Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 23, 1958
NUMBER 25, PAGE 1,8b

Reminiscing -- No. 1

C. D. Crouch, Lumberton, Mississippi

For full fifty-two years now, I have preached the gospel. I am well into the seventy-fifth year of my life on earth. I have known personally, some of the greatest men who have graced the earth, and I have been intimately associated with some of them. I have never been deluded with the idea that I am some "great one;" consequently, there has been nothing in the way of my remaining humble before God and men. So far as I know I have never been accused of being a "crackpot", a "crank", or a "hobbyist" until recently. I have often times been misrepresented, but I have accounted for that on the basis of having been misunderstood. I recall very distinctly, on one occasion, I preached a sermon on the "New Testament Church." I made an earnest effort to show that it is a divine organism that embraces all Christians, and that all Christians compose or constitute it. After the services, a man came to me and shook hands with me saying: "That was a great sermon; it is just what I believe. If a man is a Christian, it doesn't matter which church he belongs to." I was a "boy preacher" then, and I have been misunderstood a great many times since. But, it was impressed upon me then, that we cannot be too careful about how we present the truth of the gospel.

I subscribed for the Firm Foundation on the day I was baptized. It was offered at the very low price of twenty-five cents to the end of the year. That was July 20, 1904. My name has been on the mailing list ever since. I think I have not missed a single issue in all these intervening years. In the fall of 1904 a cousin of mine donated a year's subscription to the Gospel Advocate. I renewed that subscription when it expired, and kept on renewing, until some time in the early 1930's when I was in such financial condition that I could not continue the same. (At the same time, I wrote Brother Showalter that due to financial embarassment, I was requesting him to remove my name from the mailing list of the Firm Foundation. Instead of complying with my reqeust, he sent the paper to me "complimentary" for a number of years.) I am saying all of this merely to indicate that I have been familiar with affairs affecting the church for more than a half a century. I attended school in a "one room schoolhouse" a few months each year from the time I was five years of age until I was "about grown". After I was "of age" I attended a few months, a school taught by N. B. Hardeman and L. L. Brigance in the Public School Building at Henderson, Tennessee. Following that period of instruction, I attended one term of four and a half months at Potter Bible College, at Bowling Green, Kentucky. That was in the early part of 1907. I was thus in close contact with James A. Harding and T. Q. Martin, and some other preachers.

I also attended a part of the first two years of the National Teachers' Normal And Business College, at Henderson, Tennessee. That was 1908-1910. I was a student there in 1910 when the "Meeting of preachers and Elders" was held at Henderson in January of 1910. I attended every service of that meeting, and some features of it are still vivid with me. At that time "boy preachers" were not supposed to undertake to teach their elders; so, I had little to say — and then only at the urging of some of the older preachers. It was at that meeting I first met J. D. Tant. I recall vividly some of the preachers who were present. Most of them have gone to their reward, but some are still on this side of the "great divide".

Of course, Brethren Freed and Hardeman, Brigance, and W. H. Owen were there. J. S. Haskins, J. D. Tant, A. O.Colley, G. Dallas Smith, J. W. Dunn, Dave Parish, T. B. Thompson, John T. Smith were all there. Some younger men were present who have since become preachers, O. C. Hartsel, Lonnie Pryor, John B. Hardeman, and perhaps both Wiley and Dan Mathis were preaching some even then. T. H. Etheridge was a student there then, but so far as I know had not then determined to become a preacher. It was during that meeting that the church at Henderson decided to put an evangelist in the field, to conduct meetings at points in West Tennessee where the church did not then exist. The Elders of the Henderson church made the decision, and they selected J. W. Dunn to do the preaching. Some preachers and elders promised to solicit help from other churches, said help to be sent to the Henderson elders, to help pay the evangelist. Some of the elders present would not commit the churches where they lived to any definite amount. I recall that one elder promised $5.00 per month, personally, but he would not commit the church to any amount.

G. Dallas Smith wrote a report of said meeting and sent it to the Gospel Advocate. For some reason or other, J. C. McQuiddy did not publish Smith's report. Possibly that was because of the way the meeting had been announced previously, in the Advocate. From the previous announcement made in the Advocate, David Lipscomb had criticized it as "an unscriptural meeting." Dallas Smith sent his report to the Gospel Guide, Joe Warlick's paper in Dallas, Texas. Warlick published the report, and it was brought to the attention of David Lipscomb. He published the Smith report then, in the Advocate and charged that that "was making a missionary society out of the elders of the Henderson church." "The church elders at Henderson constitute a board to collect and pay out the money and control the evangelist for the brethren of West Tennessee, and all the preachers are solicitors for the work."

The Henderson church was not called a "Sponsoring Church" in any of the reports that were made of the meeting. But, in that set-up we have exactly the same set-up that is now called the "sponsoring church." The same principle is involved as we have today in the "Herald Of Truth" set up.

Now the Gospel Advocate is unequivocally committed to the advocacy of the very thing that David Lipscomb declared was the "organization of a missionary society of the elders of the Henderson church." Moreover, the Advocate brazenly brands today all who stand with David Lipscomb on that matter as "hobbyists", "crackpots", "fanatics", etc. And in so doing, the Advocate brands David Lipscomb as a "hobbyist," etc.

C. E. W. Dorris is perhaps the oldest preacher of the gospel in Nashville, and is the able author of two of the Commentaries in the Advocate series of New Testament Commentaries. He stands today where Lipscomb stood on this matter when Lipscomb edited the Gospel Advocate. C. E. W. Dorris is not permitted to write for the Advocate today. He is not a crank; he is not a hobbyist. He is a safe and sane teacher, but he is not granted space in the Advocate to call attention to the Advocate's departure from the truth!!! R. L. Whiteside, next to David Lipscomb, the greatest Bible scholar since the Apostles, was denied space in the Advocate before he went home to be with the Lord. James A. Allen, one time editor of the Advocate, can not be heard through its columns now. John T. Lewis who has been of greater service to the Advocate than any other man in Alabama, when that paper needed his service, is not permitted to have space in it to correct the misrepresentations made of him through its columns. Its present editor has the temerity to call such godly men "hobbyists". And then he can declare that "somebody in the deep south" told him that the young men am going to take over the Advocate!!!!! Was he anticipating the change that "young men" have taken it over already? Well, such is the case, and if Goodpasture has the intelligence that I have thought he has, he knows it has been "taken over" by "young men", and that it does not stand for the principles it maintained in the days of David Lipscomb. And the results are similar to the tragic results when, the "young men" took over Rehoboam.