Pint-Size Preacher

Terry Durham might be some kind of prophet. The question is: Who profits?

It's also unusual for cash offerings to go directly to the preacher, he says. Typically the donations fund the church and are divvied among bills, the pastor, and community events. He adds that it's especially odd for a first-time guest preacher to walk out with such a hefty wad. But Thompson says he was inspired: "He's a young man who is doing something positive... I wanted to send a message to our church's youth."

Outside New Harvest, A. Leon Worthy, a wiry 69-year-old with a snowy beard, says he thinks of it as a duty to give money to the family. "It's a mandate from the Bible to support the man of God," he says. "His message was from the heart."

Later, Pamela Brown, a sophisticated 52-year-old with thick-framed glasses, explains she believes Terry is a prophet. Before she got to church, she asked God if she should become a pastor herself. Terry didn't know this, but he told her: "You can now walk into the path of ministry," she says.

Pint-size preacher Terry Durham
C. Stiles
Pint-size preacher Terry Durham
The audience reacts to Terry's sermon.
C. Stiles
The audience reacts to Terry's sermon.

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A scout from Bad Boy Records recently came to hear Terry sing, Monroe says. This spring, he'll tour Kingston, Jamaica, and Syracuse, New York.

Before the family leaves New Harvest, Monroe takes the tens, twenties, and fifties from the offering bucket and everyone piles into her blue Cadillac. In the back seat, Terry — quiet again — watches the building fade out of sight as he's driven back to a house filled with Bibles, crosses, and posters of himself. Says his dad: "You'll never find another Terry Durham."

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