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Publication: From PBS sermons

Author: Sonny Pyles
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Sonny Pyle-isms

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


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 emotional 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 a “An Old Line Primitive Baptist Preacher” and informing 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, but he added, just to show you that Primitive Baptist do 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 piano’s. 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 catch phrases 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 would frequently referre 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 referred 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 traveld across the country on a regular basis, never missing his own home church meetings. But on one such occasion while in the Airport several "Moonies" approached him and asked what was 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 from subjective interpretations and not the plain sense of the words.


12. On many an introduction Pyles say something like this,”I have a sincere handicap in preaching the Gospel, I have to preach what’s on my mind. Some men may have their mind somewhere else and preach a Mother’s  Day sermon just because it’s Mother’s Day or preach a Father’s Day sermon just because it’s Father’s Day, but I have to preach what’s on my mind.”  From “Analogies of Sin,” Union Grove Church, 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 preachers 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.”


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)