The man whom time forgot
Elder Jacob Knapp, probably the most successful evangelist of the 19th century has never been heard of by most of the people who lived after the turn of the 20th and certainly by those who live now. He died on March 2, 1874 and even though his funeral was conducted on the following Lord’s Day and lasted from 1 p.m. until sunset, a visiting Baptist historian had a difficult time finding his gravesite in the Greenwood cemetery in Rockford, IL. It would be like Billy Graham dying and fifty years from now, people would say, “Billy who?” It is estimated that Knapp preached 16,000 sermons and approximately one hundred thousand persons were converted to Christ under his Spirit filled meetings, and out of those, two hundred fifty men entered the gospel ministry. And yet as the 21st Century dawned, it seemed as if no one cared where Elder Knapp had been buried. If we are serving the Lord for the recognition, glory or reward that we will receive in this life, we should think again why we are in the Lord’s work, because people do have short memories. But it is wonderful to know that our Lord will not forget our labor of love. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. [Isaiah 49:15]
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 127-128.