A preaching 'genius' faces his toughest convert
The Rev. Fred Craddock's stories revolutionized preaching, but few know about the pain behind them.
November 28th, 2011
10:49 AM ET

A preaching 'genius' faces his toughest convert

By John Blake, CNN

Blue Ridge, Georgia (CNN) - Fred Craddock was a young preacher trying to find his voice when he received a call from his mother one day.

"You need to go see your father," she said. "He may not live longer."

Craddock found his father in a VA hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Fred Craddock Sr. had whittled down to 73 pounds. Radiation treatments had burned him to pieces. He couldn't eat or speak.

Read the full story on the experiences that helped shape the revolutionary preacher
- davidmichaels18

Filed under: Christianity • Georgia • Protestant

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Craig in Miami

    Fred Craddock is a giant of a man in a shorter frame. To share the very human side of a great man, and to still have him standing in a great testament to his character, his calling, and the depth of his conviction.
    Everyone who has posted here can learn from him.
    Thanks for a great article.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  2. Doug

    I know Fred personally and consider him among the handful of people I have met in my 76 years that I can say " there is a truly great human being."I am sorry he has been subjected to these ignorant posts.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  3. What terrifies an atheist?

    Loneliness, that's why they are here.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  4. Bob

    Look at the picture. Quite the side view. Little fatty preacher has been getting fat on donations from his flock. And he can afford a tailored suit to cover it up.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Caveman Cliff Claven Cleveland Frenchman

      Do you know the man personally?

      November 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • ThisIsWhy

      You're lack of intelligence or even any sense of rational thought is alarming.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Francis Balliardo

      you're? Uh..... may want to rewrite that one there Chief Slapaho.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  5. Alfonzo Muchanzo

    Great article, long indeed, but still great I thought. To me it showed that a person chooses his own path. Yes family and upbringing certainly plays a large part, but in the end it's the individuals choice. Many people with deep belief in God come from non religious homes, and vice versa.

    Cheers and God bless to all 🙂

    November 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  6. theoldadam

    I loved this story about a preacher, his family (in particularly his father), and how he became a renowned preacher in spite of many obstacles.

    God bless Pastor Fred Craddock, and God bless you, John Blake, for bringing it light in your column.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      Cheers and God bless 🙂

      November 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Bo

    You're right Hippy, generaly nobody cares. Hundreds of people die every day, but it is very difficult to symphatize with those who are greving unless we are involved. And I agree, what does this have to do with the headline?

    November 28, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  8. hippypoet

    first, who cares besides those involved? second – how does the headline have anything to do with the half a paragraph called an article?? such poor writting, yet they get paid for this... wheres my check!

    November 28, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"second – how does the headline have anything to do with the half a paragraph called an article??"

      HippyPoet... There is a link to the crazy long article at the end of the paragraph.


      You know HippyPoet..... is your dislike for the Faith starting to bridge into insane hatred?

      November 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no, not at all... just not in very good spirits today... so i tend to take it out on religion – its an easy target.. i am sry. Thank you for the rest of the article thou. I will read on.

      November 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"just not in very good spirits today... "

      Understood... Give us your address and I will send a few Mormon extremist to you or a Jehovah's Witness squad to plaster you with WatchTowers to get you to the "good spirits" 🙂

      ....but even a person of Faith, that article is long and unless you "mainline" episodes of Little House on the Prairie , I would pass on reading it. I read it and it appears very jumbled with the basics of his Dad. He wasn't abusive, he never had outright hatred of the Church, .... just had issues with his churchs doctrines. By the end of the article, I was thnking that they have been trained in the ways of Reality's post.

      November 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Caveman Cliff Claven Cleveland Frenchman

      Hey there, hippy. Before you complain about someone's writing, you might want to look into learning how to properly use the English language. Most of your posts look like a bloody abortion in both content and in what appears to be the remnants of the meeting between a fetus, the alphabet, and a lawnmower. I don't care what your meaningless problems are. Stop being ignorant and lazy. At least the people who wrote the bible could spell. What have you done with your life?


      November 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh you mean angry caveman...its ok, i understand, but just don't care about spelling correctly or using proper grammer – why – because its the message thats important, not the spelling nor grammer! I have published works, while you have nothing...I have written 2 books while you have nothing...I have written 2 plays while you are nothing. Please, if you anything that will transcend time and allow people beyond your death to know who and what you were then great, but i doubt it – I WILL! 🙂 That to me, is the single most important thing anyone of us can do...leave some of value and meaning for the ages to come. You have may given your seed by there childrens children will forget you....I WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN! People know shakespear and sometimes haven't a clue to what the man wrote, while others can quote entire plays and sonnets. I too shall be amoungst them that is part of everyday life...while you will be dust – forgotten for all time as if you never existed at all.! Even if i am known as the poet and playwrite who wrote without care or concern for proper spelling and grammer. I say goodbye to you...such a low creature you are, try not to see above your standings and perhaps life may seem a bit brighter. 🙂 I will remain, rememer that! Oh and the people who wrote the bible had 2000 years worth of spell check by forgers and copiers – so whose to say they didn't misspell everything umm..

      November 29, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • waistyrapper

      Cungrats tu yor mispeleng buk, et waes bistsilir.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • hippypoet

      seriously, how important is the spelling and grammer when compared to the overall message?
      Isn't conveying meaning more important then making sure you spelt something correct. I mean unless the spelling error is near to the proper form, if not then i understand – but i'm never off by a lot!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Caveman Cliff Claven Cleveland Frenchman

      You have to have a message first. You won't have 2,000 years of spell check because no one's going to care. You think biblical writers didn't pay meticulous attention to detail in their writings? Jesus blue-balls christ, you're ignorant. The difference between the crap they wrote and the crap you write is that they actually took their time to make sure it didn't look like it was written with broken fingers. You've written two books, eh? What magical and awe-inspiring books are these? By all means, post them for all to see. Have a link to Amazon? How many years did it take the editors to completely rewrite them due to complete inaccuracy, mindless opinions and to clean up the chalk-lines of all the murdered words? Idiots often cry when people don't want to listen to their messages. It helps if you can properly articulate a message in the first place, which you can't. I've seen your posts here for a couple months now and a word of advice to you; if your message looks like garbage, the message itself is more than likely garbage. Most people will not bother reading it because most of us aren't 13 year old teenage girls that speak and spell in "TXT" language. People with intelligence will glance at what you have to say and won't bother with the content because we can tell it was written by a complete moron.

      You don't have a legacy to give to the world. Only meaningless alphabet soup blended with feces. You wouldn't happen to be a 34 year old male from Saint Louis, Missouri, would you? There are an unfortunately high number of dating profiles listed under "hippypoet" via Google search. It's difficult trying to figure out which desperate imbecile continues posting trash here on CNN every single day.

      And that's another thing. Every day you're here posting the same stupidity. It's either poems, insults, or horrid attempts at passing yourself off as educated. We all know that you aren't. Your daddy gave you his dog training business and you don't even bother doing any work there, which you've admitted to. Between the day to day "I'm educated" or "You're an idiot" posts, I'm curious to know if you've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, if you have multiple personalities, or if you're just a blatantly ignorant redneck that can't stand the idea of others having their own thought processes.

      I take back the legacy thing. You are in fact the basis of the movie "Idiocracy." Someone read something you wrote, cried and realized that the future of humanity was doomed because your bloodline would continue killing the collective intelligence of the human race.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh so sad...you went off...i think you think you know me or perhaps i hit a nerve, i hope i hit a nerve cause thats funny! I am and will be better then you on all accounts, sorry if the truth hurts – its not a matter of opinion but fact that what i have put into written word will live longer then your miserable life and therefore am better than you even if i am made fun of for everything, which would still be fine as laughter will grant longer life (laugh less please), and since poetry is not often made fun of by those who read chances are i'm in the clear! Did you know that we have poetry from the 2nd millenia and its rather good...i need not prove my intelligence to anyone, but i am not above showing off as its fun – i am only 25 still, let me be the pri-ck all speak of at such an age huh. 🙂 But i will say i can and often do out wit and out class those of your standing...

      you sir are cancer to society, by which i mean your spreading of stupidity...books are the cure, any book really...the simple act of reading is proven to aid in the thought process, something you lack – but hey, don't be mad, i am totally helpping you out here – tossing out all the clues to knowledge...something we both know your parents held over you and never let your learn hence your angry towards it. Very Fruedian i think. Also sad! 🙂 love ya, toddles!

      hugges and kisses,
      The Hippypoet 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Caveman Cliff Claven Cleveland Frenchman

      Spectacular. You have the ability to pretend not to care. You think I went off. No. I typed out a two minute response to your stupidity. Nerves? Nah. You think I think I know you? I know you sit there all day, every day posting moronic poems and thoughtless trash here. I know your daddy gave you his dog training business and you brag about doing nothing. Based on your lack of motivation, I doubt you're being honest about these alleged "books" you've written. It's a laughable thought. You named your daughter with a masculine name. Good going there, genius. I've seen dozens upon dozens of posts where you call people "idiot." The irony of that. You believe you are better than the majority of the people here. Humorous. Well then, I don't know a thing about you.

      Back to these alleged books... Based on the garbage poems you post, I can see why you're skating around posting the names or even the subject matter. There's no wit, no intelligence or anything of importance in your posts or anything you write, anywhere. The truth must hurt, because you made every possible attempt to deflect, and did a terrible job of doing it. What do you know of knowledge? Laughing? I guarantee you aren't laughing right now. Based on your MANY useless posts, I know for a fact you're irritated beyond comprehension. You know how I know this? Because you made an attempt at cleaning up your grammar in your last post here. You tried to alter to idiocy as to appear bigger and stronger. Thank YOU for giving me something to laugh about.

      You can't outwit someone if you don't know the difference between your and you're. How about they're, their, and there? You can't seem to figure that out either. Ever heard of proper punctuation? So far, you've done nothing but avoid and prance around like a little fairy. The minor cleanup was impressive, even for you. I mean that. You almost got a little bit of your sentence structure right. You're still having some difficulty though. Hey, just passing out some knowledge to you. It's the key to life. A few hints here and there. You take me seriously because I know what I'm talking about. I don't take you seriously because you can't articulate anything without stumbling over the words. Hint, hint.

      You can't prove something that doesn't exist. Your intelligence, god.... they've got something in common. *clap clap*

      I feel bad for your kid. Seriously, I do. Poor little thing doesn't deserve to live in a house run by a complete moron. Please hire a tutor for her. There's no possible way you will ever be able to manage assisting her in elementary level school work.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • hippypoet

      truly sad... no irritation, just laughing with my wife, who by the way was the one typing the post you thought was me cleaning up my grammer... i was playing with my daughter and son. Just to clear this up AGAIN...I bought the biz, i work my @ss off here running day to day operations. Your belief in this to be true is not needed nor a concern of mine...you said "You tried to alter to idiocy as to appear bigger and stronger. Thank YOU for giving me something to laugh about."

      your welcome for the laughs...and i didn't alter anything, my wife was typing what i was saying, see at work, due to my complete lack of spelling skills chose words that better suit me while typing...she is better then that!

      Sorry if my poems went over your head, again, i image they aren't the first things to do that.

      And you should forget my books, i won't share with someone who has no appreciation nor ability to understand even the most simple of poems. Its not a cop out, more a save...like walking away from a fight, thats the better person – here thats me, not you...granted, my better anyway, but thats besides the point! 🙂

      I will however share this with you, if you like shakespear, i have written a play that will transcend the ages – but it has poetry in it so you may want to shy away..well, the whole thing is poetry in reality, just there are set poems in the poetic verses of the play itself. No worries.

      now go, dwell alone in your dark hole of anger.

      hugges and kisses,
      the Hippypoet 🙂

      November 30, 2011 at 9:16 am |
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