Man of God!
(Author of the "God's Simple Plan of Salvation" tract)
Dr. Ford Porter (1893-1976)
Dr. Ford Porter was born in Sparta, Michigan in 1893. His parents were godly Christians, and he was saved at a young age. After his father died, however, he drifted away from God. He rededicated his life to Christ during a revival in Evansville, Indiana when he was 23.
Porter taught Sunday school and worked with Dr. Ernest Reveal at the Evansville Rescue Mission. In 1919 he surrendered to preach and attended Moody Bible Institute.
After graduating he founded the East Side Baptist Church in Evansville. In 1926 he accepted the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Princeton, Indiana. He led his church to leave the increasingly liberal Northern Baptist Convention, then was forced by the convention to spend two years in court defending the withdrawal. Porter won the case, establishing the right of churches to leave the convention.
Porter later founded the Lifegate Baptist Church in Indianapolis. Among the other ministries he started were Indiana Baptist College (Heritage Baptist University), Came Berean, a radio ministry, a film ministry and the Vacation Bible School Institute.
He is best known for his tract," God's Simple Plan of Salvation," which he wrote in 1933. Lifegate, Inc., which he founded for the sole purpose of distributing the tract, has now published more than 500,000,000 copies in over 100 languages.
Porter's prayer for a worldwide ministry that outlived him has been richly answered. On November 20, 1976, Ford Porter went Home to Heaven. His ministry continues today, led by his son, Robert Ford Porter, and his grandson, Robert Mark Porter. His tract continues to be printed and distributed around the world, and multiplied thousands have been saved through its clear presentation of the gospel message.
SOURCE of information
Thank God for Pastor Ford Porter
Dr. Ford Porter
"The Man of God, Who Prayed"
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
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
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.
SOURCE of information
Gaylord Ford Porter 1893-1976 Ford Porter was born in Ottawa County, Michigan, on February 5, 1893. The influence of the family altar and the godly lives of his parents contributed to Ford's decision to receive Christ to be his Saviour at the age of 11. A year later, he spoke to a group of junior boys and girls, at which time his pastor remarked that Ford could then quote more verses of Scripture than any other person in town. As a young man, Ford served as a Sunday School teacher, and later assisted Dr. Ernest Reveal at the Evansville, Indiana, rescue mission. On July 6, 1919, he answered God's call to preach, after which he studied at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago under Dr. Kenneth Weist and Dr. James M. Gray. In the years that followed, Ford Porter served several churches in Indiana, and was used of the Lord in various ministries. In 1947 he launched the Berean Gospel Ministry, now Lifegate, Incorporated, which has become worldwide through the printing and distribution of Gospel tracts. The Berean ministry included Bible conferences, evangelistic campaigns, radio broadcasts, children's Bible crusades, Camp Berean, Vacation Bible Institute, Gospel films, and the Indiana Baptist College. The most far-reaching ministry of Ford Porter was the Gospel tract, God's Simple Plan of Salvation, which he wrote in 1933. This tract has been printed in more than 90 languages and Braille. The worldwide distribution of over 310,000,000 copies has resulted in the salvation of thousands of people. Ford Porter went to be with the Lord on November 20, 1976, at the age of 83 years.
Read "God's Simple Plan of Salvation"
Lifegate, Inc., P.O. Box 5, Monrovia, IN 46157-0005
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