The Brown Thompson Chain Bible

Brown Thompson Chain Bible

I was talking to someone the other day, I can’t remember who. Time out, the bad thing about talking to so many people and getting old is you can’t remember who you told what. So then everyone thinks your losing “it” because you repeat yourself. You aren’t losing “it“, you are just having trouble keeping track of “it.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

I was talking to someone the other day about an old Bible that I have which belonged to my Dad. My father started preaching at the age of eighteen in 1948. He preached his last message five days before he passed away. That message was preached from his hospital bed in 1999. During those fifty one years he wore out two Thompson Chain Bibles and used a couple of others.

The first Bible that I remember Dad using was a brown covered Thompson Chain. It is the only thing of Dad’s that I ever really wanted and he gave it to me a few years before he died. The cover is so worn around the edges that the leather is separated. The binding is coming loose in the back. The pages are wrinkled and marked from handling, preaching and studying.

I remember the Christmas that Mom bought Dad a new black Thompson Chain Bible. With this one she bought a case for protection. I remember him preaching from that Bible many times. It too showed the signs of much use when it was finally put into “retirement.”

I could have had the choice of either Bible, mainly because I asked first. However, I wanted the Brown Thompson Chain Bible. You see there were some special memories that I have with that Bible. Let me share a few with you.

On February 12, 1952 a twenty one year old man became a soldier upon invitation from Uncle Sam. Dad was an Ordained Minister of the Gospel. This should have disqualified him automatically. He said that President Truman liked him so much he come visit anyway.

Dad had flat feet and was born blind in one eye. Either one of those should have kept him out of the military, yet they took him anyway. When he arrived in Virginia for basic training the doctors examined him and asked, “How did you get in here with these conditions?”

Dad replied, “It wasn’t hard at all!”

At that time they wanted to send him home. He shouldn’t have been there at all. Yet Dad said, “No, I am proud to serve my country, let me stay.” He felt God had him there for a reason. They let him stay.

While at Camp Pickett, Virginia Dad was able to start a church on the base for the Pentecostal soldiers and their wives to attend. Through the years he talked to many soldiers who attended that church after he was shipped out. God had him there for a reason.

He was shipped to Korea. He was in the Medical Corp and drove an ambulance. Because of his beliefs he refused to carry a weapon. He wouldn’t even carry a side arm. He walked guard duty on the front lines, but refused to carry a weapon.

Several times his life was spared by the hand of God. One time he was helping load wounded soldiers on a train just behind the front line. As he returned from the train to get another patient his commanding officer handed him a piece of shrapnel. The officer said it had landed inches behind Dad and if it had hit him it would have killed him.

The Bible Dad preached from was the Brown Thompson Chain Bible. He carried it to Virginia and preached from it there. He carried it with him to Korea and preached from it there.

I remember as a young child seeing him carry it to the pulpit and preach from it. I remember him sitting and reading from it when he was grieving over the death of his father. I remember a few months later when he returned from the funeral of his young brother who was killed so tragically in an accident, he would pick up the worn Bible and read from it. It was like a friend.

In those early formative years I came to realize that it wasn’t “that” Bible that was so special. It was “the” Bible that was so special. The author and he were good friends. He could share his thoughts and sorrows with him and get Words of strength and encouragement in return.

I will never forget sitting with him one night, very late. It was a few days before his passing. He had called us boys to come and talk. Actually, it should have been to come and listen. My two brothers and my son Justin were with me. Dad shared a lot of things with us that night. One thing he said I will never forget. In essence he said he didn’t understand why he had gotten Parkinson’s disease. He was younger than most people are when they get it. He didn’t understand why he had been stopped from doing what he had hoped to do with his life. He had wanted to travel and preach. He had wanted to take care of Mom and enjoy his grandkids and great grandchildren. He said there were a lot of things that he didn’t understand. Yet he said he wanted us boys to know, if just one life was touched by his ten years of suffering, it was worth every moment of it.

I came across a passage today that touched my heart. The Psalmist made this statement, “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.”

Dad made the name of the Lord to be remembered to all generations. Eternity will only tell exactly who was touched. Only eternity will reveal whose life was changed because of a man who loved and served God first and foremost in his life.

This I do know. My life is different because Dad made the name of the Lord known to me. This I do know, I have two brothers who are also preachers of the Gospel because the name of the Lord was made known to them. This I do know, he has a grandson and grandson in law that are preachers of the gospel. This I do know three of his granddaughters are filled with the Holy Ghost and living for God, actively involved in the work of God.

I am encouraged to know as I deal with the cares that life brings my way, I can make the name of the Lord known to all generations. I can do it by placing my trust and confidence in God. As I do this, the next generation will hopefully realize that God is faithful and true no matter what we are dealing with.

Yes, I picked the Brown Thompson Chain Bible because it reminded me of the God of my Father. A God whose name he made known unto me.

God Bless!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top