History of the Restoration Movement

James Marion Tolle, Jr


Source: Find-A-Grave

The Life of J.M. Tolle

James Marion Tolle was born October 22, 1915 in Amarillo, Texas. He was the son of James Marion Tolle, Sr. (1885-1959) and Margaret Hollis Tolle (1887-1979). He was baptized by W.B. West, Jr. in 1934. He was married to the daughter of Joshua Bibb Kerby (1882-1977) and Alma Gertrude Lloyd Kerby (1886-1967), Kathryn Adelaide Kerby of Lewisburg, Tennessee, July 6, 1959.

After high school, James went to Nashville, Tennessee to study at David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). He finished his B.A. degree at the University of Tampa, Florida. Later, he attended George Peabody College, Nashville, receiving the M.A. degree. He also did post-graduate work at Los Angeles State.

He began preaching in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee in 1936. Other works included working with the Seminole Heights church in Tampa, Florida from 1937-1939; the church of Christ in Winter Haven, Florida from 1939-1940; the church in Donelson, Tennessee from 1941-1943; Twelfth Ave. church of Christ in Nashville from 1943-1945; the church in Fayette, Alabama from 1945-1947; Alhambra, California from 1947-1948; the Alexander Street church of Christ in Fernando, California from 1949-1958; the West Fullerton church of Christ in Fullerton, California from 1958 to 1960; then at Park Hill church of Christ in Denver, Colorado, from 1960-1961; then the Brentwood church of Christ in Austin, Texas from 1961-1962. He then returned to the work in Fullerton, California from 1962-1969. He was the preacher for the Central church of Christ in Los Angeles, California from 1971 to 1973. In the late 1980s he preached for the Carlsbad church of Christ in Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 1991 the family moved to Kathryn's family home in Shelbyville, Tennessee where he began preaching for the church of Christ in Bell Buckle.

He was a member of the Tennessee Historical Society and the Manuscript Society. He was a Pi Gamma Mu. He was also an amateur art and historical manuscript collector, especially in the field of musicana.

He wrote much for brotherhood papers, like Power For Today and the Gospel Advocate. In 1946 he served as editor of the Alabama paper, Truth in Love. He began producing books, mature adult study guides and tracts through a publishing company he founded called Tolle Publications. By 1969, he had produced six adult study guides and 22 tracts.

In the mid-1940s, while preaching for the Twelfth Avenue church of Christ in Nashville, he participated in a preacher training school held at the West End church of Christ. He taught courses in Bible with the likes of E.H.Ijams, B.L. Douthitt, Dr. B.H. Murphy, Miss, Lucy Glass, Mrs. E.H. Ijams, and James R. Cope. Also, during this time he submitted several articles to the Nashville paper, The Tennessean, under the title of "Religion In Life." The articles were devoted to several biblical topics.

Other interesting duties included working for a time for a Los Angeles advertising agency. He also did some instructing at what is now Lipscomb University, as well as teaching Bible courses at George Peabody College.

Jimmy Tolle appeared on lectureships as guest speaker at Pepperdine, Lipscomb, and Oklahoma Christian Universities, as well as holding several gospel meetings each year.

He spent his last years in Bedford County, Tennessee. He continued writing as long as health allowed him too. Death took the life of this great soldier of the cross on June 22, 2005. His body was laid to rest in the beautiful Hollywood Cemetery at Wartrace, Tennessee, to await the coming of the Lord. Kathryn lived several years beyond that of her husband. She passed away January 22, 2013, and burial followed next to her husband.

-Scott Harp, 12.26.2019

-Preachers of Today, Vol. 2, ed. Batsell Barrett Baxter and M. Norvel Young, Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, c.1959, page 441; Vol. 4, c.1970, p.319; Ancestry.com; and others.

Publication Of J.M. Tolle

J.M. Tolle - 1944

The Tennessean, Saturday, September 1, 1945, page 8 (Nashville, Tennessee)

Nashville Banner, Saturday, November 13,1943, page 3 (Nashville, Tennessee)

Nashville Banner, Thursday, June 14, 1956, page 9 (Nashville, Tennessee)

1971 Pepperdine Lectures Program

Firm Foundation, April 27, 1965, p.269

Directions To The Grave of J.M. Tolle

The Tolle family plot is located in the Hollywood Cemetery in Wartrace, Tennessee. It is located at the end of Spring Street on the west side of the railroad tracks. GPS location below will give exact location of the grave in the cemetery.

GPS Location
35°31'59.7"N 86°20'10.6"W
35.533236, -86.336280

Source: Ancestry.com

Kathryn Kerby - October 26, 1924 - January 22, 2013
James Marion - October 22, 1915 - June 22, 2005

Photos Taken 2.2019
Webpage produced 12.25.2019
Courtesy Of Scott Harp


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