Experiencing the Beauty of the African American Preaching Tradition.
When I was a student in Bible college, I once invited two friends to my home church for an evening revival service. The friends were members of an evangelical high church assembly, and my church was in the Afro-Baptist tradition. The speaker was an extremely gifted expositor and the pastor of a local congregation. I had heard him on many occasions. Our entire church was excited about him coming.
As the preaching began, those assembled were enjoying our usual call-and-response event. We were hearing a faithful explanation of the Scriptures that challenged us to trust the Lord through all circumstances. The minister was giving the message with passion and an exaltation of the death and resurrection of Christ.
The opening and closing of the sermon were so well-tied together that I remember them to this day. The preacher opened with an illustration from the old American Express Card commercial and its famous moniker: “American Express: Don’t leave home without it.” At the end ...