Robert W. Childress, Sr.
The Man Who Moved A Mountain was first published as a hardback edition in 1970 with a second printing in paperback in 1972. Thirty years later the book remains in print, a testament to its continued popularity. This book is about my grandfather, the Reverend Robert W. Childress, Sr.
Bob Childress was born in Patrick County, Virginia in 1890. His parents were poor and uneducated as were many of the people living in the region at the time. He grew up in an environment where brandy was god, for it was brandy that made life bearable. When he was fifteen, he earned his first five dollar bill from cutting timber. He walked seven miles to Mount Airy, NC and bought an Iver Johnson .32 caliber revolver for two dollars. The next five years of his life were spent mostly "as a heller." Much of the time he was either getting drunk or sobering up. But one day, after several hours of gambling and drinking, he found himself at a church revival. He never knew how he got there, but when the altar call was given, something inside urged him to answer. As he knelt, there was no sudden revelation, only peace.
Although his life did not turn around completely that night, it was the beginning of a transformation that would lead to his decision to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. Not an easy task for someone with a seventh grade education and a family to support. The events that transpired during the course of his remarkable life truly demonstrate that our God is indeed an awesome God!
Throughout the years many people who have read the book have commented on what a great man Bob Childress was. They are impressed by the impact he had on people and say he won many souls for Christ. But my grandfather would be the first to say that he personally never won a single soul for Christ, it was the power of the Holy Spirit working through him. Without that power to sustain and guide him, he would not have had a fruitful ministry. The beauty of this story is that it demonstrates how God uses ordinary, seemingly insignificant people, to accomplish extraordinary things. To learn more about Bob Childress and a project in progress to preserve and continue his ministry go to www.buffalo-mountain.org.
Written by Rev. Stewart Childress, grandson of Rev. Robert W. Childress, Sr.