"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.IX No.X Pg.5b-7
December 1947

The Persons And Personalities In The College Controversy - Part 2

What Are The Facts?

There has been so much misrepresentation of the facts concerning the incurring of Brother Wallace's obligations and their settlement, and the matter has been so many times amplified and overdrawn, that once again people who do not know the truth need the facts. It is inexcusable to keep dragging out a matter almost fifteen years old, after it has been settled completely and entirely, even if there had been wrong done his connection with it. It is even more inexcusable to continue to misrepresent it.

The amount of the indebtedness has been considerably overdrawn. It needs to be stated again that the sum total necessary to liquidate Brother Wallace's debts did not exceed $5,000. That is not a huge debt for a man who is trying to anything. I have an idea that many of us have owed that amount several times in our lives, and that probably if our creditors had pinched down on us at times we would have been utterly unable to pay.

If Foy E. Wallace, Jr. was guilty of "sinful extravagance" as Brother Hardeman has charged and these debts were incurred as a result, it was "extravagance" exercised in generosity of spirit toward his friends, brethren, and family, and not upon himself or for anything dishonorable. The real explanation of Brother Wallace's difficulties is found in what he had done and was trying to do for the cause of Christ. He has never been content to accept a soft, easy position with liberal remuneration and live "sumptuously" as an aristocrat. I have known him perhaps as well and as intimately as any man living, and all who know him really know that he has been spent in a busy life of consecrated activity and sacrifice for the cause of Christ. He has gone day and night for thirty-five years in endless toil in the interest of the truth. He has made the outstanding sacrifice of personal security, family association, physical strength, mental ease, personal popularity, and self-interest that has been made in this generation for the Lord. He could have gone his way taking things easily, protecting his own interests and standing, and still have been without a peer as an evangelist. He could have situated himself in a large congregation and contented himself with a soft, easy job, stayed at home with his family, drawn the highest pay, and lived in luxury as others have. He might even have had a horse to ride if he had chosen. Instead he felt the need of service which he was able to render.

He was prevailed upon by some of his friends to give up his evangelistic work and go to California, Central Church, Los Angeles, and help to strengthen the cause in that section, which was then a great mission field. He gave up a liberal support for his meetings and went at a moderate salary. His family was large, the expense of doing work in a large city was heavy. There were calls all over the state from weak congregations for help and he went night and day to try to give it. He did his work in Los Angeles in the day and drove back and forth at night and preached incessantly at points sometimes a hundred miles distant. A church building was needed sorely that would correctly represent the cause of Christ in the gateway city of the west and Brother Wallace stepped under the load and it was built. The money to pay for it was raised by him personally to a large extent, in eight or ten trips in his car through Texas, Oklahoma, and the east. These three years were exacting, expensive and exhausting financially and physically. The splendid building at 12th and Hoover in Los Angeles, stands today as a visible monument to that great work. Spiritual strength built into the brethren of this section as a result of that work is still discernible.

The financial involvement started in this work. After three years he was called to become editor of the Gospel Advocate, and he moved his family to Nashville. For that work he received a smaller salary than in the California work. He counted on going on with his evangelistic work and being able, as he always had, to live on the support from his meetings and accordingly reckoned that he would be able to pay for a home for his family out of the salary received from the Advocate. Instead of his meetings supporting him as they always had, they fell far below normal support. This was due to several factors. Brethren thought he was being paid by the Advocate and would not need as liberal support as otherwise would have been the case. Then too, the depression was in full swing and churches were not as able to support as they had been. Also much of the meeting work during that period was in the east in difficult places where the church was weak. 'The result was that Brother Wallace found himself more deeply involved as time went on, and on top of that the Gospel Advocate, because of the depression, cut his salary.

During this period the challenge of speculative teaching was thrown before the brotherhood. Someone had to meet it. Gospel preachers received a challenge from Charles M. Neal to discuss the premillennial question. I presume Brother Hardeman got one, but he did not accept it. He had neither the time nor disposition to lead out in such a fight as that. Besides he had to stay at home and tend to his horses. Brother Wallace again assumed the burden. Much time was given to preparation for that fight, for which no support was received. Meetings were left off that would have helped bear the burden of expense which was heavy in the gathering and preparation of material. That did not help pay indebtedness or bear family expense.

As a result of his leadership in this fight against speculative teaching in the church, those who were supposed to be friends became enemies of the bitterest sort. Premillennialists and premillennial sympathizers became so embittered against him that they began to cry for his blood. For fifteen years that fight has been waged on a personal basis everywhere he has gone almost. Brother Hardeman bore none of these sacrifices for the cause. If he has ever made any to amount to anything there isn't anything known about it. He has lived in comfort and plenty growing wealthier year by year without enduring anything like the hardship that Brother Wallace has suffered. For him now to take up the fight started by premillennialists and keep it alive is too low for one to say about it what he would feel.

In 1934 Brother Wallace awoke to the fact that his situation financially was hopeless. For more than a year he had applied his salary from the Advocate almost without exception to the indebtedness against his home. It had even been so assigned to Brother McQuiddy. Other expenses could not be met out of his other income. When he reached the conclusion that his situation could not be improved while he continued in the same work, he determined to give up his work with the Advocate and get back into his meetings and try to pull out of the difficulty as rapidly as possible. He turned his home over to Brother McQuiddy after paying about $5,000 on it. His furniture and other personal belongings went toward settling debts and with his family in his car he left Nashville until he could repair his financial condition and take care of his obligations. The following article written by W. E. Brightwell, and printed in the Advocate of May, 1937, explained the outcome of this situation: