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Birthdays on July 4

John Jasper (1812 to 1901)
Impressive without science or philosophy.

John Jasper was born a slave on a plantation in Williamsburg Virginia. His mother, Nina, lived in the big house with white people and was forced into Southern culture and manners. His father was a well-known slave preacher. As a slave, he had to work long hard hours. At age 2, he was married to Elvy Weaden, another slave, but they were separated the next day. In 1831, John heard the clear gospel message in the Capitol Square in Richmond, was deeply convicted of his sinful life, and 25 days later openly confessed his faith in Christ and united with a church. He learned to read six months later. Then he began to preach--with eloquence! Not only was his congregation filled with his own black people, but whites as well, some rich, some poor, but all hungry to hear the word of the Lord. When he died, having preached sixty-three years, the Richmond Dispatch said of him, "His implicit trust in the Bible and everything in it, was beautiful and impressive...He had no other science, no other philosophy..."

James McGranahan (1840 to 1907)
He showered hymn lovers with blessings.

James McGranahan was born in Adamsville, Pennsylvania. He is remembered as the author of many wonderful hymns, including "Showers of Blessing," Christ Returneth," and "I will Sing of My Redeemer."

Thomas Barnardo (1845 to 1905)
A dead boy in a sugar barrel fired his zeal.

Thomas Barnardo was born in Dublin, Ireland. After a remarkable conversion to Christ, he felt he should follow Hudson Taylor to China. But while a student at London Hospital, he saw the need of homeless children and began a street ministry. After finding a child dead in a sugar barrel, Barnardo adopted the slogan "No destitute child ever refused admission." He ran one of the great child-rescue ministries of England.


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