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The most profound event in modern church history took place not in a cathedral but in a clapboard church in Los Angeles. A small congregation of African American worshipers embraced the concept that New Testament signs and wonders were still available in the early twentieth century. This book tells how Christians still experience its impact.
Cleo LaRue is one of the best-loved preachers and writers about preaching. In past volumes, he has brought together great collections of African American preaching to showcase the best preaching from across the country. Here he offers his own insights into what makes for great preaching. Filled with telling anecdotes, LaRue's book recognizes that while great preaching comes from somewhere, it also must go somewhere, so preachers need to use the most artful language to send the Word on its journey.
Cleophus LaRue argues that the extraordinary character of black preaching derives from a distinctive biblical hermeneutic that views God as involved in practical ways in the lives of African Americans. This hermeneutic, he believes, has remained constant since the days of slavery. LaRue analyzes the distinct characteristics of African American preaching and brings the insights of both theory and practice to bear on this important subject matter.
"This book is a clarion call for African American preachers to think more deeply about the aims and ends of their preaching--namely to stop putting so much emphasis on celebratory endings to our sermons and focus more on the substantive content in our sermons. Our so-called celebratory preaching, designed to excite the congregation into action through a highly emotional closing of the sermon, has had the opposite effect. Rather than inducing action, it has lulled generations of black congregants to sleep. While we are jumping up and down, shouting, and waving our hands in the air every Sunday during the worship hour, we seem not to notice the growing number of churched and unchurched alike who are becoming powerfully alienated from any form of institutional religion." --from the introduction "Celebration" is a term that has long been used to describe African American preaching, characterized by content that affirms the goodness and powerful intervention of God as well as style that builds from quiet beginnings to an emotionally rich crescendo in conclusion. Cleophus J. LaRue argues that while celebration is one of African American preaching's greatest gifts to the larger church, too many black preachers have become content with the form of celebration--volume, vocabulary, pitch, speed, rhythm, and the like--to the neglect of its essence--the proclamation of the mighty acts of God in the lives of their congregations and communities. This kind of preaching, LaRue contends, fails to address the ongoing problems of the African American community and is powerless to prevent the growing disaffection of black America with the black church. In words both prophetic and practical, LaRue suggests ways to improve black preaching that honor both the form and the power of the African American homiletical practice of celebration. Preachers will learn how to use celebration more selectively and as part of a fully formed preaching practice rather than as a means of distracting the congregation from pressing social and theological questions. The book includes six illustrative sermons from LaRue as well as Paschal Sampson Wilkinson Sr., Brian K. Blount, and Claudette Anderson Copeland.
In this companion and sequel to the best-selling Power in the Pulpit (2002), which has sold over 11,000 copies, more of America's best-known and most influential African American preachers describe how they go about preparing their sermons. Each preacher also presents a sermon that highlights his or her particular method of sermon preparation. This book is an excellent how-to manual for pastors and students, presenting sage advice and wisdom on the art of preaching and an inspirational look at the work of some of the most prominent figures in the life of the black church.
African American women continue to confess their call to ministry even when they know such a confession may cause them to face criticism and even ostracism from many of the same men and women who nurtured them in the faith. In This Is My Story, thirteen successful African American women clergy tell the powerful, inspirational, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of their calls and ministerial journeys, which they experienced in the midst of anguish, uncertainty, and in many cases unfriendly leadership environments. Each of the women includes a sermon of particular importance to her.
Introduced by Maya Angelou, the inspiring sermon-poems of James Weldon Johnson James Weldon Johnson was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and one of the most revered African Americans of all time, whose life demonstrated the full spectrum of struggle and success. In God's Trombones, one of his most celebrated works, inspirational sermons of African American preachers are reimagined as poetry, reverberating with the musicality and splendid eloquence of the spirituals. This classic collection includes "Listen Lord (A Prayer)," "The Creation," "The Prodigal Son," "Go Down Death (A Funeral Sermon)," "Noah Built the Ark," "The Crucifixion," "Let My People Go," and "The Judgment Day." For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
People Get Ready : A New History of Gospel Music is a passionate, celebratory, and carefully researched chronology of one of America's greatest treasures. From Africa through the spirituals, from minstrel music through jubilee, and from traditional to contemporary gospel, People Get Ready shows the links between styles, social patterns, and artists. The emphasis is on the stories behind the songs and musicians: the stories that helped to create the incomparable art form. From the nameless slaves of Colonial America to Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin, People Get Ready provides, for the first time, an accessible overview of this musical genre. Jackson, the book offers intriguing new insights into the often forgotten era between the Civil War and the rise of jubilee - that most intriguing blend of minstrel music, barbershop harmonies, and the spiritual. Also chronicled are the connections between some of gospel's precursors (Blind Willie Johnson, Arizona Dranes and Sister Rosetta Tharpe) and modern gospel stars, including Andrae Crouch and Clare Ward. Robert Darden knits together a number of narratives, and combines history, musicology and spirituality into a coherent whole, stitched together by the stories of dozens of famous and forgotten musical geniuses.