In the true story written by her own hand, the Reverend Ada Slaton Bonds of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church faced many adversities. One, an abusive husband for twenty-five years and one that spent every dime the family made on whiskey. He beat laborers. He hit his two oldest boys that left scars on their backs and almost let his entire family die in the swamps of northern Louisiana. Because of his drinking, the family moved 14 times in the first three years of marriage.
The woman minister also was called by God to spread his Word at an early age. She used to play the minister down by the lake at the age of ten, and her sister, Alberta, also known as Bert would be the choir director.
The novel, FAITH – Seventy Times Seven, would demonstrate to the reader the uncountable number adversities that laid in her track for many years in her efforts to become ordained in a “man’s” world. After all the Bible speaks of “He” speaking God’s word, not “She.”
This blog is not here to speak one way or the other about the rights or wrongs of the Ku Klux Klan. It is here today to speak of the Ku Klux Klan during Miss Ada’s early beginnings as a woman minister, as she fought such adversities from an alcoholic and abusive husband and an all-male General Assembly.
One will need to buy the novel to follow her life story and how she found faith and forgiveness as God lifted her up onto his shoulders so many times from being as low as one possibly could have been.
There are several occasions when Miss Ada would hold a revival where she would have the piano, and all the pews moved to the outdoors under a huge magnolia tree near Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. The Reverend Miss Ada Bonds brought to light the true definition of an Evangelical Preacher. Oh, and yes, she introduced the Mourner’s Bench which will bring everyone to their knees as many are converted at each revival!
One of the major supporters of her, as a woman, preaching the word of God, came from Realm 60 of the Ku Klux Klan. At one such revival, they rode into the services, all dressed in white with hoods hiding their identity and gave a sum of cash to help pay her expenses as she continued to spread the word of God.
Without giving a spoiler to the book, it should be pointed out that which many people did not know about the Klan. One of the major supporters of Prohibition in the United States between 1920 and 1933 was the anti-alcohol Ku Klux Klan (KKK.) Indeed, the KKK supported Prohibition vigorously. It even sometimes defended it violently.
Enforcing Prohibition was a cornerstone of the KKK’s reform agenda, and it was time alongside the Reverend Ada Slaton Bonds through so much abuse from alcoholism it is no wonder towards the end of the prohibition era, they stepped up and continued to protect the lady preacher. Enforcing Prohibition was a cornerstone of the KKK’s reform agenda.
Each time the Klan rode into a revival to give their support to Reverend Slaton, they would remain in the darkened outline of the congregation. Not one stop interrupted the proceedings other than to let everyone know the KKK of the Realm #60 supported “pure womanhood,” that which they saw in who became later known as the Mother of All Presbyteries.
It wasn’t long that this novel reached the Top Ten in Christian books and later dropped in the charts. An offer was received to write the script of the story for the silver screen, but writings of other novels in the works occupy the front burner of this author.
A few years ago, a minister from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church attended the 100th Anniversary of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana and asked for a raise of hands of women who were seeking ordination in the church. He brought recognition to the Reverend Ada Caston Slaton Bonds as the first ordained woman of the cloth in Louisiana, one given the title of “Mother of All Presbyteries” and the longest active ordained woman minister in history. He paused a moment and said, Miss Ada, has set the mark high for those wanting to achieve ordination as a woman in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The book is available in paperback, Kindle and also as an audiobook from ACX.