SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
19. T. B. LARIMORE (1843-1929). Theophilus Brown Larimore was born July 10, 1843 in Jefferson County, TN. Little is known of his father. When he was some eight or nine years old, Larimore, his mother, and two sisters moved to the Sequatchie Valley near Dunlap, TN. When he was little more than a child, Theophilus hired himself out to a farmer for $4.00 a month to do the work of a man as a plow hand. When he was sixteen years old, he entered Mossy Creek Baptist College near his birthplace in Jefferson County. While there he tried to “get religion” according to the Calvinistic views of the day (the “mourner’s bench”), but failed to do so. Continue reading
RADIO & TV PREACHING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
(Note: This is the final installment of a speech I gave at the Friends of the Restoration luncheon on February 5 as part of the 82nd Annual Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectures. The full title of the speech was “The Power Of Radio And Television Preaching In The Restoration Movement”).
In 1936 a 14 year old boy in rural southern Oklahoma began listening to W. L. Oliphant’s radio program out of Dallas, TX. He determined then and there that as an adult he would become a gospel preacher and would use radio to reach the masses. God, of course, had bigger plans for Mack Lyon. Continue reading
RADIO AND TV PREACHING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
(Note: This week we resume with Part 2 of a speech I gave at the Friends of the Restoration luncheon on February 5 as part of the 82nd Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectures. The full title of the speech was “The Power Of Radio And Television Preaching In The Restoration Movement”).
So far as I have been able to determine, the longest running radio program among churches of Christ is that of the Central church in downtown Nashville. In fact, according to reliable sources, the Central church hosts the U. S. A.’s longest running religious broadcast. I understand that in the lobby of the Central church building there is a certificate indicating that the radio program began a couple of months before the launch of the Grand Ole Opry which had its first broadcast on November 28, 1925. Continue reading
Billy Graham—dubbed by the press as “America’s Pastor”—is dead! He passed away on Wednesday, February 21, at the age of 99. He was an American icon and the friend and counselor of Presidents. America and the world are extending their love and sympathy to the Graham family—as well they should be doing. Unlike that of so many others, Billy Graham’s ministry was untarnished by either sex or financial scandals. His message of morality and upright living which he passionately proclaimed for almost six decades should be embraced by all who seek a better life for themselves, their families, our country, and the world. Any truth he set forth from scripture should be believed and embraced.
While I had great respect for Mr. Graham, there is much about his teaching and practice with which I disagree because I find it contrary to the Scriptures. While Mr. Graham preferred to be addressed simply as “Billy,” the media insisted on referring to him as “Reverend,” and he accepted that title. Yet, I find this specific word only once in our English Bible, and there it is used to refer to God, not man (Psalm 111:9, KJV). More determinative, however, is the fact that Jesus spoke against the wearing of religious titles. He emphatically stated, “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:8-9). Furthermore, the distinction between “clergy” and “laity” is of man and not of God. The apostle Peter explained that all Christians constitute “a royal priesthood” (I Peter 2:9). Continue reading
RADIO AND TV PREACHING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
On February 5, 2018, as part of the 82nd Annual Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectureship, I was privileged to speak at the “Friends of the Restoration” luncheon on “The Power of Radio and TV Preaching in the Restoration Movement.” Following is some of the anecdotal history I presented on that occasion.
In 1948, from the small Florida panhandle town of Crestview, W. B. Hughes preached the gospel on the radio. A few miles away, in the little village of Baker, FL, U. L. Allen, a 23 year old blind man, sat expectantly by the radio waiting to hear brother Hughes’ sermon. He hung on every word and absorbed the simple gospel that brother Hughes preached. On August 5, 1948, at great personal cost, U. L. Allen was baptized into Christ by Burl Hughes. U. L. was immediately expelled from his home by his father! Continue reading
SOME GREAT LEADERS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT (Part 6)
16. J. M. Barnes (1836-1913). Born in Montgomery County, AL on February 10, 1836, Justus McDuffie Barnes was brought up on an old-time Southern plantation. His father was a cotton planter and slave owner, and his plantation was only another name for plenty, prosperity, and happiness. An only son with two sisters, Justus had as his constant boyhood companion an older slave boy named Ben. As a boy, Barnes had music in his soul, hilarity in his feet, and harmless good humor in every fiber of his being. The first time his mother heard the plea for a “thus saith the Lord” in all religious matters she accepted it, and for years she was the foremost defender of the truth in her section of the country, being such privately and person to person. Barnes entered Bethany College in 1854 and graduated in 1856, studying under Alexander Campbell, the founder of the school. After graduating, he returned to his father’s plantation in the little village of Strata, south of the city of Montgomery. With his two brothers-in-law, he established an educational institution in Highland Home, AL in which the Bible was taught and in which a number of men from the South were trained to become gospel preachers. In addition to being a preacher and educator, Barnes was a writer of some note. He preached extensively in evangelistic meetings in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas, as well as other states. As a preacher, teacher, and writer, he was known for the closeness with which he adhered to the Scriptures. He was a careful and constant student of the New Testament in the original Greek. In the spring of 1913 while driving down the road in a new automobile, an old black friend, working in a nearby field, waved and called to him. Taking his eyes off the road for a moment to return the greeting, he lost control of the car and died from injuries on April 28, 1913. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. Though small in stature, he was a giant among leaders in the Restoration Movement in Alabama in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. (Note: I am indebted to F. D. Srygley, Biographies and Sermons, Gospel Advocate [1961, a reprint], pp. 395-404, for much of the above material). Continue reading
PAUL’S SPEECH TO THE EPHESIAN ELDERS
I have always considered the apostle Paul’s speech to the elders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:17-38) one of the most touching and moving speeches in all of the Bible. Obviously, it does not rank above our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7) or Peter’s sermon on Pentecost when the church was established (Acts 2) or Stephen’s sermon resulting in his martyrdom (Acts 7) or even Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17). Yet, for sheer pathos, to say nothing of its sobering content, few if any speeches in the New Testament would outrank Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders. Continue reading