Who was Joe T. Odle?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Eagle, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Eagle

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    I have been using and appreciating a booklet entitled Church Member's Handbook , by Joe T. Odle. I have been trying to make headway opening the eyes of many well-meaning, yet ignorant, Southern Baptists, as pertaining to their historical roots and doctrines. Brother Odle was one ob 'em. I feel that this booklet is a fine work (published by Broadman & Holman) that is accurate, concise, informative, lucid, and kind to it's readers -- however ignorant they may be. I feel it would make an excellent outline for a New Member's class, etc. It was first published in 1941, then updated and reprinted in 1962. It is still available through Lifeway book stores. I have also found a brief treatise by him, entitled "Why I am a Baptist" @

    http://thebaptistpage.com/Distinctives/odle.html

    I understand that he was the editor of the Baptist paper of Mississippi, The Baptist Record , for many years. Can anyone out there provide me with more writings, info, or biography about this man? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Salty

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    I was just wondering what the exact views on Landmark that Joe T. Odle has?
     
  3. Eagle

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    Hey Salty, and anyone else interested, here is a link so that you may purchase and read. Wonderful book. I cannot recommend it any higher. Easy read, considerate, understandable, and effective.

    http://www.lifeway.com/e10/shop/?id=001125752
     
  4. rbell

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    the link's no good...
     
  5. Eagle

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  6. Salty

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    Whats this about Joe T. Odle and social drinking
     
  7. Eagle

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    No idea what you are talking about.
     
  8. rsr

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    Surely he was agin' it.

    The copy of the church covenant printed with his handbook contains the temperance pledge clause.
     
  9. rsr

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    Odle was one of the protaganists in the early stages of the resurgence/takeover (depending on your viewpoint), arranging for an "Affirming the Bible" conference before the 1970 convention because of planned Broadman Commentary that included a nonhistorical view of Genesis.

    I have a copy of the handbook but can't put my hands on it now; my recollection is that the section on Baptist history was pretty much suspect, following the "Trail of Blood" chronology.
     
  10. saturneptune

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    This man was pastor of our church many years ago. Wish I could have served under him.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    Joe T. Odle died in 1980 at the age of 71.

    He came to pastor East Baptist Church of Paducah, Kentucky, in 1932 (at age 23) and served there until 1941. The country was in the middle of the depression. The church minutes recorded that the church agreed to pay Bro. Odle $20 per week "if we could get it." EBC experienced phenomenal growth during his pastorate, and started Vacation Bible School for the first time.

    A few years earlier the church had undergone some renovation and expansion. The stock market crash and the following depression left the church unable to pay the loan it had obtained.

    Bro. Odle wrote that he and a church leader went to see the banker to tell him they could make the required payments. The banker said, "Baptists have a reputation of meeting their obligations. Can you pay as much as five dollars today?" The two men dug into their pockets and barely came up with five dollars between them.

    The banker said "that's all I need right now. Just pay what you can, when you can." The loan was paid off within a few years.

    Bro. Odle returned to East Baptist a couple of times for homecomings, and that's where I met him. I have some of the writings mentioned earlier.

    I consider him a giant among Southern Baptists. He was standing for a high view of scripture early on when liberalism was beginning to creep into SBC churches.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    I'm sure Joe. T. Odle was a Landmarker. In Western Kentucky and Tennessee, in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the Landmark view as a majority view. It was the mainstream view. Non-Landmarkers were considered the "off-brand."
     
  13. Ruiz

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    This is a very interesting story. I had not heard of the man, so I am unable to add much about this man. Yet, I always appreciate people who have fought liberalism when it looks like you will lose. For that reason, I respect this man.
     
  14. Eagle

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    Thanks Tom for sharing this amazing testimony both about Bro' Odle and about the Baptists in your area. Just from reading his work one can tell what kind of man he was - I'd liked to have met him myself. His Church Members Handbook was definitely 'mainstream'. I have met people from South Carolina to California who remember growing up with it in their church. Lifeway still sells them on a regular basis. According to the second printing in 1962 over 1 million were printed in the 1st run from 1941. They just received a new printing and new look within the last year - I think.

    I like to find gems like this because:
    1) It shows the consistency of our message.
    2) I see no need to 'reinvent the wheel' when such good material is already available. No "new take," etc. is necessary in a "new" book either.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    What Brother Tom says is exactly what the minutes record. There is an old picture in our church photo album of Brother Odle with one of his vacation Bible Schools at East. There must be well over 300 kids in that picture. It is quite an amazing sight.

    Our church has a rich history dating back to 1891, and Brother Odle is certainly a part of that. Its rather odd though, the first ten years of the minutes of our church are missing, almost to the day. It remains a mystery to this date. Anyway, the work Brother Odle did set the pattern at our church for many decades to come. Today, our church is centered on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We have unity in our congregation and a great pastor, a true man of God. Our deacons act as servants of the people and support the pastor.

    Young people remain a vital part of our ministry. On Wednesday nights, some women of the church have Bible study and activities for children basically from broken homes with parents either not working, on something, rotating partners, or one of the parents absent. These women are very gifted and provide these kids with the one hour a week they get of Christian teachings and example. It also gives us the opportunity to minister to the parents of these kids.
     
    #15 saturneptune, Jun 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2010

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