10 of the Best Preachers I’ve Ever Heard (Part 1)

by Robert Earl Houston

I want to lift up the names of preachers who have made an impact in my life. This is part one of a series. These are not in any particular order . . .

DR. E.V. HILL, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Dr. Hill was one of my favorite pictures. He was one of the first black preachers on national television and his sermons were profound yet simple; elegant but practical. He preached for our state convention, the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest, for several years:

DR. DONALD LEE PARSON, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – The first time I heard Dr. Parson, he was the guest evangelist for my home church in Portland, Oregon and from that first night, I was hooked. What a tremendous preacher and even now, some 35 years later, Dr. Parson remains not only a mentor, but a friend.

DR. ROBERT H. WILSON, SR., DALLAS, TEXAS – If you grew up in the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., you had to know and meet Dr. Bob – Dr. Robt. H. Wilson, Sr., who brought the Foreign Mission Board into the millions of dollars of donations and was one of the premier preachers. Impeccably dressed, he was the style standard for many young pastors and preachers.

DR. E. EDWARD JONES, II, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA – I was a child when I first heard “The Tall Angel” Dr. Jones. I still remember his sermon “A Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and to hear him and know him was a privilege. He remembers everyone by name (still don’t know how he does it) and don’t let him snap those suspenders while preaching…

BISHOP T.D. JAKES, DALLAS, TEXAS – Bishop Jakes has changed black preaching forever.  What E.K. Bailey did for expository preaching, Bishop Jakes has done for a new style of preaching that mixes expository, extemporaneous and exegetical into a perfect blend of style and soul.

DR. A. LOUIS PATTERSON, HOUSTON, TEXAS – I am a sold-out A. Louis Patterson fan. Whenever he’s in the area, I make it my business to hear the Prince of Preachers. I remember the first time I heard him, I was mesmerized by his theology and vocabulary skills. I met him personally when I served as his Facilitator during the Bishop College L.K. Williams Ministers Institute in his class on preaching. I’ve never been the same.

DR. R.A. WILLIAMS, JR., LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – What I am as an expository preacher is the “fault” of this preacher. Dr. Williams, who I knew as a teenager, took preaching to a new level, mixed it with whooping (and he was the first to be non-apologetic for the craft) and blew my mind. For many years in Portland, at the St. Mark Baptist Church, he was the preacher we wanted to hear in Revival. 

DR. E.K. BAILEY, DALLAS, TEXAS – Dr. Bailey and I met in Portland, Oregon when he did revivals at the Morning Star Baptist Church and I went to the early years of his conference in Dallas (I plan to return soon). He embraced me as a young pastor and every time we ran into each other, he always wanted to know how was I doing. I was with him at the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America shortly before his passing and a picture of him and I is one of my most precious photographs. He is responsible for black expository preaching being the standard.

DR. MELVIN VON WADE, SR., LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Another one of the preachers that Dr. E.C. Wilder brought to Portland, Oregon. Manuscript Preachers love Melvin Wade because he has taught us that you can be expository, lyrical and poetic at the same time and still preach from a manuscript. 


DR. GARDNER CALVIN TAYLOR, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – In my mind, no list is complete without the Dean of Preachers. I’ve met Dr. Taylor on several occasions and he is one of the greatest black preachers to have ever walked in the land. From his humble Louisiana roots – he never personified New York preaching, he created it; he set the standard for preaching and humility as a way to climb high. I’m glad that he saw his dream in Nashville – all four of the major National Baptist conventions come together not once, but once again in Atlanta.

47 responses

  1. James C Perkins | Reply

    You can’t think of no PNBC preachers? 🙂

    1. Dr. Taylor ? He’s a PNBC preacher!

      By convention:

      Dr. Hill – NBCUSA, Inc.
      Dr. Parson – NBCUSA, Inc.
      Dr. Wilson – NBCA, Inc.
      Dr. Jones – NBCA, Inc.
      Bishop Jakes – Apostolic
      Dr. Patterson – NBCUSA, Inc.
      Dr. Williams – NBCUSA, Inc.
      Dr. Bailey – NBCA, Inc.
      Dr. Wade – NMBCA
      Dr. Taylor – PNBC

  2. Dr. C. A. W. Clark, Dallas, Tx. Area. When he preached in convention, even Hill stood still to listen…WOW!

    1. Dr C.A.W. Clark Dean of Preachers

      Good Street Baptist Church
      Dallas Texas

    1. This list has to become a top 20 because you must add to your list the following “right now word” apostle prophet articulators of the word preachers. Brian Keith Williams of Charlotte NC, Dr. Matthew L. Stevenson, III of Chicago, Samuel R. Blakes of New Orleans. These are on my “don’t leave home without em list. AND IF women are allowed, I would say Jackie McCoulough. God bless and keep you.

  3. This sir is an impeccable list! I grew up in an anti-preacher home, but I would listen to these GREAT preachers whenever I got a chance! Please do give us a sequel to this list….. It is needed!

  4. I scrolled down preacher after preacher eagerly awaiting to see Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr of Memphis, TN, but didn’t. He is on your list, I understand you just got distracted while typing. Good list of great preachers!!!

    1. Uhm . . . this is not an ultimate list, just part of a list. Dr. Ray will be appearing.

  5. Minister Craig S. Gibson | Reply

    So close to the area but didn’t make the list: Pastor Bobby D. Hicks of New Home Baptist Church

    1. Never heard him before. This was MY LIST (SMILE).

  6. […] On the original list, I noted the ministries of Pastors E.V. Hill, Donald L. Parson, Robert H. Wilson, Sr., E. Edward Jones, T.D. Jakes, A. Louis Patterson, R.A. Williams, Jr., E.K. Bailey, Melvin Von Wade, Sr. and Gardner Calvin Taylor. You can see that list and accompanying videos by clicking here now. […]

  7. What happened to the late Dr. Pascal S. Wilkinson, Sr.? Out of San Antonio, Tx. Check the historical records, National, American, Southern, Texas Baptist. The movement of Our Lord Jesus Christ speaks in volume long prior to mentioned preachers all in love as I type this. They ministered to many walks of life no ethnicity required spreading the Gospel of Him who is able to do deliver & forgive all. Now if I’m missing an understanding of posting great men of God, please forgive me, in Jesus Name!

    1. I know now it was a list from those that are participating. I’m on android, when it hit my inbox a topic was shown. Not the complete page of what is being blogged. Thanks for Keeping me in check. I do apologize. Thank God for honesty!

  8. Pastor Houston,
    Great LIST…..but you missed another one…..YOU!!

  9. Reverend D. Paul Moss, II | Reply

    There are two preachers that were omitted from your list, that I believe should have been included. The first being the late Reverend Doctor William Augustus Jones, Jr. of the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. And the second being Reverend Doctor Charles Edward Booth of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio. Both men epitomize the art of preaching in the 21st century.

  10. there were two guys on the radio in the late 80’s early 90’s and one would read while the other yelled AMEN!!! love those guys do you know their names

  11. in the new York area btw

  12. Dr Martin Luther King, Dr CAW Clark, Dr, CL Franklin, Dr Jaspar Williams, Dr Manuel Scott…the list goes on and on. A virtual plethora of premier black preaching pioneers. We all have our fave lists. (note: I’ve heard you too Dr Houston and you can definitely bring it!)


  13. Pastor, I met you when you came to Park Ave. Christian church in New jersey. I sent my choir there to sing one night. I love your list, and most folk would like to add to your list. So if I may with all of the other names added. Mine are Dr. Clay Evans Felloeship Missionary Baptist Church,Chicago Ill. In the 60’s and 70′ Clay led the way for preachers on records, C.L. Franklin, Detroit, Cleophus Robinson, Sammy Rash, OL Holliday. Baltimore produced some great preachers. Harold Carter, sr; one of the first to build a mega church. Walter S. Thomas who has maybe the largest church campus in the nation. Logan Kearse, Conerstone Church of Christ. He started Conerstone in 1959. In 10 years it had outgrown every other church in that city. He was the Martin Luther King of Baltimore, and was the most visible pastor leading the civil rights charge. Cornerstone’s budget was 5000 a week in the early 70’s when other folk were around 1000 weekly.

  14. rev. k.v. ardrey | Reply

    bless you sir the list is strong,N.C. has fire breathers also will send you a list soon headed by the late dr. william lee jr.

  15. Dennis Ross,jr | Reply

    How could there ever be a list of great baptist preachers and not mention the late Dr Sandy Ray.

    1. Remember, this is a list of great preachers I HAVE heard personally.

  16. Rev. BarryThomas | Reply

    how about the Dr Tellis J Chapman Galilee Baptist church Detroit mich

  17. Rev. BarryThomas | Reply

    Its Preaching at its best check him out!!!

  18. Rev. W.C. Coleman | Reply

    I have had the pleasure of hearing most of these. Let me add the late Dr. Kelley Key, Southern Missionary Baptist Church, Los Angeles, Ca.

  19. Where’s John MacArthur?

    1. Never heard him personally. This is MY list of those whom I have heard personally.

  20. Thank You for introducing me to some truly dynamic preachers My all time favorite is the late Apostle Johnnie Washington of the
    Liberty Tabernacle of Prayer For All People in Hinesville, GA. His preaching could almost bring the roof down!

  21. Don’t leave out Rev.Dr. Sterling Jones from Hazlehurst, MS who pastors the Mt. Zion Baptist church of Detroit, Michigan. He’s in his 70’s now but he’s one of the best in teaching, whooping and singing.

  22. You need to listen to Dr. Johnny Hunt from First Baptist Woodstock, GA. Fantastic sermons. Preaches the Word and not a bunch of story telling. He also has a fantastic testimony. No, I am not a member of FBCW. I live 3 hours away from the church. I went to a Men’s Conference in Atlanta, GA. It was AWESOME! I now listen to every sermon he does on Sunday’s on the internet.

  23. Pastor, I respect your list because it has to do with style, taste, and opinion and you qualified the list by citing the 10 best preachers you ever heard. My guess is that every preacher would have a different list, so I’ll offer mine: JH Jackson, Chicago, JE Kirkland, Philadelphia, CL Franklin, Detroit, Gardner Taylor, New York, CAW Clark, Dallas, Cornell Talley, Detroit, Frederick G. Sampson, Detroit, EL Harrison Washington, DC, WA Jones, New York, Charles W. Butler, Detroit, Miles J. Jones, Richmond VA, and GE Patterson, Memphis. Everyone on this list is deceased.

  24. Brother Houston,
    Would you have information as to how I might acquire an audio of Wesley Grant Sr. preaching about Jonah? He sings I’ll Fly Away at the beginning. I had a copy back in the 70’s and somewhere around 90 I lost it. I happened to meet his son in Ashville at a dealership early 2000, but haven’t been able to find a contact number for him.
    Thank you,
    Michael Carruthers

    1. You might want to check with the offices of the National Baptist Convention of America in Shreveport.

  25. No list is complete without Reverend C. L. Franklin!!!!!!

  26. One of the greatest was the late Dr. John Arthur White Of the Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church Of Charlotte N.C.

    1. Thanks for the input – never heard him. Remember this is the list of the best preachers I HAVE ever heard. Be blessed.

  27. Thank you for the list. By God’s grace there are so many wonderful preachers. What about putting Dr S.M. Lockridge on the list. I LOVE his “That’s My King” sermon, it is one of my all time favorites! You can google Dr. S. M. Lockridge – That’s My King (Full Sermon) and then prepare to “WATCH OUT” because he gives an awe-inspiring sermon!!

  28. Thomas E. Kimble | Reply

    It is remarkable that the vast majority of the Best Preachers were from Bishop College

  29. Dr MC Williams of Los Angeles

  30. Pastor David Kilson, Sr. | Reply

    Thank you Dr. Houston for this post. If I may suggest I’ve not heard most of the ones submitted by our peers until Youtube, but I saw one mention of the late, great Dr. Frederick G. Sampson, Detroit. One of the most scholarly, prolific orators, of the 20th century. Heard him several times at the San Francisco City-wide Revival of which he was the Evangelist for over 20yrs. An hour of laboring in the Word and you were on the edge of your seat the whole hour. Older pastor friends of mine compared him to Dr. Gardner Taylor I’ve never heard. I must mention my friend who pastored three churches (at the same time), Olivet Institutional Oakland CA, Olivet Institutional Stockton CA, and his late Dad’s church in Chicago, Shiloh BC- the late, great Bishop Gordon Humphrey, Jr. the hardest working preacher I’ve ever heard in person. Dr. M.V. Wade did our City-wide Sacramento for appx eight years – and your’e right. The best manuscript preacher I’ve ever heard in person…

  31. charles c white | Reply

    i can’t understand how reverend, doctor William A Jones (deceased) was overlooked

  32. Excellent list…I’ve been lucky enough in my baptist convention travels since I was 7 years old to have heard some of the great preachers of all time. Here’s my list CAW Clark, Manuel L Scott Sr, Fred G Sampson, Donald Parsons, Jasper Williams, E. V. Hill, Jerry Black, TM Chambers Jr., JH Jackson, EK Bailey

  33. Richard Hairston | Reply

    Dr. Booker J Person.

  34. Have anybody ever heard of or have any footage of Rev. C.L. Raye of Dallas, Texas?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

%d bloggers like this: