Biographical Sketch On
The Life Of W. Curtis Porter
Curtis Porter was born in Myrtle, Mississippi, on February 26, 1897. He
had lived in Monette, Arkansas from 1942 until his death. He
was baptized by Jesse T. Lashlee when he was 14 years old, July, 1911.
He began preaching at Mangrum, Arkansas in 1914 at the age of 17. He
received formal training at Monea College, Rector, Arkansas. He preached
for the Oak Park church in Sacramento, California from 1933 to 1934. He
then served at the South Main Street congregation in Weatherford, Texas
from 1935-1938. He was at Tenth and Rockford in Tulsa, Oklahoma
had a great passion for writing. He wrote for a number of journals,
including the Gospel Guardian and served as Associate Editor of
the Christian Worker. He also wrote articles for the Firm
Foundation and the Gospel Advocate.
1935 he wrote a book called, Divine Healing, published by the
Firm Foundation. In 1947 he wrote Ask Your Preacher, released
through the Cogdill Publishing Co. Later in 1952 the same publisher
would release another volume he wrote called, Dissolving A Few
was a unique man in many ways. He possessed great wit, a sense of humor,
humility, courage, knowledge of God's Word, and one of the greatest
analytical minds. He could detect the fallacy of an argument before it
was completed and immediately knew how to reply effectively. Although
his ability as a preacher was great, his greatest work was in the field
of polemics. That is why he was called by brethren, far and near, to
defend the truth against any and all error. It made no difference what
the error was. In all he had 77 debates in his lifetime.
of his debates included: Porter-Tingley Debate on The Plan Of Salvation
- 1947; Porter-Jackson Debate on Salvation and Apostasy - 1946; Porter -
Canada Debate on Baptism and Miracles in 1951.
1942 Bro. Porter was stricken with Polycythemiavera, a rare blood
disease, usually fatal within two years. Atomic isotopes were used to
extend his life. He lived for another eighteen years, during which time
he preached and taught the masses.
had two brothers, E. Lacy and Reuben Porter who preached as well as a
nephew, Jerry Porter who preached.
believed in God, His Word, and His church. Although he possessed no gift
of prophecy, it is our view that few men will be as frequently quoted in
the future as will W. Curtis Porter. Through his sermons, articles,
debates, and material yet unpublished, his influence will be felt for
many years to come. As God said of Abel, "He, being dead, yet
died in a Memphis hospital on July 5, 1960, at the age of 63 years. He
was survived by his wife, Mary; three brothers, E. Lacy Porter of
Benton, Illinois, Kyle Porter of Black Oak, Arkansas, and Reuben Porter
of Wilmington, California. The funeral service for Porter was conducted
in Monette, Arkansas, on July 7, 1960, by Paul Keller, Edgar Dye and
7, 1960, was a beautiful day in Arkansas but for many who had heard of
the passing of Porter it was a day of sadness as this great man was laid
to rest. Brethren and friends began arriving at his home in Monette
during the night, July 6, and early morning of the 7th. Many had driven
from other States to be present for the funeral. Dozens marched silently
and reverently by his body in the funeral home during the morning. The
building could not hold all who were present for the funeral service.
of the three men who presided in the funeral service spoke words of
praise and honor for the servant of God. Eugene Britnell spoke first by
reading the obituary and closed with the appropriate statement from the
"Book of God" (as Porter frequently referred to the Bible):
"Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day
in Israel?" Ed Dye spoke next and worded the prayer. He read and
briefly reviewed many Scriptures describing the faith, character, work
and hope of Porter. Paul Keller delivered the principal address which
was greatly appreciated by all who loved and appreciated W. Curtis
Porter. Porter was conscious until a few hours before his death. He
talked of death calmly and with great hope. He planned his funeral.
with Job of old, few men on earth have suffered as did Porter. For some
15 years, he had suffered from a rare blood malady, along with other
complications. Surely, for him to "depart and be with Christ, is
far better." He continued to schedule meetings, debates, and
speaking engagements until a few days before his death. He was truly
"faithful unto death."
the sun was sinking into the West, amid the beauty and fragrance of the
green grass, stately trees, and beautiful flowers of the Monette
cemetery, the body of W. Curtis Porter was laid to rest and awaits the
call of his Master at the last day. A beautiful double monument-with
flowers, an open Bible, and the names and dates carved on it stands at
the grave today. It bears an epitaph written by Porter with his personal
signature carved below, which reads:
the crystal river,
With angels standing by;
We long some day to wander
My ransomed wife and I. "
sketch was developed from information found in In Memoriam,
Gussie Lambert, Shreveport, LA, c.1988, pages 229,230 and Preachers
of Today, Vol. I, Batsell B. Baxter &
M. Norvel Young Editors, The
Christian Press, Nashville, TN c.1952 page 274
Of The Grave of W. Curtis Porter
W. C. Porter is buried in Monette Memorial Cemetery in Monette,
Arkansas. From West Memphis, Arkansas take I-55 North to Blytheville.
Take Exit 67 and go west on Highway 18 Continue through town and stay on
Highway 18 to Monette. On Hwy. 18 in Monette, turn left onto Reeves
Street (County Rd. 210) next to the high school and across the street
from the church of Christ building and go three blocks south. Turn left
on Hogan Ave. and the Porter grave is the next to the last grave on the
right and about two graves in from the street.
N35 53.185 x W90 20.902
January 9, 1955
February 29, 1897
July 5, 1960
the crystal river, With angels standing by;
We long some day to wander
, My ransomed wife and I. "
W. Curtis Porter
Special Thanks To Tom
Childers Of Henderson, Tennessee For Providing Pictures And Location
Information Of The Grave Of W. C. Porter.