Chicago Tribune

Revivalist Smith to Lead Converts in March on Redlight District.
Arrives in Town, Attends Banquet, and Shows Old Eloquence

"Gipsy" Smith arrived in town yesterday, and promised that within a month he would have thousands of religious converts lined up in a midnight parade through the south side red light district.

He is all ready to begin his big revival at the Seventh regiment armory tomorrow night.

Five hundred ministers, and the congregations of fifty-eight churches have promised to help him.

Last night he was given a banquet of welcome at Lincoln Park hall by over 500 representatives of seven religious brotherhoods, and all assured him of support.

After the banquet the Gipsy delivered a speech, the first during his present visit to Chicago. In this speech he held his audience, composed mostly of ministers, spellbound, and proved he still is master of the eloquence by which he has swayed thousands.

Outlines His Attack

In outlining his line of attack on Chicago bulwarks of evil Smith announced his intention to make a lot of noise and to stir things up spiritually, as they seldom have been stirred up before. Knowing from his previous experiences here that he can get converts, he plans this time to form them, when he once gets them, into an army of attack.

Then he is going to march down into the moral sore spots in a solid, united effort to clean them out.

"Open air treatment" was his prescription for languid churches. "Close the buildings and preach outdoors," he advised the fashionable ministers.

"Don’t sit in a cushioned pew and sing ‘Rescue the perishing.’

"Go after the man in the street.

"Get into personal contact with the people you want.

"If a man can’t preach from his own doorstep, he can’t preach at all.

"I’ll back a drum against an organ any day."

Such phrases, indicating his aggressive methods, were frequent in his address. He promised a midnight march of thousands of revivalists through the levee during the month.

In the middle of his speech he called for the hymn, "Where He Leads Me I’ll Follow," and led the singing himself, part of the time singing alone. Many of his hearers wept openly as he sang, and handkerchiefs were freely used all over the hall as the audience joined in the chorus.

Meetings Begin Sunday Night

The regular meetings at which Gipsy Smith will speak will begin Sunday night at the Seventh regiment armory and continue throughout the month of October. He will speak every night but Saturday.

Gipsy’s campaign in the coming revival is, above all else, to make a lot of noise. He believes in stirring up excitement, and calling attention to the need of spiritual cleaning up in Chicago. His theory is that one of the best ways to accomplish reform is to call public attention to the necessity of it, and he is going to leave nothing undone to let the city know it is in need of a genuine religious upheaval.

While the details of the revival have not been arranged as yet, it is expected it will be conducted along the lines of the Gipsy’s last appearance here. He intends to secure the cooperation of as many ministers as possible and will seek to stir the city’s churches into a united effort to clean up the moral bad spots.

Seating arrangements at the big armory are about complete and a record crowed is expected for the first meeting Sunday night. Arrangements will be made today for ushers, and by the time the doors open tomorrow everything will be ready for the onslaught of the famous revivalist’s eloquence.

During the month Mr. Smith and his wife will stay at the Congress hotel, quarters have been engaged for him there by the Laymen’s Evangelistic council of Chicago.


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