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Featured Orthodox Baptist Fellowship

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rlvaughn, May 20, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    The A to Z of the Baptists, William H. Brackney, Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2009, p. 425
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    "Brethren, no page of the Book divine can be delegated to a secondary place. Every page of the sacred writ must be equally authoritative or else no page is authoritative. If the writings of both Old and New Testament authors are not to be received on par with the Words of our Lord then we have no authoritative revelation. As touching our faith, it is ours to believe the Bible, and nothing but the Bible, or else to reject it all. To maximize the words of Christ and minimize the rest of the Bible is a breach of honor which in the end can but destroy the whole structure of our faith. Accordingly, we cannot expunge a single page from the sacred writ without thrusting a poniard into the heart of our God. Without both Old and New Testament we have no authority but with both we have absolute authority. As orthodox Baptists we have but two alternatives; namely, we can stand for the whole Bible, holy and inerrant, and live, or else we can cut it to pieces and die. We shall live and conquer only as Bible Baptists."
    -- excerpt from "Not New Testament Baptists," by W. Lee Rector, Word and Way (Kansas City, Missouri), Thursday, March 21, 1929, p. 8
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Why was the Orthodox Baptist meeting moved to Little Rock, after it was advertised for Memphis? It must have been a last minute change. Rector apparently never showed up to speak at the GARBC annual meeting in Grand Rapids (although Stealey did), and a promised report on the Memphis meeting never appeared in succeeding issues of the Baptist Bulletin.

    bb1935jj.jpg
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    When did the Baptist Bulletin's report of the May meeting in Memphis come out in print?

    I have not yet found an account of the meeting, but about a week before it occurred, the Waco News-Tribune reported it as to be held in Little Rock. (Colyar also says the first meeting was in Little Rock.)
    OBF_Waco_News_Tribune_Mon__Apr_29__1935_p8.jpg
    Waco News-Tribune, Monday, April 29, 1935, p. 8
     
  5. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Post #16's clippings are from the GARBC annual meeting preview special issue of the Baptist Bulletin (May 1935 but presumably published some time before the GARBC met at the end of April). It says Copeland would be speaking five times at Memphis, not ten.

    The June-July 1935 issue reports on the GARBC annual meeting, from which Rector is absent, and promises a report of the Memphis meeting in the next issue. (post #23)
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    upload_2018-5-28_14-36-45.png
    An article by Rector that might be of interest. "Getting Down to the Bed-Rock," The Daily Ardmoreite, Nov. 12, 1933, p. 11
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I had considered possibly two different meetings -- one in Memphis and one in Little Rock -- but the dates are the same, so they couldn't have met in two places at once.
     
  8. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    In the April 7, 1935 Daily Ardmoreite, it was still set for Memphis:

    ardmoreite April 7 1935.jpg
     
  9. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Well, well, look who showed up in Memphis:
    norris memphis.jpg
     
  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Interesting! Might the Convention meeting in Memphis offer the possibility that Rector thought better of meeting there and decided to move it elsewhere? Rector was opposed to the modernism among the Convention Baptists, but I'm not sure he was opposed to the Convention itself. His fellowship seems to have tried to operate to bring about fellowship between a wide variety of Orthodox Baptists. The October-November Fellowship meeting at Ardmore gave a prominent place to Kentuckian John William Porter (who as far as I know was always a loyal Southern Baptist).

    OBF_Oct1935_Daily-Ardmoreite-wednes-oct-30-1935-p-2.jpg

    The Daily Ardmoreite, Wednesday, October 30, 1935, p. 2
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    The First Orthodox Baptist Church of Ardmore no longer exists as a separate congregation. In 2001 the remaining congregation, without a pastor, merged with the Trinity Baptist Church. They meet in the FOBC building, but under the name of TBC (and TBC is affiliated with the SBC). The pastor at Trinity graciously invited me to view the records of FOBC that they have in their library -- the church minutes, deacons' meetings, and the Orthodox Baptist periodical. I made some notes, as well as taking a number of pictures for future reference. (Note: FOBC had changed its name to Central Baptist Church several years before the merger.)
    I need to check into this more, but it appears that the pastor and those who followed him were actually in the majority, but preferred to withdraw and start a new church in order to avert a lawsuit (he didn't think their problems should go before the secular courts).
    Unless I missed something, the year 1944 for the beginning of OBI is in error (Melton & Brackney are probably just following ESB). On March 4, 1942, the church voted to open the Orthodox Baptist Bible Institute in the fall of that year. Brackney's statement about the Illuminator is partially in error as to both the name and date. Rector started a paper named Our King's Call October 1, 1930, while still at First Missionary Baptist. It was apparently his paper rather than the church's; the October 8, 1931 paper was issued still under the same name, but connected with FOBC rather than FMBC. The name was changed to The Orthodox Baptist in 1936, to The Illuminator in 1937, and then back to The Orthodox Baptist in 1942. The last issue in the church library was December 1978, and may indicate the last printing of The Orthodox Baptist. The last few were only two pages, front and back.

    The issues of The Orthodox Baptist clear up what happened to the Memphis meeting, but leave the northern meeting open to question. There is only a brief mention by Rector of a meeting with pastors up north. My sense is this might have happened before the regular meeting and these guys decided they were not on exactly the same page. (He criticizes the GARBC Confession of Faith later in the October 10th Orthodox Baptist (actually in reference to Norris pushing Stealey "out under truth's gun fire" -- pointing out that the statement left out repentance, and left adequate room to include alien immersion and open communion.

    The Memphis meeting, on the other hand, was disrupted by none other than J. Frank Norris. There is a good bit about this in the paper. Norris was on the original program to speak/teach at the Orthodox Baptist Fellowship in Memphis. Rector was the one who issued the call for this meeting, planned it for Memphis because of two reasons, and drew up an Orthodox Baptist Statement of Faith to identify who was Orthodox and who was not -- or as Dr. Rector put it, to include the Orthodox and exclude the un-Orthodox! The headline on the front page of the April 25, 1935 Orthodox Baptist is "Dr. Norris Balks At Use Of Our Articles Of Faith." Rector stuck to his guns on the statement. Then, in his typical flair, Norris arranged a meeting in Memphis that began before the Orthodox Fellowship would be over, and continued on to overlap the meeting of Southern Baptist Convention -- so he could compete with both, apparently.
    Rather than my original supposition, I found that one of Rector's reasons for holding the Orthodox Fellowship in Memphis was because the Southern Baptist Convention was meeting there. Unlike Norris, though, rather than compete with it, Rector supposed some Southern Baptist preachers might come early and attend the Orthodox Baptist Fellowship, then attend the SBC. (The other reason he gave was that it was generally centrally-located for most who might be coming.) When Norris pulled out and set up competition, Rector decided to move the location altogether.

    Rector's idea for the Orthodox Baptist Fellowship was inclusive in the sense that he wanted to include all Orthodox Baptists regardless of other affiliations. He wrote that the Fellowship "is a real old-fashioned Baptist movement, aiming to bring together Orthodox Baptists, whether found in Conventions or Associations or Fundamentalists of whatever." (TOB, Feb. 28, 1935, p. 3)
     
    #31 rlvaughn, Jul 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  12. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    John R. Rice published in The Sword of the Lord correspondence from J. Frank Norris trying to get Rice to come to the Fellowship meeting in Memphis that Norris was co-opting:
    Rice commented: "As much as I would like to be with Dr. Norris and my B.M.A. or Landmark Baptist brethren, it now seems likely that I will not be able to go. But I pray that much good will be done. I am sure there will be many pleasant and interesting things about the fellowship meeting."

    John R. Rice and Fundamentalism (pp. 25-26)
     
    #32 Jerome, Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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