Benjamin Franklin

Written by Drew on October 4th, 2005

I want to apologize to all those who check my blog regularly–both of you–for my failure to post anything last week. I was in Anderson, Indiana that week preaching a gospel meeting and experienced some technical difficulties with my laptop, making it impossible to update my site. I’m back now, so things should get back to normal.

Anderson was a charming town of about 50,000 people, just northeast of Indianapolis. My meeting was held at the Meadowbrook church of Christ, the first congregation of the Lord’s people in that city. The Christians in Anderson were extremely supportive. They were a great encouragement to me. I hope that my efforts in some small way benefitted them in return.

Before leaving for Indiana, I was told that the Restoration preacher, Benjamin Franklin (not to be confused with one of the forefathers of our nation), was buried in an Anderson cemetery. After doing some research, I discovered which cemetery, and spent a morning combing it for Franklin’s grave marker. I finally found it, a fitting tombstone for Franklin: a stone pulpit with an open Bible on top. It was leaning in the soft earth and the name was nearly smoothed away by over a hundred years of icy weather, but it’s still there. I spent some time in the cemetery reflecting on what was accomplished in this country by Franklin and his contemporaries during the nineteenth century. We owe these “Restoration Fathers” a great deal.

Benjamin Franklin was best known for his work editing the American Christian Review, a weekly Christian periodical which began in 1856. The American Christian Review was the most influential paper in the North after the Civil War. Frainklin stated that its design was to “imitate the style of Jesus and the apostles and to stand firmly for the teaching in all things.” It was a conservative paper. In it Franklin strongly opposed instrumental music and other innovations.

Franklin was also an eloquent gospel preacher. His sermons were logical, understandable, and stirring. Many of them have been preserved in written form.

Many of Franklin’s sons followed in his footsteps, preaching the gospel in Indiana and the surrounding areas. One of them, Joseph, is buried nearby his grave in Anderson.

We must never forget the debt we owe to men of the Restoration Movement like Benjamin Franklin. Sadly, many Christians have never heard of him or know of the importance of his efforts. Even more tragic is the thought that few preachers are willing to carry the torch he once bore to preserve the integrity of the church.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Barton says:

    Great article, and thanks for the picture of Franklin’s grave. Your last comments led me to begin thinking of how many Christians today are fully aware of what took place during the Restoration Movement and how exciting it really was. I feel I grow in faith anytime I hear more stories of the great men who set aside man’s doctrine in search for truth. These were amazing men, and no doubt Franklin was among them. Unfortunately, many never know the stories of Campbell, Stone, Smith, the Haldane brothers, and others. They were not the founders of the church, but they pointed many to the Founder.

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