Michigan Churches of Christ
Leaders & Concerned Brethren Breakfast
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." ---Psalm 133
A HISTORY OF THE LEADERS AND CONCERNED BRETHREN'S GROUP
Called together in October 1972 by Bro. O.A. Johnson, a group of area church leaders which included Brothers John R. Flowers, Orum L. Trone, Sr, Earl J. Crocker, Isaac Cathey, John H. Mayberry and Carl E. Swanigan became the organization's charter officers. ...
... Others who attended that initial meeting are listed below. It will be noted that many who were in attendance with us on that occasion are no longer among us but are in God's realm of waiting anticipating the Lord's glorious return. Our debt is great to them and also to those servants who later joined our ranks and performed significant tasks.
In our building process, those invited to work with us had a few basic questions to which they desired answers. They wanted to know what kind of group it was and what was it to do? Our answer has always been that it is an organization which is evidenced by officers for stability, order and perseverance. Its purpose was and remains to provide structure and a forum whereby matters of the church may be discussed in order to reach consensuses based on Scripture. The hallmark of the group's reason for existence has been to endeavour "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). So pronounced has been that mission of LCB the scripture (Psalm 133:1) was early in our existence adopted as our theme. The theme: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." Any group which has purposes and goals often asks itself, "How well are we doing what we are suppose to be doing?" In every area of trial the desired level of accomplishment has not been achieved. But, thank God as we surveyed our achievements, we were assured that the will of God has been done.
Another concern voiced regarded the nature of the group. The group has been quick to respond that it can maintain its integrity and serve as a unifying force within the brotherhood without blurring the lines which distinguishes each congregation as an autonomous entity within the body of Christ. Leaders and Concerned Brethren cannot speak for the church. It can do anything within the power it does have to cause Christ's prayer for unity of believers to have reality. (LCB) is devoted to dialogue which encourages talking with each other rather than
at or about each other.
LCB from its beginning has been a body gathering, evaluating and dispensing of information. This has taken the form of lectures, filmstrips and videos, papers or treatises, and sermons. Subjects touched upon Christian living including lessons on marriage and remarriage, the Christian and Armed Services, Abortion, etc. It has received information regarding children's homes, higher education and the Christian disaster relief and other concerns.
The group has disavowed the role of fundraising. However, its members have demonstrated distinct generosity. It has raised money for the group's mailing purposes and consistently there has been considerable surplus. In order not to build a large treasure, Southwestern Christian College, Rochester College Luckett Christian Academy, Midwestern Christian Institute along with Michigan Christian Youth Camp, 911 Protects and other institutions have been
The Michigan State Lectureship has been one of the most distinctive undertakings to emerge from the group. Its meeting has served as communications center of information furnished by committees composed of congregational leaders or their designees. Individual members have been great encouragers of lectureship and indispensable in the dissemination of information concerning it. It is often truly stated that the history of the Michigan Lectureship parallels the history of the Leaders and Concerned Brethren's Group of Michigan. The group began October 1972 and the first lectureship took place from May 24th through May 26th, 1974 and was hosted by the North Broadway congregation in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. It sought the cooperative effort of all brethren throughout Michigan. A more comprehensive account of the Michigan Lectureship is available upon request from Earl Crocker or Carl E. Swanigan.
Bro. John R. Flowers was a charter member of the group whose much used wisdom has been invaluable to its accomplishments. He is now celebrating his ___ year of life. Those present at the first meeting of LCB were O.A. Johnson, O.L. Trone, Jesse Bishop, Jr., Herbert Terrell, R.L. James, Charlie O. Tucker, Earl J. Crocker, James E. Thompson, Isaac Cathey, John R. Flowers, James Black, Ray Jennings, John Honey, Alex Davenport, Joseph Lewis and Willie Johnson.
Leaders and Concerned Brethren have enjoyed steady growth, now numbering 50-60 men per meeting. In October we celebrated our 32 years of meetings. Our prayer is that another 32 years and more will be forth coming, with the bearing of much fruit in the Master's vineyard.
Carl E. Swanigan
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