RSS
The 'cute' but 'eerie' 4-year-old Evangelical preacher
Is little Kanon Tipton imitating his dad's sermons... or following a calling from God?
 
Four-year-old Kanon Tipton's parents say he is moved to preach by the Lord.
Four-year-old Kanon Tipton's parents say he is moved to preach by the Lord.
YouTube

The video: Kanon Tipton is a third-generation Pentecostal preacher who can bring worshipers to their feet with calls for a "red-hot revival." He's also a YouTube sensation whose fiery sermons have been viewed more than 4 million times online. His age, all of 4-years-old, might have something to do with that. The "world's youngest preacher," as admirers call him, first toddled up to the pulpit at 21 months, when he took the microphone from his grandfather and launched into a baby babble sermon. His father, Damon Tipton, calls his son's sermonizing a "phenomenon" (See a Today show report below). "Of course, he is mimicking," the elder Tipton concedes, "but I do feel like the hand of God is on him in a special way."

The reaction: Whatever you think of this immature firebrand's message, says Paul Bentley at the Daily Mail, there's no denying he's "pretty cute." Listening to him bellow, "The Lord is here tonight!" is captivating, say the editors of The Huffington Post. His "emotional delivery, dramatic cadence, back-and-forth pacings" are just like those of a grown-up preacher, and his dad insists he hasn't been coached. That's questionable, says Diane Werts at Newsday. A National Geographic Channel documentary on Kanon and other tiny preachers does nothing to erase the impression that their holy fire is the product of "eerie efforts by the kids' guardians to shape Stars for Jesus." Watch for yourself:

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week