Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 1, 1957
NUMBER 13, PAGE 8-10a


Guy N. Woods

(Editors Note: We offer apology to our readers for imposing on their patience with the lengthy correspondence herewith following; but it has been the policy of the Gospel Guardian to give space to any sincere brother in Christ who feels he has been misrepresented in her pages. Brother Woods has asked us to publish his letters, and we are happy to do so. Fairness and Christian courtesy dictate such a course.)

Memphis 12, Tennessee 3584 Galloway Avenue

June 11, 1957 Yater Tant

Lufkin, Texas Dear Brother Tant:

Your letter of June 8, came to me lately in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I am presently engaged; and it is obvious that it is addressed primarily to your readers of the Gospel Guardian, and only in a secondary sense to me.

I presume that you have some regard for truth; and if so you will at least ponder the consequences of publishing straight-out falsehoods in the light of the following:

(1) You have published a statement that I have had "many, many" meetings cancelled, whereas, I have received four letters from as many places advising me that the meetings were cancelled because of my position. These were Center, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, Columbus, Georgia, and Tigrett, Tennessee. Waxahachie, Texas cancelled a meeting with me for 1958, because they thought I was scheduled for 1957 and wrote asking me to submit a date for the 1957 meeting, which I could not do. Cisco, Texas wrote me that financial conditions — because of the drought — made it impossible for them to have the meeting, and mentioned they hoped to have me with them later. So far as my recollection extends, these are all the meetings I have had cancelled FOR ANY REASON for a long time. Your statement was, therefore, false; it was designed to leave the impression that my work was being cancelled wholesale, and was intended to reflect seriously on me. (I should have included Port Arthur, Texas — reason given: conflict of date, with a statement that it was not a reflection on me as a preacher)

The truth is, Brother Tant, you have condemned the idea of quarantine, but your cohorts have tried industriously to work it. Are we to understand from your injection of the matter it is now to be the rule?

(2) Your attempt to make it appear that I have changed my position as expressed in the following statement: "There is no place for charitable organizations in the work of the New Testament church." Or, in the following: "The church is the only organization authorized to discharge the responsibilities of the Lord's people. When brethren form organizations independently of the church to do the work of the church, .... they are engaged in that which is sinful." May I say to you sir, that I have never had occasion to question either of these statements; and that I believe them with all of my heart. YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, that it is my contention that the HOME is not the church; and that it is not the work of the church to supplant the HOME. Why don't you tell your readers this, instead of attempting to convey the false impression that I question the all sufficiency of the church? Did YOU question the all-sufficiency of the church when you wrote Foster Ramsey about 1951 that you believed Tipton home to be scriptural and that you would defend it?

(3) You say, Brother Tant, that you "have read the letters of cancellation some of these places wrote you; and I am aware of the vicious letters you have replied to some of them, telling them that they were 'not fit to be elders', etc." Brother Yater, are you completely without regard for TRUTH?

I have answered ONLY ONE of the letters I have received cancelling meetings because of this issue; and the letter is here before me as I write. It contains nothing remotely hinting at the phrase you use. Am I to understand that you wrote the foregoing statement with an eye to your readers, and with the design to make me look bad in their view?

The definite impression I receive from your letter is that you gloat over the fact that some meetings of mine have been cancelled. I am sorry always when any situation arises causing alienation. However, it is no handicap to me when such cancellations occur. I receive about 100 invitations a year; I can conduct only about 30 meetings. I have a waiting list of places which have asked me for dates in the event of cancellations; and, many of these places want me because of my fight against hobbyism in the church. So, if you feel that the time has come to bring your ultimate intention into the open, I think you'll find that no one has been deceived by your claims.

Why would a private letter such as Brother Totty wrote you, and involving matters of my own affairs have been published in your paper, unless you saw in it an opportunity to reflect on me? Your cause must appear to you very weak to justify such procedure.

If you publish your letter of June 8, to me, I hope you have the decency and respect for truth to publish this along with it.

Faithfully yours Guy N. Woods

June 19, 1957 Mr. Guy N. Woods

3584 Galloway Avenue Memphis 12, Tennessee

Dear Brother Guy:

I have your letter of June 11, which you desire published. It did not reach me in time to be published in the same issue with my letter, to you, of June 8; but I will give space to it in a later issue. I hope the time will never come when sincere brethren, who honestly feel they have been misrepresented by the Gospel Guardian, will hesitate to ask for space to give their side of the matter.

Furthermore, to be completely fair to you, I will be glad to publish the full text of the letter you wrote to the brethren at Tigrett, Tennessee. Since you deny having written such a letter as I was told you had written, if you will send me the letter you did write, I will publish it. That is fair, is it not?

You accuse me of falsehood in my having said you were having "many, many" meetings cancelled, and demanded that I name the "half dozen" to which I referred. Did you think I could not do so? When I named them for you, you admit a cancellation from each place. Well, you may take exception to my expression "many, many"; but so far as I am conceited, one cancellation over the present issues is too many. And, much as I regret to see it happen, you will undoubtedly receive further cancellations. I know of some being discussed right now; and in view of your tremendous backlog of meetings, I can hardly conceive it possible that I know of all cancellations and discussions of cancellations relative to your work.

As to whether you have changed your convictions or not, it seems quite probable that you are unconscious of any change. Indeed, Brother James Adams wrote an article about such some months ago in which he described the "unconscious metamorphosis of a self-confessed hobbyist". Perhaps you recall the article. Suffice it to say that the humble brethren who are cancelling your meetings simply aren't able to follow the involved and devious ratiocination by which you arrive at your conviction that the various benevolent organizations among us are "divine institutions".

If decency and respect for truth" require that a brother who feels he has been misrepresented be given space to set forth his version of the matter, would you say the Gospel Advocate measures up to such "decency and respect for truth" in her present policy ?

Sincerely yours in Christ, Yater Tant

(Editor's Note: Brother Woods denies having written the Tigrett elders that they were not fit to be elders. He accuses us of publishing "straight out falsehoods" and says his letter contains "nothing even remotely hinting" at the phrase we used. We offer whatever apology may be due Brother Woods for putting our phrase in quotation marks. He accuses the Tigrett elders of "deliberately lying", of having "espoused hobbyism", of having cancelled his meeting "because you are afraid the congregation will learn of your unfaithfulness," and of "having ceased to be faithful to the cause." It was our conclusion, and not Brother Woods' specific statement, that he regarded them, as "not fit to be elders." Does he think such men ARE fit to be elders?

The Tigrett letters were supplied us by the Tigrett elders and are published with their consent.)

Church of Christ Tigrett. Tennessee

Feb. 18, 1957 Mr. Guy N. Woods

Memphis, Tennessee Dear Brother Woods:

This is to inform you that we have decided to release you from the scheduled meeting date of July, 4th Sunday, 1958. The church here has decided on other arrangements.

We are sure this will not inconvenience you in as much as the date is some 15 months away.

Yours very truly The Elders, Tigrett congregation

Feb. 27, 1957 The Elders

Tigrett Church of Christ Dear Brethren

I have your letter cancelling a meeting promised to you some years ago, offering no explanation on your part, and with the assertion that you are "sure this will not inconvenience" me, since the date is some months ahead.

No, it will not "inconvenience" me at all. I receive approximately 100 invitations for meetings each year, and can conduct only about 30 meetings; and I now have 15 meetings scheduled ahead; so I'll have no trouble placing the time where it will be more appreciated than by you.

However, faithful elders who desire to do what is right do not take such action without explanation. You have tied up my time for approximately three years or so; and now, arbitrarily, you cancel it without offering any justification for your actions whatsoever. Such a course is neither honorable nor ethical, unless you have sufficient grounds; and if your motive is for the good of the Cause there, you will not hesitate to answer the following questions:

(1) Why have you cancelled this meeting ?

(2) Who influenced you to this end ?

I shall expect your reply by return mail. I hope that you will recognize your obligation to supply me with your reason for such, and not make it necessary for me to go to the expense and trouble of coming up there to see you personally.

Sincerely yours Guy N. Woods

March 1, 1957 Mr. Guy N. Woods

Memphis, Tennessee Dear Bro. Woods

In answer to your questions of Feb. 26:

1. We cancelled your meeting here because you might desire to repudiate the elders here as in Paragould, Ark. We heard tapes of the debate as secured by our local preacher, Bro. Thurmon.

2. As to who influenced us to take this action. The answer is Guy N. Woods.

You can save yourself of both the trouble and expense of coming up here.

Yours very truly The Elders

By B. M. Green Memphis 12, Tennessee

March 8, 1957 Elders, Tigrett Church of Christ

Tigrett, Tennessee Dear Brethren:

Had you merely stated that I repudiated the Paragould elders, I would have supposed that you had been listening to hobby-riding preachers, and would have simply felt sorry for you for allowing yourselves to be deceived; but, when you mention that you have listened to the tapes of the debate, I know there is no deception, but that you are deliberately lying about it.

Further, I learn that you have espoused hobbyism; and, of course, you do not want me for a meeting, because you are afraid that the congregation will learn of your unfaithfulness!

Bro. Gus Eubanks, is still a faithful elder of the church in Paragould, and I did not repudiate him. The other two men have ceased to be faithful to the cause and to the people who selected them, as apparently you have there. When I was invited for this meeting, YOU BELIEVED AS I DO. I still believe the same way! Too bad that you have allowed yourselves to be misled. And, of course, your group always wants BOTH sides heard, doesn't it??? ?

A day of reckoning will come for you, you may be sure.

Sincerely yours