W A Criswell’s Last Sermon

Uploaded on Jan 4, 2010

W A Criswell
W A Criswell

“The Old Time Religion” the last sermon preached by Dr. W. A. Criswell (1909-2002). He preached it at the 1998 Pastor’s Conference at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida on Feburary 3rd, 1998. He was almost 90 years old. He recounts his salvation experiance and early years of preaching, including a time when he doubted his salvation and how that was resolved. Sermon is uploaded in 4 parts. I was present at the service and enjoyed it very much. Dr. Criswell was a Southern Baptist Preacher and Pastor who was twice elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention (1968 and 1969) and pastored the First Baptist Church of Dallas Texas for 50 years (1944-1994).

W. A. Criswell, long-time pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas was almost 90 years old when he preached his final sermon.  And what a sermon it was.  At the end of this article there are four links, each containing a short portion of his message.  Please dear reader–listen to each section.  If it does not ring your spiritual bell you will need to take your bell in for repairs–it is broken.  …Don’t miss this treat.  He reviews life as it was when he started.  He talks about his mother and dad.  The day he was saved as a ten-year old. Wednesday, February 11, 2009 W.A. Criswell’s Last Words Between 1970 and 1971, my family attended First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, which was Pastored by W.A. Criswell. W.A. Criswell’s church was really amazing and fun. At the time, W.A. Criswell’s church attendance fluctuated between 6,000 and 8,000 people each Sunday morning with about 150 kids in my grade. W. A. Criswell’s youth building had 12 floors. On one floor, there was a skating ring with a restaurant, and on another floor there was a bowling alley, a weight room, and a Gym. That year at W.A. Criswell’s First Baptist Church of Dallas sent their High School choir to Japan, and the Junior High Choir went to Mexico. Going to W.A. Criswell’s church was like going to church heaven. On one occasion, W. A. Criswell’s First Baptist of Dallas even rented out the Six Flags over Texas amusement park for one night. It was a blast. I really loved W. A. Criswell. W. A. Criswell was very well known around that time frame. As a twelve year old boy, I watched W. A. Criswell, and observed that he was loving and kind. It was as though his face radiated light. W. A. Criswell would preach exclusively about Jesus each Sunday night. When W A. Criswell spoke, I felt the presence of God. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.A._Criswell) At one time, my mother briefly spoke to W. A. Criswell about something. I don’t remember what it was about, but I still do remember what W. A. Criswell said to her. He said, “Young lady, every time I see you always tell me who you are all over again because I want to remember you”. Even with the thousands upon thousands of people that attended W. A. Criswell’s church. W. A. Criswell still wanted to remember her. In 1971, my family moved away from Dallas to another state. In 1976, I went to college at a school in Texas at a time when my family lived in Roanoke, VA. I heard several of W. A. Criswell’s church members at that college saying that W. A. Criswell was old and senile. I always defended him. Those comments made me mad. While in college, I worked out in the weight room with a son of a minister who worked for W. A. Criswell. At one point, I told him that he didn’t know what a great privilege he had to grow up in W. A. Criswell’s church. He paused for a second and cried. Then, he said, I had forgotten how blessed I was. I can still remember what W. A. Criswell said to us when my family first joined First Baptist Church of Dallas. W. A. Criswell told my parents that they needed to put a book on my brother’s head because he was getting way too tall. In 1978 or 9, the Southern Baptist Convention was held in Atlanta, and I took the opportunity to speak to W. A. Criswell about going to Seminary. W. A. Criswell said, “Come to mine in Dallas!” I wish that I had listened to him. Before W. A. Criswell’s death in 2002, I heard W. A. Criswell speak for one last time when he was still in his early 90s. It was at Highland Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. As I listened as he spoke, W. A. Criswell’s mind was still crisp, clear, and his face still shown like a light bulb. In the crowd, there were only about 50 people, and I thought about the thousands upon thousands of people that W. A. Criswell had spoken to throughout his life. Even, with only 50 people, W.A. Criswell still radiated love. Just as he had to me when I was 12. W. A. Criswell loved people. Young or old. Rich or poor. Many or few. It didn’t matter. Here is W. A. Criswell’s last sermon on Youtube  Note: Each link is a brief part of the whole. 

Author: Editor

An ordained Baptist minister. Worked for 10 years with a Christian publishing ministry where I was the circulation manager for a growing publication, The Sword of the Lord. I also did most of direct mail fundraising and promotion. I have pastored churches in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama & Arkansas. I served for some four years as Vice President of The Spoken Word of God ministry, Orlando, FL. This ministry was active in church planting in India and broadcasting the Scriptures via Trans World Radio and other radio outlets. My associate in this ministry later invited me to join him and his dad in starting a business working with churches providing multimedia equipment. I have done this work for the last 16 years. This blog, hopefully, will scratch an itch I have for communicating the Word of God to a broader audience via the Internet. I would be honored to hear from you via email.

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