"When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." - (Luke 22:32.)
When Mrs. Clara Luce, the noted playwright, congresswoman, and wife of the editor of "Life" became a member of the Catholic Church it was publicized - far and wide, by the newspapers, magazines and even the radio. Other public figures who have become Catholic converts have likewise been publicized.
In strange contrast to this is - when Catholics are converted and become Baptists or Protestants little or nothing is said about it - WHY?
Yet many Catholics do become Baptists and Protestants. One of the most striking conversions of this kind is told in the following letter from Brother William Burke, an ex-Catholic Priest.
Just before I went to Michigan last August I received the letter. When I come to my office each morning, the first thing I do is go through the morning mail after Howard has sorted it. I take the letters which are marked for me and read them for the first time, after which Glo takes them with her mail - and sees that the orders, requests are properly filled and that each piece of mail we receive is given proper attention. She marks each one I am to answer personally and gives it to my secretary.
"CLARENCE, ISN'T THIS A WONDERFUL LETTER"
My dear Mr. Walker:
I was a Roman Catholic priest for 10 years, leaving this church nine years ago.
When I left Catholicism in which I no longer believed I still believed in God and in Revelation.
Eventually I joined a Protestant church in quest of salvation; and again after several years of active membership I had not found the Lord.
Three year ago I was saved and since then I have traveled extensively throughout the country preaching the Gospel in purity and simplicity as it was preached from the beginning.
I have preached Believer's Baptism and I have been and always will be definitely against Infant Baptism and Baptismal Regeneration.
In doing this work I often wondered why some group of saved people did not gather together and form a church.
I had the blessed experience a few months ago of finding among the books in our Mission, a pamphlet or booklet entitled "The Trail of Blood."
I at once began to read this booklet and then and there I discovered there had always been from the very beginning the church I had prayed for - the Baptist Church.
I realized immediately that I had been and was for three years a Baptist at heart.
At the time I made this discovery we were conducting a conference in Calvary Baptist Church, New York City. While there I applied for membership and I am to be baptized the latter part of August.
I returned a week ago after having preached in twenty churches in Owensboro, Kentucky, and surrounding areas.
I spoke in about 18 Baptist churches in all, among them in Owensboro proper, the First and Third Baptist.
Although I have spoken in churches of all denominations this has been the most fruitful, spiritually of all my speaking tours. I was for three weeks with real Baptists and children of God - Southern Baptists.
My quest for salvation and God's real church has been long and at times difficult and discouraging.
I have journeyed through Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Modernism which to me is as great an evil as Roman Catholicism.
At last through prayer, grace and perseverance and above all the "gift of the Holy Spirit" I have found happiness, joy, peace and salvation.
I found salvation in Jesus Christ, and I discovered that the church I prayed for really existed, that I was at heart a Baptist - all in Dr. Carroll's little booklet, "The Trail of Blood."
In His love and service, WM. E. BURKE
A small edition of the booklet was published, then Dr. Porter died. Brother Walker received permission for the continuation of the publishing of this most important book on church history. It was then that the book began to be circulated throughout the world. Now over 900,000 copies of the "Trail of Blood" have been printed. It now appears in five different languages. This book has been hated and feared by false churches. The Catholics have tried in vain to stamp out its message wherever it has gone taking the message of truth. It has been used of the Lord to open the eyes of thousands as to the origin, doctrine and perpetuity of New Testament Baptist Churches.
In addition to the "Trail of Blood" and the "Walter Book", are booklets, tracts, articles by the multiplied thousands which have gone out under the direction of the Ashland Avenue Baptist paper. Only heaven at the rewarding seat of Christ will be able to sum up the conversions, blessings and benefits of the ministry of the printed page, under the direction of Mr. Baptist and through the aid of the good people at the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church.
This vast printed ministry has not been a one-man project. Many full-time workers come to the church day after day to labor for the Master, receiving a very meager salary. Others, part-time workers, give freely of their time. The able management of Brother Howard Davis has been a blessing to this phase of the work. Mrs. Walker, always behind the scene, has been a source of inspiration to all connected with the work. These all combine their united efforts day-after-day in a wonderful spirit, of teamwork to make the ministry of the printed page possible.
[From Bill Beeny, "Mr. Baptist" A Biography of Clarence Walker, published by Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, Lexington, KY, 1955, pp. 77-79. This book provided by Robert Ginn, via his daughter Joan Noble.]
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