Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 22, 1957


Henderson, Tennessee

Mr. John T. Lewis, Ensley Church of Christ,

Birmingham, Alabama Dear Brother Lewis:

I have just read the "Gospel Guardian" of this week. To say that I am surprised is a very mild statement.

I have known you very many years and I believe you to be an honest, honorable and upright man. I have never questioned any point of character in regard to you, although I may have differed on points with you. The article is a greater shock by reason of this attitude than it could otherwise have been.

Brother Hershel Patton had been employed at Shelbyville before I knew he was being considered. I had no opportunity to recommend him or to fail to recommend him.

In regard to meetings cancelled I have been compelled to cancel three this year, one at Shelbyville in the Spring, one at Elizabethtown in the Summer, and one with the Cleveland Avenue church in Wichita in the Fall. The last two named have preachers who hold with me in matters currently before the church. Why do you suppose I cancelled them? Brother Lewis, I went to the hospital in early February because my back was making it utterly impossible for me to carry on my work. The doctor advised me to cut down my work and I immediately cancelled meetings as would best fit my schedule of responsibilities with the school. Brother Gleaves, the elder of the Shelbyville church with whom I corresponded, can verify that on no other basis was this request made. Some of the brethren there later wrote me trying to learn that I was cancelling because of Brother Patton's presence as a local preacher and I replied to them that the whole procedure had been due to my health. I have preached in a number of meetings in a number of places where the preachers have opposed me in these matters but our relations have been pleasant. Someone has been guilty of presenting to you a false report about affairs at Shelbyville and you have paraded it before the public without knowing any better.

Furthermore we have had speakers on our lecture programs from year to year who held opposite views to me in regard to these matters at hand. I am sure that the majority have held with me but that has not been the ultimate factor in our planning. We have even employed teachers with opposing views. I do not believe that any school has been fairer than have we.

Believing as I do that you want to do the right thing, I am leaving this matter in your hands. It is my honest opinion that you will make due correction where the injury has been done both to me and to Freed-Hardeman College.

In Christian love, H. A. Dixon, President

Mr. H. A. Dixon Henderson, Tennessee

Dear Brother Dixon:

Your letter concerning my article which appeared in the Gospel Guardian April 25th received. I regret very much that I misrepresented you when I said you had advised the elders of the Shelbyville church against Herschel Patton. Of course I thought my information was reliable. I said you had since cancelled your meeting, but I did not say it was because the elders had hired Brother Patton. However, from your letter it seems that some of the brethren there thought that was the reason. I also said: "You cannot get a line in the Gospel Advocate, or appear on a program of Freed-Hardeman College to discuss these matters, etc. I may be wrong about this. Have you ever had a man on your lectureship program to discuss the importance of churches caring for their indigent members, or to argue against institutional orphan homes?

Brother Dixon, Brother Rex Turner told me a few years ago that you had said the Montgomery Bible College was run by hobby riders or cranks. When the brethren were starting the Childhaven orphan home, it was published in one of the Birmingham papers that the churches of Christ were starting the home. That week I was on the Freed-Hardeman lectureship program. I read the statement and challenged it. I showed it was individuals and not the churches. After that you made a speech in Florence, Alabama, defending the institutional orphan homes, and Brother John Cox said you said I had made a speech at Freed-Hardeman College and waved some papers. I am mentioning these things as mitigating circumstances for accepting the statements about your advice to the elders at Shelbyville without questioning. I am publishing your letter along with my comments, and I think good will come out of the whole matter, because your letter will show the Gospel Guardian readers the fairness of Freed-Hardeman College in dealing with the issues. There is absolutely no ill feeling in my heart against you, Brother Goodpasture, Freed-Hardeman College, or the Gospel Advocate. There are some people that I like better than others, but there is no bitterness in my heart against any human being on earth. This is hoping that your health will continue to improve till you will soon be able to run in high again.

Faithfully and fraternally yours, John T. Lewis

May 4, 1957 Dear Brother Tant:

In a recent issue of the 'Christian Worker,' an article was devoted to news of a gathering of young people of the churches of Christ in Southern California. This 'Youth meeting' or whatever it was, was quite favorably described by the 'Worker' article. Particularly, it was heralded to have been a successful gathering, due to the fact that one of the personages who appeared on their program was Brother Pat Boone of popular recording fame.

Enclosed, is a page from the April, 1957, issue of 'Music Views,' Vol. XV, No. 3, which portrays Brother Boone in the arms of one, Shirley MacLaine . .. . or perhaps we should say that she is in his arms. In any event, this writer sincerely questions the worth or value of such publicity as Brother Boone may secure for the congregation who may use him in their services.

The publication from which this page is taken, is given wide distribution in the recording industry ... particularly is it distributed in wholesale lots by record shops, to their customers. Since our radio station receives it regularly on a gratis basis, it is assumed that most other U. S. radio and TV stations also receive it.

When will we ever learn to seek the Lord's approval, rather than the approval and popular acclaim of the world?

Your brother in Christ, Luther W. Martin

St. James, Mo.

(Note: The enclosure with the above letter was a page from the magazine "Music Views" showing Brother Pat Boone dancing cheek to cheek with Shirley MacLaine, while Dinah Shore was in the act of "cutting in" to claim her dance with Brother Boone.)

Birdville Church of Christ Fort Worth 11, Texas

April 26, 1957 Dear Yater:

The enclosed letter came to me a few days ago. It is self-explanatory. Brother Buster has never had the advantages of a formal education, but he is a very hard worker in the church wherever he goes. He knows more about the Bible than most, and has preached a great deal in country churches and small communities where he has worked. He has always made a living at secular work. I knew him in Arkansas but had lost track of him. His word is his bond.

A second letter from Brother Buster tells of his having a discussion in the home of a Baptist friend. The friend asked his preacher to discuss the Bible with Brother Buster. The Baptist pastor asked a fellow pastor to go with him. They had quite an interesting time of it! He is still studying with the friend and his wife, and is confident he will baptize them.

I shall appreciate it very much if you will put a note in the Guardian about this work, as well as speaking to preachers and congregations about it. At the present I do not know of any preacher whom I think might go, or a congregation who might support such a work. But perhaps a brief note in the Guardian will call it to the attention of somebody who might be interested.

Yours in him, Gilbert Copeland

(Buster's letter to Copeland)

Dear Brother Copeland:

Perhaps you are surprised to get a note from me, but I often think of you, and of course I could never forget your father and mother. I would like to enlist your support in getting some one to help me in preaching the gospel in these parts. I came here a year ago to work as a mechanic on the "sea-way" job. There was no church of the Lord here then. But we now have a small congregation meeting in a lodge hall on Sunday mornings and evenings; and we have the mid-week service in a private - home. I am also preaching for a small group in Cornwall, Canada, each Thursday evening, which has started meeting in a private home.

Due to the fact that I am self-supporting, and these few faithful ones here are very liberal, we feel that we could at least give half the support needed for some one to help me preach and do personal work. He and I could alternate on Lord's days at Cornwall and here at Masseno. Now if you know anyone that you could recommend that might be interested, please let me know. Also, if you know of a church that could help us even just a small amount per month toward the support of such a man, let me know about them too.

I wish the brethren in the south could understand that there is no greater mission field anywhere than in this vicinity. The nearest church in the States is Syracuse, New York, about 200 miles away. I baptized a man last Sunday, a fellow mechanic, as a result of personal work. He said he had never seen anyone baptized. I have been invited to speak in a Catholic home tonight, and they want me to meet and discuss with this priest. I agreed, but he declined. I hope and pray that this good Catholic family will receive and obey the truth.

I pray that the Lord will richly bless you and your work for him. Pray for us. My son, Perry, is a student in Freed-Hardeman College.

Yours in Christian love, John W. Buster

4 Grinnell Street Masseno, New York

April 29, 1957 Dear Brother Tant:

As you know, I had to leave California on account of the smog. I am now living in Dallas and will be here for about two more months, then we shall return to our home at 2037 Brookhollow Dr., Garland, Texas, where we expect to camp until we are called to leave this earth.

I am now getting my Social Security and it is the limit. This will enable us to live regardless of persecution.

We are attending services at Skillman Avenue church, which is about three blocks from where we live. I am in Dr. Young's class, just sit and say nothing. Brother Bannister is good to us, but of course we just worship and come home.

I want to ask a favor of you, and here it is:

I WOULD LIKE TO FILL SUNDAY APPOINTMENTS IN DRIVING DISTANCE OF DALLAS. No church too small. Will you please insert this in the Guardian?

I sent 50 copies of TRUTH ABOUT THE CATHOLICS to the Guardian last August — wonder if you have sold any. The public ought to have this tract.

When in Dallas, come to see us.

Sincerely, J. Lee Hines