Daniel Day is pastor emeritus of the First Baptist Church (Salisbury St.) of Raleigh, North Carolina, and former senior professor of preaching and worship at Campbell University Divinity School. He is the author of several books, with the most recent, Lively Hope: A Taste of God’s Tomorrow, published in 2021 by Nurturing Faith Books.
1. What story, verse or passage from your faith tradition’s sacred texts has significantly influenced / shaped your life?
When a young man, I found John 15:4-5 to be central to my self-understanding and ministry efforts. Now that grey hairs have claimed me, I find Philippians 4:4-8 to be the counsel I attempt to follow, not forgetting the truths of John 15.
2. Who are three people (other than your family) who have shaped your life and worldview? And why?
My three people must include a farmer from central Oklahoma, Sherwood Tripp. He gave the land upon which he and others built the first church building that dared to put my name on the front as its pastor. I was 19, and he was over 70; Mr. Tripp showed me what an enormous impact one humble, loving man could have on an entire community.
The second was Gregory Pritchard, the professor of philosophy at my alma mater; we never had a personal conversation, but I remain in awe of the man’s thoughtful scholarship and concern for young minds fumbling at the door to wider worlds.
William Hendricks, a theology professor, also stands tall in my pantheon. Fearsome to some but fascinating to me, he embedded within me a thirst for knowledge and precision in expression.
3. List three of your “desert island” books, movies or TV shows.
My “desert island” choices would be David Donald’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, the movie “Dr. Zhivago,” and yes, quite honestly, the Bible (NRSV, please).
4. What is one of the most critical issues people are facing today?
There is one that dwarfs all others in my opinion. The loss of trust. We are no longer people who trust others and, thus, we are fearful of most everything.
5. What are a few of your hobbies?
Golfing, once upon a time. Reading, people-watching, traveling in any mountainous region – always!
6. If you could freeze your life into an already-lived 10 seconds, what would they be?
My twin sons’ high school baccalaureate service might be my “freeze” moment. Though I considered the invitation to deliver the sermon a great honor, as I watched my sons take their seats among the graduates, I felt a flush of deep gratitude for the privilege of having been their father as well as pride in who I knew they were and that I need not worry about their stewardship of life.
7. Our tagline at Good Faith Media is, “There’s more to tell.” What’s your “more to tell”?
My books are full, perhaps too full, of that “more.”
Reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.