972, the church opened a Christian High School. They purchased the school building he had attended as a teenager, Avondale High School. That year the Sunday School increased from 1263 to 2109 and merited the “America’s Fastest Growing Sunday School” plaque on November 5th from Christian Life Magazine and Elmer Towns. Bus riders increased from 600 to 1,000 and there were 879 baptized on profession of faith. On the day of the presentation, 5,138, a record attendance was made with 2,600 riding the buses.

In 1976, when Hutson resigned after 20 years of pastoring there, the church had grown to 7,900 with the Sunday School averaging 3,031 a Sunday. All this time, John Reynolds and John Stancil had been at his side to help. They also became his associates at the Sword of the Lord. Another close associate was Frances Hoffman, his secretary of 35 years. Hutson also was president of Baptist University of America from 1974-1980 which was located near Atlanta.

In full time evangelism, Hutson held area wide evangelistic meetings from 1977-1980. As many as 625 were converted in a single service. In one eight day meeting, some 1,502 were converted. The ministry was called Curtis Hutson Revival Campaigns and his song leader soloist was Ray Hart. Large soul winning and revival conferences were held in Macon, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama and Columbus, Ohio in 1979; in Wichita, Kansas and Atlanta, Georgia in 1980. From 1980 onward he continued to hold conferences while he headed up the ministry at the Sword of the Lord. These annual Sword Conferences were held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1981; Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1982, 1983 and for several years in Chattanooga, Tennessee beginning in 1984. Later on, these conferences were held in Greenville, South Carolina at Bob Jones University and in Walkertown, North Carolina.

In 1978, John R. Rice invited Curtis Hutson to come to Murfreesboro as an associate, mentoring him to take on the editorship of the Sword of the Lord. Dr. Rice died two years later in 1980.

Dr. Hutson served as editor of the Sword of the Lord for 15 years (1980 1995), still conducting crusades and speaking at conferences, colleges and churches. This was a difficult time in fundamentalist circles as isolationism and factions separated good men over various issues taking a toll on the movement and discouraging area wide meetings. The Sword of the Lord, born the same year as Hutson, the new editor, continued to promote revival and soul-winning.

Curtis Hutson could move an audience to laughter and tears within a few minutes. Humor and pathos kept them on the edge of their seats. But it was more than human persuasion, it was the Spirit of God working through a dedicated man of God’s choosing.

He wrote some 75 sermon compilation books, booklets and pamphlets, including the 17 volume series called “Great Preaching.” Then there were tapes and tracts; his most famous tract, “How To Know You’re Going To Heaven” has been printed in 30 languages. At the time of his death, it was estimated that some 11,000,000 of his publications were in circulation. Possibly his best known work was the two volume set, Salvation Crystal Clear.

On May 2, 1992, Hutson was invited by Dr. Jack Hyles to speak at their annual Pentecost Sunday endeavor at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. The goal was to see at least 3,000 people converted. By the end of the day, 4,720 had been dealt with at various altars, 1,035 in the morning service alone, where Hutson spoke. 36,902 were in attendance that day in 23 other services all over town. Converts were still being baptized when Hutson had to leave.

Curtis had never gone to a doctor. Finally, in 1992, his wife pressed him to have a routine physical examination. With suspicious symptoms, further tests were made by a urologist who found a cancerous tumor. The news was not good. In fact the devastating pronouncement was, “Six months to live.”

The schedule altered greatly with special family time taking priority. However, he continued preaching, weak as he could be towards the end. His last major preaching opportunity was at the Southwide Fellowship meeting at Northside Baptist in Charlotte, North Carolina in October of 1994. Just prior to that, on September 21, he was honored at Hyles Anderson College in a great demonstration of love from Jack Hyles, who had helped start his career in the aforementioned incident. Hyles read a poem he had composed to honor him just prior to his introduction.

Three days before his death, Curtis awakened from a deep sleep to give his last sermon. It started at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and lasted until 3 p.m. on Thursday, a 26 hour discourse full of wisdom and praise. The last soul he won was that of the home care nurse attending him.

He died at his home in Murfreesboro, very thin and weak, on a Sunday night at 11:15 p.m. The news of his death brought a sense of great loss to fundamental circles around the country.

His funeral was conducted on March 7th at Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. Speakers included Clyde Box, Tom Malone, Shelton Smith, John Powell, Clarence Sexton, R.B. Ouellette, Jack Hyles and John Reynolds. The three Hutson daughters sang “I’m Sailing Away” for their father. He was buried the following day in Atlanta with a great crowd of people at the graveside service.

Hutson, a close friend of Clarence Sexton, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, encouraged the development of Crown College on the campus of that church in Powell, Tennessee. In April of 1999, a new building, known as the Curtis Hutson Center for Church Ministries was dedicated there.

For 34 years Curtis Hutson was consumed with introducing people to Christ. He was a rare combination. A master of both personal evangelism and mass evangelism. He was everlastingly at it. Misunderstood by some, as all great men are, he still lighted a fire in unnumbered lives and a generation that never knew John R. Rice had the blessing of knowing the one upon whom his mantle fell … Curtis Hutson.

THOUGHTS ON CANCER
BY DR. CURTIS HUTSON

Cancer can hurt you, but it cannot harm you.

Cancer can shorten your earthly life, but it cannot affect your eternal life.

Cancer can steal your days, but it cannot steal your dreams.

Cancer can cause you to be immobile, but it cannot keep you from being immovable.

Cancer may make you weak, but it cannot take away the joy of the Lord which is our strength.

Cancer can incapacitate you, but it cannot captivate you. Cancer may bring pain, but it cannot keep you from praising the Lord and rejoicing in His name.

Cancer may make you look bad on the outside, but it cannot change the inside where you have everlasting life and the very presence of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

Cancer may take your physical life, but it cannot destroy the everlasting life which is given to you the moment you trust Christ as Saviour.

As a matter of fact, it can’t even diminish it. It is just as real to your weakest moment as It was the day you trusted Him as Saviour.

Cancer may put you in the grave, but it cannot keep you there. There shall he a resurrection.

Cancer may destroy the physical tabernacle in which you live, but it cannot touch the heavenly mansion that is being prepared for you.

Cancer may cause a temporary separation from your family and friends, but it cannot stop the blessed reunion that is going to take place someday when all of God’s children are called on to Heaven either by way of death or the rapture.

Cancer may weaken your body to the place where you cannot even say to your dearest friends, ‘ I love you,” but it cannot keep you from loving.

Cancer, at times, may cause you to want to give up; but it can not keep you from going up. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Cancer may follow you to the graveyard, but it cannot follow you beyond. Cancer may rob you of strength, but it cannot rob you of your Saviour.

Cancer may make you weep for the night, but it cannot take away the jot- that is coming in the morning.

Cancer may temporarily separate you from friends, but it can not separate you from the love of God.

Cancer may confuse your mind and understanding. but it cannot confuse or change your standing with the great Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which has been settled by a simple act of’ faith in Him.

Cancer May stop your labors, but it cannot undo your works.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Revelation 14:13

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

“After hundreds of hours together, I can say that Dr Curtis Hutson was the most pure gold man I have ever met. He was honest in every area of his life He was a great preacher and a great leader. He was fully surrendered to Christ. I miss him so much.” Dr. Tom Malone

Ed Reeves, Fundamental Publishers


Curtis Hutson, as a Bible believing Christian, knew that his place in Heaven was secured by repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for our sins when He died on the cross of Calvary. Brother Smith is with the Lord Jesus Christ right now, but do you know, with 100% assurance, from God’s Word, that you will be with Jesus when you die?

If you do not have this assurance, please read:

God’s Simple Plan of Salvation

These things have I written unto you
that believe on the name of the Son of God;
that ye may know that ye have eternal life,
and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1John 5:13

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