Thursday, January 18
Simpson’s ministry was very successful in Hamilton. In eight years, the congregation increased by 750 people. At 30 years of age he accepted the pastorate of the big Presbyterian church in Louisville, Ky. He doubled the membership there in about seven years, but perhaps more important was his increased focus on the common people. Main line churches catered to the middle and high classes, showing little concern for the “lower class.” Simpson built a simple tabernacle to reach them, not a very popular move among his church leaders. In 1880 he accepted a call to a large Presbyterian church in downtown New York City. He again was successful as a pastor, but the flood of immigrants coming into NYC caught his attention. After winning about 100 Italian immigrants to the Lord, he was sadly disappointed when his church leaders suggested that the new converts go to another church. So after only two years in this church, he resigned and built the “Gospel Tabernacle” in downtown NYC. This was his niche; thousands were converted to Christ. But God had greater things for him to do. Simpson became obsessed with the need to reach the whole world. He formed a group of like minded men to plan a strategy to evangelize the world. This led to the formation of the “Christian and Missionary Alliance.” It was not to be a church, but a sending agency. This led to a new kind of Bible school, the “Missionary Training Institute,” which would take missionary candidates from a variety of churches to train them for overseas evangelism. This later became Nyack College. Simpson was promoted from pastoring large churches to spearheading world-wide evangelism.