Gut Rumbles

April 23, 2009


Originally published November 15, 2003

St. Luke's Methodist Church once had a preacher named Bob Moon, who was the best preacher I ever listened to laying a sermon on the flock. He was a young man and a very good public speaker. He also had a wonderful knack of making his sermon apply to problems people deal with every day.

I admired the man, even though he was about a decade younger than I was at the time. He was a good pastor for his church. I admire ANYONE who is good at what he does.

I told him flat-out when we first met that I was an athiest and I was attending services only because my wife thought that it was a good idea, but Bob didn't mind. "You're welcome here no matter what you believe," he said. "Besides, I've converted more than one heathen in my career. You might be a tough nut, but I'm going to crack you if I can."

He came close.

He wasn't going to make me religious, but I really enjoyed listening to him speak about the Bible. He was a musician and an all-around nice guy. We played music together several times and he tried to convince me to join the choir. I refused that offer and he wasn't bothered by me saying no. "I'll get you yet," he said, with a big smile.

He put humor and pathos into his sermons. He obviously was passionate about his belief in God and the afterlife, but he managed somehow to make his words sound good to someone as unbeliving as I am. I never became sleepy and dozed off when Bob Moon was preaching. His energy filled that church. I actually felt a few stand-up-and-say-AMEN-brother moments when I heard him speak. He was damned good at what he did.

I've never known another preacher like him, and I probably never will. Imagine David Letterman's personality in a body that reminds you of Forrest Beuller, in a black robe, standing before his congregation while he cracks one-liners in the middle of a sermon. Bob Moon was a lively, entertaining preacher. His message was clear, but his presentation was the best I've ever seen.

If I ever preach, I want to preach that way.

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