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A Tribute to Rosco Brong
By Milburn Cockrell
     Rosco Brong was born March 16, 1908 in Monroe County, Pa., of PennsyIvania Dutch and English ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Brong were his proud parents. He became a Christian in 1920, although he was not a Baptist at this time.

     He moved to the State of Kentucky in 1926 and became a Baptist in 1933 when he joined the Baptist Church at West Liberty, Ky. He made known to the church his call to the ministry in 1934, and he was ordained this same year and became pastor of the church. He served as pastor of this church eight years.

     He came to West Liberty, Ky., in 1926 to work with his father in publication of a weekly newspaper, the Licking Valley Courier, in various capacities from "printer's devil" to manager and editor until 1944. He also worked on five other newpapers at Pikeville, Lancaster, Georgetown, Frankfort, and Lexington. He also worked as a Linotype operator for the Lexington Herald in the 1950s.

     On October 5, 1930, he was joined in holy wedlock to Virginia Conley of Falcon, Ky.

     Bro. Brong was a well-educated man. He held a B. A. degree (1950) from Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky., a M. A. degree (1952) from the University of Kentucky in Ancient Languages, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Lexington Baptist College. He also did farther work at the University of Kentucky and the University of Michigan.

     He was pastor of Baptist churches in Kentucky for 34 years and was in the ministry for 52 years. Elder Brong's pastorates included churches in Morgan, Magoffin, Garrard, Owen, and Pulaski Counties, Ky. His last full-time pastorate was at Pitman Creek Baptist Church in Pulaski County, where he preached from about 1959 to 1972.

     Bro. Brong began teaching at Lexington Baptist College, Lexington, Ky., in 1952 where he taught the Bible, Greek, Latin, Hebrew and other languages. His knowledge of the Biblical languages was proven to be of great value in scriptural exposition and interpretation as countless students will gladly testify. In 1954 he became Dean of the school, a position he held for a number of years. His work at Lexington Baptist College lasted about twenty-seven years.

     He was a powerful man with a pen. He contributed numerous articles to the Ashland Avenue Baptist, a paper published by the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky. He authored the following books: Love Builds Up (1962), Better Than The Angels (1962), For His Names's Sake (1963), Following Holiness (1973), and Christ's Church And Baptism (1977). He also contributed articles to The Baptist Examiner and other papers. His writings will be enjoyed by all sound Baptists for many generations to come.

     Elder Brong was a very brilliant man who had a way of making the deep things of the Scripture plain to the average church member. He loved the old paths and the old landmarks. He eschewed all man-made reinterpretations of God's Word. He rejected in unequivocal terms the snares and delusions of Modernism, especially that aspect which would make all religions and denominations somehow "equal" and their differences "unimportant" in the eyes of man and God. He believed that there was but one truth stated in God's own terms for all those who had eyes to see and ears to hear. He always wrote with a power born of complete faith and an authority that came from years of the most assiduous study of the Bible.

     He was an A student in his studies at the colleges. He was voted in as "Who's Who" in American colleges. The year he resigned as Dean of Lexington Baptist College he was voted in as "Who's Who" in the South and Southwest which is in the book Who's Who?. He was respected and loved by all who truly knew him. He did not say much, but when he did, he spoke forth the words of truth and soberness.

     In 1976 Bro. Brong and the editor preached nightly in a meeting at the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Coal Grove, Ohio. I shall never forget the sermons he preached on "Rewards" and "The Bible Doctrine of Election." On November 24-28, 1982, he taught the Book of I John to our church in South Point, Ohio.

     Elder Brong departed this life on July 9, 1985, of cancer at St. Joseph Hospital. His services were held at the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. He lived and labored in this world for 77 years. Long live the memory of Rosco Brong and green grow the grass over his earthly remains. ". . . thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty" (I Samuel 20:18).


[From Milburn Cockrell, Editor, The Berea Baptist Banner, September 15, 1985, pp. 1 & 5. Used with permission. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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