In conjunction with our current exhibit, “The book will be preaching after you and I have gone home”: Marshall Keeble’s Print Legacy we’ll be featuring blog posts contributed by our student workers to provide expanded content on the “Fellow Workers” pictured in Biography and Sermons of Marshall Keeble, Evangelist.Today’s post on O. L. Aker was researched and written by Sandrine Ingabire. Sandrine is a Senior Global Studies major from Kigali, Rwanda. She has been working in Special Collections for over a semester now. She is interested in international development focused on small businesses and empowering low income people through providing them with opportunities to make an income. She loves writing and hopes the skills she gains while working in Special Collections will transfer to her career in the future.
Oswell Lamor Aker was born on a farm in Commerce, Georgia. He received his early school training in and around Commerce. In 1917, he married Nancy F. Tisdale from Limestone, Alabama, who was a student at Walden University in Nashville, Tennessee. He attributed his success as a minister to her as she encouraged and supported him in his ministry. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for thirty years.
Aker was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church when he first heard the gospel. Marshall Keeble’s teaching was central to his understanding of the gospel and Aker was converted. He had only been ministering in the Church of Christ for four months when the brethren in Florence, Alabama were impressed with him and encouraged him to work with Marshall Keeble. One of his strengths that people admired about him was his encouragement and support for people who were going through a hard time. He was also a very good and close friend to Marshall Keeble. Some people compared their relationship to that of Jonathan and David.
He served in the Church of Christ for sixteen years. During his ministry time, he was able to baptize over six hundred people including seven preachers and one bishop by 1945. He served in the following congregations: St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, Houston and Waco, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, Montgomery and Florence, Alabama.