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Eli Monroe “E.M.” Borden Sr.

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Eli Monroe “E.M.” Borden Sr.

Birth
Center, Shelby County, Texas, USA
Death
27 Apr 1951 (aged 77)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA GPS-Latitude: 32.7049749, Longitude: -117.1097102
Memorial ID
View Source
Gospel Preacher.
E. M. Borden
Published April 1979
While living in Fresno, California in the late thirties and early forties I had the good fortune to become personally acquainted with E.M. Borden, who was then living in Porterville, California. He stayed often in our home and I stayed in his home during a meeting. He was such a pleasant person that it was always a pleasure to be in his presence.

Eli Monroe Borden was born January 30, 1874, of J.D. and Margaret Borden in Center, Shelby County, Texas. His father was a lawyer, but later gave that up to devote his time to the preaching of the gospel as his father had done before him. He also had an uncle who was a gospel preacher. When he was an infant, his mother said: "he will be a preacher." Brother Borden said he knew he heard her say that, but since he was not speaking English at the time did not understand it. He had a brother, Luther, and a half brother, Melvin and two sisters, Willie Parsons and Evelyn Hill. His mother always encouraged him to preach, and often said to him: "I knew you could do it." His father also wanted him to preach, but did not want him to "make mistakes". It was a matter of pride to him that his parents "lived to hear him preach" many sermons.

Upon completing the schools available to him he was sent to the Chilton Military Institute, but was released from that school upon his determination to become a gospel preacher. He then attended a school where L.B. Word instructed him in languages and rhetoric. This man had a good influence upon Brother Borden, always encouraging him in his preaching, and keeping abreast of his progress. He was unable to pay his way in this school, and met that problem by serving as school janitor. Of this, he said: "It did not lower me in the estimation of the other students, but it raised me in their estimation." While in this school he filled many Sunday appointments, sometimes walking as much as fifteen miles to do so. In 1890 he obeyed the gospel under the preaching of A.J. McCarty, a pioneer Texas preacher, and at one time owner of half the stock in the Firm Foundation.

His first "regular meeting" was conducted at Speagleville, near Waco, Texas. It was scheduled for ten days, and he was quite anxious about not having enough sermons to last so long. But it was the custom to have a "question box". (This could sometimes make trouble for a beginner!) But the questions took all his time one evening and then he had enough sermons to last. Sunday appointments and "protracted" meetings were the usual places where preachers preached, with very few of them then being in "full time local work." Debates also played an important role in their work, and this was especially true of E.M. Borden.

In 1902 he was married to Mrs. Ella Sisk, daughter of John and Mattie Darter, in Black Rock, Arkansas. She belonged to a denominational church, perhaps the Methodist, but she soon obeyed the gospel and walked faithfully with the Lord by the side of her husband to the end of his long life. Her first husband had died, leaving her with a child. She bore four children by Brother Borden. Margaret V. Nunn, now deceased; Mittie E. McGill, E.M. Borden, Jr., and Mary L. Swinney. E.M. Jr. preached for many years. He has a son who preaches, and Mary Swinney had a son who preached until he lost his life in 1969. Five generations of gospel preachers have come from this family — perhaps there will be others.

After moving to Arkansas in early life he edited and published the Christian Pilot for about fifteen years. Following a severe case of the flu he moved to Riverside, California where he preached for the church for three years. While in Arkansas, in addition to his editorial work, he had many debates and preached for at least the church in Batesville and Little Rock. (He established the work in Little Rock.) From Riverside he moved to Oklahoma City to edit the Herald of Truth, a paper then about a year old. He continued this work for four years when he moved to Ferris, Texas, where he worked with the church for about three years. Following this there was local work in Clovis, New Mexico, Fayetteville, Ark., back to California, then to Hereford, Texas and again to California, settling in Porterville. Later he worked with the church in National City, California.

Debates played an important part in his life, and for him they started very early in life when he was only about twenty years of age. This first debate came when he went to hear Brother J. J. Moye meet Joe Newman, a Primitive (Hardshell) Baptist. He had been making notes for such a debate, but didn't dream that one would come so soon, but Brother Moye was sick when he got to the site for the debate, and then continued getting sicker. Brother Borden was selected to replace him, which he did. Brother Borden said: "It was easy for me to handle the debate for the Bible was on my side." A preacher was converted during this debate, which took place in a school house near Marquez, Texas. He continued to debate throughout life and successfully met the best the denominational world could produce. He met Ben M. Bogard, champion of the Baptist debaters, eleven times and L.S. Ballard, a prominent Baptist debater, twice. During one of the debates with Bogard, a child was born. One parent was a Christian, the other a Baptist. They named the child "Ben Borden". There were six debates with a sect known as the "Come-Outers", who claimed the New Covenant began on Pentecost, but that the Mosaic law lasted until 64 or 70 A.D. There was one debate with the "oneness" people who insist that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the same person. This debate was held in Bakersfield, California and he later met his opponent and learned that he had quit the church for which he once preached. In Porterville, in the late years of his life, he met a Russelite, or Jehovah's Witness. In Texas he had met A.S. Bradley, once a faithful gospel preacher and strong defender of The Faith. But he drifted off into materialism, similar to the Adventists, Christadelphians, and Bollites. This debate was conducted at Goldthwaite, where Bradley had split the church over these issues. This debate continued for seven days and nights. There was one debate with A.H. Zilmer, champion of the Christadelphian sect, several with the Methodists, including Purtle, Pigue, and Becham. Becham was known as a "mud-slinger" and some of the brethren were afraid Brother Borden could not "handle him". But this time the "mud-slinger" lost out and the debate ended with our brethren standing on the seats singing "The Victory Has Been Won." There were many debates with lesser known men that included just about all the sects in the area where he worked, including one with Frank Strickland who had once been a faithful gospel preacher but he had followed A.S. Bradley into error. This debate was held in Judsonia, Arkansas and lasted five or six days. Brother Borden was preaching for the church in nearby Batesville, where the church had been split by this false teaching. At the close of this debate Brother Strickland stated that he was wrong and along with his moderator, gave up the false position he had held. Brother Borden said: "Brother Strickland continued to preach, but not materialism. From that time on he made it hot for the Adventists and other Materialists." In Wood- side, Montana he debated a Reorganized Mormon in a dance hall for ten days and nights. I had the privilege of moderating for him in a debate with a Landmark Baptist at Porterville in the early forties. He was far more than equal to the task.

Through the years he did much writing in addition to his editorial duties with the Christian Pilot and Herald of Truth. This included work for the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate. He published many tracts and books, including: The Action of Baptism; John's Troubles; Tom's Call to Preach; My Call to Preach; The Troubled Village; The Kingdom; My Reasons For Not Being a Methodist; Baptist Doctrine Upset; God's Eternal Purpose; Has the Kingdom of Christ Been Established?; The Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Christ; Borden-Bogard Debate; Ballard-Borden Debate; Jacob's Ladder; The Plan Of The Ages; The Crimson Trail; Joshua, That Minister of Moses; At The Foot of Mount Moro; The Honest Gentile; (J. Emmett Wainwright said that he was taught the truth by this tract.). Four gospel sermons; History of the Church of Christ; Brother Smith's Loyalty; Hereditary Total Depravity; Marion Jones and Molly Kitchens; and the Life, Incidents and Sermons of Eli Monroe Borden. He also wrote a book on Revelation, but it was not published until after his death. There was an unpublished manuscript on Mormonism, but it has been lost. Some of these works are still available, and can be had from the Gospel Light Publishing Co., Delight, Ark. 71940. The Firm Foundation published some of them, and might be able to supply them. In the more than fifty years that he preached he published twenty-five books and tracts.

He continued to work until the body wore out. He developed uremic poisoning and was a semi-invalid for the last fifteen months, but it was a cerebral hemorrhage that finally released him from his suffering on April 27, 1951 at the age of seventy- seven years. He and Sister Borden had been in the home of their daughter, Mary Swinney, of San Diego for some time prior to his death. John Allen Hudson, faithful gospel preacher and a faithful friend for many years, conducted the final service and his body sleeps in Mt. Hope cemetery in San Diego. On August 4, 1955, after being bed-fast for two years and two months as a result of several strokes, Sister Borden followed him into the better land. She sleeps by his side in Mt. Hope. They were faithful Christians. They led many people to The Lord and did much to defend the church from false teachers. No doubt they have gone where the great Gentile Apostle said: "It is very far better." --Gospel preacher listed in Gospel Preachers of Yesteryear, p. 47.
Gospel Preacher.
E. M. Borden
Published April 1979
While living in Fresno, California in the late thirties and early forties I had the good fortune to become personally acquainted with E.M. Borden, who was then living in Porterville, California. He stayed often in our home and I stayed in his home during a meeting. He was such a pleasant person that it was always a pleasure to be in his presence.

Eli Monroe Borden was born January 30, 1874, of J.D. and Margaret Borden in Center, Shelby County, Texas. His father was a lawyer, but later gave that up to devote his time to the preaching of the gospel as his father had done before him. He also had an uncle who was a gospel preacher. When he was an infant, his mother said: "he will be a preacher." Brother Borden said he knew he heard her say that, but since he was not speaking English at the time did not understand it. He had a brother, Luther, and a half brother, Melvin and two sisters, Willie Parsons and Evelyn Hill. His mother always encouraged him to preach, and often said to him: "I knew you could do it." His father also wanted him to preach, but did not want him to "make mistakes". It was a matter of pride to him that his parents "lived to hear him preach" many sermons.

Upon completing the schools available to him he was sent to the Chilton Military Institute, but was released from that school upon his determination to become a gospel preacher. He then attended a school where L.B. Word instructed him in languages and rhetoric. This man had a good influence upon Brother Borden, always encouraging him in his preaching, and keeping abreast of his progress. He was unable to pay his way in this school, and met that problem by serving as school janitor. Of this, he said: "It did not lower me in the estimation of the other students, but it raised me in their estimation." While in this school he filled many Sunday appointments, sometimes walking as much as fifteen miles to do so. In 1890 he obeyed the gospel under the preaching of A.J. McCarty, a pioneer Texas preacher, and at one time owner of half the stock in the Firm Foundation.

His first "regular meeting" was conducted at Speagleville, near Waco, Texas. It was scheduled for ten days, and he was quite anxious about not having enough sermons to last so long. But it was the custom to have a "question box". (This could sometimes make trouble for a beginner!) But the questions took all his time one evening and then he had enough sermons to last. Sunday appointments and "protracted" meetings were the usual places where preachers preached, with very few of them then being in "full time local work." Debates also played an important role in their work, and this was especially true of E.M. Borden.

In 1902 he was married to Mrs. Ella Sisk, daughter of John and Mattie Darter, in Black Rock, Arkansas. She belonged to a denominational church, perhaps the Methodist, but she soon obeyed the gospel and walked faithfully with the Lord by the side of her husband to the end of his long life. Her first husband had died, leaving her with a child. She bore four children by Brother Borden. Margaret V. Nunn, now deceased; Mittie E. McGill, E.M. Borden, Jr., and Mary L. Swinney. E.M. Jr. preached for many years. He has a son who preaches, and Mary Swinney had a son who preached until he lost his life in 1969. Five generations of gospel preachers have come from this family — perhaps there will be others.

After moving to Arkansas in early life he edited and published the Christian Pilot for about fifteen years. Following a severe case of the flu he moved to Riverside, California where he preached for the church for three years. While in Arkansas, in addition to his editorial work, he had many debates and preached for at least the church in Batesville and Little Rock. (He established the work in Little Rock.) From Riverside he moved to Oklahoma City to edit the Herald of Truth, a paper then about a year old. He continued this work for four years when he moved to Ferris, Texas, where he worked with the church for about three years. Following this there was local work in Clovis, New Mexico, Fayetteville, Ark., back to California, then to Hereford, Texas and again to California, settling in Porterville. Later he worked with the church in National City, California.

Debates played an important part in his life, and for him they started very early in life when he was only about twenty years of age. This first debate came when he went to hear Brother J. J. Moye meet Joe Newman, a Primitive (Hardshell) Baptist. He had been making notes for such a debate, but didn't dream that one would come so soon, but Brother Moye was sick when he got to the site for the debate, and then continued getting sicker. Brother Borden was selected to replace him, which he did. Brother Borden said: "It was easy for me to handle the debate for the Bible was on my side." A preacher was converted during this debate, which took place in a school house near Marquez, Texas. He continued to debate throughout life and successfully met the best the denominational world could produce. He met Ben M. Bogard, champion of the Baptist debaters, eleven times and L.S. Ballard, a prominent Baptist debater, twice. During one of the debates with Bogard, a child was born. One parent was a Christian, the other a Baptist. They named the child "Ben Borden". There were six debates with a sect known as the "Come-Outers", who claimed the New Covenant began on Pentecost, but that the Mosaic law lasted until 64 or 70 A.D. There was one debate with the "oneness" people who insist that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the same person. This debate was held in Bakersfield, California and he later met his opponent and learned that he had quit the church for which he once preached. In Porterville, in the late years of his life, he met a Russelite, or Jehovah's Witness. In Texas he had met A.S. Bradley, once a faithful gospel preacher and strong defender of The Faith. But he drifted off into materialism, similar to the Adventists, Christadelphians, and Bollites. This debate was conducted at Goldthwaite, where Bradley had split the church over these issues. This debate continued for seven days and nights. There was one debate with A.H. Zilmer, champion of the Christadelphian sect, several with the Methodists, including Purtle, Pigue, and Becham. Becham was known as a "mud-slinger" and some of the brethren were afraid Brother Borden could not "handle him". But this time the "mud-slinger" lost out and the debate ended with our brethren standing on the seats singing "The Victory Has Been Won." There were many debates with lesser known men that included just about all the sects in the area where he worked, including one with Frank Strickland who had once been a faithful gospel preacher but he had followed A.S. Bradley into error. This debate was held in Judsonia, Arkansas and lasted five or six days. Brother Borden was preaching for the church in nearby Batesville, where the church had been split by this false teaching. At the close of this debate Brother Strickland stated that he was wrong and along with his moderator, gave up the false position he had held. Brother Borden said: "Brother Strickland continued to preach, but not materialism. From that time on he made it hot for the Adventists and other Materialists." In Wood- side, Montana he debated a Reorganized Mormon in a dance hall for ten days and nights. I had the privilege of moderating for him in a debate with a Landmark Baptist at Porterville in the early forties. He was far more than equal to the task.

Through the years he did much writing in addition to his editorial duties with the Christian Pilot and Herald of Truth. This included work for the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate. He published many tracts and books, including: The Action of Baptism; John's Troubles; Tom's Call to Preach; My Call to Preach; The Troubled Village; The Kingdom; My Reasons For Not Being a Methodist; Baptist Doctrine Upset; God's Eternal Purpose; Has the Kingdom of Christ Been Established?; The Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Christ; Borden-Bogard Debate; Ballard-Borden Debate; Jacob's Ladder; The Plan Of The Ages; The Crimson Trail; Joshua, That Minister of Moses; At The Foot of Mount Moro; The Honest Gentile; (J. Emmett Wainwright said that he was taught the truth by this tract.). Four gospel sermons; History of the Church of Christ; Brother Smith's Loyalty; Hereditary Total Depravity; Marion Jones and Molly Kitchens; and the Life, Incidents and Sermons of Eli Monroe Borden. He also wrote a book on Revelation, but it was not published until after his death. There was an unpublished manuscript on Mormonism, but it has been lost. Some of these works are still available, and can be had from the Gospel Light Publishing Co., Delight, Ark. 71940. The Firm Foundation published some of them, and might be able to supply them. In the more than fifty years that he preached he published twenty-five books and tracts.

He continued to work until the body wore out. He developed uremic poisoning and was a semi-invalid for the last fifteen months, but it was a cerebral hemorrhage that finally released him from his suffering on April 27, 1951 at the age of seventy- seven years. He and Sister Borden had been in the home of their daughter, Mary Swinney, of San Diego for some time prior to his death. John Allen Hudson, faithful gospel preacher and a faithful friend for many years, conducted the final service and his body sleeps in Mt. Hope cemetery in San Diego. On August 4, 1955, after being bed-fast for two years and two months as a result of several strokes, Sister Borden followed him into the better land. She sleeps by his side in Mt. Hope. They were faithful Christians. They led many people to The Lord and did much to defend the church from false teachers. No doubt they have gone where the great Gentile Apostle said: "It is very far better." --Gospel preacher listed in Gospel Preachers of Yesteryear, p. 47.

Gravesite Details

E. M. Borden, Sr. really was not a senior but they used Sr and Jr for accommodative purposes.



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