The Irresistible Urge to Preach: A Collection of African American

The Irresistible Urge to Preach: A Collection of African American "Call" Stories

by William H. Myers

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Overview

This is a groundbreaking study in the African American religious experience. Never before has there been a published collection of oral African American ""call"" stories that treats them as a genre worthy of scholarly analysis.

This volume of eighty-six stories was collected in tape-recorded interviews over a six year period from 1985 to 1991. Significantly, this unique, in-depth study represents at least eight different Christian denominations. Many of the men and women who share their ""call"" story in this volume are nationally and internationally known.


William H. Myers is Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio, and is the president and CEO of the McCreary Center for African American Religious Studies. Born in Stonewall, Mississippi, Myers received a PhD degree in religious studies in 1991 from the University of Pittsburgh.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498278355
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/17/2015
Pages: 436
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William H. Myers is Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio, and is the president and CEO of the McCreary Center for African American Religious Studies. Born in Stonewall, Mississippi, Myers received a PhD degree in religious studies in 1991 from the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xiii

"The Irresistible Urge to Preach" xxii

1 "We Would Rather Have an Unqualified Man Than a Qualified Woman" 2

2 Starting a Church in the Garage at Age Eight 11

3 The Law Student Who Became Bishop 16

4 The Bishop Who Swore Never to Be a Preacher 18

5 The Woman No One Would Allow in Seminary 20

6 The Lutheran Who Became a Baptist 25

7 Cracked in Gods University of Hard Knocks 34

8 "Confess the Call or Die" 38

9 Preaching at Camp at Age Fifteen 42

10 The Mississippi Preacher Who Founded a Convention 44

11 Damascus Road in an Emergency Room 49

12 When God Appeared as a Light 54

13 "Choose Me and Live, or Take Your Chances with Satan" 58

14 When God Called at 3:45 Every Morning 60

15 Acceptance of the Call at a Funeral 64

16 "Now That Your Grandmother Is Gone, You Must Move Up" 71

17 Movies and Dancing or Preaching: Which Will It Be? 74

18 Young Preacher Influences Future Baptist Congress President 76

19 Boy Preachers Yes, Girl Preachers No 78

20 From a Seventh Grader to the Leading Revivalist 81

21 A Divine Seizure 84

22 "God's Yes Was Louder Than My No" 88

23 A Scary Question at Ordination 95

24 "Fear Not, I Have Chosen You…" 99

25 The Troubler of Biblical Waters 104

26 When God Spoke through Tchaikovsky's Symphony # 4 in F Minor 111

27 The Preacher Who Is Also Mayor 114

28 God Called through a Little Boy without Shoes 116

29 "I Think I'm Going Crazy" 124

30 "You Are No Longer to Work with the Dead, but with the Living Dead" 137

31 When Her Father Said, "I Won't Support You if You Go to Seminary" 143

32 From a Physical Education or Music Major to District Superintendent 147

33 "Are You Ready to Preach?" 151

34 "Nobody with Your Color Eyes Can Be a Preacher" 157

35 "The Calling Came as a Fact That I Was Raised by God" 169

36 "Who in the World Would Marry a Woman Preacher?" 172

37 Considered Most Likely to Be Bishop in High School 179

38 Influenced by an Old Testament Professor 183

39 The Most Dominant President of a Baptist Convention 186

40 When God Spoke in a New York Traffic Jam 188

41 "It Was like My Body Was on Fire" 195

42 Two Similar Accidents - Is God Speaking to Me? 197

43 "I Would Not Be a Boy Preacher" 199

44 "I Was Down in the Motor Pool Preaching to Trucks" 201

45 Rebellious Soldier in Two Armies: Mans and God's 204

46 "God, If You Want Me to Preach, Wake Me Up at 3:00 or 4:00 o'Clock in the Morning" 211

47 One Regret: Daddy King Wasn't There 213

48 "I Don't Come from a Lineage of Preachers" 216

49 "I Never Wanted to Be a Preacher" 220

50 From a Broadcasting Career to Preaching 226

51 Called While Reading a Score of Chopin 230

52 Betwixt and Between: Blinded at High Noon 233

53 The Presence of God in the Wind 242

54 "I Didn't Call You to Be Your Father's Clone" 245

55 When a White Candle Turned Red 254

56 "In the Same Year That Mama Died, I Also Saw the Lord" 259

57 Has Anyone Written More on Black Preaching? 264

58 "I Made a Bargain with God" 270

59 The Urge to Preach 275

60 The Influence of Being a Preacher's Kid 277

61 "I Had No Choice" 280

62 Awakened by the Hand of God 283

63 An Overwhelming Burden 286

64 Isolation, Separation, and Confrontation with the Brutality of Fraternities 289

65 "Called from My Mother's Womb" 300

66 Called in the Midst of a Medical Mishap 304

67 Rebellion of an AME Preachers Kid 307

68 Under a Magnolia Tree Looking Up, When God Spoke 311

69 An Irresistible Compulsion 320

70 "A Constant Inclination toward Ministry" 322

71 "I Was Anti-religious and Anti-God" 324

72 The Saxophone Player Who Heard the Call of God 326

73 The Dean of Black Preachers: He Didn't Want to Be a Preacher 328

74 "I Tried to Avoid it; I'm Going to Die" 331

75 "No, No, No, Young Man. Not Money; Service, Service" 334

76 When the Preacher Came, Everything Seemed Better 337

77 "…All Right God, I Tell You What, I'm Gonna Fleece You" 338

78 No Girl Friends If You Are a Teenage Preacher 346

79 Confirmation of a Woman Preacher by Women Preachers 350

80 "The Next Time You Hear That Voice, Answer Yes, Lord" 360

81 Unnatural Light in a Dark Room 362

82 Awakened at Four o'Clock; "I Had Been Preaching" 372

83 Lost on the Pacific When God Spoke 378

84 "The Lord Is Calling…You Can't Ignore That" 384

85 "You Know What I Want You to Do" 388

86 From Marginal Roman Catholic to Muslim to CME Preacher 392

Appendix A Selected Data 397

Appendix B Index of Call Stories by Author 404

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