Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 26, 1968

One Year In Australia

Jim R. Everett

A person would have to understand how we felt as we arrived in Australia in order to appreciate fully the contrasting emotions which now reside in our hearts. A letter had been circulated throughout Australian churches warning them of the coming of "Anti" preachers. This letter, perhaps unintentionally, left the impression with the brethren here that we were opposed to Bible classes and individual containers for the fruit of the vine, among other things. One Australian preacher recently remarked that it was little wonder that those who warned of our coming would not relate what we really opposed, because such correct representation would have found many Australian Christians of like-mind. As we stepped from the boat and passed through customs, we were greeted by bro. Roily McDowell of Bundaberg, Queensland, and bro. and sis. Henderson of Sydney. We verily thought within ourselves that the McDowells and Hendersons were the only people in all of Australia who wanted us to be here — a rather lonely feeling. The local work here is slowly growing and many brethren in Australia are now receptive to us and desirous of our assistance in the preaching of the Gospel. The warning in the letter has actually worked to the furtherance of the Gospel and not to the hindrance of our work.

Shortly after our discussion with the author of the warning letter, Bob Harkrider, with whom I am working, wrote an open letter to the Christians in Australia, answering the letter and stating exactly that to which we are opposed. About a month later, we started publication of a small paper entitled "Doing Truth." Both of these have enjoyed good reception from many brethren. At the request of a number of brethren in Melbourne, Victoria, Bob and Roily McDowell made a recent trip there. This trip confirmed the conservative attitude on the part of four Australian preachers and other brethren in the Melbourne area. We have been working with the brethren in Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah and here in Caringbah. At the same time Harold Comer and Roily McDowell have been working with the brethren at Gympie, Rockhampton, Emerald and Bundaberg. We have preached in eleven or twelve meetings this past year, done extensive teaching through different newspapers, done some radio work and taught innumerable home Bible studies. As a result of this work, at least, eight have been baptized, one has been restored and two have left the associated church of Christ. We trust that many brethren have been strengthened through our efforts. In the local work here in Caringbah, there are three prospects who will probably obey the Gospel within a few weeks. We now number ten, adult members and our attendance is consistently over seventeen. Bro Henderson and bro. Thompson, the other two male member, both teach and preach in our absence and are a tremendous help in the work. The church in Bundaberg numbers about forty members and three of their young men are helping in the preaching there and elsewhere.

At present, there are twelve churches and a number of native, Australian preachers who preach both full-time and part-time with whom we can work. Our second year here will be even busier than the first one. Perhaps, you can now understand that the first impression of isolation is greatly contrasted with the fellowship and happiness we now enjoy — The Lord has abundantly blessed our efforts.

Bro. and sis. Sam Binkley and son are to arrive in Australia sometime in August. There is one other preacher from the States who is making serious plans to come — besides these, we know of no others who are making definite commitments to labor in this country. Needless to say, there is an immediate and demanding need for good conservative preachers throughout Australia. Australia is not the only place where such a need exists, but I feel that this country offers the greatest potential for work in the saving of souls and the helping of brethren who stand opposed to liberalism in general (for want of a better descriptive phrase).

— P.O. Box 159, Miranda, NSW 2228, Australia