William Ellmore remembers J. W. McGarvey

Reminiscences of Bro. J. W. McGarvey.

“In response to your request I will say that I regard President McGarvey as the best teacher I ever knew; the best preacher I ever heard, as the best scholar the Reformation has produced. For information correct, important, presented in the fewest words, and in the plainest way, McGarvey was the man. The spirit, too, which breathed through his words was truly refreshing. Future generations will assign him a place above Campbell. Outside the family, I think he has had more influence over my life than all other men combined. Wm. Ellmore. “Bismarck, Ill.”

Alfred Ellmore, Sermons, Reminiscences Both Pleasant and Sad, and Silver Chimes. Austin: Firm Foundation Publishing House, 1914, page 154.

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Ben J. Elston remembers J. M. McGarvey

Reminiscences of Bro. J. W. McGarvey.

After the death of bro. McGarvey many of the students were asked to give a statement setting forth their estimate of the great man.  And my boys having been students under him three to four years, were called upon for a statement.

“‘Let no man glory in man,’ But for this prohibition I could easily have chosen Bro. McGarvey as my man.  Knowing my incompetence, I forbear all judgment.  To his own Lord he standeth or falleth.  Uniformly kind and helpful to me, I remember him with unmingled gratitude, and all the love of which I am capable.  He instructed me three full sessions, beginning in 1889.  A rather natural suspicion that he might err occasionally was almost entirely dissipated by his masterful marshaling of facts.  Plain, modest, humble as a child, he was simple in his greatness.  Harsh critics of McGarvey have neither my sympathy nor my vision.  I have wept with those who weep for him.  Ben J. Elston.  “Harper, Kan.”

Alfred Ellmore, Sermons, Reminiscences Both Pleasant and Sad, and Silver Chimes. Austin: Firm Foundation Publishing House, 1914, page 153.

Ben J. Elston is A. Ellmore’s son-in-law.  Ben would later write for R. H. Boll’s Word and Work a little column called “Ben’s Budget.”  Both Ellmore and Elston are in 1914, and were in 1911 when John William McGarvey passed from this life to the next, living out their ministries among the conservative Disciples…Churches of Christ.  It is interesting to me to see who among Churches of Christ remembers McGarvey and what they say when speaking of him.   Ellmore includes a second letter, from William Ellmore, which I shall reproduce here tomorrow.