"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.VI No.XIII Pg.68
July/August 1944

The Man Who Came Back

(W. E. Brightwell, Gospel Advocate, May 1937)

Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Denton, Texas, spent two days of last week in Nashville. They were probably two of the happiest days of his life, for he was collecting receipts, every one of which read, "Paid in full"!

Ordinarily no publicity is given to the fact that an individual pays his bills. That is considered a strictly personal matter. But the fact that Brother Wallace was involved in debt had been given publicity. It had become generally known, and had been talked not merely to the detriment of Brother Wallace but to the injury of the cause. It had doubtless been given more publicity because he was recognized as a leading evangelist, debater, and writer, and because he had so effectively opposed speculative teaching. It is to be hoped that similar publicity will be given to the fact that Brother Wallace came back and paid every debt in full, both for the restoration of Brother Wallace to the respect and admiration of all the brotherhood, but for the repair of the damage to the cause as well.

No criticism of Brother Wallace has ever been received by those who knew him except that he had become involved in financial debt-which he candidly admitted. When he left Nashville, it was in the daytime, and with the full intention of returning if and when possible to liquidate his indebtedness. Some of his creditors were so insistent in their efforts and methods of collection that he despaired of returning to Nashville for two meetings several months after his departure. But he made it a point of principle that if he could not preach in Nashville he would not preach anywhere. Several of his friends advised him to make a plea of bankruptcy, so that he could protect himself and family while continuing his preaching. This he did.

He came to Nashville to hold the meetings scheduled.

He first called the elders together and advised them of the action he had taken, and explained that this court action had nothing to do with his sense of moral obligation to liquidate the indebtedness as rapidly as possible. The elders of the, two churches told him that it was the only thing he could have done, and invited him to conduct the meetings as they had been planned. Good meetings were held.

Despite some reverses of a financial nature, including illness in his family, he has been retiring some of these debts, and on last week came to Nashville to personally clear up those contracted there. Some accounts are being handled by correspondence elsewhere. In the course of a few days all will have been completely liquidated.

There was one remark which was common to his creditors when he explained his mission: "You are the first man who has ever gone through bankruptcy and come back and paid in full." One creditor told him that he was the second man who had paid him under those circumstances. His visit to Nashville was like a breath of God upon a storm-tossed sea. The message that he had for each creditor was as effective as a cyclone that in a few brief moments sweeps its path of destruction; but it was life-giving. Old friendships flowered in an instant, and faith sprang to full bloom, leaving the parties to the scene breathless.

Of course there were some who said: "Brother Wallace, I have never had any doubt but that you would come back. I have never said anything about you, neither bothered you with bills. I knew you would pay it when you could. This check is unimportant, but the fact that you have come back and paid everything in full is of tremendous importance, and I am glad."

Those of us who have known Brother Wallace intimately have never experienced a misgiving as to the nobility of his intentions and the cleanness of his life.

Even his financial misfortune had some of its roots, at least, in the abuse or over-development of certain virtues-generosity and independence. He was always doing something for others. If the singer was left unsupported by the church, he supported him; if his support did not seem adequate, Brother Wallace made up the deficit. He never worked a day at any secular employment, but has devoted all his life since high-school days to preaching the gospel. Even with seven in family, he usually had one or more students of David Lipscomb College living in his home. There are scores of those who have tasted his unstinted generosity who can and will testify any time as to the character and ability of the man. In fact, if all who were indebted to his generosity could have fully repaid him in kind, he could have liquidated his indebtedness long ago-but that is where his independence came into the picture!

But now that all has been paid in full, it is useless to speculate about causes. The future is the thing. Brother Wallace is young, and has many useful years ahead of him. He has not missed a day-except because of illness in his family-but his work will be more pleasant and more fruitful of good throughout the brotherhood. Tell the good news. Let it find as swift wings as did the bad news of financial disaster. No single event has meant more to the good of the cause in years than this visit to-Nashville; together with all that it means. A ringing welcome to the man who came back!