Brief Sketch On The Life Of
Gus A. Dunn
Gustus Albert Dunn was born in Readyville, Tennessee, June 2, 1876. His
parents were T.F. and Elizabeth Dunn (buried in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee). He was part of a family of five brothers, all of whom
preached the gospel in the course of their lives. He was married to Mae
Mather, and together they had four children. One son, Gus A. Dunn, Jr.
also preached the gospel.
Gus was baptized by James A. Harding in
March of 1895, at the age of eighteen. The following year he began
preaching the gospel of Christ. He was educated at College in
Winchester, Tennessee; then at Nashville Bible School and Vanderbilt
University in Nashville, Tennessee; and then at Clark University
where he received the M.A. Degree; later at Southern Methodist
University, Dallas, Texas where he received the B.D. Degree.
While in Tennessee he preached at various locations on a regular basis,
preaching in Gospel meetings throughout central Tennessee. When he moved
to Texas he preached regularly in Cleburne, Texas from 1904-1905;
Houston Heights Church of Christ, Houston, Texas from 1916-1917; Central
Church of Christ in Houston, Texas from 1918-1920.
evangelist he held hundreds of Gospel Meetings, averaging about 20 to 25
per year with great success. In 1904 he preached in Cleburne and had 88
to obey the gospel. In 1912
in Hodges, Alabama he had a meeting where 74 were baptized into Christ.
In 1920 he held one Gospel Meeting in Sherman, Texas. In it there were
123 responses, of which 95 were baptized. In 1922 another meeting was
held in Sherman that saw 70 additions to the kingdom. In
1897 in Oak Ridge, Mississippi he baptized 88 during the course of the
meeting, including two Baptist preachers, John W. Thompson and E.S.
Martin. Through the years he baptized more than 1,000 former Baptist
church members among the many thousands he baptized.
Dunn had a great interest in writing. He submitted articles to the
Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation on a regular basis.
At the turn of the 20th century many debates were necessary to clarify
the teaching of truth against an array of the false teachings of the
day. There was the Dunn-Milborn Debate in 1909. He debated the great
Baptist champion, Ben M. Bogard in 1910. There was the Dunn-Sands
Debate on Catholicism as well.
He did radio work in Paducah, Kentucky; Montgomery, Alabama; Key West,
Florida; Dallas, Texas; and Florence, South Carolina.
served as president of three high schools and two Bible colleges in his
lifetime. He was quoted as saying, "I wish I had done more for the Lord
and mankind. My work has not been enough nor good enough to satisfy me.
May God have mercy on it and me."
Widely known, loved, and respected, G.A. Dunn was a power among sound
preachers of the gospel in his generation. Preacher forty years after
his death had a Gus Dunn story.
Brother Gus Dunn passed from this life February 28, 1967 and was buried
in the Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, Texas to await the Lord's call.
from Preachers Of Today, 1951, pages 104,105
Truly A Giant Has Fallen
It is difficult at times to put together a "Life
Sketch" of an individual, though it be one you know well. That is
not true in the case of Gustus Albert Dunn, Sr., the last of five
Dunn brothers who identified themselves with the New Testament
church and the gospel of Christ for so many years.
Brother Dunn was one of nine children born to Thomas
Franklin and Elizabeth Nelson Dunn, his birth occurring on June 2,
1876, at Readyville, Rutherford County, Tennessee. His early
education was in the elementary school in his home district until
his early teen years when his widowed mother moved her family to
Winchester, Tennessee, where they attended the Winchester Normal in
more advanced studies. This made possible considerable advantage to
her illustrious sons who became great gospel preachers and defenders
of the truth. It is believed by many in their prime years of
preaching that the success of their labors was perhaps unmatched by
any other group of brothers in their generation. They were noted for
filling their sermons with scripture quotations, and this writer
recalls counting fifty-two quotations in one sermon in a meeting at
Fulton, Kentucky, in 1926. It is a matter of record that he
converted two denominational preachers and one entire church in a
meeting near Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1897.
Brother Dunn began preaching at the age of nineteen,
and with a heavy schedule of preaching and debating, he advanced his
education to receive his B.D. degree from Southern Methodist
University and his M.A. from Clark College. His was indeed a
fruitful life in gospel preaching, having baptized hundreds, even
thousands throughout the United States and in Canada.
He spent the last forty-five years of his life in
Dallas, Texas, where he died February 28. He was in the ninetieth
year of his earth life. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mae Dunn,
three sons, G.A. Jr., Rising Star, Texas; Joseph A. of Cleveland,
Texas; Robert W. Of Dallas; one daughter, Mrs. Anna Belle Price,
Washington, D.C.; a sister, Mrs. Artie Norman, Henderson, Ky., seven
grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was buried in Dallas
on March 2. Rex A. Turner and Tom
Pickard conducted the last rites at the Edgefield Church Of Christ.
This writer expresses sincere sympathy to the
survivors who mourn.
-Ealon V. Wilson, Gospel Advocate, April 27, 1967, pages 265,266
G.A. Dunn Signature
Courtesy of Terry J. Gardner, 04.2010
Two Veteran Preachers
John T. Lewis and G. A. Dunn
I have one striking characteristic—only
are however—in common with the prophet Amos. He began as a poor country
preacher, and so did I. When I was a boy my home church—Antioch in
Jefferson County, Alabama—had little contact with the brotherhood at
large. My acquaintance with gospel preachers was limited to
C. A. Wheeler, J. H. Horton. L. N. Moody,
Pryde Hinton, Charlie Nichols, and M A. Creel. When I was a junior in
high school, John P. Lewis made a sweeping tour through our community to
talk to one of the seniors about his attending David Lipscomb College. I
did not know until then that such a school existed among our brethren. I
had preached my first sermon before I saw a copy of the Gospel Advocate.
Verily, I did not begin my ministerial life as “a prophet, neither as a
In those days every gospel preacher was in my sight a great man of God
and worthy of my imitation. When I began to preach, I added other able,
dedicated preachers to my list of acquaintances. Those men took a
sincere interest in my welfare. I sought out their company, and I asked
for and received their instruction, guidance and counsel. I sat at their
feet, and I learned.
In time, I learned that those gospel preachers were after-all only men
and that they were subject to mistakes and the weaknesses of the flesh
as other men are. I was momentarily disillusioned and discouraged, but I
immediately recovered from my disillusionment and discouragement when I
realized that I, too, am only a man. As I reflect upon the past, I have
become increasingly more keenly conscious of how indebted I am to those
gospel preachers who have helped me so much.
The years have passed swiftly, and many of those men have already
gone on to their reward. Others are now counted as old men, and I myself
am counted as a middle-aged man. Recently two men to whom I am very much
indebted—John T. Lewis and G. A. Dunn, Sr.—passed from this life.
On Sunday. February 18, I attended the funeral service for John T.
Lewis. Bother Lewis died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His body was
carried to the Ensley church in Birmingham for the funeral service, and
it was then carried back to Murfreesboro for burial. The Ensley church
is where Brother Lewis preached for such a long time. A. C. Moore, who
succeeded Brother Lewis at the time of his retirement, conducted the
funeral service. Though through seeming necessity, the funeral was held
at 1:30 P.M., an overflow audience was in attendance. Sister Lewis had
preceded Brother Lewis in death by some ten months.
As I reflect upon my acquaintance and association with John T.
Lewis, I could summarize his influence upon my life by saying: As a boy
I feared him; as a beginning preacher I respected him; and as a coworker
I loved him. John T. Lewis set for himself one goal or aim in life and
that was to preach Christ. In his mind, there was no calling greater
than that of preaching the gospel.
If Brother Lewis had lived until the tenth of March he would have
been ninety-one years of age. He had lived in Birmingham for sixty
years. There is hardly a community in the great Birmingham area where he
did not at one time or another pitch a tent and conduct a gospel
meeting. Brother Lewis was a devout student of the Bible. He possessed a
large and very select library. He was positive and outspoken, but he had
the fine characteristic of bring able to disagree with another and at
the same time maintain a cordial relationship.
I am thankful for the association that I have had with Brother
Lewis. He has been a guest in our home during gospel meetings and
lecture programs, and I and the members of my family have been enriched
by our having had such association with him. I conducted some three
meetings at the Ensley church when, he was the minister. I thoroughly
enjoyed everyday of each meeting.
Early on March 1, I received a telephone call from Sister G. A.
Dunn. Sr. —a gracious lady, a loyal wife, and a devoted Christian. She
was calling to inform me that Brother Dunn has passed away the night
before. Sister Dunn's desire—and also that of Brother Dunn—was that I
should conduct the funeral. I was assisted by Tom W. Pickard, minister
of the Edgefield church, Dallas, Texas.
The funeral was held in the Edgefield church building where some
three to four hundred kindred and friends had gathered. In addition to
Brother Dunn's children and grandchildren, a large number of nephews and
nieces from several States were present. There were also present several
gospel preachers. If Brother Dunn had lived until the second of June, he
too would have been ninety-one years old.
Brother Dunn, is another one of the gospel preachers to whom I am
much indebted. He was about sixty years old when I first heard him
preach. I thought that he was one of the greatest preachers ever, but
the brethren in Montgomery said that I should have heard him when he was
in his prime. The late I. L. Boles once said of Brother Dunn: "No
dancing master was ever more graceful on the dance floor then G. A. Dunn
was in the pulpit." He was tall handsome and genial in manner. He was
always dignified and well-dressed.
Brother Dunn, was a man of great intellect He held two graduate
degrees—the M.A. and the B.D. degrees. Except for Gus Nichols, I never
knew a man who had committed to memory so much of the Scriptures and
thus could call up the book, chapter, and verse that would express so
accurately the point at hand.
Brother Dunn was often in our home, and he had a great influence on
my life and that of my family. He filled me with a burning desire to
study the Bible and to go everywhere preaching the Word. In my mind, I
can see him now when he would arrive at the Bus Station to conduct a
meeting. He often would be carrying two suit cases—one containing his
clothing, and the other one—made of metal—containing numbers of chart
Brother Dunn held from twenty to twenty-five meetings per year so
long as he was active, and he baptized thousands of persons. In a single
meeting at Sherman, Texas he baptized ninety-five persons. He engaged a
number of able sectarians in debate. The greatest sermon that I ever
heard Brother Dunn preach was on the subject, "Heaven." If anyone who
reads this should happen to have a recording of his sermon on "Heaven;”
I would like very much to get a copy of it.
—Rex Turner, Gospel
Advocate, May 4, 1967, pages 277,278
Gus Was One Of
The Five Dunn Brothers Who Preached The Gospel In The Early 20th
Directions To The
Grave Of Gus Dunn
Gus A. Dunn
is buried in the Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas,
Texas. Just south of Dallas on East I-35 take the Laureland Exit
420. and travel east. From the exit you should be able to see
the cemetery as it is adjacent to the east side of the freeway.
See Cemetery Map Here.
Acc. to 27ft.
N32° 40.458’ x WO96° 48.948’
Grave Faces West
Section 34 Lot 233 Space 1,2,3