Meet Dr.Lemuel Grimes
"Founder of the International Tract Ministry"
The following article covering Gospel Tracts appeared in the Heritage Newspapers, a weekly newspaper that is published in downriver Michigan communities.
grimes09.gif (31003 bytes)In more than 30 years of placing Biblical tracts in Downriver doors, Dr. Lemuel Grimes figured he had walked enough miles to go around the world at least once.

Determined to "get the word of God into the homes," he passed out 100 nondenominational Gospel Tracts six days a week.

He went to 35,000 houses every year.

Dr.Grimes estimated that he had covered more than 25,000 miles — the circumference of the earth — since he began his door-to-door ministry, and had reached his goal of placing a million pieces of Gospel literature in a million homes.

Dr.Grimes, who founded Riverview Baptist Temple in 1953 and International Tract Ministries in 1960, went out in all kinds of weather.

Sometimes he was stopped by police officers, suspicious of his presence in their towns , Dr.Grimes said.

Occasionally, a resident, upset at finding unsolicited pamphlet in his door-way, had an unkind word for the minister. "The hardest thing is to take it when someone cusses you out," Grimes said. "One time a man, yelled at me to come and take the tract back. I did it. "Mostly, people are pretty nice, but I have fought a few dogs. I'm more afraid of dogs than people."

Dr.Grimes tended to win people’s trust quickly. "He had an innocence about him that was very disarming,"

Through every adversity Grimes said he had kept putting Gospel Tracts at doorsteps with one goal in mind — convincing sinners of their need for salvation through Jesus Christ.

Dr.Grimes also included tracts with payment in every envelope he mailed to utility companies and placed the inspirational message on every car in every shopping center he and his wife visited.

He was all over the parking lot."The Gospel Tracts, which vary with the seasons, contain questions, such as, "Would restoring a relationship with someone who loves you make you merry?" Each question is answered with Bible verses.

"I have no way of knowing how many have been saved (by reading the Gospel Tracts)," Grimes said. "The Bible says God's word will not come back void. But you have to sow the seeds. I know you'll have a harvest if you sow the seeds."

Today, those "seeds" go all over the world.

Back in the early l960s, while Grimes was serving as pastor of the Riverview church, another preacher, Dr. Fred Garland, convinced him to place advertisements in Christian periodicals offering 1,000 Gospel Tracts, as the Lord would provide, to anyone who agreed to pass them out.

When Grimes retired from full-time ministry some years ago, he became a member of the Downriver Baptist Temple in Lincoln Park, Michigan. The church provided him with office space for the Gospel Tract ministry.

"Sometimes churches request them (the Gospel Tracts) and give them to missionaries. So only God knows where all those Gospel Tracts are going."

In his door-to-door ministry, Grimes, a Tennessee native who came to Michigan with his wife in 1953 to enroll their young son in a school for the deaf, said that he visited the same houses every two-to-three years.

His work took him to neighborhoods that stretched from Melvindale to Flat Rock and Romulus to the Detroit River. He started just before sunrise and finished in an hour, and covered about three miles.

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