World Convention Of Churches Of Christ

A Reader’s Response

Edward A. Hale

After reading the news article in the Christian Chronicle concerning Gary Holloway, professor at David Lipscomb University and Pulpit Evangelist for the Natchez Trace church, I am extremely concerned about his being named the executive director of the World Convention. The article states, “The convention includes members of the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ. Holloway is the first person from an a cappella church to serve as the organization’s director.”

Notice that it states “. . . includes members of the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ.” While our Lord and Savior prayed for the unity of His disciples with Him – as He and the Father are one – in John 17, I do not believe this is the unity about which Our Savior was speaking. The Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ came about due to a split, officially recognized in 1906, of those who restored the first century New Testament church of Our Lord and Savior. The Stone and Campbell groups united in the 1830’s when both groups realized they were going in the same direction. The split began to occur in the mid to late 1800’s, due to some wanting to introduce instrumental music into the worship and organize a collective group for missions. This was known as the American Missionary Society. Those who espoused one or both of the unscriptural, erroneous practices gravitated toward the two groups, while others remained faithful to the Lord’s church (church of Christ). It is my understanding that both of the groups have become more liberal over time. 

One brother who faithfully fought those who wanted to change the ancient order was David Lipscomb, himself. Brother Lipscomb founded the Nashville Bible School to train young Christians with an education above public school to serve others and accomplish the Lord’s work. Nashville Bible School became David Lipscomb College, now University. 

My concern is why a man in Gary Holloway’s position and with his credentials would accept this position. He is quoted as saying, “The appeal for me is the opportunity it gives to experience and promote the wholeness of the church across denominational, racial language and national boundaries.” It is a commendable goal of anyone to promote the Lord’s church. However, my question is, being in such a position of teaching the Bible, does not Professor Holloway know his church history,? If he does, and he certainly should, he knows the background of two of the groups associated with the World Convention. No faithful child of God and member of the Lord’s church should put himself or herself in such a position as to constantly fellowship and associate with organizations whose history divided a movement to restore the New Testament church. As has been stated, Jesus Christ is Our Savior and purchaser of the church contained in the New Testament. He also prayed for its unity in John 17, but the unity He prayed for was for those who followed His commandments for His church. 

I do not have any personal animosity for Professor Holloway, as a true servant and follower of Christ should not have. What is questioned is his appointment to the position in this organization. Is this appointment in unity and harmony with what is contained in the New Testament? Let us all follow the example of the Bereans, whom Paul commended in Acts 17:11. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” -11698 Poser Road, Foley, AL 36535. 

Return to West Virginia Christian