Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 3, 1967
NUMBER 13, PAGE 4-5a



This editorial is being written from the building of the Park Hill Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Guthrie Dean is the local preacher here, and has done and is doing a most excellent work with this fine congregation. It was to the Park Hill church that this writer came as a green young preacher more than thirty years ago for his first "full time" work as a gospel preacher. (For five years prior to this while working with the Bardstown Road Church in Louisville, Kentucky, he had been a full time student in the University of Louisville and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.) But Park Hill in Fort Smith in the early 1930's represented a challenge indeed! The salary paid was $15.00 per week, plus a small house to live in. Membership of the congregation was about 200, and the contribution ran something like $50.00 per week. During the three years we worked here about 100 people were baptized into Christ — and the preacher got his salary doubled, up to $30.00 per week!

The Wallace Articles

Mid-summer 1967 presents an exciting and exhilarating picture for the Lord's people, not only in Fort Smith, but around the world. We call your attention to the beginning of a series of articles by Brother William Wallace on his recent tour of some of the Biblical lands. There are six articles in the series, and we will run them with as few interruptions as possible. As Brother Wallace says, travel to all parts of the globe may be "old hat" with many people, but there are still a great many of us "common people" who enjoy reading of the trips of others. And certainly the clear and vivid narrative presented in these articles ought to make interesting reading as the summer wanes. If the mid-east political atmosphere can be controlled somewhat, and the war fever can be abated, Brother Wallace plans to conduct other tours in the next few years. He is already laying plans for a repeat performance next year — the world situation permitting. If any of our readers are interested, it is not too early now to begin making plans.

Louisville Revisited

Earlier this summer (in May) it was our good pleasure to work in a gospel meeting with the Gardiner Lane Church in Louisville. Brother Grover Stevens is doing outstanding work with this congregation, and we had a truly fine meeting. Louisville has many memories (some sad, but most of them happy) for this writer. For two short years of our stay there (1929-1931) we had the rare privilege of close friendship and association with the scholarly M.C. Kurfees. And Haldeman Avenue church, where Brother Kurfees labored for forty-five years, brought to the city the very best gospel preachers of the day--T. Q. Martin, N. B. Hardeman, I. A. Douthitt, F. B. Srygley, F. W. Smith, and others. While the controversy over premillennialism was at high pitch, this writer still found opportunity to visit more than once in the home of R. H. Boll, E. L. Jorgenson, and others of the premillennial persuasion. One of the most vivid memories of all those days is of the time when J. D. Tant (the editor's father) was in a meeting at Bardstown Road Church and J. M. McCaleb, veteran missionary to Japan, being home on furlough, visited the meeting. Because McCaleb was friendly with the premillennialists, and perhaps staying in the home of Don Carlos Janes, he was not recognized from the pulpit in any way. But J. D. Tant was not to be bound by local feelings or shibboleths! He made an eloquent and emotional plea for brethren to love one another, and told much of the great sacrifices made by McCaleb and others in trying to spread the gospel in heathen lands.

Louisville in 1967 presents a far brighter and happier picture for the truth of the gospel than it did in 1929. At that time the premillennialists were much in the majority, outnumbering the faithful brethren by about 26 congregations (in the county) to five. But as of today the faithful churches are overwhelmingly superior, both in number of congregations and in the zeal and activities of the members. There are some twenty or more strong congregations in the area, while both the premillennialists and the liberals (sponsoring church variety) number probably not more than half that number combined.

The "Tongue-Speakers"

We closed a good meeting with the Hardie's Chapel congregation a few miles out from Gordon, Georgia, with the Sunday morning service (June 4). Harold F. Sharp, who labored so many years in Arkansas, is now doing the same strong brand of gospel preaching in Georgia - and getting results. On Monday morning, June 5, the editor and his wife had breakfast in Florence, Alabama, with the inimitable Franklin T. Puckett. While the women-folk were in the kitchen preparing breakfast, Franklin and the editor had a fine opportunity to discuss world politics, grandchildren, mutual friends, and current conditions. The "tongue-speaking" phenomenon among some of our liberal brethren came into the conversation. Said Franklin (and we quote from memory): "While old Brother Otey was in his last illness I visited him; and he told me, as he told all others, that he had been through the earlier digression, and that I and my generation would certainly experience a new digression. He said "Once men leave the standard of Bible authority, and begin to set sail on the sea of wisdom, there is no port of call where they may cast anchor of complete denominationalism.'

"Brother Goodpasture, Brother Lemmons and other 'great ones' among us have encouraged, promoted, and pushed their human organizations and institutions on the church, and have laid the groundwork for this present sickening turn of events. They are now frightened out of their wits at what is happening, and are calling in all their 'big guns' like Woods and Wallace to try to stop the flood they have set loose. But it is all in vain. They cannot stop it. Once men abandon the principle of "Bible authority', there is no port of call where they may cast anchor!! Complete denominationalism is the inevitable stopping place. Brother Otey, wise old man that he was, recognized it many years ago. All of us, including Goodpasture and Lemmons, Woods and Wallace, will recognize it in time."

"Breakfast is ready!", came the call from the kitchen. And we sat down to a delightful breakfast of country ham, hot biscuits, delicious honey, and steaming coffee.

F. Y. T.