John Clark's Question

by Steve Moreland

Brother John Clark will always remain in my memory for many reasons, the Gospel meetings he held, his graduate level classes he taught at Florida College, etc. Perhaps the most memorable event was when I was a young preacher in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1979. The congregation was made up of a small group of maybe 30 members. Brother Clark was always scheduled for meetings at something like five years out. Yet, he agreed to hold a meeting for us in Annapolis (Crownsville) despite his busy schedule and for much less than his normal pay for Gospel meetings. The building was packed each and every night. Like Robert Davenport mentioned, I was always surprised when I checked my watch at the end of one of Brother Clark's sermons to realize that he had gone way overtime. It only seemed like 30-45 minutes.

The other event I will always remember was his story of visiting a small Catholic church out west. They were having an "Open House" for anyone to come in and inquire about the services of the church. Brother Clark took advantage of the opportunity and had confused the priests with the the following question, "In Cardinal Gibbon's book, 'Faith of Our Fathers' he stated that no man today is inspired. If no one today is inspired, how could the Pope be infallible?" The bishop of the church noticed the discussion going on and asked what they were talking about. John Clark repeated the question to which the bishop replied, "I really don't care what Cardinal Gibbons wrote in his book." John Clark replied, "You mean to tell me that a lowly bishop in some unknown church in the middle of nowhere doesn't care what a Cardinal in Rome says?" They ended up throwing Brother Clark out of the building. I have used that question many times with my Catholic friends and it has always posed a dilemma for them.

Though departed, the lessons from Brother Clark's sharp wit and keen mind will always remain with us.

Thank you John Clark for all the great memories,