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Have You Ever Heard of Edward Kimball?

It has been said, “You can count the apples on the tree, but who can count the apples in a seed?” The same is true with the influence of a single person. With this thought in mind, in his article, The Chain of Events Leading to Billy Graham’s Conversion, Travis Agnew shares that Billy Graham’s estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, is estimated to be over 2.5 billion. And then he asks, “Have you ever heard of Edward Kimball?”


Kimball was a Sunday school teacher who not only prayed for the hyper boys in his class but also sought to win each one to the Lord personally. He decided he would be intentional with every single last one of them. Surely he thought about throwing in the towel – if you have ever taught the Bible to young boys, you know that the experience can often be like herding cats!


But, one young man specifically didn’t seem to understand what the gospel was about. So Kimball went to the shoe store where he was stocking shelves and confronted him in the stock room about the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


That young man was Dwight L. Moody. In the stockroom on that Saturday, he believed the gospel and received Jesus Christ as his Savior. In his lifetime, Moody touched two continents for God, with thousands professing Christ through his ministry.


Under Moody, another man’s heart was touched for God, Wilbur Chapman. Chapman became the evangelist who preached to thousands. One day, a professional ballplayer had a day off and attended one of Chapman’s meetings, and thus, Billy Sunday was converted.


Sunday quit baseball and became part of Chapman’s team. Then…Billy Sunday began his own evangelistic crusades.


Another young man was converted, whose name was Mordecai Ham. He was a scholarly, dignified gentleman (who held large meetings across the nation).


When Ham came to Charlotte, North Carolina, he announced that he knew for a fact that a house of ill-repute was located across the street from the local high school and that male students were skipping lunch to visit the house across the street. When students decided to go to interrupt the meetings of Mordecai Ham, a sandy-haired, lanky young man, then in high school, decided to go see what would happen. That night – that young man – Billy Graham responded to the invitation and was converted. Graham has since preached to more people than any other person who ever lived, including the Apostle Paul. (1)


Indeed, if we are going to have meaningful faith, we must SHARE IT!


We can never underestimate the power of your testimony. Millions of conversions have come on the other side of one Sunday School teacher deciding to share his faith while trying on a pair of new shoes! Likewise, you might be surprised what will transpire when you choose to be bold with your faith.


The beginning of meaningfulness can be as simple as making a decision that you are going to live a God-first life in a way that exemplifies serving Him with your whole heart. So I dare you to sow your seed, share your faith, and watch God be God! After all, “you can count the apples on the tree, but who can count the apples in a seed?”


I invite you to view this message in its entirety HERE:

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1.) Agnew, Travis, and Travis Agnew. “The Chain of Events Leading to Billy Graham’s Conversion.” TravisAgnew.Org, 31 Dec. 2016, www.travisagnew.org/2013/07/22/the-chain-of-events-for-billy-grahams-conversion.


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