WHY I WRITE
I love to preach, I love to teach, and I love to write! The reason I love to write is because it is another way to preach and teach the gospel and to set forth the grand principles of Christianity. The preacher who writes greatly expands his “audience” and vastly extends his influence. His words may be read many years after his earthly demise.
When I was a senior in high school, I served as the sports editor of our little school newspaper and as one of two associate editors of our high school yearbook. In college I took two quarters of journalism under Olan L. Hicks, who had been the founding editor of The Christian Chronicle. My first religious article was published during my third year of college. It was published in Gospel Minutes, edited by Dillard Thurman. I continued to submit occasional articles to GM, and brother Thurman was kind enough to publish them. I have always been grateful for his encouragement to me as a young, fledgling writer.
As I recall, the first article I had published in the Gospel Advocate appeared in 1963 and was a tribute to Frank VanDyke, my highly esteemed Bible professor and Chairman of the Bible Department during my student days at Freed-Hardeman College. I continued to submit occasional articles to the GA, and in 1973 B. C. Goodpasture, editor of the Advocate, invited me to become a staff writer for the magazine. I continued in this capacity until his death in 1977. I will always cherish my memory of brother Goodpasture, his friendship to me, and the confidence he expressed in me as a preacher and writer. Through the years, the Advocate has continued to publish my articles. I appreciate the work of its current editor, Gregory Alan Tidwell, whom I have known for at least thirty years, as well as its new owner and publisher, Randy Duke, also a personal friend.
For some twenty years, I have written for The Spiritual Sword, edited by Alan E. Highers, my dear friend since our student days at Freed-Hardeman College. For at least the last ten years or more, I have had an article in each of the quarterly issues of this publication, the most widely read purely teaching journal among the churches of Christ. I not only cherish Alan’s and my long and lasting friendship, but I sincerely appreciate the confidence he continues to show in me by asking me to write for this great journal.
Writing has always been a part of my ministry and it is a work that I enjoy immensely. In my ministry at Jackson, Tennessee over fifty years ago I wrote a weekly “Sermon-Ad” for The Jackson Sun. Similar columns have appeared in newspapers in other cities where I have lived. Through the years, I have had articles to appear in a number of regional religious publications
In the late fall of 2010, a decade into retirement, I began a weekly email column called “Hugh’s News and Views” that is sent free of charge to family, friends, acquaintances, and others who request it or have it requested for them. While the content is usually of a biblical, religious, moral, or spiritual nature, it is not limited to these areas. I sometimes address current events, and do not hesitate to discuss political, social, recreational, entertainment, and even personal and family matters. As I explained in the inaugural issue, it is “HUGH’S News and Views,” and I have no hesitancy in setting forth my view of a matter. Others, of course, are free to disagree with me and to publish their own “news and views.”
Over the course of my almost sixteen years of retirement (more like semi-retirement) I have published four books, all by Hester Publications of Henderson, Tennessee. (Note: I no longer handle my books. Any inquiry into their availability and cost should be directed to Hester Publications, 165 Gibson Drive, Henderson, TN38340.) During these retirement years, Nashville’s daily newspaper has published close to forty of my “Letters to the Editor” of The Tennessean. I post extensively on Facebook, not only to set forth biblical truth, but to counter the foolish and false notions that I sometimes see presented there. As many know, I am not shy about presenting what I believe to be the truth about a matter.
So, why do I write? It is a way to set forth biblical truth, to defend New Testament Christianity, to uphold the moral standard of God’s word, and to contend earnestly for the faith. Some may think that I am occasionally a bit too direct in what I say and in the way I say it. It is never my intention to be harsh or unkind. If I know myself, I do not have a mean, vindictive bone in my body. I genuinely love all people. I do not have that many years left in this world, and I am looking forward to eternity with God, with Jesus my Savior, and with all the redeemed. In the meantime, I want to do all that I can in every way that I can for as long as I can to help others to know the way of Christ as set forth in the New Testament. That is why I write!
July 19, 2016
July 20: Mount Juliet Church of Christ, Mount Juliet, TN
July 31: Sylvia Church of Christ, Dickson, TN