Flashback: W.A. Criswell

In the early 1990’s, W.A. Criswell was the guest preacher in the church which I served as pastor — West Rock Baptist  Church (Little Rock, AR).  I was honored and privileged to share the pulpit with this great preacher.

Criswell was pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas for 50 years.  He was considered the patriarch of Baptist life by many.  Criswell preached straight through from Genesis to Revelation during his ministry in Dallas.  Members would often introduce themselves as having joined the church during Isaiah (or whatever book he was in at the time).

Criswell was amiable and preached to a much smaller crowed than he was accustomed.  Yet he still proclaimed the Word of God preaching with power and enthusiasm.

I remember picking him up at the airport with my cousin, Duane Gantz.  Criswell arrived with 1 piece of luggage that was only slightly larger than a fanny pack.  I still don’t know how he did it.  He preached in a suit in our church on Sunday night and then to a group of pastors in another suit on Monday morning.  I don’t know where he had the suits, but he obviously was an experienced traveler and packer.

Criswell went to heaven in 2002.  His sermons have recently been made available online at www.wacriswell.com.  His autobiography is called, Standing on the Promises: The Autobiography of W. A. Criswell