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!