On December 10, 2021 Kentucky suffered the deadliest tornado event in its history (78 died). Thousands of homes were devastated. The building of the Maple Hill Church of Christ is very near some of the damaged homes.
For members of churches of Christ, we would let you know that our elders have agreed to receive funds from those who want to help with the relief efforts. We will provide reports of the funding to those who help.
Checks marked in the MEMO: “for Tornado Relief,” can be sent to: Maple Hill Church of Christ, 3960 Scale RD, Benton, KY 42025-7875.
We have been supplying hot evening meals to some in our area who are staying in their damaged homes. It will be our intention to help in other ways as opportunities continue to present.
UPDATE: We have heard from one of the families we have been serving that the Maple Hill Church of Christ, and churches of Christ, in general, have been the most helpful in tornado relief of anyone on their road. We give all the glory to God. Our brethren in Marshall County and Graves County have done much to relieve human suffering during this time. We are thankful to our brethren at Walnut Grove for housing the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team. Also, to the Northside and Seven Oaks congregations in Mayfield for all of the good work that has been done! And to many brethren who have contributed financially and in many other ways to spread the love of Christ in our community.
One of many remarkable things about the Maple Hill Church of Christ is that over the past 40 years of its existence, it has had only three preachers. From a preacher’s perspective, at least, it says something positive about a congregation when the congregation keeps the preacher around for a while. By far, the preacher who stayed longest as preacher at Maple Hill was Ralph Rudolph. He preached for 19 years at Maple Hill. His son, Keith, is still a member of the congregation.
There were many admirable things about Ralph Rudolph. He was a friend of mine. I loved him and had much respect for his love of the truth. He has gone on to his reward and I miss having him around. He loved the Bible, and he was a great defender of it and of the doctrine of Christ. When he read something that he felt dishonored the Bible or in some way attacked Bible doctrine he was unafraid to speak up in opposition to it. The Bible teaches Christians to give a defense of that which we believe (1 Peter 3.15).
One evidence of Ralph’s defense of the faith involved his reaction to an article that appeared in The Paducah Sun, back on February 27, 1983. It was an article from a professor at Murray State. I have recently been shown this article and thought it would be good to present it here on this site. Ralph points out in his “Letter to the Editor,” that he agreed with MOST of the statements in the article from Professor Cartwright. I think the paragraph which caused him to respond was: “‘Humanism is a word that is largely misunderstood today. Some people seem to think it is anti-religion or impractical and I strongly disagree,’ said Cartwright.” Ralph wrote: “He implies that humanism is not anti-religion by stating that some think that it is.” Bible-loving people need to know about humanism and Ralph provided some quotations from Humanist Manifesto 1 and 2 in his reaction to the implied defense of humanism.
It is entirely possible that if many more Christians had studied humanism and spoken up on similar occasions like Ralph did (back in 1983, in this article), some of the present difficulties being experienced in our society could have been avoided. I have scanned Ralph’s article and you can read his reaction by clicking H-E-R-E.
Thanks to our young techno-expert, Davis Myers, we are now live-streaming our services at Maple Hill, on Facebook.
IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT MAPLE HILL SERVICES…
I have just met with our elders and we have discussed the problems in dealing with the Coronavirus and the government’s request to cancel meetings of more than ten people. They have asked me to pass on this information. Our elders and your preacher are in agreement that we must assemble on the Lord’s Day. All Satan would need to destroy the Maple Hill church is to get us to quit assembling. At the same time we also understand the importance of yielding to civil authorities (Romans 13) where possible. We are a pro-life people and the request from the government is not out of hatred of Christianity or to stop us from worshiping our God, but rather from pro-life concerns. We certainly understand that concern in this present situation. If there is some way to take heed to both of these mandates, that would seem to me to be the ideal.
We think we have found a suitable way to do both. The elders have decided to cancel Wednesday Bible Study, Sunday Evening Assemblies, and Bible Classes on Sunday mornings temporarily. Thus, there will be no Bible Study tomorrow night. We will certainly be returning to our regular schedule just as soon as it is wise to do so. The meals on Wednesday nights will likewise be put on hold (Linda has been notified).
With the new annex facility, we have the ability to assemble 20 people and still be in compliance because ten can meet in the auditorium and ten in the annex at one time and still be part of one assembly by means of the wired-speaker that connects the two rooms. Your preacher will be preaching four times this coming Sunday. We will be having four complete worship services. On Thursday you will be contacted and given an opportunity to indicate which service you prefer to attend (9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and for those unable to come earlier, there will be a 6:30 p.m. service.
Of course this arrangement is not what we would prefer at all. At the same time it is an arrangement which can work for us temporarily. We all need to be responsible and careful to cooperate in the battle against the spread of this deadly virus to the best of our ability. I and our elders ask for your cooperation to make it through this period as best we can.
We also are working on plans to share some video teaching on Wednesday nights through our website. More on that later.