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Fred Craddock Dies: 'Masterful' Southern Preacher Was 86

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By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 02:06 PM

Fred Craddock, credited with influencing a generation of preachers, died Friday in Blue Ridge, Georgia. He was 86 and had suffered in the past from Parkinson's disease.

Ben Witherington, of Patheos.com, called Craddock the "most masterful of all old Southern preachers" whose style made everyone feel special.

Craddock had served as the Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching at the Candler School of Theology and continued to serve as an emeritus professor in retirement, according to the United Methodist Reporter.

"Fred Craddock was a national treasure and a devoted servant of the church and Jesus Christ," said Thomas G. Long, of the Candler School of Theology. "His impact on preaching – in terms both of scholarship and practice – is incalculable."

"His 1971 book 'As One Without Authority' tilted the homiletical world on its axis and is arguably the most significant book in preaching to appear in the last 100 years. In that book, Fred Craddock articulated a form of proclamation that he called 'inductive preaching,'" said Long.

Craddock changed how sermons should be done, where he would "work cooperatively with the hearers toward the disclosure of the sermon's idea near the sermon's end, usually experienced as a mutual discovery and shared burst of insight," Long told the Reporter.

Craddock was the minister emeritus of Cherry Log Christian Church in Cherry Log, Georgia. He had lectured at the Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale, the Scott Lectures at Clarmeont School of Theology, the Adams Lectures at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, The Schaff Lectures at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Cole Lectures at Vanderbilt, the Westervelt Lectures at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, the Mullins Lectures at Southern Seminary and Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion, according to his biography.

"The death of Fred Craddock reminds us that a generation of preachers, teachers and theologians is passing from the scene," wrote Robert Cornwall, pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy, Michigan. "We will miss their insights and vision, but we will be blessed by our memories of them."

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Fred Craddock, credited with influencing a generation of preachers, died Friday in Blue Ridge, Georgia. He was 86 and had suffered in the past from Parkinson's disease.
fred craddock, dies, masterful, southern, preacher
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2015-06-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 02:06 PM
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