10 of the Best Preachers I’ve Ever Heard (Part 2)

by Robert Earl Houston

Several months ago, I introduced a list of 10 of the Best Preachers I’ve Ever Heard and I received a lot of comments about my personal list – “who should have been on the list.”  Now, a few short hours from Thanksgiving, I want to issue a Part 2 to that list.

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.

I want to now add ten more preachers. Unfortunately, some of the ministers don’t have any video online.

DR. ARTHUR BERNARD DEVERS, I, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Dr. Devers was my father in the ministry who introduced me to the ministry and especially manuscript preaching. When he was called to the New Hope Baptist Church in Portland in 1975, the saying was if you went to hear him you needed two books – a Bible and a Dictionary. He taught me a love for words, sentence structure and was actively preaching in the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. International as he served congregations in Portland, Seattle and San Antonio.








DR. O.B. WILLIAMS, PORTLAND, OREGON – Simplistic, but profound. Low tech methods but high tech impact.  Dr. O.B. Williams, one of the pioneers of the Northwest stood flatfooted and preached, with his manuscript paper clipped to sections of the text and preached folk crazy from the 1940s to 1991s. “Dr. O.B.” as he was affectionately called, pastored the church he founded for 45 plus years, served as “President for Life” of the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest, and was a stalwart of the NBCA and one of the founding fathers of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America. He opened up his sermons with the words, “Is there any word from the Lord?  Yes My dears, there is always a word from the Lord.” His smooth, sing-song method of sermon closure was imitated by generations in the Northwest.













DR. FRANK E. RAY, SR., MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – I was one of the co-chairs of the San Diego City-Wide Revival when the name “Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr.” was suggested as our evangelist. And when I met him, I learned to respect, admire, and frankly, covet the preaching gift encapsulated in Dr. Ray’s preaching. To say he has a photographic memory is an insult – he is completely absorbed in the Word and listening to him preach is like watching a sponge squeezed and whatever is stored within him is released. His close of his sermon is the template for a generation of young preachers and his argument has won him respect across the nation. He’s one that you must hear before you go to Glory. Tremendous pastor of the New Salem Baptist Church.

DR. ASA W. SAMPSON, SR., HOUSTON, TEXAS – When I was a young associate minister, my pastor had just invited Dr. Asa W. Sampson, Sr., of the legendary Sampson brothers legacy of Texas, to stand in the pulpit of New Hope Baptist Church. I was tremendously impressed. He was dapper, long curly hair, overtly kind and courteous (he would always use “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” to the elderly sisters of the church), and his preaching (another manuscripter) was absolutely incredible. I never shall forget the sermon, “Looking At the World Through the Eyes of Jesus.”  Years later, he brought me to preach for him at the Hopewell Baptist Church and I was a nervous wreck because I was standing in the pulpit where Dr. Sampson stood week after week. I still consider him a life-long friend and he is one of the best. Son of a preacher and father of a preacher.

DR. WILLIAM J. SHAW, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Dr. William J. Shaw is different. In the scheme of things in the Baptist world, he’s not flamboyant. He’s not loud. He doesn’t major in singing. He doesn’t minor in singing. He’s intellectual but he’s dynamically spiritual. I heard Dr. Shaw for the first time at the E.K. Bailey Conference in person and I was mesmerized. His handling of the text impressed me and just as meekly as he approached the sacred desk, he descended in same order. Dr. Shaw is perhaps going to be written in history as one of the best 25 black baptist preachers in history. He not only was a preacher’s preacher, he also served as President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. during one of the stormiest periods in her history.

DR. STEPHEN JOHN THURSTON, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – I met Dr. Thurston as well at the New Hope Church in Portland and I believe he was in his early 30s and I said to him “one day you’ll be president of the National Baptist Convention of America.” I was so impressed because I had never heard that kind of preaching, fervor, zeal, singing and he brought it night after night after night. Unapologetically conservative in his theology, you won’t find Dr. Thurston hunting theological rabbits, but he is always solid in his theology. Not some times. Always solid. He blends in all facets of preaching and his strong point is his series preaching, which has led to the construction and occupancy of a massive sanctuary of the New Covenant Church in Chicago. He’s a President who doesn’t have an entourage to discourage him from mingling with the masses.

DR. KEVIN WAYNE COSBY, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – I would do myself an injustice not to include Dr. Cosby to this list. His an academic, pastor, preacher, planner, theological school president, and one of the greatest sons that Kentucky has ever produced in preaching. Pastoring the same church, St. Stephen Baptist Church, since his early 20s, the congregation has blossomed to over 17,000 on roll, with three locations – Louisville, Jeffersonville (Indiana) and a recent third location (Elizabethtown, Kentucky). He is the honored President of Simmons College, which has made strides in accreditation and partnerships with academic, church and business institutions throughout Louisville. However, to me, the humility of how he handles the text is incredible. He stands as an academic, kills you as a theologian and then like grandmama says, “a good steak will always make it’s own gravy.”

BISHOP PAUL SYLVESTER MORTON, SR., ATLANTA, GEORGIA – He introduced the words “Changing a Generation” at an almost filled to the rafters Louisiana Superdome and the rest is history. Bishop Morton, who has led the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International for 20 plus years, is without a doubt one of America’s best preachers. His closing musical intonations are one part old fashioned gospel preacher with one part contemporary gospel artist with one part musical hymnologist. His close: “Is there anybody here?” with a drop of keys is impressive and everyone shouldn’t try this at home. He took Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans from a couple of hundred to over 20,000. When Hurricane Katrina hit the area, many of his members relocated to Atlanta and he planted “Changing a Generation Church” there, turned over the pastoral duties of GSS to his wife, Pastor Debra Morton, and he continues to plot a course. His records, albums, business acumen is to be respected, but there is nothing like the preaching of this man of God.

PASTOR MARCUS W. COSBY, HOUSTON, TEXAS – I heard him here in Kentucky for the first time and I had never seen a room explode in celebration of preaching like I did when this man of God preached. He dresses old school (black and white), he has old school mannerisms, but he has the strength and agility of a team of young school preachers. His context analysis is eye popping. His ability to allow the Holy Spirit to completely encapsulate his presentation is unbelievable. And physically, his body contorts and literally he leans completely backward without fear of falling. His ministry at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church by way of Chicago has exploded and he is one of the nation’s best preachers.

BISHOP GILBERT EARL PATTERSON, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – Bishop Patterson was a groundbreaking minister. He not only built one of the first megachurches in the Church of God in Christ, he also bought a radio station AND had an international television ministry. THEN he became the presiding prelate of COGIC. He was a literal preaching machine and he impressed me with his knowledge of the Old Testament. He could take a complicated text and unravel it and still retain the meaning. He is sorely missed on the preaching landscape today.

28 responses

  1. What a wonderful list of Preachers. The key word is “that you have heard” Personally, I would add Rev. Dr. Wayne T. Harris, Sr. Indianapolis

    1. I knew of Dr. Harris, but never heard him personally.

    2. Have you ever heard of The Late Dr FF Andrews

  2. Rev. Benjamin J. Hall | Reply

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard him preach but Dr. Charles E. Booth from Mt. Olivet Baptist Church would be in my Top 10.

  3. I think one of the greatest preachers who should be on your list is Pastor Ralph Douglas West of Houston Texas Church Without Walls. A preacher par excellence

  4. I am very surprised you have not mentioned, Ralph D. West, SJ Gilbert Sr., Terry K Anderson, John R. Adolph,

    1. I’m sure some of them will be on subsequent lists. It’s hard to please everyone with this list.

    2. True, Pastor Terry Anderson. A wonderful man of God. He is the Lord Heart. When I hear him everyday in morning and evening I feel Jesus around me. I am fortunate to see him and my life has completely changed.

    3. True, Pastor Terry Anderson. A wonderful man of God. He is the Lord’ Heart. When I hear him everyday in morning and evening I feel Jesus around me. I am fortunate to hear his word of God in my life . I am completely changed ever after the first time I heared his sermon the father’love and the 2broken preacher’s.

  5. Have you ever heard some of the great preachers in the Southeast like Bishop Victor Tyrone Curry of New Birth Baptist Church in Miami, Fl or Arthur Jackson III of Carol City Baptist church in Miami also?… Or Barthlomew Banks in Tampa, Fl… N let’s nt forget the recently late Dr. Mack King Carter….

  6. Great article man of GOD.
    I agree with Pastor Ralph D West, Rev Terry Anderson of Texas.
    Also Pastor Howard John Wesley of Alexandria Virginia.

    1. I also agree with Pastor Ralph D West, Pastor Terry Anderson has become my at work you tube pastor such an awesome deliverer of thus saith the Lord.

  7. How about Rev. Dr. William A. Jones

    1. Never heard him in person.



  9. Bishop Keith C.Smith from Mississippi then relocated to South Carolina.he was a preaching and singing Machine.

    1. Yulanda Harris Hugh | Reply

      Bishop Keith C. Smith was indeed a GRAND man of GOD. I know he was a child prodigy preacher. Yes, indeed he could preach and sing. Rest on in heaven. Rev. Smith. You list is pretty good. I attended White Rock under Rev. Shaw, yes sir your description is on point. Take a look or listen to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Frederick Haynes, Rev. Charles Adams, and Revs. Otis Moss Jr. and Sr.

  10. This list must include Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA. He is an awesome preacher, teacher and singer. Rev. G. Lamar Stewart of Taylor Memorial Baptist Church, sat under Rev. Waller before becoming the pastor at Taylor. He is an awesome preacher and teacher as well.

  11. You should consider Rev, Dr. Charles G, Adams of Hartford Memorial in Detroit, MI.
    There can not be a minister who has joining whooping and expository and melted them into a dynamic new style for a longer period of time than he.

    1. Agree…he preached at Morehouse College once while I was a student powerful meesage and great preacher

  12. I agree that no list could be all inclusive as many have practiced the gift without the benefit of large audiences or following. I’ve heard most of those on the list (being a native Houstonian and familiarity with the National and State Conventions and Associations. May I humbly submit a few others? Dr. Roy Elton Brackins (Ft.Worth, but originally Houston), Bishop Gary E. Scott (Houston, though internationally traveled and acclaimed), Dr. Richard Jewel Rose (Houston), Pastor L. David Punch (Houston) Even if not deemed worthy of ur list are noteworthy and bear the opportunity to witness. Thanks for ur consideration.

  13. Kidding me! A list of great preachers where you mention td jakes, paul s. morton but you don’t include Noel Jones, something’s wrong! There’s nothing like hearing noel jones preaching!

  14. Pastor Houston, great list of GREAT preachers! Another giant of a preacher whose been preaching almost 47 years is Dr. Jonathan L. Yates, Sr! Nothing like hearing him in person, but if you have a little time one Saturday morning at 10am CST, the next best thing is to tune in to WGOK on the iheart radio app, or gospel900.com live stream. Many people say they like to get their day started with the broadcast.

  15. I agree with you on Noel Jones. He is the featured Preacher for TD Jakes’ conferences. He close the event.

  16. Martini Banjs-Booker | Reply

    Many of these I too have been awestruck and inspired by especially G. E. Patterson. This list should include the powerful anointed and awesome women such as Endia Scruggs, Huntsville Alabama or Barbara Amis on Virginia,

  17. Rev Ray A. Riley | Reply

    Rev. Dr Ameal Jones?

  18. Rev. Dr. Gardner Taylor!

  19. Great list. I would mention my late pastor, Sylvester Walker, Dr. Warren Stewart of First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ.

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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

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