Whenever I find myself in need, I often think back to when I was able to meet and spend time with a great man of God named Dr. E.V. Hill; the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles for 42 years. Dr. Hill was an influential player in politics as well as the National Baptist Convention. Despite growing up in abject poverty, Dr. Hill rose to become not only an influential pastor, but also a figure in the civil rights movement and a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr.
I can remember when I picked him up at the airport like it was yesterday. I was so nervous! This was a walking piece of history and I didn’t know what to expect. I had seen him preach many times on TV but I never thought that I would get to meet him.
After greeting him, I told him that I wanted to bless him and take him to a particular restaurant, which I thought was the cat’s meow! After telling him how nice this particular place was, he just smiled and asked if we had a K&W in town! For those who didn’t grow up in the south, I’ll spare you the description of what a K&W is but, suffice it to say, it’s no Ruth’s Chris.
I spent the next two days with one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. He was like a loving grandfather or, “grand-pappy” as he would put it. He wouldn’t let me leave his side as he recounted story after story of life’s difficulties and God’s faithfulness.
I distinctly remember sitting in his hotel room as he told me about his “Mamma’s” prayers. One night he had a 106-degree temperature and after his mamma prayed, he was healed.
He laughed as he recalled nights when ice-covered the roads and there was no food in the cupboard. He would hear his momma cry out to the “Midnight Rider” and the following morning there would be groceries on their porch!
On another occasion when Dr. Hill was eleven years old, he was hit by a car and suffered a severe head injury. No white doctor would see him and the black doctor was out-of-town so, his mother laid her hands on his forehead and prayed for him and he was, once again, miraculously healed. He said, “I still have the hickey on my head and every time I rub my head and feel that hickey I’m reminded of the power of mamma’s prayers.”
After graduating from high school, Dr. Hill’s mother wanted to send him to college. She only had five dollars, so she gave him what she had and sent him off to college promising to pray for God’s provision.
Despite the discouragement of others and a less than sufficient college fund, Dr. Hill arrived at college with only $1.83 and the promise that his mamma was praying for him.
He took his place in a line at the university financial office. Looking up, he saw a sign that indicated a student must have $86.00. Immediately his heart sank and he began to rub his head in discouragement. As his hand crossed over his bald head he felt that “hickey.” Much like dominos this memory caused a chain reaction that brought to remembrance all the times that his mamma had prayed and God came through.
All of a sudden someone tapped him on the shoulder and informed him that he had been given a full scholarship! The Midnight Rider had come through once again!
Regardless of what you may be facing today, cry out to the Midnight Rider! He may not come when you want Him but He’ll be there right on time!
Thank you, Dr. Hill, for being an amazing example of what one man can do if he trust’s in God. I can’t wait to introduce you to my friends when we meet you up there in the great by and by!