History of the Restoration Movement

James Roy Garner


Source: Preachers Of Today v.3

Brief Sketch On The Life of James Roy Garner

James Roy Garner was born October 7, 1931, in Old Hickory, Davidson County, Tennessee. He was the son of Clarence Jewels Garner (1901-1994) and Sarah Pocahontas Cawthon (1907-2000). He was married twice, first to Dorothy Joan Powers on June 11, 1955. Three children, James Timothy, Dorenda Gay, and Dennis Galen, were born into this union. He married again in his early forties to Mary Louise McFalls on July 3, 1978. Mary was the daughter of R. V. Cawthon, a well-known gospel preacher in central Tennessee during his day. James' father, C. V. Garner, was also a gospel preacher. James Cope baptized him on October 7, 1944. He said, "Great men like Ira North, Willard Collins, Batsell Barrett Baxter, and C. J. Garner encouraged me greatly. R. V. Cawthon, a pioneer preacher of Tenn., as well as my grandfather set before me a great Christian example. Yield my accomplishments to these men in Christ." (Preachers of Today, vol. 3).

Education opportunities allowed James to attend David Lipscomb College, Harding College, and Middle Tennessee State College. While at Lipscomb, he worked with the Madison church of Christ as an associate to Ira North.

He began preaching in rural congregations in Tennessee in 1952. He was at Philippi church from 1953 to 1955. He was at Palmer, Tennessee, in 1955. From 1956 to 1960, he preached at the Hillcrest church of Christ in Anderson, Indiana. From there, the family moved to Vallejo, California, where he served from 1962. Then, he worked for the Huntington Park church in Anaheim beginning in 1967.

The last years of his life were spent in Lebanon, Tennessee. He passed from this life on July 13, 1999.

-Scott Harp, 06.12.2024

Sources: Preachers of Today, vols. 3, 4. Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com

Note: More information would be helpful in the production of this page.

James R. & Mary Louise Garner
Source: Ancestry.com

It's Kind of Catching

"It's kind of catching." That's the way a child might put it. Educated grown-ups would just probably say, "It's contagious."

When we were children our mothers got real concerned every time they heard some child had caught the measles. They practically taught us, "Don't you catch the measles," but we caught them anyhow because of the company we kept. All you had to do was just go' to school, and the measles were there, just like reading, writing and arithmetic.

Some of the fondest memories of our childhood center around "the catching of measles." Poor mother would wait on us and bring us ice cream and soup, and even slip us a bit of candy, because we were so bravely enduring. Dad would even buy us a funny book, which he never thought of doing when we were well. The fever came and Mom would try every way in the world to get the red spots to break out. One minute she had the hot water bottle all wrapped with a towel, on our heads, then she would have a cold rag a few minutes later to cool the fever. Mom was always saying those comforting words like, "Bless my little baby's heart."

There were about two days that were kind of rough. I enjoyed the time I caught the measles, but I always wondered what it meant when those fellows from the health department came and put up a great big red sign that said, "QUARANTINE." I looked the word up and the part that defined it best to me was, "to keep from normal relations." Nothing was normal; No school, no getting up early, no chores, nobody fussing at you, everybody loved you, food was served in bed.

And then that glorious day came. Red bumps all over. Then the whole procedure reversed . . . Mother would carefully go after every one of those bumps with "dry up" lotion. It didn't quite make sense to me, trying so hard to make them break out and then trying harder to get rid of them.

Anyway the bumps finally started disappearing. The last day mother took my temperature, things seemed to change. She made the suggestion that I could come to the table to eat with the rest of the family. It was then I tried to show her how high my temperature was. I wasn't ready to be brought back to normal relations. I learned, though, that one of those warm morning coal stoves wasn't about to help me cause Mama to think I had the highest temperature ever. She wanted to know what happened to the thermometer and I told her I dropped it. Believe me, I did, and you'd drop it too if when you touched it to the stove it exploded.

Now, believe it or not, Jesus put a quarantine sign on his church. He meant for us to be kept from the normal relations of the world.

Peter explained it like this, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). Peter expressed our feelings as they should be in 1 Peter 2 :7-"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious."

We want people to know that they are liable to catch something if they attend the worship services of the churches of Christ: "Precious Jesus, marvelous light, fellowship and joy divine.”

God has a special kind of care and love that is beyond earth's understanding, for those who become children of God. Paul described it as "God's great love wherewith he loved us" (Eph. 2:4).

He described one of the riches obedient children of God receive when he said, "For Jesus is our peace" (Eph. 2:14). Can you hear Jesus saying to you as recorded in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

PEACE, but not the same kind 'that the world will give you. You know the peace the world affords is kind of like the discomforting part of the measles. It breaks out here and there and then disappears; but Jesus describes this special kind of attention, this special kind of care, this special peace that gives us comfort so sweet, and so assuring.

And so it is with the Christian life. Nothing gives the Christian more delight than to think back on the times that were so trying yet sweet because Jesus was with them. To personally believe, Jesus was with me! That's a part of the promise Jesus gave to those who hear and obey the gospel. Matthew 28:20 records Jesus promising, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

Jesus gave that promise right after he uttered the soul-catching words, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19, 20).

You can't attend the worship services of churches of Christ very long, until you'll hear those words. You can't keep on hearing those words if you have any faith at all, without their finally catching you.

Why do faithful members keep on coming back for more? Jesus said, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."

You just can't keep attending and being exposed to the truth without its being catching. The results are nothing short of great, for when you are caught by the gospel, Christ will quarantine you from the normal relations of the world.

520 Arnold Rd., East Peoria, Ill. 61611

- James Roy Garner, Firm Foundation, 1974, page 8 [568].

Source: Grove City Press, Pismo Beach, California
03.23.1967, p.26 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
04.01.1967, p. 9 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
03.16.1968, p. 12 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
12.14.1968, p. 12 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
02.17.1969, p. 28 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
04.26.1969, p. 14 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
06.03.1969, p. 10 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
06.02.1969, p. 14 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
11.22.1969, p. 37 Newspapers.com

Anaheim Bulletin, Anaheim, California
02.02.1970, p. 14 Newspapers.com

Chula Vista Star, Chula Vista, California
11.19.1970, p.37 Newspapers.com

The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee
10.12.1971, p.24 Newspapers.com
Note: Added to show Jim's role in his father-in-law, R.V. Cawthon's funeral

Directions To Grave

Jim and Louise Garner are buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon, Tennessee. From I-40 take Exit 238, U.S. Hwy. 231 and head north. Turn left on Ligon St. and go until it deads end into S. Maple St. Turn right and enter the first entrance into the cemetery on your right. The GPS location below will take you right to the grave, just down the little lane on the right.

GPS Location
36°11'34.8"N 86°17'56.4"W
or D.d. 36.192995,-86.299012

"Jim and Louise"
Louise McFalls - November 30, 1938 - November 21, 2016
"Our Hero" James Roy - October 7, 1931 - July 13, 1999

Photos Taken 04.24.2024
Webpage Produced 06.12.2024
Courtesy Of Scott Harp

Special Recollection: I had the distinct blessing of visiting the graves of Jim and Louise Garner while traveling to Knoxville for the lectureship of the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies at the Karns church of Christ in April 2024.


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