‘Chaplain of Bourbon Street’ brings

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 24, 2000

gospel to Hephzibah Baptist


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Sept. 23, 2000 11 PM

The Rev. Bob Harrington, a.k.a. the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, will be speaking in a crusade at Hephzibah Baptist Church in Troy Oct. 1-3.

Having such a renowned crusader come to Troy is a rare opportunity for Pike Countians, said the Rev. Don Hatcher, pastor of Hephzibah Baptist Church.

"We are very fortunate to have Bob Harrington come to Hephzibah and bring us his message of hope and forgiveness," said Hatcher.

Harrington’s story is one of his personal journey to forgiveness and his unfailing hope.

In 1958, Harrington was dramatically converted. Three days later, he preached his first sermon. Soon after that he answered God’s call into the ministry.

"God blessed his ministry in the French Quarters of New Orleans," Hatcher said. "He was proclaimed by the mayor of New Orleans to be ‘the Chaplain of Bourbon Street.’ During the 1960s and ’70s, his ministry expanded nationally and internationally through area-wide crusades and a weekly television program."

Harrington’s message, "It’s Fun Being Saved," brought hope to a hopeless world and, in time, he became one of the best known preachers in America.

But in 1976, when Harrington was at the height of his ministry, his personal life was faltering.

"He left the ministry for prodigal living," Hatcher said. "For the next 19 years, he was away from the Lord. Fame, fortune and frolic had gotten him off track. He had been on all the major talk shows such as Donahue and Oprah. Making money became his focus and he left God out of his life."

Then, one night in Los Angeles, Harrington was considering jumping out a window when the telephone rang.

It was his friend Rex Humbard and he asked Harrington if he was ready to "come back" and Harrington said he was.

"Brother Bob tells of how Rex Humbard lead him in the reading of Psalm 51 and prayed David’s prayer of restoration," Hatcher said. "Suddenly the burden of guilt was lifted and he knew that God had other plans for his life. The years since have been a growing and rebuilding time for him and he says he’s back and it’s still fun being saved."

In addition to preaching crusades, Harrington is widely used as a motivational speaker of by chambers of commerce, cattlemen’s associations, civic organizations and 200 of the Fortune 500 companies. Regardless of the venue, his message is always one of hope and forgiveness.

The Chaplain of Bourbon Street will be preaching at Hephzibah at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 and at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3. The church is located at 2701 Henderson Highway. A nursery will be provided for children though 3 years old.

In addition, all area pastors, church staff members and their spouses are invited to a luncheon where Harrington will speak on Monday, Oct. 2.

The luncheon will be hosted by Hatcher and will be held at noon at the Baptist Campus Ministry facility at Troy State University. The cost is $5 per person. Reservations can be made through the church office at 566-6477.