Part 4 – With Sorrow Comes The Power Of God
Tears and testings and trials have been a part of my heydays and highdays with God. A little over twenty-three years ago, we came to Corpus Christi after a wonderful three years in Houston, Texas, and became the pastor of the Park Avenue Baptist Church. Great waves of blessing and refreshing came upon the church.
Then on October 24, 1944, the building that we had just refinished, with new carpet and a new organ, burned to the ground. That night, with the smell of charred wood and burned papers, we sat in the open for a service with the challenge to the people, “We’ll build again.” Little did I know that night of the sorrow and the heartache and the tears that would come because the fire was God’s order to move and with much bitter opposition and misunderstanding, we purchased the beautiful site on Furman Avenue. The name of the church was changed to Second Baptist and we saw thirty-three hundred people walk the aisle and eleven hundred of them walked through the baptismal waters.
Brother Carl V. Watkins, our associate for many years, visited me the other day and said, “I shall never forget the power that God gave that old church. Why, when we’d knock on a door, the people would be ready immediately to pray and ask Jesus to save them.” He said, “The power of God was upon the church.” But if she had never suffered, she probably would never have saved.
The artist painted an impressive picture of a boat loaded with cattle crossing a turbulent river. The lightning was flashing, the thunder rolling, and the waves were dashing against the boat. Awful fright was stamped on the faces of the cattle, but underneath were the words, “Just changing pastures.”