By Raymond C. Fudge
In years past the analogy of the old work horse would be easily understood. When the old horse that has toiled for years for his master pulling the plow, milk wagon, or some other implement becomes too aged and feeble, there be-came two choices of action. The master could put the old horse out to pasture, taking care of the one who had so tirelessly worked the fields. Or, the master could discard the old horse and send him to the glue factory.
What of the old preachers who have plowed the fields of the kingdom? Those who have followed and done the watering? Are they to be discarded, or are they to be taken care of in their declining days before going to meet their Master?
My father, Roy S. Fudge, has spent his adult lifetime plowing, sowing, and watering in the kingdom of God. God has been merciful and given much to Mama and Daddy. I really don’t know just when Daddy began preaching. It was at least in the forties. I came along in 1950. We have lived in almost all the southern states from Florida to California. Many places Daddy went to, knowing they could not support us. Finding support can sometimes be difficult to impossible.
When one is obtaining support from various places there is rarely any left over for savings or investments. I don’t remember Daddy ever having a savings account. Not to say he didn’t, I never knew of it if he did.
Age Daddy will be 77 as of April 1997 and Mama will be 71 in September. He has, hopefully, several more years left to work in the Master’s service. Yet, his service must be tempered, and curtailed compared to what is has been.
Health Daddy’s health isn’t what it used to be. His voice no longer projects well without the aid of a public address system. His hearing is such, that even with his hearing aid, he is not able to understand much of what is said in a class room situation.
Situation Concerning Income
No Source of Income Back in the forties, Daddy elected to sign a waiver so as to not pay into the Social Security system. At that time preachers were allowed to do this as a matter of conscience. The results are the waiver is a non-revocable instrument and now there can be no Social Security income. Most of us have the idea that Social Security will assist in our retirement. That isn’t true of those who years ago put their faith in God to take care of them throughout their life. How many of us today would choose this path?
No Savings As I mentioned earlier, there has been no savings and no investments. Many churches in years past felt it wasn’t proper for a preacher to be paid “too much” or have savings. A preacher with investments was considered a little too worldly for some congregations. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” If it was some-thing that may cause a brother to stumble, it was to be refrained.
Daddy is presently preaching in Pulaski, Tennessee. Some of the members there, as has happened to many other “older” preachers in recent years, have decided they need a younger “family” man. Daddy will be leaving by the first of June. Where will he go? We don’t know. How will he be sup-ported in his latter years? We don’t know.
Children’s Ability and Responsibility
Daddy and Mother have six children, of which I am the oldest. There are only two or three of us in any financial condition to assist in providing for our parents. We all have children in school. Yet, we are well aware of the admonition of Paul to Timothy, “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5:8).
Our parents are nowhere near needing a nursing home, nor do they want to be a burden by moving in with any of us.
Daddy would prefer to live in the Cullman area. He is able to preach on a part time basis. He hopes to be in a community where he can have home studies. He has al-ways been good and effective with one-on-one teaching.
I, Raymond C. Fudge, do hereby make an appeal to the brotherhood not to discard the old work horse. Please assist us, the children, to fulfill the obligation of taking care of and providing for one who has so earnestly fought the good fight of faith. There are several congregations presently sup-porting Daddy in his work in Pulaski. Some have assisted in the past several places he has been over the past ten years or so. It may be they can continue to assist. May God bless us all as we strive to do his will.
If you are in a position to assist, contact Daddy directly. Roy S. Fudge, 833 W. Madison, Pulaski, TN 38478, phone 615-363-5424. After the first of June 1997, call me for their new address and phone number. I can be reached at 205-647-5032.
1192 County Highway 45, Hayed, AL 35079
A Few Added Comments on
Roy S. Fudge
I have just read an advance copy of the article by Raymond Fudge regarding his father, Roy S. Fudge. With Mike Willis’ permission, I would like to add a few comments.
When I was a young man growing up in Belle Glade, Florida, brother Roy S. Fudge preached for us. The liberals in the church found an occasion to call a business meeting while most conservative brethren were out of town and fired brother Fudge, giving him only a few days to vacate the preacher’s house. He was fired because he opposed the institutional apostasy of the day and was not afraid to preach on it. I still remember how he spoke the truth in love. When the conservative brethren returned and found what had happened, they met with all the men and pled on the basis of compassion that brother Fudge be given a more reasonable time frame to move, since it was not possible to reverse the decision firing him. He had a wife and several children. If I remember right, the liberal element finally conceded to give him one month! Imagine such conduct in the name of promoting “benevolence!”
So far as I know, brother Fudge has continued to faith-fully preach the gospel through the years. Our paths have crossed from time to time. Bennie Lee Fudge was his brother. During the controversy with Bennie Lee’s son, Edward, not only did Bennie Lee express to me and others his sorrow over the direction Ed was going, but also Roy never wavered in his loyalty to the truth and never defended Ed’s errors. When I preached in a gospel meeting in Athens, Alabama a few months ago, some brethren were unhappy with my warnings about some dangerous trends during re-cent years, but brother Fudge drove from Pulaski, Tennessee to attend the meeting and to offer his support and encouragement with reference to such preaching.
I hope his move goes well and that he obtains adequate support. (Ron Halbrook, 654 Gray St., West Columbia, Texas 77486)
Guardian of Truth XLI: 9 p. 5-6
April May 1, 1997