Leroy Garrett in the Arms of Jesus

LeroyGarrettI was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Leroy Garrett, a spiritual giant among the Churches of Christ.

Edward Fudge writes,

In his 2003 autobiography, A Lover’s Quarrel: My Pilgrimage of Freedom Within Churches of Christ, he recalls his year at Freed-Hardeman with gratitude and affection, relating special kindnesses shown him by the college’s namesake and then-president, famed Churches of Christ debater, N. B. Hardeman. Years later, a different president at Freed- Hardeman (H.A. Dixon) had Garrett arrested and charged with “disturbing the peace” when, in defiance of orders from the administration, he accepted the invitation of some ministerial students to discuss religious issues with them in their dorm.

I have read and re-read Garrett’s monumental, definitive history of the Restoration Movement: The Stone-Campbell Movement: The Story of the American Restoration Movement. Other than Murch’s Christians Only: A History of the Restoration Movement, no one else has come close to writing such a truthful, insightful history of our movement.

For many years, Garrett published the Restoration Review and otherwise advocated for change in the Churches of Christ. He was a friend of Carl Ketcherside, and together they worked to establish a better understanding of grace and to end division in the Churches. I’m sad he didn’t live long enough to see an end of our divisiveness, but pleased he lived long enough to see many of the changes he pushed for find fertile ground within the Churches.

A memorial service will be held at Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton,Texas on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

He’ll be greatly missed.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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7 Responses to Leroy Garrett in the Arms of Jesus

  1. Jim H says:

    Leroy’s “quarrels” with the brethren he loves is over, and his crown awaits. He, along with KC Moser were great mentors to me in my own struggle of legalism to grace. Leroy has been giving away many of his books in his library over the years. In a phone conversation several years ago while discussing the oral law, I mentioned our tribe has its own legalistic oral “laws” and “fences,” and what he called our “Big T” traditions and our “little t” traditions, as do all denominations. He said he had a book he wanted me to have. Several days later I received his personal copy of the Mishna. Sadly he along with Moser and Ketcherside were vilified by many of our legalistic brethren for many years, but that did not deter them.

  2. Richard constant says:

    I’m going to have a couple of questions on this my friend.
    and I have to go to work this morning with my boys.
    So since they do most of the work and I do most of the talking and they tell me to leave when I leave I’ll ask you a couple of ” why does it say then”

  3. Richard constant says:

    You know sort of kind of like.
    A couple of loose ends so to speak.
    I’m sure you’re looking forward to this blessings J he said laughingly

  4. Richard constant says:

    And hot dog oh boy I just found one of my old Bibles unfortunately it’s not the one that I used to use that was the King James this is a new American Standard so that’s what I’ll be coming out of as far as what I’m going to versus that I’ll throw at you okie dokie

  5. John says:

    In my days at Harding during the seventies I spent much time in the library reading the bound issues of Restoration Review; some of that time I should have been studying for classes. But Restoration Review and Mission Messenger were fascinating journals; I learned much. One thing I learned was to not be afraid to keep on reading, to let my circle keep expanding until it was no longer a circle, but a great horizon waiting to be explored.

  6. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:



    I discovered a bound volume of several years of Mission Messenger in my church library. I found Ketcherside brilliant on questions of grace and fellowship — and ridiculously narrow regarding the church treasury and Sunday school classes. He was anti-institution and anti-Bible classes and anti-hireling minister — and yet deeply insightful regarding grace and fellowship — a powerful lesson in itself.

    And that introduced me to Leroy Garrett, esp. his Stone-Campbell Movement history — which is much truer to what really happened than most other histories from the CoC until recently. In fact, I learned that many Restoration Movement histories were less than honest — largely by being very selective in what parts of the story they told.

    We all owe both men a great debt of gratitude.

  7. Profile photo of josh josh says:

    I’m happy I was able to meet Leroy a few years ago at ACU’s Summit. He was taking part in a class about Carl Ketcherside along with Carl’s son & daughter. Leroy came around and spoke with everyone in the classroom and was very interested in why they’d come to this class. Later Carl’s daughter (I believe her name was Sue) sent everyone in the class the complete set of her father’s writings. I was astonished.

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