Saturday, April 24, 2010

Story Tellers And A Video

The video refused to load. These pictures were made the same evening!

This is a case for storytelling. I've heard some folk try to tell a story and somehow, it just wouldn't come out right. I've tried to tell stories in my preaching - but only stories that relate to the subject and make a valid point. At times my story fell apart - or I would forget something significant in setting the basis for the story. Sometimes the Lord helped me in spite of myself! Storytelling is a major form of passing down history in many tribes of Africa where I've worked for the last 20 years. By telling stories th

I've heard some say that storytelling is becoming a lost art in America - but I beg to differ. Storytelling abounds in our modern video world. TV and the Internet are taking over. The attention span of our children seems shorter and shorter. On one of our TV channels, (AMC, I think) they state frequently, "Story Matters Here". I've heard a few folks criticize "storytellers" versus what they call "Bible Preachers"... and on the surface their reasoning sounds good. It goes something like this: "The Bible is meant to be preached. I don't want to hear a bunch of stories. I just want to hear the Bible. If it's not in the Bible I don't want to hear it in the pulpit. Just stick to the Word of God and don't try to tell me one of your stories." Do they forget that the Bible is a collection of stories? Do they forget that Jesus often used parables (stories) with which He explained the Word of God to common people?

One of the best preacher's I have ever known personally was F. J. (Joe) May. He could get the attention of an audience and drive home a Biblical point using stories of everyday life. He was my teacher at the Seminary when I studied Expository Preaching and we students loved hearing his personal stories. Sometimes we thought we were "getting him off the lesson" but his stories inevitably proved beneficial to our goal of learning how to preach from the Bible. I've also heard him minister in state Camp Meetings and in local church Bible Studies. There are others, too numerous to list. Billy Sunday Myers, Jake Roberts, C.B. Donahue, John D. Nichols, Gene D. Rice, are just a few. Other great preachers I've been fortunate to know and hear are men like Ray H. Hughes, Paul Henson, George Alford, Wade H. Horton, F.W. Goff, R. Leonard Carroll, and of course, My Dad, Louis A. Brannen and my Mother, Bonnie Jones Brannen and her Mother, Lula Lee Jones. I'm sure I'm leaving out somebody very special to me - but that is not because of a lack of love nor for a lack of respect. It is because of a lack of a good memory.

A few weeks ago, a man I've known for fifty years came through and visited us at our regular family Bible Study time. I had no idea how well he could tell a story, although I knew he was an author who has written several books. We also knew he had done "chalk talk" sermons and "kids crusades" back in the day. We had confidence in Jack Darnell - so we asked him to share a Bible story with our family. Our grand-daughter, Chloe, was engrossed as he told the story of the angel's visit to Manoah And His Wife (the parents of Samson). As you watch the video you will see that even the older ones present (including my Mom) were also very focused on every word from this master storyteller. I'm so glad I captured this brief video of his storytelling.

Oh well - - - I've just received an error message saying that my video would not upload. I'll try again. If you don't see it, you know I couldn't get it to load.


jack69 said...

Great post, not only because you mentioned the world famous J. DArnell(LOL) but for the content. I have always loved story telling. From historical stories to Bible stories.
There were a few school teachers and many Sunday School teachers as I grew up moving around with a preacher for a dad, that good at it.
Some of favorite preachers were good story tellers (as you mentioned).

I asked a man tonight if he knew Fred Brannen. He said, "Youare not talking about Fred and Frandes Brannen are you?"
" YES!"I said enthusiastically.

"Never heard of them." he said. Then he commenced to tell me you guys were some of his favorite people, he said he was a friend.
I informed him I was surprised about that. We all laughed. He is also agood friend of my cousin Paul DArnell.
YOu probably don't remember him but he said to tell you hi!
It was Raymond Hodge.
As always, Fred, WE enjoyed the Entry!

Dar said...

Fred, First I must say, I love your entry about storytellers, whether preachers or plain ol' folks like myself. Jack sent me here and I'm so glad I came. Maybe next time we will get to see the video if it loads for you. I've only known Jack and Sherry through blogging, but am as happy to have stumbled upon them as I am to have met you. I will return. Until then,
God Bless Your Journeys this Week

Fred Alton said...

Jack - Did you mean the BISHOP Raymond Hodge that is office administrator in our Tennessee State Office? That's a real friend whom God used in a special way in my life while I was trying to raise some funds for Kenya. He and his wife Gail ARE indeed special friends! Small world.

Fred Alton said...

Hello Dar! And THANK YOU for the nice words about my post here. Glad to have you as a friend also. I've had zero results trying to get the video to load - but I'm sure all would enjoy it if only...

Yes, indeed - Jack and Sherry are GREAT friends!

Favorite One said...

The video may not have loaded - but you did capture the 5 year old mesmerized as she intently watched and listened to Mr. Jack's story!

And, as one of those adults that was glued to the story - I must say it makes that video run thru my mind.

What talent he allows God to use in him! I'm thrilled I got to be there and enjoy him during our Bible study!

Glenda said...

Enjoyed the entry and I believe some of those pastors you mentioned were
Church of God ministers from the old
days? I attended Jack & Sherry's first church in Moberly MO and was sorry that the video didn't work.
Have fond memories of Jack's stories,
some bible based and some just how do you get Smucker's peanut butter out of your mouth! Maybe when you see him he can tell you!

Fred Alton said...

Glenda - "Yeth, ah no how ta git Shmucka's p'nut budda outta mi mouf!" That brought back more memories. In fact we did not even mention that great story during our recent visit with them. Thanks so much for the reminder. And - the video is now running. Please come visit the blog again!

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton