CL Culpepper – A Life of Love, Humility, and Power!

Jun 27, 2013 by

CL Culpepper – A Life of Love, Humility, and Power!

C. L. Culpepper – A Life of Love and Humility and Power!

As I travel abroad this month meeting so many new friends and reconnecting with other cherished ones, I am reminded about the life and love of C.L. Culpepper.

Dr. C. L. Culpepper, Sr. (1895-1986) was one of the most influential men in our life, especially through some of the most challenging years early in our marriage and ministry. We affectionately called him “Dr. Charlie,” and our children all knew and loved him as did we.

It was our great privilege, when my husband was a student at Mid-America Seminary in the ’70’s, to have Dr. Charles L. Culpepper, Sr. – Distinguished Professor of Missions and Theology, in our home many weekends. He and his wife, Ola, lived in San Antonio, TX, since they had retired from mission work in China and Taiwan.  However, Dr. Culpepper taught at the seminary in Memphis, TN – without pay – for several years, to help the newly-established school. Since he only had an apartment there and no family, he enjoyed visiting in the homes and churches of the students, and we would have him come as often as possible.

One of my fondest memories of those times is seeing Dr. Charlie sitting on the floor in our den, with all five of our children, teaching them the song Come to Jesus in Chinese. They sang it over and over, and it became part of the repertoire that our daughters sang for many years. I so wish I could write it in the Chinese language, but the words are simply:  Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus now. Right now, Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus, right now.”

He told us of his years in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (1923-1965) and many of the victories and heart-aches they experienced!  In 1928, their daughter Carolyn died of a fever that swept the province, and in 1941-42 he was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. But accounts of the Shantung Revival, 1927-1937, were his favorites to share. It is interesting that though there was a mighty move of the Spirit and many of the Chinese received Jesus Christ during those years, the real “revival” started with the missionaries.

In 1927, missionaries from many denominations all over northern China had gathered for language school and a time of spiritual renewal even while the Japanese were already threatening occupation.  One of the women who had recently been on furlough to the States, shared lessons from her travels on “Christ our Life!” And Marie Monsen, a Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran missionary with the China Inland Mission, shared of her experiences in the interior, where they were seeing miracle healings. During that meeting, Mrs.  Ola Culpepper was miraculously healed of an eye disease and there was a new awareness of the Spirit of God working in their lives.

Dr. Culpepper told us that Ms. Monsen posed him the question, “Have you been filled with the Spirit?  He admitted that he had been afraid of the excesses and was afraid to speak in tongues, but later, as he gathered with forty Christians to pray for revival he was convicted of the “sin of not being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

So in a 1931 prayer meeting, which lasted for four days and four nights, the Spirit of God fell and hearts were renewed, repenting of pride and many, including Dr. Culpepper, received the infilling of the Spirit. Afterward, the Chinese Christians said of the missionaries, “We thought you considered yourselves above us. Now we know that we are all one in Christ!”

The testimony and true humility of Dr. Charlie Culpepper were instrumental in changing my life. This man, who had given his life for others, never thought more highly of himself, but loved and respected everyone in like manner, and instilled a hunger for the things of the Spirit in me. Over the next few years, I thought often of his stories and was encouraged to receive the fullness of the Spirit, and believe for complete healing, when doctors had said I would die!

Dr. Culpepper’s book, The Shantung Revival, 1st Edition (Note: later editions removed some of these accounts) details some of the most amazing things that God did in the midst of war and persecution in those years in China. And as I researched on the internet for information, I found other stories from seminary students during the same period in Memphis, whose accounts of the impact he had on their life, are similar to ours.

It can be said of Dr. Charlie Culpepper, Many try to teach and instruct on how we ought to live the Christ life, but he preferred to show us!” Jesus said it in John 13:15 – “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

Living a life full of Love, Holy Spirit Power and humility – is an Outrageously Exciting Life!

That’s how I want to live! ~ Shelia Hart Artt

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