Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History  August 18

Methodist Imposter Exposed at Bryan, August 19, 1878

C. F. Grant had a good thing going as a travelling evangelist.  He had completed a protracted meeting for the Methodists in Waco and moved down the Brazos to Bryan.  Unfortunately for “Rev.” Grant one of the congregational members in Bryan was a certain Mr. Draper who recognized Grant from his travels in Canada.  The problem was that he recognized Grant as George Holmes, a Baptist preacher who had abandoned his wife and children and absconded with $200 not belonging to him. 

One would think that such a revelation would bring Holmes-Grant to ruin in Bryan, but the man must have been the consummate slick talker—at least he talked his way out of this jam.
He started by admitting that Draper was right—his real name was Holmes and that he had left his wife and children in Canada, but for good cause, and he had left funds for their support and left property enough to cover the $200  he took.  He admitted that it had been wrong to hold evangelistic meetings for five or six years under an assumed name, but said that he had gone too far to turn back and preach under his real name. 

He then said that his current wife who was travelling with him knew nothing of his previous life.  Holmes claimed he married her 7 months after the first wife died.

  He left town with the new wife who was never told why they were leaving so quickly, but Bryanites continued to be divided in their opinions about the fraud.  Here’s how the News reported it.

Some say he is a fraud, while others (and they seem to be in the majority) sympathize with and are ready to excuse him, saying they believe him to be a true Christian and are ready to subscribe money to bring him back.  Taken all in all, the cause of religion here is not hurt by this showing up; but to say the least of it, if Mr. Grant is a fraud, the people should know it, but if not be, he ought to face the music and clear it up.


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