History of the Restoration Movement

  Homer Hailey

Obituary For Homer Hailey

Evangelist, educator and author Homer Hailey died at his home Nov. 9. He was 97.

Hailey began preaching in Buffalo Gap, Texas, in 1927. He served as minister for churches in Texas, California, Hawaii, Florida and Arizona and preached for meetings in hundreds of churches of Christ throughout the United States.

He taught Bible at Abilene Christian College for 13 years between 1934 and 1951. He served for 22 years as vice president and head of the Bible department at Florida Christian College in Temple Terrace, Fla., and then retired to Tucson in the spring of 1973.

Books Hailey authored include: Attitudes and Consequences in the Restoration Movement; Lets Go Fishing for Men; Commentary on the Minor Prophets; That You May Believe; and Haileys Comments, Vols. 1 and 2. He also wrote commentaries on the books of Revelation and Isaiah.

The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century Homer Haileys Personal Journey of Faith, written by David Edwin Harrell Jr., was published this year by the University of Alabama Press in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Hailey was preceded in death by his first wife, Lois, who died in 1954, and his second wife, Widna, who died in 1997. He is survived by a sister, Mary Ida White; two daughters, Mary Lois Hoots and Carol Ann Hailey; two sons, Rob and Dennis; one stepson, Richard Kirby; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. -Tucson, Ariz.

Gospel Advocate, December, 2000, page 41.
A Recollection From Alan Highers, December, 2010
When I was a student at Freed-Hardeman, G. K. Wallace told about two students he knew at Abilene. One was handsome, personable, everyone thought he would be the top preacher in the brotherhood in years to come. The other student was laid back, looked like a cowboy, and maybe did not raise high expectations. The flashy student did not study much after he left school. He stayed with a church about two years at a time, then moved on. He never reached the potential that everyone anticipated. The lanky cowboy, on the other hand, never ceased to study. He wrote a few books and became a renowned teacher. His name was Homer Hailey. The difference in the two was that Hailey was a lifelong student.
-From an email sent to us from Tom L. Childer. This first appeared as a comment in a blog produced by Dale Jenkins. Dale's father, Jerry passed away in the fall, and Dale had made some comments in his blog about his dad being a lifelong student. Highers commented and left the above story. Thanks to Alan for his great memory!
Sister Homer Hailey

Friends of Brother Homer Hailey, Professor of Bible in and Vice President of Florida Christian College, will be shocked to learn of the death of his beloved companion on April 27, 1954.

Lois Manly Hailey was born November 19, 1907. On December 20, 1930, she was married to Homer Hailey and to this union three children were born- two boys and one girl. They also have two adopted girls.

It was my pleasure to have known Sister Lois Hailey even before she and Brother Homer Hailey were married. We were classmates in Abilene Christian College for some time.

There was perhaps never a finer and more active Christian young girl than was Lois Manly Hailey. She was interested in the activities of the school and was extra good in dramatics, taking part in many of the school plays. She was also greatly interested in the church.

Sometime after she and Brother Hailey were married, Lois showed signs of Illness. She desired to be alone and away from crowds and suffered constantly from headaches and nervousness. Brother Hailey took her to every doctor that he thought would be of help to her. However, her health did not improve.

In the spring of 1954, her condition became such that she would lose consciousness for a while. She was taken to the hospital and after careful examinations, the doctors would release her, stating that they were afraid that she had brain tumor, but could not definitely diagnose her case. On the afternoon of April 27, she went into a coma and died.

An autopsy was performed on her by a group of medical doctors. They reported to Brother Hailey as follows:

"It was found that Mrs. Hailey died because of the presence of an extremely rare type of brain tumor. The famous brain surgeon, Cushing, encountered only 11 such cases in his experience of over 2000 brain tumor cases. I have only been able to find record of one case in which this type of tumor occupied the same part of the brain as in Mrs. Hailey's case.

"The tumor has been given various names, the most accurate of which is probably the term Epidermoid. It is also known as "pearly" tumor. In her case, the tumor arose from the Chroid Plexuses of both lateral and third ventricles of the brain. The third ventricle of the brain lies almost precisely in the middle of the cranial cavity and the extension of the tumor was such as to have made its surgical removal impossible.

"This type of tumor is not cancerous, but because of its location, encroached on vital tissues of the brain. It is an extremely s low growing type of tumor, the origin of which is thought to be certain mis placed cells which have the nature of skin tissue, the faulty development occurring even before birth of the individual. It is not, however, hereditary in any sense of the word. or familial, and more than one case in the family has never been described."

It will be observed that the doctors state that this condition could have been developing even before birth. This gradual development of brain tumor has been the ca use of Sister Hailey's having such ill health over such a long period of time.

For some time before her death, she had been lapsing into unconsciousness, reviving aga in and getting along seemingly pretty well. In the report from these medical doctors, there was a statement as follows:

"In the case of such a tumor in such an area, death occurs as a result of a sudden blockage of the spinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. ln retrospect, there can be no doubt that her sudden losses of consciousness were all due to such a stoppage which somehow was released in previous episodes."

Life is to most of us a puzzle. We will never know why that good Christian people have to suffer so long and so seriously. Sister Hailey leaves a rich heritage. She was a good, devoted companion and faithful mother, and beloved by all who knew her.

Brother Hailey will continue his activities with Florida Christian College and will need the prayers and encouragement of all Christian people.

  Wallace, G.K., Firm Foundation, 25 May 1954, page 5.
  Chronology On The Life Of Homer Haley
Year Date Event
1876 October 25 Thomas Hailey married Mollie G. Williams in Marshall, Texas
1878   Birth of Mary Eunice (Maimie) Collins, mother of Homer
1879 Sept. 2 Robert T. Hailey – 2nd of six sons born to Thomas and Mollie Haley
1900   Marriage of Robert to Mary Eunice (Mamie) Collins
1903 August 12 Homer Hailey was born on the Hailey farm NE of Marshall, Texas.
1905 November Homer’s brother, Robert “Rob” was born
    Family moves to Turkey, Texas
1907   Homer’s sister, Ruth was born
1908   Homer’s brother, Jack was born
1909   Family moved to New Mexico territory
1909   Family moves back to Lamesa, Texas
1910   Family moves back to family farm in Harrison County, Tx
1915 February Kids were sent to Willcox, Arizona to stay with Maimie’s parents. Homer was eleven years old – his home for the next twelve years.
1915 May Homer’s brother, Roy, was born
1917   Homer finished his studies at Lompoc School
1918 October Robert T. Hailey dies in the flu epidemic, Maimie is 5 months pregnant, with five children – Homer is 15, in 2nd year of High School – quits school to work
    Other tragedies: Maimie’s brother Jack is killed in France; Grandfather Collins dies; the rented house in which Homer and the others lived burned; and his 13 year old brother, Jack, is accidentally shot to death on a hunting trip.
1919 February Homer’s baby sister, Mary Ida is born.
    Homer goes to work for Thomas Huffman – 16 yrs old
1922   Homer is baptized in the Christian Church by a preacher by the name of Talbot, along with his girlfriend, his brother and a few others
1925   At age 22, Homer graduate as valedictorian of his class of 25 – He and his brother Rob borrow money to go into a general merchandising business with two older businessmen – The Valley Store
1926 August 2 Homer and family move back to Texas to go to school to become a preacher
1926 Fall Homer enter Abilene Christian College @ 23 yrs old
1927 January Preached his first “real” sermon at Buffalo Gap, a few miles south of Abilene – Preached on subject of Hope
  Summer Preached his first Gospel Meeting at Willcox Christian Church, Willcox, Arizona – Though he had given up the instrument, it was used in the meeting.
1928 Fall H.H. became known as one of the preacher boys of ACC, along with Paul Southern, Glenn Wallace, and Don H. Morris
  Summer Returned to Willcox, Arizona for summer work. Preached another meeting at Willcox Christian Church – this time without the use of an instrument.
  Year End Had developed a small circuit of churches he preached for each month; involving churches in Hamby, Gustine, Santo & Lamesa.
1929,30   Through his leadership in the Mission Study Class at ACC, H.H. organized a school for colored people in Abilene = Began preaching for local churches
  Summer Preached meetings all summer in Arizona and Texas
1930   In the early 30s HH held a debate with a Baptist in Gustine, Texas
  June 1 Graduated 3rd in his class, and had served as its vice-president. He and Paul Southern preached the senior sermons.
  Summer Preached meetings during summer in Arizona, HH sent reports to the Firm Foundation & a good report to the Gospel Advocate of the state of the work in Arizona.
  September Returned to Abilene to become principal of the small elementary and high school operated by ACC.
  Dec. 20 He also married Lois Manly.
1931 Summer The Haileys move to Arizona
  Sept. 20 First daughter, Roma, is born in Wickenburg, Arizona
  September Moved to Tempe, Arizona
1932 Summer Nearly broke they headed back to Abilene, preaching along the way in gospel meetings
  October Took the position of regular preacher for the Fifth and Highland Church in Abilene – During the summers he traveled, doing gospel meetings
1934   Family purchased a small house on Meander Street in Abilene
  Summer 10 day meeting at Wichita, Kansas at the University and Walnut Street church were his former school classmate, G.K. Wallace preached
  Fall Began teaching a 3/5ths load in the Bible Department at ACC
1935 Summer Preached in meetings as far as California
1936 Summer Preached in meetings as far as California
    Mr. Manly, Lois’ father, gives the couple a 130 acre farm, and family moves to the ranch
1937 Summer Preached in Dodge City, Kansas on the way to doing meetings in Oregon
1938 January HH resigned his teaching position at ACC due to expansion in the church at Fifth And Highland.
  April Held a successful meeting for the college church in which 19 were baptized, 11 of which were members of the ACC football team
  May Baccalaureate speaker at ACC graduation
  Summer Preached in Denver, Co. at Park Hill church where his friend Yater Tant preached.
1939   Mr. Manly gives the Hailey’s a three-acre plot about 3 miles from ACC campus. HH builds a home there in 1941, and family moved back to town
  Fall Returned to teaching at ACC’s Bible Department
  October 14 Rob, the Hailey’s first son, is born in Abilene
1941 Summer Preached in Chicago, Ill at Northwest church where Yater Tant then preached
  Sept. 17 Dennis, the Hailey’s second son is born in Abilene
1942 May Resigns as teacher at ACC, but continues preaching for Fifth And Highland Church
1943 Spring Held a debate with Percy Krewson, a Christian church preacher in Douglas, Arizona on the subject of instrumental music in worship
  Summer Leaves Fifth And Highland to pursue a graduate degree / Held a debate with a Seventh-Day Adventist in Oklahoma City/ Conducts meetings as far as Helena, Montana.
  Sept. 15 Began preaching for the Shamrock Shores church in Dallas, Texas and enrolled in Perkins School of Theology on the campus of SMU, Southern Methodist University. Lois remained in Abilene, while HH lived in a boardinghouse
1944 June Graduated with a graduate degree from SMU, having completed his courses and thesis in 9 months
  Summer Founding out that a return to ACC was not possible he conducted his regular meeting work, as far as Los Angeles, California
  December To Houston for surgery and treatment of a cancer that had developed. There for four months
1945 April Moved to Los Angeles, California to preach for the San Leandro church
  Summer Went on his summer meeting work in good health
    Re-wrote his Master’s Thesis and released it through the Old Paths Book Club under the title, Attitudes and Consequences of the Restoration Movement
1946 April Family moves to Hawaii to work with the church and start a school. However Lois was not able to join the family initially, but stayed in LA with daughter Rona.
    Began Honolulu Bible School – two year course teaching Bible and Personal Evangelism on the island
1947 February Returned to ACC to delivered closing address at the annual lectureship on Worldwide Missions
1948 Spring Returns to the mainland for a series of Gospel Meetings that took him all over the country
  July Became Associate professor of Christian education at ACC, and returned to Abilene, began preaching for the Graham Street church
1950   One of the featured speakers on a 22 congregation cooperative meeting in Fort Worth, Texas
1951   Wrote and produced the book, “Let’s Go Fishing For Men”, Published by Christian Chronicle Publishing Co.
    Adopted Carol Ann, four year old
    Family moves to Temple Terrace, Florida where he becomes VP of Florida Christian College and head of the Bible Department – HH is 47 years old
  November Launching of The Preceptor, a journal made up of professors of Bible in the Florida Christian College, Jim Cope served as editor – Sold to some Texas Christians in 1955, but in the 3 ½ year it was edited at FCC it was a scholarly paper, and was enmeshed in the promotion of non-institutional concepts – HH was not as radically involved as other writers
1954 April Lois passes away, funeral held at the Highland church in Abilene, burial following at Round Mound Cemetery near her family ancestors.
1955 October 4 HH marries Widna Kirby, a widow. He was 52, she was 38
1963   Florida Christian College changes its name to Florida College
1970 August Mamie Collins, the mother of HH, died at Temple Terrace, Florida
1972   HH produced his commentary on the Minor Prophets, published by Baker Book House / Christianity Today chose it as one of the 25 most significant religious books of 1972
1973   HH produced his book, That You May Believe, a study of the deity claims of Christ in the book of John, also produced by Baker Book House
  May Retired from Florida College, family moves to Tucson, Arizona
  July 18 Widna arrives at her newly built home

Commentary on Revelation Release by Baker Book House

1982   Produced From Creation To The Day Of Eternity, Nevada Publications
  October Just past his 79th birthday, he quit regular meeting work. Began preaching for a little congregation in Oracle, Arizona. Preached there fifteen years.

Commentary on Isaiah released by Baker Book House


Hailey’s Comments, a two-volume set compilation of H.H.’s articles. Published by Stanley W. Paher.

1987 April H.H. was presented the Christian Service Award by Pepperdine University during their annual Lectureship program
1988   Increased meeting schedule, about 16 per year
  March Meeting at Berlin on Marriage & Divorce, opened HH to a nation-wide confrontation among non-institutional churches on the MDR question
1989 January HH pulls himself from the lectureship at Florida College for fears it was going to be boycotted if he participated
1991   HH produces a pamphlet entitled, The Divorced And Remarried Who Could Come To God
1993 August 12 Family gathered together in Nashville to celebrate Homer Hailey’s 90th birthday
1996   Gave up his preaching at Oracle, Arizona, but continued to teach the Sunday morning class
1997 January 8 Widna passed away. She was buried in Roanoke, Alabama by her first husband
  February 6 Gordon, Widna’s son died in Tucson. He was buried by his parents in Roanoke, Alabama
    Abilene Christian University honored Homer Hailey for his life of service
  August Family gathered on the Manly Ranch for Homer’s 94th birthday.
  Dec. 26 Roma, Homer’s eldest daughter, died
1998   Florida College honored Homer Hailey and other pioneer faculty members
2000 Nov. 9 Homer Hailey died near the end of the year – Buried in Round Mound Cemetery SE of Anson and just N of Abilene, Texas
Chronology Prepared By Scott Harp
  Direction To The Grave Of Homer Hailey

Homer and Lois Hailey are buried in the Round Mound Cemetery north of Abilene, Texas.

From Anson, Texas: At the intersection of US Highway 83/277 and 180. Go east on US Highway 180 for 11.0 miles to the Intersection of FM 600. Turn right (South) on FM 600 and go 11.4 miles to the junction of FM 1082. Turn left (East) on FM 1082 and go for 5.2 miles around the north end of Lake Fork Phantom, and on to the cemetery on the left (East) side of the road. Head into the main gate, and head to the second section on the left and head toward the north. The Hailey monument is just behind an old cedar tree, not more than forty feet from the drive. See map below for exact location. Be sure to zoom in and out for best results.

From Abilene, Texas: Get off I-20 heading west, take on Exit 290 to and drive on the frontage road until you come to Hwy. 351. Turn right, heading NE. Turn left on FM(FarmToMarket) 1082. Go about five miles and the cemetery will be on your right. Head into the main gate, and head to the second section on the left and head toward the north. The Hailey monument is just behind an old cedar tree, not more than forty feet from the drive. See map below for exact location. Be sure to zoom in and out for best results.

  GPS Location
32.57022589557975, -99.65639904141426

View Larger Map

Source Material

For years I have known of the work of Homer Hailey. I had his books on the prophets and the book of Revelation in my library. In 2009 while on a mission effort to the Fiji Islands, it was my privilege to read David Edwin Harrell's book, The Churches of Christ In The 20th Century: Homer Hailey's Personal Journey Of Faith. This is must reading for students of Restoration History. From it I was able to glean the chronology that appears on this website. The photo at the top was scanned from that book as well. My deep appreciation is extended to David Edwin Harrell, Jr. for his work in the production of the book. Please order your copy of it from the Gospel Advocate, or the Freed-Hardeman University Bookstore.

It was my privilege to visit the Round Mound cemetery where the bodies of Homer and Lois Hailey await the coming of the Lord. My Jenny and I were there in January, 2010. The photos of the grave you see here were taken from that visit.

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