Local gospel preacher shares his first book ‘Tears of a Clown’
It can be hard to compress every thought, every incident and every tragedy and triumph that has occurred in a lifetime down to one big story.
But local pastor, Dr. George B. Jackson finds a way to condense some of his thoughts, sermons, and articles into one novel.
The cover of the 157-page book is face divided in half with Jackson’s face on one side and the face of a tearful clown on the other to correspond with its title, “Tears of A Clown.”
From the beginning
Jackson, a Rock Hill, S.C. native, is the son of pastor Dr. William T. Jackson.
Although he grew up in the church, Jackson never wanted to become a pastor himself.
“When you are raised in the house of a pastor you see and hear things that make you bitter,” Jackson writes in his book.
As a young man, Jackson started drifting away from the church and began studying Islam in college.
But that changed when he started working with the Boys Club during his time at North Carolina Central University.
“The stress from dealing with sometimes unmanageable boys, ages 6 to 18 years old, and their parents caused me to pray again,” he said. “I began to ease my way back into church.”
That was in 1986. Just two years later, he was the pastor at Yadkin Grove Church in Salisbury.
Jackson stayed there two years before moving to a church in Rock Hill.
From there, he went on to Philadelphia, where he worked as a pastor for four years before moving back to Salisbury.
Since then he’s been the pastor of Citadel of Faith Christian Fellowship in Thomasville. He’s had the longest run there at a dozen years.
Inspiration for writing
Jackson has traveled and planted churches in the Carolinas and Pennsylvania.
“Twenty-six years later I realize that my pilgrimage was impacted by many years growing up in church parsonages,” he writes.
Jackson’s childhood in the church and his life as pastor inspired him to start writing articles and short stories.
“In 2002, I started writing articles that appeared in faith (sections) of the Salisbury Post, Lexington Times, The High Point Enterprise and Q City Metro Charlotte,” he said.
Jackson’s articles are often shaped by life experiences and everyday events.
“Tears of A Clown” is a series of volumes.
Each volume consists of articles and sermons collected over 12 years. They reflect his theological views as well as views on social action and human interaction.
The title of the book came to him one day while driving down the highway listening to the radio.
During his journey, Smokey Robinson’s song “The Tears of a Clown,” came on.
Jackson’s love for Robinson and the song lyrics gave him inspiration for the title.
“In my profession you have to put your feelings aside to care for others’ feelings,” he said. “Just like a clown has to go out and do his job and please others with a smile on his face no matter what he is going through; he deals with his feelings and tears behind closed doors.”
Jackson didn’t intend to write a book, he simply planned to continue occasionally writing for newspapers.
The idea came when a woman approached him after church and mentioned that it would be a great idea to put all the articles together.
“Composing the book I pulled articles that were time sensitive,” he said. “From the 9-11 attack, the presidential election to the Newtown massacre or whatever tragedy was faced or relevant at that moment.”
In the book he explains why these things are happening in the world and relates it back Biblically to the situation.
“I look for chaos to write, I’m about writing in the moment. I write revolutionary and exciting things,” he said. “You don’t have time to weigh the issue, as a writer I like to deliver and approach the issue.”
Jackson started collecting the articles for this volume in April and May of this year and sent it to the publishing company in June.
He had to sort through nearly 7000 pages of notes to get it together.
The first volume focuses on the topics of encouragement, faith and praise.
“The book is inspirational, but also a book that we will use to teach people about the structure of the church. Hopefully it will impact people’s lives for Christ,” Jackson said.
Jackson has already received a variety of feedback from his articles that he used for the book.
“Sometimes it’s positive and sometimes negative, but when you write for a newspaper or a book people see what you do and you open yourself up for comments — some flattering and some frank — but it makes you better at what you do.”
Jackson said no matter what he continues to write.
“I love writing and knowing that in my demise the only thing that would be left would be this document,” he said.
The book is available at Amazon.com, at the United Cornerstone School of Divinity bookstore or by request from Citadel of Faith Church by calling 336-476-7218.
Asia Wilson is an intern at the Salisbury Post and a rising senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University