The Opportunity You Have Been Waiting For ... From Gipsy Camp to Pulpit ... Gipsy Simon Smith [opening lines of broadside]
From Gipsy Camp to Pulpit
Smiling Methodist evangelist Gipsy Simon Smith (1875–1943) looks out benevolently from this tall narrow broadside which advertises a performance to hear him give the good word (“Good Singing —Large Choir”) at a Methodist Episcopal church in Coventryville. The attendance must have been substantial as “Churches, Societies, Lodges and Industrial Establishments” were requested to make advance reservations.
An Englander, Smith came from humble beginnings, life in a gypsy camp in England, which led to a string of small petty crime. His conversion to Methodism came at aged 16 and, from that moment forward, taught himself to read and write. He began to practice preaching and became known as the singing gypsy boy when he began singing hymns. Smith’s trajectory led to a close relationship with the Salvation Army and eventually to such status that he began to evangelize on both sides of the Atlantic. At times, crowds sometimes reached into the hundreds of thousands, as Smith preached and sang hymns throughout his orations. For his work administering to British troops in France during the First World War King George VI made him a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Description: The Opportunity You Have Been Waiting For ... From Gipsy Camp to Pulpit ... Gipsy Simon Smith [opening lines of broadside]
[America or England. Early 20th century.] Broadside. 11¼ x 6½ inches. Printed on newsprint; large half-tone portrait of Simon Smith. Folds, one closed tear, light creases; very good.
Ref. Life and Ministry of Rodney (Gipsy) Smith accessed online.