Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Week in Texas Methodist History May 1

C. A. Grote Reports on German Mission at Fredericksburg, May 5, 1851

I here send my first report of the Fredericksburg German Mission, to which I was appointed at the last session of the Annual Conference. This Mission has been two years in existence and on entering upon the discharge of my duties, I found forty-five members on record, who all, more or less enjoyed some degree of the grace of God. It was indeed to my surprise to find all the members here coworkers in the great and glorious cause. They are all active and untiring in their effort to diffuse the light of the gospel, not only by their words and professions, but by their works. Many glorify their Father which is in Heaven; and just as they prosper in spirituality so they prosper temporarily (sic), and therefore realize the promise that godliness is profitable unto all things. The members had bought a house last year which is now occupied for divine worship. There are also lots obtained, two of which were bought with the house and the other was given by a brother, all of which, is according to our Discipline, deeded to the M. E. Church, South. Our second quarterly meeting was held on the 27th and 28th of April. Brother Young from the Seguin German Mission was with us, in the place of the presiding elder, and it was indeed a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. In the celebration of the sufferings and death of the Redeemer, it seemed as if all had met around the Cross of Calvary, as the altar on which burned heavenly fire, to the utmost height of the redeeming activity of Jesus Christ, filled all hearts and all exclaimed: "He died for me—for me my Savior died!"

But we also realized His glorious resurrection; for our hearts were all made glad, and like the weeping Mary, exclaimed: "Rabboni" which is to say: "Master;" and I feel more encouraged to tell all men that Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. The love-feast was also of great interest, where many repeated the story that they were lost, but now are found—dead but now alive in Christ Jesus. Fifteen persons joined on probation at this time, one of whom was a Roman Catholic; and I think it would not be unprofitable to present the circumstances of his conversion for the benefit of the German work. When the Catholics learned his intention the priest asked him if he would not go to confession? The man replied, no, as he had concluded to join the Methodists. The priest became excited and appointed a prayer-meeting for the benefit of this back-slidden brother. His wife also joined, and although a Protestant, had as much or more opposition from her parents.
Another family which belonged to the Lutheran Church, had a little child which the mother would have baptised by the Methodist minister. Her husband did not like it, but at last consented, and they called upon me to dedicate the babe to God by holy baptism. One day the man was asked by his associates who baptised the child. He told them the Methodist minister. In the dispute that followed, when they saw that he held with the Methodists, they whipped him thoroughly, and since that time he and his wife never fail to fill their place in our church.

A very zealous advocate against us tried to put down Methodism, but his arm was too short and to my surprise I learned some time ago that he was very serious, and one day he came to converse with me about religion. I handed him one of our disciplines, and a few days ago he informed me that after a long struggle he had concluded to join my church,
Thus the Lord subdues the mighty and the strong and oh, may we all shine through the power of God as lights in this world that all may see and experience the reality of the religion of Jesus Christ.

C. A. GROTE. Fredericksburg, May 5th, 1851.


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