[forthright] A Gathering of Champions / Indian Territory (4)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 09:11:53 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

So good, it was made into a movie. 'Discovering the
Kingdom of God,' by Tim Hall. Only $6.99. Get it here:


A Gathering of Champions
 by Tim Hall

"The Games Of The XXIX Olympiad" is the official title; 
we know them as the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Hosting 
this year's affair is China, and Beijing is the focal 
site. Making this year's event more intriguing is that 
the opening is set for August 8, 2008 - 08/08/08 - at 
8:08 p.m. (China time).

The Summer Olympics captures the world's attention as 
few sporting events can. The competition only happens 
every four years, bringing together the world's best 
athletes. Only a few capture the limelight of glory. 
The rest go home with shattered dreams or unfulfilled 

But each competitor is a champion. To wear the colors 
of your home country is an honor for which thousands 
sacrifice much. Through a series of qualifying 
contests the best are selected, and on these the hopes 
of a nation are pinned. Just to be an Olympian means 
one has performed exceedingly well.

You don't have to travel to China to witness a 
gathering of champions, though. Just attend an assembly 
of the saints where you live. Before you scoff at such 
a statement, hear Paul's assessment of Christians in 
Romans 8:37: "Yet in all these things we are more than 
conquerors through him who loved us" (NKJV). Every 
Christian, according to the apostle, is more than a 

To appreciate this, consider another in the Bible who 
was a champion, Goliath. Few would have disputed that 
title based on his size alone. Added to that was his 
experience at warfare. He was outfitted with fearsome 
weapons and defenses, and he knew how to use them. 
The soldiers of Israel cowered in fear when Goliath 
challenged Israel to settle their differences with 
Philistia through a one-on-one match. Who would want 
to take on such a giant?

We all know the outcome. In one of the most 
lopsided-looking confrontations ever, the underdog, 
David, defeated the giant. His success was due not to 
his superior skill or weaponry. He owed it all to God, 
the one who empowered him to face Goliath. Goliath was 
a champion, but David was more than a conqueror 
because God was on his side. (Read 1 Samuel 17 for all 
the details).

Now let's return to that assembly. You're not likely to 
see many Goliaths in the crowd. Paul saw the same in 
his day: "... not many wise according to the flesh, not 
many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has 
chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame 
the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the 
world to put to shame the things of the mighty" 
(1 Corinthians 1:26,27). No, you won't see many 
Goliaths in this assembly, but you will see ordinary 
people whom God empowers to do amazing things.

Enjoy the Olympics. You'll see highly skilled 
champions at their finest. But to see the finest 
champions on earth, be among the saints this Lord's day.

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Indian Territory (7)
 by Paul Goddard

Apart from Robert Wallace Officer's efforts, a second 
school was established at Silver City [Oklahoma] on 
September 8, 1889. Silver City was a cow town located on 
the Old Chisholm Trail.

New arrival, Miss Meta Chestnutt described the church 
there by stating:

"A Sunday School was organized on the 
fifth Sunday of August, 1889, by Mrs. 
W.J. Erwin, which grew into a church 
and did not fail to meet every Sunday 
for thirty years and long after she 
had gone to reward. Members of the 
church moved to Minco, then others of 
that church to Chickasha, Tuttle, and 
other places, setting up the Altar of 
the Lord as they went. These churches 
still live and grow but have forgotten 
their origin, Silver City on the Old 
Chisholm Trail."/1

Seeing the mistreatment of local inhabitants, Miss Chestnutt, 
who received her Licentiate of Instruction diploma from 
Peabody College in 1888, started a school for Indian 
children./2 In 1890, the school was approved by the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs and moved to Minco. Here it became known as El 
Meta Christian College./3

Futhermore, Chestnutt described the new location:

"The school, with all of Silver City, 
moved to the Rock Island railroad the 
next year and, on July 4, 1890, 
formally founded Minco, celebrating 
the event with a dance by the Indians 
from the reservation west of town, a 
barbecue, with plenty of black coffee 
made in a big washpot. Pickles, bread, 
and homemade cake were added by the 
good pioneer women of the time. 
People came from the Kansas line to 
the Red River, and there was plenty of 
grub, and to spare. The pioneers 
brought food to a picnic in washtubs 
and clothes baskets. The school 
continued to grow, and its doors were 
kept open by its founder for thirty 
consecutive years. Four cowmen, a 
bank cashier, a clerk in a store, the 
proprietor of a pool-hall, and a 
cowboy contributed four hundred 
dollars and built another house 24 by 
36 feet in Minco to house the school. 
That was a creditable little house 
with good lighting and patent school 
desks. It was the custom in those 
days to open every new house with a 
big dance. But because the house was 
to be used for church purposes, as 
well as for a school, the teacher 
(Chestnutt) and Mrs. W.J. Erwin, in 
whose home she lived, pleaded that 
the dance might not take place. The 
guests had all been invited, and it 
was then only a few hours before 
they should begin to arrive, but 
finally the committee capitulated 
and handed over the key and the 
building to the teacher as a gift. 
The house was dedicated the 
following morning with a Sunday 
School service and the Lord's 

Twenty-five hundred students were educated at Miss Chestnutt's
school. Its yearly enrollment peaked at 200, and $119,000 was 
raised to construct the major building on campus. In 1894, El 
Meta Christian College was renamed El Meta Bond College, 
in honor of rancher Jimmie Bond. "Uncle Jimmie" was a prominent 
supporter of the school./5

Because there was a lack of schools in the territory, white 
settlers sent their children to El Meta Bond College. R. W. 
Officer referred to Miss Chestnutt as a "whole state meeting 
in herself"/6. Likewise, he described her school:

"Ten acres of land, well located, 
are set aside for the College, and 
enclosed. In the southeast corner 
of the lot is a splendid chapel. 
Miss Meta Chestnutt, from North 
Carolina, has been instrumental  
in the growth and interest in the 
education of the coming men and 
women of our country. The boarding 
department is good. There are no 
other subscription schools for the 
white children: no school system 
in our country; no public funds 
for white children so that they 
are, many of them growing up in 
poverty and ignorance. What we 
want is for churches of Christ, 
as well as individuals, to give 
$200 to this department of our 
work, and so provide for twenty 
children in school for a 

The following year, a Texas preacher mentioned the school in a 
report that he sent to Nashville, "I found it successfully 
managed by Sister Meta Chestnutt. I learned from her that this 
school has passed the danger mark of failure, and the prospects 
of a fine school are now brighter than ever."/8

It was about this time, that J.A. Sager came to teach music. 
Sager was from Anadarko, and he conducted the school's band. 
After his arrival, he became engaged to Miss Chestnutt, and 
they were married on May 8, 1906.

When the school closed on May 28, 1920, Mrs. Meta Chestnutt 
Sager moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma, where she died on January 8, 
1948. Today a city park occupies the grounds of the old school, 
and a large bronze plaque reads:

"This memorial, erected by 
students of the El Meta Bond 
College, 1889 To 1919, is 
dedicated in loving memory of 
the founder, Mrs. Meta Chestnutt 
Sager, whose undaunted courage, 
interest in education and love 
for mankind live anew in every 
individual who reflects the 
ideals and principles of that 
noble Christian Character. 
1889 - 1939."

1/ Chronicles of Oklahoma 17, No. 2 (June, 1939), 184.
2/ Peabody College (Nashville: Alumni Directory,1875-1909), 98.
3/ Pictured above. Ralph Marsh, "Minco College History Deep," 
Chickasha Daily Express (June 3, 1958).
4/ Chronicles of Oklahoma, 187.
5/ Stephen J. England, Oklahoma Christians (St. Louis: Bethany 
Press, 1975), 109-110.
6/ Robert Wallace Officer, "Indian Territory," Octographic Review 
33 (August 7, 1890), 2.
7/ Robert W. Officer, "El Meta Christian College," Christian 
Standard 33 (March 20, 1897), 354.
8/ J. D. Tant, "Oklahoma," Gospel Advocate 40 (July 1898), 427.

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