Rev. Dr. Mack King Carter Remembered as a 'Preacher of Preachers'

Journey with me into a world where the Rev. Dr. Mack King Carter was aptly named: He is homiletical royalty in the sacred space of black preaching.
Traditional black preaching is where ecstatic oratory, pulpit presence, anointed alliteration, dramatic repetition and Holy Ghost-filled hollas are still considered manna from heaven.

And amid this distinctive American art form, "Doc," who passed away Wednesday, will forever stand tall: A singularly unique pulpiteer, legendary wordsmith and a most gifted example of one of "God's Trombones," as African-American poet James Weldon Johnson dubbed black preachers.

And I'm not talking about what I've heard. I am a witness.

In my outside-the-newsroom life, preaching is big.

I am a second-generation preacher. I married a second-generation preacher, the Rev. John F. White II, who, when he was in seminary, used to cruise Atlanta listening to tapes of the Rev. Carter.

He had a ready arsenal of audio from the Rev. Carter: My husband's father, A.M.E. Bishop John F. White, pastored for many years the Mount Hermon African Methodist Church, located across a parking lot from New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, where the Rev. Carter was pastor emeritus.

And though I cannot remember the first time I heard him for myself, I will never forget the Rev. Carter's incomparable command of traditional black preaching.

This Ocala-born, three-piece-suit-clad, old-school Christian gentleman could stand flat-footed, and without really breaking a sweat, preach the gathered congregation into a spiritual frenzy.

True to the art form, his language was vital, his stories were vivid, and whenever he wanted, this elder statesman of African-American preaching could raise his volume to that signature climatic crescendo known as "the whoop."


Source: Sun Sentinel | Maria Mallory White
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