Dr. Fred B. Craddock (‘50), one of Johnson University’s most renowned and respected alumni, passed away on March 6, 2015. After earning his Master of Divinity degree, Dr. Craddock returned to Johnson and taught 1953–1957. He was especially beloved by the Class of 1957, which he and his wife Nettie sponsored during their years at Johnson. The Craddocks have returned to the campus several times over the last half century for reunions of that class, the latest being last spring.
A Baylor University research study, published by Newsweek, named Dr. Craddock as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. Dr. Craddock was also featured in a CNN article describing the struggles he faced on the way to revolutionizing preaching. He has written extensively in the fields of preaching and New Testament and has lectured for some of the most prestigious lectureships around the world. For many years, he served as the Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Dr. Thomas Long, Dr. Craddock’s successor at Emory University, said, “His impact on preaching - in terms both of scholarship and practice - is incalculable. . . . 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."
In retirement, the Craddocks lived in Cherry Log, Georgia, where he established The Craddock Center that serves children in North Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Dr. Craddock also conducted preaching workshops for itinerant ministers in rural Appalachia, and at the time of his death he was pastor emeritus of the Cherry Log Christian Church.
Dr. Craddock's funeral will be today, Monday, March 9, at 2:00 p.m. at Cherry Log Christian Church, Cherry Log, Georgia.
Please keep Nettie in your prayers. Memorial gifts made to Johnson University will support The Fred Craddock Preaching Scholarship Fund that was established many years ago.