She wrote: "We spent the night out under the stars having a couple of quilts and a pillow for a bed on the ground. We had not eaten dinner or supper the day before. We had about $1.50 and about 75 miles yet to go. My husband stopped at a farm house early that morning to ask if we could get breakfast making clear we would pay for our breakfast. The lady of the house said yes but was curious about us. Later she said she thought we were a couple who had run away from home and married. We were very young. On learning our mission she would not take pay for our breakfast and in addition fed our horse. We became friends for days and years ahead."
Finances were always tight, but they "continued on preaching and working wherever opportunity came, making opportunities when there was none in city jails and on streets under brush arbors too." On one occasion, my grandmother wrote, "I knelt by the chair in the kitchen telling the Lord our needs. A knock was at the front door. I wiped my tears away with my apron to meet a guest and it was a young mother with two children who had recently been saved in our services. She put her arms around me saying, Whether you need what I have brought or not, I refuse to feel like I have been feeling the past hour. Here are some groceries.'"
The typical Charlie Clay Montandon sermon, preached at night in lantern light, under a tent or under the stars, emphasized hell, fire, damnation, ashes (heaps of them), and the serpent. He knew how to save souls and inspire repentance. "One night the power of God was so manifest that people saw the light visibly, and hundreds fell before God prostrated. Heaven was so near," wrote my grandmother.
She went on:
The people began to come in droves. . . . One lady started for the altar and
her little girl about 11 years of age held on to her saying, "Mama, don't go
up there. Them women will beat you on the back." But the mother went
right on and was saved. One night here came two brothers carrying their
brother. They made a pack saddle to bring him in. They had found him
hidden in a wagon trying to get away from them and from God . . . such
shouting, such victory. An old drunkard was saved one night and was
elected Sunday School Superintendent at the close of the Revival. A Dr.
came out from Gouldbusk, Texas one night. It had been noised abroad that
Jesus was in our midst. He knew me before my marriage. He said before the
service, "Myrtle, I have never seen such." He said, "Many here are paying
my old bills. I never expected to collect." He knew them all. He had been their
doctor for several years. We were using old-fashioned gasoline lamps. He
publicly said, "I will furnish all the gasoline you need to keep this meeting
going. I am a shouting Methodist, so more power to all of you for such a work."
At Dennis Chapel under a large tabernacle we were laboring faithfully and were having some bitter opposition until one night a goodly number gave their hands requesting prayer. A young man fell at the altar praying mightily confessing all to Jesus who saved him. Others followed and a mighty revival broke . . . we preached, and our labors were rewarded with souls.
The Sunday School Supt. rushed to the altar and his hands reached towards heaven. He was calling on God for help. His wife was frightened and thought he was dying. She began to scream and pray within the minutes he had prayed though she was no longer praying for him but for herself. Also, she prayed through so no longer did we need to pray for courage and faith. Faith had turned to sight.
I will mention a revival held on what was known as Sunshine Hill about 20 miles from Wichita Falls near Burkburnette. This was an oil field. Many workers lived out theresome in good houses and some in shacks typical of an oil field in those days. As interest increased, some who were known as roughnecks began to come. Their hearts were stirred. Their families were touched. They began to seek God in an old fashioned way. At the close of the three-weeks revival, more than 100 people had found the Lord.
From Oh The Glory Of It All by Sean Wilsey. Copyright 2005 Sean Wilsey. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, The Penguin Press.
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