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Book Signing with Wayne Kilpatrick
October 15 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Meet and greet author Wayne Kilpatrick in the Overton Memorial Library on October 15 at 6:30 pm!
In J.R. Bradley: A Forgotten Larimore Boy, Kilpatrick explores Bradley’s life and work primarily in North Alabama and South Central Tennessee. His poverty is revealed in all its harsh reality. His struggles with difficult illnesses demonstrate the typical life of a poor pioneer preacher and help the reader understand how challenging situations can be handled today. Bradley’s memory should have lived on in the congregations he helped establish. Unfortunately, very few, if any, current members of these churches know who he was. God, however, knows his name—“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13). Bradley’s works have quietly followed him for a hundred years in the churches where he sacrificed so much.
With meticulous research, this book traces Bradley’s ministry, including how he helped frame discussions regarding early controversies from Sunday Schools in churches to shape notes in song books. Bradley held many debates and moderated several others. He helped raise money to build church buildings, even when he had no money of his own. He believed strongly in the word of God and was willing to endure toils and trials as a poor minister while not growing weary in his labors. Bradley loved people and so did his wife, Mary E. Liles Bradley. She was the one who encouraged him and cheered him when bad times came. Her faith was just as strong as that of her husband. Her loyalty to the cause she shared with him demonstrates all that a pioneer preacher’s wife could be. This book will appeal to anyone who desires to peer into a window of life itself and to understand the tenacity of an enduring faith.
The legacy of James R. (J.R.) Bradley has slipped into a forgotten realm along with that of many others trained at Mars Hill College under the instruction of T.B. Larimore. While Bradley was not the most recognized “Larimore boy,” C. Wayne Kilpatrick argues that he may have been among the most productive in his labors for the kingdom of God. He helped establish at least twenty-one congregations and as of 2019 seventeen of those churches were still meeting.
C. WAYNE KILPATRICK (M.A.R. Harding Graduate School of Religion) is Associate Professor of Church History at Heritage Christian University. He is a former missionary to England and is instrumental to missions in Torreon and Yucatan, Mexico. He is also a contributing editor to the Alabama Restoration Journal.