The 1931 volume of the Gospel Advocate contains a smattering of references to a Nicholas Dimitry, who was touring churches around the country in 1930-31 attempting to raise support for a small congregation in Baghdad. What follows is a note from Foy E. Wallace, Jr., that explains Dimitry’s situation to the readers of the Advocate. The whole thing sounds so very contemporary, which is why, I think, it caught my attention. That … and the Birmingham connection.
For some months Brother Nicholas S. Dimitry has been laboring to raise funds to provide a home for the church in Bagdad, Irak [sic], Mesopotamia. This congregation consists of about fifty or sixty Christians, refugees from Persia, who fled to Bagdad to escape massacre at the hands of the Turks. They were converted in Persia under the preaching of the Yohannans, and now they are looking to the churches in America for assistance in their efforts to establish a permanent church in Bagdad. Brother Dimitry, giving himself unselfishly to this cause, asks nothing for himself. He desires that all funds be deposited in a Nashville bank for the Bagdad church fund and forwarded to a bank in Bagdad that will make proper delivery of the funds there.Churches should take pleasure in making possible the success of such worthy efforts as this. Brother Dimitry has just received a check for twenty dollars from the West End Church in Birmingham, Ala., and other churches should respond as readily and liberally. Until arrangements are made for the elders of some congregation in Nashville to take charge of this fund, Brother Dimitry will receive the funds personally through the Gospel Advocate office, and all receipts will be acknowledged. Let us build the church in Bagdad.