Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 18, 1963

No More Grider-Totty Debates

A. C. Grider

I thought I would never hear the last of that "outlandish proposition" I signed with W. L. Totty back in March. But I was wrong. I have already heard the last of it. Totty has backed out. He isn't going to meet me on it. There will be no more Grider-Totty debates. Totty, like Woods, is through. He has had enough. He won't even meet me on that proposition HE wrote which he didn't think I would sign. He said if I would sign the propositions I could come to Garfield Heights (where he preaches) and debate them without obtaining an endorsement from my brethren. But now he has backed away.

Here is the situation. Totty and I signed propositions covering only the Orphan Home question for debate in Monroe County, Kentucky. Dudley Ross Spears handled my part of the negotiations. After worrying with Totty for more than six months trying to get him to furnish him a copy of the endorsement he claimed to have, and failing, Spears withdrew from the affair. Then Totty came forward with a document signed by six men purportedly from the Pleasant Hill congregation. (It is not likely, I am informed, that even these six men, to say nothing of the rest of the congregation, would attend a debate in Monroe County.) Up to that time I had never talked to anybody in Monroe County about a debate. I am not acquainted with conditions in Monroe County.

Totty said in his bulletin, dated April 7, 1963, "Since then I have learned that there are several churches in the county who are not only willing but anxious to endorse me to meet Grider." And in a letter to me dated May 6, 1963, Totty said, "I am endorsed by the Pleasant Hill church of Christ and the church in Tompkinsville." (Emphasis mine, A.C.G. Totty indicated he sent a copy of that May 6th letter to the church in Tompkinsville.) Thus with Totty endorsed all over the place, I wrote the brethren at Grandview Church in Tompkinsville and told them what Totty had said. They wrote back and said they would be happy to engage in a debate with the following stipulations:

1. The debate would cover both the benevolent and and sponsoring church work, and 2. The church in Tompkinsville would endorse Totty.

I thought surely, since Totty had just completed a six night debate involving the two questions in number 1 and since he said Tompkinsville endorsed him that we could move forward with the plans for the debate. But Totty writes back and says he will furnish only his "six-man" endorsement. Thus there is no chance of a Grider-Totty debate in Monroe County. But that's not all. Totty says he won't debate me at Garfield Heights (on the "outlandish proposition") until we debate in Monroe County, Kentucky. Thus "Weeping Willie" (he whimpered all through our last debate about how he was being vilified) seeks to wriggle out of debating me again

When Totty extended me the invitation to come to Garfield Heights to debate he didn't predicate my coming on another debate somewhere else He thought he had written such a prejudicial proposition that I wouldn't sign it. Nor did he indicate that we would have only one night to each proposition. When I crossed him up by signing a proposition that gave him a tremendous advantage he was "in a pickle." He quickly cut the debate to one night to each proposition. I would have thought he would have wanted two weeks to "work me over" on that proposition. But, not only did he cut the debate to two nights; he also predicated it upon debating somewhere else first. In other words, as I told him, he won't debate me at Garfield Heights until he debates me in Monroe County, Kentucky. And he won't debate me in Monroe County!!

Totty has already done all the "dirt" he can do in charging us with letting babies "eat out of garbage cans like cats and dogs" Totty has already done all the "dirt" he can do in charging us with letting children "starve to death." I can whip him with the truth and he knows it — even on the "outlandish proposition"!

I am not going to waste another stamp on Totty. If anybody else wants to arrange debates between us, I will be there and I will take care of Totty. Perhaps somebody wants to contact the church in Tompkinsville and see if they DO endorse Totty or if he was lying when he said they did. He acts like he was lying for he won't enter into negotiations for a debate with their endorsement. Remember the Grandview Heights Congregation in Tompkinsville says it will endorse me to meet Totty in Tompkinsville IF we debate both the benevolent work and the sponsoring church work of the church, and IF the other congregation in Tompkinsville will endorse Totty. I say, if somebody wants to pursue the thing further and can get Totty on the ground I will be most happy to be there to meet him. But, I have concluded that Totty is side-stepping that debate so he can side-step the one at Garfield Heights. And I have no more stamps to waste on him. But let the record show that Totty invited me to Garfield Heights, that I accepted his invitation, and that he is backing away — in fact has already backed away.

— Meridian, Mississippi