When my aunts and uncles were growing up on a ranch in Southwest Colorado, a man by the name of “Pop Kinney” visited the house. He explained that he was with the American Sunday School Union and was holding a Vacation Bible School for kids there in that rural area.
My granddad wasn’t much interested in religion. He had only been in one church service in his life, and they told him he needed to be baptized to go to Heaven. Later, he brought a family member to a healing crusade, but the family member was apparently too sick. Security made sure she never made it to the front of the line. From that day on, Granddad was disillusioned and thought it was all pretty fake.
But Pop Kinney was a different kind of Christian than anyone Granddad had met before. He was bold in his witness, but kind in his demeanor, and he was not at all ashamed of the Gospel. Pretty soon, Pop Kinney had all of my aunts and uncles going to the Vacation Bible School.
Toward the end of the summer, Pop Kinney held a Bible camp. My Aunt Arlene was the only one in her family old enough to attend. That week she understood the Gospel and trusted Christ as her Saviour.
Pop’s bold witness motivated Arlene, and she returned home to announce her decision. In the days following, Arlene gathered her younger sister and brothers in the bedroom to read them the Bible. (One of her brothers was my Uncle Steve, who shared the details of this story with me.)
My granddad noticed the spiritual interest in his children, and it stirred a hunger for truth in his own heart. He began to read and intently study the Bible with a friend. Through studying the book of Romans, they understood the simple Gospel of grace, and they trusted Christ as their Saviour. Eventually, each member of the family was saved.
But the story doesn’t end there. After Granddad was saved, he became burdened for his neighbors. He invited others to join him in Bible study, and that group blossomed into Goodman Point Baptist Church.
Once that church was established and had called a pastor, Granddad began Bible studies in another rural town, and soon, another church was born. Before Granddad died, he had helped to plant three Baptist churches, including one out in Moab, Utah.
Thus, through the faithful ministry of one man, an entire family was saved and three churches were planted.
But that still isn’t the end of the story. Years later I was saved. And I will forever be thankful for the faithfulness of Pop Kinney to boldly share the Gospel. The story of Pop Kinney is the story of a faithful soulwinner. The seeds of the Gospel that he planted in a southwestern Colorado ranch so many years ago are still bearing an abundant harvest!
I wonder, who in your community is waiting for you to bring them the Gospel? You never know what wonderful harvest God will grow from the seeds of truth you choose to plant today!