Foy Esco Wallace was born September 30, 1896 and died December 18, 1979. Foy’s father had four sons all of who were preachers. Foy E. Wallace, Jr. was involved in the major controversies confronting the church from 1930s to the 1960s.
Soldier of the Cross chronicles the life of Foy E. Wallace, Jr. with extensive photos, essays, articles about and by brother Wallace. Terry Gardner provides an excellent series of articles that were reprinted from Faith and Facts, which covers brother Wallace’s life from sunrise to sunset.
Foy Wallace will most likely always be remembered for his defense of the truth against the assault of premillennialism. The controversy was started by the speculative writings of R. H. Boll. Foy Wallace accepted a debate challenge by Charles M. Neal, an associate of Boll. Two debates were held one in Winchester, KY and the other in Chattanooga, KY. The first debate was published and Neal abandoned the second debate. Through the debates and writings of Wallace, premillennialism was stopped in its tracks.
Foy Wallace served as editor or staff writer of the Gospel Advocate (1930-1934), original Gospel Guardian (1935-1936), the Firm Foundation (1936-1937), The Bible Banner (1938-1949), and Torch (1950-1951). Wallace also wrote several books including: God’s Prophetic Word, Bulwarks of the Faith, The Mission and Medium of the Holy Spirit, and The Instrumental Music Question.
Foy Wallace was also known for long, extensive sermons. People would travel far and wide to hear brother Wallace preach for as long as 2 to 3 hours. Hugo McCord relays a story of his driving 450 miles to Washington, NC to hear brother Wallace only to have brother Wallace insist that Hugo do the preaching that night!
Foy Wallace conducted gospel meetings across the country. In fact, he had put over 300,000 miles on a 1966 Buick Skylark. A grateful set of contributors raised funds to replace the Wallace’s car with a new Buick in 1974. Wallace’s impact is seen in a several page birthday card for his 83rd (and last) birthday, which was signed from preachers covering 40 states and reads like a “Who’s Who Among Preachers for the Churches of Christ.”
One of the great examples Foy Wallace left for us was his devotion to his wife who suffered from a rare cerebral stroke in 1952. Virgie, his wife, was told she would never walk again but with the efforts of Foy, she would be able to walk with a cane and walker for a while. Foy Wallace took his wife with him on all his meetings. He would bath, dress, and care for her with great devotion. Some say the memory of an old white haired man pushing his wife in a wheel chair will be forever etched in their memories.
Foy E. Wallace, Jr. is buried in Hereford, TX. His stone reads “Soldier of the Cross”. His wife is now buried along his side with the inscription “Faithful Companion”. I have never met Foy E. Wallace, Jr., but I have met his son, Wilson Wallace. One can have a great appreciation of Foy E. Wallace by reading his works. He is one of my heroes and I hope someday to meet him after this life is over.
Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, Vol. 8, No. 10, October 2001, p. 4. Reprinted by permission.