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Articles & Local History > Rev. Billy Sunday

Sterling Standard Tuesday Jan. 5, 1904


Meets Large Delegation of Ministers and Church Workers


Billy SUNDAY, the evangelist, made his first public appearance in Sterling this morning when he met a large delegtion of ministers and church workers in the Y. M. C. A. rooms for the purpose of arranging for Mr. SUNDAY'S coming revivals here in February. About thirty five were present.

Personally, Mr. SUNDAY is a whirlwind. He is nervous, quick, sharp to see a point and with no lack of words with which to express his meaning. He is possessed of a strong personality and impresses  his bearers with being an energetic, hard painstaking worker and one who is not afraid to strike to the point regardless of what others' sentiments may be.

Rev. E. Lee FLECK, president of the ministerial association, presided. After prayer by Rev. W. W. DIEHL Mr. SUNDAY was called upon for his ideas regarding the tabernacle and the meeting in general. Mr. SUNDAY spoke in part as follows:

Expenses - Float your stock company and cover your approximate expense with shares. I will take twenty-five shares myself. Get others to do the same. We will take up a basket collection, each day and on the third Sunday I will raise the deficit if there be any. At Jefferson I raised $650 on that Sunday. Get the shares subscribed for. You may never have to collect for them, but have the expenses covered.

The Building - use bailed shavings on the floor. Cover the floor deeply with them. People will say that the tabernacle will be a death trap. Some old infidel doctor will say that it will cause an epidemic of pneumonia. Dampness will never go through baled sahvings. Cover the roof with tarred paper. Do the same thing with the sides. ON the inside use common building paper. In the pineries of the north this system of building is used for the lumbermen to live in and despite the fact that the thermometer reaches fifty degrees below zero they keep warm. Have the outer walls of the building about seven feet high and raised towards the center.

Lighting - Don't skimp on lights. Nothing kills a meeting so quickly as poor lights. People will not get enthused in a dark dingy room. (Some discussion was raised as to the kind of lights, some of the ministers prefering gas to electricity. Judging from the conference, however, electricity will probably be used).

Music - Get all of the instruments you can secure. Use at least two pianos. Music helps enthuse people. Appoint a man or woman from each church on the music committee. Don't stop at the choirs of the churches. Use the choirs simply as a center to build the big choir around. This is an important affair. You will find it hard to secure singers. Some fo the crankiest people on God's dirt are the musicians. Nine-tenths of the church scraps start in the choirs. Many of the church singers are too good to sing at a revival. My collegue, Mr. FISHER, has a superior knowledge of music. He will be able to teach your singers many things. His teaching will be an advantage to many. Impress this upon their minds.

The First Night - Have the building warm the first night. Everything is judged by the first night. Even if you have to burn ten tons of coal have it comfortable. If you don't have things right on the first night it will take a week to counterset the effects of that meeting. Ushers and Collections - Get pletny of men for ushers. Have a chief usher and assistant chief ushers over every section. For collections use common pie tins. Don't use the long hoods used in the churches. It gives a man too much copportunity to stick his hand in and drop a poker chip or a button. When you have an open tin it appeals to h is pride.

Personal Workers - I will appoint no personal workers. I expect everybody to be a personal worker. Get the people of the churches enthused and they will do the personal work without appointment. I will first get the members of the churches started and they will carry on the personal work.

To The Ministers - I will say and do lots of things and you will not agree with me. I don't expect you to. If you said the things I said you couldn't stay here two months. However, I don't owe these people anything and they don't owe me anything. So I can say what I please. If you don't agree with me, keep still and let me do things in my own way. Pick out the good that I do, and keep still about what you don't like.

Critisism - You will hear lots of unfavorable critisism. There will be lots of kickers. One disgruntled old back slider can do more work for the devil than fifty church members can do good. Pay no attention to this critisism. Dividing Collections and Pay - There are to be no services in the churches during Mr. SUNDAY's stay here. Each Sunday morning those presednt will be given envelopes and asked to put their money in these envelopes and mark thereon the name of their church. The church treasurers will then sort over the envelopes and pick out their own money. The loose change will go into the general fund. On the last Sunday, Mr. SUNDAY will receive the collections from all the meetings. He is to take these collections up in the way he sees fit. His pay is simply the collections of one day.

After talking over a few more sailent points, Mr. SUNDAY interviewed the architect and looked over the grounds after which he took the 10 o'clock passenger for his home in Chicago.

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