Going the Extra Mile

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June 18, 2018

When Dr. Norval Hadley first called me in April, he wanted to know how long it might take for Barclay Press to turn a draft of his memoirs into a book. I thought we could get it done in six to eight months. Dr. Hadley – who turned ninety in March – said he wasn’t sure he could wait that long. So we pushed all our other projects to the side and finished the book, Going the Extra Mile: Adventures with God in Seventy-Five Countries, in just under seven weeks.

Raised on a prune farm in rural Oregon, in a family with deep religious roots, Dr. Norval Hadley thought he might be a pastor someday. But after the farm boy and his friends won a barbershop harmony contest, everything changed. That foursome is remembered as the world-famous Four Flats, and in 1956 the quartet signed on with World Vision. They appeared with Billy Graham, performed on the ABC radio network, and led two evangelistic tours of Asia. Dr. Hadley made his way around the world, working with World Vision, Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, Evangelical Friends Mission, New Call to Peacemaking, and the National Prayer Committee. In this collection of recollections, Dr. Hadley tells the story of how his decision to follow God no matter what took him into seventy-five countries and on a lifetime of adventure.

On how the Four Flats came to be:

“One day, Pop Knight, a part-time professor and dorm parent, invited everyone who was interested in singing in a male quartet to gather in a certain room and break into foursomes. When everyone had chosen their groups, there were four of us left whom nobody wanted, and we formed what became the Four Flats Quartet.”

On an early preaching experience:

“In grade school I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Severson.... She asked us to give a speech, I think in the fourth grade, and I preached a sermon on hell. These days I would probably be hauled into the principal’s office and told I couldn’t do that, but she didn’t scold me. Rather she invited me to give that same sermon to her ladies group at church.”

On unicycles and evangelistic meetings:

“When we pulled into northern Canadian or Alaskan villages where they had no streets, just board sidewalks, I would ride my unicycle through town on those boardwalks. When I got back to the ship, a crowd of kids would be following me. We would then announce our meeting.”

Click here for more information about Going the Extra Mile: Adventures with God in Seventy-Five Countries.

During his twenty-eight years at World Vision, Dr. Norval Hadley was an assistant to the founder, Dr. Bob Pierce; to the second president; and to the director of U.S. Ministries. Dr. Hadley also served as Director of World Vision Relief and as Director of Prayer Ministries. He later administered Friends mission work in more than seven countries as Executive Director of Evangelical Friends Mission. Dr. Hadley is a founder of the New Call to Peacemaking, a national cooperative movement of Friends, Brethren and Mennonites; and a member of the National Prayer Committee.

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $30,375 by July 1, 2018. As of this morning, we have raised $26,960 in gifts and pledges.


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