How Long Does Your Preacher Preach?

Consider this example from 18th century America. Archibald Stobo, was a well-regarded Scottish Presbyterian pastor who came to Charleston, SC after an ill-fated trip to Panama. Once he and his family landed in Charleston, their boat was sunk when the area was hit by a hurricane, stranding them there.

Stobo was at once offered a pulpit – the congregation being “obedient to the finger of Providence” – and in time he became a Charleston institution, his customary sermon running to such length that it was possible to leave in the middle, go home for a large midday meal, and return to find him still going strong.

– from David McCullough’s Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt, pp. 40-41.

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