SC Men at Baptist Meeting Hear Plush Religion Hit

By TOM McMAHAN
Of The Record Staff

Sixty-five men from South Carolina attended the National Conference of Southern Baptist Men in Memphis last week.

They met together for breakfast in the Peabody Hotel. There was good fellowship and talk which many of the men considered one of the highlights of the conference.

“Plush Christianity. . . country club stuff. . .” was tongue lashing by George Hurt, Baptist Brotherhood director in Virginia.

Most churches which get mixed up in poor, slum neighborhoods today feel like they have to move to the suburbs, said. There they build beautiful buildings with steeples and air foam cushions. Then on Sunday mornings the people stand up and sing “The Old Rugged Cross.”

“We can’t get mixed up with the slums in with the people who need Christ,” Hurt declared.

Tough but Tender

Christ told his followers to be wise as serpents but harmless as the doves, the Virginian recalled. This means to be tough-minded but tender-hearted he said.

“It is time for Christianity to start thinking tough,” he said. “Eighty per cent of us just don’t think. Much of what we do is conformity. There are few men who want to move out and think for themselves.

“We have also got to be tender-hearted. . . The tender heart cares; it is concerned about another’s problems. Most men care only for what they can get out of something.”

He illustrated his point with the story of a Baptist deacon who was forcing an old tenant farmer to move in order to install a young man in his place. But in a nearby pasture was an aging mule. The deacon was asked about the mule. “Oh, that’s Old Truck,” he said. “I plowed the garden with him when I was a boy. As long as I have a blade of grass, Old Truck will have something to eat. I have put him out to pasture.”

Revive His Soul

One of the South Carolinians said it may have revived his soul to see so many men turned aside from their daily work to attend such a meeting (there were 4,000 men at the conference.)

Another man said he would be a better witness because of the conference.

The South Carolinians at the breakfast session included; John A. Farmer, Moody Meetze, Clifton Hall, Alex B. Easler, Louie C. Baker, Carl B. Lackey, the Reverend James Jennings and the Reverend Cully Poston of Columbia.

Also, Frank Hill, the Reverend Cooper Patrick, Curtis Balentine and Charles N. Mobley of Greenville; Bill Walker & H. M. Wells of Summerton; T. L. Bozard and W. B. Mixon of Orangeburg; Dr. Grady McElmurry of Abbeville; the Reverend J. R. Pratt of Allendale.

Also, B. J. Carroway and Louis W. Hobson of Timmonsville; Horace D. Gillam of Pelzer; the Reverend Furman Harvey; Joe Burnett of Darlington; Lonnie W. Lot of Aiken; Brady L. Howard and the Reverend J. Sam Shaw of Bath; A. J. Horten of Kershaw; John W. Adams of Starr; Richard Hallum of Pickens.

Also Leroy P. Carnes, Clifford H. Harris, and Gene Melton of Lancaster; Harvey W. Nelson of Blaney; the Reverend O. Virgil Turner of Roebuck; D. Maurice Smith of Graniteville; Shirley E. Baxter, T. J. Hutto, J. M. Elkins and C. B. Elkins of Denmark.

Also the Reverend John C. Searcy and James Frady of Anderson; J. E. Sloan of Spartanburg; Max Ellis and A. H. Adams of Heath Springs; C. H. Miller, Ed Williamson, Earl V. Weeks, J. L. Childers, D. L. Haynes and Dr. Thomas W. Fryer of Florence; Louie Lawrence of Timmonsville; Paul J. Craven, Sr., of Charleston; Thurston Clemmons, the Rev. Carl E. Compton, Wilford A. Clardy and Jack Muirhead of Myrtle Beach; W. W. Long of Conway and the Rev. H. E. King of Surfside Beach.

September 23, 1961  Columbia Record (published as THE COLUMBIA RECORD) 
Columbia, South Carolina
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