"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.III Pg.11
October 1941

Dealing In Personalities

Cled E. Wallace

I am at this writing in the midst of a series of meetings in Barrackville, West Virginia where the Almighty Landscape Artist piled the hills about in breath-taking beauty. "The earth showeth his handiwork" in patterns that are unmistakably divine. The language of Isaiah does justice to any atheists or skeptics who may be lurking in these hills. "for this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed." Open eyes are open windows to let in the light of the glory of God.

There has been a church here a long time, how long I do not know. The present meeting house, a very good one, was built in 1881, sixty years ago. A good many years ago the church divided and separate groups met at separate places as a constant advertisement of a deplorable situation. I do not even know what the division was about, but it was over some sort of foolishness no doubt. A year or so ago, sanity was restored to a degree that brought them all together again, and so it is now and so it should remain. They appear to me to be sober, sensible people and it seems strange that they should ever have been divided. Let us hope that they will forget the things that are behind and press forward to the things that are before.

My memories of Barrackville date back to my boyhood days and are associated with Ira C. Moore. The Christian Leader came to our home and Brother Moore was a regular writer for the paper. I followed his writings for years while he lived at Barrackville. He later moved to Charleston W. Va. where he remained till the time of his death two or three years ago. He was a man of great faith and a vigorous and able advocate of New Testament principles. For that reason he was both loved and feared. He is one of that honorable number who "being dead yet speaketh." He still lives here and at Charleston and countless places where he has never been. The influences of many men, now dead, are living in me. Those influences will carry on after I am gone. If people would stop to consider the indestructible character of influence, some of them would surely revise their conduct. "The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matt. 12:35-37)

During the early part of September, I spent ten days in Marietta, Oklahoma in a meeting. Russell Lewis of Austin, Texas, a well-prepared young man had charge of the song services. The meeting drew some large crowds. A man and a woman, both past middle age and with former sectarian connections, were baptized. Meetings were held under a large tabernacle located near the business section of the town. The church there has grown until it is an outstanding religious influence in the community. I was interested in searching out the reasons for this and drew some conclusions from my observations. A part of the credit is due to Raymond Brannon, a man with extensive business connections, who has lived there for many years. He is conservative and vigilant and exerts a constant pressure for good. He is of the rare type who prefers to remain in the background as much as possible and push others forward. As a result, there is a group of younger men in the congregation trained to carry on all essential work. He does not advertise either his gifts or his work, but others reminded me that his influence was a large factor in the growth of the work. W. P. Dennis is the regular preacher for the congregation. He is humble and capable, and thoroughly loyal to the truth. The church is following the far sighted policy of using him to establish the cause in adjacent communities and he is meeting with pleasing success at it. Such an evangelistic program will make any church grow. The church is at peace, too busy doing good to be fussing over hobbies or airing personal jealousies. "And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith." (Gal. 6:9, 10)

I closed at Marietta on a Sunday night and immediately caught a train for Pittsburgh, Pa., by way of Chicago. I was due at Pittsburgh on Monday night but arrived a day late, a rare thing for me. Being on time is a hobby with me. The stream-lined Santa Fe Chief which carried me to Chicago was a fulfilled dream of comfort and speed. Old timers may rave about "the good old days" with some reason but we moderns have the best of the argument when it comes to going places. Even flying is getting to be safer than walking, unless you get in the woods or stay in plowed ground. Hazards will never be all removed as long as people and things are in motion. Even the old-timers used to be kicked by mules when roads were almost, impassable and the nearest neighbor "two hills" away.

When I arrived at Pittsburgh for the meeting with the Oakland congregation, Brother John C. Graham the regular preacher already had it off to a good beginning. The church there faces far greater difficulties than those encountered by most churches in the south and west. There are about two million people crowded in the Pittsburgh district, most of them in a hurry, busy going to hell. Even the few who hesitate long enough to be curious "think it strange that" that the faithful "run not with them into the same excess." It seemed strange to me that an audience of a hundred or less was considered very good, when there were two million to draw from. The condition is not due to lack of interest on the part of members of the church. Practically all of them are faithful and they had to come for miles to reach the meeting place. They do more and give more than many churches of far greater numbers and ability. They are making some progress and Brother Graham is the right man for the work. The church is fortunate in that respect. There were no baptisms during the meeting, but a man who had formerly been an elder and teacher in a digressive church took his stand for the truth and should add some strength to the work. Brother C. W. Jack of Crawfordsville, Indiana had charge of the song services. He is a lovable character and a veteran in that line. I left the city with a feeling of gladness that I had come. Great wealth is concentrated in Pittsburgh and rich men have left monuments of various kinds including extravagant cathedrals of worship. It might have occurred to some of them that they were building fire-escapes for themselves, if you know what I mean. They probably affect God after the same fashion the idols did that stirred the heart of Paul in the city of Athens. It seems a pity that so little of this wealth is available to bring to the people the one thing that they need most, the gospel of Christ.

My oldest son, Dow, is in the U. S. Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He came over for a week-end visit with me. I was much pleased with his interest in plans to start a work at Red Bank, near where he is stationed. My last letter from him says in part: "We have our first service tomorrow at Red Bank and will have about fifteen out. I have been busy all afternoon getting things together. We have the Molly Pitcher Hotel Ball Room free for tomorrow and maybe free all the time. We are borrowing books from Trenton for the first service... I am to have charge of the services at least for a time.