By David D. Bonner
In 1994, Jesse G. Jenkins debated Pat Donahue twice and Christian Garrett once. The first debate was in early May in the building of the Pleasant Grove, Alabama, church. About 300 attended each evening and it was a very cordial discussion with the church there hosting the debate and saints there providing housing and food for the debaters and their moderators. Although all there do not agree on the subject of the covering (1 Cor. 11:2-16), there is no division over this matter. Pleasant Grove is a good church with a good preacher and they are supporting about twenty preachers in the field.
Relative to the Bible study of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, both debaters agree that the passages enjoins long hair on women and short hair for men. Donahue argued the artificial covering for women while praying is the focus of the passage and the woman must wear it at all times when praying (in or out of the assembly). Jenkins argued that subjectivity (v. 3) is the focus of the passage and the covering a woman must wear is the long hair and is worn all the time she shows subjectivity which is all the time. Jenkins argued the word for “covering” (katakalupto) is a word which means a covering that hangs down and after discussing it for about twelve verses the writer finally names it in v. 15 as the hair. He showed the word “covering” in v. 15 is a different word and means a covering that is wrapped around, and the woman’s covering that hangs down (hair) is given her for (anti, instead of) one that is wrapped around.
The debate was repeated in Oklahoma City in the building of the 59th and Santa Fe church in June. This debate was just as cordial and the brethren there fed and housed the debaters and moderators. Little interest in this subject exists in Oklahoma City and the attendance indicated as much.
The last of June and first of July Jenkins debated Christian Garrtett, a young debater with the Pentecostals, in Choctaw, OK, in a large rented hall. The Pentecostals furnished the building and Garrett had challenged any preacher of the church of Christ to meet him in debate. There was only about a week to prepare and since Jenkins has debated this subject several times before, he answered the challenged. Hedge’s Rules of Controversy were not signed and the only rule of conduct was for Garrett’s people not to talk or disturb when Jenkins was debating. As is Jenkins’ custom, he took passage after passage and showed there are three distinct persons in the one God or Godhead. Garrett got up and led a “pep rally” with his people as they showed vocally and bodily their approval of him. Written questions were entertained by both debaters and a host of questions came in.
Garrett had promised at least 200 of his people for the debate, but later changed that to 100, but had fewer than half that attended. A majority of the people present were faithful saints in the area who appreciated the truth Jenkins taught.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 1 p. 25
January 5, 1995