Monday, March 9

Obituary : Fred Craddock dies at 86

(CNN)The Rev. Fred Craddock, the pulpit giant who was "like no other preacher you have ever heard," has died, his church announced.
Craddock, who redefined the art of preaching, died Friday in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The cause has not been disclosed. The 86-year-old had been in declining health due to Parkinson's disease in recent years, according to the United Methodist Reporter.
"Fred Craddock was a national treasure and a devoted servant of the church and Jesus Christ. His impact on preaching -- in terms both of scholarship and practice -- is incalculable," said the Rev. Thomas Long, a friend and a pastor at Emory University's Candler School of Theology.
Preachers studied classic Craddock sermons such as "Have You Heard John Preach?" and "Grace and Disgrace," much like aspiring jazz musicians listened to saxophonist John Coltrane and amateur boxers studied tapes of Sugar Ray Robinson -- for clues to greatness and inspiration.
Craddock elevated preaching to an art. He was often called a preaching genius. Rather than deliver a sermon like a lecture -- an intro, three main points and a conclusion -- he developed an "inductive" conversational style of preaching.

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