8 October, 2021

Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: “Our Ministry, Especially, Has Been Smitten”

by | 2 April, 2020 | 0 comments

With coronavirus, or COVID-19, continuing to infect and kill people in the United States and around the world, we thought it an appropriate time to reflect on the 1918-19 influenza pandemic that caused at least 50 million deaths worldwide, with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.

Last week we shared a Christian Standard editorial from Nov. 2, 1918 (click here to read it). This week we opt for a somber editorial from January 4, 1919.

(By the way, in our last column we reported there had been 475,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide resulting in more than 21,000 deaths. As of early this morning—almost exactly one week later—the running total now stands at 950,000 coronavirus cases and more than 48,000 deaths.)

_ _ _

Present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8)

Editorial;
January 4, 1919; p. 11

It is estimated that, in round numbers, six million people have been swept out of the world by the influenza epidemic which has raged during the past few months. The scourge has been no respecter of nations, and here in America it has held sway in every section. Owing to quarantine regulations, always strict in the United States, we have not suffered as have some of the other countries. Nevertheless, the fatalities in America run into figures that stagger the mind. Thousands of homes among the disciples of Christ have been afflicted, and the doors on which crepe has been nailed are numerous. To all who have lost loved ones we extend heartfelt sympathy, and for them we breathe a prayer.

Our ministry, especially, has been smitten. The following heralds of the Cross have recently gone hence:

Ainsworth, A. F., minister at Milton, Ky.

Atwood, C. C., minister at Chester, Neb.

Boone, J. G., minister at Athens, Ala., but serving as army chaplain at Camp Mills, N. Y., at time of death.

Booth, James M., minister, serving rural churches in Missouri.

Burton, Walter A., engaged in Army “Y” work.

Champie, H. S., minister at McMinnville, Ore.

Cosat, John J., veteran minister in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Delezene, James M., minister at Burlington Junction, Mo.

Goodnight, T. H., veteran minister residing at Madison, Wis.

Hauser, T. N., minister at Lees Summit, Mo.

Higgins, Lucius, engaged in Army “Y” work.

Jaggard, Mrs. L. F., missionary, Congo Belge, Africa.

Lacey, Joseph H., veteran minister residing at Rochester, Ind.

Lamb, William, minister at Deming, N. M.

Langdoc, C. C., student minister in U. S. Navy service.

Martin, Henry T., minister at Jellico, Tenn.

Monser, Harold E., well-known evangelist at Lincoln, Ill.

Payne, W. S., retired minister residing at Wichita, Kan.

Purcell, T. Q., evangelist, Panhandle District of Texas.

Roberts, John I., Y.M.C.A. worker at Lucknow, India.

Robinson, L. M., pioneer Illinois minister.

Tanksley, R. H., minister First Church, Moberly, Mo.

Wright, W. B., minister at Sebree, Ky.

Zerby, Guy L., minister at Urbana, Ill.

When the epidemic broke out in our land, these brethren were active—proclaiming the gospel on the Lord’s Day and ministering to their communities during the week. Many, perhaps all, visited, prayed with and buried victims of the influenza during the early days and weeks of the epidemic. And when they were trying to encourage the sick and comfort the sorrowing, they did not think of themselves—a characteristic of faithful ministers. Now they have joined the hosts that have gone on, and their families are left to mourn their decease, the communities they served have lost true friends and benefactors, and the cause they loved is bereft of their eloquent voices and consecrated lives.

To the congregations our recently departed brethren served, and especially to the loved ones from whose arms they were snatched, we would say, as these consecrated men often said to the bereaved: “Place your trust in the great Comforter. He alone can dry your tears and strengthen your hearts.”

_ _ _

Here’s the Scripture verse referenced by the headline: “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

—Jim Nieman, managing editor, Christian Standard

Image: Detail of a sign posted at a factory during the 1918-19 influenza epidemic.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

Throwback Thursday: ‘How I Happened to Be a Minister’

In October 1943, Christian Standard shared approximately a dozen autobiographical sketches on “How I Happened to Be a Minister.” Here are two sketches by folks who served decades in Christian education—William Jessup and Dan Eynon.

Oct. 10 | Designated by God to Be High Priest

No one can simply decide they want to be a priest, let alone the high priest. God alone can do this. Not even Jesus just showed up and expected to serve in that office. He needed to be designated by God—and he was.

Oct. 10 | Application

Successful athletes keep playing in spite of minor aches and many battle their way back to health after suffering major injuries, David Faust writes. Likewise, serving the Lord requires perseverance through pain.

Follow Us