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In 1895 a different kind of railroad car rolled into Texas, bringing the "good news" of the evangelical Gospel to transient railroad workers and far-flung communities alike. A ministry to railroad men and their families lay at the heart of chapel car work, which over a period of fifty years saw thirteen rail chapel cars minister to thousands of towns, mainly west of the Mississippi. Author Wilma Rugh Taylor's portrayal of this ministry for the one car, Good Will, which served Texas, provides a view of life in towns such as Denison, Texline, Marshall, San Antonio, Laredo, Abilene, and Dalhart. The railroads that carried the Texas chapel car included the Texas & Pacific; the Missouri, Kansas & Topeka; the Southern Pacific; the International & Great Northern; and the Mexican International. Taylor writes about the travels of Good Will with fondness and an eye for detail. She describes the car itself (its living area was just nine by eighteen feet with a decorative rococo stencil on the ceiling), the missionary couples who traveled in it, the services that were held. She considers the philanthropists who supported the mobile chapel and the guilt and other motives that moved them. She looks at the issues the chapel car faced as it rolled into town: temperance, turbulent religious rivalries, racism and immigration, the role of Masons and other lodges in rural society, and even the devastating Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston. A novel window onto Texas and railroad history, this book tells a warmly human story set on a larger stage of charitable works, evangelical fervor, and social change. A window into Texas and railroad history, this book recounts the ministry of a chapel car that brought the "good news" to railroad workers and rural Texas towns beginning in 1895. Besides describing the car itself and the missionaries who traveled in it, Taylor considers issues it faced such as temperance, religious rivalries, racism and immigration, and even the Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston.
Buy Gospel Tracks Through Texas: The Mission of the Chapel Car Good Will (Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life) by Wilma Rugh Taylor from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781585444342 & 1585444340
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