Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 1, 1960

W. Curtis Porter

Eugene Britnell, Tuckerman, Ark.

W. Curtis Porter was born in Myrtle, Mississippi, February 26, 1897, and died in a Memphis hospital on July 5, 1960, at the age of 63 years. He had lived in Monette, Arkansas, since 1942. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Porter, and three brothers; E. Lacy of Benton, Ill., Kyle of Black Oak, Ark., and Reuben of Wilmington, Calif. He began preaching the gospel of Christ at the age of 17 and had preached for 46 years in almost every state in the union. He had engaged in approximately 75 debates.

This is the obituary used in the funeral service for brother Porter which was conducted in Monette, Arkansas, on July 7, 1960 by brother Paul Keller, assisted by brother Edgar J. Dye and the writer.

July 7 was a beautiful day in Arkansas, but for the many who had heard of the passing of brother Porter it was a day of great sadness as this great man was laid to rest. Brethren and friends began arriving at his home in Monette during the night of July 6th and early morning of the 7th. Many had driven from other states to be present for the funeral. Dozens marched silently and reverently by his body in the funeral home during the morning. The building could not hold all who were present for the funeral service. Flowers and messages had arrived from many places across the nation. In addition to those present, hundred more across the country worked with heavy hearts and cherished memories of a great soldier of Jesus Christ.

Each of the three men who participated in the funeral service spoke words of praise and honor for the servant of God. The writer spoke first, read the obituary, and closed with this appropriate statement from the "Book of God" (as brother Porter frequently referred to the Bible): "Knew ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" Brother Ed Dye spoke next and worded the prayer. He read and briefly reviewed many scriptures describing the faith, character, work and hope of brother Porter. Brother Keller delivered the principle address which was greatly appreciated by all who loved and appreciated brother Porter. He gave a description of his life, faith, accomplishments, sufferings, loyalty to the truth under all circumstances, and peaceful passing from this life with the hope and assurance that could come only to a man of such faith.

Brother Porter was conscious until only a few hours before his death. He talked of death calmly and with great hope. He planned his funeral. Along with Job of old, few men on this earth have suffered as did brother Porter. For some fifteen years he had suffered from a rare blood malady, along with other complications. Surely, for him to "depart and be with Christ, is far better." He continued to schedule meetings, debates, and speaking engagements until a few days before his death. He was "faithful unto death."

Words, time, and space fail when we try to describe W. Curtis Porter. He was a unique man in many ways. He possessed great wit, sense of humor, humility, courage, knowledge of God's word, and perhaps one of the greatest analytical minds of any man living. He could detect the fallacy of an argument before it was completed, and immediately knew how to reply effectively. Although his ability as a preacher was great, his greatest work was in the field of polemics. That is why he was called by brethren far and near to defend the truth against any and all error, it made no difference what it was!

Brother Porter always stood for what he believed to be the truth, with little or no thought of the consequences either personal or financial. We all know that he suffered personally, financially, and in other ways due to his stand for truth in recent years, yet he stood! Generations yet unborn will be blessed because he did. He believed that God made all things perfectly, and that it was utter folly for "the thing formed to say to him that formed it, why didst thou make me thus?" He lived and died with unswerving faith and loyalty to God.

Although we possess no gift of prophecy, it is our opinion that few men will be as frequently quoted (and MISquoted) in the future as will W. Curtis Porter. Through his sermons, articles, debates, and material yet unpublished, his influence will be felt for many years to come. As God said of Abel, "he being dead yet speaketh."

Honorary pallbearers, the majority of whom were present at the services, were: W. K. Wallace, Joe Mclnturff, Jesse M. Kelley, Cleo N. Blue, Franklin T. Puckett, James L. Yopp, H. S. Owen, James Gay, and H. F. Sharp.

As the sun was sinking into the West, amid the beauty and fragrance of the green grass, stately trees, and beautiful flowers of the Monette cemetery, the body of W. Curtis Porter was laid to rest and await the call of his Master at the last day. A beautiful double monument, with flowers, an open Bible, and the names and dates carved on it, stands at the grave. It bears an epitaph, written by brother Porter with his personal signature carved below, which reads: "Along that crystal river, with angels standing by, we long some day to wander — my ransomed wife and I."