Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 20, 1956
NUMBER 33, PAGE 8-9a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt, Box 365, Franklin, Tennessee

News From Here And There

Eddy Couch, who has been working with the Laurel Avenue church in Knoxville, Tennessee, has recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to labor with the San Jose church . . .. "There will be a 're-dedication' service at Crum Ridge this afternoon. Fred Dennis will be the speaker." — The Messenger, Woodsfield, Ohio. (Editor's Note: I do not know just what kind of a service such is! However, such services, as well as what they call "Dedication" services, are frequently conducted by Ohio Valley churches.) . . . . Robert L. Love has moved from San Antonio to San Augustine, Texas, where he is laboring with the church .... A. H. Payne is the editor of a very neat bulletin published by the church meeting at 1300 Avenue 'G' in Beaumont, Texas. Payne has been with this church since last summer .... The church in Somerset, Kentucky, is in the process of erecting a new building. Denver J. Niemeier is the preacher there . . . . Cecil Willis has announced that he will be leaving the Irvington church in Indianapolis by July of 1957. This will conclude four years with this church ......Melvin Dugger has resigned his work with the Eastside church (in Columbia, Tennessee) and Orlan Miller, of Henderson, Tennessee, has been employed." "I will leave Lewisburg about the last of December and will move to Centerville, Tennessee, where I will began working as the regular minister of the church there." — Statement of Paul Rogers to Church Street church in Lewisburg, Tennessee . . . . Please observe that often I put the exact words from the bulletins in quotation marks. This is done now and then due to the objectionable language used and to point out that such is not mine. We seem prone to use the "language of Ashdod" and perhaps it may be that there is no Biblical language to describe what we practice! Let us beware' Harold Sain has moved to Hixson, Tennessee, where he will preach for the Hamill Road church. He has been with the Linden, Tennessee, church about eighteen months .. . . Frank L. Smith is now with the church in Lancaster, Texas; moving there from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he had labored with the North Sheridan church for several years . . . . C. R. Franks, Jr., is now laboring with the Arlington church in Knoxville, Tennessee.... Don Moyer is now with the church meeting at Crystal and Long in the Chicago area. Norman Fultz has moved from Gideon, Missouri, to work with the Southwest church in Blue Island — just out of Chicago . . . . C. G. Caldwell, Sr., has been with the church in Manchester, Tenn., for some time. Beginning the first of the year he will go into meeting work altogether. He will continue to make his home in Manchester and can be reached there . . . . Around the first of the year I will move to Florence, Alabama, where I will work with the East Florence church. Tommy McClure, who has been with the church in Paragould, Arkansas, for about two years, will begin with the West End church here in Franklin around the first of March .. I deeply appreciate receiving each and every bulletin and I want to continue receiving them after I move to Florence. My change of address will be given next time .... In reading the bulletins I observe many, many notices and write ups of social activities and entertainments, which seemingly are conducted by a church, a class or a group within the congregation. Sometimes these activities take on "city-wide" and "area-wide" proportions. Such things are featured in the church bulletin and announced in the classes and the pulpit. They take on a church-related aspect to say the least of it. This is an alarming trend. Such things are coming in for more and more attention. With the erection by churches of so many "Fellowship Halls" or "Recreation Rooms," we are in grave danger of being swept away from things vital and spiritual. Below I am giving a few such notices to show what I mean. Read them carefully. What impression do they leave? Is such a work of the church in any sense?

"Harding Place Church of Christ members getting in high gear for opening of gospel meeting Sunday led by Athens Clay Pullias .... Bob Howell, Charles Armstrong, Edward L. McAlister in charge of Saturday morning breakfast at church annex for men of congregation .

Pullias makes brief talk then . . . . special sessions for young people... ladies will have luncheon following 10:30 a.m. service." — Bob Bell, Nashville Banner.

"The teaching of the young should be considered one of the most important duties of the church, but how much more of our time is spent providing recreation for them? Youth is going to have recreation. Will they find their own or will we provide it?

"The Youth Rally at Chase Rd. in Dearborn last Saturday night was attended by over 400, representing 30 congregations. The principle speaker was Brother B. C. Goodpasture of Nashville, Tennessee.

"A special treat was the Toledo Choral group of Toledo, Ohio. The evening was full of enjoyment composed of singing, prayer, food, and a movie. The title of the movie was 'Dust of Destiny,' a sermon on God's wonderful planning of man and the creatures of the earth. This is the type recreation Christian boys and girls enjoy. We hope to have more of the same in the future." — Allan Park Call, Allan Park, Michigan.

"The teen-agers of the congregation are starting a new club. It meets on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Their aim is "closer fellowship among teen-agers." They would like to have some suggestions from the congregation as a motto for the club. Also they would like to know if any has a 16 mm. sound projector that they would consider lending or renting to them. If so, contact Brother ED MADDOX.

"Also the club would like to offer their thanks to Sister MARIE TAYLOR for donating $20.00 toward the purchase of a ping-pong table." — Capitol Letter, 40th & Capitol, Indianapolis — Earl West, preacher.


"The Fourth and Lincoln Church in Bloomington would like to know how many young people plan to attend the meeting there October 28, and the Chili Supper, October 27. Literature is posted on the bulletin board in the auditorium, and a postcard is addressed, for your convenience, in the office. Let us know at once, if you plan to go." — Irvington News, Indianapolis — Cecil Willis, preacher.

"The Lincoln Street church in Bloomington is having a young people's rally this Saturday evening and Sunday. Due to our meeting our young people may not be able to participate, but if any would like further information please see Brother Bobo." — Fountain Square Bulletin, Indianapolis — David Bobo, preacher.

Now please read the following splendid article by one of the older and respected preachers of our day. It really "hits the spot" — and the "spot" needs hitting!!

Fellowship And Recreation

The two words that stand at the head of this article are certainly being bandied about with reckless abandon in these days. The word "fellowship" is being used without any regard to its connotation in the Bible. One preacher said it was getting so that when he heard the word "fellowship" he could smell the coffee! If you use it in a Bible sense, you will "smell no coffee." Brethren, will provide for a recreation hall and call it a "fellowship hall." Why not call it what it is?

Don't worry about fellowship. Just preach and teach the gospel and get people to walk in this light, and the fellowship will take care of itself. We have "full fellowship" when we thus walk. Maybe we had better read it: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." (1 John 1:7.) Dear brethren, that is the "fellowship" that all Christians are interested in.

I can't find anything in the Bible about "recreation," or I would write a little on that. I suppose that folks need a little recreation, but this I know: that the church is not in the recreation and entertainment business. The great business of the church is to preach the gospel and care for worthy poor. This "recreation business" should have no connection with the church in any way whether by public announcements, through church bulletins, gospel radio programs, etc. Providing recreation belongs to the home and to individuals and not to the church as such. It seems to me that some brethren have gone almost "stark crazy" and "hog wild" over these adjuncts which belong to the home. Let us keep them where they belong.

And we hear much about our "youth problems" and "youth programs" and "youth meetings." Did they have any youth in the early days of the church? Folks back there were more prolific than they are now, but it seems that the brethren were so busy going everywhere preaching the gospel that the "youth" created no special "problem." It is my candid judgment that one of the greatest "problems" facing the "youth" of our day is the way that the "adults" behave in the church of God. In some places elders and preachers are leading the "parade" with their skating rinks, ball clubs, swimming parties, etc. Shame and more shame! Brethren, let the church be the church. These are perilous times. May the good Lord help us to keep our feet on solid ground. Get busy with the old sword of the Spirit. — Fred E. Dennis, via DeQueen Blvd. Bulletin, Port Arthur, Texas.