Caussey's Corner

Are You The Preacher Man? The Adventures of a Bible Salesman

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Nearly every day as I headed back to my room, someone walking down the road addressed me as the Preacher Man. Then they loaded me down with fresh produce.

One day, a man pulled up in a big black car. He approached me quickly. In an angry voice, he asked if I was the Preacher Man. I said I was. He said he had been selling insurance for years in this area, but since I started selling Bibles, people were dropping their insurance and paying their $2 down on a Bible. If I continued to take his customers, he was going to hurt me.

Suddenly, a group of men who worked in the nearby fields and ate their lunch at the store, grabbed him and flung him back into his car. He was told if he was seen again or ever threatened the Preacher Man, he would be in real trouble.

I confessed to the men I was a little worried about my safety. They told me not to worry that folks everywhere were watching out for me. “Even the policemen in town would never bother you again,” said one of the men.

Over the next few weeks, I ate lunch at one of the rural grocery stores in the area. There always seemed to be a large group of farm workers eating lunch. We joked, told stories, and talked about Big Mama. I was encouraged to do a little preaching, which was always well-received. Someone bought my lunch every day.

Are You The Preacher Man? The Adventures of a Bible Salesman

Photo: pxhere.com

I grew to love these hardworking men. There were kind, generous, and poor. Yet, they always shared what little they had. They would have made Big Mama proud.

One day, I told the store owner I was moving to another part of the county to sell Bibles. He begged me to come for lunch and eat free. He confessed my presence was good for business.

A month later, my Dad became ill, and I had to come back to Texas. I lost all my commissions.

I wasn’t sure if I could return to school; I had earned little money for tuition. But, I could always lay bricks.

During registration that fall, Doctor Spain of the Bible Department asked me to come by his office. He informed me that he had received phone calls and a number of letters from pastors of black churches in Auburn. They encouraged Doctor Spain to help me get a job preaching. Preferably for a black congregation. It seems that in that crowd at Big Mama’ funeral, every black preacher in the county was in the audience.

At first they were angry but later decided I was a pretty good preacher after all.

Doctor Spain informed me that the T and P Lane Church of Christ would like for me to preach for them. Pay was $25 a week, plus all my meals. That was more money than I could make laying bricks or selling my blood.

For two years, I preached at this wonderful church. I didn’t have to work in construction or sell anything. And the food. Oh, the food!

Thank you, Big Mama!

Originally published in the Winter Issue of Heart of Texas Magazine.

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