I did not know her, but I pastored him. Arthur’s mother had prayed for her wicked and wayward son without ceasing for years. He was raised in a holiness home and attended a holiness church regularly all of his younger years. He was ornery but not mean. He was rebellious but not evil. Church and spiritual matters held little interest for him as a boy. He did, however, enjoy the fun that he could have at church and was known for his practical jokes and ornery pranks.
Haley Stokes made a great impression on Arthur’s young mind as he stormed in the pulpit. Hell fire and graphic descriptions of the evils of society made the young boy squirm but did not bring him to repentance.
Often he came home late at night after a rollicking evening of sin. Then the discomfort of conviction would settle upon him as he heard his mother praying . . . for the salvation of her lost son.
Unfortunately she never knew the Arthur that I knew. Long before I first met Arthur, she went to heaven. He regretted his willful life and repented of his sins. His love for fun and his ready wit often surfaced when he testified of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The many hours of prayer, the ache of a longing heart and the insistent faith of a little saintly woman bore fruit long after her own departure. This example joins many others who have not known the rewards of faith in this life but nevertheless have left a legacy for us to follow.