Louis Brant Biography, Iowa Evangelist - Amanda's Conversion

AMANDA'S CONVERSION

At the invitation of Helen Dettmer, Oliver agreed to attend a Brandt family reunion at the Elmer Brandt farm one Sunday afternoon, rather than hold a meeting in the church building, as those that would normally attend the meeting would be at the reunion. A day or two before the reunion, Oliver injured his hand in a corn sheller and was not able to attend, so he sent along his brother, Lloyd, and three ladies accompanied him. Louis, who was on the county fair board at that time, left the reunion to attend to fair business before the little group from Waterloo began to sing. One by one the men disappeared, with the exception of Fred Kramer and Herman Dettmer. Then Lloyd began to speak about the Good Samaritan from the gospel of Luke, chapter 10, and he also spoke from Isaiah 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness' are as filthy rags." Amanda, who had been in the kitchen, saw the little group gathered around listening to the preacher so she decided to join them. What she heard disturbed her greatly. She had always wondered if she had left the true church when she left the Catholic church to join the Lutheran church. As a result, she never had any real peace or assurance that it was well with her soul for eternity. That afternoon Lloyd asked her at that little gathering, "What is your hope for Heaven?" Her response was, "I pray, go to church, and do this and that." He replied, "My only hope is the precious blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary to put all my sins away. Amanda knew nothing about that and her mouth was closed right then and there.

Oliver made a visit out to the woodshet home of Louis and Amanda after that and gave them a personal invitation to attend the gospel meetings he was having. After he left, Louis said to Amanda, "What should we do?" Her reply was, "Let's just go and see what he's got to say." So they went to the meetings and from then on Amanda became diligent in her search for true and lasting peace.

One summer evening during August of 1919, Amanda was up during the night with on of the boys who was ill. On going back to bed, troubled greatly about her soul, she thought, I guess I'll just have to go to Hell. And just at that moment the trugh of John 14:6 dawned on her soul, "Jesus saith, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by my." Her burden was gone! But the gospel story was all so new. She wasn't sure if she was really saved or not, so she didn't tell anyone for two weeks. It was then that Oliver stopped by for a visit, along with Mr. Matthews from Waterloo. Noticing a change in Amanda, he asked her, "Are you saved?" To which she replied, "I have faith in Christ." It was after the two men left that Amanda told Louis of the experience that she had had in bed a couple of weeks before. Now that she had confessed her faith in Christ, true joy flooded her soul.

Louis knew at that point that his wife had something that he didn't have. He often remarked, "When we wanted to get married, I didn't want her religion and she didn't want mine. But when she got saved, I wanted what she had."

GARNAVILLO ASSEMBLY

During that same summer Dr. Louis Tischhauser and his wife, Nettie, attended the gospel meetings. They also were saved. Nettie was Louis' younger sister. Now his wife and two of his sisters were saved. He wanted God's salvation, as well, and left the Lutheran church as he knew he was not hearing the truth of God's Word preached there. His brother, Elmer, and his wife, Laura, were also longing to be saved and attended the meetings that Oliver had from time to time. In February of 1920, Mr. Don Charles held a week of gospel meetings in Garnavillo and Elmer was saved on the 26th and Laura on the 27th. After being taught the truth of believer's baptism by Oliver, the new converts were baptized at the Buck Creek Bridge on the road to Clayton, where a large crowd assembled to witness this unusual event of baptism by immersion.

The six newly baptized converts from Garnavillo, Tillie Kramer, Amanda Brandt, Louis & Nettie Tischhauser, and Elmer & Laura Brandt, remembered the Lord for the first time on July 24, 1921, in the old brick home on the Elmer Brandt farm. This was the small beginning of the local assembly that has met in Garnavillo until the present time. Oliver Smith and Mr. Barr, a servant of the Lord, were also present at that first meeting.

These new believers met in the four different family homes from Sunday to Sunday. First, they would sit in a circle and "read around" two or three chapters from God's Word. One Lord's Day Mr. Will Leask was visiting with them and when they finished reading the chapters, he said, "Maybe we ought to stop and see what we can get out of this." This eventually led to having a ministry meeting before the Breaking of Bread. When the discussion was over, they would set up a table with the bread and wine and Louis would move out of the circle while the others partook of the emblems in remembrance of the Lord as He had commanded in the scriptures, "this do in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19.

Louis longed to be a part of that little group. Sometimes he would go up in the haymow and lay on his back and just wait for God to save him. Oliver often spoke to him when he visited with the Christians from time to time and Louis would just listen without making any comment. And yet at
as well, and left the Lutheran church as he knew he was not hearing the truth of God's Word preached there. His brother, Elmer, and his wife, Laura, were also longing to be saved and attended the meetings that Oliver had from time to time. In February of 1920, Mr. Don Charles held a week of gospel meetings in Garnavillo and Elmer was saved on the 26th and Laura on the 27th. After being taught the truth of believer's baptism by Oliver, the new converts were baptized at the Buck Creek Bridge on the road to Clayton, where a large crowd assembled to witness this unusual event of baptism by immersion.

The six newly baptized converts from Gamavillo, Tillie Kramer, Amanda Brandt, Louis & Nettie Tischhauser, and Elmer & Laura Brandt, remembered the Lord for the first time on July 24, 1921, in the old brick home on the Elmer Brandt farm. This was the small beginning of the local assembly that has met in Garnavillo until the present time. Oliver Smith and Mr. Barr, a servant of the Lord, were also present at that first meeting.

These new believers met in the four different family homes from Sunday to Sunday. First, they would sit in a circle and "read around" two or three chapters from God's Word. One Lord's Day Mr. Will Leask was visiting with them and when they finished reading the chapters, he said, "Maybe we ought to stop and see what we can get out of this." This eventually led to having a ministry meeting be-fore the Breaking of Bread. When the discussion was over, they would set up a table with the bread and wine and Louis would move out of the circle while the others partook of the emblems in remembrance of the Lord as He had commanded in the scriptures, "this do in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19.

Louis longed to be a part of that little group. Sometimes he would go up in the haymow and lay on his back and just wait for God to save him. Oliver often spoke to him when he visited with the Christians from time to time and Louis would just listen without making any comment. And yet at times, Louis would preach the gospel to others without being saved himself One time he was standing out on the lawn preaching to the hired man, Jim Booth, and Amanda was sitting on the porch and heard him. She couldn't understand how he could preach God's way of salvation so well and not be saved himself Later on four men came to paint the farm buildings and since it was all brushed on in those days, it took several weeks to finish the job. The men boarded at the farm, and in the evenings Louis would sit with them on the front porch and preach the gospel to them. Amanda would hear this as she was working in the kitchen and just marveled that he could tell them the way of salvation when he didn't have it himself

By 1920 Louis and Amanda had completed their new home on Sunny View Farm and thus the new believers were able to meet there every fourth Lord's Day, after the assembly was formed. They also became the parents of another son, Lloyd Louis, who was born on July 4, 1920.