Monday, July 3, 2017

PROFILES IN RESTORATION HISTORY: The Last Will & Testament of the Springfield Presbytery - June 28, 1804


The Last Will & Testament of the Springfield Presbytery
JUNE 28, 1804

By David R. Kenney

On September 7, 1809, Thomas Campbell presented his restoration manifesto, The Declaration and Address of the Christian Association of Washington, to the Christian Association who had requested he draft a formal declaration of their intentions to pursue New Testament Christianity. The Christian Association approved it for distribution to all religious bodies in Washington County, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1809.  At the time, these men were probably unfamiliar with others who likewise saw the need to return to the New Testament pattern. 

Barton Warren Stone (1772–1844) was born in Port Tobacco, Maryland, so he certainly was in the United States prior to the Campbells (actually before the founding of the Republic.)  He was taught by the Presbyterian Church in the United States as the Campbells were in Ireland (and Scotland).  Stone was educated at David Caldwell’s Log College, which was considered one of the more prestigious schools in the South.  He was licensed to preach for the Presbyterian Church by the Orange Presbytery of Orange County, NC on April 6, 1796.  He would make his first visit to Cane Ridge in Bourbon County, KY later in 1796.  He was already having misgivings of the doctrines of Calvinism.  In fact, when he was encouraged to seek ordination, he stalled because of persisting doubts.  After much encouragement, he decided to proceed.  He was asked one question–“Do you accept the Confession as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Bible?" He replied­–"I do, so far as I see it consistent with the word of God.”  His answer was accepted.  He soon learned there were others that were having misgivings about elements of Calvinism.

As time goes by, there would be associates of Stone who were brought up on charges of teaching doctrines contrary to the Presbyterian Church.  The trial was in September 1803, and the proceedings against John Thompson and Richard McNemar by the Kentucky Synod left little doubt what was coming.  So, on September 10, 1803 they issued An Apology for Renouncing the Jurisdiction of the Synod of Kentucky To Which Is Added a Compendious View of the Gospel and a Few Remarks on the Confession of Faith.  Ministers and 15 congregations banded together and formed the Springfield Presbytery.  They selected the name “Springfield” for Springfield, Ohio where Richard McNemar was first tried for preaching against Calvinism.  The publication created quite a stir and pamphlets were made to counter, so the “battle of pamphlets” was waged in pursuit of the truth.

Sometimes we may seek to break away from a “bad” system and not realize that it is not just that the system was bad but the system concept itself is likewise deficient.  This happened to those who formed the Springfield Presbytery.  What real difference did Orange Presbytery have from Springfield Presbytery?  The whole concept of having such an organization came into question.  There were no such organizations in the NT, so why did they need such today?  Still a vital question today!

With these thoughts in mind, they drafted one of the great classics of the Restoration Movement, The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery on June 28, 1804.  Some excerpts show the spirit of this restoration movement:

Imprimis. We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.

Item. We will that our name of distinction, with its Reverend title, be forgotten, that there be but one Lord over God's heritage, and his name one.

Item. We will, that our power of making laws for the government of the church, and executing them by delegated authority, forever cease; that the people may have free course to the Bible, and adopt the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Item. We will, that candidates for the Gospel ministry henceforth study the Holy Scriptures with fervent prayer, and obtain license from God to preach the simple Gospel, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, without any mixture of philosophy, vain deceit, traditions of men, or the rudiments of the world. And let none henceforth take this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

There is more, and the document is well worth reading in its entirety.  It was signed by Robert Marshall, John Dunlavy, Richard M'Nemar, B. W. Stone, John Thompson, and David Purviance. On October 16–23, 1804 the Kentucky Synod expelled Barton W. Stone and others.  It mattered little as they were now en route to “the old paths.”  Sadly, there would be those that felt the pressure to return to Presbyterianism (Robert Marshall and John Thompson).  As some of the Disciples who followed Campbell were caught up in Mormonism, there was a similar type of thing happening in Kentucky with the Shakers who claimed both John Dunlavy and John McNemar.  David Purviance remained true to the cause; however, he relocated to Ohio in 1807.  Barton W. Stone once lamented “I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away.” 

Stone persevered and came to realize that he was not alone in his quest for New Testament Christianity.  In 1824 he would meet, for the first time, Alexander Campbell and they would begin a conversation that would result in one of the great testimonies for Christian union in 1832.  Barton W. Stone began his paper, The Christian Messenger, in 1826 in an effort to continue this quest.  There was much to do, the road would be difficult, but these men desired to be restored to the church of the first century and follow the apostolic order.


Dickinson, Hope S., Editor, The Cane Ridge Reader:  The Biography of Elder Barton Warren Stone, Observations on Church Government, Last Will and Testament of That Reverend Body; History of the Christian Church in the West, Paris, KY:  Cane Ridge Preservation Project, 1972.

Doran, Adron, Restoring New Testament Christianity, Nashville, TN:  21st Century Christian, 1997.

McNemar, Richard. Observations on Church Government by the Presbytery of Springfield, To Which Is Added the Last Will and Testament of That Reverend Body. Cincinnati, OH: John Brown, 1807.

Thursday, June 15, 2017



Commemorative Badge for the Centennial Celebration of the Disciples of Christ.  The top depicts the years 1809 to 1909.  The image is of the Brush Run Church Built 1810.  The lower medal reads Pittsburgh October 11 - 19, 1909 Disciples of Christ Centennial.  Those depicted include Thomas Campbell (top left), Barton W. Stone (top right), Walter Scott (lower left), and Alexander Campbell, (lower right).  On the reverse it reads THAT THEY ALL BE ONE, THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE. In small print at the bottom is THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO. NEWARK, NJ
By David R. Kenney
While doing some research on a person buried in the cemetery in Bedford, Ohio who attended Bethany College and graduated under Alexander Campbell, I came across the following information relating to the church of Christ in Wadsworth, Ohio. I thought you might find the following of interest as well.
Amos Sutton Hayden (1813-1880) wrote one of the classic texts on the Restoration Movement in Ohio entitled Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio in 1876. Hayden includes an account of the establishment of the church of Christ in Wadsworth, Ohio including a visit by Alexander Campbell. The following is Hayden’s account nearly in its entirety (except for a story of one of its members):
The church of Wadsworth was formed in February, 1829. The first day there were eight members: Obadiah Newcomb; his two daughters, Statira and Matilda, recently baptized; P. Butler, Samuel Green, A. B. Green, and John and Sarah Bunnell. Bro. Newcomb was appointed elder, and John Bunnell, deacon of the new organization.
This church soon became a strong pillar. William Eyles, late judge of court, soon united with his family. Conversions were almost constant. The opposition was active, vigilant, and often virulent, but overall the gospel made steady and triumphant progress.
The first yearly meeting held in Wadsworth was in September, 1833, in a new barn belonging to Bro. William Eyles. The meeting was noted for the numbers who attended it, and for the stimulus it gave to the cause of reformation. Being quite removed from the sources and center of the work, the proclamation was new to large numbers who came a long distance to attend it. A. Campbell was present; also William Hayden, John Henry, Marcus Bosworth, E. B. Hubbard, J. J. Moss, and many others. There were many converts.
An incident occurred at this time which displays Mr. Campbell's character for discernment and candor. Aaron Pardee, a gentleman residing in the vicinity, an unbeliever in the gospel, attracted by Campbell's abilities as a reasoner, and won by his fairness in argument, resolved to obtain a private interview, and propose freely his difficulties. Mr. Campbell received him with such frankness that he opened his case at once, saying: "I discover, Mr. Campbell, you are well prepared in the argument and defenses of the Christian religion. I confess to you frankly there are some difficulties in my mind which prevent my believing the Bible, particularly the Old Testament." Mr. Campbell replied: "I acknowledge freely, Mr. Pardee, there are difficulties in the Bible—difficulties not easy to explain, and some, perhaps, which in our present state of information cannot be cleared up. But, my dear sir, when I consider the overwhelming testimony in their favor, so ample, complete, and satisfactory, I cannot resist the conviction of their divine origin. The field of prophetic inspiration is so varied and full, and the internal evidences so conclusive, that with all the difficulties, the preponderance of evidence is overwhelmingly in their favor." This reply, so fair and so manly, and so different from the pulpit denunciation of "skeptics," "infidels," etc., to which he had been accustomed, quite disarmed him, and led him to hear the truth and its evidence in a much more rational state of mind. Within a year he became fully satisfied of the truthfulness of the Holy Scriptures, and apprehending clearly their testimony to the claims of Jesus of Nazareth as the anointed Son of God, he was prepared to yield to him the obedience of his life. At a two days' meeting held there by Bro. A. B. Green and A. S. Hayden, Mr. Pardee and four others were baptized….
The congregation in Wadsworth has been a light to all the region round about. It is mother of churches, and mother of preachers. The following proclaimers of the gospel received their earliest aid and encouragement there, and some of them were brought forth almost exclusively by this church: A. B. Green, Wm. Moody, Holland Brown, Philander Green, B. F. Perky, and Pardee Butler. Bro. L. L. Carpenter, also, from the church in Norton, a daughter and dependency of Wadsworth, gained his guiding impulse there to his distinguished usefulness. (Hayden, 366-368)
Notice the year was 1829 when the church began at Wadsworth. One may wonder what happened that the church of Christ which now meets at Good Avenue was started in 1955 by a group of Christians from the Kenmore congregation. Tragically, the church of 1829 did not remain true to the old paths in at least two particulars—music in worship and the missionary society.
There was no missionary society in the early days of the Restoration Movement, and when some advocated the formation of one, several opposed stating that such a society’s structure and mission usurped the work of the church. In spite of objections, Alexander Campbell reversed his prior convictions and served as the first president of the newly formed American Christian Missionary Society in October 1849 and served as its president until his death in 1866. According to Buckeye Disciples:
On May 7, 1850, at a special gathering of the preaching and teaching brethren held at Hiram it was decided to take steps to organize a Western Reserve Missionary Society. A delegate convention was announced for September 5, at Wadsworth. At the Wadsworth meeting, attended by thirty delegates, it was decided to have a plan or assembly to promote the gospel. (Shaw, 163)
Tragically, this course led to the establishment of the Ohio State Missionary Society in 1852. In the “List of Delegates and Congregations Represented at the First Convention” is the name of Aaron Pardee representing the church of Wadsworth from Medina County (Shaw, 171). This is the same Aaron Pardee who was converted by Alexander Campbell. Many churches were swept away in the missionary society movement including the one in Wadsworth nearly 25 years after its establishment. Those who opposed the missionary society were forced to leave congregations who advocated this arrangement.
Perhaps no greater issue divided churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) than the introduction of instrumental music. As some writers have noted, one can overlook a missionary society but one cannot ignore the instrument playing in their ears as easily. In the early days of Alexander Campbell, there were no churches of Christ utilizing the instrument. In fact, among the earliest recorded dates of the introduction of the instrument include the melodeon in Midway, KY by L. L. Pinkerton in 1860. According to Buckeye Disciples, the use of instrumental music became a major issue in the latter part of the 1960s. Some attempt to claim there was really no opposition to introduction of the instrument which is clearly false or chide those who opposed it. Notice this contradictory statement within the same paragraph:
Isaac Errett, who had no objection to the use of instrumental music in worship, nevertheless counseled his brethren to abstain from its use rather than divide a church over it. Though the older Disciples in Ohio, many of them, went to their graves protesting against mechanical music, most of the churches gradually began accepting it. Largely due to the constructive leadership of Errett, Garfield, Robison, Moffett, et. al., the organ controversy had no disastrous effects in Ohio. A few isolated rural churches, however, that had never cooperated with the brethren anyway, became anti-organ churches. (Shaw, 223-224)
The fact remains that many faithful members of the church were forced out of buildings they had labored to build by those who supported the digression brought by the instrument. It is apparent from the statement in Buckeye Disciples that the congregation established in Wadsworth in 1829 was swept away both by the missionary society and the use of the instrument in worship. The first step away from the New Testament pattern came 25 years after the church’s establishment with the missionary society and the other step occurred some 30 years later with the instrument. Thankfully, the church returned to Wadsworth in 1955 and continues to oppose both of these innovations seeking to continue in “the old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16). We plead with others to follow the New Testament pattern in worship and lifestyle! While some may think this history is unique to Wadsworth, in reality the same scenario played out in many churches across the land from this period of time.  The names and places may be different, but the results were mostly the same.
Hayden, Amos, S. Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio; with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in Their Religious Movement. Cincinnati, OH: Chase & Hall, 1876.
Shaw, Henry K. Buckeye Disciples: A History of the Disciples of Christ in Ohio—A Centennial Publication of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society 1852-1952. St. Louis, MO: Christian Board of Publication, 1952.
Wilcox, Alanson, A History of the Disciples of Christ in Ohio. Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Company, 1918.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Suggested Bibliography for Restoration Studies (I) by David R. Kenney

Suggested Bibliography for Restoration Studies:
Focusing on Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, and Barton Warren Stone
by David R. Kenney

General Studies

Boles, H. Leo, Biographical Sketches of Gospel Preachers, Nashville, TN:  Gospel Advocate Company, 1932.

Doran, Adron, Restoring New Testament Christianity: Featuring Alexander Campbell, Thomas Campbell, Barton W. Stone and Hall L. Calhoun, Nashville, TN:  20th Century Christian, 1997.

Fortune, Alonzo Willard, The Disciples in Kentucky, Lexington, KY:  Convention of the Christian Church in Kentucky, 1932.

Foster, Douglas A.; Dunnavant, Anthony, L.; Blowers, Paul M.; and Williams, D. Newell; Editors, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Grand Rapids, MI:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004.

Hailey, Homer, Attitudes and Consequences in the Restoration Movement, Rosemead, CA:  Old Paths Book Club, 1952.

Harp, Scott, Website Editor,

Hayden, Amos Sutton, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve: With Biographical Sketches of the Principle Agents in their Religious Movement, Cincinnati, OH:  Chase & Hall, 1875.

Humble, Bill J., The Story of the Restoration Movement, Austin, TX:  Firm Foundation Publishing House, 1969.

Mattox, F. W., The Eternal Kingdom – A History of the Church of Christ, Delight, AR: Gospel Light Publishing Company, 1961.

McMillon, Lynn A., Restoration Roots - The Scottish Origins of the American Restoration Movement, Henderson, TN:  Hester Publications, 2006.

Murch, James D., Christians Only: A History of the Restoration Movement, Cincinnati, OH:  Standard Publishing, 1962.

Phillips, Dabney, Restoration Principles and Personalities, Henderson, TN:  Hester Publications, 1999.

Powell, J. M., The Cause We Plead – A Story of the Restoration Movement, Nashville, TN:  20th Century Christian, 1987.

Smithson, III, John T., Tracing Our Steps – A Chronology of the Restoration Movement Vol. 1 (1735–1859), Henderson, TN:  Hester Publications, 2nd Edition, 2008.

Smithson, III, John T., Tracing Our Steps – A Chronology of the Restoration Movement Vol. 2 (1860–1911), Henderson, TN:  Hester Publications, 2nd Edition, 2008.

West, Earl Irvin, The Search for the Ancient Order – A History of the Restoration Movement 1800–1865, Indianapolis, IN:  Religious Book Service, Vol. 1, 1990.

West, Earl Irvin, The Search for the Ancient Order – A History of the Restoration Movement 1866–1906, Indianapolis, IN:  Religious Book Service, Volume 2, 1994.

West, Earl Irvin, The Search for the Ancient Order – A History of the Restoration Movement 1800–1918, Indianapolis, IN:  Religious Book Service, Volume 3, 1979.

West, Earl Irvin, The Search for the Ancient Order – A History of the Restoration Movement 1919–1950, Indianapolis, IN:  Religious Book Service, Volume 4, 1987.

Woodson, William, Standing For Their Faith: A History of Churches of Christ in Tennessee from 1900 to1950, Henderson, TN: J and W Publications, 1979.

Thomas Campbell

Brigance, L. L., Theology of Three Early Restoration Documents, Henderson, TN: Hester Publications, 2014.

Campbell, Alexander, Memoirs of Elder Thomas Campbell, Cincinnati, OH: Bosworth, Chase & Hall, 1861.

McAllister, Lester G., Thomas Campbell: Man of the Book, St. Louis, MO: The Bethany Press, 1954.

Alexander Campbell

Campbell, Alexander, A Debate on the Roman Catholic Religion, Cincinnati, OH: C.F. Vent, 1875

Campbell, Alexander, Acts of Apostles, Joplin, MO: College Press, Reprint 1858.

Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptism – With Its Antecedents and Consequences, London, England: A. Hall, Virtue and Company, 1853.

Campbell, Alexander, Editor, The Christian Baptist, Buffalo, VA, 8 volumes, 1823-1830.

Campbell, Alexander, The Christian Preacher’s Companion or The Gospel Facts Sustained by the Testimony of Unbelieving Jews and Pagan, Centerville, KY: R. B. Neal, 1891.

Campbell, Alexander, The Christian System, in Reference to the Union of Christians: And a Restoration of Primitive Christianity, as Plead in the Current Reformation, Pittsburgh, PA: Forrester & Campbell, 1840.

Campbell, Alexander, Christianity Restored, Indianapolis, IN: Faith and Facts, Reprint 1835.

Campbell, Alexander, The Living Oracles, Simpkin, Marshall, and Company, 1842.

Campbell, Alexander, Popular Lectures And Addresses, Philadelphia, PA: James Challen & Son, 1863.

Campbell, Alexander, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Bethany, VA:  Alexander Campbell, 1829.

Campbell, Alexander and McCalla, William, A Discussion of Christian Baptism: As to Its Subject, Its Mode, Its History, and Its Effects Upon Civil and Religious Society, Philadelphia, PA: George McLaughlin, 1831.

Campbell, Alexander and Owen, Robert, The Evidences of Christianity, Cincinnati, OH: E. Morgan and Company, 1852

Campbell, Alexander, Pendleton, W. K., and Loos, C. L., Editors, The Millennial Harbinger, Bethany, WV, 40 volumes, 1830-1870.

Campbell, Alexander and Rice, Nathaniel, A Debate Between Rev. A. Campbell and Rev. N.L. Rice: On the Action, Subject, Design and Administrator of Christian Baptism, Lexington, KY:  A.T. Skillman, 1844.

Campbell, Alexander; Segar, Charles V.; Moore, William Thomas; Familiar Lectures on the Pentateuch Rosemead, CA: Old Paths Book Club, 1958.

Campbell, Alexander and Skinner, Dolphus, A Discussion of the Doctrines of the Endless Misery and Universal Salvation, Utica, NY: C. C. P. Grosh, 1840.

Campbell, Alexander and Walker, John, Debate on Christian Baptism, Pittsburgh, PA: Eichbaum and Johnston, 1822.

Campbell, Selina, Home Life and Reminiscences of Alexander Campbell, St. Louis, MO:  John Burns, 1882.

Cochran, Louis, The Fool of God – A Novel Based on the Life of Alexander Campbell, New York, NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1959.

Haley, J. J., Debates that made history; the story of Alexander Campbell's debates with Rev. John Walker, Rev. W. L. McCalla, Mr. Robert Owen, Bishop Purcell and Rev. Nathan L. Rice, St. Louis, MO:  Christian Board of Publication, 1920.

Humble, Bill J., Campbell and Controversy: The Story of Alexander Campbell's Great Debates With Skepticism, Catholicism, and Presbyterianism, Rosemead, CA:  Old Paths Book Club, 1952.

Kenney, David R., AC – A Historical Account of Alexander Campbell, Olive Branch, MS: Gospel Broadcasting Network, Documentary, 2015.

Richardson, Robert, Memoirs of Alexander Campbell: Embracing a View of the Origin, Progress and Principles of the Religious Reformation Which He Advocated, Cincinnati, OH:  R.W. Carroll & Company, 1872.

Wrather, Eva Jane and Cummins, D. Duane, Editor, Alexander Campbell:  Adventurer in Freedom:  A Literary Biography, Fort Worth, TX:  Texas Christian University Press, Volume 1, 2005. 

Wrather, Eva Jane and Cummins, D. Duane, Editor, Alexander Campbell:  Adventurer in Freedom:  A Literary Biography, Fort Worth, TX:  Texas Christian University Press, Volume 2, 2007.

Wrather, Eva Jane and Cummins, D. Duane, Editor, Alexander Campbell:  Adventurer in Freedom:  A Literary Biography, Fort Worth, TX:  Texas Christian University Press, Volume 3, 2009.

Walter Scott

Baxter, William, Life of Elder Walter Scott, Cincinnati, OH: Bosworth, Chase & Hall, 1874.

Scott, Walter, A Discourse on the Holy Spirit, Bethany, VA: Alexander Campbell, 1831.

Scott, Walter, The Evangelist, Cincinnati, OH: Walter Scott, 10 volumes, 1832-1842.

Scott, Walter, The Gospel Restored, Cincinnati, OH: O.H. Donogh, 1836.

Scott, Walter, The Messiahship, Or Great Demonstration, Written for the Union of Christians, on Christian Principles, As Plead for in the Current Reformation, Cincinnati, OH:  H. S. Bosworth, 1859.

Scott, Walter, The Nekrosis, or The Death of Christ, Cincinnati, OH: Walter Scott, 1853.

Scott, Walter, To Themelion:  The Union of Christians, on Christian Principles, Cincinnati, OH:  C. A. Morgan & Company, 1852.

Toulouse, Mark G., Editor, Walter Scott: A Nineteenth-Century Evangelical, St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.

Barton Warren Stone

Dickinson, Hope S., Editor, The Cane Ridge Reader:  The Biography of Elder Barton Warren Stone, Observations on Church Government, Last Will and Testament of That Reverend Body; History of the Christian Church in the West, Paris, KY:  Cane Ridge Preservation Project, 1972.

Stone, Barton Warren, The Christian Evangelist, 14 Volumes, 1826-1845.


Special Topics

Choate, J. E. and Woodson, William, Sounding Brass and Clanging Cymbals: The History and Significance of Instrumental Music in the Restoration Movement (1827-1968), Henderson, TN:  Freed-Hardeman University Press, 1990.

Humble, Bill J., The Missionary Society Controversy in the Restoration Movement (1823-1875), Henderson, TN: Hester Publications, n.d.


"The restoration plea is perfect; however, restoration history is filled with imperfect men and some imperfect teachings by those pleading and plowing to the Old Paths of New Testament Christianity. There is no need to be loyal to the men and all their teachings, just honor their efforts and be loyal to the truth." – David R. Kenney


“Trust, but verify!” – Ronald Reagan


“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 NKJV)


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hymns & Hymn Writers: I'm A Pilgrim by David R. Kenney

The song “I’m A Pilgrim” is dated to 1841, and some sources state the music is “Italian Air” (some sources call it Buono Notte which is Italian for “Good Night”.)  The words were written by Mary S. B. Dana.  She also wrote “Flee as a Bird” with music cited as “Spain Air”. 

Mary Stanley Bunce Palmer Dana Shindler (1810-1883), Lyricist

Mary Stanley Bunce Palmer Dana Shindler was born February 15, 1810 in Beufort, SC.  Her father was a pastor of the Congregational Church.  She married Charles Elutheros Dana June 19, 1835.  They moved to Bloomington, IA in 1839, and her husband died shortly after.  She returned to Beufort, SC.  In May 1848 she remarried Robert Doyne Shindler, who was a professor of Shelby College in Kentucky.  She began as a Presbyterian, switched to Unitarian, and then ended with the Protestant Episcopal Church for which her husband was a clergyman.  Her change of religious views was a source of conflict with her family.  In fact, her largest published work was Letters to Relatives and Friends on the Trinity (1845) which explained her change in views to Unitarian.  She published some of her music including the Southern Harp (1840) and the Northern Harp, (1841) which is the main source for her hymns.  The Song “A Pilgrim and A Stranger” comes from Northern Harp, where it has her name as “Mrs. Dana”, and the music as an “Italian Melody”.  Her second husband preceded her in death in 1874.  Mary Stanley Bunce Palmer Dana Shindler died February 8, 1883 in Nacogdoches, TX where she lived with her son.  She was buried there in the Oak Grove Cemetery next to her second husband.  Her stone reads “Mary Palmer Dana Shindler”, records her DOB and DOD, and includes lyrics from “Free as a Bird”. 

I’m A Pilgrim

In the New Testament, the term “pilgrim” or “pilgrims” appears in 3 verses of the NKJV (Heb 11:13; 1 Pet 1:11; 1 Pet 2:11).  The term pilgrim [#3927, parepídēmos, par-ep-id'-ay-mos ] means “…pertaining to staying for a while in a strange or foreign place, sojourning, residing temporarily…of Christians, who are not at home in this world…” (BDAG, 775)  This meaning is clearly understood as used by the apostle Peter:  “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12, NKJV).

The song “I’m A Pilgrim” has three verses; however, the original work was six verses.  One of the verses included these determined words about friends who will not obey the gospel:  “Farewell, neighbors, with tears I’ve warned you, I must leave you, I must leave you and be gone!  With this your portion, your heart’s desire, Why will you perish in raging fire?  Another one speaks of family who will not follow in the gospel:  “Father, mother, and sister, brother!  If you will not journey with me, I must go!  Now since your vain hopes you will thus cherish, Should I, too, linger, and with you perish?”  Sometimes no matter how much we desire, some neighbors, family, and friends will not follow.  The important matter is to make sure your Christian life is showing them the way.

It is generally believed that the “day of visitation” written by Peter is the judgment day, but how would these “glorify God” then?  The key is to recognize that these Gentiles were speaking evil of Christians at first; but as they saw their good works and character of the Christian, they were acceptable to the gospel. So, when the “day of visitation” comes, they indeed would be so thankful that Christians had lived a distinct life of example in front of them.  James MacKnight described it this way:  “It is well known, that the patience, fortitude, and meekness, with which the first Christians bare persecution for their religion, and the forgiving disposition which they expressed toward their persecutors, made such an impression on the heathen who were witnesses to their sufferings, that many of them glorified God by embracing the gospel.” (James MacKnight, Apostolic Epistles, Vol. 5, p. 459)  Marshall Keeble asked a very important question when he said “How you going to convert your neighbor drinking with him?”  Are we influencing others to obey the gospel by, or in spite of, our influence or daily living? 

Tom Winter Butterfield used to say “Brethren, let’s go to haven, but let’s ALL go!”  We are journeying through this world and onto the next.  How we live here will determine where we will be there.  Where do you want to be?


Dana, M. S. B., “A Pilgrim and A Stranger,” The Northern Harp – Consisting of Original Sacred and Moral Songs, New York:  Dayton & Saxton, 1842, pp. 54-55

Howard, V. E., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.

“Mary S. B. Shindler.” No pages. Cited 25 February, 2017. Online:

“Mary Stanley Bunce Dana Shindler.”  No pages. 25 February, 2017. Online:

“Mary S. B. Dana Shindler.” No pages. Cited 25 February, 2017. Online:

“Mary Stanley Palmer Shindler.” No pages. Cited 25 February, 2017. Online:

Wiegand, John P., Editor. Praise for the Lord. Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hymns & Hymn Writers: We Shall See The King Some Day by David R. Kenney

There are two hymns in V. E. Howard’s Church Gospel Songs & Hymns by L. E. Jones:  “There is Power in the Blood” and “We Shall See the King Some Day”.  This song’s date is 1906.

Lewis Ellington Jones (1878-1917), Lyricist & Composer

There is conflicting information about personal details of Lewis Jones on the Internet.  For example, some sources mistakenly state his middle name as Edgar.  His name is actually Lewis Ellington Jones.  He was born in Yates City, IL.  Some sources state his date of birth as February 8, 1865; however, his tombstone has 1878.  Some sources state he died September 1, 1936 in Santa Barbara, CA; but his tombstone has 1917.

Supposedly, he was a Baptist and classmate of Billy Sunday at the Moody Bible Institute.  He worked with the YMCA while it was designed to provide refuge for young men to study the Bible and engage in prayer.  Jones’ work with this organization would take him to Davenport, IA; Fort Worth, TX; and Santa Barbara, CA. 

While “There Is Power in the Blood” was his most published hymn according to, the song “We Shall See The King Some Day” was popular too.  It was the second most published hymn of his composing career (as counted by  Jones also wrote under pseudonyms including:  Lewis Edgar, Edgar Lewis, and even Mary Slater. 

His grave marker is located in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Altoona, Etowah County, Alabama and reads:

Lewis Ellington Jones
Author of
There Is Power in the Blood
We Shall See the King Some Day
And other songs

An ancestry site, which has the correct dates, reports he married Mary Scott (1879-1954), and they had one daughter named Beulah Mae Jones.

We Shall See The King Some Day

Life is a journey.  Some journeys are shorter than others.  Some journeys are more difficult than others.  Some journeys start out hard, but matters improve over the course.  Some journeys start out easy, but adversities arise.  Life is a journey, but where are we headed?

Some think that the grave is the final destination; however, they are very much mistaken.  The one who went into the grave, came out, seen by witnesses, and ascended to heaven removes all doubt that the grave is not our final destination.  This One taught:  “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29, NKJV.)

For some, this reality may be something they dread or fear, but not for the Christian.  The chorus re-emphasizes this point:  “We shall see the King some day. We will shout and sing some day.”  It will be a great reunion with others of God’s family:  "There with all the loved ones who have gone before.”  I look forward to that day; although I enjoy life among loved ones present.  Life is a gift of God, both now and eternal life. 

It is a tragedy for those who refuse to obey the gospel, and their loss will be a source of pain and anguish.  That being said, think of all the redeemed from all the ages who will be there in heaven.  You would not want to miss that number!  Often, I am at a loss of words of comfort for those who have lost those who never obeyed the gospel.  My heart aches for them, it aches for me when it happens in my life too.  I do not understand how God can remove the sorrow we will feel for those whom we have lost, but I have hope and confidence in these words:  “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4, NKJV.)  The phrase is also repeated:  “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:16-17, NKJV.)

We shall see the King some day, but are you ready for that day?


Howard, V. E., and Broadus E. Smith, eds.  Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX:  Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.

“Lewis E. Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online:

“Lewis Edgar Jones.”  No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online:

“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online:

“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online:

Wiegand, John P., Editor. Praise for the Lord. Nashville, TN:  Praise Press, 1997.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

50 Years Old & Some Reflections

The picture on the left is from my 16th Birthday Party.  The lady to my right is our good friend, Mary Baugh.  This was at their house on Belaire Drive in Centralia, IL on December 23, 1982.  I am holding a WW2 bayonet at the ready to cut my birthday cake proudly wearing my KWK shirt (a FM radio station now defunct.)  Mary's son, Wade, gave it to me the bayonet for the picture.  He wanted me to feel good about the occasion.  It should have been a wonderful time, and it was in ways.  But it was actually a difficult time for our family when I was celebrating my 16th birthday because my mother was in St. Mary's Hospital as Dr. Moore was trying to figure out what was happening with her body.  She had been having numbness in her legs and other symptoms.  She had a battery of tests, some of them quite painful.  The diagnosis came as a process of elimination, as I recall it.  I was there when my dad told her in our living room on Ridge Road:  "You have Multiple Sclerosis."  As soon as the words had passed his lips, he wept so loud and hard that it startled me.  I have never forgotten it. 

While I was trying to enjoy turning 16 with some friends assembled, my mother was lying on a hospital bed.  What was going through her mind?  One thing she later told me of that time period--"My biggest regret was that I was unable to make your birthday cake."  Imagine her world totally in a blizzard of uncertainty, and she is missing the opportunity of making a birthday cake for me!  A mother's love knows no bounds!

The picture on the right is from my 50th Birthday Party on December 23, 2016.  My mother made a cake called "Texas Sheet Cake" per my request.  This was a special birthday cake to me not knowing whether or not we would be together on this day.  I told my son (and daughter):  "I can remember, like it was yesterday, turning 16.  I now know what it is like to be 16 and 50; but you only know what it is like to be turning 16.  You cannot see 50, but you need to be preparing and keeping yourself prepared for that day when it comes.  And, although it may not be pleasant to think about, prepare in case it never comes."  Life has been filled with triumphs and tragedies.  Some of the tragedies have been hard to bear, but through it all I believe God has been there.  I received wonderful cards and gifts from my wife and children.  Messages from dear friends.  I was able to have an excellent meal with my family, and actually able to attend the newly released Star Wars film "Rogue One".  I can remember being 16 and waiting anxiously on the first Star Wars trilogy to come out.  Now, five more of these movies have hit the big screen.  The early films took FOREVER to arrive, but now these are on DVD and can be purchased for very little money in second hand shops.  I can get the VHS copies for pennies before they hit the trash now.

Time has a way of changing things whether or not you want them changed.  Some would like for things to never change, but time overrules such desires.  We do not know what our futures may hold which is why it is so important we put our futures, our eternal future, in the hands of the One who can keep it safe and secure.  I am moving into the phase of life where I can see clearly people leaving the world I love, and people coming into and up in the world I love.  There are times of weeping and times of rejoicing.

Turning 50 was a great blessing.  Having my mother with me to make my cake, well that was the icing on the cake!  I could not foresee this day, but it has now come, and gone.  Time marches on.  To what drum beat are we marching?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

30 Years of Preaching by Warren F. Kenney Remarks by David R. Kenney

The event was held in Inwood, WV on July 31, 1999.  Family and friends gathered to pay honor to my father, Warren F. Kenney, for preaching the gospel for 30 years.  I was one of the speakers that evening.  Dad is seated to my left next to my mother.  It was a wonderful day for him and for us. 

As I continue to search through files, pictures, and records, I came across dad's copy of this photograph and my remarks.  Dad passed away on January 8, 2015, two years ago.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday but in other ways it seems like years ago.  Precious memories are indeed precious, but memories fall short.  Honor and cherish the ones who deserve such, and be sure to make sure they know you love, honor, and cherish them while you have the opportunity.
Jesus illustrating the value of the kingdom stated:  "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field"  (Matt 13:44, NKJV.)
Our proximity to the great treasure has been due to various factors.  Some of us were born into a family that owned such a field and were blessed to live with the truth all of our lives such as Hazel, Sherry, and I.  Some of us married someone who had this great treasure and reaped the benefits of it.  Others had friends who possessed this treasure and shared it with us.  Finally, some of us had the treasure shown to us by those willing to proclaim it to all who would listen.  Tonight, we honor my father who has shared this treasure in all the ways above.  We will have remarks from some who have labored to share this treasure with him over the past 30 years.  Tonight, we honor his 30 years of service and his ten years of service at Martinsburg as well.
My father was born July 1944 in Monroe County, Ohio.  He is a 1970 graduate of the Nashville School of Preaching.  Over the past 30 years he has labored with congregation in Linville, TN; Barbour County, WV; Barnseville, OH; New Philadelphia, OH; Weirton Heights, WV; Centralia, IL; and Martinsburg, WV. 

There have been good times and bad times along the way.  He has taught children and seen them grow to be Christians.  He has taught adults and seen them grow to become Christians.  He has counseled when asked.  He has performed several wedding ceremonies.  He has been called upon to visit the sick even till death, and then he has been called upon for words of consolation for those of us who remain.  He has traveled far and often for the purpose of preaching the gospel.  He has seen people fall away from the faith and has tried to bring them back.  He as appointed elders and deacons and supported the same.  He has received words of constructive criticism, not so constructive criticism, praise, adoration, and love.  He has seen his family grow and struggle to grow.
My father has been a gospel preacher for 30 of my 32 years.  That is almost 94 percent of my life and 100 percent of my recollection.  I have seen him go through this life as a preacher who always wanted what was best for the church.  There has never been a time when I wished he was anything but a gospel preacher.  I am thankful to God for both of my parents who gave to us the greatest of treasures--a Christian home.