Golden Lampstands of Iowa - Cedar Falls

 Cedar Falls
This is a college town and the University of Northern Iowa is located here; years ago it was called Iowa State Teachers College. It has grown into much more than a teachers college now and has a large enrollment. The city also has many retired farmers; and some of those who work in the factories of Waterloo enjoy living in this smaller, less congested city. The Cedar River winds its way through the north side of the city, which of course, adds to its beauty.
The first gospel effort to be held here by Oliver Smith was in 1941, when for three weeks the gospel seed was sown. Five years later Brethren Oliver Smith and Paul Elliott rented an old schoolhouse three miles north of town on Highway 218. About 10 professed and most of them went on to prove their conversion was real. In 1948 they had further tent meetings on North Division Street where a few more professed. One of them was Harold Stickfort, who is presently the correspondent of the Dunkerton Assembly.
Eric McCullough, son of Evangelist James McCullough, with his wife Jean, moved to Cedar Falls in 1951 where Eric started his chiropractic practice. He, with others of the young brethren, were watching for opportunities to further the gospel work. In the fall of 1955 they noticed an advertisement in the local paper stating "For Rent, for group meetings, the Cedar City School." The brethren felt this was an opening, the answer to prayer. The Stout brethren also added their encouragement; so here in January of 1956 Brethren Oliver Smith and Paul Elliott started and continued the gospel meetings for 12 weeks. Crowds were encouraging, with a number of strangers attending; about 12 souls professed to be saved.
For some time the local brethren continued Sunday night meetings. When the owner decided to double the rent, the brethren felt they should close the meetings. Further meetings were then held in a new location, the Legion Hall. There was an exercise to get a more permanent location in view of further gospel efforts; also, the believers had a special desire to have a lamp stand located in Cedar Falls. There were quite a number of believers who lived in Cedar Falls, who were already in the fellowship of the Stout and Waterloo Assemblies. These later became the nucleus of the Cedar Falls Assembly.
In 1962 a church building on Walnut and 13th Street was vacant. It was rented and a gospel series with Eric McCullough and Leonard DeBuhr began; a couple more souls were reached by God's matchless grace. At this time the owners of the building approached the brethren with an offer to sell the property. They had the first chance at the offered price. It was discussed among the local brethren, who then began an attempt to raise the necessary money, and, if enough was raised, they would buy the building. When all but $2500 was at hand, the sellers wanted an answer. The agreement among the brethren had been, they would buy only if the full amount was raised. One brother brought $2000, another brought $500, so the brethren felt God's faithfulness and approval was evident.
The property included a nice small home just east of the hall, and before the final deal had been made, Helen Groothuis, a widow in the Hitesville Assembly, expressed her desire to live in Cedar Falls. She inquired about the house and offered to buy the house at a price agreeable to all, which further encouraged the brethren to buy. Thus it became their property.
In February of 1963 Brethren McCullough and Warke began another series in the gospel: at this time the Lord further blessed with five more professing faith in Christ. This was felt to be God's seal of approval that the assembly should be planted. On July 14, 1963 about 45 local believers sat down to worship together in remembrance of the Lord for the first time, with a number of visiting Christians from other assemblies joining them.
God has blessed, and many have been reached through the years by the Gospel. The last series Brother Lorne McBain had, before his death, was at Cedar Falls with a number saved. A few living in the area were also restored to the fellowship of the Saints. Others have moved into the area; and some also have gone, mainly due to the labor situation; a few have joined the courts of the redeemed in glory. Now in 1985 there are about 60 in the warm fellowship of a happy faithful growing assembly. The hall itself has been greatly improved and at present is very commodious and appears as a living testimony, a lamp stand, at 13th and Walnut.
The Cedar Falls Assembly is less than 10 miles from the Waterloo Assembly. The Believers from these two assemblies have for a number of years held the yearly conference jointly; it is now known as the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Bible Conference. Usually 600-700 believers are drawn to the sweet fellowship of the Saints and the rich instructive, encouraging Word of God. This togetherness of the assemblies shows a lovely spirit as they, together, work for God's glory and are jointly interested in the welfare and care of God's people. These two days in the early part of April are looked forward to and become high spots of the year; fellowship is sweet, the Word of God so precious, and the encouragement is great.

Caleb - A Faithful Follower
By Eric S. McCullough
The writer to the Hebrews, realizing their spiritual guides were gone and to encourage the believers of that day, exhorted them; "Whose faith follow." Heb. 13:7. The leadership of those who went before, both of life and ministry was exemplary, but there was someone greater to follow. Thus he turned their thoughts to Jesus Christ who was still abiding; "The same yesterday, and today, and forever. "Heb. 13:8.
Although he is not mentioned in the great list of God's "Westminister Abbey of Faith" of Ch. 11, it is recorded of Caleb six times over, he "wholly followed the Lord."
Our consideration of any biographies in either the Old or New Testament teach us Divine principles as well as giving further incentive for an increase of spirituality in our lives. Truly Caleb was such a man!
In spite of the discouraging report of the spies regarding the land of Canaan which had been promised by God; the strength of the people, the height of the walls and the giants, Caleb could "Still the people before Moses" Num. 13:30; as "he had another spirit with him." Numbers 14:24. He had absolute confidence in his God and the courage of his convictions. God still looks for men who will be faithful to Him and to His word in a time and sphere of service; like the sons of Issachar, who "had understanding of the times." I Chron. 12:32.
Let us consider some of the features of Caleb's life that we trust will be a blessing to the people of God as a result of our meditations.
First we will consider his -
CHARACTER
His name means "whole hearted" or "a dog." Right from the mission to spy out the land of Canaan, his appointment regarding the division of the land, Num. 34:17, 19, until the end of his long life of faithfulness, his name characterized him: "All Heart." This seems to echo the words of the great apostle Paul, "Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death." Phil. 1:20. He was of the tribe of Judah which means "Praise." Undoubtedly his heart would be filled with praise as he crossed the wilderness in anticipation of entering into the land where he had already been. Like Abraham, he was a sojourner in a "strange country." Heb. 11:9.
Let us think now of his-
COMPANION
How good to see two men yoked together in God's service. Often a younger man is linked with an older man. However, at 86 years of age, Joshua the son of Nun was raised up by God at the death of Moses as his successor, Josh. 1:1-2. His name means "Jehovah is Savior."
Joshua was born in Egypt and knew something of the bondage and suffering of slavery. The first mention of Joshua is in Ex. 17 as he discomfited Amalek, a type of the flesh.