As long as I live I will never forget Reverend Danny Gray—EVER.
I received Christ on May 27,1990, at the church where he was the pastor.
I had been attending there since January of that year and had never heard anyone preach like him … bold, confident and passionate.
However, the more I think about it, the more I can only really remember one sermon that he ever preached.
Don’t get me wrong, I have never heard him preach a bad sermon, EVER.
But it was the fact there was something else he did that impacted my life way more than any message I ever heard him preach …
It was his radical generosity that has forever impacted my life.
When I began going to Pastor Gray’s church I was poor … very poor. And because of my lack of money I had VERY few “church clothes” to wear.
(At the time, the church I attended was a Southern Baptist Church where the men wore coats and ties, the ladies wore dresses, and people who wore a golf shirt were sorta considered to be a little liberal.)
I was hyper sensitive about this and wondered when the day would come when I may be asked to not come back because of the way I dressed. I had heard of that happening in other churches and there was a legitimate fear in my heart that it would happen to me. I was getting super involved in the church, volunteering as much as possible, and had even told the ministry staff I felt I was called to preach.
One night before the evening service began, Pastor Gray asked me to meet him in his study after the message.
I immediately broke out in a sweat and to this day I could not tell you what happened at church that evening as fear overwhelmed my mind as I knew this was the end of attending this church.
Sure enough, we walked back into his office, sat down, he looked at me and asked with a smile, “Perry, do you have any church clothes?”
“Nooooooooooooooo,” I screamed in my mind. “This cannot be happening! I cannot leave this place. I cannot …”
He saw me freaking out a little so he asked me again.
“No sir,” I told him and then explained my financial situation to him.
“Meet me here at the church at 3:00 on Saturday,” he said. (I still remember the time). “You and I are going shopping.”
The next Saturday I met him and he took me to Belk in Easley, South Carolina. He bought me a blue blazer, a pair of grey dress slacks, a pair of tan dress slacks, a white dress shirt, a blue dress shirt, a pair of gray Dockers, two ties and a belt.
I could not speak. I had never seen anything like that before in my life. I can remember going home with those clothes, putting them in the floor of the trailer I was living in and crying because of the generosity of Preacher Gray.
I wore those clothes he bought me for the next several years, but the memory of those clothes and what Preacher Gray did for me is still with me.
It wasn’t the messages he preached that necessarily impacted me the most—it was his generosity.
Generosity changes the world.
And when the people of God actually practice generosity, radical generosity, it changes people.
God is into radical generosity. John 3:16 tells us that He gave a VERY extravagant gift.
His followers should be radically generous.
I’m not saying you need to run out and start buying people clothes. What I am saying is if you will listen to the Spirit of God and allow Him to direct your heart, you can be generous to others and you will impact the world in more ways than you could ever imagine.