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INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION ECHOES
OUR RECENT “Believer’s Convention” was certainly a success—so voted by all who were in attendance, so far as we have heard. It was a spiritual feast of fat things, for which we render thanks to the Giver of all good. Our present Lord seemed to gird himself and serve us with “meat in due season,” and with the “wine” of his own spirit of love and devotion. It was good to be there. The attendance was about 250, of whom about 200 were visitors from twenty states of the Union, including Massachusetts on the East and Washington on the West, Texas on the South and North Dakotah and Minnesota on the North.
The announced program was carried out with but slight modifications. Brother Owen, the leader of the Indianapolis meetings, conducted the opening “rally” so successfully that every one felt at home forthwith and well acquainted; indeed, there were quite a number of street and train recognitions without previous acquaintance or introductions—each seemed to recognize the spirit of love: as our Lord declared, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.”
Brother Owen’s assurances that the Indianapolis Church most cordially welcomed us all was abundantly attested by the careful provisions and kind attentions shown to all—the poorer as well as the financially comfortable, and the blacks as well as the whites: for there were four or five deeply and intelligently interested colored brethren in attendance.
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According to our custom no collections were taken up, either publicly or privately: indeed, the only semblance of a dispute during the three days’ meetings was occasioned by some of the visiting brethren insisting with the Reception Committee that they be permitted to share some of the general expenses; while the latter insisted that they had everything provided for, and that the visitors had sufficient journey expenses. We mention this to illustrate the general spirit of the Convention—the spirit of love and benevolence—so much in contrast with experiences we have all had in “Babylon.”
One novelty of this Convention which differentiated it, so far as we recall, from all others, was the attendance of two who had previously been spirit-mediums, but who now rejoice in the better knowledge of the truth. One of these declared in the Testimony Meeting that he had been a medium for fourteen years, but thanked God for deliverance through the reading of What Say the Scriptures About Spiritism?
It was remarked by some that while the managers of the Epworth League Convention had a Bishop present to discuss “The Life of Lincoln,” and an ex-Confederate General to discuss “The Closing Days of the Confederacy,” our Convention, in almost continuous session from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., had no time for social questions, and knew nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and the blessed hopes which center in the great transaction of Calvary.
One of the most impressive services was the baptism on Saturday afternoon in the Central Christian Church, kindly put at our disposal for two hours and a half. Forty-two symbolized their immersion into Christ’s death, by immersion into water—twenty-two brethren and twenty sisters (two of the former colored). The youngest seemed about twenty-five and the oldest about seventy years old. It was a service long to be remembered, and brought a blessing to those who witnessed it as well as to the participants. Our prayer is that the convention as a whole may have buried us all more completely and more deeply into death with Christ, and that walking in newness of life now we may all be prepared to share with him in “his resurrection”—”the first resurrection.”
— August 1, 1899 —