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Publication: From PBS sermons

Author: Sonny Pyles
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Sonny Pyle-isms

A collection of catchphrases, quotes, short illustrations, stories gathered from sermons by Elder Sonny Pyles.


Psalms 77:11 - "I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old."


1.""Don't try to use your influence when you do not have any." This was generally given in a kind manner to young men in the ministry, as I myself recall, or with greater direction from the pulpit.


2. ""On the scale, a preacher should not attempt to be a C-sharp but a B-yourself." A quote shared by Elder Michael Gowens in a sermon on "Thy Will Be Done."


3.      He would characterize some given to moving worship services among our friends, the "charismatics," as "Charismania."


4.      A very rich woman once told Elder Pyles that "money will not make you happy," "but," she continued, "it will make you comfortable in your misery."


5.      A visitor to Medlin Chapel once asked Elder Pyles if he could sing a solo for the church. Brother Pyles responded, "If you sing it so-low, I can't hear it."


6.      Sonny Pyles once officiated a funeral with a minister from a certain denomination who introduced Elder Pyles as "An Old Line Primitive Baptist Preacher" and informed the hearers sarcastically that the "Hardshells don't have any use for musical instruments in worship." After the introduction Brother, Sonny stood up and mentioned to the audience, thanking the gentlemen for his introduction. Still, he added, to show you that Primitive Baptist does have some use of a piano in services, he took off his jacket and laid it on the piano. The irony is that Sonny Pyles grew up with his father, who worked on pianos. He'd help move pianos at the early age of 5 years. Hear the actual clip: Search in the sermon Section "Audio Clip - Satisfaction With The Church."


7.      One of the most frequent catchphrases used by Elder Pyles is the one of a "termite in a yo-yo." He used this to convey how confused people may be.


8.     Sonny Pyles frequently referred to the "Dooms Day File." Brother Pyles used this phrase as a euphemism which pointed to his collection of notes, articles, and papers he has collected over the years from his study. Many a young minister would love to have peeked into the "Dooms Day File!"


9.   Elder Pyles will frequently refer to an important principle in understanding the Bible. He would often say, "In order for you to know what the Bible means, you have to know what it says."


10. Back in the 80's when Sung Young Moon's religious followers dressed in long white robes and would often sell their wares at Airports around the country. Of course, Sonny Pyles traveled across the country regularly, never missing his home church meetings. But on one such occasion, while at the Airport, several "Moonies" approached him and asked his name and what did he do? Elder Plyes responded, "I am a preacher of the LORD JESUS CHRIST!" And away they went.


11. "He who spiritualizes tells spiritual lies." Brother Pyles often defends the Words of the Bible and teaches literal interpretation first. Many errors which he has tangled with over the years were due primarily to subjective interpretations and not the plain sense of the words. 


12. On many an introduction, Sonny Pyles would say, "I have a sincere handicap in preaching the gospel; I have to preach what's on my mind. Some men may have on their mind something else and preach a Mother's Day sermon just because it's Mother's Day or preaches a Father's Day sermon just because it's Father's Day, but I have to preach what's on my mind." Taken from "Analogies of Sin," Union Grove, 2001. 


13. "Little is much when God's in it." From a sermon commenting on the loaves and  fishes," Prayers of Christ."


14. "It's very important to ask God to put something on a preacher's mind, but it is also  important for God to take something off the preacher's mind." 


15. "The Bible is the best dictionary on the Bible."


16. "Primitive Baptists can make elders, but only God can make preachers."


17. "I Worry very little about things over which I have no control." A quote from former Dallas Cowboy Coach Tom Landry. A sermon from "Addiction."


18. "God's people will either grow in grace or grown in disgrace." From a sermon entitled 'The Just Shall Live By Faith' (Side 1). Brother Pyles argues against living by ignorance on one extreme and total knowledge on the other. But to live by faith. Those who live by a "premier ignorance" and do not "grow in grace" will ultimately "grown in disgrace."


19. Pyles often quotes Pat Byrd, who said, "What the Old Baptist need is not men that know about everything but men who know how to handle what knowledge they got."


20. "Others may use your same vocabulary but use a different dictionary." A Bible teacher may use your words but maybe defined differently because they use another dictionary. In a sermon entitled, "The Name Above Every Name, 03/20/85, Forrest Park." Pyles points out that even false professors may call Jesus "Master." But they won't call Him "Lord." Even the disciples called Jesus "Master." But the false teacher and the disciples have a different dictionary.


21. Sonny Pyles frequently expounded on the words "departure, departing, depart, " meaning "leave one place and go to another." He spoke of "death" as a "departure" and the destination being "with Christ." Thoughts like these were reminded of his frequent travels through airports and looking at the departure and arrival boards. He said of himself, "I am up in the air more than a seagull with sore feet."

From a sermon entitled, "Two Witnesses, 11/23/02."


22. As a young man of about 16 years old, brother Pyles got some good advice from an old preacher. He said every sermon is like a voyage across the sea. Think of the sea;

The S stands for "State your subject;

The E stands for "Explain your subject," and

The A stands for "Apply your subject." 

From the sermon entitled "Seven Feasts."


23. Definition of a Philosopher, a lover of wisdom who "Studies more and more about less and less and knows nothing." 

From a sermon on Psalms 36:9, 2002


From PBS: If you hear any 'Pyle-isms' you would like to add to our list, please be sure to note the source sermon and time and let us know.


larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)