PART VI THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT (1923-1974)
The title of this lecture series is "The Church in the Bible and in
History." The first lecture dealt with "How It All Began." We started with the
establishment of the church in AD 30 in the city of Jerusalem. And we considered
six primary characteristics of this church that was to be restored. The second
lecture dealt with "What Went Wrong with the Church." We looked at the apostasy,
the falling away from the faith, the departure from the New Testament norm which
resulted in what eventually historian referred to as the Dark Age or the
Mediaeval Period of world history. The third lecture dealt with "The Road Back,"
the Protestant Reformation, endeavored to correct the abuses of the church and
we also then revealed how and why many of these Protestant movements began. The
fourth lecture dealt with "A New Beginning." The efforts were being made by
people from various denominational background to restore the church after the
New Testament in its doctrines, ordinances and life to find a common meeting
ground. And then we come to the fifth lecture, "Another Wrong Turn" in which we
dealt with the 20th century apostasy, the tragic intrusion of liberal theology
upon the religious scene that almost devastated this great movement. And now
last of all we come to the sixth lecture, "Getting Back on the Track," a
resurgence in this movement.
I. Exposure of “open membership” in Foreign Christian Missionary
Society by Robert E. Elmore. Publishing of revelations by Standard
Recall that we had cited the exposure of “open membership” in Foreign
Christian Missionary Society by Robert E. Elmore, the corresponding secretary,
the executive secretary for the Executive Committee of the Foreign Christian
Missionary Society back in 1911. When, to enjoy his moral integrity, Robert E.
Elmore resigned from the Foreign Christian Missionary Society because there was
refusal to publish these facts and inform them to brethren. In fact, he had all
these facts and revelations published by Standard Publishing Company to the
pages of the Christian
II. Rallying of faithful remnant.
Thus committed a rallying of the faithful remnant.
I. Formation of Clarke Fund (1923)
A. Organizing body - Richmond
Street Christian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio - elders acting as trustees, among the
earliest “free” missionary agencies.
evangelizing in areas destitute of the New Testament plea; establishing churches
after the New Testament pattern, reopening closed churches,
As we go back a little bit, there was an interesting event that took
place in latter part of the 19th century. A Christian gentleman by the name of
Sidney S. Clarke, a man of means had provided in his will that after his death a
trustee will be established with the income from which he indicated that should
be used to pay the salaries of the evangelists who go across America and try to
establish churches after the New Testament ideal in various areas destitute of
this New Testament plea.
It happened that eventually the elders of the downtown Richmond
Street Christian Church in Cincinnati Ohio became the trustees to this
particular Clarke Estate. And when some of the churches and brethren heard of
this existence of this Clarke Estate, they, (who were endeavoring to do this),
began to send missionary contributions or offerings to the Richmond Street
Christian Church. To this legal technicality it was not possible for this fund
to work or become a part of Clarke Estate. So the elders of the Richmond Street
Christian Church brought into existence, what they called, the Clarke Fund which
received these missionary offerings or contributions from the churches and
brethren across the America. And then this fund worked in conjunction with the
income from the Clarke Estate to employ these evangelists to send them out
C. Almost one new church
a month established and about the same number of closed churches reopened with
over 1,000 additions a year in the early years.
one new church was being established each month as result of this effort. About
almost the same number of closed churches was being reopened in the thrilling
result of almost 1,000 baptisms into Christ annually as result of this effort
from 5 to 8 evangelists who were employed these early years of the Clarke
II. Formation of two new schools.
A. McGarvey Bible College and Cincinnati Bible Institute
1923. Purpose - to stem the tide of infidelity and to prepare a faithful gospel
But because the movement to the infiltration of liberal theology had
begun in the sprint the loss in a row as once great schools about 33 in all, the
concern came as what we wanted to prepare for faithful Gospel Bible preaching
B. Merger under auspices of Clarke Fund. The Cincinnati Bible
Seminary - 1924.
The first built great school that was capitulated to the liberal
theology was the old grand College of the Bible at Transylvania in Lexington
Kentucky. J. W. McGarvey had been the highly respected Bible scholar and
preacher and president of that school for many years. But when he died, the
liberal moved in and took it over lock, stock, and barrel and came the domino
effect. And rapidly one after another we began to lose our great schools such as
the old School of Religion at Butler University, now known as Christian
Theological Seminary; the old Brite Divinity School in the Texas Christian
University in Fort Worth, Texas; the Drake Divinity School in the Drake
University in Des Moines, Iowa, which is now non-existent; the Divinity School
(Philip Theological Seminary), that is, Philip University in Enid, Oklahoma;
Eureka College in Illinois; Carlton; Hiram College in Ohio, oh my own father had
graduated; Bethany College, oh my mother attended. The school hadn't been to
satisfy Alexander Campbell. Eventually we lost 33 schools in higher education
which capitulated to liberal theology. And so as an effort to rectify it, some
of men who sat at the feet of J. W. McGarvey of old College of the Bible along
with others in 1923 in Louisville Kentucky started what they called, McGarvey
Bible College. The same year in Cincinnati, Ohio primarily under the auspices of
Standard Publishing Company with many of editors serving as faculty. There was
establishing, what was called, Cincinnati Bible Institute. Both of these schools
were very small and struggling. And at that time the primary financial support
of both of these schools was the very influential Tabernacle Christian Church,
now referred to as First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana. The very
well-known preacher was W. H. Book, William Henry Book. Brother Book approached
both of these little schools and stated that it was really poor stewardship that
two of them were in existence being located so closely together, what're such
small student bodies and struggling for survival. And he proposed these two
schools were merged and suggested that if they didn't merge, the Tabernacle
Church would probably discontinue to support to both of them. Oh, this was
pretty good motivation and in competition with other brethren across America
that was done. At the invitation of the Clarke Fund of the Richmond Christian
Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, these two schools merged under their auspices in
1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio and reformed what was to be known as the Cincinnati
Bible Seminary. As a result of this merger, it began with a student body of 66.
Next year there were 5 in the first graduating class that received their
Bachelor of Arts degrees. The school began to grow. And the work of the Clarke
Fund began to grow. This school had been brought into existence primarily for
the purpose of stemming the tide of infidelity and preparing a faithful Gospel
III. Growth of Clarke Fund.
Separation from Richmond Street Christian Church ? 1925.
A. New name - Christian Restoration Association.
same as predecessor including educational, benevolent and mission
name changed from Facts to Restoration Herald.
That was that Clarke Fund began to grow that lastly elders suggested
that this organization should be separated from the local church, Richmond
Street Church, and had their own Board of Trustees to direct and changed the
name from the Clarke Fund to the Christian Restoration Association which name it
bears to this day. It has been my privilege that 18 years span of time to serve
for this particular organization in Cincinnati as an evangelist and the last 10
years as an editor of monthly publication, the Restoration
IV. Christian Service Camp Movement (1927). Twelve camps in 12 states
arranged by Christian Restoration Association.
work continued to grow under the Christian Restoration Association. They were
starting new churches. But the question came, "Where were we going to get the
preachers? Where were we going to get the students for the Bible college?" At
that time one of the trustees of the Christian Restoration Association was
brother O. A. Trinkle who was the minister of larger Christian church in the
State of Indiana, the Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis. One of the
meetings of the Association he proposed that 12 Christian Youth Conferences, he
called them, should be established from 12 different states and the base secured
the faculty to reign Christians to tap the great untapped dormant potential in
our local churches, young people. And so in 1927 this impetus was given to what
previously known as Christian Service Camp Movement. Several others had been
independently already established sponsored primarily by local
A. Number increased to 14 in 1928.
B. Taps tremendous potential
lying dormant in local churches for the Christian ministry and leadership.
Local churches urged to give oversight.
The next year the number of camps were increased to 14 camps and 14
states. Then the Restoration Association, not wanting to fall into the same
pitfall of the United Christian Missionary Society what was regarded as a
centralized or official authoritative body, looked to the local churches in
these various areas of new camps located suggesting that they take supervision
and oversight of this camp program into their constituency. And so it was. That
movement had grown remarkably.
V. Momentum of Direct-Support Missions:
A. U.C.M.S. recall of Leslie Wolfe from Philippines for refusal to
co-operate in comity and “open membership.”
1. Funds cabled by C.R.A. in response to Wolfe dilemma
At the same period of time now we found some of the veteran
missionaries who had gone out of old Foreign Missionary Society and Christian
Women Board of Mission. Now the finding that their doctrinal stance was
incompatible was a liberal theology that had now been adopted by their
Missionary Society. Because of their refusal to co-operate in the comity
agreements there were been arranged by the United Society, these missionaries
were being called back home. The first such instance was that Leslie Wolfe, the
veteran missionary of the Philippine Islands, who, when he was called back
because of his refusal to co-operate in the program of apostacy, had his support
thus drawn from him. He did not want to abandon the work which he had given his
life that was in the Philippines. He sent a cablegram to the Christian
Restoration Association citing the dilemma that it happened. And immediately the
Christian Restoration Association cabled Leslie Wolfe fund and told him to stay
in the fields. They were making appeal to the brethren to come to his support.
2. Ensuing appeals for assistance
from Cunningham and Madden in Japan; C. B. Titus in Union of South Africa; E. T.
Westrup in Mexico; Russell Morse in China and Tibet.
In rapid succession it came other appels for assistance from some
faithful missionaries. One came from W. D. Cunningham and from brother M. B.
Madden in Tokyo, Japan; another came from brother C. B. Titus in the mission
work in Union, South Africa; another came from brother E. T. Westrup in
Monterrey, Mexico whose mission work had been sold out to the Methodist
denomination by the United Christian Missionary Society; then came a deal of
Russell Morse who served the rooftop of world worked in China and Tibet and
3. Appeal to churches by C.R.A. -
living-link support secured and local churches underwrite a direct-support
And thus we see, for the first several years, about 8 to 11 faithful
missionary family who carried by the CRA's overseas evangelists. And again not
wanting to be construed as a centralized authoritative official body the
Restoration Association wrote a number of larger churches in America and
challenged them to take on these missionaries of their living-linked missionary.
The first church responded was the great First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio
where P. H. Welshimer was the minister. They took on Leslie Wolfe in the
Philippians in their living-link. The next response came from the great
Indianola Church in Columbus, Ohio where W. R. Walker minister. Then came a
response from the West Side Church of Christ in Springfield, Illinois. Then
another from the church in Dodge City, Kansas until the last we had 11 faithful
missionary family. And thus began what came to be referred to as direct-support
mission movement, the faith supported mission movement.
B. Start of North American Christian Convention (1927). A fellowship
of free Christians; not a convention of churches; not representative, official
At this same juncture in our history due to the fact that there was
the national convention, the resolutions that were passed by the convention were
repeatedly reinterpreted to the expenses they were practically nullifying, made
null and void. And at last in frustration in 1927 many of these brethren
withdrew and they formed what came to be known as the North American Christian
Convention. The North American Christian Convention was a fellowship of free
Christians which it is to this very hour. It was not or hasn't ever been a
convention of churches because the North American Christian Convention is not
representative. It is not an official or authoritative body. It's simply
gathering the brethren for preaching of the Gospel and for fellowship and
motivation to do the work of our Lord at home and around the
C. The Cincinnati Bible Seminary set apart from C.R.A.
In 1928 then, because the Bible college, Cincinnati Bible Seminary,
was growing so rapidly, the trustees of the Christian Restoration Association
sought to separate it from the Restoration Association as a separate educational
institution with its own board of trustees.
VI. Forty-seven Years of Co-operative Endeavor in
A. Multiplicity of evangelistic associations and men’s fellowships
both local and area wide. Results - scores of new churches not established
And so now as a result what it happened we see this resurgence now
beginning to take place. God was working with our faithful remnants. After 65
years of cooperative endeavor, a cooperative endeavor that had been in faith and
not to the cohesion of Romanizational structure, we find a multiplicity of
evangelistic associations and men’s fellowships both local and area wide
springing up in states all across the America. Result of this was the scores now
of new churches after the New Testament ideal again certainly reestablished in
communities across the country.
B. Forty Bible Colleges.
1. Enrollment over 6,000.
2. Burgeoning growth exerting pressure on facilities and
Also we see the result across intervening years 36 Bible Colleges has
sprung up with their enrollment today approximately 4,000 students. And there
was burgeoning growth of these schools pressure on the facilities and the
C. Approximately 800 weeks of Christian Service
1. About 100,000 enrollments.
2. Over 1,500 baptized into Christ
3. About 500 recruits for specialized Christian service
And then another growing story is the fact that the Christian Service
Camp Movement has grown also. Today stands that every summer now approximately
800 weeks of camps are held. Sum of over 100,000 of our young people attend
these camps every summer. On average over about 1,500 of these young people are
baptized into Lord Jesus Christ. And on every summer the latest statistic has
been about 700 of these young people were challenged and motivated to prepare
themselves for specialized Christian service.
D. Missionaries number about 1,800.
1. About 1,000 missionaries overseas.
2. In 45 countries.
80 mission fields.
4. On 350 different mission stations.
5. Over 10 per
cent of present Bible college enrollment committed to the mission
Also we find that the mission field has been growing. Our
missionaries today now are number of approximately 2,000. Almost 1,000 of them
are serving as overseas missionaries. These missionaries are serving in about 60
different countries in about 82 different mission fields and are found out about
500 different mission stations around the world. Approximately 5 percent of
total Bible college enrollment today is committed to the mission
E. About 5500 congregations. Over 1,000,000
Also today we have about 5,500 congregations across the America.
These 5,500 congregations have approximately 1,200,000
F. Non-instrument brethren.
1. About 12,000 congregations.
2. About 2,500,000 members.
Unity consultations based upon adherence to the common faith and recognition of
each other as brethren.
Ah, non-instrument brethren have about 12,000 congregations. And that
held 2,500,000 members. And what was encouraging seems that had appeared in
recent years have been the unity consultations between these two groups stayed
in based upon their adherence to the common faith and recognition of each other
as brethren. And so these are being held increasingly and encouraging headway is
being made among these brethren
I. In a day of membership, seminary, ministerial, missionary, and
church decline in liberal circles, the Restoration Movement is experiencing
growth in every area.
In a day of membership, seminary, ministerial, missionary, and church
decline in liberal church circles, the Restoration Movement is experiencing
growth in every one of these areas.
II. Believers in all the denominations, wearied of apostasy in
denominational circles, are looking again for common meeting
Believers in all the denominations today have been wearied of the
apostasy in denominational circles, they are literally defecting thousands. In a
recent 10 years span of time many of these mainline denominations have been
decreased in the membership, 25 percent, 30 percent, 37 percent, because these
people again are looking for common meeting ground.
III. In the Restoration movement is found not only an adherence to
the historical Biblical Christian faith, but it is found in an undenominational
In the Restoration movement is found not only an adherence to the
historical Biblical Christian faith, but it is also found in an undenominational
IV. The world’s population tripled from 1850 to 1950
A. To double again by 2000 A.D.
B. In 1950 331/3 per cent of the
world’s population was Christian.
C. By 1960 it had dropped to 30
D. It is projected that by 2000 A.D. it would be less than 20 per
It's significant to note that in 1850 our world’s population was just
one billion. It took one hundred years for this for triple. In 1950 the
population became 3 billion. And it is projected that by the year 2000 this will
double again. Already we have passed the 5 billion 2 hundred million mark. In
1950 33 and 30 percent of our world’s population was at least allegedly
Christians. But it was in 10 years of time in 1960 it dropped to below 30
percent. And it is projected that by the year 2000 this figure will drop to
below 20 percent.
V. There is a great-unfinished task that
necessitates the involvement of every Christian as a soul-winner, a renewed
emphasis upon the scriptural doctrine of the priesthood of all
You see this concern in the work imperative, the tremendous
unfinished task, that necessitates the involvement of every Christian as a
soul-winner never seemed to necessitate a renewed emphasis upon the priesthood
of all believers in Jesus Christ.
VI. This is an era of unprecedented opportunity for
a witness to undenominational Christianity and fro renewed plea for a
restoration of the church after the New Testament pattern with Christ as the
only creed, the Bible as the only and all-sufficient rule for faith and
practice, and content to Christian only.
We are concerned as an era of unprecedented opportunity. The church
today is the most affluent church in the 2000 year history of the existence. We
have had the exposure to all the technology of the media to get the Gospel
message out to our world. We have also the technology in transportation to make
the farthest free access to our world see my very front door step. Ours is a
fantastic stewardship that God has given us to get the Gospel message out to our
all the world. So this is an era of unprecedented opportunity for a witness to
undenominational New Testament Christianity and for renewed plea for a
restoration of the church after the New Testament ideal, with Christ as the only
creed, with the plea for the Bible as the only and all-sufficient rule for both
faith as well as for practice, with Christ as the only creed, the Bible as the
only rule of faith and practice and just simply again willing to be known as
And oh what a time to preach the Gospel! Let all believers again be
known simply as a Bible people, a people of the Book. Let all Christians again
know what they believe and why they believe it! Let them "study to shew
themselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
or handling rightly the word of truth"(2Tim. 2:15). Let us again be able to tell
people book, chapter and verse whatever we believe and teach and practice. Let
us make it appeal not to a preacher, not to a denominational church, not to a
plea, but let's make appeal again to the Word of God so the man might have their
hope based on what God had spoken. What an hour we have a holy task! It is an
unfinished task and it, Jesus said it, even to us today, "We must work the works
of him that sent us while it is day, for the night cometh, when no man can