George W. DeHoff In 1935
Biographical Sketch On The Life Of
George W. DeHoff
George W. DeHoff was born
September 20, 1913 near Vanndale, in Cross County, Arkansas. His
parents were Orville Orson and Adah Gaskins DeHoff. His father died
December 6, 1919, when George was six years old. His mother was left to
raise George and his two sisters, Bertha Mae and Mary Ann, during the
Great Depression. They never went without food, clothing or shelter.
Before entering school George had learned to read, and had read many of
the books of the King James Version of the Bible. At the age of nine,
George contracted Typhoid. His mother later married Daniel Edward
Casselman. George had other brothers, an older half-brother from his
mother's previous marriage, Ollie Ripley
Guthrie, and two younger half-brothers, James C. DeHoff and John W. DeHoff.
(Note: James and John took the name of DeHoff after their mother's
broken marriage with Mr. Casselman).
In 1926, George grew one-half acre of peanuts on the farm as a
4-H project. At the ages of fourteen and fifteen he wrote articles for the local Sun Times,
Lake City, Arkansas.
In his earliest memory young
DeHoff remembered the preaching of Leonard H. Fielder, W. Curtis
H.D. Jeffcoat, Joe Taylor, Joe H. Blue, and others. He attended the Mangrum Church of Christ, Lake City, Arkansas. At the age of 13 he heard Leonard H. Fielder
preached on, "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" While the
congregation sang, "Are You Ready For The Judgment Day?" he
walked down the aisle to make the Good Confession. He was baptized the
same hour of the night in Cockle Burr ditch, a mile and a half south of
Black Oak on the last Sunday in August, 1927.
At the age of 15, a neighbor
shared a copy of an issue of the Gospel Advocate with young George.
In it were advertisements for Freed-Hardeman College and David Lipscomb
College. He wrote to N.B. Hardeman at F-HC
and H. Leo Boles at Lipscomb explaining that he
would like to attend, but had no money. He expressed a will to work his
way through school. Both wrote back declining admission without being able
to pay. In addition, high school training was not offered at either
institution. He also found an advertisement for Burritt College who was
willing to make arrangements for the attendance of the young man. He
attended Burritt College between 1929 and 1933. While at Burritt he made
many life-long friends, and preached throughout the area.
In the summer of 1933 DeHoff
enrolled at Harding College, Morrilton, Arkansas campus. While there he
sat at the feet of L.C. Sears,
J.N. Armstrong, B.F. Rhodes, and L. E.
Pryor. The next year the campus moved to Searcy, Arkansas. In the summer
of 1934 DeHoff enrolled at Freed-Hardeman College, Henderson, Tennessee.
There he came under the influence of N.B. Hardeman, L.L. Brigance,
Claude Hall, and C.P. Roland. A brief
time was spent during his junior year at William and Mary, Norfolk campus
where he studied English, History & Philosophy. His senior year was
back at Harding where he roomed with James D. Bales. He received the B.A.
degree at the end of the 1937 school year. He later received the M.A.
degree at George Peabody College in 1952.
George married Marie
Turner, May 1, 1941. To their union was born four children: George W.
Jr.; Bonnie Marie; Paul Turner; and Theresa Anne.
George W. DeHoff preached at
numerous churches from his youth, beginning at Black Oak, Arkansas in
1929, at the age of fifteen. During his college years he preached at
Lepanto, Arkansas - 1933-1939. Before he was 25 years of age he had
baptized 2,300 people in Arkansas and Missouri. After college he served:
Grant & Summit Church, Portsmouth, Ohio - 1939-1941; Russellville,
Alabama - 1941-1945; East Main Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee -
DeHoff wrote for numerous
journals such as: Gospel Advocate; 20th Century Christian;
and Christian Magazine. During his lifetime he wrote many books, a
list of which is below.
In the late 1940s DeHoff was
invited to teach ministry courses at Freed-Hardeman College, by N.B.
Hardeman. In 1948 Hardeman named DeHoff Vice-President of the College in
view of becoming the man who would take the place of N.B. Hardeman as
president. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Brother Hardeman left the
presidency due to struggles within the college. A lack of support from the
Board of Directors excluded DeHoff from contention for the presidency,
ultimately bringing about his resignation. In 1957, the DeHoff family
moved to Albion, Idaho where George became the president of Magic Valley
Christian College. He stayed there until April, 1964.
Gospel Meetings were a main
evangelistic tool in the life of George W. DeHoff. He preached meetings in
thirty-eight states. According to an inscription on his grave headstone,
he baptized 10,556 people in his lifetime. At one time he was recorded in
Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" as having baptized more people than
any other person his age in the world.
He also was a debater. November
27-29, 1936 he conducted a four-session debate with C.B. Head over methods
of teaching classes. Could classes be divided? And, could a woman teach a
class for children? Head argued that the divided classes where DeHoff
preached lead the church into apostasy and was subject to disfellowship.
June 1-4, 1954 DeHoff debated
Leroy Garrett in Nashville, Tennessee over "located ministers"
and "mutual ministry." It was a tent gathering with large crowds
at every meeting. One interesting story connected with this debate was
concerning a comment made by Leroy Garrett concerning the Gospel
Advocate. He expressed that he noticed that no one from the Gospel
Advocate was in attendance at the debate to give support to DeHoff and
his views. Little had he known that the editor of the Advocate, B.C.
Goodpasture, had entered the tent after everyone had arrived, taking a
seat in a folding chair at the back of the assembly. Upon Garrett's
comment, Goodpasture arose, folded and carried his chair and walked down
the aisle toward the podium. He opened his chair and placed it just behind
DeHoff, showing his, and the Gospel Advocate's support. This was not only
seen by Garrett, but by all in attendance.
About 1950 DeHoff began a daily
15 minute radio program on WGNS, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Very soon after
beginning his sessions, Charles Holt of Franklin, Tennessee, purchased
time on the air after DeHoff attacking he and the East Main Church where
he preached over their support of orphan homes from the church treasury. A
verbal debate over the airways ensued as a result. DeHoff used a great
deal of wit and wisdom in answering whatever Brother Holt presented.
In 1951 DeHoff debated W.D.
Davis, a prominent Primitive Baptist. In this debate DeHoff exposed the
errors of the five fundamental teachings of Calvinism. The debate was
later printed by DeHoff in December, 1982. In 1975 he held a debate with
Lionel Barrett, a Nashville attorney, over the use and legalization of
Marijuana. The debate was held on the campus of Middle Tennessee State
University. Over four hundred people attended the debate. In it DeHoff
presented medical and scientific facts against the use of Marijuana. Later
a book recording the debate was printed in 1983.
George W. DeHoff became an
active member of Rotary International in 1945. He served as president of
the Murfreesboro Club 1970-71, and was District Governor of Rotary
District 676 in 1971-72. He attended the International Assembly in
Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas. He was also elected District Governor
at the International Assembly in Sydney, Australia.
In 1971 and in 1977 George W.
DeHoff served as a delegate in the Tennessee Constitutional Convention. In
the 1971 convention he helped pass laws preventing the taxation of bank
accounts, certificates of deposit, and insurance policies. He was
vice-chairman of the Public Information and Elections Committee that
helped to bring the above mentioned proposed law to a referendum. It
became law January 31, 1973. During the 1977 convention he helped lead a
fight against those who were trying to bar preachers from state political
office. Later, DeHoff served as a delegate to the 1976 Democratic National
Convention in New York.
Through the years, George and
Marie supported themselves through the operation of a Printing Company and
bookstore. The bookstore operates to this day in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
It was a mainstay of support to the DeHoff family the later part of their
lives. He spent the last years of his life printing and selling books.
Many preachers came and visited him at his bookstore, including your
webmaster. It was my pleasure to have known this great old soldier of the
cross. George W. DeHoff passed from this life January 1, 1993 in the 79th
year of his life. He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro,
-Most of the
above sketch are excerpts from "I See My Time Is Up,"
DeHoff's Autobiography. DeHoff Publications, Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
George W. DeHoff - 1960
Directions To The Grave
Of George W. DeHoff
George W. DeHoff is
buried in the Evergreen Cemetery In Murfreesboro, Tennessee. From I-24
take Exit 81B, Hwy. 231, and head toward the city center. You will be on
S. Church Street. Go about two miles into the city center and turn right
(east) on Vine St. Go 4/10ths mile and turn left on S. Highland (after
one block it will become N. Highland) and go 4/10ths mile and turn right
on Greenland. Travel 3/10ths miles on Greenland and enter the second
entrance to the Evergreen Cemetery to your left (North). Go past the
first intersection. You will see Forest Hill Section to your right. (I.C.
Pullias is buried in this section.) Continue through the next
intersection then follow the road as it bears to the right and goes
toward the rear of the cemetery. When you get to the next big section of
graves begin looking to your left (west side of street). If you get to
the end you've gone too far. It is only a couple of headstones in, and
the headstone is a pretty good size in comparison to the others around
Grave Located In Lot
GPS N 35º 51' 20.4" x WO 86º 22' 37.3"
Accuracy to within 16ft.
September 20, 1913
January 1, 1993
Minister, Author, Educator,
Publisher, Statesman, Rotarian,
Servant Of Christ
Baptized - August 28, 1927
August 18, 1915
Scioto County, Ohio
Wife, Mother, Teacher,
Servant Of Christ
Baptized July 13, 1930
George W. Jr., Bonnie Marie, Paul Turner, Theresa Anne
"I Have Fought A Good
Fight. I Have Finished My
Course. I Have Kept The Faith. Henceforth There
Is Laid Up For Me A Crown Of Righteousness, Which
The Lord, The Righteous Judge, Shall Give Me At
That Day, And Not To Me Only, But Unto All Them
Also That Love His Appearing" II Timothy 4:7-8
-The Apostle Paul's Valedictory-
Daughters Of The
Therefore, And Teach All Nations, Baptizing Them In The Name Of
The Father, And Of The Son
And Of The Holy Ghost. Teaching Them To Observe All Things
Whatsoever I Have Commanded You:
And, Lo, I Am With You Alway, Even Unto The End Of The World.
Amen" Matthew 28:19-20
The Hand Of The Lord Was With Him. He Baptized 10,556 Souls. In
Sure And Certain Hope Of The
"Even So, Come Lord, Jesus"
Books By George W. DeHoff:
Why We Believe The Bible
Sermons On First Corinthians
Alleged Bible Contradictions Examined
Church Bulletin Material
DeHoff's Bible Handbook
Plain Bible Preaching Vol. 2
Sermons I Have Preached
DeHoff's Commentary Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI
They Met Jesus
Sermons On Great Bible Characters
Lands Of The Bible
Acts-Key To The New Testament
I See My Time Is Up - DeHoff - Autobiography