In 1957, at the age of 74, three years before his homecall, Oliver Smith (1883-1960) rose to his feet at the Manchester Conference (Iowa, USA) and preached the gospel for six and a half minutes on “two whosoevers”, from John 3:16 and Rev 20:15. Mr Smith, “unknown yet well known”, was not a flowery orator. Indeed, he was often accused of “murdering the King’s English”. Yet he was a uniquely effective and tireless labourer in the gospel who saw many hundreds of souls saved and numerous assemblies planted in Iowa (USA) in the first half of the 20th century. In him was fulfilled 1 Cor 2:4-5. There are very few extant recordings of Oliver Smith, but these six minutes will give you a flavour of the preaching of a true evangelist and ‘soul-winner’, the fruit of whose labours continue to this day. Mr Smith engaged in a number of “‘unusual” evangelistic methods…including hand-painting Bible verses onto his cars, hand-painting Bible verses onto rocks on the side of roads, throwing gospel tracts out of the window of his car onto people’s driveways (in country areas) rolled up in short slices of hosepipe. He would mend ladies’ sewing machines and help men in the fields gathering in their harvest all in an attempt to get them “out to meeting”. He wore himself out in the service of the Lord, yet he was heard to say in his latter years “We’re only playing at it”. If you’d like to know more, check out the book “A Man Called Oliver” by Steve Walvatne and Dave Reiss.
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