My name is Elmer D Bennett and I am writing this article from the point of view of a believer. I was born in Alabama on December 25, 1930. My dad was a share cropper during my youth. My mom stayed home and taught school while my little brother and I worked on our farm.
We had a long hot summer and the Depression hit. Our family lost everything we had been able to save. We were not able to save money for vacations. We could not save money for the school year because we did not have the money for the gas money. But we knew that God had a plan for us. When the Depression ended and money began to come in, Dad bought us a model Caddy with a flat screen television. That was our Christmas present.
We went to Catholic school from the time we were 3 years old until we were 13. It was a Methodist school when we were younger. We were kind of an exception. We were not allowed to attend the Methodist school in those days. They thought our little taste of Christianity would grow out of us. But we did not get along very well at Catholic school. Mom did not allow us to be baptized. She knew we were saved and she did not want to give us a label that might limit our lives. That is why the story she told me about the Spanish priest who was trying to baptize us in Detroit is interesting.
He went to the Spanish Mission at Grand River, Michigan to baptize a group of people and he was surprised that the priest was told to come to Grand River. The priest had tried the old approach that the missionary kids were already saved and could be baptized there. It was quite difficult to get any of the kids to go along with the idea when they knew they were not saved. But the missionary kids were gone and the priest, the priest came to Grand River. The priest asked the kids if they knew anybody who was saved and they said no. The priest asked the youngest kid if he knew anybody who had a Bible and he said yes. The priest asked him to come with him to Grand River. Grand River is on the outskirts of Grand Rapids and near the mission.
That is where the kids were told they were saved and they were not baptized. The priest gave him the Bible and he brought it back with him to the mission. The priest told them that they could not go into God’s kingdom without being baptized. They said OK. The priest baptized them in the mission. The mission was filled with children of both the Catholic and Protestant churches and they were all baptized together.
They were told by the priest that they had to become Catholic Christians. They could not go to heaven without being Catholic Christians. The priest took the Bibles and everything home. Later on the priest told them that Jesus would send them an angel to guide them. The priest said that they would never get into heaven if they did not go along with the religion of their parents.
They had to go along with their parents to their death because their parents wanted them to go along with their parents.
And then the parents died and the mission closed down. That mission was no more and the priest said that they were saved because of the priest and not because of the mission.
I am not endorsing the Catholic Church nor am I endorsing the mission of the Catholic Church nor am I endorsing the priest. I am not endorsing any religious group or the priest. I am saying that Jesus had something to do with this and not just the priest and Bible.