By Keith Sharp
In early December, 1988, Thomas L. West, institutional preacher whom I had debated in 1987, contacted me by telephone about a meeting between institutional and non-institutional brethren similar to the one held in Nashville in 1988.
I was skeptical all along of brother West’s ability to put together a slate of speakers of enough influence to make the meeting worthwhile. My skepticism has been justified.
Thus, the proposed meeting in Florence, Alabama between non-institutional brethren and those of the more conservative persuasion among institutional brethren is now dead.
Earlier this year, claiming he had just about completed a slate of speakers and that he could gain the use of the Florence Boulevard Church of Christ building in Florence, Alabama for the meeting, brother West indicated he had decided to become a “missionary” to Grenada (the island, not Mississippi) and was turning over preparations for the meeting to brother Johnny Polk.
Although I repeatedly contacted brother Polk, he never responded to my contacts. I set a deadline of August I for him to respond in some positive way. Of course, that date has long passed, and I have heard nothing.
A number of good men who oppose the human innovations into the work and organization of the church advocated by institutional brethren had agreed to give of their valuable time and work at their own expense. To you I apologize for the inconvenience you have encountered and thank you for your generous willingness to help.
Since brethren Steve Wolfgang and Roy H. Lanier, Jr. are working on a similar meeting for Dallas in the summer of 1990, there will yet be some promising opportunities to discuss our scriptural differences with brethren who are closer to us in attitudes toward the Scriptures than were the majority of institutional brethren in Nashville in 1988. 1 hope and pray that good comes of the efforts in Dallas.
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 20, p. 614
October 19, 1989