Aphorisms and Hesitation

Henry Mitchell notes that these two features of Black Preaching Style are not as dominant as other ones. Mitchell notes that aphorisms are common in all traditions of preaching, but aphorisms or “clever, pithy statements.”

Mitchell notes and I concur that these short statements actually bring forth a strong response from the people. Mitchell notes that these short pithy statements can open the door to congregation attention.

Another Black Preaching Style component is the Hesitation. Here the preacher stammers in a way that implies that the preacher is grasping for the correct words. It builds a connection with the congregation. While both of these are not necessary, the aphorisms can be helpful especially as a sermon title.



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Preaching Methods, Preaching Style

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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