“A Sermon at Clayton” by Doug Fincher

“Preach the Word...” II Tim. 4:2

March 16, 2020 - In 1952, my pastor, Dr. Chadwick of Center, Texas invited me to a revival he was preaching in the Clayton Community near Carthage, Texas, Texas. He made arrangements for me to stay that week with the church Music Director and work with the youth. Brother Bass was short, loud, and wore a pocket watch with a long gold chain. He vigorously snapped his fingers as he led us in songs like “Turn the Radio On” and “I’ll Fly Away”.

I was thrilled when Bro. Chadwick asked me to preach on Wednesday night while he returned to his home church. It would be my third sermon to preach… ever. As we gathered for the evening service, dozens of cars suddenly appeared on the highway and slowly turned into the church’s parking lot. They had driven all the way from Shreveport, Louisiana to hear Dr. Chadwick preach… and they were about to hear me!

Embarrassed and apologetic, I stumbled into a sermon. Several of the bugs that swarmed the yellow light bulb above me wound up in my throat. Coughing and stuttering, I preached “from generations to revolutions and the accidents of the apostles” all in one sermon. I got David instead of Daniel in the lion’s den and never did get him out.

After making remarks like, “Good sermon," and “You’re another Billy Graham," the dejected visitors fled to their cars. As he patted me on the back, Bro. Bass thundered, “Great sermon, Junior!” “I can’t preach like Brother Chadwick,” I sighed. Eyeing me intensely, he calmly replied: “That’s right, Junior… but he cain’t preach like you, neither!!”

It took me years to fully appreciate Bro. Bass’s wisdom. God doesn’t compare us to others, but expects us to do our best with what we have. That’s always been a great comfort to me…

… and a great conviction.