“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
They Went and They Preached
(Please read Matthew 28:19-20)
In these days of political correctness, the role of religion in the exploration and settlement of our great nation is often overlooked. But the fact is that preachers played significant parts in the unfolding story of America. During the formative years of the nation, as people moved ever westward, braving the dangers of the frontier, preachers were never far behind.
Many of those frontier preachers were supported by churches, and numerous others simply took it on themselves to go and preach. They went on horseback or on foot, making their way along rough trails through the wilderness. No matter how small or remote a home or settlement might be, if it provided a few people to listen, a preacher would gladly come and tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love. Sometimes they walked miles in cold weather to break the ice on a creek or river for baptisms.
They weren’t looking for fame or fortune, and some barely subsisted on the meager contributions their hearers could afford. In later years, although travel got easier and preachers could move around faster, they still generally expected to live lives of poverty. In the first third of the 20th Century, for example, one preacher was given a pair of bantam chickens as his “pay” for a two-week meeting far from home. But he didn’t complain; he just went home rejoicing that several people had obeyed the gospel of Christ in response to his preaching.
To such men, and their families, we owe an unending debt of gratitude. Through their living examples of godliness, they are still teaching us.