Things I’ve Heard Preachers Say


Over the years, I heard countless sermons, both during church services and at pastor’s conferences. I have also spent extensive time talking shop with my fellow colleagues in the ministry. Needless to say, I have heard some interesting, outlandish, and, at times, insane statements on all sorts of subjects. What follows are a few of the things I heard. I give them to you as I remember them. Some of the quotes are forty-plus years old, so they may not be verbatim. Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from Sunday sermons.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:1, Arm Yourselves!  (The speaker pushed his suit coat back and pulled out a revolver. The crowd went wild.) — Jack Wood, Baptist evangelist, said at a preacher’s conference in Rossville, Georgia

Go to Hell for all I care. No, I don’t mean that. Yes, I do. Go to Hell for all I care — Tom Malone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pontiac, Michigan

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! (Said to a man who got up to leave during the sermon.) — Tom Malone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pontiac, Michigan

Who cares about the hole in the ozone layer? That just means there will be a bigger hole for Jesus to come through when he returns to earth again. — Bruce Gerencser, pastor of Somerset Baptist Church, Somerset, Ohio

Speaking of Matthew 5:28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart, When a good looking woman comes your way, it’s not the first look that’s a sin; it’s the second one. So just make sure the first look is a long one. — Unnamed Baptist evangelist to a group of preachers, including fifteen-year-old Bruce Gerencser, at Trinity Baptist Church in Findlay, Ohio

Girl, when you climb into the backseat with a boy, I hope the only face you see is mine. — Baptist Evangelist Don Hardman (who came out of the pulpit, stood right in front of a teen girl, pointed his finger, and said the aforementioned quote), said during a revival meeting at Somerset Baptist Church, Somerset, Ohio

No girl has ever gotten pregnant without holding hands with a boy first. — Bruce Gerencser, pastor of Somerset Baptist Church, Somerset, Ohio

I have checked the tithing records, and it has come to my attention that there are some church employees who are not tithing. Either you will start tithing or I will have your tithe taken out of your check. — James Dennis, Newark Baptist Temple, Heath, Ohio

I don’t know, I have never, never lost. — Jack Hyles, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana (answering someone who asked Hyles how he responded when he lost), said at a Sword of the Lord conference held at the Newark Baptist Temple, Heath, Ohio

Years ago, some men were drilling a deep hole towards the center of the earth. Suddenly, they heard what sounded like voices and screams. The men got a microphone and lowered it into the hole, and sure enough they heard people screaming. Hell is real! — Bill Beard, pastor of Lighthouse Memorial Church, Millersport, Ohio

If the King James Bible was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it is good enough for me. — Unnamed preacher at a Sword of the Lord conference held at the Newark Baptist Temple, Heath, Ohio

God doesn’t use quitters! — Tom Malone, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pontiac, Michigan

The government is coming to take our guns. It’s the duty of every Christian to own guns so they can defend themselves. — John Williams, Baptist evangelist, said at a revival held at Somerset Baptist Church, Somerset, Ohio

There was a man whom God called to be a preacher. Instead of obeying God, the man instead took a secular job, married, and he and his wife had several children. One day, his wife and children were killed in an automobile accident. At the funeral home, God said to the man, now will you serve me? The man began weeping, and said to God, yes, I will serve you. I ask you, what will God have to take away from you for you to serve him? — Greg Carpenter, preacher

Divorce is always a sin. — Keith Troyer, Fallsburg Baptist Church, Fallsburg, Ohio

Your girlfriend’s skirt is too short and it is immodest. (This judgment was said to me, not my girlfriend. I replied, don’t look. Were her skirts too short? Not from my vantage point.) — Chuck Cofty, Sierra Vista Baptist Church, Sierra Vista, Arizona

What’s your favorite quote from your days as an Evangelical Christian? Please share them in the comment section.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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  1. Matilda

    1)’In the soul of every man there is a god-shaped vaccuum’
    2) ‘He has big plans for the church, as yet, there have been no additions to it, but there have been some very blessed reductions’ – said by woman whose job had moved her away from the town where that church was. A new authoritarian pastor was making sweeping changes and offending decent members who were voting with their feet.
    3) Witness all the time and everywhere, to everyone, they may get run over by a bus tonight and go to hell (and subtext, and that would be your fault). It was always a bus for some reason…

  2. Scott

    1. We are the true church – we hold to TULIP and true doctrine, discipline, and distribution – the 3 D’s- the hallmark of a true church.
    2. Church services can’t start on the quarter hour.
    3. “prepare your hearts for the Lord’s Table’.
    4. The heart is desparately wicked – who can know it?…. always brought a guilt trip.
    5. The fields are white unto harvest…..
    6. A woman preaching is like a dog standing on its hindlegs – unnatural.

  3. maura

    seems fair. you quoted yourself

  4. Becky Wiren

    “We have a better gospel than the Apostle Paul!” Preacher who said this preached it to our camp meeting and somehow, not too many people picked up on this idiocy. (Idiocy if the Bible is supposed to be what is followed.)

  5. Brian

    The world is full of books but the only one worth reading is the Bible. All the rest are a waste of your time.

  6. Rebecca

    With all the good insights, and positive teachings that actually can be found in Scripture, why is it that these preachers can never seem to preach or focus from the word of God as it’s expressed in, for instance, Micah 6:8…

    He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
    and to walk humbly with your God?

    Instead of something like it is the duty of every person to own a gun. Not me folks. I would shoot myself in the foot. 🙂

  7. ObstacleChick

    I heard the following, paraphrased as they were uttered over 25 years ago:

    Rock music is the beat of sexual intercourse which is why young people shouldn’t listen to it as it will tempt them to premarital sex.

    You must witness often to the same person because each lost person is like a robot with many buttons on it. You don’t know which button is the correct one to bring them to salvation, and the more you push the motr likely you are to find the correct one.

    (In my fundamentalist Christian school handbook) We want girls to be the way God made them – feminine! (Followed by a whole litany of rules about skirt length, sleeves, at what events slacks but never jeans are allowed, etc. On the 1st day of school was a demonstration by female teachers to girls about acceptable ways to sit, how to check that your skirt and top don’t ride up if you lift your arms, how to bend over to pick up something, etc., all designed not to show any skin.)

  8. Kim

    When I was 12 years old, a 7 year old boy in our community died from head injuries after he had fallen from his horse. Our pastor told our congregation that someone from our church had been there that same day to invite his parents to church and they had refused. Then he basically said God took their son for this reason. It terrified me back then of course… but now it makes me furious.


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