The Warrior from Rock Creek: Life, Times, and Thoughts of F.B. Srygley, 1859-1940



Book: The Warrior from Rock Creek: Life, Times, and Thoughts of F.B. Srygley, 1859-1940

Author: Earl Kimbrough

Illustrator: Beau Brake

Publisher: Religious Supply Center, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0978795016

ISBN-10: 0978795016

Related website: (publisher)

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: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Kimbrough, Earl.  The Warrior from Rock Creek: Life, Times, and Thoughts of F.B. Srygley, 1859-1940 (published in 2008 by Religious Supply Center, 4001 Preston Hgwy., Louisville, KY  40213).  Filo Bunyan Srygley was born at Rock Creek, Colbert County, AL, on September 10, 1859, to James H. and Sarah J. Srygley and brought up in a cabin in the mountains.   F. B. Srygley was baptized in Rock Creek, in his father’s field, by J. H. Holbrook on August 26, 1876. His educational advantages were limited to country schools during the winter and “after crops were laid by” in summer till January 1, 1880, when he entered Mars’ Hill College, near Florence, AL, under the presidency of T. B. Larimore. He remained there three years, leaving January 1, 1883, when he went to Lebanon, TN, where he made his home during the next succeeding ten years and devoted all his time to evangelistic work, confining his labors at first to the country immediately around Lebanon.  He was married to Miss Mary Hubbard, of Bellwood, TN, on January 26, 1886. On September 28, 1892, they moved from Lebanon to Donelson, TN, six miles from Nashville, where he continued his evangelistic labors largely in rural districts and small towns and worked as an associate editor of The Gospel Advocate under David Lipscomb.  He died on Aug. 1, 1940, at Nashville.

The Warrior from Rock Creek by my good friend Earl Kimbrough is a biography of F. B. Srygley.  It is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Life and Times,” has ten chapters which begin with “The Early Years” and continue through “The Sunset Years.”  Part 2, “Thoughts,” consists of six more chapters filled with quotations on a number of different subjects taken from articles, sermons, and stories by Srygley, whose life was contiguous with and thus pretty much a chronicle of the major conflicts in the history of churches of Christ (“the Restoration Movement”) in the United States, from the division over missionary societies and instrumental music in worship, through premillennialism, and down to the beginnings of the institutional controversy.  The book is certainly a weighty tome that requires a commitment of time and effort to digest and thus will not appeal to everyone.  However, it is well written and will be of great interest to all who enjoy reading about concepts which pertain to the spiritual heirs of Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone.  It is truly worth that commitment of time and effort.

While doing some internet research on F. B. Srygley, I came across some incorrect information.  One website claimed, “Filo Srygley authored four books during his lifetime,” and another said, “Filo Srygley was a gifted writer….Mr. Srygley’s books are Larimore and His Boys, Seventy Years In Dixie, Biographies and Sermons, and Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore.”  These writers are confusing Filo Bunyan Srygley with his older brother Fletcher Douglas Srygley, who was also a gospel preacher, a regular contributor to The Gospel Advocate, and the author of these books.  Kimbrough pointed out concerning Filo, “He wrote no books that might have kept his name alive.”  F. B. Srygley did compile a book made up of articles by F. D. Srygley, his brother, on The New Testament Church, but Fletcher is usually credited as the author of that book too since he had written all the material used in it.  However, it is true, as one person wrote, that “Filo Srygley was a gifted writer with a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. Because he used humor in his writing, one of his contemporaries dubbed him the ‘Mark Twain of the Restoration Movement.’”

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