Ernest Ira Reveal
1880 – 1959
Rescue mission superintendent, E. I. Reveal, the oldest of twelve children, was born in West Virginia. He left school in his teens to join his father in the contracting and bricklaying business. Gifted in this work, he prospered; however, this prosperity did not fill the void in his soul. He was converted on January 24, 1904, and soon began attending a Presbyterian church whose pastor proved to be a real friend to this new Christian. He grew rapidlv in grace, entered into church activities, and was made an elder in the church.
In March 1919, he was ordained a minister by the Presbytery of Indiana. His call to rescue mission work came during a convention of rescue mission workers at the Mel Trotter Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Reveal learned that several pastors and laymen were interested in beginning a mission in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana. This proved to be a direct answer to prayer, for this had been on his heart for some time. From humble beginnings the rescue mission grew until the work operated not only a well-equipped modern mission in downtown Evansville, but also a summer camp outside the city.
During his entire ministry, Reveal was a monument to the grace of God. Being a cripple with one leg in a strong brace did not in the least deter him from his God-given task. Living in an atmosphere of prayer and fellowship with the Heavenly Father for forty years, Reveal “prayed in” the funds that sustained and provided the means of expansion for the mission. The records of the mission show hundreds of conversions. Of these, many who are now ministers, missionaries, and laymen were brought to Christ under Reveal’s ministry.
As a speaker Reveal was earnest, though not eloquent, practical, though not polished, preaching the Gospel in language men of the rescue mission could understand. A deep love for Christ and a compassion for the spiritual and physical needs of the underprivileged prompted Reveal to spend much of his life in prayer.