Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 18, 1959
NUMBER 7, PAGE 6-7,13b

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, Box 80, Florence, Alabama

News From Here And There

Denver J. Niemeier has moved from Somerset, Kentucky to work with the church in Mooresville, Indiana .... Carl Vernon has moved from Taft, Texas after three years there, to labor with the South Flores St. church in San Antonio, Texas . . . . Douglas Davis is moving from Cleveland, Mississippi to Honolulu, T. H., to labor with the church in that place .. . . Albert Robinson is now working with the church in Wilmington, Ohio .... George Estes is to move from Kirkwood church in St. Louis, out to Ballwin — which is twelve miles out from where he has been — to help start a new congregation. He is in need of financial support . . . There are a number of preachers — good, solid, able men — who are ready and anxious to go into new fields if they could but find some church willing to support them. It is a shame that such a situation exists, but it does. We are not doing what we should along this line. We need to rise to the occasion and provide the support for any and every faithful man who is willing to go into a new field either in this country or elsewhere. I know of several men who need such support. Do you know of any congregation which can and will help in any of these cases? If so, please advise and I will put you in touch with the men who are ready to go . . . . Harmon G. Caldwell, Jr. has moved to Moundsville, West Virginia, where he will labor with the church. He has been with the Huffman church in Birmingham for the past three years. The Moundsville church is a tower of strength for the truth in that area . . . . GOSPEL TRUTH is the name of a new mimeographed paper published once a month by the church in West Columbia, Texas, with H. Edward McCaskill as the editor. It contains some good material and is sent free to all upon request. Send request to the editor . . . . WITH ALL BOLDNESS is the name of another new paper edited and published by Robert Atkinson, Bill H. Reeves, and Bobby K. Thompson, all of Miami, Florida Somehow I have only received number 2, but if all the issues are like it this will be an excellent paper and will stand firmly for the truth on all issues. The three men above are faithful and able men, and do a good job writing. (I hope that one of them will read this and see that I get all issues of the paper!) It is sent free, I presume, to all who desire it. Address: Box 37-24, Miami 37, Florida. ... THINGS OLD AND NEW IN RELIGION is the name of a good book which has recently been re-published by The CEI STORE in Athens, Alabama. The book was written by Hoyt Bailey and contains thirteen chapters, dealing with the contrast between thirteen different things — old and new; such as, Old and New Covenants, Old and New Churches, Old and New Names, etc. It is designed for class work and would make a very good study for any group. It sells for 75c in paper binding and $2.75 in cloth binding. I recommend the purchase and use of this book. Order from the Gospel Guardian Company . . . . Hugh Davis is to move from the work with the 77th St. church in Birmingham around August 1. He will move to Winter Haven, Florida and labor with the Lord's people there. He has been with 77th Street for four years and has done an excellent work .... Roger Hendricks, who is presently with the Haynes St. church in Dayton, Ohio, is trying to raise sufficient support to assist in preaching the gospel to the Spanish-speaking people on the Mexican border. There is a great need for some faithful men to assist in this work. So far he has not been able to raise enough support. Can some church help him? Address him at 620 Bowen St., Dayton 10, Ohio . . . . I know of a number of good men who are desirous of making a change in locations. This is the season in which most men make changes in their fields of labor; and I am sure that where there are children involved it is best to make the change during the summer vacation. As I have said before, I am not interested in running any kind of "preacher placement agency", but I am always glad to help any good preacher find a place to preach or to assist any church in securing a sound man. If there are any churches needing a preacher, I will be glad to advise concerning those I know about who are interested in moving. Will be glad to help in any way that I can. This business of changing preachers every year or two seems to be a "necessary evil" that has grown up among us. Churches and preachers are the victims of this vicious circle. It is a situation that has been spawned as a result of the wrong attitude toward preachers and their work; and from the ever-present tendency toward the denominational pastor system and professional clergy. More than many are able to realize we have been influenced by such. Where preachers and churches have the right attitude and understanding of the work of the Lord, and where both are interested in doing the Lord's work as they should be, changing preachers never solves any problem nor helps any place. Preachers should be able to live and labor in one place for years and do effective work. Churches ought to desire to keep the right kind of man for as long as possible. The longer a preacher is in an area, the better able he is to do what should be done and to wield the influence that he should. Preachers should be allowed to do the work of preachers and they ought to be kept busy doing it. (In recent editorials in the FIRM FOUNDATION, Reuel Lemmons has done some very good writing along this line; and I take this means of commending the articles to both preachers and churches.) Some churches want a professional clergyman, a first-class promoter of projects and plans for social and recreational Affairs: a personality, rather than a gospel preacher! They are always shopping around hoping to get a better man for such a task. Then there are preachers who are always on the lookout for some "greener field" (meaning more GREENBACK quite often!) and they have their bids in at every place possible! The thing gets quite disgusting at times and it is past time that all of us were doing some down-to-earth thinking about such a situation. Some churches are too demanding of preachers and try to measure their work by the same pattern that a secular business weighs its employees. These churches think that the preacher belongs to them and he should do as he is told! He is being paid to do their work for them and they expect him to deliver the goods by himself! They want a professional visitor and church nurse maid. They think that he is the "flunkey" for them and he is the one to blame and "move on" if things do not go just as they like! Then there are some preachers who need to be "moved on." They are too lazy to do anything. I sometimes wonder what some preachers do with their time. They preach twice on Sunday and teach two classes each week and that is it! They do but very little real studying. Preachers need to be kept busy PREACHING! Churches ought to work with them in keeping a program set up so that these men can be busy doing such. Preaching is WORK and it is the WORK that preachers are required of the Lord to do. If more churches would get straightened out on what the preacher is to do and they would really work with him in doing it, they would find that it is not necessary to change preachers — just do YOUR part in working with him in preaching the gospel to the world! . . . . In May it was my joy to work with the Grand Avenue church in Chicago in a ten-day meeting. This was my first visit to this city and I was deeply impressed not only by the size and beauty of the city, but more especially by the opportunities there for preaching the gospel. There are more people in that area than in the whole state of Alabama; and yet 99% of them have never even heard a gospel sermon. My spirit was "stirred within me" as I beheld the city wholly given over to idolatry and error. Yet what can be done? How can they be reached? Grand Avenue is a fine congregation and they stand solidly for the truth. They have come a long way and this church is the main hope for the cause of truth in that city. Most of the members are from the South and they are young, able, energetic men. Harvey Williams is laboring with them and he is as solid and steady as they come. This church has a bright future and will do much toward reaching the masses in that area. When in Chicago be sure to worship with these people. There are several other good, sound churches in that city and the immediate area; but some of them are small and struggling. Yet they are making progress and the future looks bright. The faithful preachers in that area are putting up a real battle against digression from within and error from without. May God richly reward their labors . . . While in Chicago someone mentioned to me that it had been estimated that there are around 2,500 members of the church who have moved there who never darken the door of a meeting house! Just think of that! Think of this number of erring and lost souls and then think of the potential for good that such a number offers if they were only faithful to the Lord and His cause. Most of this 2,500 have come from the South and it but points out how badly we are failing to really "root and ground" people in the truth. They represent the weak and unfaithful — the Sunday morning crowd — here, and up there they completely quit. This should help to remind us that not only are we to seek to save the lost, but also it is vitally necessary that we strive to keep the saved saved!

A Worthy Example

The following is taken from the bulletin of the Thomas Blvd. church in Port Arthur, Texas:

"On Wednesday evening, May 27, Bro. B. M. Laird announced to the congregation that the estate of Sister Goldie Richardson had been settled, and that the church had received approximately $7,600 from her estate. He said this money had been deposited in a special account. Every penny of it will be used for the supporting of another full-time man in gospel preaching . . . ."

Now I like the way the above sounds! It has the ring of devotion to the truth both on the part of the sister who left this money to the church and the church for determining to use it for the stated purpose. It is refreshing in our day to read of one leaving a legacy to the church! Most of the time people leave what they have to some college or benevolent society; if they do not leave it to their own relatives. The colleges and benevolent societies are really stepping in to claim all they can get from both the living and the dead! There is much more earthly honor when human institutions get what we have. They are ready to court your favor, elect you to the board of directors (if you really have anything much of this world's goods) and maybe name some building after you, if you will just give your money or property to them! What a shame that Christians show more concern and love for the creations of men than for the church of the Lord and the salvation of souls. Anytime someone makes a substantial gift to one of the colleges it will be played up big in the GOSPEL ADVOCATE, CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE and/or the FIRM FOUNDATION! Such they conceive to be real news and worthy of the plaudits of men. But those who give what they have while they are living to the church and for the preaching of the gospel, and leave what they have when they die for the same purpose, go by un-noticed by the masses and the promoters among us. They receive no fan-fare and they have no earthly monuments erected in their honor. But what do they care? They know that to reach one soul with the truth is to erect an ETERNAL monument to their credit and it is put down on the ledger of the Lord as they "lay up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." Brethren, there is a real difference in giving to the Lord's work and in giving to build and sustain the institutions of men. Oh, that we could all really learn the difference!

Greener Pastures (?)

The following is taken from the bulletin of the 77th St. church in Birmingham and it was written by Hugh Davis in connection with his leaving there to move to Winter Haven. I like the ring that it has and it offers a fitting tribute to a grand old soldier of the cross — John T. Lewis. It also gives us an insight into the true status of the church in Birmingham. Read it.

"Last Sunday announcement was made from the pulpit of my decision to leave the 77th Street church to labor with the church in Winter Haven, Florida. The Lord willing, the move will take place about the first of August, which will round out four full years with one of the finest churches to be found anywhere. When preachers move by their own initiative they are sometimes accused of looking for greener pastures.

"Preachers, who are set for the defense of the gospel against the plague of promotionalism and liberalism which is sweeping through the churches to leave them withering in spiritual destitution, would have a difficult time in finding a greener pasture than the Birmingham area. While it is true that here and there the green has yellowed out, considered as a whole, it is a virtual oasis of hope to the weary pilgrim who refuses to drink the bitter waters of digression. In some cities, where the Lord's people are supposed to number many and where meeting houses with "Church of Christ" written over the door are easily located, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a local church where one who loves the old paths can enter wholeheartedly into the worship and work. This is not true of Birmingham. How thankful we should be for so many churches which are dedicated to following the New Testament pattern in all things. One of the reasons this is so green a pasture is because it has been nurtured and nourished through the years by soldiers of the cross like bro. John T. Lewis. He has devoted a lifetime of instilling a love of truth and cautiousness against error into the hearts of those who were willing to listen. Birmingham is blessed with a host of loyal preachers who fearlessly preach the truth and with a multitude holding up their hands while they do it, because they love to hear it so....