From Convent to Pentecost Online Index
The Cost of Revealing the Truth
and Charlotte in their white dresses
they often wore together in Revivals
Anyone who arises against the “Church” and her teachings is branded as a Communist. Any monk, priest or Nun, who dares to reveal the hidden sin of the Church is excommunicated, anathematized and scandalized as a reprobate and termed a strumpet.
I received notes, telegrams and telephone calls threatening my life if I dared to return to the pulpit to give my Testimony of Convent life. While I was in Oakland, California, at the Forget-Me-Not Mission, a large crowd filled the hall for my lecture. Meanwhile a body of antagonists, mostly girl students, jammed the hall and stairway and ganged in the back of the building refusing to take a seat.
I hardly began my lecture when hands began waving and loud talking broke the silence of the audience. They demanded that I stop talking and answer their questions. When I refused and asked someone to summon the Police they merely moved out to the hallway and recruited more opponent students to aid them in their fight to defend the faith. A policeman came to the scene and talked to some of the students. He then sent word to the one in charge, saying he was ready to go off duty but would stay if we were ready to close the meeting.
We closed the meeting immediately even though we were just beginning to take the offering. The angry mob was now at the bottom of the stairs that was the only entrance or exit to the hall. They filled the sidewalk and watched the door waiting for me to come down. However, I didn’t wait for the congregation to leave before me as was my usual custom, but slipped down the stairs and through the crowd flanked by a body guard of faithful, devoted women to the car. His chauffeur had the motor going and was ready to leave when I got into the car.
The mob watched closely for me as the last ones filed out of the Hall. They wouldn’t believe I was gone and waited there at the entrance for several hours. Once again, scripture was repeated: Jesus was about to be cast over the brow of a hill by an angry religious mob, but passed through the midst of them and went his way, (Luke 4:29-30).
One hot summer we were in a two week revival in Alexandria, Louisiana. Again the antagonists became infuriated at my Testimony and sought revenge. Several nights, to ensure my safety, the Pastor’s wife escorted me through the Church basement and backyard to the parsonage.
Another picture of Nilah and Charlotte
One night the Pastor and Evangelist stepped to the door to shake hands with the departing visitors. I was kneeling in prayer at the rostrum while several knelt at the altar seeking God.
Suddenly two Baptist ladies called out, “There they go for Charlotte!”
Two women had slipped to the front, walked right over the altar, grabbed my hand and lifted me to my feet and began interrogating me. The pastor was soon at my side, but neither he, the Church, the altar service nor the praying people deterred those women from passing their angry remarks.
They said such cruel and bitter things that the atmosphere became charged with fear and every seeker arose from the altar of prayer. Our closing service was held while strange, suspicious looking men watched our car and took down license numbers, etc., until we didn’t know what to expect. Finally we slipped the keys of car to one of the saints so that they could drive it home.
As we ate lunch in the Pastor’s home, the phone rang continually. There were many threats and abusive remarks. One person demanded to know whether Sister Charlotte was there. The Pastor meekly replied, “If you can see over this phone, you’ll know. Otherwise you’ll never know.”
Finally a call came saying that if I was not out of town by midnight, all roads would be blocked. That hot, humid night we had to close every window in our bedroom. The following morning we were slipped from the pastor’s car to our car and were followed by several friends out of the city to ensure our safety.
At the following General Conference, we saw the Pastor’s wife who told us they had received a telephone call right after we had left, offering them a thousand dollars if they would only tell them what route we took out of the city.
In Mississippi, several men stalked into our service and demanded attention at the close of the message. They were reeking with alcohol, yet they dared to stand at our altar disregarding those that were praying at the altar and made scathing belligerent remarks.
They later produced a letter that offered one thousand dollars to the congregation or Pastor if they could prove that Sis. Charlotte had been a Nun. Sis. Nilah read the letter to the audience and said, “We would offer two thousand dollars if they could prove Sis. Charlotte was not a Nun.”
Again the law emphasized to those men that to disturb a church service was a serious offense under our American Constitutional Bill of Rights.
On the east coast several student priests from a nearby University attended our meeting. They heckled and called me names until the police were forced to remove one bodily and several others were ordered out.
Sometime I do not dare to drive our car for my life is in danger. I’ve moved from place to place and from room to room because the danger was so great. One day in 1948 in California, I was led from the church through an alley and transported by car to a country home after a stop-over in a friend’s house. In the country three watch-dogs kept a constant vigil over the occupants of the house, the pastor and the family, as well as my co-worker and myself.
About 2:00 A.M. we were awakened by our bedroom door opening and heard a voice, “Don’t be frightened. A car is coming into our driveway, so I’m getting a gun from our closet.”
The dogs barked furiously, however, the car got in sight of the house, made a quick turn and left without the driver saying hello or good-bye. Evidently, the vicious looking dogs didn’t give the occupants of the car a very cordial welcome.
While I was in Illinois, one of my teeth began to pain very badly and I had to seek immediate help. I went to the only dentist available that Saturday afternoon. While I was sitting in the dentist’s chair he told me I didn’t have to have the tooth pulled out but desensitized. It would take three treatments. He was very gentle with me, so I made arrangements to return the following Monday and Tuesday.
Monday, the dentist was a changed man. He hurt me so badly that I had to push his hand from my mouth and cry out in pain.
He coldly remarked, “If I’m to help you I have to hurt you.”
The pain was so excruciating that on the second attempt I jerked away from him and got out of the dentist’s chair and told him to cancel my next appointment. I paid him what I owed and left.
The following day I arrived in Decatur, Illinois. I needed a Dentist. but I made sure that I went to one that was well known and recommended to me by trusted friends.
When Dr. Shaw looked into my mouth he exclaimed that I had a very bad burn that must have been done with acid. It took several weeks and several treatments to heal my mouth.
In Maine, five weeks’ worth of rent was paid in advance for a Hall for our meetings. The woman who was head of a Church group, the chauffeur for the local priest and the proprietor of a “Church” Bookstore were the three stooges chosen to heckle, laugh. talk, read aloud — anything they could think of to disrupt the meetings.
One man carried a huge Bible to of one of the front seats, and there stood and read out aloud while I spoke from the pulpit.
When we approached the police about these disorders, they informed us we would have to pay a stipulated amount each night for police surveillance. However, they said they would send a policeman.
After a few nights had elapsed. the chief with two other policemen came in at the close of the service and asked to speak to the minister in charge. They informed him I was not to speak or give the testimony of Convent Life again or they would serve an injunction against the hall and close the doors. They said that if I insisted on speaking then they would meet us in court the next morning.
Inasmuch as they did not serve me with a summons, I refused to go to court. However, our two ministers did go, but were asked where the women were. When Rev. Corke told them we didn’t come with him in the court the police asked them if they thought they were running the court, and told them to tell their story to the judge.
The Jewish judge read off his little spiel to Rev. Corke and Rev. Ireland, and likewise forbade my giving the testimony in the city. When Rev. Corke asked what the written law said, the judge cynically retorted that he had just read him the law. He further remarked that there would be a reporter at the meeting. And in case I attempted to give my Testimony they would be notified.
It seemed hopeless, so that night I didn’t speak.
The following day we contacted a very prominent attorney who had been with the State Legislature for seven years. He was very indignant to think that the men who were authorized to represent the Law had defrauded and deceived us by the deceptive act of reading a fraudulent law. He gave me the green light to enter the hall and continue my Testimony. And if I was molested or an injunction was served, I was to say or do nothing. He said he would take the case and be glad to represent me in court. He also said it wouldn’t make a difference if there were a dozen reporters at the meeting. Only a Court Licensed Recorder’s Note could stand as valid evidence in court.
We returned to the Hall. There sat the three supposed reporters — the lady from the “Church” group, the Priest’s chauffeur and the proprietor of the Bookstore. When I arose to speak and informed them I was here to continue my Testimony, and that I had already seen a lawyer and that there was no law to stop me, they wilted. We told them to notify their chief of what I said. They realized their deceptive game was over and they meekly walked out. There were no repercussions.
When we were speaking in Maine, a group comprised mostly of students from the nearby University came to disrupt the meetings. As usual they screamed hateful bigoted words while I attempted to speak, Some left when they were ordered to do so, and others had to be carried from the Tabernacle. We finally required several Policemen nightly to keep the peace.
One night a couple of priests came with a group. When our song director asked all the ministers to come to the platform, they also arose and came forward. They sat unabashed directly in front of me with their collars on backwards.
Nilah and Charlotte
When I began to speak, one priest arose and interrupted to ask what Convent that I was in. Our Superintendent, Rev. Corke, stepped over to him and asked him to sit down. A few minutes passed and he again jumped to his feet and mumbled a question. When he was apprehended by some of the ministers sitting on the platform, and when he saw two officers of the law strolling down the aisle toward him, he muttered that he wanted to know how to get saved. With that, the two priests arose and walked away. When the officers asked them why they interrupted the meeting, they said they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to ask questions.
Again the place where we stayed had to be guarded so we wouldn’t be molested.
During other meetings, word was passed to our ministers that more antagonists were coming to the tentmeeting in a body to break up the services. We asked the police for protection and were informed that one lone elderly policeman was on duty and couldn’t help us much. We called on the Mounties for help, only to be informed that the town was an incorporated town and therefore they could not do anything unless summoned by the local town law.
We then appealed to the mayor, but while our young ministers who were in charge of the tent meetings were in the mayor’s yard, a group of men came and surrounded them. They had been heavily drinking and ordered one preacher into the truck and ordered him not to say another word. They railed and cursed and wanted to know where the Nun was. They said if it weren’t for the law they would string me up just as I’d claimed was done in the Convent.
The mayor, seeing that we were in the minority, played ball with the crowd. He spoke of the World Wars and how the men fought side by side, and how that there was no bickering or discrimination until we came to town. He also spoke of how we violated the health and sanitation laws because we had services and allowed someone to guard the tent day and night without proper facilities. We were advised to take down the tent and leave town.
The mayor promised to give us protection while wee were removing the tent. The mob came that night — approximately one thousand strong. However, when the people heard and realized what the men were doing, they turned out in a great body to assure us freedom of speech.
Some came equipped for a real fight with stones, pipe, etc. Several fights broke out, but our ministers took down the tent and fought with no one.
We searched in four nearby cities to find a hall in which to continue our meetings. But fear of a mob riot prevented our getting a suitable building. Just as we were about to give up after a week of fruitless searching, the Knights of Pythias Hall was offered to us. There the Police and Orangemen combined gave us the freedom of speech without being molested or without any annoyance.
Many people were converted in that Revival.
One of our last harrowing episodes took place in Arizona. The Revival was gaining momentum and the crowd increasing nightly when forty or fifty teenagers filed into the church. They shuffled feet, moved chairs, jeered, mocked and laughed and even attempted to smoke while we prayed.
After several nights of their threats, cursing and our mental agitation, the law was summoned. They acted quickly squelching the disturbance by taking a few of the guilty ones to jail via the paddy wagon.
In closing I plead to all who love freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press to not let Old Glory crumple to the ground and to be submerged in the black hearts of foreign potentates and religionists. Let the doors of democracy forever swing open to brave, loving hearts who will embrace her and thrill at her side. Place the Bible not only in your library but engrave its passages upon the tables of your hearts. Remember, our America formed its laws and government by the Holy pages of the Bible. Hate it, loathe it, or burn it as they did during the Holy Inquisition, and again the burning stakes and the torturing crosses and the smelly, dark, dungeons will replace our pretty little churches and our happy people and a happy America.
The big oak tree did not fall because of the rain, the hailstones or the great wind. It fell because termites ate away the heart. Therefore it rotted within and fell without.
The great Apostle Peter spoke,
“Whether to hearken to you or to God, judge ye. But we cannot but speak the things which we have heard and seen.”
Sister Charlotte in later years of Evangelism
Sister Charlotte before a Church Service
Charlotte went to be with the Lord in Napa, California, on September 28, 1983, at the age of 85 years.
She was born April 12, 1898.