Golden Lampstands of Iowa - Preface

 Leonard DeBuhr's history of several Iowa assemblies comes from many decades of faithful work in preaching the gospel as well as from friends and relatives of the believers mentioned here.


For a number of years we were very much impressed by a very large ball on a farmyard, just off a busy highway. Each year the ball grew larger and larger, until it appeared to be seven or eight feet in diameter. The farmer had gathered twine string and continued to add on to this ball, so that passers-by couldn't help but be attracted by this huge ball made of simple twine.

In these writings we will begin with one end of thread at Dunkerton, Iowa, in the year 1891, and add thread after thread, hoping that finally we will be able to see a huge "ball" that has attracted many passers-by. This ball, however, will not be made of twine strings, which are corruptible; but it will be made up of the lasting, incorruptible and mighty workings of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit; even as it has affected the lives of many, most especially in North Central and Northeast Iowa.

We have been encouraged by many of the Lord's people to set in order these historical events: they have given us much valuable information and help. Without it this book could not and would not have been written. We are most grateful and thankful to all who so willingly helped. Memory has brought to the surface many interesting facts that otherwise may be forgotten or lost, which, in these writings, we hope to preserve for this generation and any future generations.

Our motive in writing is to glorify God in His great work among mortal men, reaching sinful mankind by His grace, and taking out of them a people for His Name's sake. Mentioned here will be accounts of our God making new creations out of sinners and gathering them together, forming local churches of believers who own no other name but His Name. These new Christians gather the first day of every week, outside the camp of religious confusion, alone to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and carry out the Lord's request in I Corinthians 11:23-26, "This do in remembrance of me

Often I have awakened at an early hour and my thoughts are carried back to the dim past. I look down the avenues of time and behold a bright and glorious scene. There sits the Man who died for me, my substitute, my all for eternity; wounded, yes, but victorious, He lives. With deep desire we long to bring the greatness, love, mercy, grace and care of this Peerless Person into a fuller view.

Because of love for Him, he saved his summer's wages and when winter came, he journeyed to Dubuque, Iowa where he by God's plan met a school director to whom he to d his desire to hold gospel meetings in a rural school. The director offered the school to him and it was here that Charles Herman and his wife were saved. Soon the Hermans moved to Manchester and then to Waterloo where he bought 10 acres of land next to Oliver Smith's farm. Through the Hermans, Oliver Smith was saved and through Oliver Smith much of the northern part of Iowa was evangelized. A few years after God moved the Goff family from England to spread the gospel in North Dakota, He also moved John Blair, who was saved and lived in Ireland, to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the area of Dunkerton Later he came to Waterloo, Jesup, Manchester and to Aplington, Iowa in company with Oliver Smith. Through the coming of one family from England and one man from Ireland, the chain of events took place that brought the gospel to our door. Today, many of us are in the great family of believers, thanking God for His perfect, yet to us, mysterious ways to perform His wonders.