By Cecil Willis
As readers of this journal know, on July 23, 1986 1 made a public confession of sin in my life before the church at Groveton, Texas, including all of the sins related to my second marriage. The Editor of this journal then asked my permission to publish the statement in this paper, along with some comments about me by O.C. Birdwell. Included in those comments was the suggestion that brethren who had known me write a few words of encouragement.
About three hundred brethren (mostly preachers) wrote me nice letters affirming their brotherly love. Since then I have written about 300 letters in reply, but have not yet answered all of those who wrote me. Literally hundreds of other brethren have spoken similar words of encouragement to me face to face. I want all brethren to know how much their support and forgiveness meant to me.
Every word spoken or written to me has been positive in its nature, except for one document which has been circulated in an effort to destroy my preaching opportunities which affirms that I have taken the Lovelady position on marriage. If that had been true, I would have seen no need to make a public confession of sin in my life. It was alleged that I had read the Smith-Lovelady Debate, and had accepted the position advocated by Brother Lovelady. Such is not the case. The fact is, I have never read the Smith-Lovelady Debate, and certainly do not hold the position defined in the proposition which Brother Lovelady defended. Any representation to the contrary is a misrepresentation.
It is my desire to get back into full-time preaching. I have three gospel meetings scheduled in 1987. 1 may decide to go back into work full-time with some congregation, if the opportunity to do so arises. But be that as it may, I intend to be a full-time Christian.
Thanks again brethren for your many kind, generous, magnanimous and loving remarks which you conveyed to me both orally and through letters, and in the two articles that appeared regarding my restoration to the Lord. I know my heart, and I know that God knows my heart, and hence I stand with the normal amount of fear and trembling before His judgment.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 6, p. 179
March 19, 1987