About the Author

Thomas Ray Floyd was born in 1953 in Simpson County, Mississippi, the son of Roy Thomas Floyd and Lina Sue Shows Floyd. Thomas Ray's mother was a member of a Primitive Baptist church, and he cut his teeth on the doctrines of distinguishing grace.

When he was a small boy, his father was converted to Christ and became a member of a Missionary Baptist Church. Thomas Ray joined the church of his father when he was 13 years old, and thought of himself as a Christian. The doctrines of grace that he had heard as a child continued to be precious to him and when he became an adult, he joined a Primitive Baptist Church. When he was 27, Thomas Ray made his first effort to preach the gospel in public and was ordained to the full functions of the ministry in 1985. In 1986 he was convinced under the preaching of Rolfe Barnard (by tapes from Mt. Olive Tape Library), the written sermons of Spurgeon, and the ministry of Elder Zack Guess that he had been a false professor and cried out in agony of soul to the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy and truly save him. And He did! Floyd then began to preach the gospel as he had been taught of the Lord.

Floyd has pastored churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee and until recently was pastor of a church plant known as "Particular Baptist Fellowship." He and his wife Brenda presently attend Zion Baptist Church at Polkville, Mississippi, pastored by Elder Glen Hopkins. The pulpit ministry of Zion Baptist Church can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Memory of the Just

(Article for publication week of 1-16- AD 2013)

“The memory of the just is blessed:” (Proverbs 10:7). This coming week we remember a truly just man, General Robert E. Lee. Robert Edward Lee was born January 19, 1807. His birthday is a State holiday here in the Sovereign State of Mississippi and is observed by law the third Monday of January.

General Lee is honored for his great military genius, statesmanship and work as an educator, but most of all he is honored for his notable and exemplary Christian walk. There have been numerous biographies of this dear saint of God, but two of the best on my shelf are “Call of Duty” by Pastor Steve Wilkins, and “Robert E. Lee, the Christian”, by William J. Johnson. You would be greatly blessed to read them and read them to your children.

General Lee was a faithful member of the Episcopal Church. (In that day and time the Episcopal Church in the South still believed the Bible.) The last act of his life was to attend the vestry meeting of his church. In that meeting he personally pledged the shortage of funds for the pastor’s salary. Though he was noted for his Christian walk, his humble confession of faith was, “I am but a poor sinner trusting in Christ Alone for salvation.”

During the War, he encouraged the observation of the Lord’s Day among his troops, and actively participated in the Christian services conducted in the Army of Northern Virginia. He issued orders prohibiting all but necessary duties on the Lord’s Day, and required quiet and order where services were being held. It is a too little known fact today that during the War, God favored the South with a Great Revival among the Confederate armies. There were thousands of soldiers converted to saving faith in Christ through the instrumentality of the faithful Southern preachers of that day from all the denominations of Christianity. This revival is accounted by several historians, particularly Dr. J. William Jones in “Christ in the Camp.” It would warm your heart to read it. Brother Jones relates much about General Lee and his participation in the camp meetings, prayer meetings, tract and Bible distribution and other Christian work carried on among the Confederate troops. General Lee was a great encourager of the ministry and sought above all the spiritual welfare of his men.

Robert E. Lee was a man of principle, not pragmatism. Lincoln offered him the command of the federal army, but he chose to side with the South believing her Cause to be just. He knew the prospects for Southern victory were slim, but he did not believe that “might makes right” as most do today. Had he accepted Lincoln’s offer, he would have had all this world has to offer- power, prestige, fame and wealth. He would probably have become president after Lincoln. But he chose rather to suffer for righteousness’ sake. He said of the Southern Cause, “ all the South has ever wanted is the Old Constitution as bequeathed by our Forefathers.” During the dark days of the “Reconstruction” he told Texas Governor Stockdale, “Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die with my brave men with my sword in hand.”

After the War, he like most Southerners was reduced to extreme poverty. A large insurance company from up north offered him a job at an astronomical salary. When he told them he knew nothing of the insurance business they said, “you don’t have to do anything, we just want your name associated with our company.” Such was the respect even Northerners had for him. He refused their offer saying, “all I have left is my name and it is not for sale.” You don’t find many like that today.

General Lee’s admonition to his sons and the men of the South and everywhere was “ do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should not expect to do less.” Would God we had such men today! “The memory of the just is blessed.”

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