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Treasured Moments In Black History: Harry Hoosier

February 14, 2022
BRIGHT-FM

Hope has a strange way of shining. It’s most evident in difficult times. This is Treasured Moments In Black History.

Harry Hoosier was born a slave in North Carolina, but by the time the American Revolution was over, he was a free man. He accepted the Lord as his Savior and became a Methodist preacher. In 1781, Reverend Hoosier delivered a sermon he called “The Barren Fig Tree.” That message was preached in Virginia and it is believed to be the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African American.

Even though he was illiterate, Hoosier’s reputation as a traveling evangelist was spreading. Benjamin Rush, a committed evangelical Christian and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence identified Hoosier as “the greatest orator in America.”

Harry ministered along the great frontier and history records that he was a renowned camp meeting exhorter, the most widely known Black preacher of his time, and arguably, the greatest circuit rider of his day. Harry always drew huge crowds wherever he spoke. While he could not read it for himself, Hoosier loved the Word of God, and would often use the text of the great hymns as the basis of his sermons.

Sadly, life became very hard for Harry Hoosier in his later years and he eventually ended up destitute on the streets of Philadelphia, struggling with alcohol. One night, under a tree, he wrestled with God in prayer. When morning came, Harry was completely healed and continued to serve God powerfully until his death.

God used Harry Hoosier to bring untold numbers of Americans to faith.

This Moody Radio production is brought to you by Moody Publishers and their book Say It! Celebrating Expository Preaching
in the African American Tradition
by Eric C. Redmond.

In every generation, God uses ordinary people to accomplish great things!
Treasured Moments in Black History by Moody Radio remembers the people and events in America that have shaped
history and inspired lives. By looking back and highlighting these moments, you will be inspired,
enriched and encouraged in your faith walk to make history for God’s kingdom.

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