Gervais Knox Wallace
Bio Sketch FHU, 1973
Dedication From FHU Lectures, 1978
Dedication Page From FSOP, 2003
A Wonderful Life, Lillian Wallace
Location Of Wallace Grave, Florida
September 11, 2001 Hillsboro Memorial
The Restoration Plea, Sermon
G.K. Wallace was born near McKinney, Colin County, Texas on September 2, 1903. He was the eighth of fourteen children born to the J.W. Wallace family. When he was three months old he and his family moved to Montague County (Bowie) and there he grew up as a son of a Texas sharecropper and farmer. As a child, his family road in a wagon or on horseback to church. His older brothers road horses, but G.K. road a mule named Peanut. The church services were held in a schoolhouse. They would have Sunday School, one class, and the Lord's Supper with one glass. There was no preaching except during the "big meeting" time held in the moonlight nights of August. During one such meeting held in 1916, G.K. was baptized by his first cousin, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., in a cow pond on the prairie of North Texas. After the baptism, the senior Wallace, just aged 20 himself, pulled the thirteen-year-old boy into his lap and said, "I hope some day to hear you preach the gospel." Both Wallaces were part of a family of preachers, from their grandfather, Thomas Knox Wallace, to some of their own brothers and cousins. According to G.K. there were at least twenty men he was related to who preached the old time message.He preached his first sermon at Montague, Texas, at the age of 20 in 1923. He became a full-time preacher at Moro, Texas, the following year at the age of 21. On September 1st, 1924 he entered Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University) to further prepare himself for the ministry. When he arrived he had fifty dollars and an old blue suit. He lived in an old Mexican shack located in the back yard of the home of Batsell Baxter, the president of the college. While there he supported himself with preaching and being a janitor at the school. He was elected president of the A-Club, the highest honor organization in the college. When the club later merged with the National Blue Key Scholarship Society, he automatically became one of its members.
While at Abilene G.K. Wallace began his evangelistic work. He preached in Gospel Meetings during the summers in various places. It was not unusual to baptize twenty-five or thirty in each meeting.
In 1928 he graduated from ACU with a double major, one in Bible and the other in English, and a minor in Greek. He said that he minored in Greek because he was tired of little Denominational preachers getting up and saying, "This is what the Bible says but let me tell you what the Greek says." His study of the original language of the New Testament helped him greatly in years to come with the many debates he held.
In the year of his graduation he married Sussie Ina Franks of Paoli, Oklahoma. To this union was the birth of a daughter who died in infancy, and a son, James K. Wallace. One daughter, Nancy Ruth Zickefoose, was adopted when she was three days old. The marriage came to a tragic end in 1952. In 1954 he married Lillian Higgins Smith of Woodbury, Tennessee, and Homer Hailey officiated. Lillian had two daughters, Sally Ann Smith, of Brandon, Florida and Nancy Clema Griner, of Winter Haven, Florida. Together they had four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
From 1928 to 1952 G.K. Wallace was involved for the most part in full-time Gospel Meeting work. During that time he served the West Side Church in Wichita, Kansas as minister for ten years, and the Riverside Church in Wichita for five years. Also, he helped to get the Maude Carpenter Children's Home organized. He also worked with the 39th and Flora Church in Kansas City, Missouri. He told of one church he preached Gospel Meetings for in western Oklahoma who had him for five meetings in a row. He was beginning to feel that the brethren there must have thought of him as a "big preacher" since he had been invited to preach for five years in a row. When they asked for the sixth meeting, he suggested that they ought to try to have someone else come. To this they responded, "Brother Wallace, we tried that." This placed his inflating ego back in check.
He held many debates. The first of fifty in his lifetime was held in 1928. He debated Joe Meice, a footwashing Hardshell Baptist, near Anson, Texas on the subject of Calvinism. In 1935 he debated the Oklahoma State Evangelist of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In 1933 he debated A.R. Farley, District Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Inc. at Ransom and Scott City, Kansas. In 1937 he met Dr. E.E. Satauffer, a Lutheran, of Wichita, Kansas. The debate was published, and has been through at least two printings. Also that year he met Mr. J.E. Bean on Pentecostal doctrine. In 1940 he met Charles Jessup, a famous radio preacher of the day, under a tent in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That same year he also met a woman preacher, and a Mr. Shoe in a debate in Anderson, Indiana. In 1941 he debated Gus Dunn on the anti-located preacher question. In 1950 he debated Ray Vaughn of Arvada (Denver), Colorado, also a published debate. Also in 1950 he met Burton Barber, a conservative Christian Church preacher, in Des Moines, Iowa, also a published debate. In 1952 and 1953 he debated W. Carl Ketcherside, both debates being published. In 1954 he met D.L. Welch, a Pentecostal at Vernon, Florida. He debated him again in Birmingham, Alabama in 1956. In 1959 he debated Charles Holt of Florence, Alabama over the Cooperation and Orphan Home questions, which was published. In 1965 he debated Jessie Pratt, overseer of the Church of God of the Union Assembly. Also that year he met James P. Miller in a debate. Through those years Brother Wallace was a highly acclaimed and successful debater. Guy N. Woods said, "G.K. Wallace is one of the truly great debaters of all time." That is high praise from a man who held over 200 debates himself.
A number of books and study guides bear the name of G.K. Wallace as author. He wrote nine books and sixteen booklets with titles such as, Denominational Dogmas, A Plea For Unity, And A Critical Review Of Modernism, Dangers That Face The Church, and others.
Wallace was a well known preacher throughout the brotherhood. He was invited to appear on numerous lectureship programs. He appeared at Pepperdine University, Abilene Christian University, Oklahoma Christian University, Harding University, Harding Graduate School, Getwell Lectures, Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University), Ohio Valley College, Mars Hill College, Lipscomb University, Florida Christian College, and a host of congregational lectureships across the nation. He appeared for 39 years on the program at Freed-Hardeman University.
In 1952 he began teaching in the Florida Christian College. After being in the classroom for two years he accepted an invitation from H.A. Dixon, then president of Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee to come and be his executive assistant. He went for a three year commitment and stayed for thirteen years. Incidentally, he had been invited by N.B. Hardeman to come be vice-president as early as 1942, to which he declined because of his busy Gospel Meeting work. During his time at Freed-Hardeman he served five years as Vice-President of the college, and three years as director of the annual Lectureship. However, his most challenging work was in the role of fundraiser. He traveled throughout the nation raising funds for the university. Also while at Freed-Hardeman he was instrumental in setting up an Advisory Board that still works to this day to promote the college, as well as helping to build the Booster Club that also continues to this day.
At the age of sixty-five G.K. Wallace retired from Freed-Hardeman. On February 6, 1968 over six hundred people gathered together at the Bader Memorial Gymnasium to honor him with a dinner. Those who handled the program were C.P. Roland, Albert Hill and W.A. Bradfield. Those who spoke were his brother Glenn L. Wallace, B.C. Goodpasture, Guy N. Woods, E. Claude Gardner, and H.A. Dixon.
After retirement G.K. and Lillian Wallace left Henderson, Tennessee and returned to their home in Temple Terrace, Florida. From 1968 to 1972 he held many Gospel Meetings and taught two nights per week in the Florida School of Preaching at the South Florida Avenue church in Lakeland, Florida.
In 1972 he developed a heart problem, which was stabilized with medication for several years. In 1979 he had closed a Gospel meeting at Athens, Alabama, and went to Freed-Hardeman University, where he spoke in chapel. Then he went over to Woodbury, Tennessee for a visit. While at Woodbury he was rushed to the hospital in Murfreesboro. From there an ambulance took him to Nashville where he had a six-hour emergency surgery. After that time he reduced his work schedule greatly to that of an assistant minister at the Bell Shoals congregation in Brandon, Florida.
In 1978 Freed-Hardeman University honored him with a dinner during the annual Lectureship program. It was held in the Bader Memorial Gymnasium. Over 600 attended this gathering to honor the life work of G.K. Wallace. The Master of Ceremonies was E. Claude Gardner, the president. Those speaking included: Ken Franklin; Guy N. Woods; Albert Hill; Alan Highers; Joe Gilmore; Thurman Chitwood; and Louis B. Nabors. Many friends and family members were in attendance. The Lectureship book was dedicated to Brother Wallace that year, the dedication page of which has been transcribed here on this site.
In 1980 Freed-Hardeman University conferred upon G.K. Wallace an Honorary Doctorate, LL.D. Brother Wallace later wrote, "I know that such is just an honor, but I had rather have an LL.D. from Freed-Hardeman College than one from Harvard University," showing his great admiration for the good F-HU had done for the cause of Christ.
In the fall of 1980, one evening he listened to the news at 11p.m. and went to bed. The next morning he awoke to realize he was totally deaf. In 1981 he took a course at the University of South Florida learning how to lip-read. In 1982 he took a course at Tampa Technical Institute on sign-language. Even when age and health were a challenge, he never gave up learning and achieving knowledge.
Late in life he was quoted as having said, "When the time comes that I can no longer be of service, I hope that the good Lord lets me sleep." On September 22, 1988, just twenty days after his eighty-fifth birthday, the Lord let G.K. Wallace fall asleep to await the day of His eternal reward. He was buried in the Hillsboro Memorial Cemetery in Brandon, Florida. Only eternity will know the extent of the contributions this man of God made to the kingdom of heaven.
- The content from the above sketch were gleaned mostly from Autobiography And Retirement Sermons, by G.K. Wallace, Mary Lois Forrester, High Springs, Florida, Publisher. c.1983.
Born in McKinney, Texas, September 2, 1903, G. K. Wallace is married to the former Lillian Clark Higgins. They have four children, Mrs. Nancy Ruth Zickefoose, James K. Wallace, Mrs. Nancy Griner, and Mrs. Sally Ann Smith. The noted orator is a graduate of Abilene Christian College from which he received the Bachelor of Arts degree.
He has been very active as an evangelist in the church of Christ for over forty years. During this period he has served churches including Westside, of Wichita, Kansas, ten years; Riverside, of Wichita, Kansas, five years; and Brush Creek of Kansas City, Missouri, three years.
Wallace was associated either directly or indirectly with Freed-Hardeman College for twenty-seven years. Twenty years of this time he spent at Freed-Hardeman as a special lecturer to preachers and church leaders on various Bible topics. For seven years he served Freed-Hardeman College as Executive Assistant to the President and five years he spent as Vice-President and Director of Developments. The educator is now Vice President Emeritus of Freed-Hardeman College. He also holds membership in National Blue Key Honor Scholarship Society and is a staff writer for the Gospel Advocate.
Wallace has authored sixteen booklets and eight books. One of his writings is used as a text book in colleges and as a reference for study by classes and church leaders over the nation. He now devotes all of his time to evangelistic work. He makes his home at 309 Ben Avon, Temple Terrace, Florida.
-Sketch From The Bible Versus Liberalism, 1972 Freed-Hardeman College Lectures, page 63
The Following Is The Lectureship Dedication From The 1978 Freed-Hardeman College Lectures Book.
Theme: The Future Of The Church
G. K. Wallace
The genuine accomplishments for the cause of Christ by G. K. Wallace deserve our recognition and honor. He has a distinguished record as a gospel preacher, lecturer, writer, author, debater, teacher, and Christian educator.
He is the "dean" of the Lectureship since he has appeared on most of the programs since they began. His timely topics, rich content, thorough preparation, and unique style of presentation have made him one of the most popular speakers in any series.
For decades he has believed in and promoted Christian education. One of his greatest accomplishments has been in his teaching and fund raising at Freed-Hardeman College. His good work lives on through his students and in the facilities and equipment he helped to provide so that students might enjoy quality education. They are a monument to his untiring efforts and real dedication to Christian education.
An appreciative brotherhood is thankful for G. K. Wallace's stand and plea for "the old paths." He loves and defends the truth and he encourages all brethren to do the same. His manner of presentation is unusual and unforgettable. He has been able to use wit and humor to a proper advantage. A studied effort has been made by him to preach and teach with simplicity. He related the advice given to him by the late N. B. Hardeman. "When I first came to Freed-Hardeman College, relatively a young man, to lecture two hours a day to mostly preachers, four or five hundred preachers, and in the audience were such men as H. Leo Boles, John T. Lewis, N. B. Hardeman, L. L. Brigance, Gus Dunn, of course brother Nichols here, and others, and I said to brother Hardeman, I said, `Brother Hardeman, I feel not quite adequate to stand before a group like this.' And he just laughed and said, `O, brother Wallace, you can't over estimate the ignorance of an audience.' And you know what I decided? He said, `Why certainly there are men there who know more than you'll ever know and some of them have forgotten more than you'll ever learn. Preach to your audience.' And I have never forgotten it. Just a plain simple gospel sermon."
G. K. Wallace has been very active as a minister of the church of Christ for over forty years. For more than thirty years he has been associated either directly or indirectly with Freed-Hardeman College. For twenty years at Freed-Hardeman College he served as special lecturer to preachers and church leaders on various Bible topics. For seven years he served Freed-Hardeman College as Executive Assistant to the President and for five years he served as Vice-President and Director of Development. He is now Vice-President Emeritus of Freed-Hardeman College. He is a member of the National Blue Key Honor Scholarship Society and a staff writer for the Gospel Advocate, a national publication of Nashville, Tennessee.
G. K. Wallace is the author of sixteen booklets and nine books. He is the author of one book which is used as a textbook in college and by classes and church leaders over the nation. He now devotes all of his time to evangelistic work. Brother and sister Wallace make their home at 309 Ben Avon Drive, Temple Terrace, Florida 33617.
Read This Powerful Lecture
1978 Lectureship Book On The Restoration Plea. Click Here!
The Two Articles Below Appeared In The 2003 Annual Lectureship Book of The Florida School Of Preaching
Dedicated To The Lives Of G.K. & Lillian Wallace:
G.K. And Lillian Wallace
When brother Wallace retired from Freed-Hardeman College (University now) he settled in Florida. He helped start the Florida School of Preaching and the Bell Shoals church of Christ. Following this dedication, sister Wallace is making a contribution to this volume by reminiscing of events in their lives as brother Wallace preached the gospel and debated opponents of the cause of Christ. It was my pleasure to have studied under brother Wallace at Freed-Hardeman in the mid 1960s. When brother Carr asked me to teach a class at the school, I met with brother Wallace and sought his wisdom in my becoming involved with the school. He encouraged me to become a part of the faculty.
Brother G. K., as he was affectionately called, was born in McKinney, Texas, September 2, 1903. He was baptized in November 1916. He began preaching in May 1923 in Moro, Texas. He received training at Abilene Christian University, AB, and Freed-Hardeman College, LL.D.
Brother Wallace served the following churches of Christ: West Side and Riverside, Wichita, Kansas; Floria, Kansas City, Missouri, and Bell Shoals in Brandon, Florida. His articles appeared in a number of brotherhood publications.
Brother Wallace held a number of debates. The following were among those published: Wallace-Stauffer, Wallace-Vaughn, Wallace-Barber, Wallace-Hunt, Wallace-Holt, Wallace-Ketcherside Debate, Wallace-Ketcherside, St. Louis Debate.
In addition to being a lecturer at Freed-Hardeman for thirty-nine years, he published the following books: Denominational Dogmas, Freed-Hardeman College, A Critical Review of Modernism, and Plea For Unity.
Brother Wallace dedicated his Autobiography and Retirement Sermons (published by Mary Lois Forrester, High Springs, Florida, 1983) to sister Wallace. His dedication page reads as follows:
To Lillian Higgins Smith Wallace, my beloved wife and co-worker, I dedicate this book. She is a very talented lady who has traveled with me all over the United States in meetings and debates. She never allowed anything to interfere with her work for our Master. She stayed with me in all kinds of homes and places without complaining to do the Lord's work. Her talents are many. She has great talent in public relations. She received invitations to attend the inaugurations of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter. She has received many prizes for her hand work, having won first prize several times in the Florida State Fair. She is loyal and true. Juvenal says, "Everything on earth is praised by somebody, criticized by somebody else, but loyalty and truthfulness are praised by all." Too, I am like Sir Walter Scott, who said, "I like a Highland friend who will stand by me, not only when I am in the right, but when I am a little in the wrong." She has rejoiced in our successes and never complained in our adversities. Our "children rise up and call her blessed."
Eternity alone will be able to give proper recognition to the great good done by brother and sister G. K. Wallace. By dedicating this volume to them, the Florida School of Preaching expresses its gratitude to them for the contribution they made to the school in its early days.
-Jackie M. Stearsman, Director
"A WONDERFUL LIFE"
After my children's daddy died, we sold our newspaper in Woodbury, Tennessee. Brother Jim Cope was president of Florida Christian College at that time. He asked me to come to Florida Christian in Temple Terrace, Florida, to be house mother at the girl's dorm, and to teach floral designing, which part never materialized. Sally and Nancy lived in the dorm also. That made fifty-two girls in the dorm. Sally and Nancy called me Muddy, as did the other fifty girls. That was a wonderful time for me. I loved being their house mother. I know they loved me, because they gave me no major trouble. My door was always open to them. Oh, the love-broken hearts I helped to solve. Florida Christian is where I met G. K. He was teaching Bible and worked in public relations. We were married by Homer Hailey at his home in Temple Terrace, Florida, May 27, 1954. My first meeting was Vicksburg Mississippi. My train case was packed and was not unpacked for thirty years.
Wedding Day Picture Of
G.K. And Lillian Wallace
We had just gotten our new home in Temple Terrace ready to live in. In 1956 Brother H. A. Dixon and his wife, Louise, came to visit us. Brother Dixon asked G. K. to come to Freed-Hardeman to teach Bible and raise money for the school. G. K. said we would go for three years. We stayed thirteen years. They were wonderful years. G. K. loved "his boys" in Bible classes. In 1963, G. K. was appointed Vice President of Freed-Hardeman. When he retired, he was named Vice President emeritus.
G. K. organized the Advisory Board and the Ladies Associates Club. One Easter he was speaking to a group of ladies. He asked the ladies to forgo getting an Easter hat (that is when we wore hats and gloves), and send their money to the associates. He got a letter from one of the ladies, saying here are my hat and my shoes. G. K. and Kenneth Woods organized the "one hundred dollar dinner" for Freed-Hardeman. In summer meetings we stayed in so many lovely homes. We drove to California twice. We stayed in the home of Vernon and Margaret Morris (Vernon is now deceased). On our next trip to California, we stayed with the Morris' at their beach house on Cayucos Bay. G. K. went to mail a letter, not knowing where the Post Office was. He asked a lady in the street if she knew where the Post Office was. The lady replied, "Yes, I know where the Post Office is," and kept on walking. At that time we were in California for three meetings. We visited the home of a family with a three year old boy. He could not remember my name, so he called me "sister preacher." He cried to come home with us. G. K. always took me to the door so I could visit with the people. In Salt Lake City, a lady told G. K. "I love to hear you preach, you are so simple." He always wondered what her adjective meant. In an Alabama meeting, I had on a hat that had feathers on it. Two little girls came to me and one said, "I like your hat." The other little girl said, "Oh, it is so feathery." In a meeting in Memphis, G. K. was preaching on the Macedonia Call. He said, "How would you like to find a man standing in your room in the middle of the night." A little boy called out, "I would not like it." That is just a few of the meetings and happenings.
When we were near historical places we went to see them. G. K. said we had traveled to an excess of thirteen times around the world. G. K. has spoken so much about my hand work while traveling with him. After he retired from Freed-Hardeman we went back home to Temple Terrace. Two outstanding things happened. One was that my Iris applique quilt was put in the Tampa, Florida Museum for three months. The other was a large department store in Tampa asked to use my great grandmothers' Civil War quilt for decorations.
G. K. would lecture at Freed-Hardeman as long as his health would allow. We always stayed in the home of Regina and Bob East (Bob is now deceased) and Rebecca Woods. When G. K. had his heart surgery in Nashville, for ten days I stayed in the home of Freddie Goodpasture.
G. K. preached for the church in High Springs, Florida, while they were getting a preacher. We stayed in the home of Baxter and Mary Lois Forrester every weekend. Mary Lois published G. K.'s books. She still calls her guest bed room brother Wallace's room. Nita Smith was one of G. K.'s pupils at Florida Christian. Her parents, Martha and Thurman Chittwood (Thurman is now deceased), have been friends for forty years. Rock and Miriam Hawkins have been life-long friends as well (Miriam is now deceased). G. K. and I had, and have, so many friends. When you love, you are loved back.
In March of 1999 my daughter Nancy Griner and I moved from Winter Haven, Florida, to Hoover, Alabama. Nancy's two daughters, Cindy and Molly, and families live here also. Nancy and I are members of the Hoover church of Christ. Our minister is Micky Bell. Last year the ladies of the church gave me an eighty-ninth birthday party. Eighty people came to the party. In September of the same year, my daughter Sally Smith, Bev, and Hayden gave me an 89thbirthday party in Brandon, Florida. Members from our old school house congregation were there. Then on January 1, 2002, my daughter Sally, her children, Bev and Hayden, and their families, and my daughter Nancy, her children, Cindy and Molly, and their families all surprised me for my ninetieth birthday. All eighteen members of my family were here, except for Jim and Taffy Wallace and Ben and Nancy Zickefoose.
I have had a wonderful life,
June 17, 2002
-From Do You Understand Fellowship? Ed. Brian R. Kenyan, Lakeland, Florida School of Preach, 2003 Lectureship Book. pages 4-10 - Many thanks to Brian Kenyan for making copies of these articles to provide for this site as well as pictures of the wedding photo of G.K. & Lillian Wallace.
Sermons By G.K. Wallace
Directions To The Grave Of G.K. Wallace
G.K. Wallace is buried in
Brandon, Florida in the Hillsborough Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Near Tampa,
Florida take Exit 257 off I-75 and head east on Brandon Blvd. Just east of the
bridge the cemetery will be on your right. Enter the cemetery and G.K. Wallace's
grave is located in the section straight ahead. It is better to pull around to
the side of the Funeral Home and look for the Section Sign: Garden Of Christus,
Section 6, Lot 17c, Space 4. Head in at the sign about five or six rows to the
grave of G.K. Wallace.
See Map Of Cemetery Here
N27° 56' 244" x WO 82° 19' 289"
or D.d. 27.937404,-82.321509
Accuracy To Within 13'
View Larger Map
Sept. 2, 1903 - Sept. 22, 1988
I Have Fought A Good Fight,
I Have Finished My Course,
I Have Kept The Faith.
II Timothy 4:7
When Visiting The Grave Of G.K. Wallace In Brandon, Florida's Hillsboro Cemetery,
Do Not Miss The Opportunity To View The Special Monument Dedicated To The
Lives Lost In America September 11, 2001