Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 28, 1951

Premillennial Infiltration In Africa

J. C. Reed, Stanton, Texas

(Editor's Note: Brother J. C. Reed has only this year returned from the mission field in Africa. He was there long enough to have accurate and intimate knowledge of the things of which he writes. Let no faithful Christian be discouraged from supporting the many worthy and loyal gospel preachers in Africa because of these revelations by brother Reed of certain false teachers. If false doctrine is being taught there, that is all the more reason why those who teach the truth should be encouraged and supported. The following letter from brother Geo. F. Hook of Nhowe Mission will show that there are true and faithful men in Africa, men who are deserving of all the help we can give them in their fight against premillennialism.)

Nhowe Mission May 30, 1951 Dear Brother Tant:

I understand that brother Guy Caskey has written a report concerning premillennialism in Africa. I want to supplement it with information concerning S. D. Garrett of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia.

In a recent meeting of the native brethren of Wuyuwuyu, he made the statement that he believed the premillennial doctrine and that he believed he should teach what he believed. He then proceeded to explain what the doctrine is and to condemn those who would not fellowship a premillennialist. I opposed him to the best of my ability.

Your brother in Christ, George F. Hook The story of Arthur T. Phillips and his connection with the work in Africa began with his introduction to the brotherhood through various religious papers. He was recommended by Alvin Hobby through the "World Vision,'

by R. N. Garner in the "Christian Chronicle' and by S. D. Garrett in "Glimpses of Africa.' I will quote from the latter of September, 1947, page 1. "We reproduce below the passport picture of Arthur T. Phillips' family of Route 3, Box 731, Hanford, California, who are coming to Namwianga Mission, Kalomo, N. Rhodesia, as soon as the way is opened before them. They are bringing their farm machinery (worth several thousand dollars) which will be a very definite asset in the work. Food production, not only on our mission stations, but over this part of Africa generally is a serious problem. Thousands of bags of corn from Argentina have had to be imported this year to keep people from starving. Farm machinery at auction sales brings two or three times the new price. We pray that this fine family may be set forward on their journey worthily of —God.' — S. D. G.

When J. C. Shewmaker left N. Rhodesia in the fall of 1948 to return to America for a visit he resigned his various posts in the work. Among those resigned was the function of "contact man' man with the government. He had been securing permits from the N. Rhodesia government that allowed the new workers to enter. In securing the permits the "Churches of Christ Missions of N Rhodesia' 'promised the government that they would stand good for the new workers conduct and support.

Due to some dissatisfaction over the way permits had been handled in the past and because it was too much power for one man to have, the group decided to pass this responsibility on to the "Board of Education." This board at the time was: Brother Merritt, brother Hobby, and myself. Brother Hobby being the secretary would do the actual writing for the permits.

Brother Hobby came to me at various times to ask what I thought of getting permits for this person or that person. During such conversations I mentioned to him several times that I thought we should work out a policy by which we could investigate the various ones who were asking for permits. I mentioned that I was opposed to getting permits for premillennialists. He replied that he was just as opposed to getting permits for those who were fighting premillennialism.

Boyd Reese left Africa about March, 1948 for a visit in the States. Just before he left he came to see me in regard to the Phillips family coming to N. Rhodesia. He said that Phillips was known as a rabid premillennialist and it had been reported that the congregation at Hanford, California, had withdrawn from him. Boyd said he had written brother Merritt about the matter. He wanted me to talk with the others and see if we could get Phillips permit cancelled. Boyd also mentioned that Phillips had sold his farm machinery and was without definite support but wanted to come and farm Namwianga Mission for a living. This of course was not fair to the government as they had given his permit so he could do mission work.

I first talked with brother Short on Namwianga about the matter. While we were talking about Phillips, sister Short came into the room. She wanted to know why I objected to Phillips. I told her he was a premillennialist. She said she thought it just a lot of fussing over nothing and that there had never been any trouble over it in Africa.

Later I talked to brother Hobby the only other man on Namwianga at the time. (A. B. Reese's being at Durban on vacation) They would not agree to trying to cancel his permit but did agree to writing a formal letter telling Phillips not to come. Brother Hobby and I were to draft the letter.

However, in the meantime, sister Short and sister Rowe had talked together and vetoed the idea. They thought we should talk to sister Brittell (premillennialist) at Sinde Mission before we wrote anything. In the end no formal letter was written but each man wrote a personal letter to friends asking them to use their influence to stop Phillips from coming.

In the next general meeting of the "Churches of Christ Mission of N. R.,' I brought up the matter of getting permits. I urged the group to fix a policy for deciding who should be given permits to enter N. Rhodesia. After some discussion in which it was stated we had never had any trouble over premillennialism in Africa, brother Short stated for the group that to refuse anyone a permit would be refusing that person a right to preach in N. Rhodesia. I disagreed with this and pointed out that more was involved. It meant getting permits for anyone regardless of whom he might be and standing good for him before the government. The others let brother Short's statement stand (among these were brethren A. B. Reese, Geo. M. Scott, brother Merritt and brother Hobby). Brother Hobby as secretary of the meeting did not record this discussion in the minutes of the meeting. Why ? Why?

When brother Phillips arrived in N. Rhodesia, a tea party to welcome his family was planned. The missionaries took off from work for a half day to welcome Phillips. I did not attend.

While visiting at Namwianga he was invited to preach by sister Otis Scott who was also visiting there, and preached for two or three nights. I did not attend.

In the "Glimpses of Africa' edited by W. N. Short, in June, 1949, issue 8, a picture of the Phillips family appeared with this written underneath, "The Arthur T. Phillips family who arrived on the field recently. May the Lord bless their labours for His cause." Five thousand conies of this paper are sent to America.

In July, 1949, the General Meeting met at Kabanga (mission 50 miles from Kalomo, N. R.). During this meeting Phillips was elected missionary-in-charge at Sinde (Mission 20 miles from Livingstone, N. R.).

In the September, 1949, Missionary Messenger (pre-millennial publication published in Louisville, Ky.) appeared on page 4 this:

"Brother Boll teaches in Africa — We have just had the thrill of hearing your (sister Allen's) voice on brother Phillips recorder when you asked questions in brother Boll's Bible class. Why didn't you ask more questions? How we enjoy hearing brother Boll teach!" — Mrs. J. A. Brittell I now quote from the "Gospel Advocate" of March 23, 1590, p. 178: "Word comes from a reliable source that Arthur T. Phillips and Vernon Lawyer have been rather intensively preaching the premillennial theory . . ."

This story could be repeated over many times in other situations and occasions. After fighting it for three and a half years I came back to the States with documentary evidences to prove my charges of premillennialism in Africa. They are yours to see if you want to see them.