Flavil Joseph Hall
Biographical Sketch By
Books By Flavil Hall
Co-Authored Song Books By Flavil Hall
"The Form Of Doctrine" Song
Special Thanks To Bruce Daugherty
Hall's Valley Church of Christ
Directions To Hall Cemetery And Grave
Picture Of Hall Monument
Soulful, Hopeful, Helpful
hymnwriter and preacher Flavil Hall had a long but turbulent relationship with
the Christian Leader. He began contributing a weekly article under the
the title "Field Reports and Helpful Thoughts" in 1913. Later he would become an
associate editor writing a column entitled "Soulful, Hopeful, Helpful Thoughts."
But he would be among the first casualties on the Leader staff to the
Flavil Joseph Hall was born near
Georgia on June 22, 1876. His
father, Robert T. Hall was proud of his Irish ancestry and gave his son the
Irish name Flavil, meaning golden haired youth.1
His mother was Sarah Doliska Mills. She taught her children to read at an early
age. Flavil would later say, "I can not remember when I could not read the New
Testament.2 The young Flavil proved to be an apt
and prodigious student. But sorrow filled the Hall home when his mother passed
away a few days after Flavil's eighth birthday. Four lonely years were spent by
the father and his young children in the cabin in Halls Valley, Georgia. But
this changed when his father remarried and brought Eliza Morton home to be the
step-mother to his children.
Hall's father was a faithful Christian and
example set the tone for Flavil's early obedience to the gospel when he was
baptized in 1890 by N. J. Tumlin. Hall determined to preach and attended the
Nashville Bible School.3 Among his fellow students
in 1902, he met
S. H. Hall, with whom he would later
collaborate in evangelistic work in
Georgia and hymn writing.4
Hall began preaching in
in 1896. It was about this time that he married Martha Jay King of Tennessee. To
the Halls were born three children: Gardner Sewell, Effa Zellner, and Leslie
Like the other men on the Leader staff,
Hall began his preaching career holding evangelistic meetings. His family would
share in the sacrifices of the preacher's life, enduring the long periods when
their father was away and the difficulties of making financial ends meet. The
Hall family would know sorrow as his wife passed away in 1913. His stepmother
raised the three children for the next six years until Hall was remarried to
Bertha Williams on June
Hall utilized the printed page early in his
ministry. His first articles were submitted to the Gospel Advocate when
J. W. Shepherd was the office editor. From 1908 to 1912 Hall was on the staff of
Stanford Chamber's Christian Word and Work out of
Along with S. H. Hall, he co-edited the Gospel Message department.7
In 1913 he began writing for the Christian Leader.8
That same year Fred Rowe published Hall's Pearls of Truth, a collection
of spiritual prose and poetry.
Flavil Hall also used songbooks for preaching the
gospel message. Prior to 1908, Hall had written several hymns but only the
Methodist song writer J. D. Vaughn thought Hall's songs worthy of inclusion in a
book. At the invitation of S. H. Hall, Flavil Hall came to
to assist in a gospel meeting for a congregation that had only one member who
believed that instrumental music was Biblically unauthorized. S. H. Hall said
this attitude was typical of all the churches in the
area at that time. That one member, H. M. McCrae, was able to secure the meeting
house for a gospel meeting. With Flavil Hall's help, S. H. thought that this
would be an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the teaching aspect of acappella
music. Flavil Hall gathered more than three hundred songs with the purpose of
compiling a hymnal which would express “in song the full gospel of Christ.”9
Together, the Halls compiled The Gospel Message in Song. S. H. Hall
credited the work on the hymnal for changing attitudes towards the instrument in
Rockmart and the Atlanta congregations.
be no doubt that Flavil and I being there for the purpose of finishing the
compilation of our first song book had much to do in our success. For it
diverted the minds of the people, to a degree, from a revival to the idea of
getting out a book which taught the gospel in song as fully as we teach it in a
sermon. Comments were made on some of the songs, and naturally the idea got into
the minds of the people that we must be as careful about the wording of the
songs, the teaching and exhortation required in the songs, being as sound as our
sermons are supposed to be.10
Over the next 22 years, Flavil Hall would compile eight songbooks. He also put
together his own Rudiments of Music for singing school instruction.11
He would hold these regularly along with his gospel meetings. He believed that
if congregations were going to avoid the innovation of the instrument added to
worship it would come through their training and involvement in learning to
1911 was the first year that Flavil Hall began
making evangelistic trips to the
Ohio Valley. He preached
mostly for smaller congregations in southeastern Ohio, developing long lasting
friendships with several families.13 Hall described
his reception in the North:
the land O'Dixie, but my heart goes out in deepest gratitude toward the
disciples, north, for the warmness with which they have received me, have heard
me preach, and sung my songs.14
his later years, Hall would make a circuit of his preaching, heading North in
early spring and traveling as far as Canada as he held meetings and singing
schools, then returning South to Pine Apple, Alabama as the w' her started
The home base for Flavil Hall was always his cabin
in Halls Valley near
Trion, Georgia. But Hall also located in other places. The first was in
Georgia where E. W. Moon had
established Emmerson Orphan's Home and Bible school. Hall went there to help
Moon in the work.16 He did not stay there long but
continued to help the school.17
In 1928 Hall moved to
This was a mission point and his support initially came from the Vinewood
congregation in Detroit.18 The Halls only stayed in
two years. Due to the depression and indebtedness on the house of worship, the
church at Pontiac could no longer support them even though they commended them
highly for their labors.
has also proven himself a faithful preacher and teacher of the gospel. Both
their lives have been true examples in word, in spirit, in faith, in charity,
and in purity. Bro. Hall's knowledge of music and ability to sing, has also been
worth much to the cause here.19
After returning home to
Hall went back North, locating with the church in
in the fall of 1931. He would preach in
Portland for two years. He then worked briefly in a downtown
Cincinnati mission point, then
moved to Millport, Alabama.20 From 1940 to 1952
Hall's home base was Pine Apple, Alabama where he would preach for the Awin
congregation when not engaged in meeting work.21
But friction on the Leader staff between
Hall and Fred Rowe and some of the other editors was building. The premillenial
teachings of R. H. Boll and the staff of Word and
Work, now in Louisville,
were being fiercely opposed by Foy E. Wallace, Jr. While Fred Rowe, Ira Moore,
T. Q. Martin, and Thad Hutson shared in Wallace's opposition to Boll's teaching,
Ben Elston and Flavil Hall defended Boll's right to hold a difference of opinion
on a matter that did not, in their judgement, interfere with the work and
worship of the church. The friction would lead to an estrangement of both Elston
and Hall from the Leader.22
His response to the pre-millenial question however, revealed an eccentric trait
in Flavil Hall's writings had increasingly become defensive, especially when,
written in behalf of others. Also, once an exchange had begun, Hall did not know
when to quit.
When T. Q. Martin wrote that a missionary to
Brazil was using
terminology like the denominations,23 Hall came to
the missionary's defense, denying that the young man meant to teach a false
doctrine.24 The dispute between Martin and Hall
continued for several weeks ending only when Fred Rowe stated that the
missionary could answer Martin for himself.25
When Hall carried into his Leader column his dispute concerning how the
Gospel Advocate had treated John T. Lewis, Fred Rowe said:
Flavil Hall's article is published this week somewhat reluctantly by the
publisher, but on Brother Hall's promise to have this end the matter, we let it
Again, in a discussion that Hall had carried in the Leader with Frank
Morrow on the subject of "the good Confession," Rowe stated:
that I have not treated Bro. Morrow fair. Morally, legally, and parliamentarily
(if not scripturally) Brother Morrow was entitled to another statement, but I
knew it would be easier to stop Bro. Morrow than to try and stop Bro. Hall.27
Though Flavil Hall no longer appeared in the
Leader columns he continued to make his evangelistic trips to the
Ohio Valley throughout the
1940's. In 1950, he published another book of prose and poetry, Pearls of
Grace and Glory. Flavil Hall's voice was stilled when he died at Greenville,
Alabama on August 16, 1952.28 His early
collaborator in song stated:
did something that he thought was not just and right toward another, it
distressed him, and it seemed he just had to say or write something about it.
This led him to be misunderstood by many. . . . I loved him and will ever
remember the good he did in helping me to get song's place in the heart of the
members in Atlanta in the early days of our work.29
preachers named after Flavil Hall, Flavil Nichols and Flavil Miller, have
confirmed this understanding of the meaning of their names.
Hall, "Thoughts - Personal and Reminiscent," CL 6-30-1925, 5.
C. Finley, ed. Our
Garden of Song
(West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing, 1980), 236.
H. Hall, Sixty Years in the Pulpit, (Nashville: Old Paths Book Club,
Hall, Pearls of Truth, (Cincinnati: F. L. Rowe Publisher, 1913), 106.
Hall, "They Pass Beyond Our Vision," CL 10-4-1927, 5.
Hall, "Gospel Message department," Christian Word and Work, vol. 5, no. 1
Hall, "Field Notes and Helpful Thoughts," CL 10-14-1924, 6.
H. Hall, 79.
H. Hall, 81. Hall also believed that the success of the book got G. H. P.
Showalter of the Firm Foundation started in the song book business. The
book has largely been overlooked by modern assessments of hymnals as containing
"overly sentimental poetry and poor attempts to state doctrine in verse."
(Forrest McCann, "Changing Our Tune: The History of Hymnals," Gospel Advocate,
December 1998, 13).
Rowe published six of the songbooks and the Rudiments book. Some of these would
pass through several editions.
Miller, interview by Bruce Daugherty, February 24, 2004.
the families that Hall held in high esteem were the Morrisons at Creighton Ridge
in Monroe county, the McFaddens at Bethel in Guernsey county, the Frank Butts
family at Glouster in Athens county, the Millers at Seneca Valley and the C. C.
Roe's at Crum Ridge in Noble county.
Hall, "Field Notes and Helpful Thoughts," CL 7-7-1914, 10.
Hall, "The Work at Holland, GA.," The Christian Word and Work, vol. 5 no.
13 (1912), 13.
from the sale of his book, Pearls of Truth, went to help the orphans and
other needy children at the school.
Hall, "Soulful, Hopeful, Helpful Thoughts," CL 8-21-1928, 5.
CL 8-26-1930, 5.
Hall, "The Journey Ended - From Port to Port," CL 2-19-1935, 10.
Hall, letter to Bruce Daugherty, 7-7-2004. Bill is Flavil Hall's grandson.
was dropped from the masthead in 1933; Hall two years later. No explanation was
given by Fred Rowe concerning these changes. More details concerning Elston,
Hall and the pre-millenial question will be covered in the theological section
of this study.
Q. Martin, "What Next?," CL 2-9-1932, 5.
Hall, "Let's Be Charitable," CL 2-16-1932, 6.
Rowe, "Let Brother Martin Do It," CL 4-26-1932, 9.
Rowe, "Condenser," CL 4-22-1930, 9.
Rowe, CL 12-22-1931, 8.
E. Hinton, "At Rest," Gospel Advocate, 1952, 756.
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Books by Flavil Hall
Pearls of Truth.
Cincinnati: F. L. Rowe
Grace and Glory. Pine Apple, AL: Privately Published, 1950.
Hall's Rudiments of Music.
Cincinnati: F. L. Rowe
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Songbooks edited or
co-edited by Flavil Hall
Message in Song - Gospel Message Publishing, 1908.
Redemption's Way in Song - F. L. Rowe Publishing, 1911.
Song - F. L. Rowe Publishing, 1915
and Resurrection in Song - S. H. Hall & Flavil Hall, 1917.
and Nine Living Songs - F. L. Rowe Publishing, 1922.
Hope (In Song) – 1926
Heart Thrills - F. L. Rowe Publishing, 1932.
Perfect Gospel Hymnal.
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One Of The Songs The Hall Preachers Compiled To
Teach The Truth Of God's Word
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thanks are extended to Bruce Daugherty, minister for the Church of Christ in
Cambridge, Ohio for the information provided on this site. The sketch above and directions
to the grave are the result of his long and
time-consuming research. The information in the sketch is part of his Master’s
Degree in Restoration History from Harding Graduate School, Memphis, Tennessee.
He contacted your webmaster
last year as he was pursuing the location of the grave of F.J. Hall. It is good
to see that his efforts were successful, and that we now have another piece of
the RM puzzle published for the benefit of preserving our past.
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The Old Hall's Valley Church of Christ Where Flavil
Hall's Family Attended For Years
Church Of Christ
Acc. to 21ft.
N34º 35.609' x W085º 15.358'
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Location Of The Grave Of Flavil J. Hall
Flavil Hall is buried in the Hall Family
Cemetery north of Trion, Georgia in Walker County. North of Atlanta take I-75 to
Adairsville, Exit 306 and travel west on Hwy 140. Travel about 18 miles and turn
north on Hwy 27. Travel through Summerville and continue through Trion north.
Just north of Trion you will see Halls Valley Rd., but continue north on Hwy 27.
as you will see it again. Shortly after you cross the Walker County line, there is a sign on the right of
the highway for the Church of Christ at Halls Valley. Turn right onto Halls
and stay on that road approximately 1.7 miles until you come to the Halls Valley
Church of Christ. At the church bear to the left and at .3 miles you will see a
sign on your right for Hall Cemetery. There are two entrances. Either entrance
will take you up around to the cemetery. So if you head up the entrance to your
right, (take the nylon rope down) and go up the
hill to the cemetery. Flavil Hall's marker is found under an oak tree toward the
back right corner of the cemetery.
Acc. to 21ft.
N 34º35.833' x W 085º15.127'
Grave Facing East
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June 22, 1876
Aug. 16, 1952
From Service To Reward
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