By H. Wayne Jones
It has been my good fortune, personally and spiritually, to have been afforded the opportunity to be associated and to work closely with James W. Adams. I know him to be gracious, kind, dignified, strong in the faith, exemplary in conduct, uncompromising regarding truth, zealous yet humble before Almighty God. Brother Adams has been preaching the gospel of Christ faithfully for more than fifty years and is known throughout the brotherhood of Christians worldwide for his unwavering consistency to the cause of truth. During these fifty plus years, which included a period of great conflict from within that threatened to devour sound doctrine, James W. Adams was – and remains – a great influence among faithful disciples of the Lord.
When brother Adams was editing and publishing The Gospel Guardian magazine and managing the Gospel Guardian bookstore in Lufkin, the elders of the Timberland Drive church determined to establish a library for the benefit and use of its membership. While we emphasize that no elder, teacher, preacher, nor any member of the congregation should completely rely on uninspired books, we do believe they cannot attain a full measure of ability and knowledge without some good books. It was to James Adams we turned for advice and guidance in the important and crucial task of selecting the proper publications which would become the nucleus of this library. Through the years he has continued to guide and counsel on books and tapes added. Since becoming a member and class teacher at Timberland Drive, brother Adams has covered most of the books of the New Testament and some of the Old Testament. He has used an objective approach to the Scriptures, injecting appropriate examples and, on occasions, relating some of his personal experiences through the years. All of these lessons have been recorded to become a part of our permanent tape library.
I know James Adams to be a loving husband, father, grandparent, and true friend. He is sympathetic to the physical and spiritual needs of his brothers and sisters in Christ, quietly and oftentimes unknown to many, making visits and being helpful to the ill and to those needing his teaching or his encouragement and prayers.
After terminating his services with the church at Huntington, Texas brother Adams retired from full-time work as an evangelist. In January of 1985, he and his gracious and lovely wife, Gertrude, placed membership with the Timberland Drive congregation of Lufkin, Texas.
In September, 1985, the elders began a search for an evangelist to fill the vacancy at the Timberland Drive church. We asked brother Adams if he would assume the responsibility of preaching on Lord’s days during this interim. He not only consented to do so but also volunteered his services to write articles for the weekly church bulletin. Enjoying good health and a. vast knowledge of Bible truth gained from much study and experience, he did an outstanding job of preaching and teaching. Also, being one of the most able writers among conservative brethren, his articles in the bulletin covered a wide range of subject matter.
During this period of almost ten months, I am certain there were times he grew physically weary but he never faltered nor complained. He repeatedly assured us he was doing fine and did not feel imposed upon. Rather, he encouraged us, holding up our hands and exhorting us to take our time and be patient, to continue our search with diligence and care until such time as we selected the man we felt to be best qualified for the position.
Brother Adams spends many hours teaching, counseling and exhorting the young evangelists in our locale who are preaching at other area congregations and is assisting in the training program for young men preparing to enter the ministry of the gospel of Christ which was instituted into the program of work at Timberland Drive several years ago, laying before them a pattern of behavior worthy of imitating. (It was on the basis of his personal conviction of doing Bible things by Bible pattern that motivated brother Adams to take his stand for truth on institutional and cooperation issues years ago. The battle for truth continues, i.e., the teaching of the gospel of Christ, to work and worship in accordance with the divine Scripture as recorded in the New Testament.) In his preaching and teaching he often emphasizes the need to follow the Bible pattern in all we do and teach and practice and he exemplifies this belief steadfastly in his daily life. There remains all too few men among conservative churches of Christ today with the high level of scholarship attained by James W. Adams through long years spent in study and writing. It is the good fortune of these young men to have the opportunity to sit at the feet of this distinguished and scholarly man of God in these years of his “retirement.”
James Adams may have retired from full-time work as a located preacher but let me assure one and all that he has not retired in the full sense of the word as he continues daily to work in the Lord’s vineyard. He has been a source of great help and blessing to me and is always there when I need his assistance. Indeed, all members of the Timberland Drive congregation of Lufkin, Texas have been so richly blessed to have a man of his stature working and worshiping with us, along with sister Adams. Brother Adams has undergone much personal persecution and financial loss in past years because of his stand for truth. It is my hope and prayer that in his retirement years as he labors and worships with us at Timberland Drive, he will have peace of mind, body and soul and that he may prosper and be healthy in his September years.
From me to you, James W. Adams, a beloved brother in Christ, thank you and God bless you and yours!
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 23, p. 724
December 3, 1987