THE LIFE OF G.T. HAYWOOD
By Paul D. Dugas
“Remember now they creator in the days of thy youth…” (Eccl. 12:!)
Whenever men mention Oneness Pentecostal Pioneers, the name of G. T. Haywood stands out as one of the truly great pioneer contributors to the Oneness Pentecostal heritage.
Born on July 15, 1880, in the city of Green Castle, Indiana, young Gladstone Thomas Haywood was just another ordinary boy as far as his early childhood and youth was concerned. The Haywood home was one with Christian principles and during these early formative years Gladstone attended both church and Sunday school and grew up with a fear of the Lord within his heart.
In the early teen years, while attending high school, Haywood discovered his talent for cartooning and sketching. This ability was the delight of his life, and he took advantage of every opportunity to sketch whoever would become a ready model.
After graduation from high school, Haywood’s first job was with a newspaper called “The Freeman”. Fortunately this job did not lead to a position as a writer or cartoonist, and he left the newspaper profession for a better paying job working in a foundry. This change of jobs was nothing more than the intervention of the Lord. Looking back over Haywood’s life after his later success as a minister, songwriter, and leader, it is clear that had he continued to pursue the path of journalism, the fire of success that so grips men of this profession might easily have enveloped his life, and he would have been lost to the cause of Christ forever. Instead, laboring in an iron foundry, Haywood had an outlet for his physical energy and a means of supplying his family with the necessities of life. But his Christian walk was without power and his life unfruitful. Besides all this, there was the nagging knowledge of buried talents that lay dormant and unused in his life. Haywood was ready for a change, and the Lord had a man prepared with a life-changing message.
“Ye must be born again”. (John 3:7)
In the cold bleak month of February, 1908, there stepped into the life of G. T. Haywood, a never to be forgotten witness for the Lord. This man, Otis Barber, had a personal testimony that burned within his soul. He had just visited a Pentecostal service and had been filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Barber visited Haywood in his home and began to tell him of this new
experience. Outside the house a cold, damp Indiana winter gripped the country side, but inside the house the burning, convicting, convincing power of a Pentecostal testimony filled the room. The Pentecostal fire that burned in Barber’s heart as he spoke of his Apostolic experience opened the spiritually cold heart of Haywood, and conviction gripped his soul. He heard Barber’s message with open heart and fully made up his mind that he, too, was going to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
His mind now made up, Haywood made plans, to attend the Pentecostal services that his friend Barber attended. The main worry of Haywood was whether his wife would follow with him in seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost. This worry was not relieved when she and his sister decided to attend the services with him, for they were not going with the thought of seeking the Lord, but rather to watch and see what would happen to Haywood as he sought the Holy Ghost.
During the service that night Haywood, his wife, and sister sat in the very back of the church. As the sermon concluded, Otis Barber made his way to the back of the church and asked Haywood the simple question, “Won’t you come and get the Holy Ghost tonight, Tom?” With that request, Haywood stepped out and made an unforgettable trip down to that old-fashioned altar. The power of God soon fell, and Gladstone Thomas Haywood entered into a new life in Christ Jesus. The heavy burden and guilt of sin was washed away as all things became new. The blood of Calvary’s Lamb had done its cleansing work. No wonder when Haywood looked back to the sin cleansing experience of this night he could write that great song of thanksgiving:
In sin I wandered sore and sad,With bleeding heart and aching head. Till Jesus came and sweetly said, “I’ll take your sins away.”
Thank God for the Blood,
Thank God for the Blood,
Thank God for the Blood,
That washes white as snow.
There was more in store for that night, and while Haywood was under the power of God at the altar, Otis Barber returned to the back of the church and invited Haywood’s wife and sister to the altar. They did not get up and start towards the altar as Haywood had done, but the convicting power of the Holy Ghost began to move. Suddenly, the power of God fell upon both of them where they were sitting. They both fell to the floor and in a few minutes began to speak in other tongues as the spirit of God took control in their lives. What a glorious day as the angels of heaven recorded three new names in the Book of Life. Great credit is due to Otis Barber for his work as a witness in bringing Bro. Haywood and his family into the Pentecostal experience.
Wherefore the rather, brethren give diligence to make your calling and election sure…” (II Pet. 1:10)
Before much time had passed, Haywood felt his call to the ministry, but his wife was not inclined towards the idea of being married to, as she called it, “a Jack Leg Preacher”. At this point Haywood’s faith in his call weakened until he himself was not sure of his calling. Soon after, to more or less settle the question, Haywood told the Lord, “Lord, if you have called me to preach, you will have to call me louder than this.”
It was not long after, as Haywood worked on his job in the foundry, a heavy sheet of iron fell on his foot. The injury was severe, and Haywood was taken home from the job. While at home, unable to walk, and with plenty of time for contemplation about his life and his plans, the Lord began to deal with his heart about his call. The battle raged for some time, but the day came when he yielded and said, “Lord I will do what you want me to do.” The acceptance of his call brought healing to his foot, and he was soon able to get out to begin the fulfillment of his ministry.
The first church Haywood pastored was located in a small frame building at 12th and Missouri Streets in Indianapolis, and except for a very short interval he pastored at this location until the year 1913.
Haywood’s ministry was blessed of God, and the congregation soon outgrew the church at 12th and Missouri. A new church was needed, and Haywood decided to erect another building. The site he selected at llth and Senate Streets was nothing more than a dump, but God’s hand was on the move. A new building was erected for the glory of the Lord.
The large beautiful building, Christ Temple, stands today on one of the busy main thoroughfares of the city of Indianapolis, a monument to the foresight and labor of Bro. Haywood.
JESUS NAME BAPTISM
“Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Acts 2:38)
The year, 1915, came and although Haywood had heard about the Jesus Name message, he was opposed to it. But God had another man prepared for this hour. Frank Ewart had convinced an outstanding evangelist to accept the Jesus Name message. This man, Glenn Cook, decided to return to the East to preach this truth of God’s word.
Many Pentecostal ministers shunned, what they called, this “new issue” message. The leaders of the Assembly of God had already sounded a warning to the faithful, to stay clear of what they termed, “the new issue heresy.”
Glenn Cook, nevertheless, found hungry hearts in Indianapolis, and on March 6, 1915, Bro. L. V. Roberts and his entire congregation gathered at the edge of Eagle Creek for a baptismal service. The first to be baptized in Jesus Name was the pastor, Bro. Roberts, followed by another minister, Bro. Homer White. The congregation followed their leaders in water baptism in the wonderful name of Jesus, and Oakhill Tabernacle of Indianapolis, Indiana became one of the first Oneness Jesus Name Churches, east of the Mississippi River. The restoration of the true message of the day of Pentecost, in full obedience to Acts 2:38, was ready to sweep across the Nation.
It was shortly after this baptismal service, that Bro. Haywood received a letter of dire warning against this truth from J. Roswell Flowers, General secretary of the Assembly of God. Flowers had not accepted the Jesus Name message and did not want his friend, Haywood, to accept what he felt was an erroneous doctrine. But Haywood answered, “Your warning came too late. I have already accepted the message and have been rebaptized.”
Glenn Cook had already called on Haywood in his home, and brought to him the Jesus Name message. At first, Haywood was unwilling to accept this truth, but the Lord spoke to him, “Walk in the light, lest greater darkness come upon you.” He then changed his attitude and said, “Yes, Lord, I will believe and I will accept it.” He took his people to the Oakhill Church, pastored by L. V. Roberts, and he and all of his congregation were baptized in the wonderful Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
JESUS NAME MESSAGE SPREADS
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col. 3:17)
Frank J. Ewart, who published the paper, MEAT IN DUE SEASON, was wonderfully used of the Lord in spreading the Pentecostal truth. People who were too prejudiced to come where the message was being proclaimed, would obtain a copy and get convinced. Elder G. T. Haywood, after fighting the new message, was convinced and opened his large mission to Evangelist Glenn A. Cook. A great revival resulted and from Indianapolis, the revival spread throughout Indiana…in Indianapolis alone there were 465 baptized into the Name of Jesus and most of these had already received the Holy Ghost baptism, or received this experience after being baptized in water according to the Scripture.”
Thus,a great revival spread out across the country, but with the revival, opposition to the new message increased. Haywood became a strong preacher and teacher of this truth. He wrote several songs praising the great Name of Jesus. Among them, “Do All in Jesus Name.” The chorus of this song is a real testimony to Bro. Haywood’s strong belief.
Preach in Jesus’ Name, Teach in Jesus’ Name
Heal the sick in His Name
And always proclaim, it was Jesus’ Name
In which the power came
Baptize in His Name, enduring the shame,
For there is victory in Jesus’ Name.
Carl Brumback, in his book, SUDDENLY FROM HEAVEN, stated concerning Bro. Haywood, “His church became a `Jesus Only’ center, and continues to exert a strong Oneness influence even to this day.”
PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLY OF WORLD IS FORMED
As opposition, to the Jesus Name message, grew within the Assembly of God, it became apparent that a show-down must take place between the Trinity and the Oneness ministers.
This show-down came at the fourth General Council held in St. Louis, in October, 1916. G. T. Haywood was an outstanding spokesman for the Oneness movement, but the die had already been cast. A trinitarian creed had already been worked up by the Executive Board and in spite of opposition, it was adopted.
At this point in the conference, 156 Oneness ministers walked out of what was now a Three God, Trinity movement. Among those who walked out were G. T. Haywood and his friend, L. V. Roberts.
It was needful that the brethren stay together, and an organization of Oneness Pentecostal ministers was soon formed. This organization, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, chose G. T. Haywood as its
General Secretary. Haywood held a continuous post of leadership in the headquarters of the P. A. of W. during his entire ministry. Although at this time this organization consists of mostly colored churches, it served for a long period as the largest Oneness organizations in the United States, and was composed of a large percentage of white brethren, as well as colored.
While serving as an officer of the P. A. of W., Haywood traveled extensively and was in constant demand as a Bible teacher. His journeys to the mission field, included trips to Jamaica and Jerusalem.
There is no doubt about Haywood’s leadership abilities, and he became a man well liked, and respected, even by those who bitterly opposed his strong stand, on the New Birth message.
HAYWOOD AS A PASTOR AND SOUL WINNER
Haywood is perhaps best remembered, by the ministry, for his inspired songs that still thrill the heart of all who hear and sing them. Some of the greatest of these songs are in his songbook, “Bridegroom Songs.”
Bro. Haywood was looking for the catching away of the Church, and one of his finest songs portrays that blessed hope:
Behold the Bridegroom cometh,Hear ye the midnight cry, Go ye out to meet him
For his coming draweth nigh.
As we approach the hour of the Lord’s return sleepiness has crept over the church. But Haywood wrote a song for this hour, which stirs my soul each time I hear it.
Coming As a Thief in the Night
If Jesus should come would your soul be prepared
He’s coming as a thief in the night;
What answer would render your life to be spared
He’s coming as a thief in the night.
The heavens above with its wonders declare
He’s coming as a thief in the night;
The wild raging waves cry aloud in the air
He’s coming as a thief in the night.
0 Soul Awake! Soon the Lord shall come
And none shall stand in his sight;
But those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb
When he comes as a thief in the night.
The very tenor of every song, from this inspired man’s pen, speaks of evangelism, and no greater burdened soul-winner has entered the pulpit, than Bro. Haywood. Christ Temple grew, under his ministry, into the largest Oneness church in the organization. Evangelism was the very heart throb of this inspired man’s life. A vital part of this ministry was fasting and prayer. It was after fasting and praying all week, in his church study, that Haywood received the words and music to one of his greatest, soul-stirring songs, “I See a Crimson Stream of Blood.” When he stepped into the pulpit, after this session of prayer and and began to sing this song, a new vision of calvary gripped the hearts of those who heard. No wonder sinners wept their way to Salvation. This song has a wonderful message to saint and sinner alike.
Today no condemnation Abides to turn away,
My soul from His Salvation He’s in my heart to stay.
When gloom and sadness whisper
You’ve sinned, no use to pray.
I look away to Jesus
And He, tells me to say.
I see a crimson stream of Blood
It flows from calvary,
It’s waves which reach the throne of God
Are sweeping over me.
Evangelism and song-writing were only a portion of Haywood’s ministry. Haywood made great use of his artistic talent in the drawing of all the many charts that he used in his teaching ministry. Along with this, he published his monthly paper the “Voice in the Wilderness” and wrote numerous articles and tracts.
The far-reaching effect of G. T. Haywood’s ministry is no better illustrated than in a letter received by Sister Ethel Urshan upon the death of her husband, Andrew D. Urshan. This letter, written by Sis. Austin Brown, November 11, 1967, offers sympathy and consolation to Sis. Urshan and then states:
“…During early days of Pentecost when in the high plains, panhandle country of Texas, we seldom had a Pentecostal minister come our way. We depended on Bible and books and other Christian publications of Elder Urshan and Elder G. T. Haywood. Through them we were settled and grounded in the faith, that was once delivered to the saints.”
Though both these pioneer, Oneness men of God have departed this life, their ministry lives on, in the great out-reach of their written ministry.
The year, 1932, saw Bro. Haywood afflicted with a severe heart condition and he departed this life to be with the Lord. This beloved man was respected by all who knew him and the funeral service was one
of the largest in the history of the city, as many came from across the country to pay tribute to this great warrior of the cross. Earth’s loss was heaven’s gain, and we who stand fast in the faith shall meet him in Glory.
(The Life and Writings of Elder G.T. Haywood, Apostolic Book Publishers, 1968; Paul D. Dugas)