TELLS OF STRANG PREACHER
Major Perry, Illiterate Negro, in His Sleep Delivers Sermon Of Which He Knows Nothing in His Waking Hours.
Leesville, Jan. 19. - On Wednesday night, January 5, I had the pleasure of hearing that sleeping preacher, the one in Saluda county that we citizens of Lee and Sumter as well as other counties have heard about.
Several years ago I read some accounts of this strange personage, but, really could not believe what I read. Neither could I believe the accounts last October when I arrived here, as a school teacher, and was told about him by the citizens of this section. But I have been to Missouri. Here's what I saw:
As I stated, on the night of January 5, there assembled in a little church on the farm of Mr. W. J. Derrick about one hundred people, myself included, who began to listen to this strange sermon. About 8 o'clock the negro, Major Perry, came in and went to bed in the bed that was prepared for the occasion. As soon as He had looked well over the audience he went to sleep and in a few minutes outlined his hymn:
"Come Ye That Love The Lord."
After the song he repeated the Lord's prayer and ended in a well made prayer, although the English was not very good.
He then gave out his text, Amos, 8-11.
He asked the Christians, if there be any to pray; sinners give God your ear.
He began his sermon by telling of Joseph and the sheaves and of Joseph in a foreign land during a famine.
He accused the people of lying generally, and showed them by the scriptures where it had been common since the time of Amos.
He preached ardently against the rules of the Sabbath and the teachers of our time. "There´s two kinds of preachers," said Perry, "those local preacher and the loafing preacher." He hit the preachers hard and said he had been preaching every night since 1880 for 35 years, and hadn't asked for a penny or hadn't taken a vacation.
Many sermons are like an empty wagon, lots of noise and nothing in it. Perry said he had been preaching his own sermon for four years. Said he was ready to answer the call and felt sure he could sing praises as he was taken to heaven.
His sermon lasted about 45 minutes and once during the time he took a cramp and had to be rubbed. His appearance during the sermon was that of a corpse. He would often turn about, but he spoke fluently in any position. His sermon was well worth listening to, even though I don't believe there was anyone present, except
The negro is 76 years of age and preaches a different sermon every night.
He is illiterate, as any one can tell by listening to him. He can neither read or write his name. He is said to be very wicked during his working hours.
In talking to him, he answers all questions freely, but never can he tell about his sermons. He doesn't know, anything about the Bible, but his text is always given correctly and the place is right. Many distinguished men, lawyers, doctors, preachers, editors, and men of every type have heard and wondered at this strange preacher and I am told they all leave with the same
idea I have, a miracle.
E. O. White,
Teacher in Saluda county, Leesville, S.C.
Ur “The Watchman and Southron", Sumter, South Carolina, USA
No 47, January 29, 1916, pg 4
Edited by Elof Granholm 10.04.2014