Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1967
NUMBER 28, PAGE 4-5a

"When Thy Summons Comes"


That summons is coming to each of us. The one about which William Cullen Bryant wrote in his "Thanatopsis";

"So live that when thy summons comes to join

The innumerable caravan, that moves

to the pale realms of shade, where each shall take

His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night

Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed

By an unfaltering trust, approach they grave,

Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

On Friday evening, August 4, that summons came to James A. Allen, faithful gospel preacher for sixty-eight years. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 21, 1884, and died in the same city more than eighty-three years later. Baptized at the age of thirteen, he began preaching the gospel of Christ when but fifteen. Married in 1924 to Louise Grimes of Franklin, Tennessee, he is survived by Sister Allen and their daughter, Mrs. O.W. Bobo, Jr., of Topeka, Kansas.

Brother Allen was one of those fortunate saints whom the Lord gives strength and labor right to the last. He worked at his desk until mid-afternoon of his last day on earth, went home feeling as well as usual, made a call or two later in the afternoon, and felt normal in every way until about meal time. Some pain was felt in the chest then, but not severe... After dinner however, the pain grew worse. Taken to a nearby clinic he grew steadily worse until death brought relief some four hours later. Funeral services were conducted by Rufus Clifford, with the scripture reading by J.C. Shacklett.

For seven years (May 1923 until August, 1930) Brother Allen was Editor of the Gospel Advocate. (Which journal, incidentally, devoted eight lines to his passing — in miniscule type, on the inside cover of the back page!) He edited that paper with such able assistants as F.B. Srygley, H. Leo Boles, F.W. Smith, M.C. Kurfees, and E.A. Elam. After his work with the Gospel Advocate ended, Brother Allen edited his own journal, Apostolic Times, from 1931 until 1954. The late R.W. Comer, deeply consecrated to the same Christ whom Allen served, became very interested in Apostolic Times and for many years had every package of merchandise going out from this large mail order house (The Washington Manufacturing Company) carry also a copy of this paper.

James A. Allen is gone from us physically; but his influence will live in the hearts and lives of those who know him. We salute the passing of a noble co-worker in the cause of Truth.

Also answering the last roll-call in recent weeks was the beloved Carl C. Broyles, devout and humble Christian, long time friend, and faithful elder in the North Park congregation of Abilene, Texas. After an illness of five weeks he closed his eyes in the final sleep on Sunday, October 1. It was the steadfast and unyielding stand of this great servant of Christ which, more than the influence of any single man, kept the fine North Park congregation from being engulfed in the tide of liberalism and digression which swept most of the Abilene churches under the murky waters of apostasy some dozen years ago.

The persecution this man (and the church in which he served) endured at the hands of erstwhile "brethren" is almost too fantastic to be believed. But through it all he maintained a calm and untroubled faith in Christ — and in his brethren. He felt they had been "stampeded" into false and untenable extremes, and felt neither bitterness toward them nor for himself because of their opposition. This writer was a frequent visitor in the Broyles home and found there always an atmosphere of unfailing kindness and charity toward others. Carl Broyles exemplified in his life the finest qualities of a truly godly elder in the Lord's church.

It has been this editor's privilege, in more than forty years of preaching all over the nation to know many hundreds of fine and faithful elders in the congregations of Christ. Five or [sic] than forty years of preaching all over the nation to know many hundreds of fine and faithful elders in the congregations of Christ. Five or six of them seem, in memory's retrospect, to stand very tall as exhibiting in their lives the truly great qualities of godliness and leadership which marked them as scriptural overseers-Andy T. Ritchie, Sr. of Neely's Bend, Tennessee, Dr. C.B. Billingsley of Fort Smith, Arkansas, L.L. Estes of Oklahoma City, and Carl Broyles of Abilene. There have been many others, of course, equally devoted to Christ, and equally qualified. But these stand out in the thinking of this writer. And Carl Broyles was not a whit behind the greatest of them.

Funeral services for Brother Broyles were conducted by Arvid McGuire, present minister at North Park, and O.B. Proctor who was preaching at North Park at the time Brother Broyles became an elder. Surviving him are Sister Broyles and a daughter, Mrs. Aileen Moore.

While we sorrow at the death of these two great men, our sorrow is softened and made easier by the confidence we have that their farewell to those of us who are left behind was the kind Paul had in mind when he wrote the Philippians "to depart and be with Christ... is very far better.'