Saturday, January 25, 2014

15 Outstanding Preachers

This past week, a preaching colleague of mine engaged me in a conversation.  Being a person who loves to dialogue and debate, he posed to me a very interesting question.  He asked, ‘Pullam...who are your top 10 favorite preachers?’  While I am not the best in the preaching craft, I love preaching; and I love to talk about preaching, read on preaching, and I love to preach.  So...I called the roll: My father, J.A. Reed, Jr., my uncles, Joe Samuel Ratliff, Cleophus J. LaRue, my pastor, Harvey Clemons, Jr., J. R. Miller, R.L. Sanders, Charles Spurgeon, H.B. Charles, Jr. and several others.  Then, he gave me a few qualifiers that threw me.  He said 1) Someone who has lived in my lifetime (in the past 35 years), whether living or now deceased.  2) Someone to whom you aren’t related nor have had a close relationship. 3) Someone over the age of 50.  4) These had to be men, not women (which I found rather odd, but okay, I can do that).  I told him I needed some time, and asked him to give me his list first.  He could only give me five.  I could only do the same.  It has lingered with me; and I think I have 15!  lol  This morning, I have gone through my list; and (while I will not take the time now to provide a description of the following), it has really provoked me to redefine the shape of my own preaching, reflect on the way these preachers have touched me, and to challenge myself to further come into my own self as a proclaimer of God’s Word.  Here is my tentative (almost definite) tope 15, mindful I’ve probably missed light of my friends’ qualifiers.

1. E. K. Bailey (While he was my college pastor, whom I met and fellowshipped with on occasions, my years there at the Concord Church were times of health challenges for Dr. Bailey.  We didn’t spend extensive time, one-on-one.  Therefore, he is #1!)
2. Ralph West
3. Gardner C. Taylor
4. W. A. Criswell
5. John F. Macarthur
6. Melvin V. Wade
7. Isadore Edwards
8. Calvin Miller
9. Joel Gregory
10. Billy Graham
11. Manuel Scott, Sr.
12. Adrian Rogers
13. E.V. Hill
14. Jasper Williams
15. Darrell Gilyard

These men are not perfect men.  And, surprisingly, it became of interest to me those who I placed on my list.  But these are definitely the ones who stand out for me.  Some I have only heard 4 or 5 times; but their preaching has completely impacted my life and ministry.  Maybe some day, after I reflect, I can go into how these preaching heroes of mine have touched and spoken to me personally and in preaching.’s my list.  I will invite my friend to read this blog! :)

If anyone is reading.....I’m curious.  Who is on your list???


Ira Antoine said...

Pullam here is mine. They are not ranked just listed...
1. Ralph West
2. Joel Gregory
3. Joe Ratliff
4. Robert Smith Jr
5. H B Sampson
6. Cleo LaRue
7. Charles Booth
8. EV Hill
9. GE Patterson
10. CAW Clark
11. Jeremiah Wright
12. Gardner Taylor
13. H Beecher Hicks Sr.
14. Miles Jones
15. Samuel DeWitt Proctor
16. E K Bailey

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