OF THE WORKERS WHO
LIVED IN THE MISSION HOME
Here is a quick
introduction to nine Gospel workers who lived for a time in the Mission
Block. MARY BERG - Sr. Berg’s important part in this history will be spoken
of later. ODESSA KARK - Odessa was a book keeper from Port Dickinson; she
later took charge of the office until her marriage to Rev. Stuart Tompkins.
CARRIE SHELP - Sr. Shelp was graciously used of God in evangelistic singing.
She later married a minister. KATHRINE BURG (no relation to Mary Berg) —
Sr. Kathrine was much used of God in Binghamton and Albany in Rescue work.
She and her husband, Arthur Lacrosse, became active in later years in the
Alliance Church in Schenectady. STACIE FRENCH - Sr. French did much evangelistic
singing, Rescue work in Binghamton. She formerly was a school teacher from
Pennsylvania. Sr. French taught in the Bible School and also served for
a time as District Secretary. CORA HILL — Sr. Hill gave twelve years to
the orphanage work until her health caused her to retire. But the love of
“Mother Hill,” as the children all called her, lived on in the hearts of
the orphan children.
RUTH BUTTON - Sr. Button assisted in the Rescue work for a time and then took up secular work. EMMA STORY -Sr. Story lived for a time in the Mission Block. From Schoharie County she came to Binghamton to give herself to the work of saving the lost. BELLE BRADT - In 1910 Belle Bradt became an ordained minister in the Mission work. She was a contributing editor to the “News from Home.” Sr. Bradt opened a branch work in Pittsfield, Mass. She pastored at Albany and Schenectady. Sr. Bradt served the work in various capacities. Some time later, she became a Missionary in the West Indies for the Nazarene Church. As. a capable Missionary, Sr. Bradt was soon elected to a high office in their Missionary work. She came from Huntersland in Schoharie county and for a time lived here in the Mission Block. She was saved under Preston Kennedy.
THE REFUGE WORK
and slum work were not a side issue. On a regular day after a season of
prayer, the workers like Sr. Berg or Sr. French would leave the Mission
armed with tracts. In the daytime, these workers would visit the sick and
shut-ins. Those who were not passing out tracts or visiting the sick would
be at the home base printing or teaching. At night, especially on Saturday,
a number of the workers would go out into the dens of vice. We can hardly
imagine the perils of the slums and the dangers they faced. They were exposed
to all sorts of vermin and every contagious disease known to the climate
— but this was the heart of the work. Some of these early workers suffered
all sorts of self-denial. Their lives were expendable for the lost. At midnight
some of them could be found going through the dives, brothels, barrel-houses
and joints, telling the sweet story of Jesus and His power to save from
sin. Eternity alone will reveal the precious souls that were saved or helped
through these consecrated lives.
Mary Berg, doubtless, was the outstanding rescue worker in the history of our church. Her entire Christian life was given largely to slum work. She sought after those with blasted hopes and wrecked lives. Sr. Berg had been saved in the M. E. Church at Lawsville, Pa. She came to Binghamton to find work and started attending the meetings in the halls. In November 1902 she entered into the experience of Full Salvation. At that time God called her to the work of rescuing fallen girls, and she faithfully fulfilled that calling. She labored in rescue work in Binghamton, Albany, Schenectady, Cortland, and Utica. She also did some pastoral work.