Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 27, 1957

Cancelled Meetings


The following correspondence is self explanatory.

June 4, 1957 Yater Tant, Editor Gospel Guardian

Lufkin, Texas Dear Brother Tant:

Again, you are dealing recklessly with the truth, and have published a statement designed to reflect unfavorably on me.

You offer to send the names of "several other churches who have cancelled meeting with Brother Woods . . . "You say further: "No less than half dozen have come to our attention this year."

Please insert the following statement in your paper:

"In the Gospel Guardian of May 30, 1957, Brother Tant wrote: 'Brother Guy Woods' meetings are being cancelled in many, many places; no less than half a dozen have come to our attention this year.' To the best of my recollection, I have received FOUR letters informing me that scheduled meetings were being cancelled on the ground of my defense of the homes or the Herald of Truth. When it is taken into consideration that this is over the whole period that the controversy has raged; that I have held 300 meetings in the last 12 years; and that I have 125 meetings scheduled ahead all the time, it is not surprising that in this number would be a few who have yielded to hobbyism AFTER the meeting was scheduled. In every instance, the elderships believed as I NOW do when they scheduled the meetings. But alas. They did run well; who hindered them from obeying the truth? If Bro. Tant's 'many, many places' can be compressed into four, his idea of 'many, many' places differs from mine!"

If I do not receive word from you within a reasonable time that this will appear, it is my intention to write an article showing WHO is industriously working to get meetings cancelled or hindered in this current controversy.

Faithfully yours Guy N. Woods

P.S. Don't forget to send me the "half dozen" places which you told your readers have cancelled meetings with me this year.

June 7, 1957 Mr. Guy N. Woods 3584 Galloway

Memphis, Tennessee Dear Brother Guy:

I have your letter of June 4, and will give space to it in an early issue of the Guardian, as per your request.

You ask that I send you the names of the "half dozen" places that were reported to me to have cancelled meetings with you. I'm sure I've made no effort to compile any list of your cancellations; but within the last six months I've had word of at least a dozen or fifteen places in which your meetings had already been cancelled, or in which cancellations were being seriously discussed. They have ranged all the way from Texas to Florida to Indiana, including Tennessee and Kentucky and Georgia and Alabama in between. Since, as you say, you keep no less than 125 meetings scheduled ahead all the time, I hardly conceive it possible that I have heard of ALL your cancellations, or the discussions of cancellations yet to come.

However, to answer your question more specifically, I have heard of cancellations or serious discussion of cancellations, already consummated or pending, in Louisville, Kentucky; Port Arthur, Texas; Center, Texas; Cisco, Texas; Columbus, Georgia, and Tigrett, Tennessee. I have read the letters of cancellation some of these places wrote you; and I am aware of the vicious letters you have replied to some of them, telling them they were "not fit to be elders," etc.

Wherever I have had any opportunity at all, I have pleaded with the brethren NOT to cancel your meetings. And I am pleased to think that there are a few places, at least, where my counsel may have had some influence. I hope so.

I think, Guy, you are pretty badly mistaken when you say that the various elderships (who have cancelled your meetings) believed as you do "NOW" when they engaged you for these meetings. Many of them probably believed (and perhaps still do) as you did when you wrote: "There is no place for charitable organizations in the work of the New Testament church." It would be my surmise that probably the majority of churches booking you for meetings as far back as five years ago were in agreement with your statement:

"The church is the only organization authorized to discharge the responsibilities of the Lord's people. When brethren form organizations independently of the church to do the work of the church, however worthy their aims and right their designs, they are engaged in that which is sinful."

You will probably be wise to anticipate an increasing number of cancellations in the months ahead, as the considerable influence of the Firm Foundation begins to be felt against the modernism and surging "societyism" of the Gospel Advocate position. You must remember, Guy, that the wounds over the Missionary Society fight are much fresher and more recent in Texas than they are in Tennessee. And when the Texas church generally come to realize that the Gospel Advocate is promoting and defending "Benevolence Societies", and that you are in the forefront in such promotions, I forsee an increasing number of cancellations for you. In fact, I know of some already "in the making."

May I commend to your careful reading the editorial in the Firm Foundation of May 28. I certainly do not agree with either Reuel Lemmons or Roy Lanier in their defense of "brotherhood institutions under an eldership", and I think you did a fine job in showing that elders do NOT act "as elders" in their supervision of such projects, but in this editorial Reuel Lemmons has set forth a strong and needed plea for a willingness to study and think. Free discussion is the only real hope for the future. And I say it kindly, because I know you are not responsible for the editorial policy of the Gospel Advocate, but there can be no question at all in the mind of any thinking man that the Advocate's policy of refusing free discussion, and calling for quarantines against those of opposing convictions, is the one greatest single factor in the present unhappy condition of tension and unrest among the churches.

I trust this finds you well in every way, and I wish you much success in every righteous undertaking. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Yater Tant