October 6, 2009

An Interesting Story



Edward Kimball, lived in Boston, Massachusetts before the Civil War began. Kimball was an earnest evangelical Christian determined to win his Sunday School class to Christ.
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One of the boys in his class, a teenager named Dwight Moody, tended to fall asleep in his classes, but Kimball, undeterred, set out to reach him at work.
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Actually coming to this conclusion that he must reach out to Moody in a very personal way, and that at his place of employment where others would likely be presently, did not come easy to Kimball. He was naturally quiet and sensitive. Nevertheless, his heart pounding he entered the store where the young Moody worked. In his diary he wrote, "I put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot on a fitting box." His words halting and almost whispering, he wrote, "I asked Moody to come to Christ."
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His face red and flushed, Moody stared at him and said nothing. Kimball left thinking that he had botched the job. As he left the store and walked down the street he was downcast. Moody, however, left the store that day a new person and eventually became the most prominent evangelist in America.
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Some years later Edward Kimball would attend Andover Theological Seminary. Though he was intelligent, and sincere, there was something in his personality that suggested to his mentors that Edward would not likely stand the rigors and difficulties of the ministry and ought to seek another channel of service. Edward Kimball later moved from Boston to Iowa to take up farming.
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Edward Kimball was my wife's great-grandfather, father of Cora Kimball, my wife's grandmother, who married Tom Kellogg, the father of Edward Kellogg, who in turn was father to Gwen, her brother and three sisters. Her brothers name is Edward Kimball Kellogg. He teaches art at Covenant College and is himself a good witness for Christ.
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To confirm these family connections, last week Gwen called her aunt Ruth Schauffle, age 100, living at the Quarryville Retirement Center,a granddaughter to Edward Kimball. She is the last living witness of this segment of family history. At 100 Aunt Ruth's mind is still very sharp. She recalls how the children loved to visit the Kimball's family farm in Iowa and how much they loved his shy and kindly nature.
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But as sweet and tender as these connections are to the family, Edward Kimball unwittingly, set off another chain of descent, not one of blood and family, but a spiritual chain of great evangelists.
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On June 17, 1873, Dwight L. Moody, already becoming known as a powerful evangelist, arrived in Liverpool, England, for a series of crusades. While there he visited a Baptist chapel pastored by F.B. Meyer, who at first disdained the American's unlettered preaching. But soon Meyer was transfixed and transformed by Moody's preaching.
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At Moody's invitation, Meyer toured America. At the Northfield Bible Conference, he challenged the crowd with his words and changed the life of a young Presbyterian preacher named J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman proceeded to become a powerful traveling evangelist in the early 1900's who recruited a professional baseball player named Billy Sunday for the work of evangelism. Sunday became one of the greatest evangelists in American history and preached in major cities such as Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and New York. His campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, produced a group of converts who continued praying for a revival.
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In 1934, their prayers were answered when they invited Mordecai Ham to conduct a citywide crusade. It was during that crusade that Billy Graham was converted. Billy Graham eventually circled the globe preaching the Gospel in scores of nations to billions of people.
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And the inhibited Edward Kimball thought he had botched the job of witnessing to the young shoe salesman Dwight Moody! ~ Adapted from a sermon by my father Edwin C. Urban
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(Edward Kimball is my great, great grandfather)

3 comments:

dianevt7 said...

Wow, Melanie! I didn't know this about your mom's family!! You come from a long line of dedicated Christians! Praise God for His work down thru the generations!

Diane VT

Anonymous said...

Is Ruth Schauffle the same woman who was school principle at North Shore Christian School in Lynn, MA??

Anonymous said...

Edward Kimball -- father of Cora Winifred Kimball Kellogg, grandfather of Edward Louis Kellogg, great-grandfather of Gwen Kellogg Urban -- was born on December 17, 1850.

DL Moody's conversion was on April 21, 1855.

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