A PIECE OF RACIAL CHURCH HISTORY
In 1964 my family and I moved to Clarksville, Tennessee in order for me to serve as minister of the Madison Street Church of Christ. I was 26 years old and ambitious, but hopefully ambitious to serve the Lord on a wider field of opportunity. Clarksville was the home of a state university (Austin Peay) and a sprawling Army base (Fort Campbell).
When I moved to Clarksville the Madison Street church had between 400 and 500 members (considered to be a fairly large congregation as churches of Christ go), with a Sunday morning attendance commensurate with the membership. Of course, the attendance included children too young to be Christians, adult non-members, as well as visitors from the community, including a number of students from Austin Peay. Joe Morgan was president of the University and one of the church’s elders. Several other Austin Peay faculty were members at Madison Street. Continue reading
If you could talk with any 19th century Christian, who would it be, and why? Remember, we’re talking the 1800s. What would you ask? Would you ask for advice? How would the conversation go? What might this person ask you about?
“With rare humility for a theologian, he realized that knowledge of his work was not necessary for salvation.”
Everett Ferguson, commenting on Peter Lombard (c. 1100-1160), in Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, p. 452.
“In addition to all this, on the last day of the games Blandina was again brought in, with Ponticus, a lad of about fifteen. Each day they had been led in to watch the torturing and were urged to swear by the idols. Furious at their steadfast refusal, they showed no sympathy for the boy’s youth or respect for the woman but subjected them to every torture. Ponticus was heartened by his sister in Christ and bravely endured each horror until he gave up his spirit. Last of all, the blessed Blandina, like a noble mother who had comforted her children and sent them on triumphantly to the king, rejoiced at her own departure as if invited to a wedding feast. After the whips, the beasts, and the gridiron, she was finally put into a net and thrown to a bull. Indifferent to circumstances through faith in Christ, she was tossed by the animal for some time before being sacrificed. The heathen admitted that never before had a woman suffered so much so long.”
An excerpt from a horrifying letter preserved by Eusebius (A.D. 260-339), sent from brethren in Gaul to brethren in Asia Minor during the latter second century, documenting the merciless persecution saints were enduring in what is, today, France. It puts our own troubles in a different perspective, doesn’t it?