Impressions of the Cold Harbor Road Lectureship

From the time Jewell Snell scooped me up at the airport and gave me a whirlwind tour of the Northeast, as well as a Brief History of CHR and the Snells, I could tell this was going to be a Special Moment for me.

My hosts

Ron and Charlene Hermon were everything one could ask for in Christian hospitality, and more. Ron even shined my shoes and pressed my shirts! They were so much fun and made me feel at home. I regret I didn’t get to taste Ron’s BBQ, for which he is regionally famous. Or meet their daughter Jillian, away doing her Master’s at MTSU.

Behind the scenes

Secretary Carolyn Elliott, the ladies in the kitchen, the brother who recorded the lectures, the clean-up crew who were the last to leave each night — lots of people worked hard on this. And it showed. To their credit.

Some speakers

It was a pleasure to meet Loy Mitchell. I walked up to him and he said, “I’m Earl Edwards’s brother, but I’m better looking than he is.” I knew I was going to like this guy! I was greatly blessed by his lesson as well.

Earl Edwards, dean of graduate Bible studies at Freed-Hardeman University, opened the lectureship with “Hindrances to Evangelism: Prejudice.” Solid stuff.

Was a pleasure also to meet Byron Nichols, managing editor of The Voice of Truth International. Quiet person with powerful message.

Jody Apple, old college chum, was also a speaker with an impressive PP-based presentation. We’d made contact again through email, but I think this was the first time we’d had a chance to see one another again since … college days (no dates needed, thank you). His wife Evelyn and daughter where there as well, so that was great to see them.

Jason Chesser had meaty material in his first-time experience to give a lecture like this, on “The Great Commission in Luke: Repentance.”

Also there

Karen Dauer, an Internet friend through the Yahoo church-of-Christ list for some two years, came on Sunday. What a joy to see her. (I would say meet, but we already “know” each other.) She and Evelyn were also e-buddies.

Robert Swain set up a table for J.C. Choate Publications. Was good to have a bit of time with Robert again.

The book

Nicely done, 400 pages, all the manuscripts of the speakers, very cheap at $12. Dr. Greg Elliott, of CHR, edited it. Do get it!

Dedication of book

Local evangelist Bill Snell was honored for his work and faith by having the book dedicated to him. The theme and the man fit each other well.

The preacher and lectureship director

Neal Pollard is one of the kindest, warmest people you’ll ever meet. Encouraging, he made it point, in the midst of all the busy details of the event, to make personal, kind remarks not once but several times during the lectures. I regretted not having the opportunity to hear him speak.


Served promptly every morning at 8 a.m. at the building, a huge, delicious breakfast was laid out free for all participants. Pity that poor soul who had to speak at the 9 o’clock session! (I spoke Fri.-Sun. at 2 p.m.)


This was a heavy-duty lectureship, sessions at 9, 10, 11, 2, 3, 4 and then at night. I was glad the pews were padded. Ron, Charlene, and I did some running, since they live some 25-30 minutes away, but nobody lost his cool. (I say his, since Ron’s the timekeeper, and like my dad, wants to arrive 30 minutes early for everything.) Maybe because it was my first full morning of the lectureship, but it seemed hard to beat Friday morning’s threesome. This was spiritual overdose, and I was ready for more!

Speaker’s kit

These people were organized to the hilt. Even a lovely speaker’s kit with mug, peanuts, pens, pads, a lectureship book, maps, coupon for free tapes or CD of the lectures, you name it, it was in there. I had to rag the ladies (I figured it had to be ladies who put it together, though Neal would be capable of it) for giving me a hot pink highlighter.

Area participation

Over 30 congregations from nine different states (not counting the speakers) participated in the event. Local brethren supported the lectures well.

I made a side trip Sunday morning to repeat my second lesson at the Hopkins Road congregation in Richmond, at elder Sam Craft’s request. I had to give up the blow-out breakfast to do it, but Charlene made up for it with a great table set Sunday morning at her house. So I made my semi-sacrifice for the day. 😉 This congregation was begun as a church plant from the CHR church. May God multiply their number!

Conclusion of the matter

I came away encouraged to see faithful brethren in so many good works, grateful for the people dedicated to the task at hand, motivated to do an even better work for my Lord.

BTW, this thing is annual. You can catch next year’s lectureship. First part of November.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?