Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 23, 1955
NUMBER 40, PAGE 5-6b

Two Statements From Lubbock

College Avenue Church Of Christ Lubbock, Texas

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with much sadness that we make known to you the division which has been caused among brethren at College Avenue Church of Christ by Grover Stevens and some other members, which has resulted in a group separating themselves from this congregation to form a - schismatic body, meeting in another location and identifying themselves as the Caprock Church of Christ. As elders of the church at College Avenue it is our obligation, in obedience to the command to "mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned" (Rom. 16:17), to present the following facts:

1. A group identifying themselves as the Caprock Church of Christ consists primarily of some who were former members of the church at College Avenue, many of these being innocently led astray.

2. This group known as the Caprock Church of Christ pulled away from College Avenue, refusing to recognize God's order of autonomy, with the elders as overseers (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2) and the congregation enjoined to "obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (Heb. 13:17.)

3. This group known as the Caprock Church of Christ was guilty through petitions and privately stirring up strife, of sowing discord among brethren, a sin which God abominates. (Prov. 6:19.)

4. This group known as the Caprock Church of Christ has hired as their preacher Grover Stevens, who had resigned at College Avenue and is now working to build up this group who have separated from us.

In the light of these facts, we stated publicly at College Avenue last Sunday, November 20, 1955, that the group known as Caprock Church of Christ is a faction which have gone out from us, and because of their disregard for the God-ordained authority of the elders as the overseers, have sown discord among brethren.

We ask for your prayers as we work toward a reconciliation "that there be no divisions among us" and thus, answer the Savior's prayer for unity, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:21.)

Lee P. Emery Claud F. Gowen

O. C. Home Elders, College Avenue Church of Christ Lubbock, Texas

Statement From The Caprock Church, Lubbock, Texas

In view of the recent publication of a statement from the elders of the College Avenue Church asserting that the Caprock Church is a "faction," we wish to state:

(1) The starting of a new congregation was suggested by Brother O. C. Home, presiding elder at College Avenue, and announced at College Avenue Church by another one of their elders, and not opposed until after it became a fact!!! Our only notice of any opposition from the remaining elders of the College Avenue Church was the public statement which they mailed over the country.

(2) The trouble at the College Avenue Church was caused directly by Brother O. C. Horne, an elder who is strongly self-willed, contentious, and a "lord over God's heritage" contrary to the doctrine of Christ (1 Peter 5:2-3; Titus 1:7; Acts 20:29-30.)

a) In a period of six years Brother Horne has been the object of five separate disturbances in the eldership at College Avenue, each resulting in the other elders resigning, and in two instances (including this one) the preacher also, rather than continue in strife with him. On the last occasion he tricked the other elders into resigning with him, then through a political ruse he was retained as an elder by a very narrow majority rule vote of some of the men present in a business meeting. (Many did not believe in voting). Support from Brother Horne's large family is significant also.

b) The "discord" in the present situation was sown by Brother O. C. Horne in an effort to stir up opposition against Brother Grover Stevens, our preacher; and in making false charges against one of the most faithful gospel preachers in the land in order to get his meeting cancelled.

(3) When Brother Horne refused to hear us in a meeting, we decided to write him a letter and ask a large number to sign it. This was done after Brother Stevens had resigned, without his help, and against his advice; and was dropped a few days later.

(4) Our decision to start a new congregation was made after Brother Stevens had resigned, while he was out of town, and without his knowledge. We asked him to work with us after the new congregation was planned and initiated.

(5) The elders publicly recommended Brother Stevens before the College Avenue Church a week after he resigned.

(6) The fact that we no longer consider Brother O. C. Horne as one qualified to be an elder in the Lord's church, and that we chose to start a new congregation with all the work, expense, and inconvenience involved, rather than to become more deeply involved in a wrangle, certainly cannot be construed as refusing to recognize elders as overseers of the church. There is a vast difference in refusing to recognize one person as a qualified elder, and in refusing to recognize elders as overseers. The elders at College Avenue can cite no instance in which we have refused to submit to any decision of the eldership!

(7) The eldership at College Avenue is composed of Brother O. C. Home, who is literally the presiding elder; his son-in-law, who lives on one of his farms; and an elderly man who is limited in his activity by his health.

(8) We have with us at Caprock, three former elders of the College Avenue Church and five other men who have served as elders in other churches before moving to Lubbock.

(9) In an elders meeting on October 21st when Brother Horne was reminded that his action would cause trouble in the church, he admitted that it would, but declared that we will do fine after it dies down. He further said in the same meeting, "God's given plan is that the elders must rule over this congregation . . ... whether they are right or wrong they still have that authority and they have got to exercise it." (Copied from tape recording.)

In the light of these facts it should be easily seen that if there is a "faction" involved, that it is the College Avenue Church, and not Caprock. The whole trouble was started, and continues to be stirred by them.

We have, and do, invite the elders of the College Avenue Church to meet with the Caprock congregation and convince us that we are wrong. They are welcome to use outside help if they please. They should accept this invitation, or be willing to withdraw their charges so that a reconciliation (for which they are avowedly praying) may be effected. It is our sincere desire to be right in the eyes of our Lord. We have sought advice and prayed for guidance in our actions, and still do. We welcome criticism from anyone. We shall continue to do our best to serve God faithfully and effectively. May God help us to have and keep the love of the truth.


J. R. Morrow M. L. Davenport

D.R. Bright A. C. Finley

T. P. Moore D. M. Booker