Beginning this coming Sunday, October 13 (D.V.), I am to preach in the first of three consecutive gospel meetings. These evangelistic endeavors will be with the Hartsville Pike Church of Christ here in Gallatin, TN where we live (October 13-16), the Sylvia Church of Christ in Dickson County, TN (October 20-23), and the Adams Church of Christ in Adams, TN (October 27-30).
Some might ask, “What is a gospel meeting?” A gospel meeting is simply a series of religious services in which the gospel is preached for anywhere from a few to several successive days and/or nights. Some religious groups refer to them as revivals. Many churches need a spiritual revival. So, to speak of a “revival” or a “revival meeting” or some other related term is not inappropriate. Most churches of Christ refer to such events simply as gospel meetings, with the purpose being to preach the gospel of Christ in such a way as to lead the lost to Christ and His church and to strengthen Christians in the faith.
At one time such endeavors were referred to as “protracted meetings.” The word “protracted” means “extended” or “lasting for a long time.” There was a time when gospel meetings would last for over two weeks, encompassing three Sundays. Over time, these began to be shortened to ten days (perhaps Monday night of one week through Wednesday night of the following week), then eight days (Sunday through Sunday), then six days (Sunday through Friday), then four days (Sunday through Wednesday night). Some churches now have a weekend gospel meeting (Friday night through Sunday). Sadly, some churches have dispensed with gospel meetings altogether. This, I think, is a sad commentary on our society and the fact that many people (including many Christians) have no interest in attending an extended series of religious services.
In 1894, the great evangelist, T. B. Larimore, conducted a twenty-two weeks’ gospel meeting in Sherman, TX, with preaching twice each weekday (except Saturdays) and three times on Sunday. In this meeting brother Larimore preached 333 sermons and baptized almost 300 people into Christ. The longest meeting I ever conducted was a twelve day meeting (Monday of one week through Friday of the next week) in 1960 with the Lord’s church in Petersburg, IN. The year before, I had preached in a ten day meeting (Monday of one week through Wednesday of the next week) with that church. Early in my career I spoke in a number of ten day, eight day, and six day meetings. Most of my meetings now are four days in length (Sunday through Wednesday), as will be the case in each of the three upcoming meetings.
I am looking forward to being with each of the three good churches mentioned in the beginning of this article. The Hartsville Pike church here in Gallatin is a large and strong congregation, served by eight good elders and three fulltime ministers. I served as the interim minister there for three months in 2006 and have spoken there at various times during the nineteen years that Jan and I have lived in Gallatin. The Sylvia church, just a few miles north of Dickson, TN, is a good rural congregation where I have spoken at various times for “Special Sundays” that they have had. The church in Adams, TN is dear to my heart since I served as their part-time minister in 2001 and conducted their fall meetings in 200l, 2002, 2003, and 2010. I am looking forward to being with them once again. Adams is located between Springfield, TN and Guthrie, KY and near the city of Clarksville, TN.
In my meetings I prefer not to have an assigned theme, but I always have a theme. Increasingly, in our highly secular and ever changing world I see the need for emphasizing the “Foundation Facts and Primary Principles of New Testament Christianity.” That will be my theme (announced or unannounced) in all three of the upcoming meetings.
Sermons that I will preach will be chosen from the following: “Our Unchanging God,” “The Great Love of God,” “God’s Word: Our Final Authority in Faith and Practice,” “The Cross of Christ,” “The Prayer of Christ From the Cross,” “The Church Revealed in the Bible,” “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Church,” “Can a Person, Even in This Life, Know His/Her Eternal Destiny?,” “What Sin Does to Us,” “What Must I Do to Be Saved?,” “How To Get to Heaven,” “The Day You Were Baptized,” “Can You Recommend Your Religion?,” “Blessed Assurance,” “God’s Game Plan for Life,” “Keeping Our Spiritual Focus,” “If I Am Lost,” as well as others.
Obviously, I will not preach all of these sermons in any one of the meetings, nor will the meetings feature the same slate of sermons. But these are some of the messages that I believe are among the most vital for both Christians and non-Christians.
These sermons are not meant to entertain (though I am known to occasionally inject a little “Hugh-mor” into my messages), but rather to instruct, inform, inspire, exhort, encourage, admonish, warn, comfort, and give hope and assurance.
I am committed to preaching the basic principles of New Testament Christianity and to calling men and women back to a love for, an appreciation for, and a faithful adherence to the true and pure religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. If any of my readers live in the areas where these meetings will be conducted, I would be pleased and honored for you to attend any or all of the services.
Hugh Fulford, October 8, 2019
- October 13-16: Hartsville Pike Church of Christ, Gallatin, TN
- October 20-23: Sylvia Church of Christ, Dickson County, TN
- October 27-30: Adams Church of Christ, Adams, TN