Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1967
NUMBER 28, PAGE 7b-8


Fanning Yater Tant

"A little child shall lead them." Spending a night in Columbus, Mississippi, last month I happened, quite by chance, to park a few minutes in front of the First Christian Church building. A big metal plaque before the building informed me that this congregation was: "Founded, 1839, through efforts of Talbert Fanning and David Lipscomb..." That was quite instructive — and amazing. For one thing, Fanning always spelled his name "Tolbert" never "Talbert" and David Lipscomb, born in 1831, was eight years old when he helped found that congregation! I was so bemused by the plaque (which was erected by the Mississippi Historical Commission in 1966) that I made me up a little poem about it. It goes like this:

'Blessings on thee, how you rate!

Barefoot boy with cheeks of tan.

You start a church when only eight;

Little Dave, you're quite a man!"

Suicides. San Francisco has the nation's highest suicide rate. Among other reasons cited for this are: "Its people as a whole are harder drinkers, older, lonelier, and more socially disorganized than residents in other cities." The American most likely to take his own life, says a study recently made, is a white Protestant professional man over 50 years of age who is not poor, who is widowered or divorced has no children, and lives alone in a hotel in a large city on the West Coast. The American least likely to commit suicide is a young Negro mother with a large family who has little education and lives in poverty in a rural area of the South. Three times as many men kill themselves as women; and a white person is twice as likely to end it all by self destruction as is a Negro.

From C.P. Roland of Freed-Hardeman College: "I have just finished reading the biography of your father, Brother J.D. Tant, and enjoyed and profited from it. I think you did an excellent work, and although I had known him personally and had heard much about his life and work, I appreciated him more after reading he book. I hope many young preachers of our time will read it to be impressed by the need for greater sacrifice, courage, and dedication in this age when there is a tendency toward making preaching the Gospel a profession." (We still have a few copies — less than 100 — left from the first printing of J.D. Tant - Texas Preacher. Price is $4.00; the next printing will be higher. Order from Gospel Guardian Company.)

IMPAC. "I have read the ads for IMPAC and am impressed with the value of such a program. But since I am on the go so much, it would be hard for me to use the Bible recordings very often. If they were on tape, however, I could listen every day while driving. Is it possible to get them on tape? Has the response to this study program been favorable? I would like to see it in every home." Raymond Shackleford, Oneonta, Alabama. Answer: Even now plans are 'being made to put the entire course on tape. As soon as the finished product is ready announcement will be made about it. YES! The response has been highly favorable. IMPAC represents an entirely "new dimension" in personal evangelism — and brethren are tremendously impressed with its potential! It is completely different from anything that has been done before, and different from anything (and everything) now on the market.

Total Commitment. Seems like some of the brethren are getting the idea that I am emphasizing "total commitment" in my preaching a bit more than I used to. That's right. That is what the Lord meant when he said, "with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." Well, the other day when I was in a meeting at North Birmingham church, Sewell Hall drove down one day from Athens and brought me a cartoon which he said he thought I'd enjoy. It shows a hen and a fat hog standing before a restaurant which advertises a breakfast of "Ham and Eggs." Says the hen: "Look, Mr. Leen - we're in business together! Just think! We're making a contribution to the Gross National Product, and all that stuff!" Next panel shows the fat pig jumping in consternation. "Come to think of it," squeals the porker, "you are making the contribution — I am making a TOTAL COMMITMENT!"

Togetherness. Do you get a feeling of frustration when some loud-mouth, leather-lunged basso stubbornly stays three or four beats behind the song leader? I heard one the other day — and it ruined the singing for me because I kept remembering the old story about a visitor at a certain service who whispered to his neighbor and asked, "Who is the irritating lady who is determined to lie down in the green pastures while the rest of us are already beside the still waters?"

Tuned in. Hear the story about the beatnik who accidently (it would have to be an accident) wandered into church one day, and on the way out, complimented the preacher; Said the hippie, "You were swinging today, Daddy-o; man, you were way out. You turned me on." "What was that again?" inquired the man of the cloth, knitting his brow. "I mean," amplified the cat, "I dug your jive; I read you loud and clear. In fact, I vibrated so to your tune I put the big fish in the bag." "Ah," beamed the happy rector as he pumped the hippie's hand, "cool, man. Cool!"

Richmond. This page is being written from the home of John Nosker in Richmond, Virginia. What a lovely gracious home to visit; and what a comfort to know of men like John Nosker who live and work in areas where sound churches are all too few! He is an elder in the West End Church in Richmond (where Cecil Cox is the preacher) and stands as a towering influence for the truth in all this area. May his tribe increase.

God loves me. The story is going around about a fifteen-year-old boy in one of the orphans' homes who had an incurable stutter. It was agony for him to try to talk to strangers. One Sunday a visiting preacher inadvertently called on this lad to lead the prayer. The lad did so, perfectly, too, with the proper severance and not a single stutter. Later, he explained, "I don't stutter when I talk to God. He loves me."

Preacher's Pay. Latest figures show that the typical Protestant preacher in America receives $5,914.00 yearly exclusive of parsonage allowance. This is up $885 in a five-year span. Reminds me of the time my father got up and made a speech at the Freed-Bogard debate in the old Lindsey Avenue Church in Nashville (about 1927 I think). He was urging the Baptists to make up a good big purse to compensate Bogard for his part in the debate. Said Tant, "I think you Baptists ought to pay him well for his work this week. God knows I wouldn't preach the stuff he is putting out for ten thousand dollars!"