THE GREATEST NINE DAYS
Revival in Boston
Research by Raymond Cox
Newspaper headlines alone were almost enough to tell the story. The metropolitan press outdid itself in according favorable coverage. Probably no evangelist ever commanded so much copy or as many photos in nine days as the Hub City's newspapers devoted to the revival whose slogan was "Bring Back the Bible to Boston." Hardly an unkind or unfavorable comment originated with reporters. None of the exploded rumors or innuendoes which the media regurgitate to this day got into print. The only reference to the kidnapping described it exactly as Mrs. McPherson reported. The campaign made front-page news every day and for several days before it began. Sermons appeared almost verbatim. Conversions, water baptisms, and healings were reported. More than a hundred pictures decorated the pages. Civic officials called the closing night crowd "the largest audience ever gathered together for an evangelistic meeting under a roof anywhere."
The first headline, to be sure, boded negative overtones. The Boston Traveler September 23rd front-page banner blared, "BOSTON CLERGY DIVIDED OVER AIMEE'S REVIVAL." That wasn't quite true. There wasn't much division. Every minister quoted except one made either hostile or barely tolerant comments, as the newspaper stated: "Expressions of opinion which ranged from doubtful tolerance to sarcasm were voiced by Boston clergymen of many denominations today on the heels of an announcement that Aimee Semple McPherson, Los Angeles Revivalist, was to conduct a series of gatherings at Boston." The Herald reported, "
"Rev. A. Z. Conrad of Park Street Church declared that the evangelistic association of which he is a director will not support the churches will not support her. If she is coming to Boston it is not at the invitation or wish of the local churches. If she comes to the Garden it will be simply like any prize fighter or other celebrity."
The Rev. Samuel M. Lindsay of First Baptist Church, Brookline, reinforced, "If Aimee Semple McPherson comes to Boston, she will come as an independent preacher. No church organization has invited her and none would. I have no doubt, though, that she will pack the Garden every night, simply because she has been prominently before the public for the past fifteen years."
More tolerant was the comment in the Herald from Rev. William L. Stidger, pastor of Coply Square Methodist Church and professor at the Boston University Theological School: "I believe she has done some very good work at her Temple. What will happen in a city like Boston I'm sure I can't say. I suppose she may encounter some difficulty here in obtaining the proper sponsoring, but I haven't the slightest doubt in the world that she will put on a good show. She will probably fill the Boston Garden to the limit. I don't know but what I will go down to see it myself.
The Rev. David N. Beach, pastor of Payson Park Church, Belmont was considerably more critical: "I look on her coming as a Ringling or Barnum & Bailey Circus."
Only old friend, J. Whitcomb Brougher, pastor of Tremont Temple, the most prestigious Baptist Church in New England, welcomed Mrs. McPherson's coming. Objections from his deacons kept his church from being a sponsor of the revival whose astounding successes overruled the fact that there was just one supporting church, the tiny 69 member Foursquare congregation of suburban Dorchester, actually the only Foursquare church in New England. Its pastor, William Lloyd McLam, had invited Sister after seeing a vision of her preaching in the Boston Garden with every seat filled. "The Lord kept showing me a map of New England with Mrs. McPherson's face hovering over it," he told reporters. "I knew then I had a call that she should come here." He communicated his vision to Angelus Temple and Sister accepted this invitation even though she had been declining many calls whose prospects outwardly seemed more promising.
Boston's clergy had no need for worry that Aimee would twist their arms to enlist their churches' sponsorship. When told by Boston reporters in Portland, Oregon about the Hub City's clergy's comments, she reacted with surprise. The Boston Globe captioned a dispatch, "AIMEE SAYS SHE DIDN'T ASK BOSTON CHURCHES. Wonders Where They Got the Idea They Were Supposed to Cooperate in the Revival." "We didn't ask them to co-operate," she was quoted in one of her rare ventures into satire. She was telling newsmen, "We realize fully that the Boston churches had such big revivals in their own buildings that they haven't time to cooperate in any special effort such as this, so we refrain from embarassing them by issuing an invitation for them to decline."
No sooner had she uttered that comment than she felt repentant. The Globe continues quoting her: But please don't misunderstand me; I didn't mean to be sarcastic. I suppose I shouldn't have made that last statement. But really, so long as the Lord cooperates, that is all that is necessary. This meeting is under the auspices of the Boston (actually suburban Dorchester) Foursquare Gospel Church and none other. I realize just how some of those ministers feel. Years ago, when I was a general evangelist I used to get cooperation from the pastors, but since I started the Foursquare Church the attitude toward my work has changed. Boston hasn't sprung anything new on me. I wish you would tell the good people of Boston that this revival isn't intended to win over any churches or reach those already converted to Christianity. It is intended to reach those whom the churches have failed to contact."
When a newsman asked her reaction to comments by Boston preachers who called her meetings stage shows, and especially to one who had stated he "had learned something from boxing shows at the Garden but did not feel he would learn anything from your meetings", she simply smiled and inquired, "How many times has he heard me speak?"
The revival commenced hardly a month after the invitation. Boston's north end is called the "hub of the Hub," and on Causeway Street Boston Garden rose over North Station. Constructed in 1929 it was a showplace arena compared to its criticized facilities today. The manager, Richard Dunn, entrained to Portland, Oregon where Aimee was packing the Civic Auditorium. Dunn proposed she charge sell admission tickets for one dollar a head. "I am interested in saving souls, and not making money," she responded, rejecting the Garden manager's suggestion but signed a contract, declaring she would raise the $2,600 per day anticipated expenses through free-will offerings. "
Hub City newspapers also sent reporters to Portland to see the evangelist in action. The Traveler analyzed, "Aimee's religion is a religion of joy. There is happiness in it. Her voice is easy to listen to. She does not appeal to the brain and try to hammer religion into the heads of her audience. Rather, she appeals to the hearts of her hearers. She radiates friendliness. She creates an atmosphere that is warming. She is persuasive, rather than forceful; gracious and kindly, rather than compelling. Fundamentally she takes the whole Bible literally, from cover to cover."
The Boston Herald of the same date quoted her allusion to the site of the coming campaign: "Greater than a prize fight, greater than boxing matches, greater than horse shows, and greater than any other thing of the world, he (Jesus Christ) continues today the greatest drawing power in the world. Year after year there are more Bibles sold than any other book. . . Some people say we don't need religion today. Well, they might as well say we don't need the sun now that we have electric lights."
Between the Portland and Boston revivals Sister returned to Angelus Temple where she organized a second prayer tower to pray around the clock for the campaign. She dispatched a railroad freight car filled with scenery and props for use in her illustrated sermons. She assigned to editor Dorothy Martin preparation of a special campaign issue of her Bridal Call magazine and instructed that 10,000 copies be hurried to Boston by air. This was the only "extra" campaign issue of Foursquare periodicals ever published.
Boston's dailies contributed to New England's suspense. Headlines followed almost every move of the evangelist. "AIMEE BOSTON-BOUND BY AIR FOR REVIVAL," blared the Traveler. "AIMEE HERE TO 'BRING BACK BIBLE'," the American screamlined. The Globe had, "AIMEE ARRIVES FOR BIG REVIVAL," and another American headline announced, "AIMEE TOO BUSY TO CELEBRATE BIRTHDAY".
She really must have been busy because birthdays always were big events in her life. The Post spread five photos of her in action under a full page caption, "Modern Crusader Shown in Various Attitudes While Fighting Sin and the Devil." The media puffed conflict with Satan, contrasting it with hockey violence, fisticuffs, and wrestling which usually monopolized the arena. The American had, "Aimee's in Her Corner Ready for Tussle with Old Man Devil." The Daily Record bannered, "ROUTS DEVIL." Reporters inquired, "Do you mind preaching where such exhibitions are held?" She answered, "As long as Gypsy Smith has sanctified Boston Garden, I guess it'll be alright for me." The press loved her and reporters sometimes teased. One asked if her hair was her own. "Pull it and see," she good-naturedly offered. Another inquired whether her teeth were her own. She offered to let him inspect!
Meanwhile, Sister met Friday with Boston's colorful mayor, James Curley, at City Hall. "Aimee and Mayor Put Each Other 'On spot'," the American captioned its story. "Good morning, Lady, I'm very glad to meet you," that newspaper quoted his honor. "You will take up a collection, of course."
"We are wondering whether we will go over the top. Our expenses are estimated at $2,600.00 a day," Sister responded. The Mayor challenged, "Texas Guinan has promised us half of what she gets at the Garden. I hope you will do likewise." Sister offered, "We could give you more than that if you would come to one of our meetings and take up a collection." The American quoted the Mayor's reply, "I'll come down and I hope sign a receipt for a decent contribution." Curley then introduced the evangelist to Budget Commissioner Fox, and Sister told him, "We are going to have the mayor come down and take up a collection" (for the unemployed).
Curley gave the evangelist a "shillalah from Ireland, to help drive the devil out of Boston." Sister left that interview on her birthday of October 9 fully expecting Mayor Curley's appearance at the Garden.
The Post story about the interview differed somewhat from the Americans, stating that Mayor Curley issued the evangelist a virtual ultimatum to leave half the offerings in Boston for assistance to the unemployed. This was during the height of the great Depression. "Sister Aimee said she would if he'd pass the hat at the garden," the dispatch continued. "And it looks like His Honor would do it."
But Curley reneged the next day. The American rehashed the interview of Friday and reported His Honor's change of mind: "Mayor Curley put Sister on the spot. He announced that half of the net proceeds would go to charity. But 'Sister Aimee,' fully cognizant of 'Brother Curley's' hum-dum-diggle, went him just as good as he 'diggled' by promising one half the receipts 'above the daily expense of $2,600.' 'Sister Aimee,' like 'Brother Curley' is a fast thinker. The mayor said (the next day) that he couldn't think of taking a contribution as Sister suggested, because someone might figure that he was casting some slight doubt upon her honesty."
On the evening before the Saturday night opening service hundreds stood at the box office where ducats for that night's fights were being sold and tried to get tickets instead to the opening Saturday night revival service!
An instruction meeting for ushers was conducted Friday night in a satellite room at the Garden. Because the one sponsoring church could not provide enough ushers, the crusade hired volunteers at 75 cents per service. Reporter Alice Burke of the Boston Advertiser signed on as an usher to write a story as an insider. Her next day's account included, "During the Friday night 'pep talk' to the ushers, 'unholy sounds' seeped through the walls from the huge main auditorium where Mr. Pat O'Shocker and Mr. Dick Daviscourt, two large gentlemen of the wrestling trade, were bedeviling each other on a raised dais to the complete satisfaction of outspoken customers."
After the Daviscourt-O'Shocker main event that night, "the grapple and grunt crowd and the smoke cleared out of the arena" reported Saturday's American, "And a corps of carpenters went to work to transform the place for the 'wrassle with Old Forktail." However, the crew forgot to remove one placard. "One symbol of the fact that the Garden was designed as a coliseum of the left jab and the flying mare is the sign on the wall high above the stage, 'No Betting Allowed,'" reported the Post. Workers did not cover it up until several days later.
Opening night drew mixed reviews. "At 7:30 the Boston and Maine Band started playing as its first selection, 'The Monkey Wrapped his Tail around the Flagpole,'" the Sunday Herald would report. Was it a spoof of the preachers who had said they expected a "Ringling Bros. or Barnum and Bailey circus atmosphere"? Sister had laughed when reporters told how some "bracketed you as a producer with (Florenz) Ziegfeld, (Earl) Carroll, and (Eddie) Cantor." They expressed astonishment that she held no animosity toward people who denounced her. And her first service "brought probably the largest working press delegation ever in the Boston Garden, whether for a prize fight, hockey game, dog show, or any other event," assessed the Herald.
After the band's opening number a quartet from Mansfield College sang two spirituals. Then the band played hymns until the choir entered. A different band would play at almost every meeting. Sister's sermon, "The Crimson Road," exalted Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Only 5000 attended that opening Saturday night meeting. The audience was disappointingly unresponsive during the song service but warmed up after Sister took over the meeting. However, "safety pins and rubber bands littered the collection baskets on opening night," the Boston Sunday Advertiser reported.
A Los Angeles Sunday newspaper gloated, "AIMEE FLOP IN BOSTON REVIVAL" and remarked under that caption, "The man in the street in Boston is staying in the street instead of going to hear Aimee." The pan proved premature. What a difference a day made. Monday's Boston papers headlined totally different circumstances. By the following Sunday the campaign broke all attendance records for any nine days of revival in Boston.
Back in her Hotel Lenox room the evangelist, who when opportunity permitted could be an avid sports fan, telephoned the desk at midnight to inquire the results of the final game of the World Series played that afternoon. A Boston Herald reporter, waiting to ascertain the amount of the evening offering, learned of the evangelist's request and immediately sent to her room a copy of the Sunday edition. The St. Louis Cardinals had defeated Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics by the score of 4-2.
The "Bring Back the Bible to Boston" crusade shifted into high gear on its second day, Sunday, October 11, 1931. Attendances soared. The Herald had headlined concerning Saturday night's opening crowd, "AIMEE DRAWS ONLY 5000." The Post blazoned about Sunday's afternoon and evening attendances, "20,500 GATHER TO HEAR AIMEE." The same news story assessed, "Without Aimee the revival would be nothing. She is the dominant, dynamic spirit of it all. Before she comes on the stage things are listless. But as she whirls into the singing and talking the entire audience is pepped up."
A highlight of the second evening meeting came when Sister stood on tiptoe and prayed with upraised hands for the Lord to "bless the mayor of Boston, bless the Fire Department, bless the Police Department, bless the City Council, bless the ministers of Boston, bless the churches, and grant that old-time revival will come to New England."
The sermon, "The Head of John the Baptist," captivated both audience and reporters. "The white Bible catches the eye and Aimee uses it to gesture with as well as to preach from. It aids her in attaining dramatic effects. By slamming her hand on it she depicted the sound of the axe falling on John the Baptist," a Post dispatch declared. "Different from any ever held by any evangelist in Boston" was the same reporter's appraisal of the illustrated sermon in the darkened Garden with a spotlight playing on the evangelist who stood outlined against a cross. He quoted her, "They ask me why I preach a dramatic sermon. Our God is a dramatic God. I can think of nothing more dramatic than Elijah on the mountain top, than rolling back the Red Sea; nothing more dramatic than the crucifixion, the resurrection, His ascension, the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost. I hope a dramatic God shakes us up." The Post detailed "her first story" (anecdote) "about two Irishmen who killed a snake and cut it's head off, yet it wriggled. One of the Irishmen, amazed, said the snake was dead, but didn't know it, and Aimee said the same of some professional Christians."
No meeting was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Sister and some of her party decided to attend the Fordham University-Boston College football contest, but when photographers located them in the stands it created such a sensation that they felt it best to leave. "I tried to go there incognito," she told a Post reporter. His newspaper the next day carried a picture of the evangelist taken in Fenway Park.
Monday's evening proved to be quite a night. Her audience included 175 Boston area ministers and evangelists for whom a special section of reserved seats had been roped off on the floor of the coliseum. The Tuesday Globe reported, "One of these was Dr. J. Whitcomb Brougher of Tremont Temple, one of the few Boston ministers who has supported or even encouraged her campaign here. He alone in Boston defended her right to conduct meetings. She referred to him in her sermon, "If you haven't heard him, you should. We thought he was one of our best preachers when he was in Los Angeles." Brougher was pastor of Temple Baptist Church, the Philharmonic Auditorium, at the time Mrs. McPherson opened Angelus Temple. The two ministers became the best of friends. In 1957 he told me that that he had suggested to some of his members that they transfer to Angelus Temple because people in his congregation were sometimes bothered because they raised their hands during songs or prayers. When Dr. Brougher preached in my churches he did the same! Many Baptists do nowadays, but the physical expressions of worship seemed strange to most of them until the 1960's or 70's. One of the biggest applauses of the Monday evening service greeted Sister's compliments to Dr. Brougher.
In subsequent services Sister complimented several contemporary evangelists, especially Billy Sunday and Gypsy Smith, both of whose Boston evangelistic triumphs she would eclipse. "It's not the dipper we drink from, but it's the water we drink that counts," she emphasized. Sister loved preachers, even those who opposed her, which of course neither Smith or Sunday did. In his later years the latter declared that he wished he had cultivated the divine healing ministry Mrs. McPherson manifested.
Sister slipped in some advice to husbands: "By the way, and I say this not as an evangelist but as a woman. I think that any man that loves his wife should buy her an electric washing machine. I think that's one of the requisites of a happy home." She had been discussing Daniel's prophecy of increased knowledge and suggesting its partial fulfillment in contemporary technology.
In appealing for genuine Christian experience and commitment she complained that "so many people are whitewashed instead of washed white." To emphasize this, the Post reported, she told the story of when she was a little girl of six years. The minister called on her parents. She had a pigeon who stole into a huge pan of skimmed milk and fell. It fluttered out and settled upon the shoulders of the minister, shaking itself and dousing him. She told of how the pigeon shook itself and was black again. 'You can come to church. You can fall in and be white-washed, you can feel better; you can say you like to hear that woman preach. That is not enough. Being white- washed will not do. You must be born again and washed white."
The evangelist in the same sermon telegraphed her intention to minister after the meeting, reporting visits made to five Winnipeg dance halls during a revival there years before. At 10.45 p.m. she arrived at the Coconut Grove where she ordered food for fifteen reporters who accompanied her and made clear she was not bent on a "Carrie Nation hatchet-smashing act." Later the same evening she visited the Seaglades. Elliot Norton reported in the next edition of the Post: "It was holiday (Columbus Day) night in the whoopee belt. And into the middle of the picture walked the queen of evangelists. The whoopee makers paused a moment, a bit astounded. Then they whooped it up for Aimee, stared as she invited them to hit the trail to her revival meeting, and joyously cheered her to the echo. Aimee, who doesn't dance and doesn't favor it and imbibes nothing stronger than orange juice, stood in the spotlight on the floor of two night clubs and addressed the throngs and was satisfied that she had brought a message to many persons she would not otherwise reach."
Sister told the story at both nightclubs of the shepherd who had ninety- nine sheep plus one that was lost. She was there after the sinner, the lost sheep, she emphasized. At the Coconut Grove she invited the band to come to the Boston Garden and play church music at her revival. It came on Wednesday.
Tuesday evening's meeting featured a patriotic message which emphasized America's Christian roots. The evangelist described her address to the atheistic Dill Pickle Club in Chicago where she discovered, "They are simply like the young boy going past a graveyard at night whistling. Atheists are the first ones to call on God when they are hurt or when an automobile jack strikes their foot." With relish she recited the anecdote about an infidel on his soapbox concluding with a flourish, "I want you to know that my father was an atheist. What's more, my grandfather was an atheist. And I thank God I'm an atheist."
By the middle of the week Boston's press was taking note of an unusual feature about the audiences in the Garden. More men than women were attending the services which witnessed water baptisms and divine healings as well as conversions.
Sister delighted reporters with her sermonic anecdotes, especially the account of her 1928 address at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She had never before been heckled, but authorities warned that the students had a reputation for "razzing" guest speakers. Once at the podium, before insults could begin, she commenced to pray. For nearly half-an-hour she prayed, while the students kept their heads bowed. At the end of the prayer she said, "Amen," thanked the audience, and left the hall. She had delivered her sermon as a prayer--avoiding interruptions and insults.
The evangelist told her life-story Wednesday evening to an audience of 17,000. The Post erroneously reported it "was the largest she ever addressed in a hall." She had preached to 18,000 in St. Louis. But the paper quoted her correctly from her dressing room after the service, "It was one of the finest meetings I've ever addressed. I am so happy. I guess that story about Boston being conservative and cold is only a myth. I have found the people very warm and open hearted." Seekers of salvation had responded to her altar call that night in droves.
Wednesday evening's service included the evangelist's answer to an oft- repeated question, "Do your converts last?" She related how scores of converts from her New England revivals held during the first World War had come to her and testified to their enduring faith. Particularly poignant was the account she gave of an incident at Framingham, a suburb of Boston where her first Bridal Call magazines were published. In 1915 a despondent woman was planing to kill herself and her baby. Sister's ministry persuaded her not to. At the Tuesday night service, she told the Wednesday night crowd, she had baptized the sixteen year old son of that woman!
The story of her life, "From Milkpail to Pulpit," concluded with an account of her kidnapping. The press had already treated her kindly in questioning about the 1926 ordeal. The Herald reported how in the news conference upon her arrival she "parried skillfully" this question "which might have embarrassed or angered a less poised person." Her response was that the incident "gave her 'troubled memories' for five months, 'but it trebled my church membership.'" The Post summarized her Wednesday night description of the event: "Texas Mary and Joe Pine, two dope fiends and prominent in the drug ring, went on the air (on her Los Angeles radio station, KFSG) giving names of people in the ring in California. Aimee was warned to stop it but did not take the warning seriously. Suddenly, while strolling on the beach she was kidnapped. 'I thought I would lose my life,' she said. 'It was only by a miracle I was spared. Then came the great clashing of publicity from everywhere.' The audience applauded when state witnesses declared emphatically she was not the woman" (authorities accused of being in a Carmel love nest after the disappearance). As indicated above, every reference to the kidnapping I have found in the Boston press at the time, and I'm sure I've read them all, related Sister's account of the ordeal uncontested.
The revival continued through Sunday, October 18. The Boston Globe of next morning headlined, "39,500 HEAR AIMEE IN FINAL SERVICES." The Boston Daily Record captioned its account, "40,000 hear Aimee in Day," then reported "More than 5000 were turned away and officals were forced to close the doors." (10/19-31, p. 1). The Globe continued, "Mobbed by 3000 at Farewell in South Station After Thrilling 22,000 at the Garden With Her Last Revival Sermon. Collection For Jobless Nets $908.90". By the way, Billy Sunday in 1916 held a ten week revival and received a love offering of $55,000. Gypsy Smith during his three week campaign received a love offering of $10,000 and gave one-third of it to his pianist, Eddie Young. Aimee's offerings came about $6,000 short of expenses which Angelus Temple covered. She received no love offering.
For weeks after Sister left Bostonians would rave about the revival. The Traveler headlined, "Hub Revival Big Success." Harold Bennison wrote of the departure from the city: "With her she carries the memory of a sight given but to few persons to see--that great mass of people in Boston Garden who attended her last and greatest sermon last night. The official count was 22,000 persons seated. There were more." Actually hundreds stood inside and more than 5,000 were turned away after officials were forced to close the doors. Bennison continued, "She accomplished what is almost a miracle. In nine days she spoke to some 160,000 persons. It averages between 17,000 and 18,000 a day. No one has ever approached that mark. Billy Sunday in 1916 came nearest. Last night's meeting was the greatest indoor crowd she ever addressed." (In 1920 she had ministered out-of-doors in San Diego to 30,000 and in 1935 she would command an audience of 50,000 at the World Fair in that same city). Boston authorities hailed the Sunday night crowd as "the largest attendance ever anywhere at an evangelistic meeting under a roof."
What pleased Mrs. McPherson most about the closing day of the Boston revival was the phenomenal response to her altar calls. Observers insisted that a majority of the audience in both afternoon and evening services stood when she called on those wanted to receive Jesus as Saviour to rise. Probably nowhere was the percentage of unsaved attenders nearly so high as in Boston.
Was Boston "the greatest evangelistic meeting the world has ever known" up to that time, as Aimee's manager, Fred Winters, enthused? If it wasn't that, was it Aimee Semple McPherson's greatest revival? When I study the Denver crusades I incline to assess them as the mightiest. But when I study Boston the pendulum swings in that direction. Fortunately we don't have to decide. Both campaigns were unique and both added vastly to the kingdom of God.
As a boy of seven years old I heard the report Sister gave at Angelus Temple on Saturday evening, October 31, 1931 after coming home from New England. She asked an aide whether she should tell the good as well as the bad of the New England itinerary which included several other shorter meetings. I don't remember what the team member answered, but Sister told both dramatically, the worst being that Harvard barred her from an appearance there requested by a student organization. She also expressed regrets that the offering for the unemployed had not been larger. The next morning in her sermon she dwelt at length on an oft replicated question from journalists on the tour: "Often when I would go to a city a newspaper writer would say, 'It is a wonderful work you are doing, we know that, but how do you know the converts last? How much of it do you think is excitement? Don't you think it is personal magnetism or psychology and the moment your back is turned they go back to the world.
"'If they were converted to me,' I replied, 'that would be true, but if they are converted to the Lord Jesus Christ, it lasts.'
"Often in my mind has been that question, 'You say it lasts, but are you sure about it?'
"For eight and three-quarter years in Angelus Temple I have had a chance to see the converts last. I know it lasts. Only God could have held these people together through the storms and tests we have gone through. When I went back to Boston and stood on that platform people came up to me from every direction and said, 'Do you know me, Sister? I am from Pawtucket, don't you know I was converted there fifteen years ago.' 'Did you stand true?' I asked. 'Oh, yes there is a whole band of us out there converted in your meeting. We have a lovely church now. Wish you would take us in Foursquare soon.'
"Others came from Nawtucket and Onset Bay. 'How do you do, Sister. I was converted in your meeting at such and such a place.' Someone would walk in, 'Do you remember me? Remember when you preached at Framingham, Massachusetts, at the Chautauqua campground? We were converted there; our whole family was brought to the Lord.' Someone else, 'I was converted in Providence. Do you remember, I helped sew the tent up when it went to pieces?' 'I was healed of cancer and it is all gone to this day.'
"It is wonderful having people coming in, saying, 'I was converted fourteen years ago--fifteen years ago--sixteen years ago--in your meetings.' It just makes one realize the work one is doing, and sometimes when a little bit weary one realizes it is worth while. Soul winning is the one abiding work which is going to last when all else has passed away."
Whether Boston was Sister's greatest crusade or not, the campaign surely constituted the greatest nine consecutive days of her ministry.