“Happy is the preacher who with good conscience at the end of a ministry anywhere can say he has held back nothing that was profitable, that he has declared the whole of God’s counsel, and so is free from the blood of all men (Acts 20:20-27).” – The Living and Abiding Word: 1979 Freed-Hardeman College Lectureship.
Carl Hugo McCord was born in New Albany, Mississippi on June 24, 1911. He was the second son of Charles Stuart and Caledonia Kitchens McCord. Somewhere along the way his first name was dropped and he was affectionately known as Hugo. He humbly referred to himself as “a cornfield preacher from Mississippi.”
Brother McCord was immersed into Christ by L. L. Brigance in 1923. With an early interest in a lifetime of preaching the gospel of Christ, he attended Freed-Hardeman College, the University of Illinois, the University of Tulsa, Virginia Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
As an evangelist he served congregations in Illinois, Indiana, Washington, D.C., Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Louisiana. His love for evangelism took him into forty-two states and many foreign countries. Hugo McCord was a popular speaker on lectureships conducted by colleges/universities, schools of preaching and congregations, as well as Bible camp programs. He taught Bible and biblical languages at Oklahoma Christian College (1953-1956; 1960-1976), where he was also an adjunct professor until 1981.
He married Lois Rila Henderson on August 12, 1932. To this union were born two children: Charles B. McCord and LaVera McCord. Lois passed away on July 13, 2000. Of her, he said, “Lois is my first, current, last, and favorite wife.”
Brother McCord was the author of the following books: The Disciples’ Prayer, Happiness Guaranteed, From Heaven or From Men?, Getting Acquainted with God, Messianic Prophecy, The Christian Family, Credibility of Creation, Bible Lands and Sacred History, The Royal Route of Revelation, These Things Speak, The H. Leo Boles’ Lectures on Preaching, Fifty Years of Lectures (Volumes 1 & 2). He is perhaps best known for McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel, along with a translation of Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs.
In 1999, Earl West released the biography, The Enchanted Knight: The Life Story of Hugo McCord. I purchased a copy that same year. I later mailed it to brother West for his autograph, and then sent it to brother McCord for his autograph. In it he wrote, “May we all strive to imitate our heavenly Father: God so loved (in Greek), Hugo McCord (8-2-03).”
Hugo McCord passed from this life on May 14, 2004, in Vancouver, Washington, at the age of ninety-two.
WRITTEN INTERVIEW (1991)
DENNIS GULLEDGE: How long have you been preaching the gospel?
HUGO McCORD: Sixty-three years.
DG: Can you recall the circumstances of your first sermon?
HM: August 1928. Caruthersville, Missouri. Subject, “Message from the Dead” (Hebrews 11:4).
DG: How do you think the emphasis in preaching has changed since you began? Has the change been for better or worse?
HM: Emphasis has changed from, “What does God say?” to, “Let us please everybody.”
DG: Name three preachers, of the past or present, and tell how influenced you the most in your preaching?
HM: N. B. Hardeman. G. C. Brewer. Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
DG: You have held a number of debates over the years. Which one is your most memorable, and why?
HM: With a Christian Church preacher. He would speak where the Bible speaks, but would not be silent where the Bible is silent.
DG: It seems that our brotherhood has seen a decline in debating over the past thirty years, or so. Do you agree that this is true, and if so, to what would you attribute the decrease in the number of public discussions?
HM: Some discussions were ugly on both sides causing a disrespect for debates. But some people don’t like debates because they don’t stand for anything.
DG: What special word of advice would you like to pass on to young preachers who may read this interview?
HM: Preach the word.
by Dennis Gulledge