Seeking The Pearl
                                                      Literally Following A Scriptural Injunction
                                                                    Atlanta Ga. July 25, 1887
                                                                       New York Times
There is a little colored church on the Green’s Ferry Road, leading out from Atlanta, midway between the Chattahoochee River and Sweetwater Creek, the congregation of which is now in a perturbed condition. The church sits back from the road about 200 yards in a native forest grove, with paths running out from it in all directions to the various settlements around. The brethren are Primitive Baptists, greatly interested in the true mode of entering the water and zealous for the washing of feet. Lately there has sprung up in the congregation a powerful exhorter named Simon, who is an industrious farmer, was in the field weeding the cotton when all of a sudden the Scriptural injunction, “Seek and ye shall find” took complete possession of him. That night he could not sleep for thinking of it, and next day, which was foot washing day in the little church, he appeared there bearing a very solemn look. He announced that he had a very important charge to deliver; that the Christ had commanded sinners to seek and they should find; that search should be instituted to the abandonment of every other duty.
While he was speaking the Governors Horse Guards of Atlanta passed by, on their way to Camp Grady, in Douglas County. The sight of armed men on horseback, so unexpected and never witnessed there before, had a thrilling effect on the worshippers. Brown referred to it as a Divine manifestation, and urged his hearers to seek at once, and not stop until they had found the pearl of great price. For 10 days the members of the congregation have left plows idle and houses empty, walking around, and looking in the hidden places for the treasure. Efforts have been made by the farmers who need the work of these people to get them to return, but it is useless. They declare that unless they find religion they will be lost, and that the only way to find it is to look for it without ceasing. The woman are wilder than the men. They go down in old wells and fish around to see what is in the bottom. They turn over stones and logs, look under houses, and even during the long hours of the night strange figures carrying lanterns can be seen moving about in the forest which fringes the Chattahoochee looking for the unique object of their search.
Brown is looked upon as an oracle, and every evening about sundown the superstitious people gather about him to listen to his latest revelations. Yesterday one of the white citizens threatened to have Brown tried for lunacy, with the result of nearly losing his life. The maddened worshippers declared that he was an agent of the devil who sought to destroy the peoples faith. There appears to be no diminution of their zeal.
1913 Postcard