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Josephine Abigail McCurdy Adams
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Birth: Sep. 27, 1852
Whitfield County
Georgia, USA
Death: Nov. 23, 1899
Sumner County
Kansas, USA

"When Success Looked Like Failure", an article in "Vital Christianity," March 1, 1964, as told to Kenneth E. Jones by Ruby Jones:

"In the summer of 1893, D.S. Warner went to Wichita, Kansas, for a revival meeting. He later reported in a letter to the Gospel Trumpet that though he had preached for several weeks, there were no visible results. The letter implies that he was discouraged over the meeting. He thought that no one was converted, so he called the meeting a failure. However, that meeting which looked like a failure to Brother Warner set forces in motion which are still producing results today.

He did not know that Josie Adams, who lived near Caldwell, Kansas, had made her annual trip to Wichita to visit her sister and do some trading in the city. He did not know that Josie had attended the tent meeting her first night in town with her sister and brother-in-law. He did not know that Josie Adams was saved that night.

She later said that Brother Warner preached for two hours on the subject of sanctification. She was too timid to go to the altar for help, but she thought as she listened, 'That is just the kind of experience with God I want to have.'

When Josie Adams got back to her room that night, she knelt down by her bed to do what Brother Warner had said must be done. She consecrated herself to God, along with her family, her children, the farm, her chickens, and everything she could think of. She dedicated all to God and God blessed her as she prayed.

But suddenly as she prayed she seemed to hear God say to her, 'Will you tell Mrs. Dayton what has happened to you?' She was horrified. She was only a poor farmer's wife, and extremely timid. But Mrs. Dayton, her neighbor, was a former schoolteacher, and the wife of the richest man in the county. Mr. Dayton was chairman of the school board. She could never, never talk to Mrs. Dayton about God. Besides, the Daytons did not care much about God and church. She could never talk to them about this!

She got up from her knees and sadly went to bed. It seemed that the spirit of prayer left her when she refused to promise to talk to her neighbor. It seemed to her that God was demanding an impossible thing.

But Josie did go back to the tent services, and she did two things which helped her: She bought the new book by William G. Schell, The Biblical Trace of the Church which was just off the press; and she subscribed to the Gospel Trumpet ten weeks for ten cents! And before she went back to the farm she had promised, in fear and trembling, that she would try to talk to Mrs Dayton about her new joy in the Lord. When she got home she prayed for grace to carry out her promise After much earnest prayer, she finally got courage to make the attempt. She went to the home of Mrs. Dayton for one of her infrequent visits. Mrs. Dayton, as always, was friendly, and Mrs. Adams, as always, was too timid to say more than a few words. But when she left, she did manage to leave on the table the book The Biblical Trace of the Church and some copies of the Gospel Trumpet. She went home wearing a heavy sense of failure.

Mrs. Dayton felt that this had been a rather strange visit. She liked Mrs. Adams, but wondered at her timidity. And it seemed that Mrs. Adams was more nervous than usual today! She picked up the things her neighbor had left and put them out of sight somewhere, thinking as she did that her poor neighbor seemed to have gotten mixed up with some religious fanatics.

But God works in mysterious ways. Not long after this, Mrs. Dayton became very ill. One day during her illness her infidel husband rose from his chair by her bedside and went outside. He opened the door which he had just shut behind him and said to his wife, 'Maybe you ought to read that book Mrs. Adams gave you.' This puzzled Mrs. Dayton. Her husband was an infidel, but he was an avid reader. But why would he recommend a religious book to her? To find out, and to pass the time in her illness she got the book down and began to read.

She read with interest, but without really believing what she read. And when she came to the section on divine healing she was sure that the author was not quoting the Bible correctly, for such a thing could not possible be true! She got down a Bible and looked up the references, sure that she would prove the author guilty of misquoting.

When she found that the Bible did speak of the power of God to heal, and that it gave no indication that healing was for the people of only one age of history, but for all, she wondered if it could be so. If it were true, why should she continue to suffer?

She knelt beside her bed hardly sure whether to doubt or to believe, and prayed something like this, 'O Lord, if it is true that it is your desire to heal some people today, please heal me!'

As she finished this short, hesitant prayer, the pain instantly left her. In the sudden joy of her release from pain, she grabbed up the little children, and ran across to tell a neighbor, Mrs. Hall. Mrs. Hall (mother of Wiley Hall, the Home Missionary to the Indians) was ill herself and under the care of a physician for what was then called 'consumption.' Mrs. Dayton read to Mrs. Hall from Schell's book while Mrs. Hall looked up the Scripture references as they came to them. Together they read and believed. So they prayed, and Mrs. Hall, too, was instantly and gloriously healed.

These two miraculous healings made firm believers of the women and started a long chain of events which has led to the the establishing of several churches and the salvation of hundreds who might otherwise have been eternally lost.

Mrs. Dayton later moved to Oklahoma City and worked tirelessly as a soul winner. In 1920 she made a list of 120 persons who had been saved as a direct result of the conversion of Josie Adams in that revival which D.S. Warner called a failure. The number is still growing and includes many preachers. Mrs. Dayton's daughter, Ruby, married a minister, T.A. Jones, and is herself a minister, serving the church at Hebert, Louisiana. Mrs. Jones has often told this story to her son, Kenneth, who is now teaching in Gulf Coast Bible College.

As long as we are serving God, we should be slow to call our work a failure. Sometimes success looks exactly like failure."

Josie passed away at the age of 47, six years after sharing her faith with Mrs. Dayton. When Josie was on her death bed she was reported to have seen two angels seated on her bed waiting to take her home. 
Family links: 
  William Jasper McCurdy (1829 - 1897)
  Margaret Ellen Smith McCurdy (1833 - 1901)
  William Preston Adams (1844 - 1925)*
  Lena Adams Huffman (1871 - 1938)*
  Josephine Abigail McCurdy Adams (1852 - 1899)
  William Russell MacCurdy (1860 - 1937)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Lori Holmlund
Record added: May 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37360911
Josephine Abigail <i>McCurdy</i> Adams
Added by: Lori Holmlund
Josephine Abigail <i>McCurdy</i> Adams
Added by: Lori Holmlund
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 Added: Jul. 14, 2017
Rest In Peace.
- Don & Brenda Adams
 Added: Mar. 14, 2010

- Jerry Clark
 Added: Dec. 2, 2009

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