Introducing Thomas W. Spann, author of The Learning and the Burning

“My author representative was extremely help. She was prompt and knowledgeable. It did not seem to matter if my question was major or minor, she gave the same professional attention to each question. The total process was followed as it was originally explained to me. There were no surprises. I had a pleasant experience.”

The Reverend Dr. Thomas W. Spann is an ordained Baptist minister who earned his Bachelor of Arts at Bishop College, Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry at Southern Methodist University. A preacher and former Air Force Reserve Chaplain, he also served as a college instructor in Arkansas and Texas. After thirty years at Perkins School of Theology at SMU, he retired in 2018 as the Director of the Perkins Intern Program. He is the author of When Theological Reflection Goes to Church; First Sunday: Reflections on Ministry Experiences in the Black Church; A Necessary Transition: A Book of Sermons; I Feel My Help Coming: A Volume of Sermons, and Sing to the Lord a New Song: Prophetic Poems of Praise, which are available at He and his wife, Cynthia, live in Dallas.

Book description…

Whether a preacher is just starting out in ministry or has been in pulpit ministry for several decades, this book is filled with creative ideas for enhancing this sacred oratorical art. Thomas Spann writes from the perspective that any preacher’s current method or approach to preaching is fine, but can be enhanced. In this sense there is no judgment on any preacher’s current method. Drawing on over fifty years in the gospel ministry, this offering is an attempt to provide insights and ideas to aid in next level preaching. Ideas in this book range from the use of poetic flair to social messaging of the gospel. With care and concern, Thomas Spann addresses unusual topics in the field of preaching, including: disavowing the joke about seminary/cemetery; progressive celebration; preaching as a physical act; perspiration and inspiration; and avoiding common errors in English. Using his African American religious experience as a broad background, Thomas Spann believes that this book is useful in a variety of denominational settings. The book concludes with four original sermons.

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