Isgriggs delivers fiery convention sermon
Greeted by shouts, enthusiastic applause in massive sanctuary
By Allen Palmeri
November 1, 2005
SPRINGFIELD – Wayne Isgriggs, pastor, First Baptist Church, Lincoln and a Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board member, delivered the convention sermon Oct. 25 at Second Baptist Church, Springfield in such stemwinder fashion that it drew shouts and harkened back to the days of fire-and-brimstone sermons delivered by the likes of a dancing Billy Sunday.
Much of his proclamation was interrupted with shouts from the 2,000 congregants, particularly after he completed each of several thunderous lists of Scripture verses reflecting the glory of Christ.
At one point Isgriggs exclaimed that the blood of Jesus was spilled.
“Some of that blood spilled on me!” he shouted as “Amens” echoed throughout the massive Second Baptist sanctuary.
The fiery zeal of the 71-year-old preacher had messengers alternately applauding and laughing as well. He never strayed far from the precious blood.
“As that blood spilled on me, I can say I’m redeemed by love divine,” Isgriggs said.
Isgriggs’ sermon theme topic was simple: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, which the congregation repeatedly shouted in unison throughout his address. Isgriggs’ stemwinder simply heightened emotions after it followed a touching song by his daughter, Carole Beth Garth.
“Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Isgriggs roared. “That’s good news. I’ve got better news. He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive!”
The truth of Jesus indicates this, Isgriggs said. He quoted John 8:58, in which is recorded the story of Jesus saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Isgriggs believes that this passage can be connected to Exodus 3, when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush.
“I believe those are the words Moses heard,” Isgriggs said.
Jesus made men from dirt, Isgriggs said. No one in the sprawling sanctuary seemed to respond to that statement. Isgriggs was befuddled.
“I expected a feminine voice to say, ‘Amen,’” Isgriggs said as messengers roared with laughter.
Isgriggs quoted noted theologian Francis Schaeffer, who wrote about the importance of maintaining a pure thought life that will lead to pure actions. This can be applied to the political moves that leaders make, Schaeffer wrote, with righteous policy decisions stemming from holy character that is true to Jesus.
“We need to be a people that live holy lives before God, not to be saved, but because we are saved,” Isgriggs preached.
“We have heard some preaching,” said MBC President Mitch Jackson as Isgriggs stepped from the pulpit among applause and “Amens.”