Birthdays on December 15
A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Ordained into the Presbyterian ministry, he served pastorates in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Louisville, Kentucky and New York City between 1865 and 1883. November 6, 1881, he left a prestigious, well-paying ministry to begin a mission church in New York City. Simpson was a man of vision as well as prayer. He had asked the church to admit 100 converts of Italian descent (won to Christ by his street meetings), but his staid and quiet denominational church would not bend that far! Moreover, Simpson himself had been baptized by immersion, without the approval of the session! There were many dire predictions of failure. On November 20, 1881, Simpson conducted a meeting in a club. He asked those who were concerned about evangelism to meet on the 23d. Only seven people showed up-- seven weak humans and an all-powerful God! From this meeting he launched what was to become The Gospel Tabernacle. Within a decade, Simpson's tabernacle became one of the leading evangelical centers in the city. He founded the Nyack Missionary Training Institute in 1883, and established the Christian Alliance in 1887 and the International Missionary Alliance in 1889. In 1897 these two societies joined to form the Christian and Missionary Alliance, one of the most mission-minded of today's Protestant denominations.