Four years ago Dr. Joel Gregory preached a chapel message at Truett Seminary that has to go down as one of the finest messages on the primacy and urgency of preaching ever delivered to prospective pastors. I was recently given a CD copy of the message and have already listened to it twice.
During the message Gregory tells an anecdote of former First, Dallas pastor George W. Truett. I had never heard the story before, but it ministered to my heart. The segment lasts about three minutes and is an invaluable lesson for all of us who preach the gospel of Christ.
George W. Truett accidentally kills his deacon.
Update: Art Pierce sent me an email this afternoon and said that back in 1951, Dr. Morton, the elderly pastor of First Baptist Church, Gatesville, Texas told Art and his wife Stella this story. Dr. Morton was a good friend of both J. Frank Norris, the head of the Fundamentalist movement in Texas, and George W. Truett, the pastor of FBC Dallas, a man Norse considered to be a 'moderate. Both Norris and Truett were active in denominational politics in the early days of Texas Baptists.
It seems that after the shooting, J. Frank Norris, himself the pastor of First Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas would send to Dr. Truett a telegram every Sunday morning reminding the pastor that he had shot and killed his deacon.