James W. Adams And The Akin Foundation

By James D. Yates

I have known and appreciated Jim and Gertie for over thirty years, having become acquainted with them in 1955 as they moved to San Antonio to begin their work with the West Avenue church. Much of my foundation knowledge of God’s Word came from his splendid teaching abilities and their outstanding example of the Christian’s manner of life. I had been a Christian for over eighteen years by 1955, but became a Christian with conviction after sitting at the feet of Roy Cogdill, Jim Adams and Robert Turner, as they provided the highest quality of teaching and example.

We have continued to communicate, and my love and appreciation of them has grown to maturity. Jim and Gertie serve the God of heaven and his church well. They have at all times insisted, in humility, that their students and hearers develop an obedient faith without compromise. He has been one of the most able writers in the church and has used this talent effectively. Many have benefitted from his efforts. He was editor of the Gospel Guardian when it merged with Truth Magazine to become the Guardian of Truth as we know it today. All of this effort was expended without compensation other than “some of” his expenses were reimbursed.

His teaching, writing and manner of life is worthy and commendable, but his special service to the cause of Christ that resulted from the trusteeship of the Akin Foundation is what I want to address, so the record can be straight and clear.

Brother and sister John W. Akin established the foundation nearly 40 years ago to provide contributions to churches of Christ, after they were deceased and unable to function. Brother Adams was one of the early trustees, handpicked by brother Akin himself, because of his complete confidence in Jim. He served in that capacity for nearly 30 years, often at great personal cost and sacrifice. During the later period of this service, a cloud descended on the Akin Foundation due to the questionable actions of one of its trustees. The Dallas County District Attorney, the State Attorney General and the IRS thoroughly investigated the charges which eventually resulted in a complete and total exoneration of any wrongdoing by brother Adams. This investigation was so complete that there are few of us who could stand that depth of investigation without any charge of wrongdoing whatsoever, but James W. Adams did. Those of us who know him were not surprised; but, although in America we are innocent until proven guilty, some of his brethren pronounced him guilty and grieved that it was not so. Even the District Judge who heard this case told me personally that Mr. Adams was an “honorable man and without any guilt whatsoever.” An Assistant Attorney General also made a similar statement to me.

Jim and Gertie are of the truest and finest stock. They are devoted to each other and to the cause of Christ. In my judgment, they have no peers and few equals. They deserve this special issue of commendation, although I am confident that it will embarrass them. Roy Cogdill said of Jim Adams, “He is one of the most able and thorough students of God’s Word. If I had to debate a subject, without adequate time to research it, I would go to the pulpit with Jim Adams’ research and defend it without fear, having full confidence in its truthfulness.” I feel exactly the same way! He is a giant in the kingdom and has been so ably assisted by his beautiful and good wife. May he and his kind abound. I thank God that he has been my teacher and my friend.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 23, p. 722
December 3, 1987