William R. John
I Although it has taken a few years, I have come to realize that the most important thing to my spiritual well being, second only to those things recorded in the Bible, is the heritage I have received as a Christian from those who have walked before me in both the 19th and 20th centuries. I shudder to think about the condition of my soul today if there had not been men willing to take a stand against false doctrine and erroneous ideas say 100, 50, 25, or even 10 years ago. In the 19th century and the early part of this one, there were such men as Jacob Creath, Jr., Tolbert Fanning, and David Lipscomb, to name only a few, who courageously stood against the 44 wiles of the devil" when it was unpopular to do so. However, if you have become an elder, deacon, preacher, teacher, or especially a Christian within the last ten years, you need to know about a man of the caliber mentioned above, but a man also of our time.
William Wesley Otey was born on March 14, 1867 and because of having lived in the previous century he undoubtedly was a direct recipient of the heritage we are mentioning. But the important thing that I see in surveying his life as I am able to know it, rests in the fact that he was unwilling to let this heritage die within him, but rather he insisted upon extending it to others. The courageous stand which we have mentioned, the vibrant spirit contending for what is right, and the 64 never say die" attitude for the cause of Christ; these were all a part of W. W. Otey and he carried these things with him into the century in which we are now living. Wherever he went; in Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, or wherever,, that heritage was always displayed.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic moments in his life, but one that emphasizes quite well what we are discussing, is when the aging brother had a pencil taped to his wrist in order to type an article because his fingers had become too stiff to write or type. The heritage received was the heritage displayed until he breathed his last breath on November 1, 1961. You will be benefited by reading about the complete life of this brother in Christ. The book entitled "W. W, Otey: Contender for the Faith" can be ordered from Truth Magazine Book Store, Box 7598 Orlando, Florida 32804. However, if the author will pardon me, I must say that if you cannot buy it, borrow it, but please read it.
As well as those who have passed from this life, there are those older in the faith that have been willing to share with us what they have received. Between now and the dawn of another century, if God wills that the world stand until then, the responsibility of sharing that heritage with others will be placed squarely upon the shoulders of those who are comparatively young in the faith at the present time. As we live some nine years after Otey, souls yet unborn depend upon our remembering and displaying the heritage given to us by brethren of years gone by. May God forbid us to forget what we have received.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 44, p. 9
September 17, 1970