Paul Rader, the ex-pugilist missionary, had been drawing crowded audiences in Belfast this week in 1930 reported the News Letter.
Not your typical American “hot-gospellers”, Rader was a man who was both restrained and refined in character; above all, Rader was described as “a very sincere in his mission”, noted the News Letter.
His days in the ring were recorded on his face and even now and again as he spoke or was emphasising a point his hands and arms it was seen that the boxer sought to escape from the preacher man.
Speaking to a packed audience at the Assembly Hall in Belfast and the paper’s reported was impressed by Rader’s every movement and how his every word was listened to eagerly by the audience.
Rader told them how to deal with sin and the devil.
He said: “There is a bridge between sin and iniquity and God and that bridge is what you will. Every time there is a revival it is announced in hell that a new gunboat has been built to blast hell from another direction. God opened up a new shop and offers to make new men out of old men. Jesus is the attorney who straightens out your legal worldly tangles and adjusts matters between you and the devil.”
Many people thought that to be saved they would have to give up smoking and drinking and going to shows to which Rader replied: “Don’t you believe it. God wants you – pipe and all.”