William T. "Tip" Grider
The Work Of W.T. Grider
Brother W. T. Grider, whose likeness appears above, is not a stranger to the churches of South Alabama. He was born December 19, 1885 in Bullock County, Alabama, and was baptized into Christ at the age of 18 by Brother Amos Harris. Previous to his conversion he was a steward in the Methodist church. He preached his first sermon on April 6, 1906.
Brother Grider attended Jackson Bible School, Valdosta, Georgia (Now Dasher Bible School) one year. He also studied under Brother W. J. Haynes at the Grady Bible School for three years, and then attended Highland Home College.
Brother Grider preaches one Sunday each month for both the Troy and Cedar Grove congregations, and on the other two Sundays he preaches for the Luverne congregation. In addition he preaches one Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for the Mt. Pleasant congregation, and one Sunday afternoon for the Snow Hill congregation. He devotes three months each year to meeting work.
-W.C. Graves, Sound Doctrine, March 10, 1941, page 3 / Note: This is a timed piece. Some of those enlisted as living may be now deceased.
by Hugh Fulford
The first preacher of the Restoration Plea I ever remember hearing was W. T. (Tip) Grider of Rose Hill, Alabama. I was about eight or nine years old when I heard brother Grider. He himself would have been passed sixty years of age at the time.
My sister and I had been going to Sunday School (and occasionally staying for "church") at the First Baptist Church in our hometown of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Our father was a member of the Methodist Church, but never attended. Our mother had obeyed the gospel as a teenage girl at the Earlytown Church of Christ in Geneva County, Alabama, and though she had not remained faithful in her attendance after her family moved away from Earlytown, she had never forgotten the basic principles of the gospel she had been taught and never would have consented to join a denominational church of any kind.
My maternal grandparents lived in the Liberty community of Walton County, Florida, and it was here that brother Grider would come perhaps one Sunday afternoon a month to preach in the Liberty schoolhouse. (Brother Grider also conducted one or two tent meetings at Liberty.) My grandparents were members of the church and attended the services. My mother, father, sister and I also would attend. It was brother Grider who got my father's attention with the simplicity of the gospel, and that eventually led him to obey the gospel, being baptized by the late Paul Simon in 1948. Were it not, however, for the faithful and dedicated labors of W. T. Grider, it is doubtful if my father would ever have known the Lord's way and entered it, along with his children as they each reached the age of accountability. (Ironically, the first gospel meeting I ever conducted was with the small church at Liberty—by then meeting in its own modest building—in December of 1955 during the Christmas break of my freshman year at Freed-Hardeman College, and still a few days short of my eighteenth birthday.)
In the March 10, 1941 issue of Sound Doctrine (Vol. 1, No. 1), edited by Leonard Johnson and Rex A. Turner, co-founders of Montgomery Bible College (now Faulkner University), there appears the following thumb-nail sketch of brother Grider. I am most pleased to share it with the readers of The Alabama Restoration Journal because of what brother Grider meant to the cause of the Restoration in South Alabama and to my family personally.
"Brother W. T. Grider, whose likeness appears above is not a stranger to the churches of South Alabama. He was born December 19, 1885 in Bullock County, Alabama, and was baptized into Christ at the age of 18 by Brother Amos Harris. Previous to his conversion he was a steward in the Methodist church. He preached his first sermon on April 6, 1906.
"Brother Grider attended Jackson Bible School, Valdosta, Georgia (Now Dasher Bible School) one year. He also studied under Brother W. J. Haynes at the Grady Bible School for three years, and then attended Highland Home College.
"Brother Grider preaches one Sunday each month for both the Troy and Cedar Grove congregations, and on the other two Sundays he preaches for the Luverne congregation. In addition he preaches one Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for the Mt. Pleasant congregation, and one Sunday afternoon for the Snow Hill congregation. He devotes three months each year to meeting work."
The Bible tells us to "remember those…who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Heb. 13:7, NKJV). I am most pleased to do what this passage enjoins and to remember the faithful work of W. T. Grider.
-Hugh Fulford, Restoration Tidbits, Alabama Restoration Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, February 1, 2012, page 20 / Note: This is a timed piece. Some of those enlisted as living may be now deceased.
W. T. Grider Passes
W. T. Grider, a gospel preacher known and loved by thousands of people in south Alabama, passed this life October 20, 1949. He was born December 19, 1885, at Inverness, Ala. At the age of eighteen, while serving as a steward in the Methodist church, he heard and obeyed the gospel as it was preached by Amos Harris in a meeting near Opp, Ala. He labored in the kingdom of God as an evangelist for forty-three years.
Brother Grider attended Jackson Bible College, Valdosta, Ga. (now Dasher Bible School) for one year. Then for the next three years he attended a Bible school conducted by W. J. Haynes at Grady, Ala. It was during this period of his life and schoolwork that he preached his first sermon at the Oak Bowery church of Christ in April 6, 1906. He then taught school and preached the gospel in Covington and Crenshaw Counties, and while working under such an arrangement he met and married Miss Claudia V. Mathews. To this union four children were born. They are: Mrs. Kathryn G. Collins, William A. Grider, Mrs. Ethlyn G. Wilson, and Helen Grider.
After Brother Grider had the responsiility of a family to support, he moved to Highland Home, Ala., and attended the Highland Home College. On leaving college, he did evangelistic work throughout South Alabama. He led in the establishment of numbers of congregations through it this section of the country. In fact, he led in the establishment of so many congregations that his family has no way of listing all of them.
Brother Grider was always cheerful, enthusiastic, and unselfish in all of his work. He preached more times without pay than he did with pay. For years he worked as a salesman for the McNeel Marble Company, Marietta, Ga. He held this connection until his death. This work did not interfere with his preaching, and at the same time it provided him with a livelihood so that be could go to destitute places and preach with but little or no support. Brother Grider and the late Fred M. Little were associated for some three years in the publishing of a religious paper, The Gospel Messenger. Brother Grider was also a staff writer for Sound Doctrine, and wrote under the title, "Being Dead, Yet Speaketh." In his articles he reviewed the lives and contributions of the early gospel preachers of south Alabama. His family and host of friends now say of him that though he is dead, be ''yet speaketh." The following by T. H. Enzor of Andalusia, Ala., is an example of the esteem and love in which Brother Grider was held by so many in south Alabama:
"The undersigned is past eighty years old. I was baptized by W. J. Haynes at Grady, Ala., at the age of nineteen—sixty-one years ago. I first met W. T. Grider in 1909, and have known and have been intimately associated with him continuously since that date. He was humble, optimistic, generous, and sacrificing. He was one of the pioneer preachers for this section of the church of Christ, and bas made more sacrifice in both time and money than any I have ever known. No task was too small or great. He was true to every duty and responsibility imposed. He has done more free preaching, preached more funerals, often a hundred miles or more distant, without thought of remuneration. Early in his experience as a young preacher he gave his last twenty-five cents to a beggar whom he met on the way. No one is able to recount the small and great sacrifices that this good man made with a smile, and no complaint was ever heard by anyone. His friends were numbered by his acquaintances; even those who opposed his teaching were his friends. There were more people in the small town of Dozier, Ala., where his funeral was preached, than had ever been there at any one time before; I am sure a fair estimate of the attendance is three thousand. An irreparable loss bas been suffered by the church, the family, his brethren, and by the entire section where he was known and loved. Truly a great man has passed to his reward.
"One that loved him,
"T. H. Enzor."
Brother Grider's death came as an unexpected blow to all. He had not been feeling well for a week or more. He bad been sick for some three or four times with what he thought was indigestion. He went to his doctor for a checkup, and the doctor warned him that the trouble could be from his heart. On the Thursday that he died he bad been at home all day. He had not felt too well, but was planning to attend services at Andalusia that night. Sister Grider had stepped away from their farm home to a neighbor's home for only a few minutes; but when she returned, she found him prostrate on the floor. His doctor was called, and he arrived immediately. Death came about thirty minutes later.
This writer, at the beginning of his radio program on the following morning, announced that W. T. Grider would preach that night at the Honoraville church of Christ. Near the conclusion of the program, word of his death was received, and the same program was concluded with an announcement of his death. Fitzhugh Ellington, Herman Register, and the writer conducted the funeral service. There was a large gathering of friends present. The crowd has been estimated at from about fifteen hundred to three thousand 'people.
Several years ago Brother Grider arranged for this writer to visit many of the churches throughout south Alabama to speak to them on the subject of "Premillennialism." He has always supported the Montgomery Bible College, both morally and financially. For all of this, and for Brother Tip's (as we all knew him) friendship and love, the writer is grateful. To his family, who loved him so dearly and depended on him so much, we extend our deepest sympathy.
-Rex Turner, Gospel Advocate, December 15, 1949, page 789
Directions To The Grave of W.T. Grider
W.T. Grider is buried in the Dozier Cemetery in the community of Dozier in southern Crenshaw County, Alabama. Dozier lies about 70 miles south of Montgomery, Alabama just off Hwy. 331 on Hwy. 9. Heading south of Montgomery, head down Hwy. 331 to Brantley, and turn right on Hwy. 9, W. Emmett Ave. go about 10 miles and the cemetery will be on your right. Go in the drive at the end (not paved). The cemetery is small, the plot marker is unique. Look for the fleece-hat arch monument, and this will be the Grider's plot.
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Photos Taken 08.08.2013
Site produced 08.14.2013
Courtesy of Scott Harp