MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BNC) — Long-time gospel preacher Garland Elkins died this morning, Oct. 28. He was 90 years old.
“After a life of faithful service as a gospel preacher and a Christian gentleman, our beloved brother Garland Elkins passed away in the early hours of the morning on this day, Oct. 28, 2016. He had arrived home from the hospital late on Thursday evening, and had settled into his own bed, when he drifted off to sleep,” B.J. Clarke wrote.
Former student Matthew Martin of Guy, Ark., wrote:
He once debated a Baptist preacher named Bob Ross on the subject of baptism and its authority. Elkins used one verse—Mark 16:16—and repeated its simple truth over and over to the increased consternation of his opponent. At one point Ross shouted, “Will you just move to a new verse already?!” Elkins responded, “When you’re able to answer this one, I’ll move on to the next one.”
Matthew recalled that Elkins was perhaps best remembered for his appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1974, on the subject of church discipline, after an Oklahoma church was sued by a disfellowshipped woman. (See video below.)
Despite the rudeness of the host and many others, Elkins never lost his composure. He never raised his voice. He never spoke out of turn. With millions watching, he demonstrated a Christ-like demeanor better than any since Paul stood before Agrippa. And not just there, but his whole life is filled with examples and accounts of meekness, kindness, generosity, zealous love of Truth and commitment to helping souls find Christ.
He worked for many years with Memphis School of Preaching.
Elkins memorized much of the Bible in several versions.
Former student Donnie Vicki wrote:
He was a stalwart defender of the truth and a genuine Christian gentleman. He was always ready to have a personal Bible study with someone. He would often hand out a tract and say, “If it agrees with the Bible accept it. If not, reject it.”