Part of Baptist21’s purpose is to acknowledge that “We are grateful to God for the Southern Baptist Convention and the heritage that has been given to us as Southern Baptists. We do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants, men and women of God, who have persevered in contending for the faith and declaring Jesus to the nations in cooperation with one another… without the faithfulness of great Southern Baptist leaders of the past we would not be here today.”
In the spirit of our purpose, we would like to draw our readers’ attention to a new podcast that highlights one of those giants of the faith. Recently, the W.A. Criswell library has announced that all of his sermons are available for free MP3 download and that they are launching an initial podcast of his 1961 sermon series through the book of Revelation. This is great news. Dr. Criswell Pastored the First Baptist Church, Dallas for more than 50 years. Dr. Criswell was an expositor and during his time he was known as one of the most powerful preachers in the world. He is most well known for preaching straight through the bible over a 20-year span at FBC Dallas.
What is the Criswell Library? From their site: “The W. A. Criswell Sermon Library, a collection of over two thousand sermons Dr. W. A. Criswell preached during his fifty-five years of ministry at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.”
What can be found on the Site? This site contains videos, audio, manuscripts, featured monthly sermons, CLASSIC Criswell sermons, and sermon outlines. You can search the site by date, category, topic, and verse. Because he preached through the entire Bible you can find a resource for almost any text you are preaching or teaching!
Stay tuned for further podcasts to be launched from the Criswell Library and take advantage now of the many sermons available for free download.
Why Does Baptist21 Want You to Know About This Website and Podcast? We want you to get to know and love Dr. Criswell. He had longevity at one pastorate that is worthy of emulation. He was an expositor that thundered away in the pulpit. He is a hero that helped us turn the tide from liberalism in the SBC. And many of us personally love his oratory ability from the pulpit. We should honor men like this who have passed down the faith to us, we can think of no better way than putting his vast resources to use in our day. We hope that you will get to know about his life and his preaching. Here are a few tributes to Dr. Criswell and a site set up by the SBC to honor Dr. Criswell.
What have others said about Criswell? “Dr. W.A. Criswell was a giant in the land, and it is now hard to imagine Baptist life without him. He towered over our denominational life for a half-century, casting a shadow that shaped at least three generations of pastors and Baptist leaders. His robust pulpit ministry led to a recovery of biblical exposition among Baptist preachers and those of other evangelical denominations. He was a bold champion for biblical truth, and this great lion gave courage to thousands of others. He was larger than life, and his influence will continue long after his death. His pastorate at First Baptist Church in Dallas set the pace for the rise of great multi-thousand-member congregations all across the nation. His ‘Schools of the Prophets’ armed preachers with the tools to preach the Word with power.
Beyond all this, his personality and charm were titanic in proportion to his person. The whole character of a room changed the minute W.A. Criswell entered. He loved people — and his warmth could charm the hardest heart. Even those with whom he disagreed could not help smiling when they talked about him. He was living, breathing, Baptist history — flawlessly dressed, Bible in hand, ready to preach. He had many friends, but no peers. He was a proud graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he was by any measure the most famous graduate of this school in the 20th century. Southern Seminary will be forever proud of this great graduate. He was a great encourager to me as president. When I saw him last, he asked that I take a blessing back to our students. ‘I will never get to meet you young preachers in this life,’ he said. “But preach the Word — and know that I will be waiting on heaven’s lowest step to greet you when we all get to heaven.’ His eyes sparkled as he envisioned the scene. I thank God for the life and ministry of W.A. Criswell, and for the opportunity to have known a giant of our times.” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.