CIRCULAR LETTER

     I want to thank those who had enough confidence in me, or rather in the gifts God has bestowed upon us, to
vote for me to assume this great work or assignment of writing a circular letter for your inspection. I also want to
acknowledge Bother Milburn Slone, who was first chosen for this job. A brother greatly respected and well loved
among the brotherhood of this great and wonderful kingdom here on earth, hidden within His people, God’s sons
and daughters. Most of all I thank God who through and by His son Jesus Christ saved our souls from the lake of
fire for which we were destined in the dead state of sin that we were in at that time, but thanks be to God that
He made a way for our escape. Apostle Paul stated in Ephesians : 8 & 9, “For by grace are you saved through
faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” And in Ephesians
2 : 5, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)”.

     I hope that God will deliver me to put words on paper that will be an up-build to His kingdom, and I have
remembered and been strengthened by the brothers and sisters who said they would be in prayer for this cause,
and I feel that all of you who are aware of this assignment are also praying, for I believe that when one suffers,
we all suffer and when one rejoices, we all rejoice with them, because we are built upon one foundation and have
been added to the one body by the one spirit, God’s holy and divine power.

     It’s hard for me to get away from how we became a part of God’s kingdom, of which part is dwelling here on
earth, walking in faith and hope, while part of it is resting in peace on the other side of death, in Heaven. We
realize that at some point in life we were enlightened to the fact that we were now, and from this time forward,
responsible to God for our actions. When the light appeared to us, we found that we were in great darkness
because we realized that we were sinners, lost, ruined and undone without God or His son. When the light
appeared to us it brought a knowledge of sin and great condemnation because we now knew to do good and
when we did it not, to us it became sin. To explain this we often refer to Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 7 :
9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Not a natural
death, but it was the soul died or was in a dead state and needed to be resurrected, or born again. I am so
thankful that God did not mean for this to be a permanent state or condition, because He already had a remedy
for sin prepared from and before the foundation of the world, where we see Jesus who stood as a lamb slain for
the sin of the world, a perfect blood sacrifice that none other could offer.

     As lost sinners we pondered how can we be saved? I am trusting in God to help me touch on some things
that I believe are very important to this answer. We know, even yet, that it takes the spirit of God calling, invit-ing
or working within us before we can answer, as we see in Habakkuk 2 : 11, “For the stone shall cry out of the
wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it”. We are also reminded of what Jesus said in John 6 : 44,
“No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
We also often quote Revelation 22 : 17 to help unravel this question, “And the spirit and bride say come. And let
him that heareth say, come.  And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life
freely.” I am so thankful that God includes all in His call to salvation, regardless of gender, creed or color as
shown in Revelation 14 : 6-7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel
to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying
with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of judgment is come; and worship Him that made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

      We also understand that God must first, and I believe did give us a tool, faith, by which we can believe in
God, through His son, Jesus Christ, at the same time He pronounced us sinners. In the following verses He gave
us some examples of how to use this tool, in John 12 : 36, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you
may be the children of the light...” and Titus 2 : 11 and 12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and
righteously, and godly, in this present world.” A part of the Baptist doctrine, which I believe God established and
set forth, is a travail or repentance before a birth, a godly sorrow set up in the hearts of men and women. We
see this in 2 Corinthians 7 : 10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the
sorrow of the world worketh death...”, and in Romans 2 : 4, “Or despisith thou the riches of His goodness and
forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”. We also
see in Romans 1 : 16, Apostle Paul saying, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of
God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” These things when acted
upon through faith in obedience to the spirit brings forth great and mighty results. In the following verses, we see
the results of grace through faith, 1 Peter 1 : 18-23, “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation from your fathers; but with the precious blood
of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the
world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the
dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God seeing you have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure
heart fervently: being born again, not of cor-ruptible seed, but of uncorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth
and abideth forever.” We also see in Jesus’ own words as He spoke unto Nichodemus in John 3 : 3-7, “Jesus
answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the king-
dom of God. Nichodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? I say unto thee, except a man
be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” We see
some other things, which are not comprehended with the natural mind, as in John 1 : 1-7, “In the beginning was
the word and the word was with God and word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things
were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the
light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from
God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through Him
might believe.” We see John’s confession to this speaking unto the Jewish church, under the law, while we
remember that John was sent to make ready a people prepared of the Lord, in Matthew 3 : 11, “I indeed baptize
you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to
bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” After this baptism, we were ready to go home to
our friends and give a reason for the hope that is in us, and ask the church, where God will send us, if we ask in
faith, for church membership and water baptism, which is the answer to a good conscience, not for the putting
away of the filth of the flesh.

     Brethren and sisters, a point that bears upon my mind, is that when a new convert offers themselves unto the
church for baptism and member-ship, I think we have the right, and probably is our responsibility, to ask a reason
for their hope, and expect a satisfactory answer. This statement is more clearly set forth in 1 Peter 3 : 15, “But
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to any man that asketh you a
reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” I don’t believe this will offend anyone who has
suffered with the Lord for he shall also reign with Him, and their soul has been resurrected in Christ Jesus the
Lord and born again, to walk in the newness of life. After hearing and seeing the fruits of righteousness, we
should be wise enough to give a righteous judg-ment, for we see in Matthew 10 : 16, “Behold I send you forth as
sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”, and again, in 1
Corinthians 14 : 20, “Brethren, be not children in under-standing: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in
understanding be men.”

     We all, both saint and sinner, need to obey the spirit of God for these miraculous things of the kingdom of
God to be effective in our lives. Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, and his
belief or faith in God was manifested by his actions. Again, in Matthew 7 : 24, “Therefore whosoever heareth
these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.”
As a young Christian I began to find myself having doubts, as soon as the day of my baptism and I suppose even
before that, which was very scary to me at the time. I am very thankful for Apostle Paul’s writings concerning
this, where he discuses the warfare between the spirit and the flesh, and I find that this is a never ending battle,
but thanks be to God that after Paul had prayed three times for this thorn in the flesh, which was a messenger of
Satan to buffet him about, to be removed, God told him that “my grace is sufficient for thee”, and I have believed
for these many years that His grace is sufficient to keep us also. These doubts caused me to begin praying about
this matter, and here are some of the scriptures the Lord let me see, which gave me great comfort and does still:
Romans 8 : 16, “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”; 1 John 1 : 14,
“We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother
abideth in death.”; 1 John 2 : 3, “And herby we do know that we know Him if we keep his commandments.”; 1
John 2 : 27, “But the anointing which you have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man
teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath
taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” In Galatians 5 : 22-26, I see other witnesses or evidence of the works of God’
s people: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance;
against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust. If we
live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying,
murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in the time past,
that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

     Now that we have been added to God’s kingdom and being made par-takers of the Holy Ghost and Jesus’
own body, the church, and have be-come heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, how are we to walk and
work here in God’s garden? I believe it is a simple thing, although very complicated and confusing to the carnal
mind. In my mind it pretty much boils down to an explanation of the church given in Acts 9 : 31, “Then had the
churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the
Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” In contrast to this explanation one of our greatest
enemies is our own carnal minds as individuals and as churches. In Ro-mans 8 : 6 & 7, we see how destructive
the carnal mind can be, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,
because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Therefore, I am convinced that the good thing we can do is to work in faith toward God and in the fear of the
Lord, praying diligently for God to bless the gifts that He has set in order in the church to His, God’s, glory and
honor, preferring our brothers and sis-ters before ourselves as stated in Romans 12 : 10, “Be kindly affectioned
one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another”, and in James 5 : 16, “Confess your faults one
to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man
availeth much.”

     With the help of the Lord, I would like to touch on preaching and other gifts of the Holy Ghost for a few
moments. We see in Romans 12 : 6-9, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us;
whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering;
or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation; he that giveth, let him do it with simplic-ity;
he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerful-ness. Let love be with dissimulation. Abhor
that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Apostle Paul further explains differences in spiritual gifts in 1
Corinthians 12 : 27 & 28, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in
the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues.” But Paul continues that without charity all of these shall fail, and further
states that of faith, hope and charity, that charity is the greatest of these three. The preaching of salvation and
the gospel is explained in 1 Peter 1 : 12, speaking of the prophets of old, “Unto whom it was revealed, not unto
themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have unto us
they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you
with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” Brethren, after we have
exercised our gift, whatever it may be, we are to count ourselves unprofitable servants according to Luke 17 : 10,
“So like-wise ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable
servants: we have done that which is our duty to do.”

     Brethren and sisters, let us never forget our first love, and from where our gifts and governing force comes.
We see this clearly in Isaiah 9 : 6 & 7, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall
be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father,
the prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of
David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even
forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

     As I begin to try to bring this letter to a close, I want to say that I am thankful that Jesus Christ is still seated
on the right hand of God, and that He is our high priest and mediator between God and man, and is the door
through which sin-ners may enter into the kingdom of God, and that He is still calling sinners to repentance and
that it is man’s duty to answer through faith in the godhead, in obedience to the call or invitation. Most of all I am
thankful that God unbosomed his son, only begotten of the father, to come to this low ground of sorrow to die on
the cross and raise again on the third and appointed day and later, after many appearances with the brethren,
returned to His father’s side. I know that we, who have had His blood applied to the soul, are watching for His
return to get His bride to present her to His father. As stated in 1 Thessalonians 4 : 14-17, “For if we believe that
Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God also bring with Him, for this we say
unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;, then we which are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be
with the Lord.”

     In conclusion, I want to share the following thoughts with you. It is now spring of 2006. The forgoing part of
this letter was written in the fall of last year. I now find other things bearing upon my heart and mind, which I hope
the Lord will permit me to write, and I beg your patience for just a short while longer. I see some scriptures which
I believe sheds some light on the age-old question of where are our young people and old alike? Before we get
to this, I want to admit to you and before God that I have recently been made to be so thankful that words can’t
even explain, for the gift of salvation, God’s mercy and His grace, which He freely bestows upon His creation,
attainable by grace through faith. In the past few weeks we have seen some of His work made manifest in the
cleansing of the house of sinners and’the process of birthing babies and directing them home to us. Some of
these were my immediate fam-ily; a son, grandson and natural brother, and sons, daughters and friends of my
brothers and sisters in the Lord, who are all of equal value in the Lord’s eyes and should be the same in ours.
The scripture that has been on my mind is in Ex. 14 : 13, “And Moses said unto the people, fear you not, stand
still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you today....”, where we see Moses following the
direction of the Lord in leading the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and where they reached the Red
Sea with no way across or around it, and the Egyptian soldiers behind them. Even though they had been such
complainers and murmured against God, I can almost hear them crying out to God, but what they didn’t know
was that God had the situation under control and had already made a way for their escape, just as He did for us,
our children and our neighbor, through His son. I can also see as Jesus discussed the seasons with His disciples,
in John 4 : 35, “Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold I say unto you, lift up
your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest.” and again in Matthew 9 : 37 & 38,
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will
send laborers into his harvest.” After approximately 30 years, I am still fully persuaded that sal-vation is as Jonah
said in Jonah 2 : 9, “Salvation is of the Lord”, and I am convinced that God knows them that desire salvation from
the heart. Be of good courage little children, God is still in charge, and He is still the same yesterday, today, and
forever and changeth not. His plan of salvation still works for them that want eternal life more than anything in the
world, even our own lives – heart, soul, mind and strength, and He is still the one that tries the reins and searches
the heart of man. I am so thankful that God’s eyes are over the righteous and His ears are open unto our prayers.
    I truly love the people of this association, and God’s people every where, and not only that, but He put a love
in us for sinner people, for it’s not His will that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance.

     Your brother in Christ, Bro. Coy Tolliver