Golden Lampstands of Iowa - Hampton

 Hampton
Hampton, with its 4,000 inhabitants, is surrounded by many acres of very productive farmland. It is the home of the large Earl Ferris Nursery, which has provided beautiful trees and shrubs which have greatly added to the beauty of the city.
Henry Wohlenhaus and his most gracious wife, Mary came to live in Hampton. Years before, while living in Lyman, in southern Iowa, both of them had been reached by God's grace. Henry used to say that he was saved "in a meeting and a half". At the first Gospel meeting he went to, he was called out at the middle of the service, due to the death of a loved one. He went to one more meeting and was saved. Henry was very zealous and took the advantage of opportunities to further God's Work.
Mr. and Mrs. Wohlenhaus had a daughter named Rose. Now a young woman, about to enter nurses training, she was very concerned about her soul. She desired to be saved before leaving Lyman and the influence of the Gospel. With a deep longing, she went to the Lyman Bible Conference on September 17, 1922. She expected to hear some great sermon that would somehow bring her to Christ. The conference was nearly over, when the final speaker at the last Gospel Meeting turned to John 3. The message, though heard so many times, just seemed to be for her, and at verse 16, she found the Lord Jesus to be her Saviour. She said, "I trusted in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
Later, Rose met a hotel clerk named Leo Malone, a serious Roman Catholic. The first time she met him, he asked her if she could tell him how to get to heaven. She answered him, "Yes, and I can show you from the Word of God." He replied, "That's the best news I've heard from anyone!" Sometime later, Leo, still unsaved himself, was talking to the unsaved landlady and explained to her God's plan of salvation. While he was explaining John 3:16 to her, he, himself, was saved, Rose heard the conversation, and remarked to him a bit later, "Leo, you sound different." He said, "I just got saved myself!"
Mr Malone had the privilege of meeting for an hour with the Roman catholic priest in Hampton, each Monday night for two years. The priest finally told Leo, "If I knew what you say you know, I would be the happiest man in the world." As far as we know, the priest never returned to say that he had found the peace, rest and assurance that salvation, through the finished work of Christ brings to the human heart.
As there was no established assembly testimony in Hampton until 1934, the Wohienhauses and Malones were received into the Hitesville assembly, some 23 miles away, where they enjoyed sweet fellowship with the saints gathered there.
In 1933, Mr. O.G. Smith raised the gospel tent in Hampton, continuing meetings for some five weeks. Often, brethren from other areas came along, and Mr. Smith shared the meetings with them. Around twelve were reached that summer before the tent was taken down in August. The tent was raised again for the Hitesville Bible Conference that summer. An excerpt from Mr. Smith's diary, reads: "August 27, 1933 - At Hitesville Conference, Preachers present: S. Keller, Horn Bros., Greirson, Hamilton, Stewart, White, Robertson, Erskine.
In 1934, the baptized believers formed a local church at Hampton. They first met in the old church parsonage that the Wohlenhauses and Malones lived in. Soon, they rented rooms on the second floor over the Diamond Brothers Grocery Store, where they continued until 1941, when they moved into their newly completed hall. On November 2nd, this same year, O.G. Smith came for an "opening" series in the Gospel. Two weeks later, William Warke joined him, and they continued meetings until December 14. Mrs. Harold Meinberg was saved during these meetings. Before this, in 1938, Mr. Smith and Mr. Warke held Gospel meetings above the store. Here, Ray Tucker was reached, after the sudden death of a brother-in-law. This sudden death caused him to want to be saved more than anything else. His wife, Gail, and daughter Beverly were both saved some time before.
By 1941, there were twenty in fellowship in the assembly at Hampton, to which the Lord has added, as newborn souls were brought into the family of believers. He has also subtracted from the number by the Home-call of some to Glory. Among those who remain, is a godly sister, Mrs. Ida Schmeling, who, at the age of 97, is still able to gather and rejoice with the Christians. She was saved 48 years ago, in 1936.
One felt that brother Wohlenhaus was the "father" in the meeting. His gentle, kind, gracious ways were a great encouragement; and, at his side was Mary, with her winning smile and great hospitality; and their warm invitation, "Come along with us for dinner," which will never be forgotten by the writer. We were young in the faith in those early years, but we got what we needed when we visited at Hampton, real encouragement. The Wohlenhauses have both passed on to their Eternal Home. Having known them has enriched us. The excellent tract, "God's Part and Man's Part in Salvation," was written by Mr. Wohlenhaus.

Gospel efforts have been held a number of times in the Iowa Falls area, some 19 miles south of Hampton. A number of believers lived in this area, some being the Shane and Simcox families. The results of these efforts, humanly speaking, seemed very small. Yet, the seed was sown, and those who heard are more responsible to God and His Word.
Hampton has a warm-hearted assembly of over 30 believers, who go on in the simple, plain path outlined in the Holy Word of God. May this lamp stand remain until our Lord comes again.