History

Fragrance of the Spirit

“We are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” by Captain Charles Smith

Do you leave a pleasant fragrance for those that you encounter in your everyday life? Do you reflect Christ in all that you say and do? It was the Apostle Paul that reminded the Church at Corinth, “We are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15 NASB).  

This was the life of Tillie Evens, the youngest sister of Rodney Smith. Her life seemed to be like a beautiful fragrance that came from the very throne of God. Born two years after her brother Rodney in 1862, she followed and worked alongside him in The Christian Mission. As it transformed into The Salvation Army, Tillie donned the uniform and gathered crowds to hear her testify through song and sermon about Jesus Christ. When she was only 17 years old, Tillie was sent to conduct open-air meetings in Carlisle. While there, she saw men rescued from the power of alcohol and taverns closed due to lack of business. She allowed the Holy Spirit to have complete control of her life and became a fragrance to those that she encountered. She would hold powerful open-air meetings and the crowds would swell into the thousands.

What was it that caused her life to be fragrant? It was her surrender and earnestness. According to an article written at the time, “At a recent meeting her speech was characterized by much pathetic earnestness, under the influence of her singing and speaking, it was most interesting to observe the effect upon most persons present. Women listened with rapt attention and tears in their eyes, and hundreds who would have been unaffected were evidently stirred to their depths of their being by the enthusiastic earnestness of the young female who was addressing them. She sang her way into their hearts.”  

Captain Charles Smith is the Corps Officer in Jonesboro, AR.

Photos by Archives and Special Collections, B. H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX

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