Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 6, 1968
NUMBER 6, PAGE 6b-7a

Fifty Golden Years

Robert C. Welch

"The glory of young men is their strength;

and the beauty of old men is the hoary head.- Proverbs 20:29

When I think of this great principle of life I envision a man of God and his bride of fifty long — but short — years. I speak of Max Ogden and his wife, the former Della Ham. They were born in the hills of the Cumberland plateau of Kentucky. Fifty years ago, on Feb. 27, 1918, they began life together as God ordains. They are known and loved by the children of God all over the state of Kentucky and farther for their hospitality, their fidelity to and love of the truth, their family of children and grandchildren who like they walk in the old paths, and especially for his faithful preaching of the gospel of salvation and edification to the hundreds, yea thousands. So often, words of love and appreciation are unspoken until after such have departed this life. It is a joy to remember this noble couple as they celebrate this golden milestone of united journey through life.

"Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: And a prudent wife is from the Lord." Prov. 19:14 -Let thy fountain be blessed: And rejoice with the wife of thy youth." Prov. 5:18 No better words could be found to describe his gracious and charming bride who has been by his side through the years of sacrificial labor for the Master's cause. She had to share a greater burden in the rearing of the children because he was away so much in meetings all over the country. It is readily observed that they have shared a happy life together.

"Thy fruit of righteousness is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise.- Prov. 11:30 In 1924 they moved to Winchester, Kentucky where he worked for a furniture company. In 1925 he began preaching. The following words of information describe that early period of preaching; "and did much of it in school houses and from house to house or where ever an opportunity presented itself." Even in later years his work is described in the following words; "His preaching has taken him into eleven states, and much of it has been with weak churches or where there was no church at all, much of it being at his own expense." He had little formal education by today's standards; but he schooled himself in the word of God and trained himself for effective preaching in the laboratory of experience. His preaching has been effective. He was in several meetings at a country church near this writer's native home. At least fifty souls were led to the waters of baptism through his meetings with this little church.

"Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.-Proverbs 23:23 Max Ogden has preached the truth, lived the truth, and stood for the truth for these many years. Some have thought that he was "soft" on grave issues which confronted the church; but not so. He is not vociferous, belligerent or domineering in his stand or in his preaching; he is patient, persuasive and gentlemanly. While in Winchester, he worked out the discussion between Neal and Wallace on the premillennial question; which debate became a turning point in keeping the brotherhood from being swept into this theoretical fancy. Some brethren at another place talked with me about some of their problems with the church and they thought that if they had a man to preach for them who went into the institutional issues tooth and claw that the church would be torn up. When I later learned that they had been able to get brother Ogden to move there, I knew that they had the man they needed to keep the church together, yet stand for the truth. It worked.

"A friend loveth at all times; And a brother is born for adversity." Prov. 17:17 He is a man, stands as a man, yet has the tender heart of a child. Several years ago while working as a song leader with him in a meeting I had occasion to witness this. A dear friend of his and mine came from a neighboring town to talk with him about a grave crisis, possibly serious injustice, he was undergoing with the church. There were unashamed tears and even sobs as they discussed the matter.

"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; And he that begetteth a wise child will have joy of him." Prov. 23:24 They are the parents of three daughters and one son. All are faithful children of God. The three daughters live in Louisville, Kentucky. The son, Arthur, preaches now for the church in Loveland, Ohio. There are fourteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Would that not be a happy gathering for all of them, to be at the patriarchal home where he now lives and preaches for the good Bear Wallow church near Horse Cave, Kentucky, his post office address.

Let this tribute end with a few more of the famous inspired words from the lips of the wise man of old:

"Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land... Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her." Prov. 31:23,28 1816 Yale Drive, Louisville, Ky. 40205