Homer Hailey

In recounting a parable to the apostles, Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”1 Homer Hailey was one of those men of whom much has been given. Born August 12, 1903 on the family farm near Marshall, Texas, Hailey was a giant during his time. A preacher and teacher of the gospel, he was raised with very little knowledge of religious matters. After a few life changing events, he devoted his life to Christ and went on to learn all he could about the Bible. Over the years, through both his preaching and teaching at Abilene and Florida colleges, he brought many to Christ. His simple, no nonsense manner appealed to people and they came from all over to hear him preach. Indeed, it was his “greatest joy” to stand in the

pulpit and deliver the gospel message.2 Although he found himself in the middle of a few controversial issues over the years, he did his best to avoid them. Instead, he preferred to immerse himself in preaching the gospel. Even while socializing, one man remembered that “It is hard to get into a conversation with Homer, and not get into a Bible conversation.”3 Homer Hailey lived his life to the fullest, not with selfish ambitions, but filled with the selfless desire to spread God’s word, through preaching, teaching and the many books that are his legacy.

Growing up in the time of cowboys and Indians, gunslingers and outlaws, Hailey experienced the adventurous yet simple life of the American frontiersman. He relished the stories he heard from traveling cowboys of life in the Old West, sitting up late into the night with his brother Rob as they told of Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp at the Battle at OK Corral. His days were spent exploring the countryside—climbing cliffs, listening for Apache war whoops, and looking for the tracks of Cochise and Geronimo.4 With heroes like George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and “Stonewall” Jackson, Hailey “imbibed the spirit of the American West,” a theme which followed him his whole life.5 Hailey would look back on this era with fond memories not only of his childhood, but of the simplicity of frontier life.

Hailey was unaware of religious and spiritual matters while a youth, though he was still taught the difference between right and wrong. It was not until he was thirteen years old that he was introduced to the Bible through the hospitality of strangers. On his way to pick up a wagon from his uncle, some seventy-fives miles away from home, an older couple welcomed him in to stay for the night. Before the evening meal, they first read from the Bible and prayed. In doing so, they planted a seed in the young Hailey’s mind that lingered for many years and ultimately began him on a journey which molded him from the “lanky cowboy” he was in his youth, into the “renowned teacher” with which many are familiar.6

In 1918, Hailey’s father succumbed to the flu during the great epidemic that plagued many during the early 1900s. With the untimely death of his father, part of the Old West died as well. The family was not able to attend the funeral as the children had also contracted the flu and Mamie, their mother, tended to their needs. Although Hailey remembered his father in a generally positive light, Mamie later recalled “that as she heard the sound of the wheels of the wagon-hearse passing their home bearing the body of Robert Hailey, the wagon wheels seemed to be saying, ‘I am free. I am free.’”7 His father’s drunkenness and carousing was the cause of much strife between his parents. Still, Hailey fared well in his upbringing.

Being the eldest two children, he and his brother, Rob, dropped out of school and went to work to support the family. He began as a store clerk, learning “how to relate to people and how to sell, talents that served him well in his years as an evangelist.”8 Having worked for several years, he decided the time had finally come to return to high school and finish his degree. He quickly worked through three years of course work, completing it a year early and graduating as valedictorian at the age of 22. Still the unseasoned speaker, Hailey trembled though his graduation address. With graduation behind him, he thought he would be able to focus on his job at the store and his desire to become a forest ranger. Alas, it was not to be.

Several things occurred that became turning points in Homer Hailey’s life that would propel him out of his pioneering endeavors. While inebriated from whiskey he was drinking at a dance, he got into a fight with a man and awoke the next morning sore and embarrassed. He vowed to never let it happen again. The other turning point was the influence of Mrs. Huffman, his employer’s wife. Along with other young men, she encouraged Hailey to attend Bible class on Sundays at the Christian Church, a progressive group of Christians, of which she was a member.9 In 1922, Homer Hailey was baptized. With a zealous spirit for learning, he sat down to read his Bible. He later reflected on the matter, “I didn’t know what I was reading, but I read it through.”10 Mrs. Huffman saw the fervor with which he studied and encouraged Hailey to become a preacher. After some thought and a final indulgence with a bottle of wine on Christmas 1925, Hailey accepted the notion. He left the store behind and moved the family to Abilene, Texas where he began the next four years of his life learning all he could about the Bible.

Hailey spent his days at Abilene Christian College entrenched in all things Bible related. He never let the typical nuances of college life pervade his reason for being there. He stayed away from the social clubs and rarely had time for dating. He mostly spent his time in the Missions Study Class, a group that was “deeply interested in the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of souls.”11 During his first year at ACC, Hailey gathered up the courage to deliver his first sermon. Speaking on the topic of hope, he later recalled the hopelessness with which he delivered it. He had prepared to deliver a forty minute sermon, but ran out of material after only eighteen minutes. The unpolished preacher still had some maturing to do before taking on the harvest. By the end of the first summer, Hailey returned to the little town of Willcox, Arizona and delivered his first gospel meeting to the Willcox Christian Church, where he had been baptized.

The liberalism within the Christian Church pulled at Hailey. The group allowed the use of instrumental music in their services, one of the reasons between the split of the Christian Church and the Churches of Christ in the early 1900s. Hailey decided to sit down and study it. As became a typical Hailey study habit, he never studied a subject until the need arose and once it did he would seclude himself in the privacy of his room and study the issue himself. He concluded that the instrumental music which the Christian Church practiced was indeed unscriptural. Once he had made a decision, he never looked back or questioned himself on it again. The decision made, Hailey began meeting with a Church of Christ group that shunned the use of instrumental music.

Hailey’s preaching skills continued to grow. By the next year, 1928, he became known as one of the “preacher boys from Abilene Christian College who go far and wide to proclaim the gospel.”12 Every month, he would visit with a small circle of churches to practice his preaching. By his senior year, he had become a well spoken and polished preacher, ready to do the work of the Lord. Immediately after graduation in 1930, he set out to preach a round of gospel meetings in Arizona. As would become a habit over the next fifty years, he held gospel meetings every summer. For weeks at a time, he would preach, baptize, and restore souls to Christ. At one point, his summer schedule had to be booked five years in advance in order to obtain a slot, due to the ever increasing popularity of the well-known preacher. He never let his rising fame cloud his judgment, nor was he preferential to what churches he preached at, whether large or small, he took them all the same. “I was in demand everywhere during those days,” Hailey recalled. “I was young. I was vigorous. I was studious. … I fought sin and tried to lead people to the Lord…. I was very popular and had lots of invitations to go places.”13 Like most preachers of the time, he was not concerned with debate and bickering, but with preaching the gospel message and saving souls. Throughout the years, he was responsible for establishing “churches in thousands of cities and villages throughout the United States.”14

In the fall, Hailey married a woman named Lois Manly, who he had met in his senior year of college. In many ways she was the opposite of Hailey. She was a prominent socialite at school, organizing dinner parties and lunch gatherings. While in many ways different from Hailey, fellow preacher G.K. Wallace later wrote of her in the Gospel Guardian that “there was perhaps never a finer and more active Christian young girl than was Lois Manly Hailey.”15 Hailey believed her to be a good match and the two wed in December of 1930.

He decided to take up a job as principal at the ACC Academy in Abilene that fall. The job didn’t much appeal to him, but during his time there, he administered the job as he knew best. A firm believer of frontier justice, he once punished a student who made “immoral comments” to a female student by giving him a whipping that “lifted him off the ground.”16 Hailey later recalled that afterwards that the student no longer continued in his misguided ways. Hailey’s job as a principal was short-lived, as the busy schedule it required was hindering his preaching ability. After only a year in the position, he and Lois decided it was time to move on.

Hailey soon picked up a job preaching at the Fifth and Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. He spent 11 years with the congregation, baptizing new members nearly every week. Always busy studying in his office at the church building, he left little time for socialization. He expressed his open-door policy to the members, but emphasized that he did not want to waste the time with friendly banter. This mentality translated over into his summer meetings, staying with people in their homes wherever he went. He enjoyed the hospitality, but it was not his reason for being there; he was there to preach. The church had grown to nearly five hundred members by the time he left in 1943.17 Hailey had several other preaching jobs, including Los Angeles and Hawaii, but eventually he and the family returned to Abilene to begin a different avenue of work.

He decided to return to college though not as a student, but as a teacher. He spent many years teaching, first at his alma mater, Abilene Christian College, then on to Florida Christian College. He was there to teach the Bible, but focused mainly on training young men to become preachers. “Hailey was most at home teaching freshman Bible courses, offering the students well-researched, but practical, common-sense expositions of biblical texts.”18 His days were busy and long. He had little time for idle chitchat. He made sure he students knew this, placing behind his desk a sign which read “Come to the Point.”19

Hailey eventually returned to college as a student in order to receive his graduate, followed by his doctorate degree. He did not do it for the prestige, but to continue teaching courses at college. He often challenged his liberally minded professors in the things they were teaching; even remarking that one professor who was teaching the book of John “didn’t know one thing about [it].”20 Hailey later ended up writing his own book on The Gospel of John, a well respected work that followed in the same manner of his other writings–clear, concise, and convincing.21

After cramming his graduate degree into all of nine months, Homer Hailey became ill. Cancer had been detected after a mole began to rapidly grow from his neck. He was told by his doctor that without surgery he wouldn’t last another year. He decided to look for an alternative. He had heard of a new type of treatment that used a “chemical substance” and traveled to Houston to undergo treatment.22 After four intensive months, he was well enough to go home. Under the guidance of a nutritionist, he decided to change to a more healthful diet, which he stuck to for the remainder of his life—consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. He was always full of energy and sound of mind, hiking the Grand Canyon with his son at the age of 72 and writing books late into his 90’s. Many dread old age, but Hailey welcomed it as the “best of life.”23 Hailey retired from teaching in 1973, but even in his retirement he never stopped working.24 He continued to preach, hold meetings, and write books.

Through all the years working as a preacher and college teacher, Hailey wrote many articles in the publications that circulated through the Church of Christ brotherhood. “Times were different back then,” states the introduction to the Gospel Guardian archives. “People were not only open to debate, but they expected it. …These times forged spiritual giants. …However, these times also cut deep lines of division and set up traps for future generations.”25 Hailey commonly wrote on topics prevalent in the day, but never set out to cause controversy. In the Bible Banner, he wrote of people who did “just enough to ‘get by’” in a “half-hearted” attempt to fulfill their Christian duties.26 Through the years that Hailey preached, people became increasingly lackadaisical in regards to the faith. They began to rely more on what had become tradition than referring to the Bible to solve Bible issues. He used the articles to teach the gospel message, condemn wrongs, and drum up spiritual enthusiasm within the ranks. He often emphasized the need to return to “New Testament Christianity;” while bemoaning “the rampant materialism he saw in modern society and the breakdown of families,” stating that the United States is ‘asking for judgment, and God’s going to give it to us.’”27 He encouraged Christians to remain faithful to the cause of Christ in the “midst of a crooked and perverse generation.”28

Homer Hailey was a man of great learning whose years of preaching and teaching led to the saving of countless numbers of souls, yet even he was not without his faults. He had not studied much on the issues that erupted in the 1950s that had separated the institutionalists from the noninstitutionalists. In his early years, he had been a great proponent of church supported orphan homes and hospitals due to his own adoption of several children. He believed that it was a good work of the church to support such institutions. In 1952, he wrote an article in the Gospel Advocate entitled, “Keepers of Orthodoxy.”29 In it he made note of the fact that many other denominations had their hospitals, missionaries, and charitable causes, but the “church of Christ has provided no hospitals.”30 Hailey later recanted the article saying that his point in writing it had not been to rally for institutionalism and add fuel to the fire of the dividing churches, but to denounce the spirit of hypocrisy that “say[s], and do[es] not.”31 He made it a point to say, “It is deploring to know that the Bible instructs Christians to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, support the widows and orphans, send evangelists into all the world with the saving message of Christ—then to consider that the church is spending so much time and energy in fussing and quarreling, even to the point of bitterness and division, while the world is heading nearer and nearer to the brink of destruction.”32 While not deviating from his original argument made in the article, he later changed his views on institutionalism noting that to him “the question of institutionalism is one of shifting responsibilities from the shoulders where God has put them to ‘new carts’ of man’s own devising.’”33

Hailey later found himself in the middle of another debate that came to light in the late 1980s and 1990s over marriage, divorce, and remarriage. While most within the Churches of Christ believed that God’s marriage law applied to all people equally, Hailey took the more unpopular view, stating that those who were unbelievers fell under a different law.34 He advocated that an unbeliever who was in an adulterous marriage did not need to divorce their spouse in order to be baptized and added to the church. He rejected the idea of a continuous adulterous relationship.35 Instead, he believed that the making of the unscriptural marriage covenant was the actual act of adultery and needed to be repented of before baptism. Against the advice of his closest friends, Hailey published a book on the subject entitled, “The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God.” He substantiated his beliefs and gave his reasons for why he believed them. Hailey believed that “These people who are telling individuals … you have got to separate, …. Are acting where God never did legislate and they are setting themselves up as judges in this matter.”36

The conservatives of the divorce and remarriage controversy began to single out Hailey as one of their main opponents. The attacks on Hailey were becoming personal, some even branding him a false teacher. He contended that “All at once I find myself under attack by some, being charged as a false teacher, unfit for the fellowship of certain ones who differ from me.”37 Fellow preacher Yater Tant had made the point many years earlier that regardless of what one believed on the topic, “the ‘marriage question’ does NOT affect the organization, work, or worship of the congregation at all. … If brethren can understand that this is a ‘personal question’ … the discussion can be truly profitable and helpful.”38 Fellow brother, James W. Adams, added:

“Brethren, we cannot make everything about which we disagree a test of fellowship. Some things individuals practice about which we differ are just going to have to be tolerated. We are just going to have to let the Lord decide about some things. … Let those with conservative views in these matters not arrogate to themselves prerogatives of judgment that belong only to ‘Him who judgeth wisely.’ My plea is for sanity, forbearance, and tolerance in these areas of disagreement in which the matter is individual and not collective in character.”39

Tant and Adams both believed that this was a personal issue that each divorced couple had to decide on their own what the correct action was to resolve. What many churches ended up doing, however, was making it a congregational issue and the deciding factor of fellowship.

Even through the controversies that seemed to occasionally derail him, Hailey persevered in his preaching and book writing. He still loved the Old West and how the dessert seemed to move him. He decided to retire to Tucson, Arizona with his second wife, Widna Kirby, a fellow widower who he married shortly after Lois had died in 1954. He took up preaching at the small congregation in Oracle that usually boasted an attendance of ten on Sundays. Over the span of fifteen years that he preached there, he was able to baptize a few from the small town and the membership increased to about twenty-six.40 In his free time, Hailey set his mind to do some of his most memorable work. He compiled his manuscripts and notes and sat down to write book after book, having published over thirty books by the time of his death, November 9, 2000.41

During his 97 year lifetime, Homer Hailey never failed to churn out the message of the gospel wherever he went. Not until after his retirement at 70 years old did he think of slowing down and never in all that time did he have time for a vacation. He dedicated his life to preaching Christ and that’s exactly what he accomplished. The man who shook in fear while delivering his high school graduation speech, courageously stood up time after time before thousands to deliver the good news. At the end of his life, he confessed, “I don’t know how to preach,” yet through his preaching and teaching, he was responsible for bring scores of unbelievers to Christ.42 The same man who confessed, “I’m not a good writer,” wrote books that live on to inspire people to learn more about God’s word.43 Also saying, “I am no debater,” and yet again he stood for what was right in many debates throughout the years.44 He collected stacks of thank you notes from congregations he visited, one in particular speaks for them all, “Thanks for coming our way… Generations yet unborn will be blessed as the result of your lifetime of study and teaching. We thank you for what you shared with us, and honor you for your life.”45 Many echo the same sentiments when they remember him or read the legacy of the many books he left behind. We have great hope that upon his death he heard the words from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”46 Rest in peace, Homer Hailey.

REFERENCES

1. “Luke 12:48 (NASB),” Biblegateway.com, accessed October 21, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
2. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 10, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 376.
3. Bob F. Owen, interview with the author, April 29, 1988, Tampa, Florida, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 380.
4. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 23.
5. Ibid., 370.
6. “Homer Hailey,” The Restoration Movement, accessed October 27, 2013, http://www.therestorationmovement.com/hailey.htm.
7. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 3, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 27.
8. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 29.
9. “Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (September 2013): 1, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed October 14, 2013).
10. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 2, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 32.
11. Prickly Pear: 1927 (Abilene Christian College Yearbook), p. 79, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 226.
12. “Many Interesting Incidents Fill Life of Preacher Boys,” Optimist, February 14, 1929, p.2, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 227.
13. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 4, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 245.
14. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 221.
15. G.K. Wallace, “Mrs. Homer Hailey,” The Gospel Guardian 6, no. 5, (1954): 6, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/gospel_guardian/v6/v6n5p6.html.
16. Homer Hailey, “Chronology,” unpublished manuscript in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 234.
17. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 240.
18. Ibid., 249.
19. Ibid., 304.
20. Ed Harrell, “Divorce and Fellowship,” manuscript of speech delivered at Florida College Lectures, 1991, in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 254.
21. “That You May Believe: Studies in the Gospel of John,”accessed October 29, 2013, http://home1.gte.net/resoz7y9/books/hailey.html.
22. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape nos. 1 and 4, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 261.
23. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 1, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 329.
24. Douglas Allen Foster, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004), 379, http://books.google.com/books?id=-3UtqrX56rgC&pg=PA379.
25. “Gospel Guardian: Introduction,” The Gospel Guardian, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/gospel_guardian.
26. Homer Hailey, “The Curse of Negligence,” The Bible Banner 2, no. 8, (1940): 13, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/bible_banner/v2/v2n8p13.html.
27. Homer Hailey, “Shall History Repeat Itself?” The Bible Banner 3, no. 10 (1941): 6, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/bible_banner/v3/v3n10p6.html. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 6. “Homer Haileyisms,” mimeographed manuscript assembled by Don Givens, copy in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 276, 372.
28. Homer Hailey, “God’s Call to Expansion,” The Bible Banner 4, no. 6, (1942): 12-15, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/bible_banner/v4/v4n6p12-15.html.
29. Homer Hailey, “Keepers of Orthodoxy,” The Gospel Advocate, (1952), 399.
30. Ibid.
31. “Matthew 23:3 (KJV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed October 28, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
32. Homer Hailey, “Keepers of Orthodoxy,” The Gospel Advocate, (1952), 399.
33. Homer Hailey, “New Carts,” Preceptor, April 1952, pp. 14-15, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 293.
34. Ben F. Vick, Jr., “Hailey’s View on Divorce and Remarriage,” Truth Magazine, accessed October 26, 2013, http://www.truthmagazine.com/haileys-view-on-divorce-and-remarriage.
35. Steven F. Deaton, “Adultery, What Is It?… And then Some,” accessed October 26, 2013, http://www.watchmanmag.com/0108/010813.htm.
36. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 11; Rob Hailey, interview with the author, August 25, 1989, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 339.
37. Homer Hailey, “Comments Regarding My Views on Divorce and Remarriage,” Guardian of Truth 33, no. 3, (1989): 70-71, http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume33/GOT033035.htm.
38. Yater Tant, “Articles on ‘The Marriage Question,’” Gospel Guardian, August 22, 1963, pp. 244, 249 of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 354.
39. James W. Adams, “Identical Abominations,” Gospel Guardian, August 1978, pp. 303-4 of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 355.
40. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 1; Homer Hailey, interview with the author, August 2, 1988, Tucson, Arizona; Homer Hailey, “Chronology,” unpublished manuscript in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 331, 387.
41. “Homer Hailey,” Library Thing, accessed October 29, 2013, http://www.librarything.com/author/haileyhomer.
42. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 8, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 377.
43. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 9, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 333.
44. Ibid., 247.
45. Letters to Homer Hailey, copies in the possession of the author of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 383.
46. “Matthew 25:23 (NIV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed October 29, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.

Author: Olivia

I am a mom and a homeschooling teacher of two little ones. I am also a Biblical Studies major with a hobby in Creation Science. I love to research Biblical topics and how science and the Bible live in harmony with each other. I learn beside my children when we read, build, and explore with the help of our glorious classroom - God's green Earth!

7 thoughts on “Homer Hailey”

  1. Hi, that’s funny I was searching for Homer Hailey on google and came across your blog post here. I’m actually having a website built right now that will have a lot of Homer Hailey’s sermons on it. Anyone will be able listen to the sermons online on the website. My parents went to a church he preached at in Arizona and I remember him, I was 5 or 6 at the time. Nice to discover your blog. Oh and I was homeschooled also!

  2. Olivia,

    What an interesting and eclectic website.

    I am curious about your affinity for Homer Hailey.

    Homer and a number of his students from his days at Florida Christian College have had a great influence on developing my viewpoints for over 50 years. He is among the giants of our time.

    What has piqued your interest?

    Jim

  3. Thank you, Jim! I wrote this paper for a Homiletics class in college. But even as a child, I’d always look at the books in my dad’s vast home “library” and the name Hailey always popped up as I scanned them. I never knew who he was, but as I grew older I began to hear more and more about him. It was my husband that eventually enlightened me to exactly who he was and the influence he had on the direction of the local churches. The research paper helped furthered that understanding.

    It was a very interesting study into his life. There were a lot of different references used, but the best one was “The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century.” I’d say about two-thirds of it was about Hailey.

    I was also able to contact one of the old newsletters he used to write for and they sent me old copies of the articles he wrote. They were in the process of scanning them in. Might be worth a look if you’re interested. (The Gospel Advocate)

    Olivia

  4. Thank you Olivia for sharing this. I too, WAS a homeschooling mom of five; but mine are grown and on their own- 4 married, 3 are also parents; so my role of homeschooling is dormant now. Since my grandchildren all live a very long way from me, I am scheming on recording episodes of visits with Grandma that would incorporate some of the things I enjoyed sharing with my own children; (I LOVE reading children’s books for instance) 😀
    Re: Homer Hailey, my father had a long time christian brother relationship of mutual respect with him, and though on separate continents at their deaths, they were corresponding with each other until my own father’s death in 1997. Homer was much older than my dad. I believe they met at ACC, but I think it would have been when my dad was an older-than-the-usual age student and Homer was teaching, I am guessing. My father also spent his life, after being converted as an adult, teaching and preaching the Bible; and because he would take the Bible at its word rather than go with the flow of traditions, was also, at times labelled a false teacher, by those with their ears closed. But I am looking forward to meeting with them both again in our eternal home, when the time comes.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Homer Hailey sounded like a very interesting man, ruffling a few feathers and making people think about what it is they believe and why they believe it. Your father sounds like the same type of person, not in it for the fame or a paycheck, but for the truth. I would have liked to have known them or attended some of Homer’s classes like your father did. One day, we’ll see them (again). 🙂

  5. Was searching on the subject of Jesus’ parables as told by Homer Hailey and I came across this blog. I lost track of Mr. Hailey after the 1980’s at Florida College and reading many of his books and articles so I’m pleased to have been updated with this summary of Mr. Hailey’s life on your blog. I remember the divorce and remarriage controversy at the time when I was a teen in the 1980’s and have watched whole churches and families become divided on the issue as well as my parents and step parents, and as a result have made a personal vow to be blameless in this controversy. I had no idea Mr. Hailey was caught up in the controversy as well and remained blameless without divorcing and remarriage but instead stayed married for life until he became a widow before remarriage. Thank you for this well written piece. It sounded as if Mr. Hailey wrote it himself.

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