Gospel Fruit on a Family Tree

by Andrew Wilson | Mar 21, 2023

I only know 3 things about the man who changed my life forever. Sidney McCluer was shy, he was soft-spoken, and he shared the Gospel.

My grandfather served in the 84th Troop Carrier Service as a Staff Sergeant, radio operator during WWII. He served in the European theater for 18 months. When he came home to Arkansas, he trained horses for a time before moving to New Orleans where he met and married my grandmother. In the late 1950s my grandparents moved from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi, due to a work transfer with RCA Television Service. 

The year was 1966. I don’t know how my grandfather met Sidney McCluer, but I know their meeting changed the trajectory of my family forever. Sidney arranged for them to have a conversation on a Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of First National Bank in Jackson.

Sidney could have made excuses. He could have said that he was shy and soft-spoken.

Sidney could have made it easy. He could have invited my grandfather to church and hoped that someone else would share the Gospel with him.

But Sidney did not make excuses or make it easy.

He made an effort. God blessed his effort, and the fruit of Sidney McCluer’s life is on my family tree. 

During their conversation, my grandfather repented of his sin and professed Christ as Lord. The next year, he led my dad to the Lord. 37 years later, my dad led me to the Lord.

My grandfather served his church as a deacon, taught Sunday school, went on mission trips, and shared the Gospel with countless numbers of inmates through prison ministry at Parchman. My dad answered the call to preach when he was in college and has served the same church for more than 30 years. Now, I have answered the call to preach, and I am preparing at NOBTS. I serve on my church’s prison ministry team to share the Gospel and honor my grandfather’s legacy.

None of this would have happened if a shy man hadn’t acted boldly. Sidney McCluer put aside whatever excuses he had and put forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians 6:19-20, the apostle Paul asked for his readers to pray for boldness. 

19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should. (HCSB)

Maybe you are like Sidney McCluer. Maybe you are shy and soft-spoken. Pray with Paul’s words in Ephesians. Pray for boldness to share the Gospel.

You don’t know how God may use your witness to change the trajectory of someone’s family. You’ll never know who will respond to the Gospel if you don’t give them a chance.

Don’t make excuses. Don’t make it easy. Make an effort, and see what God does.


Andrew works as the Caskey Center Coordinator, and he is also pursuing a PHD in Biblical Exposition. He enjoys learning about imagery in preaching, preaching to a contemporary audience, and the wisdom literature.