The Story Behind the Expository Series
This is a story about a man, his morals, and his ethics. The man’s name was Millard Deramus. He was my paternal grandfather.
Millard lived at the end of a dirt and gravel road in Western Central Arkansas. When the road, as it was, reached his homestead, it turned and headed out of the woods. He was born a quarter of a mile from where he lived his entire life. I am not sure if he ever ventured out of the state of Arkansas. Possibly he got as far as a neighboring state once.
Many years ago he had a neighbor he simply referred to as Mr. Poole. One day Mr. Poole left. When it came time to pay the yearly taxes on their property, Mr. Poole had not returned. Millard was a good neighbor, so he did what he felt good neighbors do, he decided Mr. Poole’s taxes should be paid so when Mr. Poole returned, he would not be in arrears with the state of Arkansas.
Millard hitched his mules and went on to Mr. Poole’s land and cut a load of pulp wood and took it to the mill and sold it. He then went to the county seat and paid Mr. Poole’s taxes. The next year Mr. Poole had still not returned, so Millard again cut pulp wood off Mr. Poole’s land, sold it, and paid the taxes on Mr. Poole’s land. This continued for many, many years. Mr. Poole never returned and each year my grandfather would cut timber off of Mr. Poole’s land and sell it and pay the taxes on Mr. Poole’s land.
I was there the day the attorney came to see Millard. We were on the back porch that had been screened in, and we were drinking coffee. I still have the two coffee cups we used that day. I heard the conversation from three feet away. The attorney had a briefcase full of papers he wanted Millard to sign.
The attorney informed Millard that according to the state of Arkansas, Millard was the owner of the 280 acres next door by the default of paying the taxes for the last 20 years. The name Millard Deramus was on every yearly receipt for over 20 years. The amount of money being discussed was substantial. I watched my grandfather closely. There was no reaction at all. No smile, not even a raised eyebrow.
Millard patiently waited for the attorney to finish. The attorney requested my grandfather to sign the documents accepting ownership of 280 acres that joined his 70 acres. The value of the land at that time, including the timber, was well over a quarter of a million dollars. When the attorney finished and asked my grandfather to sign to documents he quietly and firmly said no, I will not sign. He informed the attorney that was not his land and he had never taken anything that did not belong to him in his life.
The amount of money was staggering to me. I was watching a man who had lived a simple rustic life for all of his eighty plus years. He wore bib overalls and drove old pick up trucks. When younger he worked as a blacksmith out under the oak tree in his yard. I still have items he forged under that old oak tree. I watched that day as the attorney attempted to stoke the fire of avarice in Millard Deramus.
The attorney told Millard all he could do with several hundred thousand dollars. He floated the idea of a new home, a new truck, retirement, travel. Millard just stared at the attorney. No comment. None. The attorney tried again. Will you just sign Millard? For your children? No comment. None. Finally the attorney asked is there anything I can do to get you to sign these papers? My grandfather simply shook his head no. He said one sentence. He said “it ain’t my land”.
My grandfather died and was buried a short distance from where he lived his entire life. My grandmother (Dolly), lived a few more years. The children convinced her to sign the papers to claim ownership of the land because it would simply go back to the state otherwise. She signed, the land was sold and my father was one of eight children who inherited.
When my father died I received my inheritance, part of which was the money from the sale of Mr. Poole’s land. For a long time I pondered what to do. I did not feel like I could accept money I had witnessed my grandfather refuse on the afternoon on the back porch so many years before. So I waited. I did nothing. I never spent one dime of that money.
In 2016 an idea came to me that seemed an appropriate way to use that money. It is the money being used to produce the Expository Series. I did not know of any Apostolic writings that were doing an Expository Series. So I took that money and began to print books for Apostolic people to read.
The books of the Expository Series are printed without charge to the authors. The proceeds and profit of the books sold online go back into a non profit fund to print more Apostolic books. None of the online profit is going to any personal use for anyone. If an author buys his book direct from wholesale after it is published and sells it, then he is welcomed to keep any profit from those sales.
I would like to thank all the men who have contributed their work to this endeavor. Scott Hall, Bart Adkins, Vaughn Reece, Kevin Archer, Ben Weeks, and Edward Seabrooks have all contributed. We have now published 15 volumes and have 3 more to be published in the next 60 days. Others have shown interest in publishing their works also. Our goal is to have 20 volumes published by the end of 2017.
The publisher we are using has informed me we are their best seller they have ever published. We have now sold several thousand dollars of books since September 1, 2016. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has purchased our product.
Now you know the story behind the Expository Series. A simple Christian man with ethics and morals, opened his heart, and showed me his faith, on a warm spring day, in a simple homestead, many years ago. Today I say thank you to my grandfather, Millard Deramus. Thank you for your ethics. Thank you for your morals. Thank you for your Christian faith.
May your memory be blessed and revered. You never travelled 100 miles from where you were born, but your legacy has spanned America.
Thanks for reading today…
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