Meredith Willson was the famous author-composer whose most famous composition
was the Broadway show The Music Man. He had grown up in the church in his
boyhood home of Mason City, Iowa, but had not found a church in his adopted
home of California. According to his biographer, John Skipper, Willson and his
wife were driving on a Sunday morning, saw a small church, thought it looked
friendly and decided to stop in for worship. During his sermon, the minister
started talking about people he would like to meet. He began quoting from one
of Willson’s books. After reading a portion, the preacher said, “Now I’d
like to meet that man.” Willson began weeping in the congregation. After
church, he waited to meet the minister. When he shook hands and identified
himself, the preacher just about fainted.

Willson later became a member of that little church and even directed the
choir. One of the great blessings of church attendance is that you never know
when God might have a word just for you.

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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