Saturday, January 05, 2008

Reuel Pritchett

Reuel Pritchett was born in Tennessee in 1884 and elected to the ministry in 1908, the year the Church of the Brethren changed its name from German Baptist Brethren in its 200th year. Pritchett would serve in ministry in Tennessee his whole life until his death shortly before his 90th birthday. By his own confession, he was a unique person: God makes each of us individual if we don't stifle it, and I've tried not to.

Pritchett was a storyteller and collected many of his observations and remembrances in a book titled, Ground Floor of Heaven. Among his observations are these:

On preaching: Your message should be fundamental, historical, philosophical, and biblical. Begin. Be brief. Be seated.

On enjoying life: A man who's a Christian isn't dragging his face; he enjoys all the cinnamon, pepper, and syrup of life.

Pritchett was a member of the Knob Creek Church of the Brethren where he was baptized, elected a deacon, minister, and elder. He describes the Knob Creek church as the hub of the whole county with the largest crowds in the area. He describes many outstanding preachers at Knob Creek during his boyhood, including H. C. Early who preached a revival when Reuel was eight years old. He describes a day book in which he set down the scriptures he preached on and some of the subjects.

Baptism, however, came later. Pritchett writes: It went along until C.H. Diehl, a Tennessean, a good man but not a big preacher, was holding a revival. On the night of January 5, I was strangely moved. He preached a powerful sermon, I thought; it went through me. ... It raised me. I walked down the aisle and gave an old saint my hand, and six others with me did the same. That was in the old log church on Knob Creek in 1900.

January 5, 1900. Reuel Pritchett was strangely moved. May God's spirit move in and through you wherever you are on this night, January 5, 2008.