Last Sunday, my brother Lowell went with me to the Tellico Plains Church of God to help me teach the Sunday School lesson for the Sanctuary Class. We are coming rapidly to a close of studying "Through The Bible in One Year" in our class and the lesson for the day was on 2nd Peter and Jude. We only have 45 minutes to teach - so naturally we cannot cover all the wonderful teaching contained in those two books - but after 20 minutes on 2nd Peter, I walked back to where he was sitting and gave him the "tag". He immediately jumped into the ring and began to deliver the teachings of the book of Jude about "false teachers" in such a positive and faith-building way! After we arrived and before Sunday School started, Pastor Paul Fritts also asked my brother to deliver the sermon. He did a fantastic job on both presentations! Thanks Lowell!!!
Regrettably I forgot to take his picture while he was teaching or preaching - but here's one of him with son Jonathan graduating from college.
Today I visited the Theological Seminary's Chapel service (11:00 - 12:00) because I had learned that one of my favorite Theologians (Dr. James Beaty) was giving a presentation on the "Continuing Influence of the Church of God Teachings and Practical Commitments". On Tuesday, Dr. R. Hollis Gause (another of my favorites) had taught on "The Historical Development of Church of God Doctrine". It's great to have these men still with us (Beaty and Gause) who were part of shaping our statements - and hearing some of the dynamics that influenced them. I learned today (can you believe it?) that American Wesleyan teaching is a good bit different from what Wesley originally taught. I wish I could remember all the good things they said. It was quite revealing to learn that one of our "prime movers" in the late 1800s and early 1900s was totally against the church having any "creed" or "doctrines of men" and taught that we should use only the New Testament for our statements of faith and doctrine.
Left to right: Dr. Stephen Land; Dr. Hollis Gause; Dr. David Roebuck and Dr. James Beaty. These men are pillars in the movement known as the Church of God with International Headquarters in Cleveland, TN.
The teaching session was followed up with a panel which included Dr's Beaty and Gause, who were joined at the table by Dr. David Roebuck (Church Historian) and Dr. Stephen Land (President of the Seminary). After the session concluded I was able to get this picture of the four leaders. Two of them have agreed to accompany me in the coming weeks as guest Sunday School teacher at the Tellico Plains Church of God where I teach the Sanctuary Sunday School Class. To say "I'm excited" about that prospect is an understatement!
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- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.