The Greatest Black Preacher: Bernard F. Mitchell
The greatest black preacher ever is Pastor Bernard F. Mitchell.
I. Black Preachers Like Pastor Mitchell are Rare
II. Black Pastors Like Mitchell Should be Commended
III. Holy Spirit Reveals Truth on False Church Leaders
IV. Great Servant Leaders Know When They are Sick
V. Pastors Rarely Speak Truth to One Another
Black Preachers Like Pastor Mitchell are Rare
There is a famous Black Pastor named Bernard Mitchell you have never heard of. Someone “famous”, we have never heard of, sounds like an oxymoron of sorts, right?
You must be an adherent of the Black American church to know Pastor Mitchell.
Seeing him preach, in person, was an experience I will never forget. He is a humble man who understands the true goodness of God.
I am not lumping him in soft spoken, yet sociopathic preachers either. They talk soft, but behind the scenes they are the worst tyrants, and abusers of God’s people.
Don’t get soft speech confused with a humble spirit. As a Pastor, trust me, the softest spoken are often the most tyrannical. I use ‘leader’ as loosely as possible in this scenario.
Tyrants are not leaders. They can be managers and bosses, but they are not leaders. Leaders “influence” us through personal charisma while tyrants force through threat(s).
Before going further, I would be remiss to not offer the opportunity to download hundreds of powerful sermon outlines and sermon ideas here.
Nevertheless, as regular readers know, I was born to ‘cry aloud and spare not’ (as scripture teaches).
Here it is in writing (Isaiah 58:1):
Although God currently has me functioning in the role of Pastor, this platform exists so that I may be heard by those who otherwise would not listen (crooked Pastors).
Is it not written “To a Jew became I Jew, to a Greek became I Greek”?
However, there is a type of preacher who is readily overlooked by their “loving” Pastors — associate ministers. God elevated me, and provided a Pastoral platform, so that HIS WORDS might be heard by wayward shepherds.
Otherwise, these sorts see associates as nothing more than “bugs who provides resources for THEIR ministries to prosper.” Black Church leaders readily dismiss you as someone inconsequential.
They have been dismissive of me before I pastored and others, to me, since I have been doing so.
One of the former presidents of our state convention brought this reality home to me. There was a preacher had a disagreement with. Instead of pressing the case with the Word of God, brother president made it about ‘position.’
His response to the perceive slight was: “see — don’t nobody want to be bothered with him.”
This man, being a former pastor, was no longer so. Therefore, especially with Black Pastors, they are irrelevant.
It doesn’t matter that we preach “God is not a respecter of person.” Pastors sure are, however. This is the ultimate “big I and little you” which Jesus came to abolish. This is so sad.
Although Ephesians 4 teaches something much different, in the world of the Black preacher, no other office exists except the Pastor. Therefore, if one does occupy this space, they should not be taken as seriously.
Think this an overstatement?
Ask a Black Baptist pastor to show their church by-laws. Although there are a total of six offices/giftings mentioned in the New Testament, you will find only two in that document. GUARANTEED!
I guess having a pulpit is the measure of truth, not God’s Word.
I confront both in person, and online. The target is always wayward shepherds who are wreaking havoc in the House of God. I make no apologies! God formed me to carry out the Ezekiel 3 mission, and this I will unto the death (literally).
Black Pastors Like Mitchell Should be Commended
There are those however, that deserve a biblical commendation for their stands on righteousness. One such Man of God is Pastor Bernard Mitchell.
I first became aware of ‘Mississippi’ Mitchell from short YouTube clips in or around 2008. While most love his style of sermon close, I was more interested in his God-given storytelling gift.
Here he is preaching in a local church in Iowa:
One of my favorites was about a young man named Jimmy, who was disabled, yet decided to run track. Jimmy, being mentally disabled, ran track much slower than those fully healthy.
The race, as Pastor Mitchell tells it, began and Jimmy was so slow, that other runners would ‘lap’ Jimmy. Jimmy saw them doing so but kept on running. He finished long after everyone else, but Jimmy finished the race.
The point was a text which teaches: “the race is given to the swift. Nor the battle to the strong, but to those who endure to the end.”
Our Bible students will be familiar with this statement’s origins.
He never seems to run out of stories while preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.
A few years ago, the world almost lost this Man of God. Pastor Mitchell was on death’s doorstep with Covid19.
However, God kept him, and propped him up on every leaning side.
I’m blessed to know that he is alive today, and once again doing what he was born to do.
Further, I was afforded the opportunity to meet Pastor Mitchell during a revival at a local African American church. I know what Scripture says with respect to not favoring one over another.
God help me.
However, I was honored to meet one of God’s REAL Preachers, and experience how humble he was! I’ve met enough imposters to last a lifetime.
My joy did not lie in the fact he is famous, well-known, or a black preaching extraordinaire.
My honor was not only did I see God’s anointing on Mitchell (not because of a whoop or fame either), but that he would come to unknown place like this. He could’ve been anywhere in the country preaching, and he chose Iowa.
I cannot stress enough, to Believers in Jesus, the value of true humility. Further, to receive this ‘fruit of the spirit,’ one must forsake “pretending” to be, and earnestly “become.”
Holy Spirit Reveals Truth on False Preachers
Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal false humility wherever it presents itself. Here is more ‘inside baseball’ to illustrate how patently untrue associating “soft” speech with a humble spirit is.
I served a Pastor who was among the quietest preachers you will ever meet. Many declared Pastor ‘humble’ because of this pretend quiet. Having served him for a number of years, I knew better!
In reality, he was among the most deceptive pulpiteers I have ever known. When this was mixed with his equally prominent levels of insecurity, it caused the loss of a few pastorates.
On two occasions, brother was “forced” out of churches. Perhaps “fired” is a more appropriate depiction. One a third occasion, he abandoned us at a church HE planted, while in its infancy.
It took me awhile to see what others did with respect to Pastor. When I did, however, I got my family and I away from him.
Not because of his behavior, but his total lack of self-awareness and thus repentance.
Yes, I confronted him to the face.
However, and as was said earlier, who was I but a lowly associate minister? I wasn’t a Pastor at the time, so I did not matter. Until serving him, I never knew someone could be incredibly gifted, yet destructively disobedient.
Although I love brother dearly, I lost respect for him. He preached against sin, yet never admitted, much less repented for, his very public personal failings.
Great Servant Leaders Know When they are Sick
As church leaders, when we are “sick,” so is the entire church. People who believe: “I don’t care what Pastor does. I come for the Word” are fools. Pastor was sick, and all of us who followed him were as well.
Some suppose that one can have a severe cold virus, and other parts of the body does not ache. Scripture describes the Body of Christ using the inter-connectiveness of the flesh.
Here is that text (Ephesians 4:15-16):
I felt even worse for his family whom he loved dearly. He has the most spiritually beautiful family I know! God is still with my dear brother despite his, and all of our personal failings.
Over the years since then, God has kept brother and his family despite his continually awful leadership decisions.
I point this out because Preachers should know that God doesn’t always allow situations like this to continue when His people are being hurt and abused.
Pastors Rarely Speak Truth to One Another
There is something further that Pastor Mitchell deserved credit for as well. I have pastored for some years now.
Spending time with other church leaders is par for the course.
Having scene too much, and heard even more (from them), I no longer hang around most of them. My trust in the brotherhood is gone, destroyed, and crushed into the dirt.
The reason you will find surprising: although they men gather often, few genuinely care for the others. I know this is true because the tension in these rooms is most often palpable.
In another article, I pointed out that these gatherings only have two types of leaders: predators and prey.
As I watched, what became evident, is those who proclaim truth publicly, withhold it privately. More simply: they are either frightened to speak truth, or don’t love the others enough to. Probably both are true at the same time.
For those suffering from biblically illiteracy on the matter, it is not only Godly to publicly call people out, but advisable. This becomes necessary (in love) when private confrontations are ineffective.
Here is what Matthew Chapter 18 verses 15–17 says on the matter:
The Apostle Paul was an expert at publicly rebuking people. One such rebuff was towards another Apostle — Peter at Antioch. He also named others such as Alexander the Coppersmith, Hymenaeus, Philetus, etc.
So much for the false doctrine against judging and withholding public rebuke.
Pastor Mitchell is not a man who will not say what needs saying both publicly, as well as privately.
While in this city conducting a revival, Pastor Mitchell discovered that which few would speak publicly. The person who brought him to the city to preach was the biggest crook in town.
In such a lovely humble way, Pastor Mitchell pointed at this man, and said so at a later meeting within the faith.
Of course, I am not one of those who will not say so publicly. In a preacher culture which blasts God’s Sheep so publicly, yet privately is rarely critical of one another, this is shameful.
I love Pastor Mitchell for such boldness!
Mitchell is back preaching, teaching, and discipling God’s people with his unique brand of preaching. COVID19 slowed him, for awhile, but never stopped him!
Having led the National Baptist Convention USA’s midnight service for years, has also developed an extensive network nationally.
It is a Holy Ghost thing to be critical of others, if done in love, and not out of self-righteousness. It is equally Holy Ghost to: “give honor unto who honors do, and tribute to whom tribute is due.”
In my estimation, the famous Black preacher Pastor Bernard Mississippi Mitchell, is due such honor.
May God continue to supply such bold warriors.
Header Image Courtesy of Youtube @ 503Hickory