Decision Days

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“How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow him.”-Elijah.

Every new student at the time of his enrollment was requested to state whether or not he was a member of Church. If a negative response was received, he was kindly informed it would be regarded as a serious disappointment, if he did not become an active Christian worker, during the period he enjoyed the privileges of the Academy. As a means of enabling every one to manifest their decision to live a Christian life, Decision days were held frequently during the term. The first one always occurred at least one week before Christmas; and the others about the Day of Prayer for Colleges, Easter and Memorial Sabbaths. When advantage could not be taken of a voluntary visit on the part of a neighboring pastor the co-operation of one of them was always solicited.

Rev. William Butler
Rev. William Butler

On the first occasion Rev. William Butler was present, Feb. 11, 1906, and took for his theme in the morning, the Good Shepherd, and in the evening, the New Heart, his own heart was gladdened by seeing twenty-three young people come to the front in response to his appeal and pledge themselves to live a Christian life. A month later the pastor’s heart was gladdened anew by receiving fourteen of them into the membership of the Church and administering baptism to ten of them. Two years later, as the result of an evangelistic meeting held on the evening of the closing day of the Farmers’ institute, January 1, 1908, Mr. Butler, who was one of the speakers at the institute, had the pleasure of seeing twenty-one other students manifest a decision to live a Christian life. Rev. Wiley Homer, T. K. Bridges and Samuel Gladman, assisted and with encouraging results on other decision days.

In 1910, Washington’s birthday, Thursday, was observed by a patriotic and evangelistic meeting at which impressive addresses were delivered by Rev. W. J. Willis of Garvin and Rev. A. B. Johnson of McAlester. Among those present were thirteen that had not previously manifested a decision. In response to the appeal of Mr. Willis, every one of these thirteen voluntarily arose, came forward and gave their pledge to live a Christian life. The attainment of a voluntary pledge from every student in attendance at that time made this an eventful occasion. It was also deeply impressive. Every one joined in the joyful congratulatory procession.

As it was the last glad and happy decision day before the loss of the Girls’ Hall, which occurred on the second Sabbath following, it has been commemorated by an engraving from a photo, thoughtfully taken before hand by Miss Mary Weimer, in which may be seen David Michael, Livingston Brasco, and William Shoals, who have just returned from the timber with vines and white flowers to decorate the chapel for this meeting.

MLA Source Citation:

Flickinger, Robert Elliott. Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, Oklahoma. Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Pittsburgh. 1914 Web. 25 January 2015. - Last updated on May 5th, 2012

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