Fred Craddock: Renowned Preacher & Professor, Dies At 86
Preacher and professor Fred Craddock passed away last week.
Dr. Reverend Fred Craddock was a preacher well-known for his sermons whose influence spread through his work as an author and teacher. He held the role of Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Candler, and continued to work for the institution through his retirement. Dr. Thomas G. Long took over Craddock’s position at Candler, and said that Fred’s role in affecting preaching in America is immense.
“Fred Craddock was a national treasure and a devoted servant of the church and Jesus Christ. His impact on preaching – in terms both of scholarship and practice – is incalculable,” said Dr. Thomas G. Long. “On the scholarly side, his 1971 book As One Without Authority tilted the homiletical world on its axis and is arguably the most significant book in preaching to appear in the last 100 years. In that book, Fred Craddock articulated a form of proclamation that he called “inductive preaching.” In the inductive approach, the preacher, instead of announcing the main idea of the sermon at the beginning and then unpacking that idea in three or more didactic “points,” would work cooperatively with the hearers toward the disclosure of the sermon’s idea near the sermon’s end, usually experienced as a mutual discovery and shared burst of insight.”
Fred’s son John Craddock said his father was the most remarkable man he knew. “I don’t care if it’s a guy on the street asking for a dollar or the president of the United States, he makes you feel as if you’re the most important person in the world when he’s talking to you,” said John. “I won the lottery as far as great fathers go.”
Fred Craddock lectured and spoke about preaching into his golden years. He founded The Craddock Center, which is a non-profit service that helps children in North Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Fred Craddock passed away on March 7, the cause of death is still unknown. He had been battling Parkinson’s disease for many years, which is believed to be connected to his death.