Dr. Cliff Estes

March 2, 2013 in Featured Question of the Week, My favorite preacher, Question of the Week, Spotlight Answers by Shane Stanford

My favorite preachers are worlds apart in terms of time periods and styles. But, they both have had the greatest impact on my own preaching and ministry.
First, I came to know the Lord under the teaching of Dr. Cliff Estes.  Dr. Estes is now an evangelist in Shreveport, La.  Unlike my more ‘teacher centered model’, Dr. Estes had a fiery style but was also one of the best at exegesis.  I would come home from church as a little boy and set up the living room like church and start to preach.  My family grew rather weary of ‘so much church’ on one Sunday.
Second, when I went to theology school, my advisor was a scholar in the sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I had grown up in a community that had struggled greatly with race relations and my church was still segregated.  In fact, I left my church at 16 because they refused to allow a friend (who was African American) to join.  That is when I became a United Methodist.

However, under Dr. Richard Lischer (Professor of Preaching) at Duke University, I fell in love with the sermons of Dr. King.  To me, he was the most powerful ‘preacher’ I have ever heard. I realize there were so many other layers to Dr. King in his amazing work, but his role as preacher truly shaped a generation.