Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 17, 1960
NUMBER 44, PAGE 8-9b

The "Mission Work" To Be Done In Lexington, Ky.

Cecil Willis, Akron, Ohio

For many years brethren have known of the work of God's faithful saints in the Lexington, Kentucky area. Thus it will come as a surprise to some to know that there is now some "Mission work" to be done in the city of Lexington. We generally associate "Mission work" with areas where the church of the Lord is either nonexistent or is very weak. Yet for several years there has been a strong church in Lexington. Then, "Why is there going to 'Mission work' done in Lexington?", someone may ask.

It is because there is no "loyal" church there. From the Garfield Heights bulletin, Indianapolis, Indiana, we take the following note:

"Brother Basil Overton has agreed to go to Lexington, Kentucky, to build up a loyal church there. Lexington has a population of about 120,000 and is right in the heart of Kentucky's most prosperous area, but there is no loyal church there.

It was agreed in the business meeting that the Garfield Heights church would support Brother Overton in the amount of $100.00 per week during 1960.

It is monumental task for a preacher to establish a loyal church in a city where there is none, and Brother Overton is certainly to be commended for having the courage to move his family to Lexington and undertake the work of building up the Cause of Christ there."

From this bulletin article, one might be led to think that Lexington is virgin territory. But this is not so. For quite some time there has been a church that is strong both numerically and spiritually in Lexington. This church not only is self-supporting, but is able to assist in preaching the gospel in other places also. But the bulletin article says "there is no loyal church there." What is wrong with the church in Lexington, and when did it cease to be "loyal?"

It ceased to be considered "loyal" by some brethren when it refused to take money from its treasury to support human benevolent institutions. And the same brother who says this church is not "loyal" would also declare the congregation to he disloyal if it objected to contributing to colleges out of its treasury. Church supported colleges and church supported benevolent institutions are said to stand or fall together. These brethren in Lexington who are no longer considered "loyal" simply are maintaining that the Lord's church is perfectly capable of attending to every task that God assigned it, and that the church cannot build and maintain human institutions through which to do its work. This position makes this a disloyal church in the judgment of these brethren going into Lexington to establish a "loyal" church. What kind of church are they going to build ? They are going to build a "loyal" church of Christ that believes that the congregation's work consists of subsidizing many human institutions. This makes a church "loyal."

Shortly after this article appeared, Brother B. C. Goodpasture wrote an article in the Gospel Advocate entitled "Sound Church of Christ." He was writing in sarcasm. He states that to some brethren a "Sound Church of Christ " is one that believes in only one class, and that the Lord's supper must be served in a container with a handle on it. I suppose a "loyal church" and a "Sound" church would be one and the same thing. A "loyal" church is now to be defined as one that supports a human institution. This is the kind that is to be built in Lexington, Kentucky.

The institutional brethren have been telling us for a long time that one should not bind a certain method of doing benevolent work. They would have had us to believe that they are content for each congregation to decide how it will attend to its own work. But they are not! The Lexington brethren have decided they will do their work without contributing to any human institution. So what happens? Other brethren suddenly decide Lexington is a mission field. There is "no loyal church there." Why? They refuse to give to any human institution. Now who is binding a certain method? Even if this were a war of methods (and it is not), these brethren would be guilty of that with which they charge us. Lexington church decides to attend to its own work in a way other than "the institutional method (?)." When they did so, they became a disloyal church of Christ.

We have heard a lot of talk about how the "Antis" tear up churches. We are told "Antis" never start any churches; they just tear up already established ones. Of what will this "Mission work" in Lexington consist? Anyone who can see beyond his nose knows what the "Mission work" there will be. It will be to try to pull out as many members as possible from the church already there. And if they succeed in dividing the church already there (which they are hoping they can do), then in all likelihood they will accuse the brethren in Lexington now of dividing the church. Brother Barney Keith (the gospel preacher presently working with the Lexington church) will be charged by these "loyal" brethren of dividing the church in Lexington. When in reality, they are paying a man's support for the specific work of trying to disrupt the Lexington church.

The brethren in the Lexington area know what the purpose is for Brother Overton's move to Lexington. It is not to baptize some people and to start a church. It is not to work with some struggling church already in that city. His purpose is to try to persuade some members to leave the church already there. I said the brethren in the Lexington area know this to be his purpose. Listen to what Brother Charles Brown of Stanford, Kentucky has to say.

"Brethren, I want to introduce you to a new sect, known as The Wrecking Crew, in Central Kentucky. It is chartered by the Garfield Heights church in Indianapolis, Indiana. The commander-in-chief in this area is Basil Overton, formerly of Richmond, Kentucky, who now lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Four churches have been almost demolished by this crew: Corbin, Albany, Irvine and Stanford, Kentucky. These churches were all at peace three years ago, but the commander-in-chief used his lieutenants, and drew away disciples, alienated brethren, getting his purpose accomplished!

...The latest effort of this crew is to wreck the church at Lexington, Kentucky. Brother Overton says, there is no given way or method to care for orphans, but he is going to Lexington to split the church because they do not believe in supporting a benevolent institution, which provides the means and methods to care for orphans. The bulletin from Garfield Heights states that Brother Overton was going to Lexington to establish a loyal congregation. What does it mean to be a loyal congregation? The Catholics are loyal to the pope; the Lutherans are loyal to Luther; so, I suppose a loyal church would mean being loyal to the institutional denomination whose headquarters are at Nashville, Tennessee headed by the Advocate, formerly known as the Gospel Advocate. If establishing a benevolent society makes a loyal church, then the Jerusalem church was not loyal."

The institutional brethren go over the country singing "Oh, don't divide the church over a method," and then they go about dividing it as fast as they can. Remember, there would be no opposition to human institutions if there were no promotion of human institutions. If these brethren want peace half as badly as they talk like they do, let them cease their promotion of these unnecessary institutions, and the opposition will die a natural death. What they mean when they say "We want peace" is that they want us to quit opposing what they are determined to have at all costs.

These brethren have had much to say about fellowship. You can easily see how badly they want fellowship unbroken. Their human institutions are much more dear to them than peace among brethren and fellowship with Christ Jesus. Until they indicate by their actions that they really are concerned with peace and harmony in the Lord's church, their actions at Lexington and elsewhere, will make so much vain and meaningless jabber out of their "peace" speeches.

Any place is a "Mission field" that they think they, by any maneuver, can get their institutions into the treasury of another church.