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Sampson Watson Collection

Celebrating the Legacy of Great Black Preaching

The Rev. Dr. Frederick G. Sampson and Rev. Dr. Lance D. Watson Preaching Collection captures and cascades the legacy of great African American preachers while celebrating their connections. Housed at Virginia Union University’s L. Douglas Wilder Library hundreds of sermons limited to nationally known preachers from various generations will be available to researchers.  The Sampson Watson Collection continues to add audio sermons from preachers nominated and affirmed by the Sampson Watson Board.

Black preaching has shaped the landscape of America and the world.  It has inspired slaves to be free, a future president to write of hope, and countless souls to believe on Jesus Christ.  This legacy of black preaching is conveyed to generations through the Rev. Dr. Frederick G. Sampson and Rev. Dr. Lance D. Watson Preaching Collection.

Dr. Frederick G. Sampson

Dr. Lance D. Watson

Dr. Frederick G. Sampson, Dr. Watson’s mentor, was a pastor and activist who lived in Detroit for many years. After receiving his honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, Dr. Sampson was active in the Civil Rights movement. Despite being arrested in 1962 while protesting segregation in Louisville, KY, Dr. Sampson helped several notables including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the 1960s. In addition to his work against segregation, Dr. Sampson was known for his scholarly sermons and his refusal to allow politics in his pulpit. Under Sampson’s guidance, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church created numerous community service programs and held large annual revivals. Dr. Sampson was twice recognized by Ebony Magazine as one of the “15 Greatest Black Preachers in America.” To read more information on the life and work of Dr. Frederick Sampson click here.

Dr. Lance D. Watson is an alumnus of Virginia Union University, and currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Saint Paul’s Baptist Church of Richmond. Dr. Watson is also the host of the telecast “Positive Power,” and has been honored as an African American Role Model and praised for his development of Saint Paul’s. Dr. Watson is an acclaimed author and is featured in numerous journals and has published four books. To learn more about Dr. Lance D. Watson click here.  

Sermon titles can be searched using an Excel spreadsheet and accessed by item number. To listen to a CD from this collection, contact the Archivist between 9:00 am- 5:00 pm weekdays at (804) 278-4117. The CDs do not circulate, but can be used in the library between these hours.