Proceedings of the
Nashville Peace Meeting
Friday August, 1937
The proposed meeting for the purpose 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, Tenn. (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, Ark., 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, Ala., of the Mud Creek Association, was chosen to serve 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. O. Raulston and J. D. Shain, and Deacon C. P. Nall. Deacon Nall is from the Friendship 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 f 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 hat 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, we are ready to do the reading, by your order. What do you say, brethren? Do you want 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: Not, 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 this 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 every one 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, Texas, 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, Texas, August 25, 1937
C. H. Cayce.
Dear Brother Cayce:
I returned last night from Arivaca, Arizona, 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, Tenn., in a 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,
. L. Collings.
I just wanted 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 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 this 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 question 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 re-affirm 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:
First, 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 tree-fold, yet undivided and indivisible substance of the father, the Son, and the Holy host; 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 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 no, 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 re-united 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 a church, whether it be called an ordinance or an example. We who engaged in the practice should not fall out with each other as to 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 on or two more, endeavoring to obtain reconciliation, or to reclaim the erring one, Ehen 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 with draw 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 sin should not be tolerated by the church in any of her members, whether the member be a private one, o 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 creditable 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 testimony.
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 marriage 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 regulate4 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 here 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 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 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 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 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 first being 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 that when a little friction comes up brethren maybe too quick to receive members this way. Where some thing is charged against a person, that is the only place on earth to get the charge cancelled.
13. Where there are reports in circulation of immoral conduct our brethren should be careful about repeating hearsays. 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 case 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 investigate4 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 he 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 to here 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 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 that 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 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 own 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 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 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 to be disorder for our people to receive persons on their 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. 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 principles which the Primitive Baptists have held to all along the line. The way such things usually get into the church is by the 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 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 trouble with the Kirkland’s 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 the service, such as introducing the service for the preacher, by reading a scriptural lesson, and commenting on the same if 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 and in territories where such disturbances 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.
20. 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 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 on 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 thins 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. Deut. 4:1,2 Rev. 22:18,19.
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 in 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 not have 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 pace, 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 these recommendations, paragraph by paragraph, and as I read, if there is any one 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 you 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 been 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 any attention to my sake. I would rather wear out doing something for these Old Baptists than to rust out. It is too late now for me to quit. I want this to be done strickly 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 ling 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 intended 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 that, you might fail to get what is 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. After 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 that 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 cause trouble over there in that section, I think a pretty good thing for us to do over in Arkansan 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 with 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 Jno. 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 reading of 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 the 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 it again, (reads.) There is the object of recommending that he 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 an 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 this committee said. I could not get anything else out of it but that. I am going to commence and read from the beginning of that 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.
Eder 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 paragraph)
Troubles should be attended to by the churches, and not by associations. 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.
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 together for the worship and service of God, is authorized by the Bible to take care 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 that association. Unless the rules of that 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 matter?
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 in their rules and I 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 any 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 in this 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 that constitution out of the hands of the messengers, where the association 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 union, then these churches may withdraw fellowship from that church – not just one of them with draw, but others that have united with her in the 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 settle 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 in 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 tot 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 those matters of present disturbances. There might be something in these association rules what 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 was 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 then 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 there 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 on 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 will 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 the 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. It does not belong in the association. 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 to 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 to belong to the association. Elder 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 sine die, and never met any more. That church is in existence today, but they do not belong to any association. A number of churches in our state 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 up one 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 there 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 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 old 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 Beshears: The committee has said that associations are without any 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 Beashears: 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 an 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 in 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 for 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 this 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 that 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 recommendations
(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 that 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 I have 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 publl 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; 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 you 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 us 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 may be brought about; and this is not binding on any church in all this wide world until that church itself 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 the conclusion; then says:
Now let me say I have served a great many times on committees of his sort or similar, and I have never served on a committee where everything moved along any more harmoniously, without a jar, than in this committee room here. There was not a dissenting vote, voice, 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 to enable us to present to you those things where by 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 that second reading, and read some of it 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 suggest 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 today 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 on of you, if there is one meaner than 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 up 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 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 – 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 those little bones of contention along?
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 hand; because those of us who have associations believe in them, and we believe we have Bible 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 as are willing to let that thing alone, hold up you hand. (Hands all went up.) That is all right, then; if you al 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 be 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. While they do not have to belong to be in order, one may belong and 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 of 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 part of it, until tomorrow, when there might be more here.
Voice in Audience: There will be fewer here today.
Elder Cayce: I am through with it; I am ready.
Voice in 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 head 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 this.
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: If that carries, I will make 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 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 in any other church, that church must approve and adopt it—not only approve, but adopt it. All we can do is to 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 it 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 ach other the hand of Christian love in token of it, right now; let us have a good old-fashioned love feast.
Voices: I second that motion.
Moderator: We have a motion now, with a second, that we sing a song, and manifest to each other that we mean that 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 would 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 that we ought not to say. As I said, I didn’t come to collect debts; no one owes me anything, not a singe 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 this 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 good Lord had done for me. I didn’t go to that 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 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 my feelings today). I think I stated that I owed 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 and forgive 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 void so 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 had 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:
Beshear, Cynthiana, Ind.
T. M. Blackburn, Trenton, Tenn.
W. E. Blackburn, Greenfield, Tenn.
W. P. Bond, Athens, Ala.
Commodore Brann, Dresden, Tenn.
B. D. Bryant, Tiptonville, Tenn.
J. A. Burcham, Lexington, Tenn.
W. C. Campbell, Coble, Tenn.
Felix Cantrell, Smithville, Tenn.
C. H. Cayce, Thornton, Ark.
J. S. Clayton, Nashville, Tenn.
Polit Clayton, Madisonville, Ky.
James Duncan, Memphis, Tenn.
E. S, Frye, Brush Creek, Tenn.
J. L. Fuller, Wildersville, Tenn.
R. N. Graves, Eagleville, Tenn.
J. B. Hardy, Perryton, Texas,
Lee Hanks, Atlanta, Ga.
John R. Harris, Thornton, Ark.
J. H. Hinson, Beardstown, Tenn.
H. P. Houck, Gurley, Ala.
M. C. Johnson, Thompson Station, Tenn.
H. D. Martin, Primm, Tenn.
J. A. Monsees, Macon, Ga,
W. L. Murray, Lafayette, Tenn.
C. F. Parker, Finger, Tenn.
T. M. Phillips, Buena Vista, Tenn.
R. F. Pierce, Quitman, Ark.
J. A. Pope, Dickson, Tenn.
R. O. Raulston, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Aaron Reeder, Harrisburg, Ill.
A. B. Ross, Martin, Tenn.
Henry Ross, Dresden, Tenn.
J. C. Ross, Greenfield, Tenn.
J. R. Scott, Murray, Ky.
J. D. Shain, Madisonville, Ky.
W. A. Shutt, Foley, Ala.
Z. Stallings, Milan, Tenn.
C. L. Thomason, Nashville, Tenn.
C. V. Vandiver, Nashville, Tenn.
T. L. Webb, El Dorado, Ark.
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:
Nashville, Tenn., Elder C. V. Vandiver, Deacons Johnson and Greer,
and most of the membership.
Big Harpeth, Franklin, Tenn., Brethren Coleman and Gatlin.
Cool Springs, near Franklin, Brethren Lillard, and Charley and John Jackson.
Leiper’s Fork, near Franklin, Elder M. C. Johnson, Brethren Sam Johnson, Gus Sparkman and wife, and others.
Overalls, near Murfreesboro, Sister Charley Smart.
College Street, Nashville, Tenn., Elder W. L. Murray, Deacons John Jordan and F. P. McKeel, M. D., and most of the members.
Bethel, Nashville, Tenn., 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, Tenn., Joe Johnson and wife, Alford Elmore and wife, Brother North, and others.
Wilson’s Creek, Triune, Tenn., Brother John Crockett, Sister Stokely Pettus and Sister Nannie Garrett.
Enon, Near Eagleville, Tenn., Elder R. N. Graves and wife, Brother Willie Kimmons.
Round Lick Association, or in the bounds thereof:
Brethren J. W. Butler, V. W. Dallas and wife, Buford Dallas and wife,
Walnut Grove, Brethren Billie Parkhurst, Martin Parkhurst and wife.
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:
Bethabara, Brother Frank James.
Harmony, Brother S. E. Hurt, Elder W.C. Davis, Sister Sarah Griffin.
Dickson, Elder J. A. Pope.
Grassy Springs (Burns, Tenn.), Elder C. L. Thomason and wife.
Oak Grove, Brother Calvin Bradford, Elder H. D. Martin.
In the Buffalo River Association, or in the bounds thereof:
Creek, Elder J. H. Hinson.
Liberty, Elder W. C. Campbell, 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, Sisters Nina Jackson, J. F. Butler and J. A. Vawter.
plains, Elder B. D. Bryant, Brethren Johnson and S. Y. 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:
City, Elder J. R. Scott.
Blooming Grove, Elder Commodore Brann,
Matheny Grove, Elder Henry Ross.
Greenfield, Elder J. C. Ross.
Fulton (ky.), 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 (Ky.):
Elder J. D. Shain, Brother Elmer Kelley.
Tirza, Elder Pilot Clayton.
Obion Association, Elder J. S. Clayton and wife.
Big Creek (Ind.), 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 make of the proceedings of the meeting.
H. P. Houk, Moderator.
Elder C. H. Cayce, Clerk.