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Articles by Roger D. Willmore

Found 5 Articles by Roger D. Willmore

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Lessons from Two Giants

The Southern Baptist Convention has an extended history and rich heritage of biblical preachers, but some are warning that "the character and centrality of preaching in the church" is currently being debated and challenged.1

The fact that a debate is even taking place is tragic, but the tragedy is compounded by the urgent need today for solid, biblical preachers; which begs the question: Where have all the biblical expositors gone?

Over the last twenty-six months we have lost two of, arguably, the greatest expository preachers of the last century: Stephen Olford and Adrian Rogers. Their lives and ministries exemplified the power and effectiveness of expository preaching. Each left behind more than an expository legacy; both left outstanding examples and stirring admoni...

I recently celebrated my thirty-fifth anniversary in the gospel ministry. Shortly after surrendering to God's call upon my life I accepted my first assignment as a pastor. I was a nineteen-year-old college student who had a passion to serve God and to be obedient to His call upon my life. Although my knowledge of the biblical guidelines for pastoral ministry was limited, I did assume my first pastorate knowing the Bible contained my job description.

My first objective as a pastor was to acquaint myself with God's expectations of me. It was important to me to fulfill the biblical mandate for pastoral ministry. Strictly from a human perspective I saw God as my boss. He was my primary employer. With these thoughts in mind I endeavored to be knowledgeable of my biblical job description. I studied the Scriptures to know what a pastor is to be and to do. What does a biblical pastor look like? That was the question I sought to answer.

Now, almost thirty-five years late...

In 1973, I married my high school sweetheart. At the time, I was a college student and was in my third year of pastoral ministry.

Looking back at those days, I realize that I knew very little about ministry and even less about marriage. But as my bride and I embarked on a journey as partners in life and ministry, we were idealistic and in love.

When I see students today, the reality of how young Sandra and I were when we started out hits me. I told her that I felt I would one day be a preacher. Suddenly, it occurred to me that she might not have plans for a preacher in her future. But I rejoice that she willingly embraced God's plan for our lives.

Changes, Challenges, and Commitment

Though I love being a pastor, I will be the first to confess that ministry in the twenty-first century is very demanding. The cultural, social, and moral changes occurring in our world today are reflected in the pews of our...

His was no ordinary life. In fact the extraordinary happenings that seemed to characterize his life and ministry began when he was still in his mother's womb. Stephen Olford was born to missionary parents, Fredrick and Bessie Olford, on March 29, 1918. Fredrick Olford's basic knowledge of medicine and the experience he had gained on the mission field caused him to anticipate that the birth of their first baby might be accompanied by complications. Rather than take a chance, he and Bessie made up their minds to make the thousand-mile trek from Angola to the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. Fred walked every step of the way while Bessie was carried in a hammock by A-Chokwe men.

The first seventeen years of his life were spent in the heart of Africa where he witnessed the marvelous power of God working through the lives of his godly parents. His experiences in Africa flavored his preaching. I can remember when I first heard Stephen Olford's voice on the old reel to ree...

It happened at a Christian Life Convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Stephen Olford was the keynote speaker. I was eighteen years old and had just surrendered to God's call upon my life seven months earlier. My knowledge of preaching or any other aspect of ministry was limited. In fact, it would be safe to say that I knew nothing about preaching or ministry at all.

I sat riveted to my seat as I listened to the most powerful sermon I had ever heard. If I had been asked to give a technical answer for the sermon's power and effectiveness I could not have given one. I did not know about hermeneutics, homiletics, or the art of expository preaching. But I did know what drove the sermon I was hearing. I did know why its impact was so powerful. It was passion. Our forebearers call it unction.

From that time until now I have been keenly alert to the place of passion in ministry. I have been in ministry and a student of ministry for more than thirty years, and I have concluded ...