Christian Chronicle

Marshall Keeble’s ‘boy preachers’ still baptizing and saving souls

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Famous traveling evangelist mentored many of the most influential African-American ministers in Churches of Christ.

Third Place, Theme Issue, Section or Series, Associated Church Press

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

LOS ANGELES — In 1963, an 11-year-old named Dewayne Winrow preached at Southwestern Christian College’s annual Bible lectureship in Terrell, Texas.

The boy’s message resonated with one notable person in the audience: Marshall Keeble, the famous black evangelist who baptized an estimated 30,000 people before his 1968 death.

“Brother Keeble came to the stage, and he offered me immediately a full-time scholarship to begin attending the Nashville Christian Institute,” Winrow, now 65, recalled at the Reseda Church of Christ, the San Fernando Valley congregation he has served since 1975.

Winrow, the son of a single mother, had been baptized at age 9 at the Bell and Farrall Church of Christ in his hometown of Shawnee, Okla.

The sixth-grader moved to Tennessee and became one of Keeble’s “boy preachers” — students who traveled with Keeble to gospel meetings and delivered short messages before he spoke.

“Brother Keeble’s thing was preaching, and his thing was saving souls and baptizing people,” said Daniel Harrison, another of the former boy preachers.

“Right now, many of us are still carrying on his legacy,” added Harrison, senior minister for the Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ in Chicago for 50 years and director of the national Crusade for Christ since its launch 39 years ago.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the April 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

Series: 50 Years: Racial Reconciliation and the Church

Related: Two legacies, 50 years later (contrasting Marshall Keeble and Martin Luther King Jr.)

Column: ‘Sister Keeble’ stayed strong in mind, faith

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