Gordon Cloud loves to preach and makes his preparation of each message a time of worship. AMY CLOUD/Special
CAMILLA — Fifty-year-old Gordon Cloud – son of Ken Cloud, evangelist, pastor and former associational missionary for Bowen Baptist Association, is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Camilla. He is a loving pastor, an excellent preacher, and a gracious man of God. He recently mentioned to his church that he has been preaching for 43 years. If you do the math, you will realize that Gordon started preaching when he was seven years old, probably as a second grader.
If he started preaching when he was seven years old, one would assume that he was saved at an earlier age. Gordon avows, “I was saved at the age of four. I realize that is very young. But as the son of an evangelist, I had literally been exposed to the Gospel every day of my life. I have no question in my mind that this contributed to an early decision to trust Christ as my Savior.
“It was on a Sunday night in a little church near Hartwell. My dad was preaching, and the Holy Spirit made it crystal clear to me that I was a sinner in need of salvation. I went to the altar that night and gave my life to Jesus.”
Pastor Cloud also testifies that he was called to preach when he was seven. He explained, “I surrendered to God’s call and have never questioned His calling. There have been a few times when I was greatly discouraged and considered other pursuits, but God has always brought me back to His claim and calling upon my life.”
When asked about his first sermon at age seven, Pastor Cloud had a fascinating story to tell. He declared, “My dad was preaching in a revival in Ohio and the children’s church director invited me to speak in children’s church. I don’t recall the topic or text. After it was over, a little girl came up to me and made a smart-alecky statement; and I punched her in the jaw.”
Pastor Cloud stated, “I don’t recommend doing that; and I assure you I have never repeated anything that impetuous and irresponsible.
“Later that day, my younger brother told on me and I got in all kinds of trouble. That is the last time I ever hit a girl and I learned to pray that God would help me receive criticism a little more graciously.”
“Since I surrendered to preach, I have preached every year of my life – to children’s churches, youth groups, Christian schools, on the street, in back alleys, in jails, prisons, in nursing homes, tent revivals, churches, and on the radio. I have also been blessed to preach in a number of foreign countries. I was 13 years old before I had the opportunity to preach in a church for a Sunday morning worship service. The pastor said I would have to limit my message to ten minutes. I told him I had at least 45 minutes of material for my sermon. He reiterated, ‘Ten minutes.’ I think I preached only seven minutes.”
The first church Cloud served as pastor was in Florida. He had served on the staff, but when the pastor left, the church called him as pastor, and he served there four years. He then became pastor of Pine Park Baptist Church in Cairo where he served for 15 years. He has now been at First Baptist in Camilla for three years.
Gordon Cloud is part of a preaching family. In addition to his father being an evangelist, his mother, Brenda, accompanies her husband in all of his evangelistic endeavors and compliments his ministry with her giftedness as a pianist. Gordon has a brother who is a pastor in North Carolina. His two sons, Clay and Glen, are both preachers. Glen is often used as a supply preacher as he continues his education and Clay is pastor of Hopeful Baptist Church near Camilla.
“It is really a blessing,” related Gordon, “to think that on many Sundays all five of us are standing in pulpits at the same time sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. When we all get together it is not long before our conversation turns to preaching or some doctrine. We are generally in close agreement and the discussions are often invigorating, but always lots of fun.”
Gordon loves to preach, and it shows. He delights to spend time in prayer and studying the text for his next sermon. He commented, “One thing I have learned through the years is to make my sermon preparation time a time of worship. If I don’t allow the text to lead me to worship, I can’t expect the congregation to respond with praise and surrender. I am passionate about studying and preaching. I love the Word of God and I love the God who gave it.
“I simply want to lift Him high. I never get tired of seeing the impact God’s Word can make in someone’s life. I hope God will allow me to preach as long as there is breath in my body.”