THE Los Angeles Convention of the I.B.S.A. opened September 2d and closed September 10th. The Chairman of the Convention, Brother Rutherford, declared that, without any exception, it was the finest and most spiritual Convention he had ever attended, and many others voiced the same sentiment. One Sister remarked that the addresses and general tone of the Convention were so spiritual that her eyes were suffused with tears at every session. Surely, it was good to be there! The program was closely followed, and the arrangement of the fixed topics in advance seemed to work beneficially, as it has done with other Conventions this year.
The attendance at the Convention was estimated at one thousand. The special service for the public on the closing Sunday packed the spacious Temple Beautiful to its utmost capacity, with about 200 brethren on the platform and about 600 in an overflow meeting, making a total of 3,800—besides about a thousand turned away. The close attention given by the public was remarked by many. The audience was an extremely intelligent one, probably one-half of it gray-haired people. Good results are hoped for from the public service, and we hope also that the Convention's general influence will be far reaching, not only in the Los Angeles Congregation, but also in the smaller companies round about, which were well represented.
The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION had two full exhibitions—four nights each, with a Finale, making nine in all. It was well attended and a large number of cards were handed in, requesting further information and literature.
An interesting event outside the Convention Program was an address by Brother Russell in the Park Avenue Christian Church, Los Angeles. The Minister of the Congregation, Brother Anderson, has within the past few months come in contact with Present Truth, and has been feasting upon it. He has also been preaching it to the Congregation, and has had various of the brethren lead Berean Studies and give Addresses. His invitation to Brother Russell to take supper at his home and afterwards to address the Congregation was accepted with appreciation. The attendance crowded the edifice, about 500 being present. The attention was excellent. Evidently a considerable number of the Congregation were deeply impressed with the Divine Plan of the Ages, as were also visitors from the neighborhood. Brother and Sister Anderson seem to be very thoroughly committed to following the light as the Lord may privilege them to see it. They give evidence of full consecration to the Lord, and a clear spiritual insight into the Plan.
A public witness to the Truth was given in San Bernardino and seemed to be well received. About 500 very intelligent people gave close heed to the subject, "The World on Fire." This was considered an excellent attendance for a Tuesday afternoon in September. Many requests were made for literature.
Our next stop was at San Francisco, where we addressed about 400 of the brethren of that vicinity gathered for Wednesday afternoon. No public meeting was attempted, but we had splendid fellowship with the brethren, about 100 of whom accompanied us to Oakland, where we took our train northward.
The next stop was at Medford, Oregon, where we had about 10 minutes, and were warmly greeted by about 20 of the friends. Again we exchanged cordial greetings and sang, as the train pulled out, "God be with you till we meet again."
Portland, Oregon, was our next stop. Although about 20 of the Portland brethren attended the Seattle Convention, we were warmly welcomed. About 50 awaited our arrival at the station. We had splendid fellowship with the Brethren during the day, nearly 300 being in attendance. The evening meeting for the public was in the largest hall available. Its capacity of 1,300 was stretched by putting about 200 brethren on the platform, while about 150 stood. A more earnest and sympathetic audience could scarcely be imagined. The closest attention was given and we hope that the eyes of understanding of many were opened and their hearts drawn nearer to our Blessed Lord.
This was one of the most successful Conventions of the year. There were 1,100 in attendance. A considerable number of these came from Victoria and Vancouver, Canada—probably 200. The spirit of the Lord seemed to be manifest everywhere amongst the brethren—love, joy, peace, the Holy Spirit, shone in their faces. Every way this Convention was a great success. We cannot say that it was better than the Los Angeles Convention, or others, but it would be hard to imagine a better one, or a more earnest and loving spirit of fellowship. This Convention lasted only four days, but they were brimful of good things—a spiritual feast.
The service for the public was held in the Arena Sunday afternoon. A vast audience of 4,500 very intelligent looking people heard, "The World on Fire," and what the grand outcome will be—"a New Heavens and a New Earth," wherein will dwell righteousness. The closest attention was given and probably one-fourth of the audience, or more, were gray-haired. Requests for further literature were many.
The Love-Feast Sunday evening at the close of the Convention was very enjoyable. All hearts seemed to be overflowing with love for the Lord and appreciation of His Truth, and with brotherly love for all who are followers of Jesus.
The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION was shown in another theater every night during the four nights of the Convention. The theater's capacity of 1,100 was packed, and hundreds were turned away each night. The DRAMA will be repeated on account of the interest manifested. Incidentally we remark that one of the brethren attending the Convention from Canada informed us that the showing of the DRAMA in his city had brought between fifty and sixty into the Truth and into regular class attendance.
Our next stop was at Spokane, Wash., Monday, Sept. 18. We were greeted at the station by about 60 brethren and sisters. They had arranged a one-day Convention for friends from nearby points. Nearly 300 were in attendance, and a splendid season of Christian fellowship was enjoyed. The evening meeting was for the public, Brother Russell's topic being "The World on Fire." The attendance was about 1,500, many standing and many turned away. Excellent attention was given and we have reason to hope that some impression for the Truth was made upon some hearts and minds.
Thursday, Sept. 21st, we arrived in Duluth, Minn. Again we were given a warm welcome, again a one-day Convention had been appointed, and again the Lord seemed to pour out a blessing upon us, refreshing our hearts as we considered together the good things of His Word. The attendance was not large—less than 100, but the loving interest manifested was pronounced. Although the weather was wet and cold about 750 were present at the night meeting for the public. They gave splendid attention.
A night's ride brought us to St. Paul, where we had a short stopover between trains. The St. Paul and Minneapolis friends had heard of this stopover and quite a little gathering assembled to bid us God-speed for the Milwaukee Convention, to which some of their number had already gone, while others were intending to go. We had a pleasant hour with them, very truly refreshing and profitable.
When we arrived the Milwaukee Convention was under full swing, and excellent reports reached us of blessings already received from the Lord by those in attendance. We had two days with the dear friends, and greatly enjoyed the same. The total number in attendance, about 950, was not as large as we had hoped for, but the interest made up for the lack in numbers. The addresses were reported to be excellent, along the lines of the program and very edifying.
The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION showed for eight nights—the DRAMA being repeated. The attendance throughout was splendid, averaging about 2,000 per session. About 2,200 cards were handed in expressing desire for further literature.
Homeward bound we stopped between trains at Chicago. There also some of the friends met us—nearly a hundred. A short address was made to them along the lines of the importance of brotherly love amongst the Lord's people.
Amongst the interesting features at nearly every place was [R5976 : page 319] the consecration of children. And we should not forget to remark that the new "Pastoral Work" seemed to make quite an impression upon the hearts and minds of the friends. Many of the sisters were glad to have a share in the work and to know how it could be carried out. We believe that much will be done immediately, and that the dear sisters throughout the country will be awakened and taught by experience how to work efficiently, and that the great smiting of the Jordan shall begin and progress with wonderful power, as we expect it to do.