Monday, April 30, 2007

A Word from England

Several weeks ago I had an e-mail from someone in England asking about my father. This person had just seen the movie about my father's life, Wiretapper, at a local vintage film show. When this person told me Maurice Rowlandson was the person showing the film I said, "I recognize that name!"

Maurice Rowlandson worked for Billy Graham in England for many years and so I decided to e-mail Mr. Rowlandson and let him know that "the son of the wiretapper" was alive and kicking. He graciously wrote back to me and a brief correspondence has ensued. In the midst of that correspondence I sent Mr. Rowlandson a photo in my possession, a photo of my father taken in England during evangelistic meetings he held there in the 1950's. Mr. Rowlandson immediately wrote back and was able to tell me the exact location and exact date when the photo was taken. Needless to say, Maurice Rowlandson is a man with a wealth of knowledge who must either have an incredible filing system, memory, or both!

Mr. Rowlandson has read my forthcoming book, My Father Was a Gangster: The Jim Vaus Story, in manuscript, given some very helpful suggestions, and written the following wonderful endorsement:

"I first heard of Jim Vaus shortly after Billy Graham's first Los Angeles Crusade in 1949. It was therefore quite remarkable that I was the one to be selected to organise a programme for him in the British Isles. At the time I was working with the British Evangelical Alliance, and my friend George Wilson (who had been business Manager at Northwestern College when I was there in 1948/9) had asked me to do this.

"We had a remarkable time with Jim and his wife as we took them to church after church where, time and again, he told the story of his conversion. More importantly (for me) he brought with him one of the tiny 'bugging' microphones which he had removed from Mickey Cohen's house, and when he left England, he left it with me. I still have it - and it is a prized possession.

"To me it seemed inevitable that Jim would devote his life to Christian service - and so it was. It was not long before I heard the story of what he was doing and, as a result, he remained on my prayer list for the rest of his life.

"God has many trophies as He works through the proclamation of His word. Through the ministry of Billy Graham in the Los Angeles tent, Jim was one of them. Surely his welcome into heaven must have been accommpanied by the angel choir singing 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord!'"

April 2007

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