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ARTICLES

 


MY LIFE STORY
BY CORA M. FAUSS

I was born in Hatfield, Arkansas on December 29, 1907 premature and they said they could have put me in a shoebox. I only weighed two pounds and there was no incubator. They said they put me on the door of the oven to keep me warm.

We moved to Eufala, Oklahoma when I was three years old. When I was four or five, we moved to Dustin, Oklahoma.

I was nine years old the first time that God dealt with me about getting saved, but I thought my mother said that I couldn't get saved until I was 12. At the age of 13, the Lord dealt with me again. I went to the altar and began to pray but I didn't know how to find Christ. I thought that I needed to make a long ordeal out of it. I said to myself, I'll get up and sing the song, "I'm Glad I Have Salvation In My Heart." But, something happened. Jesus came into my heart and gave me a new song. We were members of the Baptist Church and we were experiencing a great Holy Ghost revival. People were praying everywhere and you could hear the hillside ringing with voices in prayer every evening. We were worshiping in the school house.

The night before the 4th of July, we had an all night prayer meeting. One certain lady thought she would have to pray all night to get forgiveness for the sin she had committed. Several were slain under the power of the Holy Spirit. They called it a trance then. My daddy was one that was slain by the Spirit that night. When he came to, he was speaking in tongues. There were others that received that same experience but they would not accept it. The people were seeking God every day for a great outpouring.

It was my job to go to the pasture and drive up the cows to be milked before I would get ready for the service. I would always do my praying down in the pasture.

One day I was taking some drinking water to my brothers who were working in the field. As I left the house, I began to pray. I remember that as I was crossing the potato patch and I was saying, "Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!" Suddenly, I began to speak in other tongues. I was no seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but God just gave it to me.

When I got to where my brothers were, I couldn't speak English. I just sat the bucket down and they just looked at me. I went back to the house and fell into the kitchen door. My mother said, "Looks like you've got it too. I know it's real because I read about it in the Bible." There became a division in our church because they said it was not in their doctrine. My mother had also received the baptism in the Holy Spirit along with two or three other ministers. She was the Church Clerk and she turned the books in. They asked for all who spoke in tongues to leave the church.

We heard of a tongue talking revival 10 miles from us under a brush arbor. We went to the meeting in a wagon and sometimes we would stay for days and camp out. We invited the evangelist to our town. We had a great revival and rented a small building to worship in. We didn't have a pastor in those days. Everyone was an evangelist. When a minister would come by we were happy but at other times congregation would seek God and whoever God would give the message did the preaching.

I helped in revivals all over the country. At the age of 16, I was at the Assemblies of God District Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I received my Licenses To Preach. James Hutsel was the District Superintendent and Glenn Milland was the Secretary. They were trying to start a Bible School in Oklahoma. Brother Kitchen and others told me if I'd go that it would not cost me anything but I didn't see a need because I thought Jesus was coming so soon and we needed to get all the souls saved that we could. I helped in meetings all over Eastern Oklahoma. I helped Brother and Sister Ernest Adams in Hanna. They lived in tents and I stayed with a family that was coming to the meeting. Several ministers were helping. Sister Lucy Steckney. She got two calls for a revival and she asked my if I would take one of them. This place was across the river from Hanna. They had build a brush arbor in the community. They came after me in wagon and there I was - a little 16 year old girl going home with strangers to hold my first revival and the ministers told me that if any "new lights" came to service to not let them have any part. I was already scared anyway and here they came, but we had a wonderful revival. Two or three weeks had passed and I was homesick and I cried myself to sleep a lot at night.

My daddy bought his first car and my folks came to the revival for the weekend and I just couldn't stand for them to go home without me so I closed my part of the revival and went home.

When I was 18, my folks and with three other Pentecostal families moved to Western Oklahoma. There was not any Pentecostal churches anywhere and we started open air services and cottage prayer meetings. Our first church that we pioneered was in Sentinel and then another one in Elk City. I held a three week revival and the offerings totaled 50 cents. I held a meeting in Clinton, Oklahoma and then started having services in a home in Dell City. The Oneness people were coming and the word got out that Cora Miller had gone Oneness. My daddy had to go before the District Board to explain the matter. And I didn't go Oneness. I went to Geronamo and Lawton to hold meetings and that is where I met Lutabel Hanks and Ethel Musick. In 1926 - 1927, I began traveling with Sister Musick.

We went to Wellington, Texas and put up a tent, rented a house to live in or it was like camping with mattresses on the floor. We ate what people brought in. One week I remember that we lived on milk and crackers.

After several weeks, Brother Guy Shields came to see about building a church building. A young man by the name of Milton Fauss was with him who two years later became my husband. I left the Musicks while they were still in Wellington. My aunt had TB and my mother thought I should come home for a while and help with her. When I went to bus to go home Milton went with me and carried my suitcase and my guitar. He gave me his address and asked me to write to him. He went with the Musicks to Blair, Oklahoma . That is where he was baptized in water the second time. My brother and cousin took me to Blair for an all day service and they got to meet Milton. They thought he was a fine fellow and my brother passed his approval and started corresponding regularly. We prayed much about our friendship and we were very conscious about the will of God in our lives. We agreed to pray if God wanted us to get married and work for the Lord together that He would give me some calls in Texas. Clyde Goree called me from Wheeler, Texas. Jim Land was there in a meeting and needed a piano player and wanted me to work with the young people. I went there on a bus and he met me but I did not know that he was single. I might not have gone, but I was interested in Milton Fauss. I stayed there six weeks. In that meeting, I got acquainted with Harice and Maud Bowman and they asked me to go to Jacksboro with them. By this time Milton and Martin Netsel were working together and they came by the meeting. Milton did the preaching and Martin did the singing. People would come in the morning and pray and at 4:00 in the afternoon and my what a revival we had! Milton and Martin stayed four or five weeks longer and then they left for De Leon, Texas. We went to Squaw Mountain. Then Milton and I saw each other again in Wichita Falls, Texas when he was ordained and there we knew for sure we were in love and made plans to be married at Christmas time.

I went home for a few days and my brother and I went to Anadarko, Oklahoma for the Camp Meeting. To my surprise I was asked to speak at the 7:00 A.M. service the next morning. I didn't hardly sleep. Maybe I was scared. I prayed all night. I preached from Psalm 23. I remember that there a lot of Spirit filled Indians there. Brother and Sister Bert Roberson asked me to go with them to Newville, Texas. I talked to my brother and he thought it would be alright with my folks for me to go. It was near Center, Texas and thought I was in a foreign field.

Milton was in Bowie, Texas in a revival and we went through there but the people he was staying with did not have a phone. When he left there he started home to Houston and came by where I was. The Robersons wanted us to go ahead and get married and go back to Oklahoma with them. We wrote our folks about it but we went ahead and got married before we got an answer. We didn't have the money so Brother Roberson bought the license for us. We had to wait three days so we went over into Louisiana to Oak Hill or Red Hill near Logansport. We married in a home in Center at about 5:00 P.M. on Sunday on September 1 and left for Oklahoma in a pickup followed by the Robersons in their car. We stopped between Henderson and Joinerville and camped by some trees. Wasn't that some honeymoon? The next morning we saw that we had slept by the cemetery. We went to Chachie, Oklahoma where the Robersons pastured and held a three week revival. There were living in one room of the church they were building. Other people came to help in the meetings. They brought their bedding and we all slept in the church. We cooked and ate like campers. We met Winston and Rosa Gilbert there and found out that the district wanted to send someone to Frederick to start a work. We went with the Gilberts there. The District gave us $50.00 to start the work. We rented a house to live in and held services in the Court House.

It was not long until the $50.00 was gone we had to trust the Lord. At times we did go hungry. The neighbors did bring in some food. We decided we would go to the field and pick cotton. Milton had never picked cotton and Brother Gilbert had a crippled arm. Sister Gilbert decided that her ministry had ended and she wanted to leave.

Milton and I stayed a few days longer and another minister came and Milton and I decided that if we had to pick cotton we would go to my folks and pick cotton for my Daddy. I had never met Milton's folks and he wanted to take me to Houston and let his folks meet his new wife. We stayed around Houston for about a year and our daughter, Evadene was born there. When she was a few months old we got a call to go to Pampa, Texas to pastor. From there, we went to Overland Park, Kansas and not staying there very long we returned to Oklahoma. The next pastorate was in Leedy, Oklahoma where our son, Buddy, was born. We came back to Texas where we were evangelists for a while. We held a revival for Martin Netzel at a new work in Jewett, Texas. We preached three weeks and our offering was $4.00.

While we were in Conroe in a meeting, we were called to go to pastor in Yoakum and we stayed there three years. Milton was Presbyter of the Yoakum Section and he felt a burden for new fields and we set out to start a church in every unchurched town. We had three week revival in Bernard and my two brothers came to be with us. This was their first experience in new field work. They brought a bushel of tomatoes from Yoakum and we almost lived on tomatoes. The church at Rosenburg helped us and two young ladies got saved and the last I heard they were still living for God. We went to Victoria and continued a work that Burl House had started in a store building and from there to Monroe City to take a work that Ruth Baldridge and her husband had begun. From there, we went to Kashmire Gardens in Houston where we worshiped in a store building and we built a church there. Our next pastorate was in Livingston and then on to Wharton. We put a partition down one side of the church for the pastor and his family to live in. Later, a parsonage was built and that is where our son, Joe, was born.

Our District Superintendent appointed us to go to Arp, Texas where we stayed for 2 years. We went back to Yoakum the second time and then to Oklahoma for a short time but we got the Texas fever again and we held some meetings and Brother Lunsford the Presbyter of the Tyler Section asked us to go to Henderson and we were there for 3 years and then went to Red Oak Flat. We were called to pastor in Springfield, Missouri, but chose to stay in East Texas and in 1949, we came to Tyler to build a new work. The name of our church was Southside Assembly of God and it was located at West Second and South Kennedy. We stayed 16 years and God gave us many souls.

We are still in the King's Army and have a burden to do all we can for Jesus before he comeds again.

Reverend and Mrs. M.L. Fauss

(Brother Fauss passed away on January 21, 1984 and Sister Cora Fauss joined him in Heaven on August 16, 2003 at the age of 95 years, 7 months, and 18 days.)

   
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