Jeffersonville HistoryJohn Collins3/2/2012 10:44:00 AMSo I've been digging through over a thousand newspaper articles of local history -- Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
One thing caught my eye:
Gambling in the 1930s and 1940s was instrumental in Jeffersonville's recovery from the Great Depression and the Flood of 1937. Casinos, betting parlors, night clubs, and even a dog track were present, giving the town the nickname "Little Las Vegas"
When WMB talked about horse races and gambling in his life as a sinner, he never really talked about the places he would frequent:
He changed my soul from the things of the world unto the things of God, from horse races, and gambling, and adultery, and lying, and stealing.
-- 54-1003M THE WORD BECAME FLESH (INDIA TRIP REPORT)
I think some of you men was out here on the corner, preaching the gospel, and beating an old guitar, throwed in jail, and run out of the city, for the very cause, paving the road that I'm running smooth on. You're the men should be honored; you're the women that should be honored. It should be you up here, and not me. When I was a sinner boy, out yonder astraddle of a horse, trying to see who could ride a bucking horse the longest, or roping calves or something. You were on the corner preaching gospel; I was running horse races
And to think that many of these men here were on the field preaching when I was a sinner boy, around horse races, so, or around the boxing ring somewhere
58-0609 THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN CHURCH
The funny part is that he later denied this experience:
Now, we differen. Melvin's not a Christian, and he likes baseball, horse races, and things like that. And I--I think he likes chocolate pie, so I'm sure we differ there. So I--I don't like horse races or baseball, I like fishing and hunting.
So here's the part I'm trying to figure out:
If the church was started in 1933 (or 1931 by some accounts), and the gambling in Jeffersonville was in the 30's and 40's, and the first time you hear about WMB was in 1947 (Illinois), and his experience with the angel was either 2 or 7 or 11 (depending on his account), when did he run horse races?