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    Copied from "A Church In The Vale -- The Story Of Valley Springs" by Mabel Osbourn

    Richards and Morgan Trouble - Councils 1923, 1926, 1927

    For a number of years, the (Valley Springs) church continued in peace; then another division took place, this time over a point of order. Actually the point in question seems to have been as to whether or not a local church has the sovereign right to discipline her members and run her own affairs in general. This controversy is referred to as "the Richards and Morgan trouble."

    In his diary, S. N. Redford says, "In 1921, a slanderous report was circulated on one of our preachers, Elder W. H. Richards of Ephesus Church at Rule, Haskell County, Texas. The church of his membership examined the evidence and found nothing sufficient to warrant a charge; but the opposing party kept agitating the matter until the church called on six orderly churches to investigate the evidence on which she (Ephesus) had acted, and they pronounced her course Scriptural and orderly.

    "But this did not satisfy the opposing element. Elder J. C. Morgan, who was editor of THE BAPTIST TRUMPET, called or had called, a council at Bethlehem Church, Knox County, Texas, in March 1923. It was a general council. They did this over the heads of all the churches and thus drove the dividing wedge which divided the Baptists again."

    In April 1923, a letter from Ephesus Church asking Valley Springs Church to advise them on the action they had taken, was read in Conference. The matter was deferred because the church members were not in complete agreement upon the subject. This business was continued each as Reference until September, when the church voted to sustain the action of Ephesus Church, and thereby brought on the greatest trial this church had ever had to bear. Elder B. F. Redford, their faithful overseer for thirty-six years, and ten members who stood with him, were excluded because they could not be reconciled to the stand the majority of the church had taken. The harm resulting to the church by the separation from this venerable servant was far-reaching.

    Following a period of depression, there was a gradual upswing toward peace with the Newman element, from which Valley Springs had been separated since 1915, and which culminated in two general peace meetings at Dallas, Texas. The first meeting, August 1926, was to formulate a plan by which Texas Baptists might hope to come together in an orderly manner; and the second meeting, February 1927, was to apply the recommendations of the first.

    Eventually most of the churches in Texas (including Valley Springs, August 1928) adopted the 1927 DALLAS RECOMMENDATIONS and came together with the exceptions being (1). the remnant of churches under the leadership of Elder C. H. Richards, who merely stood still going neither with the Morgans, or Trumpet Baptists, nor the Peace movement, (2). the Morgan element, who to this day remain aloof, although several overtures for reconciliation have been made to them.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 July 2007 )
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