Tillman B. Pope, Box 217, Alma, Ark., April 10: "I am now in a meeting with the DeQueen Blvd. Church in Port Arthur, Texas. I shall close the 23rd. W. A. Holley is doing a good work here.
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I begin at Spearman, Texas, April 30. Have time for one meeting in June, and one in July."
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George E. Darling, Hale Center, Texas: "Our spring meeting with Joe Banks preaching, and George E. Darling leading the singing, resulted in nineteen baptisms, and two restorations.
This was accomplished, in spite of the fact that every sect in town started a meeting in opposition to ours. This proved to be one of the best attended meetings ever conducted here."
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Oliver C. Cunningham, 2811 Creswell, Shreveport, La., April 19: "Thomas D. Rose, formerly with Creswell St., and now with Southern Avenue of Shreveport entered Mayo's Clinic on April 18 for examination and possible surgery...
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Howard White of New Orleans begins a gospel meeting with Creswell, June 18."
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Howard Casada, Booneville, Ark., April 15: "We have baptized six in our regular work here in the past three weeks. Two of these were sanatorium patients, and the others were baptized in our regular services at the Third St. congregation here in Booneville.
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The sanatorium work is moving along nicely. We are receiving an abundance of gospel literature for distribution in the sanatorium. Carrying on six services per week and attending to daily visitation in the sanatorium keeps us busy. It is an enjoyable work though.
Be sure and write us if you know of anyone in the sanatorium here whom we might render a service. Pray for the work here, and pay us a visit if you chance to pass this way."
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Thomas E. Scott, Box 101, Terrell, Texas, April 19: "From April 2 to 12, the Terrell congregation conducted a meeting with Don Hardage, of De-Land, Fla., evangelist. The attendance at these services was far above that which was expected. Interest was good throughout the series, with the best crowd of the meeting at the last service. Eighteen were baptized. The sermons presented by Brother Hardage were concise, clear, and positive.
The husbands of four Christian women were included in the number baptized."
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R. D. Simmons, 441 Clark Dr., Corpus Christi, Texas, April 14: "The brethren used me in a meeting at Mercedes, Texas, February 20 through March 1, with six restorations, and two baptisms. Interest in this meeting was high at the close, so I was invited back to spend ten days with them beginning March 27. D. C. Williams has done a good work there in the
last two years. My next meeting will be with the Bishop Church, beginning May 22.
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Our work here at Furman and Staples has made much progress since we began our nightly evangelistic program. In the last two months we have had sixteen baptisms, one restoration, and seven to place membership."
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Dr. C. B. Billingsley
As one of the elders of the Park Hill Church, of Fort Smith, Ark., I am happy to announce the following discussion: From May 9-12, Ward Hogland, minister of the church here, is to engage Dr. J. W. Kesner in public debate. Mr. Kesner is widely known in this section, having preached for the Central Baptist Church for nineteen years. He has a daily broadcast here and is heard from coast to coast over a station in Mexico. Mr. Kesner is experienced as a debater and has hundreds of loyal supporters in this vicinity. The Central Baptist Church was established largely through the efforts of Ben M. Bogard.
Bro. Hogland needs no introduction in this section of the country. His debating speaks for itself. Both in his preaching and debating he stands for the truth with power and persuasion. About four months ago, he met Burt F. Marrs, President of the Church of God, (seventh day) Publishing House at Stanberry, Mo. As a result the progress of this "sect" has been greatly curtailed, and a number have been converted.
The propositions for this debate are based primarily on "faith only" and the essentiality of "water baptism." The primary reason for Bro. Hogland renewing his challenge was the publication of a book entitled, "Campbellism Exposed." The discussion will begin at the Baptist meeting house, 910 No. 7th St. This building will seat about twelve or thirteen hundred. This is a discussion that the church in this section has looked forward to with great enthusiasm. We believe this promises to be one of the greatest and most influential discussions ever conducted in this section."
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BROTHER PRICE BILLINGSLEY Carl A Gardner, Ft. Worth, Texas, April 15: "About ten days ago Bro. Price Billingsley was brought home from Beaumont by some of the brethren. He had been in a hospital there for a week. Upon reaching home (or about an hour before), he became unconscious and remained in that condition many hours. It was suggested that heat be applied to his feet. The party who administered the heat did not know that the hot-water bottle was so hot and when he returned to consciousness, the pain became very severe. The physician pronounced it a third degree burn. He seems positive it will be three months before Brother Billingsley can be on his feet.
During this long period he must be on the bed. He will greatly appreciate letters from the brethren.
I have been to see him a few times, as have many of the brethren here, and I know his condition to be serious. He is cheerful, and enjoys his friends. Those who wish to write him may send mail in care of his daughter, Mrs. Roberta Hazelwood, 4017 East Rosedale, Ft. Worth 5, Texas."
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Jack L. Mackey, Box 573, Welasco, Texas, April 13: "F. B. Shepherd of Sweetwater just closed a very fine meeting with the church here. Eleven were baptized.
We believe the work in Welasco has gone forward since we came here in September. William H. Reeves is now supported by this congregation to work full-time among the Latin-Americans in this section."
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T. R. Bankhead, Cascade & Lewis, Wenatchee, Wash., April 18: "Our first meeting since my arrival, in September 1949, closed on the 16th, with six baptisms. Two others will complete their obedience in this way at the midweek service tonight. I. E. Wilkerson of Tacoma preached in a firm and devoted way. He is a soldier unwaveringly set for the defense of the truth. All feel that we are strengthened for greater work."
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Willis G. Jernigan, Box 416, Spur, Texas, April 20: "The spring meeting here came to a close last night. Yater Tant preached and accomplished his mission well. Four responded to the invitation, all heads of families, two baptized, one restored, and one placed membership. One of the baptized had been a member of the Baptist denomination for many years. Brother Tant was invited to return to Spur in April, 1951."
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Rufus R. Clifford, Old Hickory, Tenn., April 19: "Crowds are large and interest high here. We had 711 in Bible study last Sunday. Herman Moody and I began a meeting in Martinsville, Va., last night. Charles F. Scott is the local preacher."
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Murray Marshall, Box 83, Melrose, N. M., April 20: "Luther Savage of Velma, Okla., recently closed a week's meeting here at Melrose. A fine meeting. One was restored."
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H. F. Sharp, Box 213, Blytheville, Ark., April 22: "Brethren in Blytheville are supporting C. R. Nichol in a mission meeting at Timbo, Ark. May 15-23rd. This is in the beautiful Ozarks. If you plan a vacation about that time of the year why not plan to spend the time at Mt. View, Arkansas, a short drive to Timbo, and attend the meeting as well as having a pleasant vacation. The church in Blytheville is sending me to direct the singing in the meeting."
Time To Renew
Now that the Gospel Guardian has been promoted to sixteen pages, with the quality of its contents headed in the same direction, bigger and better, no one can afford to overlook renewal time. Tell a friend about the increase in size. If there are only two figures on your label the last is the month the second the year. If your paper misses before your time is out write promptly for it will probably be impossible to supply back numbers later.
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Bob Craig, who preaches for the Huntington, Texas, Church, baptized two on Sunday, April 16.
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Lufkin Activities, Plans
Activities of the Groesbeck Church Lufkin, Texas, for the summer months will begin with a meeting, in which Roy E. Cogdill will preach, May 3 to 14. From that beginning, there will be meetings in progress, in or near Lufkin almost continuously, in which Cled E. Wallace and Bill Thompson, ministers of the Groesbeck Church, will preach. Included in the plans, however, are a Vacation Bible School, following the close of the public schools, and a meeting to be conducted by C. R. Nichol, Clifton, Texas, in the church building. Some of the meetings will be conducted under a tent owned by the Lufkin Church.
Practically every family in Angelina County receives Ancient Landmarks, through the courtesy of the Lufkin Church. The radio is used extensively. Two services are broadcast each Sunday, beginning at 8:30 A. M. and 6:00 P. M. In addition to this there is a fifteen minute broadcast, daily and Sunday, beginning at 7:30 A. M. Persons living in and near Lufkin can hear a gospel sermon practically every night during the summer months. Practically complete coverage is obtained from three angles, radio, gospel literature, and public preaching.
Details of the summer program will be given as the season progresses.
Luke Miller, one of the outstanding colored evangelists among us, has been working under the Lufkin Church since early in the year, and will be engaged in meetings throughout the year.
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The Herty Church, just outside the city limits of Lufkin, near the Southland Paper Mill, baptized three last night, April, 23. Another was baptized April 9. Wilburn Whittington, Paris, Texas, will be with the Herty Church in a meeting June 18 to 28. He will begin preaching on Monday night, June 19, and continue to the close. Brother Whittington is well known in this section, having once lived in Lufkin.
Luke Miller begins a meeting at Livingston, Texas, tonight.
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After several years of mission work in Colorado, 0. M. Reynolds is now preaching for the congregation at DeLeon, Texas.
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The meeting at Nacogdoches, Texas, will close Wednesday night, April 26, conducted by Willis Kreager, St. Augustine, Texas. Several have been baptized. George T. Jones preaches for the Nacogdoches church.
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Luther Blackmon, Rusk, Texas, began a meeting with the Holcomb Avenue Church, in Mobile, Ala., Sunday, April 16. Walter Henderson preaches for that congregation.
W. E. B.
It was during the depression of the early thirties. The problem had grown until there was an average of three beggars per month who appeared upon the front seats, ahead of time for the hour of worship, inquired who were the elders, and one by one told them their hard luck story. Although a few leading questions, for which they were well prepared, were asked, the invariable outcome was, they departed with a few dollars of the money of the church.
They did not ask for a gift, be it far from them. It was merely a loan they sought. The mounted ones invariably had car trouble, which had exhausted their funds. They were always at the wrong end of the line. Usually they had a job at home, and merely wanted to borrow enough to get home. They would send the money back promptly. The other alternative was, they had a job awaiting them elsewhere, and were trying to get to it.
The treasurer of the church was a practical man. He had been complaining about these "loans" that never came in. The only sure way as one of the elders whose business address made him available, had of getting rid of the beggar, put me in the bad graces of the treasurer. I finally studied the question rather painstakingly, and reached the unanimous conclusion that there was no problem involved whatever, and never had been, if we had only acted with intelligence.
The following Sunday, with the remedy fresh in mind, there were two beggars very much in evidence. They talked with me one at a time, and I in an unusual mood, gave an unusual answer: "We are going to have a meeting at 3 P. M. today on that matter." I was sure that they would detect the note of sarcasm. Whether they did or not, they were present when the afternoon meeting opened, looking as innocent as pet calves.
The gist of my speech was this: "For fifteen years this congregation has been helping those in distress along their way home, or to some point where they have a job awaiting them. These "loans" have totaled hundreds, and the amount of money involved had touched thousands. Needless to say, there has never yet been a single loan repaid, and probably would not be, if we continued the practice fifty more years. I have turned this matter over in my mind, and viewed it from every angle I could imagine. They have almost invariably said that they had heard Foy E. Wallace, Jr., and N. B. Hardeman preach. That information is not difficult to obtain. They may have a list of one or two leading preachers in every religious group.
"It boils itself down to this: if any member of this congregation, regardless of his standing were stranded in a city some distance away, he could call one of the elders of this congregation collect, and explain his predicament. We would send him the money to get home, and we would not want some church in that distant city to do it. I feel sure that other congregations would feel the same way about it. So where is any excuse under the sun for a stranded member of the church, which they all claim to be, to lay his case before a church that knows nothing about him?"
Another brother made a similar speech, and it was unanimously agreed that all of the members of the church be advised not to give anything to any such person, until the matter had been passed upon by a committee of two who were appointed at that time, the two being the brother who had backed me up, and myself.
We were having an average three per month, and the depression was getting worse every week. That committee never functioned! We went right on through two or more years of depression, without a single such visitation or application being made! Beggars may not have a regular organization. I am sure their meetings are informal and accidental. I do not know of any group of people on earth, however, that cooperate as closely, and know their business as thoroughly as they. The fact that there were two of them present at that meeting explains why the committee never had to function. Beggars keep informed.
Many people repeat the slogan, "I had rather help ninety-nine unworthy cases, than to turn away one worthy one." So had I, but will somebody please tell me where I can find odds of that kind? The congregation of which I was a member had handled hundreds of cases, and the exception had never shown up. About the time of that experience I read an article in one of the leading magazines of the nation, in which the author told of his experiences in working with beggars. One experience he had had was finding useful employment for that many beggars. He said that never yet had any beggar worked as long on a job as thirty days! Moreover, in all of his experience in various phases of reform and help for beggars, he doubted that he had ever yet handled one single worthy case!
Where the odds appear to be somewhere in the vicinity of ten thousand to one, it is doubtful if it is worthwhile to look for that one. It would be about like the proverbial needle in the haystack. This is a matter of professional beggars, of course.
There are millions of worthy cases in the world, but there are few, if any, of them cast in the role of professional beggars. If a worthy case finds that he must beg, the danger is that once he has tasted the easy money, he would not turn back if he could. My logic says that against odds of ten thousand to one, it is foolish to give any consideration to professional beggars, at all; but sometimes my heart gets the upper hand of my head, and I pay. When that happens I just congratulate my heart, and let it go at that.
My heart and head agree upon one point: The most difficult thing in this world to do is to help people without doing them more harm than good. Worthy cases have to be sought. They do not even meet you halfway. Sometimes they have to be helped indirectly or anonymously. There is, on the other hand, no more instant, complete, and lasting earthly reward than in helping one another. If you have read the 25th chapter of Matthew recently, you also know that that is not the end of the matter.
Preacher Available For Meetings
The San Bernardino Church is happy to announce to the brotherhood the completion of plans which make it possible to furnish an evangelist for gospel work in places where financial support is not available in full. John W. Wilson, well known and effective preacher, has been employed for full-time work. It is planned for Brother Wilson to assist any congregation where he may be called, accepting such support as is available, and being guaranteed his full support by this congregation. If it is deemed the part of wisdom, he may be kept in a place for a longer time than a meeting would demand. The Central Church of Los Angeles has agreed to furnish Brother Wilson one half of his support in this work. He will move to San Bernardino, hold membership in this congregation, and be subject to the elders of this church. We feel fortunate in securing him for this work and can assure all concerned that the gospel will be proclaimed fully and effectively by him in every place where he may be called. We will be glad to have calls from any place in the state and especially in Southern California. Churches in near-by states will also be included in this program according to the judgment of the elders. Requests may be sent to the church in San Bernardino, 1354 Mt. View, or to Central Church, 2305 West 12th, Los Angeles. The program will get under way as soon as Brother Wilson can be relieved of his work in Venice, and an itinerary can be mapped. We shall do all we can to send him to you when you want him, but will have to plan his work as systematically as possible.
Elders, San Bernardino Church
Send On News
Because of changes there have been times when we did not have enough news, and there have been other times when we could not print all the reports that came in. Meanwhile some news stories ran out of date. Now that the size of the Gospel Guardian has been permanently enlarged, there will be ample room for the reports from the brethren—that is, for some time to come. You can help us to render a more efficient news service by sending on the news. The time may be fairly soon in combing when the news will have to be briefed to carry it all; but we will work on that when we get to it. Right now, the need is more reports. For your cooperation in the coming weeks, we thank you.
Many words of encouragement have been included in communications from the readers concerning the Guardian that has been. Now is the propitious time to subscribe, or renew, as the Guardian is to be better and more of it.
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Wesley said it
"When I was young, I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half as sure of most things as I was before. At present I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to man."