The Chaplain From Hell
By Rev. A. C. Edewards
Last Easter week the church had their annual Evangelistic Campaign.
The Evangelist Bud Spriggs, who bills himself as THE CHAPLAIN FROM HELL. Strange as it may seem to some of our readers, there is a town in Michigan named Hell. The Chamber of Commerce of this town gave this young Evangelist the honor of being their Chaplain. That makes him The Chaplain from Hell, doesn’t it? The services were well attended and well received. However, the real excitement did not happen until Easter weekend.
The Chaplain requested that the Pastor secure three dozen long stemmed roses, the kind with fresh buds. This was done. The following morning was Easter. The Church House was packed with 360 adults. I say “adults,” because the church uses a School Building a half mile away for their children’s activities on Sunday morning. As the service progressed, the Pastor announced that he had the best Board of Deacons in the country. He had seven men and all seven of them were soul-winners. He continued to say that some folk give their flowers after someone dies, but that he as Pastor, wanted to give a flower to his deacons while they were still alive. So he called them to the front of the pulpit and introduced each one of them. He then concluded his little ceremony with a prayer of dedication for these church leaders, and presented each of them with a long-stemmed rose.
Then the Evangelist was introduced. He did not preach on the customary Easter Sunday subject of the Resurrection, but chose to speak on the importance of a United Christian home. As he came to the close of his sermon that morning he announced to the people that if there were those who had “broken” homes, homes where some members of the family were Christians and others were not, this would be an opportune time for the unsaved member of the household to do exactly what the Pastor did for his deacons and present to them a flower out of love. So, he invited husbands, wives or children to come forward and get a flower and then he instructed them to go back to where their loved one was seated and pin it on their dress or lapel and simply say, “Mary or Bill, I love you and I want you to go to heaven with me.” Everyone was waiting. Finally, in the back of the church was a dear Christian woman who loved her husband. He never came to church but he came for this special occasion. She decided that this might be her last opportunity, so she left her seat and came forward slowly to get her rose. As she went back to pin this rose on her husband’s lapel she could control herself no longer; she began to cry and said, “Bill, I love you and I want you to go to heaven with me.”
The entire atmosphere was electrified with emotion. Others began coming forward and doing the same thing. One interesting incident concerned an alcoholic of the community who never darkened a church door. He was brought to church that morning by the pleadings of his two little nieces. They were so proud. One sat on one side of him and the other on the other side. When this strange thing was going on these little girls wanted to get a rose for their uncle. First one went forward and got her rose, pinned it on him but he would not even flinch. He was brazen with pride and stubbornness. The other little girl would not be out-done. So she too decided to leave her seat and get a rose; that did it. “Uncle,” she said, “I love you and I want you to be in heaven with us.” That hardened man broke down and accepted Christ.
This was a real Easter morning for many, as forty-nine men and women went forward in that little Church to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thus the Chaplain from Hell helped these people find their way to Christ and Heaven.