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Cogdill – Woods Debate

(Roy Cogdill’s First Affirmative)

Editor’s note: What appears below is a computer scanning of the first affirmative speech by Roy E. Cogdill in the Cogdill – Woods debate, also known as the Birmingham Debate, conducted in Birmingham, Alabama, November 18 – 23, 1957. The enhancements included in this publication highlight scripture quotations within the text. The other text enhancements appear in the original text. The Copyright from the book appears at the end of the article. Permission was sought from and granted by Mike Willis of the Guardian of Truth Foundation, which holds the copyright on the book, for this publication to be made. Our thanks are extended to brother Willis for his cooperation. This is a classic presentation that I wanted to have included in this issue of Watchman on the subject of institutionalism.


It is contrary to the scriptures for churches of Christ to build and maintain benevolent organizations for the care of the needy, such as Boles Home, Tipton Home, Tennessee Orphan Home, Childhaven, and other Orphan Homes and Homes for the Aged that are among us.

    AFFIRMATIVE: Roy E. Cogdill
    NEGATIVE: Guy N. Woods

Cogdill’s First Affirmative

Gentlemen moderators, brother Woods, ladies and gentlemen:

I am grateful for the good providence of God that has made it possible for us to assemble upon this occasion that we might study together his word. I am also very grateful for the presence of this good audience in spite of the storm and pray that it has done a minimum of damage, especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are glad that you are here and we are grateful for the fact that many brethren have come from all over the country to study these questions with us. Your presence at a sacrifice of time and money upon your part, many of you an extended sacrifice, indicates the great interest that you have in the issues that are involved in this discussion. An interest that I hope and pray is born of a desire to know the truth of Almighty God concerning these issues, that we may stand before him for that which is right and according to truth.

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