An Apology

In the May 1987 issue of The Examiner there was an article under the heading, "The Error of an Authoritarian Leadership Style." It was made up of some quotes from Chapter Two of a book written by Flavil R. Yeakley, Jr., entitled Church Leadership and Organization, published in 1980.

In late 1986, a reader sent me a Xerox copy of several pages from the book, mainly Chapter Two, commending its value in setting forth needed truth on the subject, and suggested that it would be good to publish some of it in The Examiner for the benefit of the readers who likely had never seen or even heard of the book. I had a copy of the book already, but I filed the copied material with other materials, recognizing that the sender was right, it would be of great value to the readers of this paper.

When I was preparing the material for the May paper, the copy of the material came to hand. It seemed very appropriate for that issue; and it definitely was. In innocence, without even thinking about anything other than its value to that issue, I selected certain portions of the copy sent to me and sent it in for publication. I agree fully with what was quoted from the book and have been saying the same thing for years, even if not as concise or effectively. So have many others, using substantially the same words.

Not once did it occur to me to check to see if the book had a copyright! Yes, I have knowledge of what a copyright is and what it means. It just never dawned upon me to check this fact. Two or three weeks after the paper was out, while on a trip to Arkansas and Texas, a brother asked me about using the material from a copyright book without permission. Then my error dawned on me and my heart fainted within me for I then realized that such was what I had done! It was sheer carelessness on my part, but it was not proper to use copyrighted material without permission. I know that. Had the fact ever occurred to me, I would not have done so at all. It was not an act of deliberately ignoring or defying the copyright. It was just a plain, dumb oversight.

Upon realizing my error, I immediately wrote to Brother Yeakley fully acknowledging my error and telling him that I would correct the matter. He had received the paper and his letter to me taking me to task for using his material crossed mine in the mail. In another letter to me, he has accepted my explanation, apology, and my willingness to correct the matter as far as I can.

Brother Yeakley stands by what he wrote in what was printed in The Examiner, but even though we agree about the wrong of the authoritarian leadership style, he does not share my views on the subject otherwise. His book, Church Leadership and Organization can be purchased from the Gospel Advocate Company or one of the other bookstores.

I confess my error. I apologize to Brother Yeakley and ask his forgiveness. - Charles Holt.