- ISBN: 9780881468625
- Published By: Mercer University Press
- Published: September 2022
John Rowan Claypool IV (1930-2005) was one of the most prominent white, progressive Baptist preachers in the South during the latter half of the twentieth century. From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, he was pastor of influential Baptist churches in Louisville, Kentucky, Fort Worth, Texas, and Jackson, Mississippi, and a co-pastor in Lubbock, Texas. Claypool's pulpit prowess was known to most Baptists through published sermons mailed out weekly by the churches he pastored. His book of sermons, Tracks of a Fellow Struggler (1974), described the death of his ten-year-old daughter, Laura Lue, in 1970 and became the basis of a ministry of confessional preaching that was experienced as pastoral care from the pulpit. In his fifties, the prominent Baptist became an Episcopal priest and served a parish in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1986 to 2000. Claypool was no less popular and no less loved among Episcopalians, and he found rich fulfillment in the ministry of the sacraments. As an Episcopal priest, Claypool concluded his career teaching at Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. This book is the first to analyze the various aspects of Claypool's ministry, from his work in local church/parish settings to his ministry as pastor, priest, and professor. Contributors include Loyd Allen, John W. Arnett, Raymond Bailey, John Rowan Claypool V, R. Alan Culpepper, David W. Hull, Charles Johnson, W. Glenn Jonas, Jr., Mark LaGory, Julie Whidden Long, Henry Parsley, Steven Shoemaker, Walter B. Shurden, and Ruth Wagoner. Their analysis, while celebratory, is insightful and captures the gifts of John Claypool--the confessional pulpiteer and pastor who embodied for so many that "Life is Gift."