Fiery Friendship in the Faith"It was from a fiery friendship in the faith that both men were able to make a deep spiritual impact in their own lifetimes."
Who would have thought that the final resting place of one of the most well-known “Kings of Preachers” would be found in Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick, New Jersey? The grave marker states, “In Loving Memory of James Caughey. Died Jan 30, 1891, aged 81 years.” Included are two verses of Scripture — Proverbs 11:30 and Proverbs 4:18.
The name James Caughey should sound familiar among those who know something of the history of The Salvation Army. It was Caughey who was impressed by the Holy Spirit to go to the United Kingdom to see sinners saved and saints sanctified. In May 1846 that Caughey encountered a young William Booth. During his month-long campaign in Nottingham, more than 1,400 people were converted to God. It was from these meetings that William Booth became entirely sanctified.
In the booklet “How We Began,” William Booth describes the prayer meetings and the preparations that were made for these meetings:
“For three months we were expecting him … There were such crowds to hear the gospel as we never dreamed of seeing. There were wonderful meetings, wonderful influences, and wonderful conversions.”
Caughey’s ministry left such a lasting impression on Booth that he later wrote, “He (Caughey) was an extraordinary preacher … I had up to that time never heard his equal; I do not know that I have since.”
It was not until 1857 that the Booths met Caughey at his meetings in Sheffield and were able to speak about their future ministry. Even though Caughey had made such a deep impact upon William and Catherine, it would not be until 1886, when the Founder toured the United States, that they would meet again. During his tour, Booth travelled more than 10,000 miles and spoke to more than 200,000 people. It was from a fiery friendship in the faith that both men were able to make a deep spiritual impact in their own lifetimes.
Drawing courtesy of Toronto Public Library