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Rev. Wyatt G. Montgomery Goes to Egypt, 1922

By JIM

In 1900, Z.T. Williams, and Elder of the Christian church (and still a partner in the Wheat & Williams General Store at Montpelier), made an extended sojourn through the Holy Lands.

Several year later, Wyatt G. Montgomery, a fellow Adair Countian and minister of the Christian Church, then pastoring in Pulaski County, KY, followed in Z.T.'s footsteps. The Adair County News dated February 28, 1922, quoting from a recent edition of the Somerset Journal, commented that he planned "to sail from New York [on] March 8th with a company of about twenty ministers for a three months' visit to the Holy Lands."

Nearly three months later, the May 18, 1922 edition of The Commonwealth (Somerset, Ky.) carried a lengthy, undated letter from Rev. Montgomery in Egypt, in which he spoke of the first leg of the journey, mentioning that the SS Arabic, the ship the men had been aboard for 24 days, had dropped anchor in the bay of Alexander, Egypt, on Sunday, April 1st.


At Alexander, the group soon boarded a special train which carried them to Cairo, a distance of about 130 miles.

From April 2nd through the 4th, their tour guide took them to several places of historical and Biblical importance in and around Cairo, including the ancient city of Heliopolis, to where (among other events of great interest to group) Joseph & Mary had fled with the young Jesus to escape Herod's murderous campaign. Here he wrote, "I drank out of the well where Mary and Jesus drank..."

They also visited the pyramids, the Sphinx, and the "tombs of the Califs of the Kings." Of this, Rev. Montgomery allowed as to the rulers had believed the fine mosques they'd had erected would perpetrate memories of them forever, but, he wrote (perhaps in moment of cultural unawareness), "the people who worship in them are ignorant and filthy, and have a small outlook on life."

The men of the cloth entrained late the afternoon of April 4th bound for Luxor, Egypt, where they arrived the next morning and were served a breakfast of "chocolate, tough bread, and eggs." Over the next few days, the group went a-calling at a multitude of sites, including "the old temple of Luxor, or Thebes, the seven-gated city which was begun about 2,000 B.C.," and "the great Kasnak [sic; Khonsu] temple erected to the Moon god...Words fail to describe this temple." He also noted they visited the burial place of King Ramses II, "who treated Israel so cruelly..."

He closed the letter by saying, "Our party is well but it is very hot in the desert, but we are starting back to Cairo tonight, 500 miles north, and from there on Sunday [April 8] 300 miles north to Jerusalem so we hope to have it cooler soon."

Quite possibly, the trip was planned so the men could spend Easter Sunday (April 16 that year) in Jerusalem, just as Z.T. Williams and his cadre of fellow travelers had done in 1900.


Rev. Montgomery's letter may be viewed in its entirety as it appeared in The Commonwealth at pulaskilibrary.advantage-preservation.com.


This story was posted on 2022-02-27 11:09:50
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