Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 7, 1954

Forcing The Church

J. Edward Nowlin, Atlanta, Georgia

Brother M. Keeble has developed a new strategy in obtaining support for his Negro school, the Nashville Christian Institute.

We believe that it is the duty of the home to provide education for the children (1 Tim. 5:8), that it is the mission of the church to preach the gospel; and that it is a violation of scripture for a church to contribute to a school. But Brother Keeble forces churches who use him in meetings to support the school.

He demands $500 for a meeting, with the explanation that this money goes to the school and that his personal support is already arranged. This has become a general practice with our colored brother, it seems, for he pulled this "deal" at Maryville, Tennessee in 1951 and the bulletin of Willow Street church in Cookeville, Tennessee of August 23, 1953 relates that he was in such an effort there at that time. It says, "Brother Keeble is paid a straight salary by Brother A. M. Burton of Nashville. He came to hold this meeting with the stipulation that the Nashville Christian Institute should receive $500.00."

With all due respect to Brother Keeble's gray hair and outstanding record as a gospel preacher, there are four things out of order in this matter:

(1) No preacher has the right to demand a definite salary for a meeting anywhere.

(2) The sum of $500 for such a meeting is exorbitant, even in our day of high prices. Two such meetings could be well supported with this amount of money. Furthermore, a song leader must be paid and board and lodging for Brother Keeble, the song leader and two or three of his "boys" from the school whom he delights to bring along with him, must be paid by the white brethren who invite him!

(3) In addition to these, it is not scriptural for the church to contribute $500 or any other amount to a school which teaches secular subjects. Such is not the work of the church.

(4) The prestige of Brother Keeble causes the white brethren to comply with his "stipulation" and thus brethren who have conscientious scruples against the church supporting the school are forced to help support it.

Be it said, however, to the credit of Brother Keeble that he informs the white brethren beforehand that their $500 will go to the school, so that they contribute to the school knowingly. He does not deceive them.