Held in Dallas, Texas
Aug. 24-25, 1926
A few words regarding the manner in which this meeting originated would probably be of interest to our readers. A move for the unification of all Primitive Baptists who are agreed in doctrine throughout the United States has for some time been in the minds of many of our leading men, both of the ministry and the laity, and this sentiment seemed to be increasing throughout the country, but how to get such a meeting started had been the question and no one seemed willing to take the initiative.
In discussing this idea among some of our brethren, Dr. J. T. Watson proposed the following plan: Let one or more men of unquestionable ability and standing of each of the divided factions meet without involving any of the churches and get up a call.
Accordingly a letter was mailed by him to representative men of each faction requesting them to meet at his house and consider the matter of sending out a call to the churches asking them to send messengers to the general meeting. In response to these invitations the men whose names appear on the call met, on June 8th, and after due deliberation wrote up and sent out the call.
The response as shown by the attendance at this meeting far exceeded the expectations of the originators of the call, there being about four hundred messengers and visitors present from the different parts Of the country, including representative men from Tennessee, Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, California, Louisiana and Texas.
The recommendations offered to our people are such as to be applicable to almost every conceivable situation that might arise among them and it is hoped that they may form the basis of settlement of all the differences that may exist among the Primitive Baptists of the United States, resulting in a unanimity of sentiment both as to Doctrine and Discipline, enabling those who are willing to subscribe to this set of principles to go anywhere in the United States and be received in full fellowship.
W. W. FOWLER.
PROCEEDINGS OF GENERAL CONVENTION OF PRIMITIVE
BAPTISTS HELD IN DALLAS, AUG. 24-25, 1926.
General Convention of Primitive Baptists from various states of the Union met in the City Hall Auditorium, Dallas, Texas, at 10 o'clock A. M. on Tuesday, April 24, 1926, there being in attendance about four hundred messengers and visitors from their local churches.
Invocation by Elder Wm. H. Crouse.
Dr. J. T. Watson called the house to order and introduced Elder J. L. Collings, who read the call for the meeting, which is as follows:
"A Call For a General Meeting of Primitive Baptists to Be Held at Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, August 24, 1926.
To All Our Dear Brethren in Texas and Elsewhere:
The divided condition of Zion is heart rending and destructive to the happiness of God's people at home and abroad. We, the undersigned, therefore in love and in the fear of God ask all Primitive Baptist Churches everywhere to send messengers to meet in Dallas, Tuesday, August 24, 1926, for the purpose of finding out how nearly alike we are in doctrine and practice, and confessing our faults and forgiving each other and drafting in accord with the Bible principles of order and discipline by which we who are alike in doctrine can unite in our church worship.
We agree upon the following:
1. All God's works are predestinated, therefore sure and certain. God governs His people by law and lovingly leads them thereto through the proclamation of the gospel and by His Spirit in their hearts. All good works are commanded of God and all sinful works forbidden and the only sense in which predestination embraces sin is to overrule and punish it.
2. In regeneration the Holy Spirit operates upon the soul or spirit of man and thereby the soul or spirit of man is made spiritual and a partaker of God's divine nature, but the body is not changed in regeneration in this life but will be changed in the resurrection.
3. Good works in the sense of serving God are performed by regenerated persons only. God commands good works of His people and they are active in obeying. The children of God can obey or disobey.
4. God in eternity elected a definite number of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam to salvation, or eternal life.
5. In the death of Christ an atonement was made for the elect only.
6. We regard as heresy the following and urge that all who advocate such should be scripturally dealt with: The Non-Resurrection Doctrine; Two Seedism; Arminianism; Whole-Manism; No-Manism and the predestination of sin and wickedness.
1. All local churches should be united on uniform fundamentals of the doctrine and discipline.
2. Each church is amenable to the Master for faithful execution of His laws.
3. When a church embraces an error in doctrine or practice her sister churches should labor kindly with her to reclaim her. If her error is fundamental and she persists in it, affiliation of orderly churches with her should cease until she rids herself of her disorder.
And in all cases of differences between churches, or members, action should be taken only upon gospel testimony or substantial evidence.
4. No member or members excluded from one local church may regain membership in another during the existence of said local church.
5. When churches differ on minor points and become alienated, they may reunite without dishonoring the work of either party.
Eld. J. W. Herriage, Elmore City, Okla.
Eld. J. S. Newman, Floresville, Texas.
Eld. W. H. Richards, Rule, Texas.
Eld. J. L. Collings, Glen Rose, Texas.
Eld. H. L. Griggs, Alvarado, Texas.
Eld. J. T. Huckaby, Tipton, Okla.
Eld. S. L. Rives, Brownwood, Texas.
Eld. W. W. Fowler, Dallas, Texas.
Eld. R. E. Wilson, Venus, Texas."
Elder Collings emphasized the fourfold purpose of the meeting and expressed the hope that the meeting might be held in the spirit in which the call was issued.
On motion made and seconded, a board of moderators was elected, consisting of one moderator for each faction proposing to participate in the convention. Elder J. L. Collings was elected moderator for the Newman faction, and Elder W. W. Fowler elected moderator for the Richards faction.
Whereupon Elder S. L. Rives made the following statement to the convention: "Brother J. C. Morgan is present, of which we are glad. Some of you may not be clear as to why he has not been considered. Ye have gone to him, but he decided he did not care to participate in the meeting, and therefore there has not been elected a moderator to represent his faction."
On motion made and seconded, Elder S. L. Rives was elected to act as moderator for the Richards faction until the arrival of Moderator W. W. Fowler.
On motion made and seconded, N. O. Carter was elected clerk of the Richards faction, and J. W. Reed clerk of the Newman faction.
Motion was made by Elder C. H. Cayce that enrollment be made of all messengers present, together with the churches they represented. Considerable argument was had on the motion, which was finally amended by Elder J. L. Collings as follows: "Moved, that we seat as visitors, with the right to take part in this meeting if they so wish, any members of any church allied with the Newman faction, or with the Richards faction, or with the Morgan faction."
By ELDER S. L. RIVES: "I wish to state that what is done at this meeting is not to be binding upon any church. A member can go back and report to his church, and they can get the information but do not have to act on it."
Whereupon enrollment was made of the following:
Elder W. J. Chambers, Corinth, Lampasas County, Texas.
Elder H. L. Griggs, County Line, Ellis County, Texas.
N. O. Carter, County Line, Ellis County, Texas.
L. E. Eskridge, County Line, Ellis County, Texas.
E. K. Weddle, Lubbock, Texas.
Elder J. W. Herriage, Little Flock (Oklahoma).
J. M. Graves, Little Flock (Oklahoma).
Thos. Wright, Corinth (Oklahoma).
G. M. Morris, Corinth (Oklahoma).
C. J. Russel, Saints Delight (Oklahoma).
R. A. Wakefield, Solomon's Temple, Ellis County, Texas.
W. J. McCrady, Solomon's Temple, Ellis County, Texas.
W. T. Montgomery, Solomon's Temple, Ellis County, Texas.
Elder R. E. Wilson, Mt. Peak, Ellis County, Texas.
J. H. Smith, Mt. Peak, Ellis County, Texas.
S. R. Montgomery, Mt. Peak, Ellis County, Texas.
A. J. Nixon, Squaw Creek, Gillespie County, Texas.
Willie Baethge, Squaw Creek, Gillespie County, Texas.
Elder W. W. Fowler, Dallas, Texas. D. F. Jaggars, Dallas, Texas. J. T. Watson, Dallas, Texas.
Elder G. S. Mayo, Fort Worth, Texas.
John Rhodes, Fort Worth, Texas.
S. E. Humphreys, Fort Worth, Texas.
W. F. Jones, Fort Worth, Texas.
Elder H. G. Richards, Joy, Clay County, Texas.
E. W. Chaney, Joy, Clay County, Texas.
J. M. Wiggins, New Providence (Louisiana).
J. H. Roberts, Mt. Olive, Caradan, Mills County, Texas.
P. C. Harris, Mt. Olive, Caradan, Mills County, Texas.
A. B. Neal, Mt. Olive, Caradan, Mills County, Texas.
L. J. McCarty, Corinth, Hart, Texas.
J. E. Hardie, New Hope.
W. L. Blackmon, New Hope.
C. C. Garee, New Hope.
R. G. White, Little Vine, Travis County, Texas.
Elder R. V. Holleman, Mt. Zion, Normangee, Texas.
C. Williams, Mt. Zion, Normangee, Texas.
Elder R. V. Holleman, Fellowship.
A. G. Blackwell, San Antonio.
E. L. Baxley, Mt. Carmel.
Chas. Davis, Mt. Carmel.
Elder J. L. Collings, Lone Pilgrim, Glen Rose, Texas.
Elder C. H. Cayce, Fordyce, Ark.
Elder John R. Harris, Cane Creek, Thornton, Ark.
L. R. Rhodes, Sycamore Heights, Fort Worth.
J. S. Rhodes, Sycamore Heights, Fort Worth.
H. Walker, Sycamore Heights, Fort Worth.
Elder O. F. Dearing, Dallas.
Walter Prewitt, Dallas.
J. E. Scrhimscher, Dallas.
Elder O. F. Dearing, Orchard Gap.
Eider O. F. Dearing, Princeton.
Lee Hanks, 2 Edwin Place, Atlanta, Ga.
Elder J. A. Moore, San Marcus, 1205 Cottage Ave., Houston.
M. H. Woods, San Marcus.
Elder J. A. Moore, Pilgrims Rest.
Elder J. A. Moore, Ephesus, Houston.
L. A. Patterson, Ephesus, Houston.
J. G. Grant, Duffau, Hico, Texas.
Charlie Diesher, Damascus, Alexander, Texas. J. H. Boucher, Damascus, Alexander, Texas. W. H. Barnett, Damascus, Alexander, Texas.
T. C. Hammonds, Salem, Belleview, Texas.
J. W. Reed, Tinney's Creek, Luling, Texas.
J. J. Edwards, El Bethel, Comanche, Texas.
J. A. Mayfield, El Bethel, Comanche, Texas.
W. L. Barrett, Anson, Ranger, Texas.
John Mayfield, Anson, Ranger, Texas.
Whereupon Elder W. H. Crouse, Statesboro (Georgia), made the following statement: "I suppose that there is no faction of Primitive Baptists represented in this meeting to which there might be in the minds of many of our brethren greater objections than the body of Primitive Baptists which I represent. We did not come here with the expectation of receiving any official recognition. In fact, in my opinion, it would be a great mistake for such a thing to be undertaken. But we did come here with a desire in our hearts for the peace and the union of the Primitive Baptists. You have already said that whatever is done at this meeting is not to be binding upon any church. It seems to me that, whatever this meeting does, I ought to have the right to vote for what you do, if I want to do it. Though every member in the churches of Georgia might stand against me--might not endorse it--I think I ought to have the right of saying yes or no. I believe I am with you folks. I may find that I am not, but I believe that in principle I am. It seems to me that every Primitive Baptist in this audience, no matter from where he hails, ought to have the right to say whether he endorses this meeting or not."
Motion made and seconded that If there is a member of any faction of Primitive Baptists besides the three already mentioned here either by church representation or otherwise, he is invited to have his name enrolled and to take part in the deliberations of this meeting.
Whereupon Eider C. H. Cayce made the following statement: "While it is true, as has already been stated, that what is done in this convention is not to be binding upon any church, still our professed object of this meeting is peace and to make peace. That being true, we must be careful not to do something that will destroy peace somewhere outside of Texas. As Elder Crouse has said, and as I am well aware of, if there should be official recognition of Elder Crouse and those who are with him in this meeting, the influence of our meeting would not only be of no good in south Georgia and Alabama, but would absolutely be detrimental. Elder Crouse agrees with me that that is correct. I do not object to Elder Crouse having the right and the privilege of speaking--saying no or yes to any proposition that may come before the meeting, but believe it unwise for us to extend the enrollment, as being members of this body, any further than it has gone. Let them be here as visitors, with the right of saying yes or no to any proposition."
Whereupon Elder W. II. Crouse made the following statement:
"I agree with Brother Cayce in every word he has said. It certainly would not help our cause in Georgia for this meeting to take any stand with reference to our people that would cause friction in Georgia. In other words, as Brother Cayce wrote me not long ago, the Texas Baptists cannot settle our troubles in Georgia, and the Georgia Baptists cannot settle your troubles in Texas. We can help one another. I agree with everything said by Brother Cayce."
On motion made and seconded, meeting was adjourned until 2 o'clock p. m.
Pursuant to adjournment, the convention met at 2 o'clock. Moderator W. W. Fowler being present, Acting Moderator S. L. Rives retired in his favor.
Invocation by Elder J. W. Fairchild.
On motion made and seconded, the following fifteen were appointed members of a committee to draft an outline of doctrine and discipline for the consideration of the convention: Moderator Fowler appointing Elders J. W. Herriage, S. N. Redford, S. L. Rives, W. H. Richards and H. L. Griggs from the Richards faction; Moderator Collings appointing Elders J. J. Edwards, J. S. Newman, J. H. Fisher, J. A. Moore and W. L. Barrett from the Newman faction; from the East Moderator Fowler appointed Elders J. W. Fairfield and S. E. Reid; Moderator Collings appointed Elders C. H. Cayce and Lee Hanks, which four members appointed their fifth members, Elder J. B. Hardy.
On motion made and seconded, to this committee were added the moderators and the clerks.
Whereupon this committee retired to a private room to begin the drafting of a set of principles covering Doctrine and Discipline ,
On motion made and seconded, the meeting was adjourned to 9 o'clock a. m., Wednesday, August 25, 1926, at which time it was announced, the convention would meet in the Y. W. C. A. Auditorium.
While the committee was at work preaching was going on in the Auditorium. Two discourses were delivered at each service. The order of preaching was as follows, no affiliation being intended:
Monday night--Elder J. B. Litle, Abbott, Ark.; Elder W. H. Richards, Rule, Texas.
Tuesday afternoon--Elder H. G. Ball, Tioga, Texas; Elder John R. Harris, Thornton, Arkansas.
Tuesday night--Elder J. H. Phillips, Huron, Tenn.; Elder T. L. Webb, Jonesboro, La.
Wednesday morning--Elder J. C. Morgan, Killeen, Texas; Elder H. S. Ball, San Antonio, Texas.
Wednesday night--Elder W. H. Crouse, Statesboro, Georgia; Elder John R. Harris, Thornton, Arkansas.
Pursuant to adjournment the convention met at 2 p. m. Wednesday.
MODERATOR FOWLER: The committee has finished its work of drafting principles of doctrine and discipline to which, in my mind, the Primitive Baptists throughout the United States and the world ought to be willing to subscribe. We have met here for the purpose of endeavoring, with the help of God, to lay out a plan doctrinally and practically that may serve as a unification of all who believe in the doctrine of salvation by grace and are agreed upon the principles of order. This meeting will mark an epoch in the history of the Primitive Baptists of the United States and may be a guide for future generations among the dearest people that ever graced the earth. It seems to me that we have seen the manifestations of the hand of God since we have been assembled at this place, which is to me a sacred one. Now, while the secretary reads these recommendations, if there is a question as he goes along about any principle you are at liberty to bring it up at the time; but regarding all such questions let us have in mind the sacredness of the cause, and beg the Lord to guide us in our efforts and let us approach this subject in the proper spirit and I believe that great and lasting good will result.
Whereupon Secretary C. H. Cayce read the recommendations, which follow:
Committee appointed to draft a Statement of Principles met in the Y. W. C. A. building. Elder S. L. Rives was appointed to act as chairman, and Elder C. H. Cayce as clerk. The committee drafted the following Principles of faith and practice for the consideration of our brethren:
1. The Old and New Testament Scriptures are the perfectly inspired Word of God and the only infallible standard of faith and practice.
2. There is one living and true God who is a pure Spirit, self-existent, perfect, infinite and eternal in all His glorious attributes, the Sovereign Creator, Upholder, Governor and Judge of the Universe, and who exists in the three-fold, undivided and indivisible substance of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
3. God's foreknowledge embraces or includes all events. That is, nothing has ever transpired but that He knew it beforehand. He eternally knew it. He has never learned anything, nor has He ever forgotten anything.
4. The Scriptures teach very clearly and most positively that God predestinated that His people--the objects of His love and sovereign choice--should be saved from their sins and be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus, and finally or ultimately saved in glory. The only sense in which predestination embraces sin is to suffer, overrule and punish it.
5. Before the foundation of the world God chose some men and angels to eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son, to the praise of His glorious grace, and left others to act in their sins to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.
6. Good works in the sense of rendering spiritual service to God are performed by regenerated persons only. God commands good works of His people, and they are active in obeying. The children of God can obey or disobey. It is essential that God's people have His grace to obey.
7. In regeneration the Holy Spirit operates upon the soul or spirit of man, and thereby the soul or spirit of man is made spiritual and a partaker of God's divine nature, but the body is not changed in regeneration in this life, but will be changed and made spiritual in the resurrection.
8. The preaching of the gospel is not to give life to the dead, for God alone can do that; but it is to teach, exhort, comfort, edify, warn and reprove the living people of God, to save them from error and disorder, confusion and division, and to establish them in the truth, or doctrine taught in the Bible.
9. We believe that at the last day there will be a resurrection of these mortal bodies, both of the just and the unjust, the former to eternal life and the latter to everlasting or eternal punishment.
10. We believe that all the children of God are preserved in grace to glory, and that none of them can be finally lost.
11. We believe that God calls men to preach, and separates them unto the gospel of the Son of God.
12. We believe that in the transgression of Adam all his posterity were condemned in sin and death, and are not able to recover themselves, but the elect are delivered therefrom by the quickening work of God's Holy Spirit.
1. The Church of Christ is a body of baptized believers set up by the Saviour during His personal ministerial reign for the purpose of perpetuating the ordinances therein, and in which His people may continue walking in the commandments of the New Testament. It has had an unbroken chain of existence from its beginning.
2. We believe Baptism is the first ordinance in the church and is a prerequisite to all other church activity.
3. The Lord's Supper is another ordinance of the Church of Christ.
4. Washing the Saints' Feet is a third ordinance of the Church of Christ.
5. Baptism must be preceded by evidence of regeneration and belief in Christ.
6. Immersion is the only scriptural mode of baptism. An ordained minister of the church is the only one authorized to administer the ordinances of the church.
7. The emblems to be used in the Lord's Supper are unleavened bread and wine.
8. The Lord's Supper should be taken in remembrance of the Saviour once or oftener every year. Washing the Saints' Feet should be practiced by the church.
9. A private offense in the church is where one or more members trespass against others. A public offense is where one's conduct is immoral and detrimental to the entire church. A private offense may hurt only one member! a public offense hurts all alike.
10. In case of a private offense, the offended, without any talk to others, should go to the offender in both spirit and truth. If he fails to settle the difficulty, then he should get one or two members and take them with him to the offender, not talking of the difficulty, however, till the offender is present. If a settlement is not effected then, the matter should be taken to the church. If the offender refuses to hear the church he should be kindly withdrawn from by the church. If any offended brother neglects to observe this rule, he thereby becomes a transgressor himself.
11. In case of a public offense of small weight, some member should talk to the offender out of love for him and the cause. If he persists and his misconduct hurts the cause, the church should lovingly reclaim him, if possible, by teaching and love. If he becomes too stubborn to listen and heed admonition, he should be excluded from the church.
12. In case of gross infraction of morality, a member should be withdrawn from in love, and be required to show a reformation in conduct before restoration.
13. If a member denies an accusation made only by outsiders, he should not be considered guilty unless a preponderance of creditable evidence, weighed by the church, is against him.
14. When two members fall into a dispute, and no testimony is available to show which one is right, both should be required to cease the dispute at once.
15. Neither husband nor wife shall put the other away and marry another except for the cause of fornication.
16. If a husband and wife are unable to remain together peaceably and decide to quietly separate from each other, they may do so only for peace, but not to marry again. And if either of them marries again he or she is an adulterer and the other is released. The discipline herein on adultery refers to members of the church. We believe that the moral law of God governing marriage and prohibiting adultery and fornication is binding upon the unregenerate as well as the regenerate.
17. No member shall be allowed to frequent or become member of any worldly institution, secret or otherwise, that has in it a form of worship. This, however, shall not be construed to exclude members from any business or worldly undertaking solely for financial gain, if such institution or organization contains no form of worship and does not violate moral or civic laws.
18. Each and every local church has a right to dispose of her local affairs as she deems proper; but no church has the right to harbor and protect heretics, liars, fornicators and the like, to the hurt and annoyance of sister churches.
19. We do not believe it is right to make the findings or recommendations of councils, conventions, peace bodies or other general assemblies so binding that a church which is orderly be required to adopt said findings or recommendations.
20. No church should presume to make a test of fellowship on any point of doctrine or practice which is not generally accepted by the general body of churches as sufficient grounds for non-fellowship, but in all cases touching fellowship churches should be governed by the established laws of the church.
21. When members of a church, or when local churches divide on a question of doctrine or practice, and become alienated, refusing to affiliate with each other, both claiming to be the original church; if they retain their identity in other points they may become reconciled and reunite by a confession of error or errors, by either or both parties, wherever such errors exist, and the official work of both parties during the alienation be recognized as valid.
22. No member excluded by a local church should be restored by any other local church. And where such practice has been indulged in, a reasonable adjustment satisfactory to both churches should be made.
We, the committee, wish to state that we are informed that Elder W. H. Richards' home church has investigated the charges, or rumors, of immoral conduct against him and found no evidence sufficient for a charge, and that the matter was also investigated by the sister churches in his association, and they approved the action of his church; and that after this, messengers met from some sister churches in corresponding associations who also investigated and approved the action of his church. However, we understand that investigation of Elder Richards resulted in a division of what was known as the Webb faction; and we are also informed that any church not satisfied would be welcome to visit his church to investigate the matter, or to present any credible evidence before the church, and we feel that this should be satisfactory to our brethren everywhere, and if any brethren have such evidence they should present the same to his church.
Elder S. L. Rives, Acting Mod.,
C. H. Cayce, Clerk,
J. I. Collings,
J. W. Herriage,
H. L. Griggs,
S. N. Redford,
J. W. Fairchild,
J. B. Hardy,
W. W. Fowler,
J. J. Edwards,
J. S. Newman,
S. E. Reid,
W. H. Richards,
J. H. Fisher,
J. A. Moore,
W. L. Barrett,
Brother N. O. Carter,
Brother J. W. Reed.
During the course of the reading of the herinabove recommendations the following discussion was had:
H. G. RICHARDS (referring to paragraph 20 under Discipline): What do you mean by established laws?
S. L. RIVES: I would consider that to be the accepted fundamental principles of the Primitive Baptist Church, not some trivial something, but the fundamental points of discipline or practice of the Primitive Baptist Church. A doctrine or practice is a test of fellowship. To illustrate: We believe God saves a sinner independently by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Somebody might come along and pass a resolution to the effect that God saves a sinner through the Holy Spirit operating in co-operation with the preaching of the gospel, and say that our belief was wrong.
J. B. LITTLE (Ark.): That is, if they were agreed on what we would consider orthodox points, all except this particular thing on which they were divided, whether doctrine or practice, that their work should be recognized? The construction I would put on that would be that where local churches are divided on one point of doctrine, or one point of order, but agreed on everything else that is considered important fundamentally, if they can come together on that point the work of both should be accepted.
J. H. FISHER: The article goes on to say that that may be worked out by the errors being confessed, and it is a matter of mutual local work between the nearby and associated churches. This body here could not give out a decision to regulate a distant church. I understand it to mean that this must be done in connection with the local churches.
At the close of the reading of the recommendations J. W. Herraige, Elmore City, Okla., made the following statement to the convention: I want to state to the brethren, in order that they all may understand, that we are not imposing these doctrinal tenets on this assembly, nor our churches at home; but we are going to adopt them (if you will notice the heading) in order to bring this matter before our churches, and leave it up to the churches then to consider the disposition they will care to make. This matter will be submitted to you; we are not going to bring this up in the church, or declare non-fellowship for any church that does not receive it, or require that of them. The matter is left to them to dispose of. We are just recommending these things to your churches for their consideration. I thank you.
It was then moved by Elder S. B. Kuykendall, seconded by J. E. Stegall, that the recommendations be adopted. Whereupon the following discussion was had:
ELDER JOE MEECE: Regarding the Richards investigation, I want to ask, since we have divided Baptists in Texas, what would be considered evidence in a case like that? Would the evidence from a faction of Baptists divided from another faction of Baptists be considered evidence, or what would be gospel testimony?
C. H. CAYCE: Substantial evidence gathered any place in the world is gospel testimony.
ELDER JOE MEECE: Of course, testimony has to be received to find out whether it is evidence or not.
C. H. CAYCE: The testimony of people that are understood to be truthful, Would it be out of place to refer to the fact that Primitive Baptists have so practiced with reference to churches coming together and receiving each other's work? It is absolutely a matter of history that this has been the practice of Primitive Baptists in and out of Texas, where they have been divided and have come together and received each other's work.
H. G. Richards: Do I understand by this point Brother Cayce has just mentioned that churches may divide over the fundamental points of doctrine, and one church forsake fundamental points of doctrine, and then these churches come together and recognize each other's work?
C. H. CAYCE: I might have said a little more than I meant to say. I did not say the Baptists of Texas had been doing that all the time, and I do not say divided on fundamental points of doctrine, but divided and come together.
H. G. RICHARDS: We do not intend to put within this statement that churches may forsake the fundamental principles of their doctrine and then come back and recognize each other's work.
C. H. CAYCE: I didn't mean to convey that idea in my statement, and I know the committee did not.
R. E. WILSON: Haven't you got an item that covers that point, that where a church dissents on minor points they can come together and receive each other's work?
C. H. CAYCE: I will reread paragraph 21 under Discipline: "When members of a church, or when local churches divide on a question of doctrine or practice, and become alienated, refusing to affiliate with each other, both claiming to be the original church; if they retain their identity in other points they may become reconciled and reunite by a confession of error or errors, by either or both parties, wherever such errors exist, and the official work of both parties during the alienation be recognized as valid."
H. G. BALL: I am not a messenger, but I want to ask a question about that, rather I want the authority on that. I would like to have the authority of history--I don't mean for you to read it off to me, but tell me where I can find it.
J. S. NEWMAN: First, I want to say that this is the history of the old Ketocton Association of Virginia, and if you care to read what they did and said, I have turned the leaf down here.
N. O. CARTER: Let me suggest that, that be read to the convention.
C. H. CAYCE (reading from A Concise History of the Ketocton Baptist Association, by William Fristoe, published in 1808, page 21):
"Of the disagreeable name of Regular and Separate Baptists, in use in the early times of the Association.
These different names for a considerable while kept the parties at a distance from and shy of each other. The regular Baptists were jealous of the separate Baptists because, as yet, they never formed nor adopted any system of doctrine, or made any confession of their faith, more than verbally; and it was thought unreasonable, that if they differed from all other denominations, why they should not in a fair, open and candid manner, make known their principles to the world, and in so doing, act as children of the Light; and on the other hand, the separate Baptists supposed the adopting a confession of faith would only shackle them; that it would lead to formality and deadness, and divert them from the Bible; but upon a more intimate acquaintance, the imaginary conjectures were in some measure removed, and their hearts softened with affection towards each other; for upon close conversation and frequently hearing each other preach, it was found that they agreed in sentiment, held forth the same important doctrines, and administered the gospel ordinance in the same manner, and of course children of the same family, the difference being only in name. For these reasons the parties (especially the better informed) wished for a removal of all differences, and an union to take place. In order to bring about this union, letters and messengers were sent at different times from the one to the other, and propositions made for the accommodation of the differences between them; but not with that success that was desired, until the year 1787, at Dover Meeting House, on James River, at which time the messengers from the several district associations agreed to adopt the regular Baptist confession of faith, in the manner following.
After a good deal of deliberating respecting the utility of confession of faith, we do agree to adopt the regular Baptist confession of faith; but to prevent its usurping a tyrannical power over the consciences of any, we do not mean that every person is to be bound to the strict observance of everything therein contained, yet that it hold forth the essential truths of the gospel and the doctrine of salvation by Christ, and free unmerited grace alone, which ought to be believed by every christian, and maintained by every minister of the gospel; and that from henceforth the word Regular and Separate, be buried in oblivion, and that we be known in future by the United Baptist Church of Christ in Virginia. This was signed by the Moderator and Clerk and confirmed by the different associations at the return of their messengers.
The reader may observe, that the term Separate Baptist did not arise from their withdrawing from any society of Baptists; but that the way it originated was from some old men to the Eastward or Northern States who were Presbyterians by profession and .who hearing some lively, heart affecting preachers got, as they hoped, converted, and withdrew themselves from the Presbyterians, because they deemed the Presbyterians to be fallen into a lukewarm and lifeless state, and inasmuch as they withdrew they were .called Separates. Some of them came and lived some time on the frontiers of Virginia, where they became satisfied of the right of believers to baptism and that of immersion. After some time they removed to the Carolinas, still retaining the name separate with this difference: they were formerly separate Presbyterians, but now separate Baptists. When settled to the South, they began to advocate the cause of religion, to spread the interests of the Redeemer, and like Elijah's cloud, though small in its beginning, soon spread over the heavens and afforded flooded torrents. So these few, feeble and despised followers of Christ began zealously to exhort and preach, and employ their gifts in the most profitable manner. In a little time superior gifts were raised up, and souls in great numbers converted to Christ. By these means the southern states have enjoyed the light of the gospel and the bright rising of the great Illuminator of the spiritual world, How wonderful are the judgments of God and the dispensation of His providence, together with the mode of communicating his grace, past finding out."
C. H. CAYCE (reading from the August 15, 1926, issue of The Primitive Baptist):
"We have seen that the claim has been made that in the union of the Separate and Regular Baptists in North Carolina they had regard for what some are turned to call gospel order. The Regular Baptists in Virginia and North Carolina had baptized some into their churches who were in a state of unbelief, or were ungenerate, and the Separates, for a time, urged this as an objection to a union. Finally the Regulars corrected this error and ceased the practice of administering baptism to any only those who gave evidence of regeneration. This was in the Kehukee Association in North Carolina and may be seen by reference to Hassell's History, pp. 697, 698, 699.
But here the question comes up; where did the Separate Baptists come from? Where did they originate? Here is the answer: In 1740, or thereabout, George Whitefield, an Episcopalean, came to New England from England and engaged in holding revival meetings. Some of the Baptists were favorable to those revivals and some were not. The pastor of the church in Boston, Massachusetts, opposed the revival, but some of the members of that church favored it, and they withdrew from the church in 1742. The next year they were constituted into a church and were called Separate Baptists, the old party remaining as before and began to be denominated Regular Baptists. From this split off faction sprang the Separate Baptists. According to the contention of some of our brethren, they had no gospel baptism themselves. If the Regulars were a disorderly party on account of having some unregenerated persons among them who had been immersed and the Separates started from this excluded faction, then none of the Baptists had gospel baptism according to the way some brethren seem to view matters. If the Regulars did have gospel baptism, when they united with the Separates they lost all their gospel order, according to the argument some brethren make. So it makes no difference which horn of the dilemma they take, the Baptists have no gospel baptism now. Brethren, let us try to be consistent.
For our authority as to the origin of the Separate Baptists see Spencer's History of the Kentucky Baptists, Vol. 1, Pages · 104 and 105."
H. G. RICHARDS: Please state for the sake of the record who is the author of the article just read.
C. H. CAYCE: C. H. Cayce is the author of it.
H. G. RICHARDS: I don't want to be misunderstood about this, but this is something which concerns the Baptists here and those who are not here, and everything should be stated plainly, correctly and fully and all of the truth, not just half of it stated. If this cannot be settled with the truth, it should not be settled at all.
W. W. FOWLER: I want to impress you with the fact, as we discuss these questions, as Brother Richards has stated, it is for the purpose of bringing out these questions so that there will be no misunderstanding in the future. Just please remember that it is not yet binding on anyone, and will not be binding on anyone until adopted by the churches. I am glad that Brother Richards is bringing out these questions so that we will have a clear record in our publication of this meeting.
J. T. WATSON: Brother Henry Ball's statement was that he wanted the reference to where he could find the history. We all understand it takes a long time to read history. If the references are given and taken down, they can be read later.
S. L. RIVES: I insist that this go into the record.
H. G. BALL: By reading these now, many will get the benefit of the history who will never get it otherwise. I will appreciate it, and I am sure many others will.
C. H. CAYCE (reading from "A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association from its Original Rise down to 1803," by Elders Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, published in 1850, page 40):
"Some years after the Association was established on its original plan, in Virginia, and some parts of North Carolina, the Separate Baptists (as they were then called) increased very fast. The Separates first arose in New England, where some pious ministers and members left the Presbyterian, or the Standing Order, on account of their formality and superfluity, viz.: 1. Because they were too extravagant in their apparel. 2. Because they did not believe their form of church government was right. But chiefly because they would admit none to the ministry only men of classical education, and many of their ministers, apparently, seemed to be unconverted. They were then called Separate Newlights. Some of these were baptized and moved into the southern provinces, particularly Elders Shubal Sterns and Daniel Marshall, whose labors were wonderfully blessed in Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia.
C. H. CAYCE (reading from A History of the Primitive Baptists of Texas, Oklahoma and Indian Territories, by J. S. Newman, page 81):
"By reading the history of the Concord Association, you will observe that the association divided in 1864, over some point of order. After the division in old Concord Association, the same people were known by the "Upper and Lower Concord Association'', also as the "McDonald and Graham parties" consequently, as usual, a war was waged upon each other for several years; finally, a better state of feeling began to exist between the contending parties, a convention was called for by the "Upper and Lower Wings" of the Concord Associations, to be held in Salem Church, at Oglesby, in Coryell County, to commence October 22, 1880. According to agreement the contending parties met; the convention was called to order by Elder W. M. Thomas, and by request Elder T. G. Miller preached the introductory sermon. After that, the convention was organized, Elder William Thomas was chosen Moderator, and F. D. Smith Clerk.
By motion and second by the messengers of the Lower Wing, of Concord Association, that the same be dissolved. The convention being permanently organized, by motion, resolved for the mutual satisfaction of all concerned, we, the messengers from both wings of the Concord Association, in convention assembled in behalf of the churches represented by us, acknowledge our sorrow for the wrongs that are past and in a spirit of meekness, forgive and ask forgiveness of one another.
After the trouble was settled, the following churches with their messengers met the next day, October 23, 1880, and organized themselves into an association, which was called at that time, The Regular Primitive Baptist Association," viz.:
Bethel Church, Bell County, John Potter, E. Ivy and H. Vernon, Cedar Grove Church, Bell County, M. Whitely, John Burk and Henry Gotcher; Zion Church, Navarro County, Elder J. T. Seeley; Salem Church, Elders J. W. and J. A. Norton and H. M. Smith; Little Flock, Bell County, Eider W. N. Thomas and G. M. Halbert; Pilgrim's Rest Church, Bell County, Elder A. V. Atkins and Cyrus Eastland; Bethlehem Church, Robinson County, J. A. Smith; Bethlehem Church, McLennan County, James Smith; Zion Church, Hill County, Elder J. D. Henson, E. B. Reed and Z. Henson.
The association was constituted with nine churches, and 154 members."
DR, J. T. WATSON thereupon read the following letter from Elder W. E. Brush, Nashville, Term.: "My dear Brethren in the Lord:
Composing the Peace Meeting at Dallas, Texas, to convene
August 24, 1926.
As I can't be there in person, I feel like I would love to write you, and I beg of you to bear with my many imperfections for they are indeed numerous. I think it very commendable in your brethren to have a meeting to try to adjust your differences, and as I have had some experience in meetings of this kind, I felt impressed, I trust of the Lord, to write you as follows:
First and above all things you must meet in the spirit of forgiving all personal offenses, because if we expect peace we must be forgiving. (And the Lord said, "If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses"). So the principle of forgiveness is one of the fundamentals of any peace meeting. But where brethren have been divided there are other principles as well as that of forgiveness that must be observed, if we are to have lasting peace, and I am sure that is what you brethren want.
You want a settlement of your differences that will be satisfactory not only to all parties directly concerned but to the brotherhood in general, and where brethren have been divided as you all have it has never been the custom of Primitive Baptists for the factions to come together requiring each other as churches to go back over the time they have been divided and do their official work over, because until a church or churches go so far into disorder that the Lord spews them out of his mouth, their official work should be recognized by sister churches in a meeting as you anticipate. In order that you get together you will have this to do.
But where excluded members from orderly churches have been gathered together into a church (so called) whatever the offense might have been it has always been a custom among Primitive Baptists when a member or members are excluded by orderly churches there is absolutely but one way back into the fellowship of the old Baptists, and that is to go back to the church that dealt with him and make satisfaction to the church that excluded him or them as the case may be, and be restored to fellowship by the same church that excluded him.
So in a meeting of this kind we are bound to make a difference between churches that were churches at the time of said division and those that have been organized since the division, taking in members that stood excluded at the time from orderly churches. If indeed we have any of this type to deal with, and surely any member that has been thus dealt with should be willing to go back where he lost his standing or fellowship with the church to find it, so I hope and pray the dear Lord will so direct you all that you may come to terms among yourselves that will bring lasting peace among yourselves and if you do this it will be satisfactory with your brethren universally. But there is no use to bury the mole alive, if you do it won't be long until he will scratch out. So, I beg you all to sacrifice everything but principles in order that you may get together for we are too few in numbers to be divided and subdivided.
So may the Lord bless you with His Holy Presence, leading and directing you all by his Holy Spirit's power, that your meeting may be one that will bring lasting peace.
Jesus said, "My peace I give unto you." Oh, how valuable! Jesus then is the Author of peace, but never of confusion. This let us all remember. In love and hope, your brother, W. E. Brush."
J. G. GRANT: Referring to the matter of brethren that had been excluded from their respective churches, after they came together and assumed the name of the original church, suppose the churches from which they were excluded were extinct. What are you going to do with them; they have no place to go to make any acknowledgment. We had a case like that in our county. Another point I want to ask: If it has been the custom of our people--I am just a boy in the Primitive Baptist Church, though I have been a member for a good while--to receive outside testimony from honorable sources, responsible, honorable men and women; have you received such testimony--have you been guilty of receiving it to handle a member in your church that has been immoral, etc.; has that been your custom?
J. L. COLLINGS: That question is dealt with in another article, and may I be allowed to request that that be brought up later on. The question under consideration, as I understand Brother Richards' question, is concerning the Baptists' receiving the official work, and does not refer to individuals.
C. H. CAYCE: Before I read I wish to make a statement of an incident that occurred a number of years ago in the Clearwater Association This dissention occurred approximately fifty years ago, as the result of a war between two preachers, Elders Thompson and Sparks, on the doctrine of means or instrumentalities in the work of regeneration, one of them advocating the idea that God used means or instrumentalities or used the gospel in the work of regeneration, and the other contending against it. As that war continued they got further and further apart, each desiring to carry his point--and that is like most of the rest of us. Finally the war became so fierce and so intense that a dissension in the association resulted. Some years after that dissension both men saw their mistake in wrangling that way and they met together and mutually confessed their error; but the association was divided. That dissension and division remained for several years after the death of both preachers until--I forget the year but I think about 1906, 1907 or 1908--at the 100th anniversary of the association. At that meeting, at which I was present, for the first time in about forty years all the churches which had formerly composed the association met in that one reunited body, and not one word was said about doing over the official work that had been done by both sides during the time of their dissension.
I read now from The Church of God, by Elder Lee Hanks, page 208: Elder J. R. Respess, considered one of the ablest men in the Primitive Baptist ranks in the South and especially in his day, not only able in doctrine, but sound in practice and order, in Gospel Messenger, 1890, said:
"In reference to the troubles of the churches in the Mount Zion Association, we are apprehensive that too much has already been done, as has probably been done to no profit in other sections in Zion. It will not do to incorporate the Gospel with the law, with its endless ceremonies and washings. It is one of the chief glorious of the Gospel over the law that repentance, confession and doing so no more, puts away all manner of sin, not only of individuals but also as churches. The woman that was brought to Christ for judgment (Joh 8) was sent away with the blessed words of the adorable Master, 'Go and sin no more!' She was not required to undo her adulteries, but to do them no more.
We as Primitive Baptists have no grounds to expect any greater church purity than our fathers had, and the apostles had hardly died before many churches had gone astray in one thing or another, some in doctrine and some in order, and were commanded to repent."
W. W. FOWLER: I will make a statement by request of Elder Newman, regarding some trouble that existed in Sarepta Church in Mills County, I think about 1905 it was that the body met and settled the question. Two preachers got at outs over some personal difficulty, the church divided and was separated for a year or two. There are three men in this convention today that were present in that body that met and settled their trouble. They came together, confessed their faults and received each other's works at that time. Brother Newman was Moderator at that meeting, and Elder Redford and myself were present.
H. G. RICHARDS: You have got some of us in the dark about this; we don't know what you are trying to do in citing these incidents. Do you mean that this would be set up as a standard?
W. W. FOWLER: We are answering Brother Ball's question.
H. G. RICHARDS: Are you citing these things as regularities or irregularities?
W. W. FOWLER: As just facts in the practice of our people.
H. G. RICHARDS: If you are citing these as regularities, I believe both sides should be stated. I don't like to see this record filled with statements of this kind, when the same men making them also know of other incidents where the work has been done over. I am not saying the work of either party would have to be done over, but I would like both sides to be stated here. There's the incident recited in Mills County, whereas not a thousand miles away the work has been done over. These statements are made in a way to hurt this meeting. They will show to those who read this that we are trying to prejudice their minds with only one side of the case, and for that reason I think you make a mistake in reading these things into the record.
J. W. HERRAIGE: It appears to me that it is hard to get fixed in the minds of the people just what we are doing now. If this body means to establish laws and rules and regulations, and impose them upon the church, I am down and out, They are not doing that. We have just made this as a suggestion of principles to have brought before the old Baptists of the different factions, to be investigated and considered at our leisure. You are not going to be unchurched if you do not run right into it, or you are not going to be unchurched if you do not do this at all. This is not to be a final adjustment of this matter, but to be considered and acted upon and accepted and received by the churches.
On motion made and seconded, discussion on the recommendations was closed.
The motion before the House to adopt the recommendations as read was then put by the moderator and was carried unanimously by the vote of all messengers present. The whole assembly then by rising vote unanimously concurred with the
messengers and the committee.
Confessions were then made as follows:
W. W. FOWLER: We have now come to one of the most important parts of this meeting; that is, confessions of our wrongs in the divisions that have occurred among our people. As one of the moderators, I desire to make my confession first. I joined the Primitive Baptist Church in 1896 and was ordained to the work of the ministry in 1897. I have passed through three sad divisions among our people and in each of these divisions I have felt that they were due to misunderstandings rather than because of real differences and I have seen in each of them a way for the averting of a division had proper steps been taken. But after the divisions came, in the heat of controversy, I have used hard sayings about my brethren which I regret and for which I beg their forgiveness. I wish to especially mention Elder J. C. Morgan and beg his forgiveness for writing articles to the paper that were harsh and unkind and ask Brother Morgan to please forgive me for this wrong. Should there be any one holding any grievance against me I wish this confession to cover same and ask their forgiveness.
J. L. COLLINGS: Brother Moderator, Brethren and Sisters--I feel to thank God for this opportunity to confess my faults and mistakes, and as one of your moderators, I want to be the next to make my confession.
I regret that this trouble ever came up in our ranks, and am sorry, very sorry, for the part I played in it. I want all who can to forgive me for every hard word I have either written or spoken during the controversy.
I want to publicly apologize to Elder S. N. Redford. Brother Redford, I ask you, if you can, to forgive me for anything I may have said that hurt your feelings.
Dear Brother Tommie Webb, I have desired so much the opportunity to confess my mistakes, and ask you to forgive me for any wrong I may have done you. Forgive me, dear brother, if you can, for Christ's sake, for whatever I may have said or done that wounded you. Too, I have had a desire to go to your dear old father, Elder J. G. Webb, and ask his forgiveness. But he is not here. Tell him for me, will you, that I am sorry for every wrong I may have done him, and that I ask him for the sake of Christ to forgive me.
Some three or four years ago I went to the office of Eider J. C. Morgan and together we confessed our m/stakes and our wrongs. Elder Morgan is here now, and I want to say to him, that he will never know how happy I was when he told me he held nothing personally against me and that personally there was nothing between us.
As I look about over this audience, I see some members of almost if not all the churches that I have ever served. I ask them to forgive me for the part that I have played in this fight among our dear brethren. I am glad that I know, that they know, that I have contended all along that there was not a vital difference among our brethren, and that I urged our people to stay together and not to divide. Yet I feel that my part in the fight may have been instrumental in bringing about the division. May God forgive me for anything that I did to thus divide them, and I do pray that He may give my dear brethren and sisters a forgiving Spirit, and that they can freely forgive me.
Dear brethren, let us now labor and pray for peace and unity among the saints.
J. S. NEWMAN: Brethren, I have tried to pray that this meeting would materialize and that my life might be spared thus giving me an opportunity to confess my wrongs to my brethren whom I have wronged. It is not necessary for any one to tell me I have done wrong for I know I have and I am sure the Lord has given me grace to confess the same.
In the heat of controversy I have used expressions that were wrong and unsound on the subject of the new birth and I beg forgiveness for this. I am also sorry I debated the propositions I did with Elder Sorrels. I felt at the time that it was wrong but I went on any way. Brethren, will you forgive me?
I do not believe the whole man doctrine now and I never did. If I am not sincere in this I was not sincere when I joined the church and was baptized. If I can only leave this meeting out of debt I will be a happy man.
J. W. REED: I am different from some of my Brethren. I can not say "if I've done wrong, I ask you to forgive me". I know I have done wrong in saying and writing some things I have said and written in my correspondence. First, I want to say to Brother Sammie Redford, I have said hard things about you and if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, I want you to do so. I will call no other names, but will ask my Brethren to forgive me of my wrongs.
W. H. RICHARDS: I feel that I have contributed to the division between my brethren and Elder Newman's brethren. I can see where I did wrong while opposing Elder Newman in urging the churches to put up "bars" against Elder Newman, and the doctrine which I believed him to be advocating. I still believe just as I have always believed on the doctrine but I think that we should have been guided by the pattern laid down in Ac 15th chapter and I think that had we done that we could have avoided a division, so in my zeal I did wrong and I am sorry for it and I ask you all to forgive me. I have done wrong in many ways and I beg forgiveness for it all.
S.N. REDFORD: I feel like I have done wrong in using bitter personalities and I not only ask my dear brethren to forgive me for my wrong words, but for all the hard thoughts I have had about them since the division. I have no apology to make for the principles I have contended for but in my zeal perhaps I have gone to an extreme in some instances. I am a poor, erring creature and beg forgiveness for all my wrongs. Especially do I mention Brother Newman and Brother Walter Reed as I have fought them hard because I thought they were wrong.
Brethren, if persecution should overtake us as it was with our fathers in days that are past, and we were forced to worship at the risk of our lives our differences would melt away like dew before the sun.
C. H. CAYCE: I feel that I want to say a few words. I desire to confess my wrong in taking part in the fight that brought about division among our people. It was not my fight, and I should not have taken any part in it. True, 1 may have felt that I was drawn into it, but two wrongs never make a right. If another does wrong, that does not justify me in doing wrong also. It was a Texas fight, and I should have stayed out of it. I used harsh expressions, which was wrong. I received wounds, which I trust are all healed; but the scars left by the wounds will--some of them--be carried by me to my grave. I am sorry for every one of them. Not long since I was speaking to a brother in regard to this, and he remarked that the scars a soldier receives in battle are badges of honor. I replied that this is true if the scars are on account of wounds received from the enemy, but if they are the result of wounds received from his fellow soldiers they are badges of dishonor--they are a shame and a disgrace. I am sorry for all the wrongs I have done, and beg forgiveness of my brethren for every wrong done them. I trust we may once more be a united band, and stand shoulder to shoulder in one solid army, battling against the enemies of truth.
J. G. GRANT: My dear brethren, you are doing what our Lord commanded us to do, confess your faults one to another and so fulfill the law of Christ. Let us live at each other's feet, bearing each other's burdens, looking over his faults in the spirit of brotherly love. We can always do this if we take heed to ourselves and follow Heaven's command. Dear brethren, if I have at any time wounded any of your feelings, for give me. I love you all. Pray for me.
On motion made and seconded, all present wishing to confess their errors and mistakes, asking forgiveness for their wrongs and for giving those who had wronged them, signified l the same by rising to their feet.
On motion made and seconded, the convention adjourned, 5 o'clock p. m.
A NATIONAL PEACE MEETING
THE PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS
JULY 13,14, 15, 1953
Recognizing the plight of our people: Living in much trouble, confusion, strife, and turmoil: a general call for a General Peace Meeting was given in The Primitive Baptist for such a meeting, whereby, we, as a people, might come together and work for a better understanding and agree on some principles whereby we might work from a practical standpoint. This was carried on for several months amid much correspondence; finally the date and time and place was set, Donaldson, Arkansas, July 13,14, 15,1953.
The meeting began on Monday, July 13, 1953; preaching and singing, also several prayers.
Services Monday night were held in the church house and the preaching was done by Elders Jesse Bass and J. D. Holder. Tuesday, July 14,1953, services reconvened in the church about 10 o'clock. After an appropriate prayer by Elder O. Strickland, proceeded to elect a moderator pro tem and clerk pro tem. Elder V. F. Lowrance, elected moderator; and Elder L. C. Swanner, clerk.
Then after some discussion the general assembly went into the choice of a permanent moderator, assistant moderator, clerk and assistant clerk. Those elected were: Elder L. C. Swanner, moderator, Elder G. E. Griffin, assistant moderator; Brother Hartsel Cayce, clerk, and Brother Melvin Bass, assistant clerk.
After some discussion in the general assembly, it was agreed for a committee of brethren to meet and draw up recommendations, and hear the grievances of those brethren who wanted to come before the committee.
It was agreed for the moderators and clerks to work with this group and to serve this committee in same capacity as in the general assembly.
While the committee worked two days and parts of the nights at the church house, the congregation held services almost continuously under the tent- singing, praying and preaching.
The general assembly gave the council group the privilege of using the doctrinal points agreed upon by the Brethren at The Nashville Peace Meeting. We feel and are indebted to them for this fine piece of work. The Articles of Discipline were used with the necessary changes; some paragraphs omitted; some clauses rearranged or omitted; then several were added that the committee felt would meet the needs of the present-day problems and them not be contrary to Bible doctrine and to Primitive Baptist practice. We trust you will be charitable toward us and our labors.
The following Principles of Faith, or Doctrine and Practice, are hereby recommended as principles upon which the present disturbances among Primitive Baptists, in general, maybe corrected and the great body of Baptists live together:
We hereby re-affirm our solemn belief in the principles upon which our church, the Church of God or churches were constituted; which principles of doctrine we believe to be as stated in the following brief outline of principles:
5. We believe in the eternal and personal and unconditional election of the saints unto glory; that they were chosen in Christ by the Father before the world was -before they had any actual existence; that God predestinated them unto the adoption of sons, and that they should be conformed to the image of His Son; and they will all be finally and ultimately saved in glory. However, we do solemnly deny that God predestinated sin. He has determined to overrule and punish sin. Those whom God has not, or did not, predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son are left to act in their own sins to their just condemnation, to the praise of God's glorious justice. Scriptural References: Ro 6:7; 8:30; Eph 1:9-11,17-20; 2:1-6; 2Th 2:13-14; Ac 26:18; Eze 36:26-27; Ps 110:3; Song 1:4; De 30:6; 2Ti 1:9; 1Co 2:14; Joh 3:5-6; 5:25.
6. We believe that the atonement and the redemption of Jesus Christ are for the elect only, and that they are justified in the sight of God by the imputed righteousness of the Son of God alone. Scriptural References: Ro 5:9-11; 2Co 5:17-19; and others.
7. We believe in the direct, immediate, sovereign, irresistible, and, in all cases, the effectual work of the Holy Spirit in calling, regenerating and sanctifying the elect of God, and that in His own appointed time and way. The work of regeneration is an instantaneous and internal work, and is accomplished by the work of the Spirit of God on the spirit of the sinner. Scriptural References: Joh 3:3-8; 6:63; 10:27-29; Ac 9:4-8; and others could be given.
8. We believe in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead -that is, that the bodies of all who die will be raised at the second coming of Christ in His Glory. We mean by this, that it is the body that dies, and it is the same body which dies that will be raised from the dead. The bodies of the saints will, at the resurrection, be changed, made spiritual, immortal, and reunited with their souls, and taken into the glorious presence of the Lord, and their happiness will be unending. The others will be cast into eternal torment, and their punishment will be unending. Scriptural References: Ge 3:19; Ac 10:39; 17:31; 24:15; Ec 12:7,14; Lu 23:43; 16:23-24; 2Co 5:1,10; Jude 6-7; 2Pe 2:6-9; 1Co 15:42-43,51-52; 1Th 4:14-17; Job 19:26-27; Joh 5:22-27; Php 3:21; Mt 12:36; 25:21-34,41,46; 2Ti 4:8; Ro 9:22-23; 2Th 1:4-9; Re 22:20.
9. We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of Jesus Christ, and those who have been born again, and who are true believers are the only proper subjects for baptism, and that Scriptural baptism is a burial in water; that the ordinances of the church are in the hands of the church for keeping; and that baptism is not valid unless administered by one authorized by a gospel church to administer the ordinances, that is a duly ordained minister of the gospel. Unleavened bread and wine (grape wine) are to be used in the Lord's Supper. We believe that the washing of the saints' feet should be kept up and practiced in the church, whether it be called an ordinance or an example. We believe those who engage in the practice should not fallout with each other as to what to call it -whether an ordinance or an example. We should practice it, and then observe what it teaches. Scriptural References: On Baptism: Ro 6:2-6; Mt 3:16; 28:19-20; Mr 1:4; 16:16; Joh 3:23; Ac 8:37-38; 26:16; 1Co 11:26; Col 2:12. The Lord's Supper: 1Co 10:16-21; 11:23-28; Mt 26:26-28.
10. We believe that the Lord's children (those who have been born again) are under parental law to the blessed Lord, and that He has promised blessings in His Word to His children who obey Him, which he has not promised to others, and that these blessings thus promised cannot be attained to or enjoyed any other way, only by obeying Him -doing the things commanded by Him. On the other hand, He has promised chastisement -suffering, sorrow, trouble, and distress -upon their rebellion and disobedience. Have we not realized some of the latter, to our sorrow? Scriptural References: Ge 1:27; Ec 7:29; Ga 2:16; 3:10-21; Ro 2:14-15; 3:20,31; 6:12-14; 7:7; 8:1,8-10; 10:4; De 10:5; Heb 10:1; Col 2:14-17; 1Co 5:7; 9:8-10; Jas 2:8-12; Mt 5:17-19; 1Pe 3:8-13; Eze 37:21.
11. We believe that baptism is the first ordinance, and that no one has a right to the Lord's Supper unless he has first been baptized by the proper authority, and is in order with his brethren at home. To participate in the communion service, or sacramental supper, with others, or otherwise, we deem to be disorderly. By the term: "in order with his brethren at home", we do not simply mean with what may termed or designated as the band of his membership. One might have a membership in a local body that is not in order. Scriptural References: Heb 12:23; 13:17; Col 1:18; Eph 1:10,22-23; 4:2-3,11-12,18; 5:23-32; 1Co 1:2; 4:6-14; 5:4-13; Ac 2:41-42; 6:4; 11:19-21; 15:2-25; Ro 1:7; 16:1-2; Mt 18:15-20; 28:18-20; 1Th 4:2-9; 2Th 3:6-15; 2Co 1:24; 9:13; Joh 3:8-10; 10:16; Heb 8:13; Ga 6:6-7; 1Pe 4:10-11; 1Jo 4:1.
12. We believe that a gospel church is a body of baptized believers, who have banded themselves together to keep house for the Lord, and who maintain the true principles of doctrine and practice as laid down in the New Testament. Yet a true church may err from the right way; and, when they do so, the Scriptural injunction is for them to repent. The church was set up by the Saviour during His personal ministry on earth, and this church has an unbroken succession unto the present day, and it will remain some place until our Lord's second personal coming. The Lord established His kingdom, or church, for a home for His children. He gave all the laws and rules and regulations to govern in this kingdom. We have no right to disobey or dishonor the laws which He gave. We believe that some of His laws are as follows in matters of discipline:
(I would like to here state: The brethren on the council gave me the privilege of looking up the Scriptural references at home. I am deeply indebted to the late Elders S. H. Hassell and C. B. Hassell for the help I received from the use of their History along this line; also to Cruden's Concordance. - L. C. S.)
1. The foregoing articles on the doctrine express our views on the matter of baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the washing of the saints' feet.
2. A private offense or trespass is where one member trespasses against another, or against others. A public offense, or an offense against the body, is where one's conduct is immoral, or of an immoral nature, and is detrimental to the church as a body, and not simply hurtful to an individual. A public offense hurts all the church, or all the brotherhood.
3. In cases of private offenses or trespasses, as one member against another, the offended
party should go to the offender, in the right spirit, in the spirit of love, and endeavor to adjust the matter. If this fails to bring about reconciliation, he should then take with him one or two more, endeavoring to obtain reconciliation, or to reclaim the erring one. When reconciliation is thus not obtained, then it should be taken to the church. Then if the transgressing member will not hear the church, the church should withdraw fellowship from him, or from her; but this should be done in the spirit of love and humility. Any person who has a grievance and tells others about it before having pursued the above course becomes a transgressor, and should, himself, be dealt with by the church. To tell others about the matter, instead of tell it to the transgressing brother, and endeavoring to reclaim him, as above outlined, is akin to rebellion and anarchy. Such one is railing against the church if
the church has acted on the matter.
4. There are some public offenses which the church may forgive or bear with; but there are some of such grievous nature that the church cannot bear with and continue to retain her identity as a gospel church in order. In cases of minor offenses, the offending brother should be labored with, and the brethren should patiently try to reclaim him. But if the offending party will not heed the admonitions lovingly given him, the church should withdraw fellowship from said brother.
5. In cases of gross infractions of immorality, the person should be withdrawn from and let him reform on the outside of the church. The church is not a reformatory. Such things as drunkenness, fornication, adultery, false swearing, perjury, and such like gross sins, should not be tolerated by the church in any of her members, whether the member be a private one, a deacon, or a preacher. Really, the church can better afford to retain a private member who is guilty of gross wrong, if any difference, because the minister is in public life as a representative of the church before the world.
6. If a member denies an accusation made by outsiders, he should not be considered guilty unless a preponderance of evidence is against him, which is creditable evidence, and this should be weighed by the church. Evidence given by persons who are of unquestioned veracity maybe received by the church and considered by her as valid testimony.
7. If two or more members should fall into a dispute, and no testimony is available to show which one is right, they should be required to cease the dispute at once. There might be a misunderstanding. If the dispute is between members of different churches, or in more than one church, each church should require her member to desist in arguing his or her point.
8. Neither husband or wife should put the other away and marry another, except for the cause of fornication. If husband and wife are unable to remain peaceably together, and decide to quietly separate from each other, they may do so for peace only, but not to marry again. In such case, if either should marry again, he or she becomes an adulterer and the other is thereby released. The discipline herein refers to members of the church, but we believe the moral law of God governing marriage and prohibiting adultery is binding upon the unregenerate as well as the regenerate. The church should not retain a person or persons living in adultery.
9. We do not think our members should be retained in the church who hold membership in or affiliate with any of the so-called fraternal or religious institutions of the world. It is a well-known fact that it has always been against the rules of the Primitive Baptist churches of the South to retain members who affiliate with such institutions, whether secret or otherwise, which rule we believe to be Scriptural; and we think it would be destructive to endeavor to reform the churches. We should continue to stand where we have always stood on this question, and those things should not be permitted to make inroads in our churches. In this we are not endeavoring to regulate other folks and their affairs; but we desire that our churches all remain clear of these things, as they have in the past.
10. Each and every local church has the right to dispose of her local affairs as she deems proper; that is, she has a right to discipline her members; but no church has the right to harbor and protect heretics, liars, fornicators, and the such like, to the hurt and annoyance of sister churches. Neither does a church have a right to harbor or engage in things that are contrary to Baptist usage, or contrary to the Scriptures.
11. As to associations of churches, we deem it good for them to meet together to worship the Lord in an associational way -that is, to associate together in the worship and service of God; but it is not necessary for a church to be in an association in order to be an orderly church. An association is not a higher court, for they are without ecclesiastical authority. Trouble should be attended to by the churches, and not by associations. Fellowship should not be withdrawn from any sister church until all possible labor has been bestowed upon said church for any alleged error or wrong. If troubles were settled or always attended to by the churches, then they would not be taken to associations for adjustment. If our brethren would always keep these things in mind, and observe them, some troubles would not spread as much as they do.
12. When a person is excluded by an orderly Old Baptist Church, he is thereby excluded from every Orderly Old Baptist Church. If a person is excluded by one orderly church in our body and another receives him into their fellowship or their body, without satisfaction first being made at the church where he was excluded, it denies that a sister church has the right to discipline her members. It is too often the case that when a little friction comes up, brethren maybe too quick to receive members this way. Where something is charged against a person, that is the only place on earth to get the charge canceled.
13. Where there are reports in circulation of immoral conduct, our brethren should be careful about repeating hearsay. For the benefit and good of the cause, when such reports are in circulation, such matters should be investigated by the church of the person's membership. If the party is innocent, it is for his good that the church exonerate the party. This is not only for the good of the brother, but for the good of the cause. It would not look well for the party, against whom such reports are in circulation, to object to a fair and impartial investigation. Until there is such investigation, we should be careful not to circulate such hearsay reports about the brother. We may sometimes say things we should not say. In such cases it would look well for the party, who may thus have such evil reports in circulation against him, as are detrimental to his character and detrimental to the cause, to ask his church to go into an official investigation of those matters. The church should thoroughly investigate such things, whether the party involved asks for it or not -she
should do this for the protection of her member as well as for the vindication and good of the cause of the Master.
14. As to the use of organs or other musical instruments in our churches, we say that they were first introduced into church services by Papal Rome. Our people have always objected to them. It is not necessary for us here to discuss the matter as to whether it is wrong to use them or not, or to assign reasons why it is wrong to use them. We will merely say here that "Whatever is Baptistic is Scriptural". If this is not true, then our claim of being Scriptural is false, and we are not the church of Christ. Hence, to use such things in our churches is a departure; and where it has been done, confession of the wrong should be made, and such engaged in no more.
15. As to what are called protracted or continued meetings, we would lovingly utter a word of caution. We would not say that any church that holds a meeting for several days, or a week, has departed from the faith or fundamental principles of our people; but we would lovingly caution the brethren in regard to the matter. Our observation is that they may lead to a wrong impression sometimes. Let us be careful to not engage in such meetings and talk about them in such a way as to leave the impression that our people engage in modern revivalism. They may sometimes lead to the idea that the time to join the church and to serve the Lord is at and during the "big meetings". "As to Sunday Schools, Bible classes, aid societies, or any other such societies as have been invented by the world and engaged in by them, we consider all such as departures from the original ground and principle which the Primitive Baptists have held to all along the line." (Last quoted remarks copied from the Waco Peace Meeting held in Waco, TX, September 28, 29, 1946.)
16. Where parties have been received by one church on confession of faith, when excluded by another church, in the settlement and adjustment of differences that have brought about disturbances in the country, such matters as this should be adjusted to the satisfaction of both churches. Especially is this true where such parties were excluded for immoral conduct. Such as that will have to be adjusted before peace can be fully restored and all the churches be in fu/1 fellowship, or for fellowship between churches to continue.
17. Our people cannot afford to depart from the recognized practice of Our people all along the ages in the matter of baptism. It has ever been the practice of the Primitive Baptists to reject baptism administered by other people, and to receive no one from other people on the baptism administered by that people -any people. If we recognize baptism administered by another people, must we not also recognize their work of exclusions in order to be consistent? We consider it to be disorder for our people to receive persons on the baptism administered by others, and such churches, as do so, should not expect to be recognized as orderly churches by the great body of Baptists. This does not militate against, nor is it against, the age-old practice of our people in recognizing each other's work in the settlement and adjustment of their troubles and coming together, where they have been divided.
18. We recommend that in times of dispute among brethren, whether about doctrine, order, or any question affecting the peace of the churches, that great caution and prudence be exercised by those affected. Especially should brethren desist from airing troubles or disturbances from the pulpit and in territories where such troubles are not had. We recommend that all our brethren endeavor to keep trouble in the bounds of its origin and labor earnestly for its settlement there.
19. We recommend: Should a church as such depart from the Bible faith and practice and so persist in it as to cause offense, then what? The first church offended, as represented by two or three of her most spiritual members (Ga 6:1 ), should go quietly and labor in love and all long suffering to reclaim her; failing, she should return and take one or two other churches to labor in love; and these failing, and agreeing and advising, should proceed to "bind her on earth" as in the Name of Jesus Christ, declaring her disposed of Gospel Order.
20. To censure a church, or condemn a church, or non-fellowship a church or churches in doctrine or practice, without labor, or trial or investigation is disorder of the discipline, doctrine and practice of the church.
21. We further recommend to our brethren that they should recognize that there is a difference in an exclusion and a division. An exclusion is where a member or members are withdrawn from by the church for an offense. A division is when a church cannot agree and the minority also sets themselves up as a church.
22. We further recommend, when a member receives a letter from his home church and places it in a church of the same faith and order, the church granting said letter has no further jurisdiction over said member. It was brought out Wednesday night for clarification purposes: If a member receives a letter from his or her home church, the said party is a member of the church granting the letter and is amenable to her until his letter is placed in another church of same faith and practice. We wish our people would follow this.
23. We further recommend, when a member is expelled from one church or leaves a church without a letter or recommendation and joins another church of same faith and order, it is gross disorder; and we further recommend that said member return to the church he or she left and be reconciled.
24. We further state and believe that fornicators and adulterers should not be retained in the church of Christ. All such offenders must be excluded and repent on the outside of the church -This is one of the chief glories of the gospel church over the law: that repentance is evidence of godly sorrow, not only by individuals but of churches and should be recognized by the church of God. No church should restore a member for any offense knowing that it will cause trouble, confusion or disturb sister churches.
25. We further believe and state that our young brethren, who are called of God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, have before them many things which will determine their success or failure. Sound or unsound preaching affects the life of God's people before whom the ministers stand to preach or teach and we believe they are influenced by what they are taught. Therefore, it is a duty, and should be required of the minister, that they should carefully regard the Scriptural instructions to study, meditate, and not strive to magnify himself, but the office, by earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3.) We are not judging anyone to hurt, but to help our dear cause and our ministers. We further recommend that great care should be taken, first, in recognizing the brother's gift. It should be discovered in its use as it becomes profitable in edifying, feeding, and teaching in the power and demonstration of the Spirit. (1Th 1 :5.) The minister should be willing to go into the field as the Bible directs and be ready to preach. To preach is more than to stand behind the desk. (Ro 1 :14-15.) It requires study. (2Ti 2:15.) Qualifications must be met, as found in 1Ti 3:1-7; and then taking heed unto himself
as recorded in 1Ti 4:13-16. Study to learn what to preach and what not to preach or teach - 1Ti 1 :3-4; that his appearing may be profitable to all- 1Ti 4:15. He should give himself wholly to the work -1Ti 4:15. He must not strive but be gentle -2Ti 2:24. He should study to know how to rightly divide the word of truth -2Ti 2:15. We further believe these things should be carefully regarded by the church before any church ordains her gift; and the church calling for the ordination should be of a oneness before going forward, both for the sake of the cause and the church; also for the good of the brother.
26. Brethren, there have been complaints brought before this committee where small churches have been dropped by sister churches, without gospel labor, and without consideration of her rights. We believe and recommend that each church should have regard for the rights of her sister churches to such an extent that they will bestow labor of love; just as they would to reclaim an erring member of her church. Inasmuch, as we have stated that a member excluded from an orderly Primitive Baptist Church stands excluded from every orderly Primitive Baptist Church, shows that we believe there is a mutual responsibility among the churches. We feel to be related to every church and feel to be benefited by every orderly Primitive Baptist Church. We further state we feel we should have the same regard and respect for every orderly Primitive Baptist Church. We must keep this in mind and abide by it if we expect the same from sister churches. This relationship is sacred. Sister church certainly expresses close relationship. We beg you to go back home with equal love for every orderly Primitive Baptist Church. Churches sometimes make mistakes -we all do, but let us consider such as human. The mantle of forgiveness and forbearance should be granted among troubled and repenting churches and brethren. This refers to brethren who are trying to live orderly and not to those who may be referred to as criminals.
27. We recommend to our brethren that where there is trouble and confusion among churches and they are disturbed themselves, and trying to agree on their differences, that our ministers refrain from going among them, unless invited to do so, and then not to take sides in the trouble and fellowship it. No minister away from the trouble knows enough about the trouble, which is local, to do that; neither is it his business, unless called upon, either by the church involved or some grieved sister church. To do so will affect his people back home, whether he is aware of it or not. We further ask churches not to encourage talebearers and busybodies.
28. We do not believe that God requires now, or has ever required a church or an individual of her membership to repent and ask forgiveness of something they are not guilty of, but He does require each one to confess their faults one to the other. Brethren, let us be careful in our pleas to forgive everybody and everything in the church.
29. It appears that many churches are divided and one side desires peace and begs the other side for a get-together. She desires reconciliation and makes every effort for and appeals for such. The other side refuses any effort and spurns every attempt and seems satisfied for the other brethren to be isolated or for themselves to be isolated. We wish to recommend in such cases that those desiring reconciliation and cannot get together and get a hearing with their opposing brethren on the other side, that those desiring to meet all requirements to be an orderly church, should have the assistance of sister churches by a call from both sides. But we further recommend that if one side will not join in the call, the brethren or side desiring to be orderly and live with the great body of Baptists may make such call. We recommend, however, that such call be made only after the other side has been notified of such intention to call and given an invitation to attend. Then, when such investigations are made by orderly churches and the brethren are found to be sound in doctrine and practice and order, they should be recognized as an orderly church by the Baptists.
We, your committee, realize and recognize the fact that in times of trouble and confusion among the brethren and churches, or in churches, those who are contending for right principles and for truth may follow the works of the flesh and do and say things that are wrong and are liable to act hastily; and, therefore, it is almost, if not a universal fact that wrongs are done on both sides. Hence, we conclude by recommending that the churches and brethren, who are desiring peace and wish for fellowship to abound in our beloved Zion, and who are willing and desire to continue in the good old way our fathers trod, all confess their faults, and straighten out and eliminate the irregularities, and adjust all wrongs
and differences, and bury the past, and forgive each other all wrongs committed, and then live in such a way as to "let brotherly love continue". Let us remember, too, that it has always been, and is yet, contrary to Primitive Baptist practice, and contrary to Scripture, to mix and mingle and affiliate with the worldly religionists. Treat all men kindly, but let them have their own worship and ways, and let us go on in the way of our fathers. "Lay not field to the field." "Touch not, taste not, handle not." Let us try to remember to do the things that are expedient, not forgetting that some things may be lawful but not expedient. The apostle tried to act according to expediency as well as lawfully. We will do well to try to pattern after him. Let us remember, too, that the Bible teaches us how we "ought to behave ourselves in the house of God". If we would, all of us always "behave ourselves", we would not have troubles and divisions in our churches, and the peace and fellowship of our people would not be broken or destroyed. The best way, and the only way, for us to have and to enjoy the blessings of God, and for our churches to grow and prosper, under God's blessing, is to teach and do just what God says do, and nothing more, remembering that what is more than He has commanded is positively forbidden. (De 4:1-2; Re 22:18-19.)
Motion and seconded that we adopt the above findings and recommendations and go home
rejoicing as Primitive Baptists.
We, your committee, wish to state further, that we reached a full accord and agreement on each issue without any hard feelings and each one seemed to understand the other and much love was manifested toward each other. We, the undersigned, hereunto affix our signatures:
.ELDER L. C. SWANNER, Moderator
ELDER G. E. GRIFFIN, Assistant Moderator
.BROTHER HARTSEL CAYCE, Clerk
BROTHER M. G. BASS, Assistant Clerk
.ELDER M. W. SMITH
ELDER J. B. HARDY
.ELDER S. J. HOLT
ELDER R. F. PIERCE
.ELDER E. C. MORRISETT
ELDER E. W. HARGETT
.ELDER F. M. GRIFFIN
ELDER OBA M. CUMMINGS
.ELDER J. D. HOLDER
ELDER B. R. HOWZE
.ELDER J. M. BULLARD
ELDER V. F. LOWRANCE
These recommendations were read before the general assembly one by one; then each one was read one at a time and time was given for questions and answers. There was a mutual understanding on the questions and answers. Everyone seemed to be satisfied. Then a rising vote was taken in the assembly and there was an agreement with our recommendations; and they agreed to go home and try to put these recommendations into practice to the best of their understanding and ability.
We wish to thank God for His kind and tender care, for the manifestation of His love among the brotherhood, and then to Donaldson Church and friends for their kind hospitality and care while we were among them, for the use of their building, to hold our sessions in and to Salem Association for the use of their tent, that the others might worship God while we, the committee, worked. Again, we say: "Thank you and may God bless each one who has had a part in this".
Then some songs were sung and the parting hand was taken, amid much rejoicing. Dismissed by prayer by Elder Virgil F. Lowrance.
NASHVILLE PEACE MEETING
AUGUST 27, 28, 1937
A NATIONAL PEACE MEETING
THE PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS
HARMONY CHURCH, DONALDSON, ARKANSAS
JUNE 13, 14, 15, 1953
Originally Printed by
Cayce Publishing Company
PROCEEDINGS OF THE
NASHVILLE PEACE MEETING
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27,1937
The proposed meeting for the purposes of endeavoring to restore peace in and among the disturbed churches in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky and between brethren, as had been called for by the three churches in Nashville, TN (Richland, Bethel and South College Street), and which had been invited to be held with Bethel Church, met at the auditorium of the East Nashville High School building, the use of this building having been secured on account of more room than at the church building.
Elder C. H. Cayce, Thornton, AR, of the South Arkansas Association was selected to preach the opening discourse, which he did after prayer was offered. The notes taken by the clerk having been lost or mislaid, this minute will not give the names of all the brethren who preached or offered prayer during the meeting.
Elder H. P. Houk, Gurley, AL, of the Mud Creek Association was chosen as moderator during the meeting, and Elder C. H. Cayce was chosen clerk.
The deacons of the three churches in Nashville were appointed as a committee to arrange
preaching during the meeting. It was understood that the preaching during the meeting was not to be considered as affiliation, or recognizing, or not recognizing, those that might be appointed to preach as being in order or not in order.
The following named brethren were requested to serve as a committee to draw up recommendations to be presented to the meeting: Elders Lee Hanks, J. A. Monsees, James Duncan, T. L. Webb, C. H. Cayce, H. P. Houk, John R. Harris, W. A. Shutt, R. 0. Raulston, and J. D. Shain, and Deacon G. P. Nail. Deacon Nail is from the Friendship Association of Georgia.
As Elder Houk was to serve on the committee, he appointed Elder E. S. Frye to act as assistant moderator and moderator pro tem in his absence.
The committee retired to another room, which had been prepared for their use. Preaching service was continued from time to time, day and night, in the auditorium. The clerk did not get the order of preaching for the entire meeting, and as that part of the matter is not of special interest to the general reader, it is all left out of this minute.
The committee labored hard for the remainder of the day on Friday and until afternoon on Saturday, concentrating their mind and thought on the matters which were of so much concern and so important to the churches, to the brotherhood, and to the cause of the Master. They all realized the great responsibility resting upon them. Perhaps this was the most important meeting that had ever been held in the state, or in this whole section of country. Much depended upon the outcome of this meeting.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
Prayer by Elder Monsees.
MODERATOR: Brethren, the recommendations have been completed by the committee that you appointed; and I wish to say to you that I never served with a more congenial set of men. Everything was in perfect harmony, from start to finish, without one word of discord. I feel that God is in this matter; and if you are now ready to do the reading, we are ready to do the reading, by your order. What do you say brethren? Do you want to the reading to proceed now?
Elder Frye: I rise to move that we hear the reading of the report of the committee. Motion
seconded and carried.
Elder Cayce: Now, I would not have come up on this high platform had I not been requested to do so. The request was made that I stand up here to do the reading, so that what I read may be heard in the outer edge of this audience. And I want to say that it is our desire (not only mine, but of every member of this committee) that everyone in this audience who is interested in this matter hear distinctly, and understand just what these recommendations contain.
Now, before I proceed to read these recommendations. Just a few minutes ago I received a letter from Elder J. L. Collings, of Glen Rose, TX, addressed to me here. The address on the envelope is the location of Bethel Church. I don't know how they found out where I was, but the letter came to me, and I want to read it to this audience. I read:
GLEN ROSE, TX, August 25, 1937.
ELDER C. H. Cayce,
DEAR Brother Cayce:
I returned last night from Arivaca, AZ, where we went to visit our son-in-law and grandbabies, and found them well, to see, this morning, on opening my mail, that you are to be in Nashville, TN, in peace meeting held by three churches in an effort to wipe out existing differences, restore peace and fellowship, and unite the brethren who are in a divided state, or are approaching that condition, and to labor toward uniting them again in Christian love. As miles are counted, I am far distant from you, but I feel this morning that I want to reach across that distance and take you and all that might be with you in the great name of our God by the hand and say, May God bless you, give you His unerring Spirit to lead and direct you. May His love hover over and about you; may His peace be upon each of you, and may the joys of His salvation be restored unto you. I am trying to pray that your meeting together may not be in vain, but that it may prove a blessing to each of you who participate in it, to the church there and elsewhere, and honoring to His great name. With Christian love,
J. L. COLLINGS
I just wanted to you to know that in this effort for peace we have the good wishes and prayers of this servant of God, who took the time, and he took it upon himself, to write these few lines to let us know that his heart is with us.
Now, I will begin reading, and if, as I read, there is someone who does not catch an expression, will you please interrupt right there, so that I may read it again for you. But I want to ask this that you refrain from asking a question with reference to the meaning of some clause, or expression, you may hear during the first reading; for, as we go along, it is possible that you will find the answer to that very question in another paragraph. After we shall have read through the first time, then I am going to read the second time, paragraph by paragraph, and stop after the reading of each paragraph, and give opportunity for anyone to ask any questions that might arise in your mind concerning what it contains. We want all this explained now. Now is the time to explain it- not after we are gone from here.
Proceeds to read:
The following principles of faith, or doctrine and practice, are hereby recommended as principles upon which the present disturbances among the Primitive Baptists in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky may be adjusted:
FIRST- THE DOCTRINE
We hereby reaffirm our solemn belief in the principles upon which our church, or churches, were constituted; which principles of doctrine we believe to be as stated in the following brief outline of principles:
1. We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures are the perfectly inspired word of God, and the only infallible rule, or standard, of faith and practice; and that, as such, the Bible teaches all that we ought to know, believe, or practice religiously. It is just as wrong to practice what the Bible does not teach as it is to leave undone what is expressly commanded therein. Both are wrong.
2. We believe in the existence, immutability, omnipotence, omnipresence, and eternal perfections of the one only true and living God, who exists in the three-fold, yet undivided and indivisible substance of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; who was and is the sovereign Creator, Upholder, Preserver, Governor and Judge of the Universe.
3. We believe that God is omniscient -that is, He perfectly knows all things; He has never learned anything, nor has He ever forgotten anything.
4. We believe in the doctrine of total depravity -that is, the entire human family are justly condemned, all having sinned in Adam; and that our life received by virtue of the natural birth is poisoned with sin; and that in nature the man is sinful in all his parts, and all are dead in trespasses and in sins.
5. We believe in the eternal and personal and unconditional election of the saints unto glory; that they were chosen in Christ by the Father before the world was- before they had any actual existence; that God predestinated them unto the adoption of sons, and that they should be conformed to the image of his Son; and that they will all be finally and ultimately saved in glory. However, we do solemnly deny that God predestinated sin. He has determined to overrule and punish sin. Those whom God has not, or did not, predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son are left to act in their own sins to their just condemnation, to the praise of God's glorious justice.
6. We believe that the atonement and the redemption of Jesus Christ are for the elect only, and that they are justified in the sight of God by the imputed righteousness of the Son alone.
7. We believe in the direct, immediate, sovereign, irresistible, and, in all cases, the effectual work of the Holy Spirit in calling, regenerating and sanctifying the elect of God, and that in His own appointed time and way. The work of regeneration is an instantaneous and internal work, and is accomplished by the work of the Spirit of God on the spirit of the sinner.
8. We believe in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead -that is, that the bodies of all who die will be raised at the final windup and consummation of all things. We mean by this that it is the body that dies, and it is the same body which dies that shall be raised from the dead. The bodies of the saints will, at the resurrection, be changed, made spiritual, immortal, and be reunited with their souls, and taken into the glorious presence of the Lord, and their happiness will be unending. The others will be cast into eternal torment, and their punishment will be unending.
9. We believe that baptism and the Lord's supper are ordinances of Jesus Christ, and that true believers (those who have been born again) are the only proper subjects for baptism, and that Scriptural baptism is a burial in water; that the ordinances of the church are in the hands of the church for keeping; and that baptism is not valid unless administered by one authorized by a gospel church to administer the ordinances. Unleavened bread and wine (grape wine) are to be used in the Lord's supper. We believe that the washing of the saints’ feet should be kept up and practiced in the church, whether it be called an ordinance or an example. We who engage in the practice should not fallout with each other as what we call it ---whether an ordinance or an example. We should practice it, and then observe what it teaches.
10. We believe that the Lord's children (those who have been born again) are under parental law to the blessed Lord, and that He has promised blessings in His word to His children who obey Him, which He has not promised to others, and that these blessings thus promised cannot be attained to or enjoyed any other way only by obeying Him -doing the things commanded by Him. On the other hand, He has promised chastisement- suffering, sorrow, trouble, and distress -upon their rebellion and disobedience. Have we not realized some of the latter, to our sorrow?
11. We believe that baptism is the first ordinance, and that no one has a right to the Lord's supper unless he has first been baptized by the proper authority, and is in order with his brethren at home. To participate in the communion service, or sacramental supper, with others, or otherwise, we deem to be disorderly. By the term, "in order with his brethren at home", we do not simply mean with what may be designated as the band of his membership. One might have membership in a local body that is not in order.
12. We believe that a gospel church is a body of baptized believers, who have banded themselves together to keep house for the Lord, and who maintain the true principles of doctrine and practice as laid down in the New Testament. Yet a true church may err from the right way; and when they do so, the Scriptural injunction is for them to repent. The church was set up by the Saviour during His personal ministry on earth, and this church has an unbroken succession unto the present day, and it will remain on earth some place until our Lord's second personal coming. The Lord established His Kingdom, or church, for a home for His little children. He gave all the laws and rules and regulations to govern in this kingdom. We have no right to make new laws; nor do we have a right to disobey or dishonor the laws which He gave. We believe that some of His laws are as follows, in matters of discipline:
1. The foregoing articles on the doctrine express our views on the matter of baptism, the Lord's supper, and washing the saints' feet.
2. A private offense or trespass is where one member trespasses against another, or against others. A public offense, or an offense against the body, is where one's conduct is immoral, or of an immoral nature, and is detrimental to the church as a body, and not simply hurtful to an individual. A public offense hurts all the church, or all the brotherhood. 3. In cases of private offenses or trespasses, as one member against another, the offended party should go to the offender, in the right spirit, in the spirit of love, being sure not to take old Satan along with him, and endeavor to adjust the matter. If this fails to bring about reconciliation, he should then take with him one or two more, endeavoring to obtain reconciliation, or to reclaim the erring one. When reconciliation is thus not obtained, then it should be taken to the church. Then if the transgressing member will not hear the church, the church should withdraw fellowship from him, or from her; but this should be done in the spirit of love and humility. Any person who has a grievance, and tells others about it before having pursued the above course becomes a transgressor, and should, himself, be dealt with by the church. To tell others about the matter, instead of telling it to the transgressing brother, and endeavoring to reclaim him, as above outlined, is akin to rebellion and anarchy.
4. There are some public offenses which the church may forgive or bear with; but some are of such a grievous nature that the church cannot bear with, and continue to retain her identity as a gospel church in order. In cases of minor offenses the offending brother should be labored with, and the brethren should patiently try to reclaim him. But if the offending party will not heed the admonitions lovingly given, the church should withdraw fellowship from him.
5. In cases of gross infractions of immorality, the person should be withdrawn from and let him reform on the outside of the church. The church is not a reformatory. Such things as drunkenness, fornication, adultery, false swearing, perjury, and such like gross sins, should not be tolerated by the church in any of her members, whether the member be a private one, or a deacon, or a preacher. Really the church can better afford to retain a private member who is guilty of gross wrong, if any difference, because the minister is in public life as a representative of the church before the world.
6. If a member denies an accusation made only by outsiders, he should not be considered guilty unless a preponderance of credible evidence is against him, which should be weighed by the church. Evidence given by persons who are of unquestioned veracity may be received by the church and considered by her as valid evidence.
7. If two members should fall into a dispute, and no testimony is available to show which one is right, they should be required to cease the dispute at once. There might be a misunderstanding.
8. Neither husband nor wife should put the other away and marry another, except for the cause of fornication. If a husband and wife are unable to remain together peaceably, and decide to quietly separate from each other, they may do so only for peace, but not to marry again. In such case, if either should marry again, he or she thereby becomes an adulterer and the other is thereby released. The discipline herein refers to members of the church; but we believe the moral law of God governing marriages and prohibiting adultery is binding upon the unregenerate as well as the regenerate. The church should not retain a person who is living in adultery.
9. We do not think our members should be retained in the church who hold membership in or affiliate with any of the so-called fraternal or religious institutions of the world. It is a well-known fact that it has always been against the rules of the Primitive Baptist churches of the South to retain members who affiliate with such institutions, whether secret or otherwise, which rule we believe to be Scriptural; and we think it would be destructive to endeavor to reform the churches. We should continue to stand where we have always stood on this question, and those things should not be permitted to make inroads in our churches. In this we are not endeavoring to regulate other folks or their affairs; but we desire that our churches all remain clear of these things, as they have in the past.
10. Each and every local church has the right to dispose of her local affairs as she deems proper; that is, she has the right to discipline her own members; but no church has the right to harbor and protect heretics, liars, fornicators, and the like, to the hurt and annoyance of sister churches. Neither does a church have the right to harbor or engage in things that are contrary to Baptist usage, or contrary to the Scriptures, to the hurt of her sister churches.
11. As to associations of churches, we deem it good for them to meet together in the worship the Lord in an associational way -that is, to associate together in the worship and service of God; but it is not necessary for a church to be in a association in order to be an orderly church; but we recommend that the churches involved in these troubles take their original places in the associations, which will help to restore the good feeling that should prevail. An association is not a higher court, for they are absolutely without ecclesiastical authority. Trouble should be attended to by churches, not by associations. Fellowship should not be withdrawn from any sister church until all possible labor has been bestowed upon said church for any alleged error or wrong. If troubles were always attended to by the churches, then they would not be taken to the associations for adjustment. If our brethren would always keep these things in mind, and observe them, some troubles would not spread as much as they do.
12. When a person is excluded by an orderly Old Baptist Church, he is thereby excluded from every orderly Old Baptist Church on earth. If a person is excluded by one church in our body, and another receives him into their body without satisfaction being first made at the church where he was excluded, it denies that a sister church has the right to discipline her own members. It is too often the case when a little friction comes up, brethren may be too quick to receive members this way. Where something is charged against a person, that is the only place on earth to get the charge canceled.
13. Where there are reports in circulation of immoral conduct our brethren should be careful about repeating hearsay. For the benefit and good of the cause, when such reports are in circulation, such matters should be investigated by the church of the person's membership. If the party is innocent, it is for his good that the church exonerate the party. This is not only for the good of the brother, but for the benefit of the cause. It would not look well for the party, against whom such reports are in circulation, to object to a fair and impartial investigation. Until there is such investigation, we should be careful not to circulate such hearsay reports about the brother. We may sometimes say things we should not say. In such cases as this, it would look well for the party, who may thus have such evil reports in circulation against him as are detrimental to his character and detrimental to the cause, to ask his church to go into an official investigation of those matters. The church should thoroughly investigate such things, whether the party involved asks for it or not- she should do this for the protection of her membership as well as for the vindication and good of the cause of the Master.
14. As to the use of organs or other musical instruments in our churches, we will say that they were first introduced into church service by Papal Rome. Our people have always objected to them. It is not necessary for us here to discuss the matter as to whether it is wrong to use them or not, or to assign reasons why it is wrong to use them. We will merely say here that "Whatever is Baptistic is Scriptural". If this is not true, then our claim of being Scriptural is false, and we are not the church of Christ. Hence, to use such things in our churches is a departure; and where it has been done, confession of the wrong should be made, and such engaged in no more.
15. As to what are called protracted or continued meetings, we would lovingly utter a word of caution. We would not say that any church that holds a meeting of several days, or a week, has departed from the faith or fundamental principles of our people; but we would lovingly caution the brethren in regard to this matter. Our observation is that they may lead to a wrong impression sometimes. Let us be careful to not engage in such meetings and talk about them in such a way as to leave the impression that our people engage in modern revivalism. They may sometimes lead to the idea that the time to join the church and serve the Lord is at and during the "big meeting". Let us be careful to try to be conservative at all times, and not do things that are not expedient. We would utter the same note of warning to brethren in regard to visiting sections or places other than our regularly established churches, that great care be exercised to give every evidence that such labors are bestowed for the purpose of correction and not condonement. We deem it to be hurtful, not only to the cause in general, but to the brethren as well who might make such visits without such caution.
16. Where parties have been received by one church on confession of faith, when excluded by another church, in the settlement and adjustment of the differences that have brought about disturbance in this country, such matters as this should be adjusted to the satisfaction of both churches. Especially is this true where such parties were excluded for immoral conduct. Such as that will have to be adjusted before peace can be fully restored and all the churches be in full fellowship, or for fellowship between churches to continue.
17. Our people can not afford to depart from the recognized practice of our people all along the ages in the matter of baptism. It has ever been the practice of the Primitive Baptists to reject baptism as administered by other people, and to receive no one from other people on the baptism administered by that people -any people. If we recognize baptism administered by another people, must we not also recognize their work of exclusions, in order to be consistent? We consider it disorder for our people to receive persons on their baptism administered by others, and some churches as do so should not expect to be recognized as orderly churches by the great body of Baptists. This does not militate against, nor is it against, the age-old practice of our people in recognizing each other's work in the settlement and adjustment of their troubles and coming together, where they have been divided.
18. As to Sunday schools, Bible classes, aid societies, or any other such societies as have been invented by the world and engaged in by them, we consider all such as a departure from the original ground and principals which the Primitive Baptists have held all along the line. The way such things usually get into the church is by assuming of some name that may lead our people to think there is no harm in it; but such innovations and departures always grow, and result in trouble and distress among our people. They should be let severely alone. If we want to bring peace, the way to have it is to let all things alone that bring trouble. Our people spoke out in no uncertain terms on Progressive measures years ago in the troubles of the Kirklands and others. This does not mean that the brethren, who are not ministers, are to take no part in the services in the church in a public way. Brethren should be willing to take part in service, such as introducing the service for the preacher, by reading a Scriptural lesson, and commenting on the same as he feels to do so, and by offering prayer. And the regular service should be held and conference business attended to by the brethren if no preacher should be present. The preacher cannot perform the public service of God for the entire membership. We cannot serve God by proxy. It is, too, a lamentable fact that our brethren do not read the Scriptures in their homes as they should. Hence, they depend too much on the preacher to know "if these things be true". But this in no sense justifies our people in conducting a so-called Bible class or so-called Bible study in our churches. Such things, when the seed is sown, always grow and develop into the greater and distressing things. We can only say, "Diligently do what we here recommend, and let the other thing alone".
19. We recommend that in times of dispute among brethren, whether about doctrine, order, or any question affecting the peace of the churches, that great caution and prudence be exercised by those affected. Especially should brethren desist from airing troubles or disturbances from the pulpit or in territories where such disturbances are not had. We recommend that all our brethren endeavor to keep trouble in the bound of its origin, and labor earnestly for its settlement there.
20. We, your committee, realize and recognize the fact that in times of troubles and confusion among the brethren and churches, or in churches, those who are contending for the right principles and for truth may get in the flesh and do and say things that are wrong and are liable to act hastily; and, therefore, it is almost, if not altogether, a universal fact that wrongs are done on both sides. Hence, we conclude by recommending that the churches and brethren who are desiring peace and wish for fellowship to abound in our beloved Zion, and who are willing and desire to continue in the good old way our fathers trod, all confess their faults, and straighten out and eliminate the irregularities, and adjust all wrongs and differences, and bury the past, and forgive each other all wrongs committed; and then live in such a way as to "let brotherly love continue". Let us remember, too, that it has always been, and is yet, contrary to Primitive Baptist practice, and contrary to Scripture, to mix and mingle and affiliate with the worldly religionists. Treat all men kindly, but let them have their own worship and ways, and let us go in the way of our fathers. "Lay not field to field." “Touch not, taste not, handle not." Let us try to remember to do the things that are expedient, not forgetting that some things may be lawful but not expedient. The apostle tried to act according to expediency as well as lawfully. We will do well to try to pattern after him. Let us remember, too, that the Bible teaches us how we "ought to behave ourselves in the house of God". If we would, all of us, always "behave ourselves", we would not have troubles and divisions in our churches, and the peace and fellowship of our people would not be broken or destroyed. The best way, and the only way, for us to have and enjoy the blessings of God, and for our churches to grow and prosper, under God's blessing, is to teach and do just what God says to do, and nothing more, remembering that what is more than He has commanded is positively forbidden. (De 4:1 ,2; Revelations 22:18,
19.) Respectfully submitted. Signed
ELDER H. P. HOUK, Moderator.
ELDER C. H. CAYCE, Clerk.
ELDER J. A. MONSEES.
ELDER JAMES DUNCAN.
ELDER T. L. WEBB.
ELDER R.O. RAULSTON.
ELDER LEE HANKS.
ELDER JNO. R. HARRIS.
ELDER J. D. SHAIN.
ELDER W. A. SHUTT.
DEACON G. P. NALL.
ELDER CAYCE (after reading the articles on the doctrine and before reading the articles on
discipline): Now you might think that we take considerable space here to outline these principles of doctrine; but time will prove as to whether we were wrong in our judgment of doing that. What I read now may be more important at this time than these principles of doctrine. Perhaps there are no different views among us now about these principles of doctrine; but in agreeing now on that, I think we should act on this. (Then he read the articles on discipline.)
At the end of the first reading, proceeded as follows:
ELDER CAYCE: Brethren, if all of us -each one of us -all along the line had been doing what the Bible teaches, "behaving ourselves in the house of God", it would have not been necessary to call a meeting like this, but every meeting you have had, and would have, would be a peace meeting. I do humbly beg and pray, and that is what I have been trying to do since this meeting was first suggested, that the result of this may be peace, and the bringing of our people together in this whole section of country; and then may God help us to live in a way to keep that peace and unity. There is not a thing connected with this whole matter but what can be ironed out- not a thing. It can all be straightened out.
Now, then, I want to read the recommendations, paragraph by paragraph, and as I read it, if there is anyone of you that wants an explanation in any way in regard to what I am reading, speak right out and let us have it. Now, if there is anybody in the audience that failed to hear the reading, if some of you did not understand me, and could not hear me, as I read this before, hold up your hand.
ELDER MONSEES: I would suggest, for brevity sake, that you just read the disciplinary matters. We are all agreed on the doctrinal features that have brought out.
ELDER HOUK: Do you want that carried out, with a motion?
ELDER CAYCE: Brother Moderator, I appreciate Brother Monsees' suggestion, but let me suggest that what we are doing here is of vast importance to the whole Baptist family in Tennessee, and parts of Kentucky, and perhaps elsewhere.
ELDER MONSEES: It is perfectly all right; just go ahead and read it. I just mentioned it for your sake, more than anything else.
ELDER CAYCE: Do not pay attention to my sake. I would rather wear out doing something for the Old Baptists than to rust out. It is too late now for me to quit. I want this to be done strictly according to parliamentary usage and rules, every point of it, even if it does take more time. Somebody might say, "They laid aside parliamentary rules, jumped over it, didn't read it enough". What do you brethren say? Do you agree with me?
VOICE: Let it be parliamentary, so nobody can fuss.
ELDER CAYCE: Now, I won't stop long while reading over these principles of doctrine. I will pause at the end of each paragraph and wait just long enough for somebody to speak, and if you do not speak I am going right on, and in that way save time.
MODERATOR: Now, please do not hesitate to ask anything you want to ask while this committee is present. We will be glad to tell you just what we wanted to convey. If you don't know what we intended to convey, as Brother Cayce reads, don't hesitate to ask. We want to help you.
ELDER CAYCE: I will say, further, if something arises in your mind you want to ask about, you need not wait till I get through reading that paragraph. Speak right out, then. You might forget it; or, if you are thinking about it, you might fail to get what I read further. (Reads.)
Notice, we say "present disturbances". We are not proposing to lay down principles upon which some trouble might be settled that might come up hereafter, that has no relation to these matters that are now under consideration.
ELDER W. C. DAVIS (referring to Article 5, on Discipline): I want to know if that rule applies to one individual, or church, or churches?
ELDER CAYCE: Let me read it: "In cases of gross infraction of immorality, the person should be withdrawn from and let him reform on the outside of the church. The church is not a reformatory. Such things as drunkenness, fornication, adultery, false swearing, perjury, and such like gross sins, should not be tolerated by the church in any of her members, whether the member be a private one, or a deacon, or a preacher. Really the church can better afford to retain a private member who is guilty of gross wrong, if any difference, because the minister is in public life as a representative of the church before the world".
Now, if I get your question, it is answered in Section 10. If this does not answer it, then we will hear further, because we want this thing fixed as we go. As we leave here it will be too late. (Reads Section 10.)
ELDER DAVIS: That is satisfactory.
ELDER CAYCE: Does that answer it? That is right; anybody that has a question, and does not know whether a matter is covered or not, speak right out.
ELDER J. B. HARDY: If there be a public offense against one church, it is against all churches -that is correct is it not? -but only the church of the membership of the party, who has committed the offense, has the dealing with it, upon the complaint and proof presented by others -is that the meaning of your statement?
ELDER CAYCE: I will read No.13. (Does so.) Now, then, I was reading Section 5, upon which the first question was asked. In answer to it, I read No.10, which covered that question. Now, if I understand the last question, the church of the brother's membership is the only one who has the right to deal with it, so far as exclusion from church membership is concerned, and dealing with him as an individual; that church is the only church, and the only place, where he can thus be dealt with, and No. 10 shows you that this church has no right to harbor things detrimental and hurtful to her sister churches; and, of course, if she has something that is detrimental to her sister church, that sister church has the right to complain to that church in regard to that matter which she holds that is detrimental to the cause. If she did not have that right, then the other church would have a right to hold it. What do the brethren on the committee say? I think she has a perfect right to do that.
MODERATOR: Yes, otherwise the church over there can retain any kind of undesirable character they want to, and the other churches could say nothing about it; the other church has a right to say something about it, and say it now, too.
ELDER C. F. PARKER: In regard to that question under discussion, where a church has the right to do that, and it has been investigated and the person exonerated by the church and also by a council of a portion of the sister churches, what should be the next step?
ELDER CAYCE: Pardon me, if you will let me just answer that question this way- not for the committee, but for C. H. Cayce -and I stand responsible to my brethren at home for my answer –and if you brethren do not like the way I answer it, say so now: Where there is so much smoke there is mighty apt to be a little fire; and where there are so many reports, and evidently those reports have been investigated, partially or impartially, and yet the matter causes trouble over there in that section, I think a pretty good thing for us to do over in Arkansas is for us to let them alone and have nothing to do with them until they get it settled.
MODERATOR: I think that is answered in the recommendations, somewhere in there.
ELDER CAYCE: I will say this, and I am not saying this in reference to any particular case, but if there is something of that kind, and it is on you, and you want to come to Arkansas, you let me know it is on you before you come, and I won't invite you. I said that for C. H. Cayce, and for my people over in Arkansas. Elder John R. Harris, a member of my home church, came with me here at my earnest solicitation, and if I have answered a question, or made a statement, that he thinks would not be satisfactory to my home church, and is not satisfactory to him, he can tell you about it, and I am willing for him to tell you about it right now in open meeting. Brother Harris, have I spoken the way we stand?
ELDER HARRIS: Yes, I endorse, and I know our people at home heartily endorse, the stand you take.
ELDER CAYCE: I think these things are covered in these recommendations. If we will study them, think about it, and apply them, and if we will observe them, and watch carefully in observing them, they will not cause us trouble. Are we ready now for the next article, No.6? (Continues reading.)
ELDER W. L. MURRAY (on Article No.11 ): Is it the opinion of the committee that peace cannot be restored unless the churches go back into associations?
ELDER CAYCE: Is that the question in full?
ELDER MURRAY: Yes.
ELDER CAYCE: No. And as a reason for the answer no, let me read again. (Reads.-) There is the object of recommending that the churches take their original places in the associations -not that peace may be restored, but in order to help restore the good feeling that should prevail.
ELDER J. D. SHAIN: May I suggest, as a explanation of that, this question here, that he just read relative to the relation of churches to each other, and their action toward each other, was a matter that was considered separate and apart from the association, and merely inserted there in order to get it in there. It does not imply that the association may at all deal with it. It might be read so as to imply that meaning there, Brother Cayce. I am sure it is the sense of the committee that the association does not want to deal with church troubles or church fellowship in any sense.
ELDER CAYCE: I think so, and you will pardon me if I read this paragraph again for my own satisfaction, to better understand what the committee said. I could not get anything else out of it but that. I am going to commence and read from the beginning of the paragraph (No.11 ) again, there is so much in it:
As to associations of churches, we deem it good for them to meet together to worship the Lord in an associational way -that is, to associate together in the worship and service of God; but it is not necessary for a church to be in an association in order to be an orderly church; but we recommend that the churches involved in these troubles take their original places in the associations, which will help restore the good feeling that should prevail. An association is not a higher court, for they are absolutely without ecclesiastical authority.
Now, I could not read that and get the idea to save my life that the association had any right to deal with church troubles.
ELDER SHAIN: Have you got it separated there in a separate item, Brother Cayce, or not?
ELDER CAYCE: That is all in the same paragraph, but a different sentence.
ELDER SHAIN: That is my idea for speaking of it, that it would confuse, being in the same
paragraph, which was a break in the original paragraph, and its arrangement thereby might confuse.
ELDER CAYCE: It might; I am glad you called attention to that. (Continues reading same
Troubles should be attended to by the churches, and not by associations. Fellowship would not be withdrawn from any sister church until after all possible labor has been bestowed upon said church for any alleged error or wrong.
Now, let me just put in this little explanation. Notice that this has just said that an association is not a higher court; that the association is without ecclesiastical authority, and then states that troubles should be attended to by the churches, and not by associations. Then our recommendation is that churches attend to the troubles, and that fellowship should not be withdrawn from any sister church, until after all possible labor has been bestowed upon said church for any alleged error or wrong. That is, this sister church should not withdraw fellowship from her sister church until all possible labor has been bestowed.
ELDER J. R. SCOTT: Brother Moderator, I think there is a question that we should ask just here for an explanation. Suppose that a man should go to an association, who is in gross disorder, or that we have the information to that effect, but the churches have not acted. What position shall the association take under those circumstances? Shall we go ahead and recognize that individual and preach him, or will they have the authority to keep him off the program and refrain from preaching him?
ELDER CAYCE: I think that this committee certainly had in mind, in the framing of these things, that a church or body of brethren met for the worship and service of God, is authorized by the Bible to take care of themselves. Does that answer your question?
ELDER SCOTT: I will accept it.
ELDER M. C. JOHNSON: For the benefit of myself and others, I think we understand what is fitting and right and becoming to the whole association. This in regard to a church coming to the association; I think from necessity all that the association has a right to deal with, is what comes under the right of the association. Unless the rules of the association are violated, I would say it had no right to deal with anything. It should have a right to deal with anything according to the rules and regulations of the association that we agree to be governed by. Am I right in that answer?
ELDER CAYCE: Now, I might have to answer that question more from a matter of personal view than a matter of an opinion of this committee. I am inclined to think that many of our associations have had their rules and in their constitutions things that gave associations authority to overstep, really their bounds. That being true, at my own association in Arkansas, last year, the sixteenth item in the constitution gave the right to two-thirds of the members, if I remember correctly, two-thirds of the messengers present, to change that constitution; maybe that sixteenth item gave the majority the right to change -the majority of the messengers.
ELDER HARRIS: Two-thirds, I think it was.
ELDER CAYCE: Two-thirds majority of the messengers had the right to change that constitution. The second item of that constitution absolutely gave the association authority over the churches, and placed the churches in that association in an attitude that they would bear the same relation to the association as an individual member bears to his church, which I have never considered as being really Scriptural. It is just stepping over a little further than we have a right to do; and hence I offered, last year in our association, an amendment to that section, Section 2, which I can only give you the substance of, not having the minute with me, but which says that the association disclaims having any ecclesiastical authority over the churches, and that all matters of fellowship and discipline belong to the churches, and must be settled by them, and will not be considered by the association. In connection with that, a change in the sixteenth article, that " any change may be made in this constitution by a vote
of two-thirds of the churches composing the association". It took the right of changing the constitution out of the hands of the messengers, where the constitution had put it, and put it back with the churches.
Now, then, in further explanation of Brother Johnson's question, if there is trouble between two churches in the association, the churches should take that matter up with that church, that there is a grievance against, and use all possible endeavor to get reconciliation, that peace may be maintained and kept. When all possible efforts have failed, and there is no way by which fellowship may be retained and they stay in the union, then these churches may withdraw fellowship from that church - not just one of them withdraw, but others that have united with her in labor. When they have withdrawn fellowship from that church, then notify the association that is what has been done; and when this has already been done, the association can't say you shan't do it; you have already done it. You see, your trouble would not get in the association; the churches have already settled it; they have already ended it, and the association is notified by the churches as to what they have already done. There is where
your association authority is, as I understand it, Brother Johnson. It is what the churches do. Now, does that make it satisfactory, Brother Johnson?
ELDER JOHNSON: For instance, I just want to use one more expression there in regard to one item, embraced in the minutes of our association, which item says," Any church departing from the rules of this association shall be excluded from the privileges of this association". That is in the rules of the Cumberland -one item.
ELDER CAYCE: I believe I would have to answer this way in regard to that, Brother Johnson, that this committee could not frame up recommendations to bring before this meeting, that might have application, and apply to every rule and every item in all the constitutions and rules of decorum in the different associations. As we understood it, we were merely to consider the matters that more especially, or that did especially pertain to the matters of the present disturbances. There might be something in these association rules we might approve, and we might not; but we would not want to recommend to the Cumberland Association to change her rules or her constitution, even if there is something in there that we did not think exactly right -that is Cumberland's business. Now, I could not explain that any further, Brother Johnson, right at the present moment. I don't know whether that makes it clear, or not -possibly it is as clear as mud. Mighty hard for me to make things clear sometimes.
ELDER HANKS: In regard to the association. Associations, the way they have been held has hurt our people for nearly sixty years, that I have been with them. It has hurt our people more than anything else. I love associations, but simply for the purpose of worshipping God. That was the position of the oldest and best people we had -Elder Hassell, Elder Mitchell, and all of our aged fathers in the South. I attended the old -association a number of years ago. Old Elder Hitchcock was the moderator of the association. He says, "I have been moderator here thirty-five years. There has never been a trouble come in here. The reason of it was that I have ruled out everything of a disciplinary nature. They were not allowed to come in here. I can't live much longer. I will soon pass away, and I want our rules and our constitution revised while I am living". They appointed a committee to revise them, while he was alive, and called me to write the rules of decorum, making the changes. In that he eliminated everything, such as "the association provides for a general union of the churches, and shall be an advisory council". Who gives advice? Is it not the superior that gives advice to the inferior? That puts the association at the head of the church. It is not an advisory council, and has no authority over the churches whatever. There was never an association in existence until about the year 1651. It was founded in Wales; and it is a great thing, if you keep it in its place. We revised the decorum, and we have gone on in peace since. I have lived in different sections of the country. I moderated associations in four sections of Georgia. We had trouble with Progressives way back yonder in South Georgia. I was appointed moderator of my association. When I was elected moderator I told the brethren, I said, "Brethren, I am not here as a boss, or lord, over the churches as your moderator of the association; but one thing I am going to do -if you bring a church trouble into the association while I am your moderator, I will rule it out. No power on earth can deal with the church, except the church itself. I will rule it out". All the brethren there agreed with me. We did not pay any attention there to the decorum, and we went on that way, and lived in peace and harmony, and never had a trouble come into the association. After I moved to Atlanta the brethren begged me to let my membership remain in that association down there, so that I could continue as moderator, because we had lived so harmoniously, in peace and harmony.
Since we have been here -this is not right, my brethren, for the association to deal with the churches. It has no jurisdiction. There is no power over the church. The laws of the Bible were given to the church, and not the association. I know that is correct. That is a man-made law -with all due respect to everybody. Whether the church does belong to an association, or does not belong to it; that does not impair the standing of the church to belong to it, or not belong to the association. Elder Mitchell was as great a man as we have had in the South. Brother Mitchell, away before he died, withdrew from the association, not because he did not have fellowship for them, but he did not want to belong to a disciplinary power. So the association adjourned, since died, and never met any more. That church is in existence today, but they do not belong to any association. They do not have associations. I love them where they meet to worship, but not for discipline. You would have to leave the Bible when you get one up as a disciplinary body. If you take the Bible as your guide you must go to the church. The church is the only disciplinary body on earth that can decide for churches. I have visited a number of churches in different sections. I have been in twenty-seven states. A number of places there are churches that do not belong to any association, but live in fellowship and harmony, as to that. For the association to deal with churches is like a servant dealing with his master -too much like a servant dealing with his master. Some call it a creature of the church. I do not call it that. The church has no right to create anything. God is the only creator. The association is just for the purpose of meeting to worship God, without the slightest authority over the churches. I know that is correct, and the Bible will sustain it. There is no authority for it in the Bible, but it is a good thing to meet to worship God. That is the position of our fathers, and that we take today; and whenever you introduce church troubles in the association -I have known -here is the trouble, here -a brother wrong, and on account of that wrong of that brother, trouble came upon the whole association from the act of one - like if a person committed murder, they hanged or electrocuted everybody in the county. That is all wrong. Old Brother Thompson, of Indiana, when he wrote his book says –
MODERATOR: I will have to call time on you, Brother Hanks.
ELDER BESHARS: The committee has said that associations are without ecclesiastical authority. The same committee has said that anything that we practiced that the Bible did not teach was just as illegal as leaving off what it did teach. So, if it is without ecclesiastical authority, it is without Bible authority; and if without Bible authority, then what authority do we have for it? That is the question.
MODERATOR: Wait a minute, his question should be answered first.
ELDER CAYCE: I will answer that. We have answered the question by saying that they are to meet together for the worship and service of God, and we have authority in God's word to meet together for that purpose.
ELDER BESHEARS: That is satisfactory.
MODERATOR: State your question, Brother Johnson.
ELDER JOHNSON: I just wanted to make an explanation. I believe I have been misunderstood. I am not suggesting or arguing that church troubles should come to the association, but when a church applies to the association, for membership, is she not under obligation to abide by the rules of the association? That is the point I have been trying to bring before you.
ELDER CAYCE: I might answer that question this way -that if a church petitions to the association for membership, under the constitution of that association, that request for membership implies, to my mind, that she expects to abide by the rules as laid down in their government, the rules they have agreed to be governed by. The churches, in the constitution of the association, agreed to that. But we would not say that if a church should see, or decide in her judgment, that something in there ought not to be there, or that something is wrong that is there, she would not have a perfect right to bestow all loving labor to get the brotherhood to see the mistake that is there, and try to get it corrected. If they would not have that right, then I would not have had the right to introduce an amendment to the constitution of our association. Now, is that clear?
ELDER JOHNSON: That is clear.
ELDER AARON REEDER: Relative to the question that was asked by Brother Beshears in regard to the association, I believe it was answered that the Scriptures authorized the churches to meet together. Is it authorized for them to meet together as an associational body, as we meet now, or just in what way would we meet together, according to the Scriptural injunction?
ELDER CAYCE: An association is nothing more nor less than the meaning of the word itself shows -churches associated together for the purpose for which they are associated. If they associate together to worship God, that is an association with Scriptural authority.
ELDER HARDY: I feel like we are extending this to too large a point, and are running beyond –
MODERATOR: Just state your question.
ELDER HARDY: I was asking to stop some of this argument.
MODERATOR: That is what I am suggesting now. I really think the question has been answered, so far as we are able to answer. Read on, please.
ELDER CAYCE: So far as pertains to the matters which we have been called here to consider, I think that the questions that have been asked and answered and the arguments made, the statements made, and the time consumed, goes far beyond our bounds. What do you brethren think? Are you ready for me to read on?
ELDER HINSON: In a case -this does not directly concern me, but I have had such questions brought to me -that where a church in the association has been guilty of things unbecoming to a church, unholy things, and has been admonished to get those things right, and fails to do that, then they come right along and present her letter, does she not have authority, at least the liberty, to table the letter, and tell them to go back home and settle that, and not bring the trouble into the association?
ELDER CAYCE: Brother Moderator, that question is answered right here in this paragraph: "An association is not a higher court, for they are absolutely without ecclesiastical authority". If a church is trying to bring trouble there, the only thing you can do is to say, "Go back home and settle your trouble".
MODERATOR: I rule that the question, so far as the committee is concerned, brethren, has been answered, and if my ruling won't stand, you will have to appeal to the body. I say it has been answered. Let us come right to the point, brethren. We will never get through with this if we do not. Therefore, I authorize, unless it is appealed to the body, that the clerk read.
ELDER CAYCE: Brother Moderator, Brother Hinson's question was specific.
MODERATOR: Did you answer it?
ELDER CAYCE: Yes, sir, just answered by reading the clause in the article.
MODERATOR: That is all we can do.
ELDER CAYCE: I have already read this article (No.11 ), but I will re-read the last part of it: "If troubles were always attended to by the churches, then they would not be taken to the associations for adjustment. If our brethren would always keep these things in mind, and observe them, some troubles would not spread as much as they do".
I do not like the idea of brethren leaving this room now, as near through as we are, unless they come back here in time to have a voice in either the acceptance or rejection of these
(Reads on down to "and then live in such a way as to let brotherly love continue", in No.20 then says:)
Right there, I want to make just this comment, with reference to this association business. Just as certain, now -let me make you a little prophecy -just as certain as you go from this meeting and begin to agitate the association question, declaring them to be unscriptural, and all that sort of thing, and go to pulling against each other about it, the first thing you know, you will be in just as bad condition as you are today. I have read the history of our people, as well as having visited among them, and in all the history of this people, and having traveled among them in different states, we have never had a "pulling and hauling" about that associational question but what they "tore all to smash". Now, if you don't want any more trouble, you will let that thing alone; and where there is a church that wants to have fellowship, and live with you in fellowship and affiliate with you, and officiate with you, and if they do not feel like they want to be in an association, you fellowship them and go on with them. That is what Old Baptists have been doing all along the line. (Voice in the audience: Amen.) But if you do not do that, you had just as well let us all stayed at home.
ELDER J. L. FULLER: Where we belong to associations, and desire out, in what way can we pull out orderly? -just lovingly retire?
ELDER CAYCE: You should write a letter to the association, and present it to them when they are in session, notifying them you have decided it would be better, that you would be better satisfied, not to have membership in the association; "we love you; we are in peace with you; we want to maintain peace; we want to stay in peace with you; we want you to love us; and we want to continue to love you; and we are not objecting to your association, or to having one, if you want it; go on with it; but just still fellowship us and love us, and let us be a church outside of the association".
ELDER W. C. CAMPBELL: In voting on this, to accept what this committee has done, or rejecting it, does that say we have to go ahead and have full fellowship with the brethren that have caused so much trouble, and we deemed out of order? Does that say that, or does that, just automatically adjust that? We want to know something about that.
ELDER CAYCE: That does not say a thing of that sort, for or against. In this we are only recommending as to how that maybe brought about; and this is not binding on any church in all this wide world until that church herself approves of it and adopts it, in her own conference meeting.
ELDER CAMPBELL: I thank you.
ELDER CAYCE: And this does not say you have to fellowship anybody, or nobody, and it is not binding on the church until the church herself makes it so.
ELDER W. C. DAVIS: Such churches as are divided over this, what should be done? One side says, "We are the church", and others say that they are the church.
ELDER CAYCE: Get together and settle your trouble.
MODERATOR: Are you through?
ELDER CAYCE: Not quite. I stopped in the middle of a paragraph here to make that statement about that association business. I wanted to give these brethren that word of warning, to let that thing alone -that thing is hot.
Reads on to conclusion, then says:
Now, let me say I have served a great many times on committees of this sort or similar, and I have never served on a committee where everything moved along any more harmoniously, without ajar, than in this committee room here. There was not a dissenting vote, or expression, against a single thing that you have heard read in these recommendations. Everything that is suggested touching these matters in here is just as the entire committee approved of. We have labored hard, have tried to work hard; we tried to beg the Lord to direct us and enable us to present to you those things whereby peace might be restored, that fellowship might abound, and you be found worshipping together once more. In my boyhood days the Old Baptists of Tennessee were one body. They were together. You ought to be that way now. And you can be, if you will carry out what is recommended in these principles. I know you can.
It is the usual rule, or custom, to read these things three times; but we took up so much time in the second reading, and read some of so many times, that we believe it would be perfectly admissible, perfectly legal and parliamentary, for us to act on this without further reading. Brethren, the matter is before you, if you want to act now.
MODERATOR: Have you finished your statement?
ELDER CAYCE: I might as well quit; I wasn't through -not quite through.
MODERATOR: Get through.
ELDER CAYCE: A little more I want to say. I was earnestly requested by brethren on both sides of this matter to do something to help them; they want peace; they want it on Scriptural grounds, and Scriptural terms, and right principles. I do not believe there is a true Primitive Baptist in the State of Tennessee or Kentucky that wants to surrender true gospel principles. If you were to get peace on any other terms than that, it would not last a week, it would not be worth anything. But peace is the greatest thing in the world. I love peace, and you do too, between nations, and in the nation, in the state, in the county, in your town, in your community, in your home, and above everything else, peace in the church of God. Now, then, I am going to say this, and I do not say it to cast any reflection. I do not want any of you to think that I want to cast any reflection upon the meanest one of you, if there is one meaner that the other. I would not do that, but there is no man who has been connected with this, directly or indirectly, or any other way (I have been connected with it, of course, in the way of publication of the paper, and publishing things that were public property), not one against whom and about whom more hard things have been said. Now, brethren, I know who you are; I know you. But you don't owe me a thing in the world. I don't charge it to you. I haven't a single charge against you - not one. You don't owe me a thing in the world. All in the world I want is the privilege to live with the Old Baptists, and fight for her principles, and live her doctrine, as I have tried to do all these years. And if I should fall right here -and I realize that owing to the condition of my health, I might do it –and if I should fall right here, now talking to you about these sweet and precious and glorious things that we love, and my body is sent home in a casket, God knows I would rather die that way than any other way. Brethren, will you bury your troubles? Will you adjust these things, and get together in peace and fellowship, and live as children of God ought to live, and let these little bones of contention alone?
Now, I don't mean by this that if somebody advocates something that is contrary to the principles and doctrine of the Bible, the doctrine of the Old Baptists, to let that alone, and keep everything that might come along. I do mean that a thing like the association question -belonging to, or not belonging to, an association, and how the association should be conducted -one association conducted one way, and another association conducted another way -let that alone, and let them conduct it the way it suits them; and then if you feel better out of an association, why, then, get out, but not as fighting associations. Don't do that, because then you have a scrap on your hand; because those of us who have associations believe in them, and we believe we have Biblical authority for them. Don't you tell us we haven't got it. If you do, we are going to stand on our rights; and then we get into a hot fight. You say, "You ought to do away with the thing. You haven't got any business with it". You want to stand on your rights. You say, "We think we have the right to be without it; we are going to stand on our rights". The first thing you know, you are all "hot". Let that thing alone, will you?
I am going to put this proposition to you -outside of this regular business -as many of you are willing to let that thing alone, hold up your hand. (Hands all went up.) That is all right, then; if you all do as you say, when you hear somebody else talk, after you go home, beginning to stir that thing, tell them you agreed to let that thing alone, and that he must do it, too. Then you won't have any trouble about this association business. We have already said that the church does not have to belong to an association to be in order. The matter of belonging to or not belonging to an association has never been considered by the Old Baptists as a matter necessary to the order of the church -never has; let us not do it today, or any other time. Let that be. Now, then, brethren, will you?
ELDER CAYCE: Is this ready now for a motion and second? So far as I am concerned, it is. I thought before I got through reading I would ask that this be postponed, this is part of it, until tomorrow when there might be more here.
VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: There will be fewer here today.
ELDER CAYCE: I am through with it; I am ready.
VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: I just suggested that to some of the brethren, if it was in order, we make a motion to adjourn -we have been here a long time -and adopt this in the morning, when I am sure there will be numbers and numbers of others that will be present in the morning.
ELDER FRYE: I rise, if it is in order, to move that we consider the proposition or suggestions that have been presented to us this afternoon, if I can get a second -to vote on it this evening. The people here have heard the brethren. I make a motion that we vote on these propositions this afternoon, to consider that, whether we will accept that or reject that. It has been suggested that we extend it until tomorrow, but will we be able to get these people together?
VOICE: Some of them are going home in the morning.
ELDER SCOTT: Those that are here tomorrow, in order that they vote on it understandingly, would have to hear it read; they would not be competent to vote on the thing; I would not want to if I wasn't here today. I second the motion that we adopt it.
MODERATOR: Brother Frye didn't make the move to –
ELDER CAYCE: I am told a number of brethren will not be here tomorrow to take action on this; they won't have an opportunity to express themselves. I suggest –
ELDER FRYE: My motion, Brother Cayce, was to consider it this afternoon -now -consider the adoption or rejection.
ELDER CAYCE: Oh, I get you. Thank you.
ELDER FRYE: If that carries, I will make a motion to adopt it.
ELDER SCOTT: I really understood he made a motion to adopt it; that is what I seconded; we have been considering it.
ELDER FRYE: By consent, I withdraw the motion to consider it, and make a motion that we adopt the recommendations as read by Brother Cayce.
ELDER SCOTT: I second the motion.
MODERATOR: Brethren, you have before you a motion with a second, that we adopt these recommendations as read.
ELDER CAYCE: Wait a minute. I want to make it plain, Brother Moderator. You are about to vote to adopt these recommendations. Please amend that motion; please make your motion that we approve of these---not to adopt, but to approve the recommendations.
ELDER FRYE: That is right. I beg your pardon. I thank you for your correction. That is correct.
ELDER CAYCE: The churches are the ones to adopt it.
ELDER FRYE: I accept your correction. Thank you.
ELDER CAYCE: Just one more word. Your voting to approve of this does not bind any church in the world. In order for it to be effective, in your church or any other church, that church must approve and adopt it- not only approve, but adopt it. All we can do is approve it. The church must not only approve, but adopt it. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Now, your motion before you is amended to approve these recommendations. As many as are in favor of that stand to your feet. Everybody that favors it, stand to your feet. Be seated. Those opposing rise to your feet. I declare it unanimous -unanimous in favor of approval.
ELDER CAYCE: Brother Moderator –
MODERATOR: Brother Cayce, speak again.
ELDER CAYCE: I now make a motion -I suppose the motion of yours carries with it, though we did not say so, the discharge of the committee.
MODERATOR: Yes, sir.
ELDER CAYCE: Now, I make a motion that we sing a song, and everybody here that is willing, right now, to do what that says -forgive and ask forgiveness, and bury the past, and extend to each other the hand of Christian love in token of it, right now; let us have a good old-fashioned love feast.
VOICES: I second the motion.
MODERATOR: We have a motion now, with a second, that we sing a song, and manifest to each other that we mean what these recommendations say. Everyone that favors that, raise your hand. It is unanimous.
ELDER J. C. ROSS: I would not go away from this meeting –
ELDER CAYCE: I was a little hasty; Brother Ross, pardon me. I meant to bring your request in; I just overlooked it.
ELDER J. C. ROSS: I just felt like I wanted to make this statement. I came to this meeting, not to collect a single debt; I came to this meeting not to collect debts. If I have ever tried to pray, I have tried to pray that the good Lord would help me come to this meeting in the right spirit; and I have said all the while if we could get together in this meeting in the proper spirit that this meeting would be a great blessing to our people. Now, I want to say this, that it has already been handed out, but I know that under circumstances like we have been going through, that most all of us do and say things we ought not to say. As I said, I didn't come to collect debts; no one owes me anything, not a single thing, but I feel like I want to say this, and I won't feel satisfied to go home without saying it -that if I have said a harmful word or done a single thing to hurt the feelings of a single brother, I want to confess my wrong and ask you to forgive me. I know I have said things I ought not to have said; I have done things that I should not have done; but I know that we are one people, and if we are in the right spirit we can settle these differences and live together in sweet peace. We have the greatest cause in all the world. There is not any mistake about that. And it is suffering, and it will continue to suffer as long as we continue to bite and devour one another. The world cannot hurt us, but we can destroy each other. God's kingdom is going to stand somewhere in the world, but we may act in some locality so that the church in that locality will go out. We know that is a fact. So, I want to say this; I can give every brother and sister here the right hand of fellowship, and I can go down to the feet of any brother -I would feel unworthy to do that. About fifty-four years this coming fall, I went to the church; I tried to tell them what the Lord had done for me. I didn't go to the church feeling like the church wasn't good enough for me; but the question was, "Am I good enough for the church?" -the greatest institution in all the world, that God has given us. By our strife and confusion we not only drive God's little children away on the outside, but we confuse and disturb those on the inside, and our churches grow cold and indifferent, and we begin to decline. I felt like I wanted to say this, before we take the right hand of fellowship and express to one another that we ask forgiveness and have forgiven. And I want to say another thing. When we get back home, let us not talk trouble; let us talk peace. We can talk trouble until we become trouble-minded; but if we will talk peace, we will become peace-minded, and we will labor for peace and union and sweet fellowship in the church of the living God. My prayer to God is that He will help us to work for peace; that He will help us by His blessed spirit and grace, that we may strive together for the things that make for peace. God bless everybody.
ELDER A. B. ROSS: I want to say a little word. I wrote a little article not so long ago; it was published in Brother Cayce's paper, and in that little article I said this (and I said the truth from the depths of my heart; and I repeat that, and adopt it as the my feelings today). I think I stated that lowed everybody everything, and nobody on earth owes me anything. That is what I said in that. I said, "My slate is clear; it is blank; there is no account written there against any living person on earth". And all the brethren, if they deem me worthy to visit my churches, are invited, and I would be the gladdest mortal that ever lived, if I could say to them, or write to them, and say, "Come and be with me next meeting", and they would respond by a happy, "I will be there". Whatever I have done and said, and I have done and said things that I should not, I beg you to look over my imperfections and mistakes andf orgive me. I learned a lesson in what was called the whole man doctrine trouble, which was uncalled for. I have done my best since to avoid much talking; and whatever I have said or done that has hurt or offended anyone, forgive me for it. I welcome you to my churches. I want to thank this committee. Let me say this much more: When we came here, Brother Hanks gave me the names of all the visiting ministers, and when they went to appoint the committee, I looked around, and I thought, "Surely ten of these visiting brethren from the different parts of the country, surely they can do justice, and have wisdom, and be unbiased, and act for the good of the cause"; and I said, "I am just willing to leave it up to them". Some of them I have never seen before; and I want to thank you for what you have done. God help me to abide by these recommendations.
ELDER HENRY ROSS: I want to thank this committee. I joined the church more than thirty years ago. I have been willing to leave my life in the hands of my brethren, believing that they would do right; and I am still willing and glad that I could approve the recommendations that these brethren have presented, and go home and tell my folks the good news, and tell the children maybe I could give them a peaceful home now.
MODERATOR: I am sorry, brethren, we haven't time to hear you all. No.140 has been selected, and while we sing that, let us come up and give each other our hand, and express yourselves in this way that you approve of these recommendations, and advocate peace and love peace. May God help you.
A song was then sung, and all extended to each other the hand of fellowship, while many shouts of praise were heard, and brethren embraced each other. Then the meeting adjourned.
ROLL OF ATTENDANTS
The following named elders were in attendance at the meeting -the names alphabetically arranged:
E. M. Beshear, Cynthiana, Indiana
T. M. Blackburn, Trenton, Tennessee
W. E. Blackburn, Greenfield, Tennessee
W. P. Bond, Athens, Alabama
Commodore Brand, Dresden, Tennessee
B. D. Bryant, Tiptonville, Tennessee
J. A. Burcham, Lexington, Tennessee
w. C. Campbell, Coble, Tennessee
Felix Cantrell, Smithville, Tennessee
C. H. Cayce, Thornton, Arkansas
J. S. Clayton, Nashville, Tennessee
Pilot Clayton, Madisonville, Kentucky
W. C. Davis, McEwen, Tennessee
James Duncan, Memphis, Tennessee
E. S. Frye, Brush Creek, Tennessee
J. L. Fuller, Wildersville, Tennessee
R. N. Graves, Eagleville, Tennessee
J. B. Hardy, Perry ton, Texas
Lee Hanks, Atlanta, Georgia
John R. Harris, Thornton, Arkansas
J. H. Hinson, Beardstown, Tennessee
H. P. Houk, Gurley, Alabama
M. C. Johnson, Thompson Station, Tennessee
H. D. Martin, Primm, Tennessee
J. A. Monsees, Macon, Georgia
W. L. Murray, Lafayette, Tennessee
C. F. Parker, Finger, Tennessee
T. M. Phillips, Buena Vista, Tennessee
R. F. Pierce, Quitman, Arkansas
J. A. Pope, Dickson, Tennessee
R. 0. Raulston, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Aaron Reeder, Harrisburg, Illinois
A. B. Ross, Martin, Tennessee
Henry Ross, Dresden, Tennessee
J. C. Ross, Greenfield, Tennesseee
J. R. Scott, Murray, Kentucky
J. D. Shain, Madisonville, Kentucky
W. A. Shutt, Foley, Alabama
Z. Stallings, Milan, Tennessee
C. L. Thomason, Nashville, Tennessee
C. V. Vandiver, Nashville, Tennessee
T. L. Webb, El Dorado, Arkansas
The following is a list of the brethren present, with the churches they represented, as far as could be obtained by Brother John S. Reid. Some were sent by church authority, and some were present voluntarily:
In the Cumberland Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.Richland, Nashville, Tennessee: Elder C. V. Vandiver; Deacons Johnson and Greer; and most of the membership.
.Big Harpeth, Franklin, Tennessee: Brethren Coleman and Gatlin.
.Cool Springs, near Franklin, Tennessee: Brethren Lillard, and Charley and John Jackson.
.Leiper's Fork, near Franklin, Tennessee: Elder M. C. Johnson; Brethren Sam Johnson, Gus
Sparkman and wife, and others.
.Overalls, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Sister Charley Smart.
.College Street, Nashville, Tennessee: Elder W. L. Murray; Deacons John Jordan and F. P. McKeel, M. D., and most of the members.
.Bethel, Nashville, Tennessee: Deacons John S. Reid, V. I. Jones, T. D. Walker, S. P. Busby, A. J. Lucas. R. A. Nash, and most of the members.
.Eagleville, Eagleville, Tennessee: Joe Johnson and wife, Alford Elmore and wife, Brother North, and others.
.Wilson's Creek, Triune, Tennessee: Brother John Crockett, Sister Stokely Pettus and Sister Nannie Garrett.
.Enon, near Eagleville, Tennessee: Elder R. N. Graves and wife, Brother Willie Kimmons.
In the Round Lick Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.Testament: Brethren J. W. Butler, V. W. Dallas and wife, Buford Dallas and wife, and others.
.Walnut Grove: Brethren Billie Parkhurst, Martin Parkhurst and wife.
.Friendship (Elder Thomason, pastor): Brethren Henry West and Wade Lankford.
.Friendship (Elder Frye, pastor): Brethren Willie Kemp and Willie Dillehay.
.Hickman: Deacon J. E. Agee, Brother Arch Ray and wife.
.Brush Creek: Elder E. S. Frye.
.Round Lick: Brother R. P. Cassity.
.Mt. View: Elder Felix Cantrell.
In the West Tennessee Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.Buffalo: Brother Curtis.
.Bethabara: Brother Frank James.
.Harmony: Elder W. C. Davis, Brother S. E. Hurt, and Sister Sarah Griffin-
.Dickson: Elder J. A. Pope.
.Grassy Springs (Burns, Tennessee): Elder C. L. Thomason and wife.
.Oak Grove: Elder H. D. Martin and Brother Calvin Bradford.
In the Buffalo River Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.Coon Creek: Elder J. H. Hinson.
.Liberty: Elder W. C. Campbell and Brother J. D. Seymore.
.Goshen: Brethren Billie Hinson and Taylor Edwards.
In the Big Sandy Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.New Hope: Elder Z. Stallings; Brethren J. S. Browning, J. A. Gwaltney, W. M. Butler, D. S. Bryant; and Sisters Nina Jackson, J. F. Butler, and J. A. Vawter.
.West Plains: Elder B. D. Bryant; Brethren Johnson and S. V. Browning.
.Hollow Rock: Elder T. M. Phillips.
.Zion's Rest: Elder J. L. Fuller.
.New Antioch: Elder J. A. Burcham.
In the Greenfield Association, or in the bounds thereof:
.Union City: Elder J. R. Scott.
.Blooming Grove: Elder Commodore Brand.
.Matheny Grove: Elder Henry Ross.
.Greenfield: Elder J. C. Ross.
.Fulton (Kentucky) : Pete Moore
.Sandy Branch: Elders A. B. Ross and Henry Ross.
.Martin: Brother W. F. Horne and wife.
.Bethel: Elder A. B. Ross, pastor
In the Highland Association (Kentucky):
.Salem: Elder J. D. Shain and Brother Elmer Kelley.
.Tirza: Elder Pilot Clayton.
.McKenzie, Obion Association: Elder J. S. Clayton and wife.
.Big Creek (Indiana): Elder E. M. Beshear.
.North Mt. Zion: Elder C. F. Parker.
.Harmony, in the bounds of Forked Deer Association: Irby Arnold
The foregoing is as correct a report as can be made of the proceedings of the meeting.
Elder H. P. Houk, Moderator.
Elder C. H. Cayce, Clerk.