Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lester Roloff Letter to Joe Brumbelow / Separation

Christ is the Answer Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises
Evangelist Lester Roloff
Box 1177
Corpus Christi, Texas 78403
Telephone 882-4211, Area Code 512

September 8, 1982

Brother Joe E. Brumbelow, Pastor
West Heights Baptist Church
633 Scott
Corpus Christi, Texas 78408

My dear Brother,

I appreciate you so much. You’ve been a faithful friend through many years and I’m glad that denominational lines do not stop us from fellowshipping one with another. Thank your people also for the privilege of being there.

May the Lord richly bless you and your family.

Lovingly, In Jesus’ Name,

[Signed] Brother Roloff


P.S. Enclosed is a love gift for you and your family.

My dad, Joe Brumbelow, had previously pastored First Baptist Church, Dawson, TX in the area Lester Roloff had grown up. Early in his ministry, Roloff pastored Shiloh Baptist Church in the country outside Dawson. In later years Shiloh disbanded and most joined FBC, Dawson. Brother Roloff preached for Brother Joe at his church in Dawson. Of course, Joe was later pastor at West Heights Baptist Church. Both FBC, Dawson and West Heights were Southern Baptist churches. 

I grew up Southern Baptist, but often heard independent Baptists preach. I remember them regularly sharing pulpits and preaching at the same meetings on the same platforms. The Sword of the Lord under John R. Rice and R. L. Sumner printed sermons of Southern Baptists (both living and past) like R. G. Lee, W. A. Criswell, Vance Havner, Hyman Appelman, L. R. Scarborough, B. H. Carroll and a number of others. Yet some independent Baptists today believe they should separate from and not fellowship with Southern Baptists.

Joe Brumbelow was openly a Southern Baptist. In 1982 he was active in the SBC Conservative Resurgence that made sure Southern Baptists would stand for the inerrancy of the Word of God. Lester Roloff was independent Baptist and obviously knew that Joe Brumbelow had been a Southern Baptist during all of his ministry. Yet Brother Roloff had no trouble preaching at a Southern Baptist church and fellowshipping with Southern Baptists. The above letter plainly demonstrates that fact.

It is also of interest that less than two months after this letter was written Brother Roloff died in a plane crash. Joe Brumbelow, and my brother Mark Brumbelow attended the funeral, or as they called it, “Graduation Service,” at the Convention Center in Corpus Christi. Mark was living in Dawson at the time and also took Aldon Nesmith to the funeral. Aldon Nesmith was a deacon at First Baptist Church, Dawson and was Lester Roloff’s first convert.

Also, Mark Brumbelow tells me the “ic” on the above letter referred to Miss Ida Cavett, Brother Roloff’s secretary.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 8, AD 2014.

Note: On the subject of separation, see Fundamentalist Foibles! by Dr. R. L. Sumner. 

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