Page 17 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

17 in positions of power who enact policies that gave the impression of a high moral standard, only because other nations were watching. After speaking broadly to the sins of the nation, Taylor aimed his rebuke at the Christian church, the one institution in American society whose business should be setting the moral tone of the nation. He noted: In the Denver dailies they carried on their front page, and rightly, the account of a Christian leader in another state, and I blush to say he was Baptist, who said that if the Supreme Court of the United States finds segregation illegal, 311,000 Baptists are ready to throw the cloak of religion and the sanctity of Christ around the institution of segregation by setting up private schools in order to circumvent the last refuge of the American judicial arena. That from a Christian leader!13 Taylor’s point, if the church would willingly succumb to the evils of racial discrimination and segregation for the sake of keeping their white children in schools separate from Black children, then what hope was there for the world? After such a bold indictment of White Baptists, one would expect a less than desirable reaction from a White audience. However, the opposite was true. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell, Professor Emeritus of Preaching at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, was present to hear Taylor’s address. Mitchell reported: Following the sermon, those whose throats would allow it joined in the spiritual “Let Us Break Bread Together.” The rest just choked up and sobbed, but every eye of the 20,000 seemed moist with tears. The greatly distinguished Dr. C. Oscar Johnson (a white pastor from St. Louis) arose from his seat on the platform and lifted Dr. Gardner C. Taylor of Brooklyn from the floor with a powerful hug. Each being tall and large, it is hard to imagine a more powerful witness for justice and against racial discrimination. The majority of the hearing host may have been “conservative,” content with the United States as it was, but nobody needed to be defensive, for none had been attacked. They had just been gently led to experience vicariously the very kingdom of God and had yielded to it with spiritual joy and gladness.14 Together, the sermon excerpt and the audience’s response reveal the potency of prophetic preaching applied to homiletic leadership. Taylor’s LEARNING FROM THE PULPIT LEADERSHIP OF GARDNER CALVIN TAYLOR