Preacher Spotlights

Is Pastor Appreciation Month a LifeWay Conspiracy or an Opportunity to Obey Scripture?


It’s Pastor Appreciation Month. If Hallmark created some of the other holidays, perhaps LifeWay created this one! However, 1 Timothy 5:17 does instruct us to “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all the pastors who I have sat under in my life as a church member. Since I have served as a pastor for the last 17+ years, I have only had four such pastors during my lifetime.

I am grateful for each of them and the particular ways that God used them in my life to shape me.

  1. Garry Weaver: This was my first pastor and the one who has had the most impact on me personally. He modeled selfless, sacrificial to his flocks and exemplified personal holiness and a committed prayer life.
  2. Hubert Troutman: Pastor Troutman (passed away a little over a year ago) was a lifelong family friend. He modeled kindness to all and love for the Lord and His people. He and his wife, Betty, had the spiritual gift of hospitality.
  3. Ray Bearden: Pastor Bearden modeled expository preaching through books of the Bible. His faithfulness to preach the Bible was a great example to me. He also provided an excellent model of professionalism and leadership over various ministries. He also provided excellent counsel and mentorship as I began my preaching ministry under his care (22 years ago this December!).
  4. David Gamble: Pastor Gamble became a very close friend as I served with him as an associate minister at Grace Baptist Church in Newport, Tn. David and his wife, Renee, modeled professionalism, kindness, thoughtfulness, and classiness. I learned so much from watching them interact with people with kindness and concern. Their thoughtfulness and thankfulness have made me better at those graces than I otherwise would have been.

There are many others who I have known as friends or from whom I have learned from afar. I’m thankful to God for each of these men and the impact they have had and continue to have in my life.

Preacher Spotlight: Conrad Mbewe


Conrad Mbewe has been called the “Spurgeon of Africa.” Mbewe is the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. His preaching is powerful, emotional and convicting. I highly recommend his sermons. I listened to his message “The Grace of God” twice today. It was preached on the occasion of the sending out of two men from their church as missionaries. He reminds them of both the grace of God and the necessity of hard work from the example of the apostle Paul. Thankfully, there are a number of Mbewe’s messages available online for download. Below are the ones I have been able to find. If you know of more, please let me know.

For those interested, Colin Adams has recently interviewed Conrad Mbewe on his blog: Unashamed Workman.  Timmy Brister live-blogged a recent sermon at the True Church Conference (pictured above) and provides several links to articles about and sermons by Bro. Mbewe.

Kabwata Baptist Church

Grace Covenant Baptist Church

South Woods Baptist Church

Previous Preacher Spotlights:
Russell Moore

Don Whitney

Danny Akin

Preacher Spotlight: Daniel Akin

From time to time on this blog I would like to highlight the preaching ministries of certain men whose sermons have been a blessing to me. One such man is Dr. Daniel (Danny) Akin. Dr. Akin is the current President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC and was the previous Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Dr. Akin possesses the rare combination of heat and light, or heart and head. In other words, he is a capable exegete of Scripture, as well as a passionate preacher. The result of such a combination is a blessing to both the heart and head of the hearer. A number of resources are available from Dr. Akin at his President’s Page on Southeastern’s webpage. One of Dr. Akin’s four sons, Nathan, has recently highlighted his dad’s new podcast. He wrote at SBC Witness:

Danny Akin is now offering a weekly podcast on his website. The site will release one sermon a week on Mondays. His sermon series through Jude will be released first, and will follow all the way through his series on the Revelation. He preached a 7-part series on Jude during Southeastern’s 2006 Spring semester. He preached the 36-part series entitled “The Great Unveiling” through Revelation when he served as teaching Pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. These are all expository sermons, verse-by-verse through the final two books of the Bible. I would greatly encourage you to go to I-Tunes, his website, or Southeastern’s and subscribe to this podcast.

The instructions for subscribing to the podcast are available here. I already subscribed and have downloaded the first three messages on Jude. I don’t agree with Dr. Akin about every detail of his theology (notably his eschatology), but I do appreciate his serious commitment to Biblical scholarship and his giftedness in preaching. He strikes me as a courageous man of God willing to stand for what he believes. Also, his commentary on 1, 2, 3 John in the NAC series was the best that I used when preaching through the books a couple of years ago. Below are a few of the messages by Dr. Akin which I have been encouraged/challenged by:

Previous Preacher Spotlights:
Russell Moore

Don Whitney

Preacher Spotlight: Don Whitney

From time to time on this blog I would like to highlight the preaching ministries of certain men whose sermons have been a blessing to me. One such man is Don Whitney. I have been blessed by Bro. Whitney’s ministry in a variety of ways over the past several years. He has a website that is chocked full of resources for a pastor. His books on the spiritual disciplines have had a positive impact on my life and ministry. I’ve also had the privilege of being blessed by his ministry in a personal way when he came and led a “Spiritual Disciplines” Conference at our church a few years ago. I have always found Don Whitney to be a gracious and godly man. Most recently I have been blessed by Don’s pulpit ministry through a few mp3s of his sermons. His website contains a number of these sermons in both RealAudio and MP3 format. Below are a few of the sermons which I have heard recently. I was greatly blessed by them and I’m sure that if you take the time to listen you will be too!

Previous Preacher Spotlights:
Russell Moore

Preacher Spotlight: Russell Moore

I have been recently helped and challenged by sermons by Dr. Russell Moore (Dean of School of Theology, SBTS and executive director of The Henry Institute). I’ve decided to highlight some of the online audio sermons which have proved helpful to me by providing links to the audio. I hope these sermons will be a blessing to you as well!