Leslie R. Marston

(Free Methodist)

Leslie R. Marston became a general leader of the Free Methodist church. He wrote concerning his conversion and sanctification:

The writer was converted in his eleventh year in a children’s meeting of a Michigan camp. That experience of childhood conversion was clear and definite, but was followed by severe testing of faith which drove the mere lad to the secret place again and again to maintain victory over doubt. In time, the freshness of the experience dulled under boyish carelessness and disobedience, but I continued in the Christian way with no outward break.

I recall asking my preacher-father about entire sanctification when about twelve years of age; and later in my father’s church I sought the experience, but later came to realize that the deliverance which came to me then was deliverance from a measure of backsliding. I soon discontinued the profession of entire sanctification.

When fourteen, in a camp meeting, again I sought the experience of entire sanctification and in the midst of my seeking there came to me a relief and a blessing so similar to the earlier experience that I knew it was but the clearing of the rubbish in preparation for my seeking God’s cleansing of my nature. Accordingly, I resumed prayer without leaving the altar, and came through to remarkable deliverance from the principle of sin with an overwhelming sense of cleanness… How important that a sky-clear justified state be the footing upon which one presses his way toward full cleansing!..

Source: “Living Flames of Fire” by Bernie Smith