" .... And Fear Not Their Fear....I Peter 3:13-17
On the editorial page of the May 31, 1962, issue of the Gospel Guardian, the editor called attention to the withdrawal letter sent out by the "St. Andrew Church of Christ" in Panama City, Fla., to the two families who had left this church to establish a congregation that would follow the New Testament pattern in the organization, work, and worship of the Lord's church.
On the dates of May 14-20, I had the pleasure of working with these brethren in a gospel meeting. Bill Lambert, who is the faithful gospel preacher laboring with the church in Fultondale, Alabama, joined me in this effort and did an excellent job leading the singing.
The charge was brought against these brethren that ....they object to care for orphans and cooperation among brethren." The letter from the "St. Andrew Church of Christ" did not mention one passage of scripture, and it did not bear a single signature. The charge made against these brethren was not only an absolute falsehood, but we almost shudder at the ungodly and malicious tactics that brethren will use in an effort to smear and discredit the brethren who oppose their unscrupulous and unscriptural schemes. From the charges made, we readily recognize, as did the editor of the Gospel Guardian, that these brethren opposed church contributions to human organizations and the unscriptural cooperation involved in such projects as the Herald of Truth, and this is just exactly what they did oppose! They were literally "in the hair" of the liberal brethren in the St Andrew church and this false and malicious action was merely an effort to make them look as "low-down" as possible. Yet after all of this treatment, these two families "...fear not their fear...," and they are ready and willing "....to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear..... I firmly believe that these brethren will be more abundantly bold to speak the Word of God without fear.
Brother Lambert and I made it a point to go and discuss these matters with C. C. Arquitt, the preacher of the St. Andrew church. He would not admit in the least that the charges made in the withdrawal letter were false and he let us know in no uncertain terms that he would do everything possible to oppose and hinder this new work. He refused to have a public discussion with me on these matters and I am firmly convinced that this is the "last thing that he wants"! We also had opportunity to talk with several other members of the St. Andrew church and also of the Springfield church. Some of these brethren treated us warmly, but others had been warned not to have anything to do with us and not to attend the meeting. Fear has become a powerful weapon of the liberal brethren, and they do not hesitate to use it freely. If they can keep brethren ignorant of the truth on these matters and afraid to go and listen to It preached, then they have accomplished their purpose. I only hope and pray that brethren in the Panama city area who condone and support these unscriptural practices will open their eyes, lay aside their fear of men, and turn back to the New Testament pattern in all things.
The Lord's church now exists in Panama City Beach, Florida, free from all human schemes and practices unknown to the New Testament. These brethren have rented a small building at 9714 W. Highway 98, which will seat about 30 people. They are making plans to buy property and build a meeting house just as soon as possible, the Lord willing. I am more than happy to have had a small part in their effort, and I heartily commend this church to any brethren living or visiting in that area.
— Birmingham, Alabama