Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 25, 1954

A Question Of Doctrinal Teaching : A Statement From The Norhill Elders

Elders, Norhill Church, Houston, Texas

Unfortunately and lamentably there arose a few years ago among the congregations in Houston a conflict which has been construed, quite likely, by many as one between individuals and essentially partaking of the character of a personal squabble. In fairness to ourselves and the cause of Truth which we cherish and espouse we feel constrained to issue this statement of fact. It is not our desire to injure anyone personally, as we are not motivated by a spirit of animosity toward any individuals involved, but rather to clarify the matter and exonerate the Norhill congregation of every unjust imputation made and every unfair judgment pronounced against us. The Firm Foundation of January 5, 1954, contains a statement relative to the alleged behavior and utterances of Brother Burton Coffman while in Korea recently. There is revealed by this account such pronounced unsoundness in the faith as to impose on all who reverence the Lord and respect His word the obligation to repudiate him as a gospel preacher. However, if only he was involved in the consequences of his views we would not feel warranted in issuing this statement for publication. For thirteen years he worked, and sustained the relation of preacher, with the Central congregation here in Houston. Through the years here his whole course was consistent with the attitude revealed in this latest recital of his attitude, and this is but characteristic of him. Lest anyone may be disposed to appraise him and his position independent of the Central congregation, there should be borne in mind these salient and significant facts: First, he has returned to Central for a meeting since severing his regular work with them. Second, he spoke at Central Sunday evening, January 10, 1954, after this account from Korea had been published. Third, it is reported that he has been engaged for another meeting with Central this year.

These facts associated with the known digressive and unsound position of Coffman inescapably identifies Central as being in sympathy with him and correspondingly unsound, forfeits their right to be esteemed and fellowshipped by the children of God in Houston or elsewhere. These facts stand forth as revealing the basic cause and fundamental issue to be not personal, but doctrinal, in the differences between Norhill and Central as well as affecting all the congregations in the city, and sets these differences forth in their proper perspective.

While it is our sincere desire and fervent prayer that both he and they be restored to the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, we believe, pending such a reformation, it to be our duty to inform by this medium those interested in the true situation as it prevails now and for several years past. And, too, to affirm our opposition to this looseness and the continuing course of unsoundness which it provokes, while we unfalteringly and perseveringly persist in our advocacy and defense of the faith of the gospel. To this we are dedicated and devoted and covet the goodwill, esteem and prayers of God's faithful children everywhere. In the love and hope of Christ we subscribe ourselves, Fraternally yours,



s/ A. R. MORRIS Elders,

Norhill Church of Christ Houston, Texas