"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.VIII No.II Pg.31-33a
October 1945

The New Campaign Of Calumny

With apologies to the public we yield to the necessity of publishing the following documents. It is by no means a pleasant thing to have one's personal matters always before the public; there are some individuals in the church in various quarters who seem determined that some of my private business affairs shall be the constant topic of discussion. While I feel somewhat a victim in all of these publicized matters, if it is necessary for the sake of the cause we have striven to defend and uphold that I should become a gazing stock, I submit to the humiliation.

I was invited by the elders of the Norhill church of Christ in Houston, Texas, of which Roy E. Cogdill is a member and for which he is the preacher, to deliver ten sermons in Houston on special subjects; the purpose of which was to preach the gospel of the kingdom of Christ and to expose modern millennialism with all of its auxiliary theories and consequences. The meeting was first arranged as a Norhill meeting, to be held in the auditorium of that congregation. Later Jack Meyer and the Heights church, of which he is a member and for which he preaches, manifested a marked interest in the purpose of the meeting, and it was suggested that the meeting be conducted on a larger scale, through the Norhill church. It was then decided that the meeting should be held in a downtown auditorium, and arrangements to do so were made. Other churches of Christ in the city were invited to participate on a strictly voluntary basis. I know of no pressure that was brought on any person or congregation by the Norhill church to accept their invitation to cooperate. All of the churches, except one, immediately volunteered cooperation and support of the meeting. The Central church, of which Burton Coffman is a member and for which he preaches, did not choose to cooperate, and so far as I know their "commitment" to the elders of the Norhill church, in reply to the invitation from them, was accepted without question. Brother Roy E. Cogdill and the Norhill elders certainly did not attempt to force any congregation into the arrangements for which they themselves assumed whole and sole responsibility.

Knowing the elders of the Central church, however, and having been associated with them in meetings, Brother Jack Meyer felt that he could approach them as an individual and a friend, show them the advantages of all the churches having a part in the meeting, and thus make it unanimous. It was in this exchange with Brother Meyer that the preacher and the elders of the Central church elected to make a personal issue of "the speaker" for the meeting, and upon them rests the responsibility for the personalities injected into the discussions before and after the meeting.

The elders of the Norhill and Heights churches believe that the principles involved are such that the truth should be made known to all. Rumors and remarks concerning the matter which affect the cause of Christ and reflect on the integrity of the churches of Christ have become current, and I have been asked by the elders of these churches, and by brethren Cogdill and Meyer, to publish the following correspondence, so that all may know exactly what occurred. I do not feel justified in denying their request.

Inasmuch as my personal honesty and honor have been made the subject of discussion, I have been reluctant to enter into an argument on the matter, simply because I have never regarded my personal character as a debatable question—with me it is not. But I have yielded to the judgment of brethren Cogdill and Meyer, whom I esteem and trust as true and tried friends, and to the will of the elders of the Norhill and Heights churches. I hereby and therefore submit the documents which they believe should be published in interest of the cause of Christ.

I submit, first of all, their joint request to me; then, in order, the letters that make up the record, all of which very definitely speak for themselves.

Mr. Foy E. Wallace Jr.,

Editor, The Bible Banner,

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Dear Brother Wallace:

In January, 1945, twenty churches of Christ of Greater Houston officially united efforts in presenting you in an outstanding meeting in Houston's Music Hall, exposing modern millennial theories. The elders of the Central church, 4100 Montrose Blvd., declined to allow Central as a congregation to participate, at first claiming "previous commitments" as their reason. In a series of events, they finally, however, revealed what they admitted was their real reason—in a letter to the Norhill elders they refused to endorse you, charging your "general reputation and tactics." In a regular monthly luncheon of preachers of Houston and vicinity, brother Burton Coffman, Central minister, and brother Lawrence Rutledge, Central elder, brought the matter before the preachers, going considerably further than their letter in charging you with dishonesty and a generally bad reputation. After the luncheon, brother Fletcher Dailey, another Central elder present at the luncheon, concurred actively in the charges against you.

With full confidence in your honesty, the Norhill and Heights elders and ministers, after lengthy joint consideration, by letter called on the Central elders and minister to produce evidence on which to base their public charges against you. After long silence, Central obviously refuses to attempt to back up the charges made against you publicly and in your absence. Since we cannot persuade Central either to attempt to support the charges or even to perform the ordinary courtesy of replying to our letter, we have decided to place the matter, including all correspondence involved, in your hands. We believe that the long-range good of the church will be served if, through your Bible Banner, brethren generally are informed as to the tactics of these reputation assassins.

The Houston churches have arranged for another meeting with you in the Music Hall in 1946. We believe that if a sister church singles out a preacher whom all other Houston churches endorse, and charges that preacher with having a bad reputation and dishonest character, we have a right to demand the evidence. If such a church will not produce evidence for such charges, we believe that comes under the head of circulating false reports. It calls for repentance and correction.

Through the years these charges have generally been promoted over the country by those who are either (1) avowed Bollites and premillennialists, (2) those who are friendly to and sympathetic with the Bollites, or (3) those who have been forced reluctantly to take a stand on premillennialism and its advocates among us and who resent the fight you have waged against Bollism and those who in the controversy have "worked both sides of the street." We are interested in putting a stop to such malicious attacks, or, failing to stop them, in letting the brethren over the country know who tries to destroy reputations by making charges that they fear to attempt to sustain. This is not the first time that such an attack has come here from this same source. About two years ago, in another preachers' luncheon here, when a proposal was made that the Houston churches sponsor a big union meeting downtown, using one of our best known and most highly respected preachers as speaker, brother Fletcher Dailey, Central elder, objected most strenuously, charging that he personally knew enough against the character of this preacher to make him unworthy of Christian fellowship. Brother Burton Coffman, Central minister, was present and endorsed this character attack made by Dailey.

The cause of truth will be well served, in our judgment, if you will give this matter full publicity, liberal space, and major treatment. In Christian love and confidence, we are:

D. C. Batson, Samuel W. Loe, G. W. Howard, Steve Holmes, Elders, Norhill Church of Christ; Roy E. Cogdill, and Luther Blackmon, Ministers, Norhill Church of Christ; L. C. Stephens, H. B. Springfield, J. J. McCarty, Elders, Heights Church of Christ; and Jack Meyer, Minister, Heights Church of Christ.

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