Louis Brant Biography, Iowa Evangelist - Changed Life


After Louis was saved, life in their home changed. He would get up early in the morning and start the wood fire in the cook stove and then spend time over the scriptures. The Word of God was read daily at the breakfast table and then the family would all kneel in prayer. Traveling salesmen who stopped by would be given a word in the gospel. The Lord's people, as well as the unsaved, were always welcome to share a meal, over which the Word of God was discussed. The baseball games, the politics, the county fair, etc. all went by the wayside.

On October 12, 1923, Louis and Amanda had their first daughter, Alice Marie, and they sought to bring up their little family of four children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4. Attendance at meetings was a priority in their lives regardless of weather or road conditions. The lane from the house on Sunny View Farm to the road was long and when filled with snow, it would be necessary to zigzag through the rolling fields to get to the road. It was just a dirt road and mostly mud during the spring thaw. If chains on the car proved unsuccessful, they went to meetings with a team of horses and a two-seated buggy. In the winter they used a team and bobsled.

Louis and Elmer continued in the purebred Shorthorn cattle business for a number of years after they were saved. It was at the auction at the Elkader Sales Barn on May 28, 1924, that Oliver Smith, at the request of the Brandt Brothers, gave a message in the gospel prior to the start of the bidding, much to the consternation of the auctioneer. Sales catalogs listing the animals for sale were furnished to prospective buyers prior to the date of the sale. In the catalog of the 1924 sale, a gospel tract titled "Where Are You Going?" was reprinted at the front of the catalog for all to read. One of the animals pictured in that catalog, but not for sale, was a $4,000.00 sire imported from Scotland, the highest priced animal of any breed ever brought to Clayton County as of that date.

On March 7, 1928, Louis conducted another sale of Shorthorn cattle at the Elkader Sales Barn. Again, he had a gospel tract printed at the beginning of the catalog that listed the animals for sale. And this time he gave a word in the gospel to his fellow farmers before the bidding started.

But the zeal with which Louis sought a name for himself in the Shorthorn cattle business began to wane and his energy and ambitions were turned toward winning souls for Christ. Having preached the gospel to some unsaved even before he was saved himself, Louis had a real love for lost souls and presented the way of God's salvation whenever the opportunity presented itself . Open air meetings on Saturday nights were held by the brethren from Garnavillo in the various communities around Garber, Elkport, Colesburg, Osterdock, Elkader, Edgewood, and Miliville, to name a few. Every farm had a flock of chickens so on Saturday nights, farmers and their families went to town to exchange eggs for the next week's groceries and to socialize. The gospel preachers were not always welcome. One night in Edgewood, as the street meeting was in progress, the local people got out the fire truck and went slowly up and down the street with the lights on and siren blowing.

One particular Saturday evening in 1928 the Christians from Garnavillo went to Osterdock for the open-air meeting. Many people listened that evening so at the close of the meeting, it was announced that they would be back the next Saturday night. The following Saturday Oliver Smith stopped by and went with them. When they arrived at Osterdock and the streets were empty, Oliver urged the brethren to go on to Colesburg, a nearby community. Louis disagreed as he felt they should fulfill their promise of the week before. So Oliver climbed up on the wooden platform that Louis had mounted on the front of his 1924 Studebaker car and began preaching in his usual enthusiastic style to the empty streets. At one point he stomped his foot so hard that it crashed completely through the wooden platform. Although it appeared as though no one was listening to the gospel that evening, not far down the street sat a family in their car listening to the words of the preacher. They were awakened to their need of a Savior and during a blizzard in January of 1929, Dale and Anita Hyde were reached and saved. Dale spent many years preaching the gospel in the Iowa area, often with Louis.

Helene Amanda, Louis and Amanda's second daughter and fifth child, was born on June 15, 1930, and completed the family circle.

On October 19, 1930, the little group of Christians that had been meeting at the West Side School moved into the new Gospel Hall that was built in the south end of Garnavillo. There were ten in fellowship at that time. They were the original six, plus Louis Brandt, Dale & Anita Hyde, and Bertha Patrick, a sister to Dale Hyde, who had been saved on August 27, 1929.