Ford Porter was deeply impressed to begin a daily prayer meeting early in the morning on his 25th birthday, February 5, 1918. It was his daily practice until his death, November 20, 1976.
He went to the attic. It was 5 below zero outside and the attic was not much warmer. He took a pillow on which to kneel near the warm bricks of the chimney. During his prayer on that first day he prayed: “Oh God, give me a ministry that will reach souls for Christ, encircle the world, and be carried on long after I am gone.” He had no idea how the prayer might be answered.
The second day he included in his prayer: “And, Dear Father, someday enable me to help train young people, men, and women, for Christian service.”
These requests were faithfully brought before the Lord each morning.
Fifteen years later, in 1933, God answered his first prayer by giving him God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.
In 1955, twenty-two years after God gave him the tract, God gave him the Indiana Bible Institute, now known as the Heritage Baptist University.
One theme sounded throughout the ministry of Dr. Ford Porter: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
Ford Porter was responsible for the founding of eight ministries in addition to the Lifegate Baptist Church. They are:
- Radio Ministry
- Tract Ministry
- Indiana Baptist College
- Children’s Ministry, including:
- Children’s Bible Crusade Clubs
- Teacher’s Training Classes
- Vacation Bible School Institute
- Camp Berean
- Camp Berean Chapel (Zion Baptist Church)
- Christian Book Store
- Film Department
Underscoring his desire to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, he would often say, during his messages: “You are looking into the face of a preacher that ought to be in hell. That’s all I deserve and that’s all I’ll ever deserve. But thank God, I’m not going there. I’m on my way to heaven. In fact, in the mind of God, I’m already there. Glory to God.”
Ford Porter wrote: “Some time elapsed after the attic prayer meeting, and one morning when I was bicycling down the street in Evansville, l approached a boy about 18 years of age who was waiting for a street car. I thought, ‘Is that young man saved?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Go ask him.’ I wheeled to a stop and asked, ‘Young man, are you saved?’ He said, ‘No, I’m not, but my mother has been talking to me a great deal about being saved.’ I said, ‘You would like to be saved, wouldn’t you?’ He said, ‘Yes, l would.’ ‘You would like to be saved right now, wouldn’t you?’ Yes, l would,’ he replied.
The street car was stopping at each corner to pick up passengers, and I realized I’d have to hurry to accomplish my goal. I led the young man along the ‘Roman’s road’ – the verses in Romans about sin and salvation. He listened carefully and followed each step. Then I asked him, ‘Will you take my hand and say, l will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior?’ He gripped my hand firmly and said, ‘I will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.’ I said, ‘Let’s have prayer.’ Just as we finished, the street car arrived and he ran and jumped on. He raised his arm and called, Mister, l want to thank you for what you did for me ‘ I answered, ‘If anything was done, God sure did it.’ He was gone.
I got on my bicycle and pedaled down the street, saying to myself, “Why, that young man was not saved!’ You can’t lead a soul to Christ in a couple of minutes!’ I feared this was true though I hoped otherwise.”
“God wanted me to know the Holy Spirit does the work. About six months later, I was riding a street car on that same street when I noticed a young man in the back seat with a pair of crutches across his knees. I walked back to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said, ‘Young man, are you saved?’ He smiled and said, ‘Yes sir, I am saved. You know, I had a very peculiar experience. Some time ago, I was standing down here on the corner waiting for a street car and someone riding a bicycle came along and asked me if I was saved. I do not know who he was, and when he stopped I was not saved, but when he left I sure was, and I am certainly glad for it.'”
“I was overcome. Tears of joy streamed down my face, and I took him by the hand and said, I’m so glad to hear you say that, for I am the one who was talking to you. It took place in such a short time that I thought you surely couldn’t be saved.’ But again, he assured me he belonged to Christ.”
“That experience convinced me that conversion must be done by the Holy Spirit. No person can save another, but the Holy Spirit can, and will, when He is given an opportunity to work. This was a thrilling answer to prayer for I had been asking God each morning to help me reach some soul for Him that day. I knew then that God could accomplish spiritual rebirth in a short time through His Word.”
It is an incident that should give every Christian the encouragement needed to witness for the Lord and to leave the results in God’s hands.
Now, in these days we see how God has been please to use God’s Simple Plan of Salvation to reach the lost. Do not leave home without a supply. To “never let a chance go by,” should be our desire. Do not be discouraged if a tract is discarded by someone to whom you have just given it. It has been planted for someone else.
Original article can be found at http://www.godssimpleplan.org/info/drporter.html