Friday, February 20, 2009

Gipsy Smith ~ Loved By All

Gipsy Smith was born in 1860, in a tent six miles outside London. One of six children born to parents who traded in tinware, baskets and clothespins, he was raised in a gypsy wagon, and by all accounts, it was a happy childhood in a loving family. Gipsy's father was in and out of jail for various petty crimes, and it was there he heard the gospel and converted. Gipsy himself became an evangelist at 17, with the Christian Mission, which became the Salvation Army. With no formal education, in his teens he taught himself to read and write. Gipsy was known to sing as well as he preached and some of his hymns were eventually recorded by Columbia Records.

During World War I, under the auspices of the YMCA, Gipsy Smith went to the front lines in France, to preach to British troops. He was loved and accepted by all denominations. His devotion was recognized by King George VI, who awarded him the Order of the British Empire.

Gispy Smith died in 1947, aboard the Queen Mary, as he made his 45th Atlantic crossing.

The picture above shows Gipsy Smith with a band of gypsies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in January, 1909, sitting outside their wagon, beside one of their tents. That's him in the center, holding the puppy. The picture below shows him at the age of 20, a captain in the Salvation Army.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

An interesting bit of history...thanks!