Preaching on the Cutting Edge

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We’re within a couple weeks of Father’s Day, so I thought I would say a few words about my dad and make a point at the same time.  This week, my dad will complete 61 years of preaching.  He will also begin his 50th year at the same congregation in Chester, WV beginning in December.  Quite an accomplishment!

I consider my dad a “Preacher’s Preacher.”  He’s one of the most humble men I’ve ever known.  While some preachers have a reputation of climbing over each other to “make a name for themselves,” or to “be somebody,” my dad has resisted such personal gratification.  He’s never sought the spotlight, but the spotlight has sought him.  He’s never promoted himself as a voice of reason and truth, but people have sought him out for both.  He’s been content to preach locally, but has been called upon to preach by hundreds of churches.

One of the reasons my dad has been so respected and sought after is because he has always sought to present the truth in a relevant way.  I think we all would acknowledge that the more senses involved in learning, the better we remember.  Dad has, for as long as I can remember not only taught the truth, but he has used visuals as well.

When I was a young boy, I can remember my dad getting down on the basement floor with a yardstick and markers to prepare his “sheet sermons.”  (The three pictures above are samples of some of his sheet sermons).  Then he began using the overhead projector.  For years, he carried a projector and a screen in his car as he traveled and preached in meetings.  (He used the overhead so much that people used to accuse him of using it for his daily radio program).  Then came the advent of computers and PowerPoint.  I wasn’t sure dad could ever come around to this new technology, but he did.  His overhead gave way to a laptop, and his transparencies gave way to .ppt presentations.

Dad is now 80 years-old, and is preaching in a gospel meeting in Ohio as I write this article.  I think Dad has captured the “secret” to success (though it’s really not a secret).  Through the years, he has faithfully taught the truth in love and done so in a relevant manner.

My sister and I had to share our dad with thousands of people while we were growing up and we never resented it (except that time when I was a little boy and another boy climbed up in my dad’s lap and hugged him…but that’s another story.  I’m over it now that I’m 51 years-old :-)).  No, in fact it made us proud to be our Mom & Dad’s children.

Happy “early” Father’s Day, Dad!

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13 Comments

  1. Very well said Steve!!! I likewise have a tremendous amount of respect for your dad (and mom). Your dad is in a small select group of gospel preachers who have preached for the same congregation for 50 years. That is an amazing accomplishment and tribute to him and to the Chester congregation. Thanks for the fine article!! You are indeed blessed, and you are a blessing to lots of people just like you dad.

  2. Steve,

    Thank you for sharing that. Your dad is 12 years ahead of me. It is encouraging to hear of his continued effectiveness. I appreciate his good example for the rest of us.

  3. This man was in his 17th year going on 18 years of preaching at the congregation in Chester when i was born. Frank was the first preacher I ever knew of. I grew up in that church. It was a blessing to have such a knowledge and loving person as my preacher growing up. of course it wasn’t until later on in life i didn’t realize that, but we all come to our senses sooner or later right? he is by far the best preacher I’ve come to know. i used to plug in his tapes when i was stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii in order to fall asleep…lol. i still tease him about that to this day.

  4. What a great tribute to a godly father who deserves to be recognized. I commend you for honoring and showing respect to him; even though he would probably not want you to do so. Blessed!

  5. Thanks for sharing that Steve, you Dad is a very kind gentle soul, yet never compromises when it come to the holy scriptures. May he have another 50 years at Chester.

  6. I remember your dad well from my early years at church camp. He and my father, Harold Lockhart, were there for a few years together, too. I saw your dad when we would visit my aunt, Wanda Penn, who went to church in Chester. Through the years, I came to see how gentle and humble your father truly was. I’ve always admired his genuineness and the way he always made you feel like you were the only other person in the room when he talked to you! God bless you, Brother Higginbotham, for your wonderful years of service to The Lord! What a great accomplishment and honor to the Lord! Becky Lockhart Kearns

  7. I tease Brother Frank about being the only preacher I remember at Chester. I myself am 71 years young and have listen to Brother Frank for many years. We just finished a meeting the last of April 2013 I was sick and unable to atttend the last two nights of the meeting. He announce that I was the first preacher he ever drove off. I have a deep love for him and Rose.
    I pray God that he has many more years in service to the Lord.

  8. Steve, you and I share a sweet legacy. My Dad preached at Chester just ahead of your Dad. Yours followed mine as the Chester preacher. Dad would be 110 years old now if he yet lived on earth. I have nothing but precious memories of my Dad and yours.

    I spent some of the happiest times with your Dad and Mom when I preached in gospel meetings at Chester. I always made my home with them. Your Mom was a delight.

    In my most recent meeting in Chester between 15-20 people “responded” to the gospel and the building was packed at every service. I am happy I had the privilege of serving the church there and spending time with your Dad – one of my best friends ever!

    For the good times,
    Tom D. Butterfield

  9. I remember your father as I was growing up. Always went to his meetings and Church Camp. Very good memories –Alice Robison Hennen

  10. My father valued highly his friendship with your father, especially when they both were preaching in Hancock County. I too have respected his humility and perseverance in serving the Lord.

  11. Awesome brother. I am honored to have heard your dad one time several years ago on a lectureship program when I was holding a meeting nearby. He is a blessing – both directly and indirectly though your own work. I know you are “proud” of him with a godly pride. May God grant him great things in these years!!!

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