Gregory M. Howard, pastor of Union Branch Baptist Church in Chesterfield, Virginia has written a book that gathers much of the rhetoric of the Black church and the Black pulpit into one volume. He then provides a commentary of this rhetoric that
every preacher in the African American tradition can learn from.
Sayings from the Black Church
The book first provides a history of Black religious rhetoric. Then Walker gives the results of his study to come up with 55 sayings from the Black religious tradition. Examples of these are “God will not put more on you than you can bear” and “Hold to God’s unchanging hand.” Anyone even remotely familiar with African American rhetoric will immediately recognize most if not all of these sayings.
Finally, the book proceeds to a “lectionary” of Black sayings. Here, Walker provides a commentary for each of these sayings that could be used as the basis of a year’s worth of worship services. All one need do is select a scripture that corresponds to the “saying” and then use the African American Heritage Hymnal to find music to support the service.
The book is a good addition to the African American Preacher’s bookshelf.