HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Thirty-Five Years of Preaching and Personal Work
Author: Melvin Stanton
Publisher: Published privately, n.d.
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and Adults
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Stanton, Melvin. Thirty-Five Years of Preaching and Personal Work (published privately, n.d.). Melvin Stanton was born to James and Bettie McLane Stanton on Aug. 31, 1930, in Boone County, MO, near Centralia, not far from Columbia, one of five children, and got his formal education in the Centralia area. Having to quit school in the eighth grade to help the family, he was baptized into Christ by Searcy White on Sept. 23, 1948, around midnight in the railroad lake outside of Centralia. Both White and J. C. Roady had a great influence on Melvin, who attended various “Bible Readings” in Hutchinson, KS, Bloomington, IN, and Moberly and Jamesport, MO, and began to preach the gospel shortly thereafter. Holding a gospel meeting in Edgar Springs, MO, in 1952, he met Ella Mae Edgar, whom he married on Aug. 29, 1953. To their union were born three children. His preaching included local work in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri where I believe his last full-time labor was at Macon, holding numerous gospel meetings, presiding over 600 funerals, performing nearly 100 weddings, and baptizing almost 200 people.
In addition to writing seven hymns, Stanton is the author of one book, Thirty-Five Years of Preaching and Personal Work, which is not so much an actual autobiography as it is a collection of anecdotes from his years of preaching along with his random observations on various passages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and other religious topics, perhaps taken from some of his sermon notes. In 1986, Stanton had brain surgery to remove a tumor, forcing him to retire from full-time preaching, but he became an elder at Hallsville, MO. Then on Sept. 3, 1996, he had surgery to remove another tumor. While recovering in the hospital, he succumbed to complications and died on Sept. 14, 1996. While I was doing some research on his hymns several years ago, his widow, who has since passed on as well, sent me a copy of his book. One may not necessarily agree with every one of his observations, but the volume does contain a great deal of truth and should be interesting reading to those associated with churches of Christ, especially for gospel preachers.