It is a blessing to be in a family of preachers. Though the men in my personal heritage have not necessarily been well-known to our entire brotherhood, their faithfulness and steadiness has proven exemplary to me. Three uncles are or have been gospel preachers for several decades. A cousin is a Bible professor in one of our Christian colleges. His father was a preacher in the Atlanta area for many years. My brother, brother-in-law, and father-in-law all preach.
My father, who has been preaching the gospel for 50 years, has started a program called “Carolina Outreach” to try and help struggling congregations in the Carolinas. There are scores of congregations in both states doing all they can to keep open their doors. Of course, like so many works, he is in great need of financial help to aid his ability to do this (the work is overseen by the North Charleston congregation in Charleston, South Carolina).
What is ironic in the most wonderful way is that my dad is standing on the shoulders of another man in our family. My great-grandfather, Gilbert F. Gibbs, worked with T.H. Burton to establish the “first congregation of present churches of Christ in South Carolina” and “directly or indirectly had part in most now there” (from a tract published about him in Lawrenceburg, TN, in 1970). A 1918 graduate of David Lipscomb, Grandpa Gibbs went to Union, South Carolina, with brother Burton to establish the work there. In 1921, they went and held a tent meeting in Greenville and planted the church there. In both cases, Christians converted in other places moved to South Carolina and found that the church was not in existence in their communities. Grandpa Gibbs did local work in Tennessee and Indiana and did foreign missions in Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and on the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. But perhaps his greatest evangelistic legacy may have been in the Carolinas throughout most of the 1920s.
We don’t think of the Carolinas as a mission field, but it is certainly not part of the Bible belt as we think of it. The need continues to be great to evangelize and edify the church of this part of the world. I can think of no one more capable than my dad. We do not have very many wealthy or famous relatives, but I could not want a better family legacy than I have. Please pray for “Carolina Outreach” and help if you can!