Only four edi­tions are known to ex­ist

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

Eu­gene Vaters ( 1898-1984) was gen­eral su­per­in­ten­dent of the Pen­te­costal As­sem­blies of New­found­land and Labrador ( 1928-62). Be­fore be­com­ing a Pen­te­costal pas­tor, he was a Methodist min­is­ter. Be­fore that, he founded and led an evan­gel­i­cal mis­sion in Vic­to­ria, Con­cep­tion Bay. He also es­tab­lished and edited a mag­a­zine, The In­de­pen­dent Com­mu­nion.

Vaters was born in Vic­to­ria, where he was raised a Methodist and re­ceived his early ed­u­ca­tion. He ex­pe­ri­enced re­li­gious con­ver­sion around the age of 11.

He be­came a teacher at 17. At Ran­tem Sta­tion and, later, Lit­tle Har­bour Deep, he also con­ducted church ser­vices in the ab­sence of clergy.

En­ter­ing the min­istry in 1916, Vaters spent six years on the Methodist cir­cuit on the is­land and in Labrador.

Dis­af­fected by what he per­ceived as “mod­ernism” in­vad­ing the Methodist Church, he re­signed in 1922.

He at­tended Moody Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Chicago, Illi­nois. In 1923, he be­came the first known New­found­lan­der to at­tend a Pen­te­costal Bi­ble school, in Rochester, New York.

Leav­ing the in­sti­tu­tion pre­ma­turely, Vaters and his wife, Jen­nie Sarah Gray (1895-1986), re­turned to Vic­to­ria. In 1924, they founded a mis­sion. The In­de­pen­dent Com­mu­nion grew out of their ef­fort.

Only four edi­tions of the Com­mu­nion are known to ex­ist ( June, July and Au­gust-Septem­ber 1924, and Jan­uary-Fe­bru­ary 1925).

Eu­gene was the edi­tor. The mag­a­zine was pub­lished by the Lit­er­a­ture Dis­tribut­ing Cen­tre of Car­bon­ear. It was printed by Barnes & Co., St. John’s.

Be­low the mast­head of his pub­li­ca­tion, Vaters in­scribed two rather dark and brood­ing verses from the Bi­ble. A por­tion fol­lows: “ When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his in­iq­uity; but his blood will I re­quire at thine hand.”

The edi­tor de­scribed his mag­a­zine as “an in­de­pen­dent re­li­gious monthly, (D.V.).” The D.V. (Deus Vo­lent), is Latin for “God will­ing.”

The Com­mu­nion was “ded­i­cated to the work of God in New­found­land and else­where, as (God) may see wise to use it.”

Vaters as­sured his read­ers: “ We en­deav­our to hold forth a full-gospel mes­sage.”

His “ full-gospel mes­sage” con­sisted of five tenets: “1. Sal­va­tion from sin by faith in Je­sus Christ alone; 2. A com­plete sep­a­ra­tion from the world in spirit and prac­tice; 3. A full de­pen­dence upon God in ev­ery cir­cum­stance of life; 4. The Lord as the only healer of his peo­ple; (and) 5. The sec­ond com­ing of . . . Je­sus Christ . . . and the ne­ces­sity of a ‘ walk in the Spirit’ and ‘not in the flesh.’ “

The Com­mu­nion was of­fered free and would be “sent to any who request it.” How­ever, Vaters added, “ We de­pend upon vol­un­tary of­fer­ings, given as unto the Lord.”

The edi­tor added a gen­der-spe­cific request, “Brethren, pray for us.”

The Com­mu­nion pub­lished ar­ti­cles by Eu­gene and Jen­nie Vaters, as well as reprints from other pub­li­ca­tions.

Lit­tle is known about the Com­mu­nion pub­lisher, the Lit­er­a­ture Dis­tribut­ing Cen­tre. How­ever, it was, in all like­li­hood, an­other of Eu­gene’s ven­tures.

The cen­tre is in­tro­duced with this ad­ver­tis­ing jin­gle: “ We can help you get what you want.” The cen­tre aimed “to place in the hands of the peo­ple good, sound lit­er­a­ture at as cheap a price as pos­si­ble. Our own lit­er­a­ture is free as the Lord pro­vides.”

In the July 1924 is­sue of his paper, Vaters de­scribed it as “non-sec­tar­ian and un­de­nom­i­na­tional. We ad­vo­cate the doc­trines of no par­tic­u­lar school. Con­tend­ing for the faith of the Son of God.”

A sixth tenet was added to the “ full-gospel mes­sage”: “A ded­i­ca­tion of all that we are and have to God.”

The edi­tor in­formed his read­ers that “ bun­dles are sent to any upon request for dis­tri­bu­tion in needy lo­cal­i­ties.

“In or­der to as­sure its con­tin­u­ance to any ad­dress, it will be nec­es­sary to write us at least yearly.”

By this time, Vaters was re­fer­ring to him­self as “Rev.,” al­though he would soon es­chew the ti­tle.

In the Au­gust-Septem­ber 1924 is­sue, Vaters re­vised his doc­tri­nal tenets to in­clude a sev­enth item: “Sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion and Bap­tism of the Holy Spirit.”

In an ed­i­to­rial, he elab­o­rated on the pur­pose of the Com­mu­nion: “ We pitch our stan­dard in­de­pen­dently in the camp of present­day move­ments.”

In the Jan­uary-Fe­bru­ary 1925 is­sue, Vaters apol­o­gized for hav­ing pre­fixed his name with “ Rev.” He ex­plained, “ It is now some years since the Lord showed (me) the ut­ter in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of a hu­man be­ing tak­ing to him­self the ti­tle which God has re­served to Him­self alone.”

Later that year, Vaters amal­ga­mated his mis­sion at Vic­to­ria with Bethesda Mis­sion, in St. John’s, the first meet­ing­house of the Pen­te­costal As­sem­blies of New­found­land and Labrador.

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