March 7

On this day in 1869, Oliver Willis Van Osdel was immersed and joined the Baptist church in Yorkville, Illinois. He had been raised as a Methodist, but he survived, and the Lord saved him when he was a child. He served in the army during the War between the States and survived. He studied law and survived that as well. On the evening of his baptism he preached his first sermon. When his Methodist family asked him about his decision to become a Baptist, he replied that it was their fault because they had given him a Baptist Bible.
Osdel was ordained on April 30, 1874 and for the next 35 years served God in a great many churches across the country – from Michigan and Illinois, to Kansas and Texas, and even in a tiny, out of the way place called “Spokane, Washington.” Then in 1909 at the age of 62, he returned to a church he had pastored earlier – the “Wealthy Street Baptist Church” in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and there he finally settled down to a twenty-five year ministry.
Brother Van Osdel died in 1934 at the age of 86.