I explained about my letter and he explained, “Well, the reason we didn’t answer was we didn’t have any room for you so we just didn’t answer.” I explained to him that I was on my way to Bob Jones and he said, “Oh, well, go on there for a semester and then come here next semester and I’ll make room for you.” I reserved a place and got on the train and went on to Bob Jones. I wrote to him about what happened to me, how I had been saved under Bob Jones, Sr., and accepted the call to the ministry under Bob Jones, Jr. The last night of the meeting, I went forward, I was the only one who did, and accepted the call from God [to preach].”. Dr. Ed Nelson is a man with a long and varied career in the ministry. I finally came to a door and the fellow said, “Well, I am not interested in this, but I know where there is a fellow who does.” I said, “Where does he live?” He said, “He lives in Cleveland, Tennessee.” That was the town I was hitchhiking out of every Saturday! I asked anyone who wanted to respond to raise their hand but none of them did. I told him, “Well, I’m a Baptist and I’m a preacher, so I’ll go.” He gave me the address and I caught a bus back to Cleveland. Well, I didn’t know anything to do but do evangelistic work, so I went out into evangelistic work but I was a sick man. But I had such respect for this man, I said, “I’ll come.”. I went downtown and nobody got saved. I gave him a tract, and a few others just like them. The next Saturday I went back to Chattanooga but decided I didn’t have to go downtown, I went into the neighborhoods and started knocking on doors. And there lay that man. Somebody had made a little trough out of paper and put it from the edge of his lips down to the side of a bed into a coffee can below. I’ve got a vision for you going to Wheaton and getting good training.”. I was leading some souls to Christ nearly every week. So after graduating from college we were out in some meetings [while waiting to go to Japan. He was a tobacco chewer. I’d never tried. I had the privilege of preaching to them. I thought, “Well, I’ve got a congregation, I ought to preach to them.” So I stood up on a bench there in the station and said, “You fellows reading those tracts, look up this way.” I was preparing for the ministry and I preached my first sermon. I did that on Wednesday night again, and on Thursday night I went the third time and accepted the Lord that night. I was under the impression that if you couldn’t be an evangelist, you could pick second best and go on and be a pastor. I was handing out tracts in the station and a fellow came up dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a black bow tie. In three years, we were running about three hundred. I got 2500 copies and went out on the next Saturday. P&D: Well, that’s quite a history. He said, “I believe I’m the only man in this town who knows where this address is.” He took me out to the edge of town and then off onto a dirt road, went a little ways, turned down onto a lane, and then drove off that lane into a field. I was sick with Bright’s disease some while in school [at BJU], but I got along, ate at the diet table every day, and got out [of school] and I was feeling good. I can’t do it.” A little later they called again, but I said again, “I can’t.” Well, the real estate company in California sent me papers that I had to get notarized at a bank and my wife had to be notarized as well. That was my introduction to soul winning. I went that night to hear Bob Jones, Sr., preach and I didn’t like it at all. But I] got so that I just couldn’t go any farther, so we came back to Colorado and went to see a doctor. Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter! They didn’t know how to handle it, didn’t give me any liquid, and later I developed Bright’s disease. After I left, they brought in a Conservative Baptist pastor and the thing went downhill and it is no more. As he took along came another one, dressed just like him, black suit, white shirt, black bow tie, carrying an instrument case. P&D: Dr. Nelson, what I wanted to talk about was your perspective of the ministry, especially after your many years of experience with an emphasis on the area of church planting. We went in for the special chapel, no assigned seats for this session, so I went down and sat pretty close to the front and heard John R. Rice for the first time. (By the way, I did live!) I didn’t think anybody in Chattanooga wanted to be saved. I had my whole support, all my outfit expense, and everything in that semester, so I was fully funded and was scheduled to leave on the USS California Bear on October 15, 1949. I wanted to go to school so I wrote to Bob Jones. TV Guide ranks Peak TV's finest offerings, Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now. (I didn’t know about Lee Roberson winning them by the dozens in those days.) The juice was running down that paper a little bit at a time. After the song, they called for testimonies, and I spoke up. He currently sits on the Emeritus Board of the FBFI, has been a well-respected participant in many of the events that shaped the FBFI and other fundamentalist institutions through the years. I had a layover for a day, so I decided to go over and see Wheaton. I had an uncle who was a great influence on me. Thousand Oaks is a big area now, but it wasn’t anything then, they were just getting started. [But] to make this story sensible, I have to go back to before I went to college. “He made me mad last night, I didn’t like it, and said I wouldn’t go back, but I wonder what he’s going to say to make me mad tonight. I bought it in my name and my wife’s name and came back to Colorado and said, “We’ve got to get ready and sell our house because we’re going to California to start a church.”. He began working at what we called in those days the Dime Store. He said, “Have you ever put ‘bread’ before your family, tried to win your family to Christ.” Well, I hadn’t. I think we ought to hear him even though we’ve already had Chapel. I’d been there three weeks and I realized, “I like this place.” So I wrote to the registrar and said, “Cancel my reservation, I’m staying put.”. So I went out and raised support a second time, but again I got down [with illness] and couldn’t go. There was a day when John R. Rice came to the school. I gave an invitation and ninety people came forward. Photo Credits: Netflix; Pop TV; Robert Viglasky, Hartswood Films; Fred Hayes/Disney+, Fox, PopTV; Bettina Strauss/Netflix; Nicole Rivelli/Amazon, Netflix, Frank Masi/Apple, Disney, Jasper Savage/Hulu; Diyah Pera/CW, 20 Scary Movie Recommendations for Every Kind of Horror Creep to Watch on Halloween, The Best Movies and TV Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime Video in November, What to Watch on Netflix Top 10 Rankings on October 21. When I came in, they were singing, so I just joined the group. I’m not answering your question very well, the question was how did I get into evangelism? Well, after hearing Dr. Rice, I went to my room and got down on my knees and said, “Lord, I don’t know if I’ll ever make much of a preacher, but I’d sure like to be a soul-winner.” He had preached on soul-winning and I decided I’d go out soul-winning every chance I get. The normal dosage was four tablets a day, but they began to give me a tablet an hour. After a while, the owner sold the store to him, he went on and built a chain of Dime Stores and became a multi-millionaire. He wrote back and said, “I’m so glad for the impact they’ve had on your life, but the one thing I don’t want you to do is go to Bob Jones. It was a small work, I’d held a meeting there in the past. The doctor said, “This time, for sure, you only have six months to live. He agreed, but he went home and told his wife, “I guess we better buy a Bible, that man asked me to teach Sunday school, I better find out what the Bible says.” So he got a Bible and started reading it. He has been at the forefront of many aspects of fundamentalism since entering the ministry full time in 1949. I was leading the singing, though I’m not a song leader at all. He said that I had Bright’s disease again, something that many fellows had then because they did the same thing on the battlefield in World War II, they gave them the sulfathiazole and didn’t know how to handle it. They said, “Our pastor has left, would you consider becoming our pastor?” I said, “No, I won’t because I’m already scheduled to go to California. After I got down off the bench, I asked them, “By the way, who are you fellows?” A man stepped out and introduced himself (I can’t think of his name now, but I knew it). © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Download the TV Guide app for iPhone, iPad and Android! Pretty soon preachers began inviting me to preach in their pulpits and work in their churches and I began to experience various things of the ministry through this. God did some unusual things, it wasn’t long before I was booked for years in advance and had good meetings and traveled over the country. Recently, he had the opportunity to preach at the church he formerly pastored, now known as Red Rocks Baptist Church, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. There were a few houses there and a lot of oak trees. The thing that brought me to Christ, literally, was that in 1941 I was in an accident working on the farm. Our mailman stopped me one day while I was out on the sugar beet puller in our sugar beet field. On the way to school, I took a train through the Chicago area to reach Cleveland, Tennessee (there were no planes flying in those days). This was a small one, but it presented the message. I preached that morning, I had met with the deacons the week before, and that night in Auburn, CA, they called and said we’ve given you a 98% call if you will come. I did that with no support, no background or anything. Dr. Ed Nelson is a man with a long and varied career in the ministry. Nate: David Ackroyd. A newcomer to Cabot Cove stars in a play about a woman who, accused of witchcraft, vows "to return in fire and in death." It was a city wide youth meeting, it was held at the Presbyterian church which would seat about 800 I think. So they asked me to help out and I led the singing. Dr. N: In those days, Bob Jones, Sr., was very active. I pushed it further and saw a little light down the hallway.