A Shoe Salesman’s Influence

When I was a teenager in Bill Rauth’s youth group, we took a trip to Chewacla State Park. During a break from hiking, Robert Rhodes prayed over each of us and I’ve always remembered him praying that I would be the next Billy Graham. I suspect we will never see another Billy Graham. And if that is the case, I pray God will make me content to be an Edward Kimble. 

Edward Kimble

Edward Kimble was a shoe salesman and Sunday School teacher who shared the gospel one day with a co-worker named Dwight. We know Dwight today as D. L. Moody, one of the most influential evangelists and theologians of his generation. Moody’s preaching inspired a man named Frederick Meyer to undertake his own nationwide preaching circuit. At one of these events, a college student named J. Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ and began preaching the gospel. Chapman enlisted the help of a baseball player named Billy Sunday. When Sunday was invited to preach in Charlotte, NC, he couldn’t make it, but recommended a preacher named Mordecai Ham. And at that event, a teenager named Billy Graham heard the gospel and gave his life to Christ.

No Small Parts

Christianity is full of people who never see the extent of their influence. Edward Kimble never knew Billy Graham, yet thousands of people came to know Christ because he was faithful and shared the gospel with a co-worker. A girl in Arab, Alabama who is very close to my heart will never know Rev. Al Dykeman, but she knows Christ today in part because he faithfully pastored a tiny church in Opelika, where Randall Horne joined and began faithfully teaching his children the gospel. You and I may never be Billy Grahams, but may we all be content to be Edward Kimbles, faithful where God has called us to serve. There are no small parts in the body of Christ.

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