The Great C.A.W. Clark, pastor of Good Street Baptist Church, dies Sunday in Dallas (1914-2008)

On Sunday one of God’s preaching greats left this Earth with the passing of Rev. C.A.W. Clark.

Pastor Clark began preaching in 1929 and was ordained four years later. He lead his first church, Israelite Baptist in Louisiana, at age 19. Clark was a graduate of Bishop College.

My earliest memories are of Pastor Clark on the cover of Ebony magazine in the early 80′s as one of America’s 15 Best Preachers.  This was a big deal in my house because I had an aunt and uncle who attended his church.

As a matter of fact, the first time I met Pastor Clark was in my grandmother’s Paris, Texas living room.   Clark was in town for a week long revival and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.  I  found Rev. Clark to be a quiet yet engaging figure with an unforgettable chuckle of a laugh.

Speaking of unforgettable, once you heard Rev. Clark preach God’s word, you could never forget it.  Clark’s sermon’s began slow and deliberately.  I wondered if his voice would ever rise above a whisper the first time I heard him.  But by the end of the sermon, his whoop had the congregation on their feet shouting, lifting their hands, and praising Jesus.

Ceasar Arther Walter Clark began his service as pastor of the Good Street Baptist Church here in Dallas in 1950. His long and effective tenure saw Good Street rise to nationwide prominence and become major civic destination. Over the years many great figures graced the pulpit there, including Martin Luther King Jr. in 1956 (Dallas Morning News).

About 5 years ago at the Dawn of a New Day Conference here in Dallas, I had the opportunity to serve as an armor bearer of sorts for Rev. Clark.  His body was slowed by age but his mind was still as sharp as ever.

As I took Clark around the room, we could not move more than 10 feet without someone stopping us so that they could reach out to him.  I was amazed at how he recalled the names a story of everyone we bumped into.  He would make a funny quip to each person which would get us all laughing.

The world has lost a preaching legend in Rev. C.A.W. Clark.  Services for Clark will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday August 4, at  Good Street Baptist Church, 3110 Bonnie View Road. Dallas, TX 75216

  • Dr. Allan G. Smith, Sr.

    Dr. C.A.W. Clark was one of the greatest anointed preachers of his time. May his soul rest in peace as his works of Christian ministry follow him.

  • Rev. Samuel Harper

    I became acquainted
    with Dr. Clark in the late 1960s,1968 or 69.
    And I have never been the same since the night I first heard him preach
    at the Friendship Baptist Church, in Kansas City, MO. It was some 26 years later that I surrendered
    to preach. I was so enamored by his
    style. I was fascinated by the way he
    began slow and methodical with his introduction, and then build to a crescendo out
    of this world. I don’t think there was
    any other like him.

    He definitely
    was the greatest.