Support the Café
Search our site

Boy preacher

Boy preacher

Hamil Harris of The Washington Post tells the story of the Rev. Ezekiel Stoddard, an 11-year-old boy preacher with his own congregation.

Ezekiel Stoddard is 11. Last month, he was ordained as a minister in his family’s independent Pentecostal church, an act sanctioned by the state of Maryland….

Ezekiel is part of a centuries-long tradition, one that spans the globe. Even as the world becomes ever more modern and sophisticated, child preachers remain a subject of fascination and debate. Skeptics have suggested that they are more motivated by attention and pushy parents than God. How, after all, can a child understand the Gospel or the intricacies of ministry?

Others, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, who started preaching in the Church of God in Christ when he was 4, believe that God can, indeed, speak through children.

“God can use anybody; why not a child?” said David Warren, a member of the chorus that performed at Ezekiel’s ordination at Fullness of Time Church, which occupies a former Capitol Heights warehouse and is headed by Ezekiel’s stepfather.

Ezekial certainly comes off as a gifted and levelheaded kid. I don’t have any reasons to question his parents’ intentions, and I don’t doubt his grasp of the Gospel. But I wonder if anyone else shares my concerns that from a simple child development point of view, he just isn’t ready for this kind of work, and that it will affect his negatively in the long run.

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jonathan Hagger

The lad's congregation may well be in form a difficult time when the kid hits puberty. I can imagine him standing sullenly in the pulpit, glaring at the congregation of adults who "don't understand him" and growling...

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whatever. Amen."

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Maplewood

Does anyone remember MarJo Gortner? Before anyone thinks this is ok, please track down his story.

Kevin McGrane

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café