Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 21, 1961

Grider - Woods Debates

A. C. Grider, Louisville, Kentucky

For approximately three and one half years I have been trying to get brother Guy N. Woods to sign propositions with me and agree to meet in every city across the nation where two congregations would invite and endorse such discussions. For as long as he could get by with it, Woods declared that I had made no such suggestion to him. He even tried to make it appear that it was he who wanted to debate and that I was doing the running away. He wrote and told me that I was running like a "scared rabbit."

In April of this year, brother Woods came to Louisville and spoke three or four nights at the Bardstown Road church building. There, publicly, he took up the subject of debating with me. He declared that he would meet me in debate in Louisville. But he said the reason he wouldn't talk about meeting me elsewhere was that he didn't know "of anybody else that wants Grider to debate." I contacted the Bardstown Road Congregation and immediately agreed upon propositions for a discussion with Woods on Benevolent Institutions and the Herald of Truth. The debate was held for five nights in July of this year.

When it was noised abroad that Woods had declared that he didn't know of anybody who wanted Grider to debate the invitations and endorsements started pouring in. By the time the Grider-Woods debate started, I had twelve letters of endorsement from as many churches in five different states inviting me and offering to endorse me and asking me to urge brother Woods to come and to meet me in debate. I had "word of mouth" endorsements from several other congregations. I guess I could get a hundred endorsements almost immediately. I presented these endorsements during the course of my debate with Woods here in Louisville. I signed propositions and laid them on his table. I did everything in my power to get him to sign them and agree to meet me when and if and where ever he could get endorsement. He sat there, as white as a ghost, and steadfastly refused to enter into any agreement of any kind about further debating. The stoutest things he ever said about any more debates was that he went where he was called by his brethren. It was apparent to the audience that he had no intention of ever meeting me again.

I believe that good has come from every discussion in which I have ever had a part. Many of those who have heard discussions in which I participated have obeyed the gospel. One congregation turned from the anti-class position following my debate with Ralph Gage. But I think more good was done in my debate with Woods than in any other single discussion I have ever had. If Woods scored a point or made an impression for good upon a single individual during the debate, it hasn't come to my attention. The churches here that were standing for the truth are strengthened a thousand fold as a result of the discussion. I am not boasting. It would be all right if I were. Paul did! I am simply stating facts and at the same time I am trying to prod brother Woods into debating me again.

While brother Woods shut the door on further discussions with me, he did not "bolt" it. We may still be able to pry it open. Remember, Woods said he would debate if his brethren called him. Our problem then is to get his brethren to call him. The question is can a church be found in these places who will call him? I am calling upon brethren to call him for discussions with me.

Let's start with his home town, Memphis, Tennessee. One endorsement came from there. Will any church in Memphis, Tennessee, endorse Guy N. Woods to debate me? Surely there is one somewhere in the great city. Otherwise it might be embarrassing to brother Woods. You see, he wrote me and said, "It must be quite embarrassing to be unable to obtain the endorsement for a discussion from your own congregation to be conducted in your own home town...." Brother Woods also said, in one of his letters to me, "Now, don't run like a scared rabbit from this debate. Our brethren want it; and a congregation endorses me in Louisville for it; the question is, CAN YOU GET SIMILAR ENDORSEMENT?" (Emphasis by Woods. ACG) So, I will just turn that around and say to brother Woods, "Now don't run like a scared rabbit from this debate. Our brethren want it; a congregation endorses me in Memphis for it; the question is, CAN YOU GET SIMILAR ENDORSEMENT? (Emphasis mine this time. ACG)

If no church will endorse Woods in his "own home town" maybe somebody in Nashville, Tennessee, will endorse him. I have endorsement from one of the finest congregations in the city. Does anybody know of anybody who can get anybody to endorse brother Woods for a Nashville debate?

I could keep this up indefinitely. I could mention Truman, Arkansas. I could mention Morton, Texas. I could mention McAlester, Oklahoma. Or I could mention other places in Tennessee, or Arkansas, Or Texas, or Oklahoma. And I may mention them before it is over. I may print some of the letters of endorsement. The die is cast. The church is divided. The question must be debated. I will say what I have said dozens of times during the last three or four years. I will meet Guy N. Woods in debate in every city across the nation where two congregations invite such a discussion. What does Woods say? We shall see what he shall say.

But suppose no church in the whole world will endorse brother Woods to meet me? We can still have a debate if Woods will. You see, one of the endorsements came from Lubbock, Texas; from the Caprock congregation. I give you an excerpt from the letter:

"I write especially to let you know that the elders of the Caprock church and I have agreed together that when you get through with Woods there in July, we would be delighted to back and support you in a debate with him here in Lubbock. It is our opinion that WOODS COULDN'T GET A CHURCH IN LUBBOCK TO BACK HIM in a debate with you or anyone else, but please tell him for us that the Caprock church will support you and will pay half the expenses of such debate in Lubbock in the Municipal Auditorium WHETHER HE CAN GET A LOCAL CHURCH TO BACK HIM OR NOT." (Emphasis Caprock's. ACG)

Will somebody in Lubbock endorse brother Woods and back him? He boasted of what fine crowds he had at Vandelia Village church prior to our debate here in July. Will Vandelia Village endorse him for a discussion? We shall see.