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Stand up! stand up for Jesus! stand in his strength alone;
He with the King of glory shall reign eternally. Reverend Philips. Now, in this same hymn book is one that we did change slightly, hymn No. 10, "I'm on the winning side." We simply changed that so that we sang it, “We are on the winning side." In that connection I might explain that one of our ladies
. said to a guard one day, who inquired of her about this: “The reason we say 'we' is that there are so many of us." That is the only change made in the song as we sang it.
Senator Gooding (chairman of the subcommittee). All right, you may go ahead and sing it.
Reverend Phillips. The congregation will please sing it all the
I'm on the winning side with Jesus.
Senator Gooding. Are there any more songs that you sang and about which complaint was made?
Reverend Phillip. We used to sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers."
Senator GOODING. Well, everybody knows that song and I do not think it is necessary for us to hear you sing it. The subcommittee will now retire to the grounds. If everybody will just remain in their seats or where they are standing, but clear the aisle so the committee may retire, we wish to go out and take a view from the back lot of which complaint has been made.
(Thereupon the members of the subcommittee climbed the icy hill behind the church to take a view from the point where the striking miners were forbidden either to congregate or to sing hymns. Many members of the assemblage took advantage of the opportunirty to go upon the back end of the lot by accompanying the committee. After viewing the lot and the surrounding territory, the subcommittee again climbed the long and steep outside stairway to the second floor of the church, where the following proceedings were had:)
Senator Gooding. Now, Mr. Phillips. will you please come forward and tell us something about the people assembling in this church and on this lot of which complaint was made?
STATEMENT OF REV. A. J. PHILLIPS, PASTOR OF THE CHURCH
OF GOD, ROSSITER, PA.
Senator GOODING. You might just tell for the record how long you have lived in this community, what your occupation has been, and is now, and so on.
Reverend PHILLIPS. My name is A. J. Phillips. I moved here in June, 1921. I am a miner.
Senator GOODING. At the present time are you the minister of this congregation?
Reverend PHILLIPS. Well, yes; as a community undenominational congregation. It is just a community gathering that we have here.
Senator GOODING. You are not a regularly ordained minister of the gospel, are you?
Reverend PHILLIPS. I am.
Senator GOODING. I mean, that it is not connected with the
Its headquarters are in Anderson, Ind., or at least that is where the publishing house is. We consider our headquarters Above. It is antisectarian in all its phases.
Senator GOODING. It is what?
Senator GOODING. Will you be kind enough to make your statement to the committee in your own way, taking up your observations here, and what you and your congregation have gone through, and just tell the story, making it as clear as possible. The members of this subcommittee are very anxious to have all the information they can get as to the conduct of your services, the interruption of your services, either inside or outside, if any held on the inside were interrupted.
Reverend PHILLIPS. I will make it as brief as I can. In August, 1926, I held my first services here as a Bible reader. I rented this building from the Hungarian congregation. That was at a time when their work was practically abandoned here. I had an opportunity to rent it at a monthly rate from that congregation, to hold services, and I started with Bible reading, with some children, the first two or three Sundays not many responding. Then the people became interested in the Bible reading, and at 6 o'clock Sunday evenings we met. Finally we met outside to have a song service with the children. From that time on until after this strike started in, there was one morning, when they were about ready to go to work, I thought to myself I would walk over and see what was going on in town here. I walked over, and a few days after that Mr. Welsh and I had a conversation out here on the street
Senator GOODING (interposing). Mr. who?
Reverend Phillips. Mr. Welsh, the superintendent. He told me that I could not come here. I said, “Why?”. He said, “You are
' trespassing.”. I said, “Where?” He said, “Right here," and I was standing on the street in front of the building. So I told him I could not see how but that I would find out. So I went down to an attorney and stated the circumstances to him, an attorney at Punxsutawney.
He said, “They can not keep you from going to that church if you are paying the rent for that building. You can go when you please." So then I had also a library, some books that I have yet down there (pointing underneath) and the children at that time were reading quite a few of them.
Senator WHEELER. How many children did you have attending the services?
Reverend Phillips. In the neighborhood of 40 or 50 at the time.
Reverend PHILLIPS. Yes, sir; boys and girls. So when I opened the basement down here, and my library was in the basement, and the young men got to coming here, we would open the door in the afternoon and they would go in and read the books.
Senator WHEELER. What did the books consist of?
Reverend Phillips. Historical and religious, referring to missionaries and things like that. I have some cards, but I do not have any with me just now, but they are down in the basement, and I could give you a record of the books.
Senator WHEELER. Go ahead with your statement.
Reverend Phillips. So then I had a graphophone that I had used in my summer bible school with the children. We got to running that, together with some hymn songs that I had and the boys got to singing. It was then only a few days until some of the young girls got to coming in, along in the summer. Se we got interested in singing, and we took this organ that you see here down into the basement and a young lady came and played the organ. And then it was only a few days more until a congregation came and the people became interested, and we moved the organ back up here.
Senator WHEELER. What year was that?
Reverend PHILLIPS. Along in September of last year. Then they suggested one day: Why not sing in the open air? “Well," I said, "All right. I can't see why we can't.” So we resorted to open-air singing. But we only sang one morning and one evening when the State troopers called out board members and our local officers together in the hotel over here, where they were boarding, and the first thing I knew I got word through our official officer that we must refrain from singing outside. I said, “Why”? They said, “Because singing hymns intimidates the workmen over there." Well, I
Senator Gooding (interposing). Did you sing anything of an intimidatory character?
Reverend Phillips. Nothing but what I sang for you to-day.
Reverend Phillips. No, sir; only such hymns as those. And those are practically the songs that we sang.
Senator WHEELER. For instance, "Nearer My God to Thee"?
Reverend Phillips. Yes, sir. And Onward Christian Soldiers, that was another one. Those were the songs, and there was no change made, except just as I told you awhile ago, and we sang them as they were written. Then after I had considered the matter, I went down again to consult an attorney about it. He says, “To stop
singing religious songs? Why, that is as bad as in Mexico! It is the most unusual thing I ever heard of!" I said, “How about the Salvation Army in Punxsutawney? Isn't it under proclamation or has it been raised?” And then I said, “Don't they still sing out in the open air?” And then I said, “What is the matter with me having an open-air meeting at Rossiter?” He says, “Nothing.'
That was about the middle of the week, and I came back and told my congregation, and of course they all felt good over that. I said, "For my part, I feel like conducting singing outside, too.”. They were all with me. We went outside to try singing there again, and we sang the balance of that week on the hillside. Then I posted notices for an outdoor meeting at the hotel, and they estimated that we had about 1,000 people present. The State troopers came up to me about the time I made the announcement of the first song that we were going to sing, “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow," and just as I announced it the State trooper taps me on the arm and says, "I want to speak to you.” I said, “Just a moment,” and turning to the crowd I said,.“You folks go on and sing the song.' They started to sing, and then the State trooper said to me, “What is the object of this meeting?” I said, "Because the people desire to have a street meeting.” “Well,” he says, “according to my idea it is intimidating.' I said, "Well, if this intimidates these people at Rossiter, or anybody at all in Rossiter, just a few simple songs and prayer, then they better prepare for Judgment, because they will be more intimidated there than here."
Senator GOODING. Did you offer a prayer at the opening and the closing?
Reverend PHILLIPS. Yes, sir; we always did, and in all these services held up here we did the same.
Senator WAGNER. I thought maybe these songs were only to intimidate Senators.
Reverend Phillips. They are not to intimidate anybody-only to make people seek God.
Senator GOODING (chairman of the subcommittee). You may go on with your statement.
Reverend PHILLIPS. Well, now, that was the condition. So he says to me, “Why don't you have this meeting in the church?” I gazed over the audience and then said, “Where is there any church in Rossiter large enough to hold such an audience?" He said, "Go on, then, just so you keep them off the sides of the road."
Senator WAGNER. Just so you keep them off what?
Reverend Phillips. Off the sides of the road. Well, we had that meeting. The next week we began out here the same, and the next, the following Sunday, instead of going to the side of this road we held our meeting in the church, right where it is to-day. We continued for about a week later. Then the first thing I knew, Mr. Malcolm, the sheriff, came with a paper in his hand. I had come over and was ringing the bell, at about 15 minutes to 2 o'clock, and Mr. Malcolm, who is the sheriff of Indiana County, came in and handed me a paper about 15 minutes after 2 o'clock. I says, “What is it?" He says, “Read it and see." I just kind of felt what it was. I said, “Would you be qualified to swear to every statement in that injunction?" He just walked out. He went across the street to where the boys were in the barracks and gave them a round. Some
of the boys said, “Come over and get your license.” I said, “I
" have mine," and that I didn't have time, and I went on to ring the church bell.
I walked over and rang the bell and we had services as before, and went on out and continued the meeting on the outside. It only lasted about a week and a half until they came in with another paper and read it to me, that I had to go to Indiana on the 12th of November because of contempt of court. I says, “I can't see where I am in contempt of court unless singing songs is contempt of court." It said something about inflammatory and hostile songs. sang that kind of songs. We did gather there to sing hymns, but they were certainly not that kind of songs.
Senator GOODING. Did they consider that the singing of “Onward Christian Soldiers” was singing an inflammatory song?
Reverend PHILLIPS. Yes, sir.
Senator GOODING. That might be considered inflammatory in Russia, but certainly not here.
Reverend PHILLIPS. Yes, sir. Well, they were the conditions, and when we went to Indiana we appeared, but I kept on singing up to that time, and the day I went over I had a lady to take charge of our services. So then they thought it would be best, to save us going under bail and all this, that and the other, that we better come inside, and, too, of course the weather was against us at that time. So we have been doing it inside. But they may talk as they please about interference and intimidation, but that was on the other side--Mr. Welsh, Mr. McCarty, Sheriff Malcolm, all the bosses, and what shall I call them? We call them “Pennsylvania pussy foots' and the "pussy foots” strung along this street, in cars, marching along, and in these houses, standing four or five of them, while we were up here singing. Not only that but as soon as we came inside the building we met in the basement during the week days, and they are always out here at that guard house that you saw. I called it something else, something different, but probably you noticed in the paper. And they are there on Sundays just the same as other days, and so was Mr. Welsh around here Sundays the same as other days.
Senator WHEELER. Where is that guardhouse?
Reverend PHILLIPS. The day we went to Indiana, the 12th day of November, 1927, according to my knowledge, for when we came back it was out there.
Senator WHEELER. Who built that guardhouse?
Reverend PHILLIPS. I don't know who built it, but I guess the company must have hauled it there.
Senator WHEELER. Who occupies it now?
Reverend Phillips. The deputy sheriffs and the coal and iron police. They are always there, from half past 4 or 5 in the morning, and they are there Sunday morning and every time, and if they are not there right then they come soon afterwards.
Senator WHEELER. Are they there to guard your church?
Reverend Phillips. No, sir; they guard me. After I go they leave. I stay here until half past 9 o'clock in the morning, and they are still there. I often stop to sweep out after the rest of the congregation