Benjamin Young was born in 1855 near Kirksville, Missouri. The family moved to Kansas in 1871. He filed a homestead claim near Liberty, Kansas in 1875. His first wife died a year and a half after their marriage and he remarried in 1884 to Elizabeth Burkhart (sister of Levi Burkhart).
Benjamin Young was converted when he was twenty-one years of age, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Angola, Kansas. He had become a successful rancher by 1892 and well known in the community and that year he went to a revival at the Emmons school house. He didn’t like what was being spoken and he stood up in that meeting and told them they were Methodists and he wanted the minister to preach Methodist doctrine. The preacher told him he was “preaching John Wesley Methodism, and if you knew the truth, the truth would make you free.” That night Young was under conviction and he repented of his outburst and a few months later, while mowing in his field it seems he described the presence of God falling on him in that hayfield.
Benjamin Young went from ranching to preaching. He was forty years of age when he joined himself with the holiness movement. In 1895 he was elected as President of the Neosho Valley Holiness Association which was later named The Fire Baptized Holiness Church, serving in that capacity until he died in 1920.
It was a desire of his heart to open an orphanage in Montgomery County, Kansas and when a farm was found that was suitable for the endeavor, he mortgaged his own farm to buy it. He died before the orphanage was opened, but he had asked Claude and Neva (Davidson) Dodson to move to Kansas to farm the property. They arrived there in December 1919. Claude farmed with a team of horses and Neva helped with the home for the orphans. The Dodsons lived on the property with the matron and children for three years before returning to Missouri.
The Davidsons and many others of the community were part of the Holiness movement and Doyle’s grandfather, Luther Davidson, his uncle Floyd Davidson and his aunt Neva Dodson are mentioned in Elliott Hodge’s testimony: The Sanctification of Elliott Hodge. During Doyle’s years growing up and attending Redwood Holiness Church, Elliott Hodge and Levi Burkhart ministered there from time to time and he never forgot them. March 2012 we found Elliott Hodge’s testimony which led to more information about the Fire-Baptized Holiness movement and the Davidsons involvement.
Compiled by Kathryn Currier
Water of Life Ministries
Source: The History of the Bible Holiness Movement by Cecelia Luelf Douglas and Ruth Smith Taylor; Doyle Davidson/Water of Life Ministries; The Sanctification of Elliott Hodge.