My Guitar–The “Why?”

Some of you may have wondered why I wanted to buy and learn to play a guitar.  The answer is quite simple:  all the cool preachers play guitar.  Yep, it makes us more hip and accessible and relevant.  We are just following in a long line of “pluckin’ preachers.”

Of course, we all know about David and Asaph, and their musical prowess.  But did you know that Spurgeon played flamenco?  Never on the Sabbath, obviously, but he got really good at classical guitar.

St. Francis of Assisi used to play for the animals who gathered around him.  He would preach a while, then strum awhile.  Frank was a big Lucio Battisti fan.

Paul and Barnabas had underlying musical differences, which some scholars think led to their split.  N.T. Wright suggests that Paul thought Gibson guitars were the best and Barnabas preferred Martin.  William Barclay suggest it wasn’t the instrument, but genre, that separated them.  The controversial “folk” document has been used by some to teach that Barnabas was only into folk music while Paul wanted to “rock out” a little too much.  It’s as if the early Bob Dylan were in conflict with the later, electric Dylan.

Alexander “Ace” Campbell and Bart Stone actually got together for jam sessions after they discovered that they both loved bluegrass.  Campbell played a steel guitar and Stone was as good with a mandolin in his hand as he was with his acoustic Ibanez.  They performed together under the name, “The Restorers.”  They even co-wrote a little diddy called, “Come, Let’s Restore the New Testament Church.”

N.B. Hardeman was a big Robert Johnson fan.  He learned to play all his music.  Hardeman was opposed, though, to electric guitars when they were introduced.  But when N.B. went down to the crossroads, he made the Devil sell him his soul.

Even the great Foy E. Wallace, Jr. picked up a guitar later in life and wrote many ballads, including a Top 100 hit, “Go to Hell, Bobbie Boll, you pre-millenialist.”  He performed under the name, “Esco” and had it carved onto his guitar.

So, there you have it!! (although obviously not in chronological order)  That’s my why.

Playing guitar is to preacher as swimming is to fish.  I couldn’t help but learn to play.  Big footsteps to follow.  Now, excuse me while I go practice.


23 thoughts on “My Guitar–The “Why?”

  1. allison cooke douglas

    I used to hang out near N.B. Hardeman’s grave and play my guitar sometimes…I think he liked Sheryl Crow and WILCO too.

  2. Cool. My excuse (though I haven’t tried learning guitar for around a decade) is that I’m actually with the instrumental Christian Churches. Since I haven’t been with one of those since April 2004, the connection is getting harder to make….

  3. Brian

    thanks, JD, for reciting it with commentary last night

    allison, that is cool, in a strange kinda way, of course, wilson and I hung in the cemetery too, a couple of times

    tommy, would that be the steven curtis chapmans??

    paula, roflol, i love that word and take it as a term of endearment

    adam, you don’t need an excuse to play guitar

  4. Brian

    lisa, weird stuff just comes to me and I tinker with it. the original idea hit less than a week ago. i don’t spend lots of time…

    bobby, don’t forgot what waylon said about fine-tuned guitars and…uh…ahem….other things

    thanks, patrick for your guitar help/advice, and your historical clarification. maybe i should start using footnotes..

  5. This is great! I loved it. I knew Slash and Jimi Hendrix got their inspiration from some guitar slinging preacher. Foy’s classic guitar ballad about Bobbie Boll is one of my all time favs.

    I needed a good chuckle man … and you delivered! Thank you for putting a smile on my face.

    Bobby V

  6. tommy d

    Yes, I think it’s Stephen Curtis Chapmans dad that owns a guitar shop in Lone Oak. I’ve bought some things in there and I know people who have taken lessons there. I hear they are really good.

  7. Just noticed your tags: “annoying don neyland” and “please don’t write me up.”


    I’ve never thought about trying to put some humor in the tags.

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