We always find it cute when little kids do grown-up things, like doing Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk or singing a catchy rap song.
A preacher firing up a crowd of worshippers is nothing unusual, but it is highly unusual in the case of Kanon Tipton. It’s because he is only four years old.
Dubbed the “pint-sized preacher” and “world’s youngest preacher”, Kanon Tipton first took to the pulpit of his family’s Pentecostal church in Mississippi aged just 21 months, muttering nonsense but imitating the mannerisms of a fiery preacher.
His family put the video on YouTube and he was an instant sensation. His dramatic delivery his inspired and repulsed viewers across the world ahead of a television profile of the young evangelist.
Fast forward two years and a few million YouTube hits later, Tipton is a full-fledged boy of God, telling his crowd, “The Lord is here tonight — and his name is Jesus!’’ and “There’s only one God.”
His emotional delivery, dramatic cadence and back-and-forth pacing behind the pulpit are faithful replications of the mannerisms he’s seen demonstrated by other preachers.
“It really captures the audience — the fact that a little child like this can be saying some things like that,” his father Damon said.
Damon is also a Pentecostal preacher, as was his father, so Kanon apparently has entered the family business.
“I like to stand up there, I see my daddy preach all the time,” Kanon said.
Which raises the question – does Kanon has a true calling for ministry or if he was merely mimicking what he had seen from others?
Father Damon said: ”I think it’s a little of both. Yes, children absorb whatever you put in front of them and all of his life thus far, he’s been around the ministry. Of course he is mimicking, but I do feel like the hand of God is on him in a special way.”
“One word comes to mind, and I believe it’s ‘phenomenon,’’’ said Damon, who explained that Kanon doesn’t preach on command, but only when the mood strikes him. “I really believe it’s a phenomenon in what Kanon does. It’s very unusual. I’ve never seen anything like it. I feel like the hand of God is on him in a very special way but he is the third generation of preachers so it’s in his blood.”
He starred in a National Geographic Channel special called “Pint-Sized Preachers” and father Damon said his son’s gift is spontaneous, not manufactured.
“I’m a preacher,” the 4-year-old said in a video clip, “ I’m preaching about . . . I’m preaching about . . . the one God. Like a man’s church to the man’s church of Pentecost, of Pentecost, of Pentecost. Is going to do for the one Lord. The red hot revival. If the Lord has the words you have the Pentecost Grenada Mississippi. The Lord is here tonight and his name is Jesus. There is only one God. And then he’s going to praise out his tears and just worship God and then he’s gonna worship God. But the Lord is going to do it, that means God has to do it and then Jesus has to do it and then God is going to do it and then Jesus. I love to preach here tonight.”
Kanon’s preaching style is similar to many other leading Pentecostal evangelists. Wearing a tiny suit, Kanon does it all: he shouts and waves his hands as he paces back and forth before wiping his forehead with a handkerchief, tear off his little jacket and jump passionately up and down.
Damon, addressing criticism over Kanon preaching at such a young age, said: “All that we have done is involved him in church. He himself has taken upon this passion. We’re not pushing him.”
There are many people who feel that Kanon Tipton really illustrates the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ mentality of evangelical churches. Most of these religions only regurgitate what they see and hear.
Watch Kanon deliver his sermons in the video below.