The BMH Classics eBook Collection kicked off this summer with the release of six titles that are important to the Grace Brethren movement and had previously been out of print. Two, Our Heritage and Prophecy: Things to Come were written by well-respected Grace Brethren leaders and theologians. Another four, Undaunted Hope, Stanger than Fiction, Estella Myers; Pioneer Missionary in Central Africa, and Conquering Oubangui-Chari for Christ, have been released in partnership with Encompass World Partners as they mark the 100th anniversary of when the first team left the U.S. to minister in Africa. Two additional titles of shorter have been included as pdf downloads. The Tongues Movement and Trine Immersion discuss two important theological tenants of the Grace Brethren movement.
Our Heritage, by Harold Etling, these studies present a brief historical background and the beliefs and practices of the Charis Fellowship (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches). Some of the highlights of this important series of studies include the emphasizing of the fact that the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches accepts the Bible to be the foundation for teaching and guidance, the meaning of salvation and what it includes, baptism, the service of feet washing, the Lord’s Supper, the anointing of the sick, separation, and the Second Coming of Christ. This book was first published in 1975. Dr. Etling was the long-time director of the Christian Education Department of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. (now CE National).
Prophecy: Things to Come, by James Boyer, is a carefully prepared, well-developed study guide covering the major topics of Bible prophecy with clear terminology and helpful outlines. Past prophecies, future prophecies and “You in Prophecy” are topics discussed. Plus, a helpful chapter on “Prophetic Teaching: Its Practical Values.” First published in 1973, the book was written by Dr. Boyer, who taught Greek and New Testament at Grace Theological Seminary.
Undaunted Hope was first published in 1934 by the Foreign Missionary Society of the Brethren Church (now Encompass World Partners). A later edition was published by BMH Books in 1984. Written by Dr. Florence Newberry Gribble, she tells the story of her husband, James S. Gribble, who was a “pioneer missionary” in the deepest and truest sense of that term. During his first term of missionary service in Africa, he was associated with the Africa Inland Mission. This mission recognized in him the “pioneer” spirit and has paid tribute to him as one who was always anxious to attempt the most dangerous and difficult tasks in connection with the opening of new sections to the preaching of the Gospel. In his short ministry, James Gribble accomplished more than many accomplish in a long lifetime. Leaving out of consideration his fruitful ministry in East Africa and also the great spiritual impact of his life and work made upon the churches of his own denomination, it is not too much to say that chiefly through the faith and endurance of this “servant of the Lord” a vast region in French Equatorial Africa has been thrown open to the preaching of the Gospel. This is his monument, of which he need not be ashamed in that day. In writing this record of his life, Dr. Gribble shares intimate details of his life. No one else could have brought to the task the requisite balance of personal understanding and spiritual interpretation. May the labor of love which she has bestowed upon this book be graciously used of God to complete the evangelization of Oubangui-Chari, and thus fulfill the vision of one who in that land prayed, ministered, suffered and died with “hope undaunted.”
Stranger Than Fiction is Dr. Florence Gribble’s inspiring story of the detailed and individual way in which God provides for those who put Him first. When God gets men and women to obey Him without flinching and to follow His Son Jesus Christ without swerving, it seems as if He takes especial delight in showing that for them literally, nothing shall be impossible. All nature is under His sway, and all history is under His control; so them that honor Him, He honors, and often in signal and striking ways, as this book records. It is a story of missionary heroism. “Undaunted” is a word that Dr. Gribble uses as a description of her deceased husband. How true it is of her own attitude, and of her fellow-workers, this book amply illustrates. May the story of God’s great faithfulness, and of the fragile but radiant lady doctor whose unswerving loyalty to Christ’s call so unmistakably (though unintentionally) shines through, be used by the Holy Spirit to challenge and stimulate our faith and daring, and to summon forth not only more prayer, but more volunteers for the work of the Cross in Central Africa.
Estella Myers: Pioneer Missionary in Central Africa — Written by Ruth Kent, this book details the dramatic life of Estella Myers, whether it was weeding an onion patch, facing an armed witch doctor, or traveling the road-less savannas of central Africa. Miss Myers was a remarkable woman – not only because of her unusual life and her many achievements, but also because the incidents of her story remind us that God can work wonders through one unpretentious life.
Conquering Oubangui-Chari for Christ shares the history of foreign missions in the Brethren Church, beginning with the organization of the Foreign Missionary Society at Winona Lake, Ind., on September 4, 1900. The minutes recording the steps which led up to this organization clearly state that the charter members were acting in the leading of the Holy Spirit. The same blessed Holy Spirit who directed the church at Antioch to send forth the first-century missionaries (Acts 13:1-3), led this group of fifty-three pastors and laymen to effect a society through which missionaries could be sent forth to unreached areas of the world in this twentieth century. In 1917 North Central Africa was approved as a mission field and the pioneer party sailed early in 1918. The history of the Mission Oubangui-Chari, as recounted by Dr. Jobson, constitutes a missionary document of deep interest and lasting value, not only to members of Brethren churches but also to all those who pray and labor to win for the Lamb the reward for His sufferings. It demonstrates what God is able to do in saving the lost and also in fitting them for a place among “them which are sanctified by faith” in the Lord of the harvest.
The Tongues Movement, by Louis S. Bauman, explains the difference between the true gift of the Spirit of speaking in tongues and the first miracle from Satan, which was to cause the serpent to speak in a tongue in the Garden of Eden. This is based on the revised edition which was published in 1963 by the Brethren Missionary Herald Company.
Trine Immersion, by James Sweeton, expands on a presentation given at the annual meeting of the National Fellowship of Brethren Ministers in August 1961. It outlines the basis for baptism by trine immersion throughout the Old and New Testaments, as well as its use in church history.