header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow A Plain Statement
A Plain Statement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Elder R.A. Biggs   

From "The Writings of Elder R. A. Biggs"
     

A PLAIN STATEMENT

    I desire to make a plain statement of facts based upon the evidence that has been put before me in regard to the division in the church at San Antonio and the trouble that followed, that all the brethren and churches may see and understand the true situation.

    The division in the church at San Antonio was over a "point of order." A letter had been received from Mineral Springs Church, Glen Rose, Texas, charging Elder T. L. Webb of publicly denouncing Elder J. S. Newman with preaching "the whole man doctrine." The letter was read and referred to a future date for consideration. In the meantime Elder W.H. Richards had an appointment at San Antonio, and after preaching Elder Webb gave an opportunity for members, and a brother presented a letter and was received. When they met again in conference Elder Blackwell called in question the action of the church in receiving that member, claiming the church was not in order to receive members until Elder T. L. Webb made satisfaction about the letter from Mineral Springs Church. Elder Webb and others contended that the letter was not in their way of receiving members, or transacting any other business as a church. After laboring to reconcile Elder Blackwell, to no avail, they finally withdrew fellowship from him and those who followed him. Then Elder Blackwell and those with him proceeded to withdraw from Webb and those with him. Thus the church divided.

    Was the church in order to transact her business, or was she not? When you decide on these questions you have settled the matter of who was right in the contention.

    After the division two sister churches, Yancey and Sabinal sent messengers there to investigate the trouble, and after investigating, pronounced Elder Webb and those with him the church in order. Elder Blackwell and those with him utterly refused to be investigated.

    About the same time San Marcos Church, without any investigation, declared Elder Webb in disorder and closed her pulpit against him over the protest of ten or twelve of her members, who would not stand for such an action without an investigation, and excluded them for contempt.

    Seeing that the brethren and churches in that part of the country were divided about the matter, T. L. Webb and those with him called a general council to meet at San Antonio to consider their doctrine and order, agreeing to abide their decision. Then Elder Blackwell submitted to the same. The council met, and after a thorough investigation decided by a two-thirds majority vote that Elder T. L. Webb and those with him accepted the findings, while Elder Blackwell and those with him refused to abide, after having agreed to do so.

    Following this council immediately some of the churches down there began to oppose and reject the decision of the council; others adopted or endorsed the findings, and some divided over this matter. And this gave rise to the call for the Temple council, which met and advised the brethren what do to in order that peace might be restored, but so far as I am informed the opposing element has turned a deaf ear to them.

    Now, in conclusion, I will say that in the San Antonio council, there were thirty-two churches represented. Six of these churches and one faction of a divided church rejected the findings of the council. These are the churches that now recognize Elder Blackwell and his faction as being in order, leaving twenty-five churches who were represented that have adopted or endorsed the findings of the council and recognize Elder T. L. Webb and those allied with him as being in order.

    There are twenty-four churches in the Temple council and they unanimously sustained Elder T. L. Webb and those with him as being the church in order and all these churches approved the findings of the Temple council. This according to the evidence in the case, presents the true situation. Now it is before you all, and you can act as your judgment may dictate. I have not written this to defend Elder T. L. Webb and those with him nor to condemn those who oppose him, but to place the matter before our people in a clear light according to the evidence in the case.

< Previous   Next >

Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.