Rev. William Anderson of Philadelphia’s North United Presbyterian Church saw a boy dart into a grocery store. He followed him, asking, “Where do you go to Sabbath school?” Nine-year-old Robert McQuilkin replied, “Nowhere.” Anderson invited him. “And I can promise you a wonderful teacher, too,” he added. “William Parker. He has a fine class of boys.”
At age 12, Robert united with the church, saying, “When I grow up I am going to be a minister; the Lord wants me.” But as a teen, he grew dissatisfied with his Christian experience. Though active among his church’s youth, he wrestled with anxiety and doubt. On Christmas Eve, 1904, he wrote, “Have come much closer to Christ, advanced spiritually but not near enough.” He entered the University of Pennsylvania and the following summer took time to attend a missionary conference on the New Jersey coast. The speaker, Dr. Charles Trumbull, shared his testimony, admitting that there had been great fluctuations in his own spiritual life. But he had discovered that “the resources of the Christian life, my friends, are just—Jesus Christ. That is all. But that is enough.”
McQuilkin sought out Trumbull, the two talked, and on August 15, 1911, McQuilkin entered a prayer room. There came to me this impression: I am going into that room, and I do not want to come out before this matter is settled, and I have taken Christ as my Victory for daily living.
McQuilkin knelt and consciously surrendered every sector of his life to Christ—his sins, his “doubtful things,” his doubts, his loved ones, his fiancée, his past failures, his future. When I finished, I had no special emotion, and I saw no vision. But it did seem for the first time consciously in my life that there were just two persons in the universe—my Lord and I, and nothing else mattered except the will of that other person.
For the next 40 years, the Holy Spirit flowed through McQuilkin like rivers of living water—and out of his ministry came Columbia Bible College/Columbia International University in South Carolina, today one of the great Christian and missionary training centers on earth.
Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory. No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God. (1 John 5:4,5)
Robert J. Morgan, On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). August 15.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1534 – Ignatius of Loyola founded “the company of Jesus,” describing their organization similar to fur traders, but focused on God’s will, not beaver skins. In 1540 it will gain the approval of the pope, who named it the Society of Jesus. They will then be known as “Jesuits.”
1790 – Ordained by Bishop Charles Walmesley in Dorset, England, Father John Carroll becomes the first Roman Catholic bishop of the United States. Eighteen years later he became the nation’s first archbishop.