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.
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.
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.
Tom House is coming to Benton to preach a series of messages at Maple Hill. On Sunday, his plan is to preach a 3-part series entitled: “God is Our Refuge.” These messages he will preach on Sunday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. During the week, on Monday night, September 24, at 7:00 p.m., Tom will present: “Trusting in the Faithfulness of God.” Finally, on Tuesday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m., the meeting concludes with: “They Shall Never Perish,” a study of John 10.27-28.
Who is Tom House?
Tom House is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman, and has been preaching the gospel for 50 years. He is working with the Plainview congregation in Fulton, Mississippi.
In the past Tom has worked in public service, having served as a police officer for the city of Fulton. He also has served as a Deputy Sheriff for Itawamba County. Significantly, his work there involved lecturing for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness program since 1982. He has presented that material to nearly 41,000 people. In 1993 citizens of the town of Tremont, MS elected him as an alderman. He has served as president of the Tremont PTA and as president of Oakland Rural Community Development Council.
Finally, Tom House is also presently a full-time employee with the United States Postal service, with 31 years of service. If you want something good accomplished, call on a busy man. That is what we have done.
He is married to the former Nina Ruth James of Gadsden, TN. They have two children and four grandchildren.
We are quite confident that the messages Tom will preach will be biblical, edifying, and will produce great good. Our aim is to serve the church and our community with messages from the Bible that promote Christ-like living. Please come hear him preach and tell others about it as well. You can help us get the word out by sharing this post on social media, please. We plan to record the messages and make them available here.
These backpacks are loaded up and ready to help some young person get a good start at school in Marshall County, Kentucky. The folks at Maple Hill Church of Christ are generous. It is our desire to make an impact for good in our community. How thankful we are to Beth Baker for her organization of this effort. Certainly we all are praying for the young people in Marshall County to put forth great effort to learn much in the coming school year. Thankfully, Marshall County has loving, kind, and good teachers in our school system. We know that the young students will use the backpacks well and we thank the Lord that we could help. Above all, our continual prayers will rise to the Father that He will protect them and give them great success. We send these backpacks out with love from Maple Hill.