World's Youngest Preacher: Cute or Creepy?

News 2011/08/18 14:00:00
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It's always cute when kids do grown-up things, like flying planes, crossing the treacherous ocean by themselves on a sailboat and becoming mayor for a day so they can rename streets after cutie pop singers.

But preaching?

Check out Kanon Tipton, a four-year-old Mississippi preacher who has become a YouTube phenomenon and been dubbed the "world's youngest preacher." According to the "Today" show, he's brought congregations to their feet and enchanted audiences in person and online thanks to his energetic sermons.

His sermons have been seen more than four million times online and he's made his family proud, following in the righteous path sewn by his Pentecostal preacher grandfather and father. He starred in a National Geographic Channel special called "Pint-Sized Preachers" on Wednesday and father Damon said his son's gift is spontaneous, not manufactured.

“One word comes to mind, and I believe it’s ‘phenomenon,’’’ said Damon Tipton, 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.’’

Talk about starting early. Kanon first wandered onto the pulpit at age 21 months when his grandfather was finishing a sermon, imitating a preacher's motions and speaking in baby talk. Quick-thinking mother Kandi videotaped the performance and posted it on a streaming website, which promptly crashed. They put a few more on YouTube just to give their friends a laugh, but the clips went viral and a star was born.

“The Lord is here tonight — and his name is Jesus!’’ he preaches in one clip. “There’s only one God.’’ Wearing a tiny suit, Kanon does it all: mop his brow with a handkerchief, tear off his little jacket and jump passionately up and down.

Asked if he's just mimicking his pops or really working up his own emotion, dad Damon said it's a bit 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," he said.
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Top Opinion

  • ladyfyre 2011/08/18 15:15:35
    At that age, preaching is being little more than a puppet for the adults who taught you to "perform" than anything truly spiritual or authentic. The adults who taught this should be ashamed of themselves, but frankly, probably aren't.

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  • AtlBo 2011/08/19 17:16:49
    Reminds me of those little wonders who go pick up a golf club and just start playing. I guess it is a little creepy now that I think about losing to a 3 year old...

  • mind-pilot 2011/08/19 17:16:01
    At this age he has no clue what he's talking about so, he's probably just like his grandad and daddy.....actors...the mopping of the forehead...the Bejesus rant and raves. All, pretty much phony because he's not old enough to understand the complexities of the "Son of Man" on the world stage of history. Like watching a high-tech puppet. Creepy for sure. Probably more "cute" based on the fact the western world is only 20% believers in the Christ. Only 10% of those, so-called, believers have ever looked at a bible (most say they don't have to "understand" Christ" they have to have faith....yeah, right....faith without works is dead) and, maybe only 1% of these voiced believers actually "understand" what they believe in. the kid is cute and creepy. Being that he comes from the south makes me "believe" he's phony....Keep rockin' kid. Like Barnum said: There's a sucker born every minute. Otherwise, go heal the sick. Lord knows the "south" is filled with "sick-o's"....Deliverance.......
  • bob h. 2011/08/19 17:13:08
    bob h.
    Something wrong there.
  • ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠ 2011/08/19 17:08:15
    ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠
  • Shawna 2011/08/19 17:04:35
    He is just doing what most kids want to do-please his parents and get tons of positive feedback. He looks happy. He's proud that he is being like his dad. For most kids this comes about because they helped rake the leaves but then look at the environment he is growing up in. In his world this is all normal.
    His parents actually do seem to recognise that for the most part he is mimicking and that what he says isn't even really making sense not does it have any substance. As he gets older he will get a little better at it. It's a very good example really of what a preacher is. It's all show. Get the audience hyped.
  • t.eliot, topbard 2011/08/19 16:59:27
    t.eliot, topbard
    At four, there is no way anyone has the ability to understand the concept of God. This kid has been brainwashed.
  • duck 2011/08/19 16:58:57
    I'm a chistian my self, but can't help bbut be creept out by this kindof things. is just weird, kidds are supposed to be kids, and act like kids. However i dont think we are in the position to say this is wrong, or this is right. There is no part of scripture telling us anything regarding a child preacher.
  • Cathy 2011/08/19 16:51:05
    Preach on little guy! His parents did a very good job in training him in the "Word of God"!!!
  • Curmudgeon Cathy 2011/08/19 17:08:37
    More like brainwashing him, it's a shame they didn't let him grow up and have a normal childhood.
  • Bill ~P... Curmudgeon 2011/08/19 17:51:35
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    I guess it's normal to say LSD is the beginning of something wonderful???
  • Curmudgeon Bill ~P... 2011/08/20 01:56:05
    The picture made me laugh. :)
  • Rubiks Cathy 2011/08/19 18:48:20
    What if his parents were Mormon? Would you still think it's cute?
    What if his parents were Jehovah's Witnesses?

    You see, you might think that brainwashing is a good thing, as long as it ends in a behavior that you like. However, as a general rule, it's simply wrong. What a parent thinks is right is not always right.
  • Philbo 2011/08/19 16:50:21
    Come on lighten up it's cute! are you really saying that if they were doing a school play your pissed off because their doing what grown ups do, I think people are pissed because he's preaching God of all things. All I say is get real, and lighten up, creepy no, funny maybe, cute, totally!!
  • JimTheGeek 2011/08/19 16:50:13
    He's doing nothing more than imitative performing. Those who get swept up by this are more the fool than him. They'd probably react the same to a chimpanzee "preacher".
  • Dittohead 2011/08/19 16:42:50
    Does JonBenet Ramsey come to mind? Obviously he has been taught this by over zealous parents looking for their 15 min of fame. The people that I really feel sorry for is the people filling the pews that actually think that he is bringing Spiritual Truth. The Elders & Deacons that allow this to happen in their church need to search the scriptures and se where their heart is
  • lsivad 2011/08/19 16:42:34
    His parent have to be proud!
  • Cobraone357 2011/08/19 16:41:14
    He looks like Chucky.
  • Grandbrother 2011/08/19 16:39:20
    Children of that age don't have the cognitive ability to understand religious concepts. I personally believe they should be allowed to discover what religion means to them on their own terms as they mature. Of course adult guidance is important, but just imprinting our own beliefs on them, removing their choice from the equation, is awful in my opinion.
  • claudia.coleman1 2011/08/19 16:32:55
    You know that poor kid has probably been forced to practice his little preacher act night and day by parents hoping to get him his 10 seconds of fame. These fame-crazed parents need to give it a rest and let their kids enjoy being kids.
  • mustangluver 2011/08/19 16:30:31
    I do not see it as either..I think parents should be as hard on their kids about how the world runs...teach them how to save their money..how to do book keeping..how to cook and clean..being a preacher is not going to do them one bit of good except to maybe get a first class ticket to Heaven..LOL
  • lizabeth 2011/08/19 16:24:48
    Why is that we are so bent on destroying the age of childhood? Why can't kids be kids?Why do we have to make them into some kind of novelty for our amusement? Baby preachers, toddlers in tiaras ... what's next? 6-year-olds that perform brain surgery?
  • matacomb lizabeth 2011/08/19 16:41:41
    I think you guys are the creepy ones! God can anoint anyone! He is all sufficient! If the child was doing something ugly, you would think that was cute! Just shows who you belong to, certainly not GOD! HE would let you know it is right! Satan attacks anything GOD does!
  • MeaganF... matacomb 2011/08/19 16:48:18
    If God can speak through a donkey to get someone's attention, he can certainly speak through a little boy...
  • Curmudgeon MeaganF... 2011/08/19 17:13:43
    Maybe god should anoint a donkey preacher than, I'd go see that sermon for sure.
  • Lulu's Mom Curmudgeon 2011/08/19 17:32:38
    Lulu's Mom
  • matacomb Curmudgeon 2011/09/03 14:46:41
    Just goes to show how idiotic you are!
  • Curmudgeon matacomb 2011/08/19 17:12:46
    I'm not sure god did this, as it looks like the parents wanted to make themselves rich and famous by catering to the public's insatiable need to believe in something. To believe in anything that would take their minds away from their troubles and separate their money from their wallets.

    This kid is going to have a rough life, as he's not going to experience any of the things normal kids do.
  • duck lizabeth 2011/08/19 17:01:24
    Thats the same concern I have, I could't have wrote it better.
  • Rollo Goodlove 2011/08/19 16:20:01
    Rollo Goodlove
    I am very much a Christian, I believe Jesus died to save me ....that being said, THIS kid sounds like Isaac from "Children of the Corn" !! And that gives me the creeps !!
  • Raemay 2011/08/19 16:17:24
    God works in mysterious ways says so in bible he is using Kanon, to deliver his message which I find so adorable. How can anyone think he is creepy?
    Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Ozbourn are creepy not Kanon...
  • Jen 2011/08/19 16:14:41
    Watch he'll become an atheist once he sees the light....... ;)
  • t.eliot... Jen 2011/08/19 17:01:44
    t.eliot, topbard
    One can only hope...
  • sweetgreatmom 2011/08/19 16:14:31
    He has an interest to be just like his father.
  • erin_sky 2011/08/19 16:12:26
    I don’t think that there is anything wrong with allowing your children to preach at a church, sing or dance on stage or put on a magic show at a fair if that is what the child wants to do and its convenient for them to do it, but more importantly I hope that the parents of this little guy also afford him the opportunity to just be a kid knowing that he will have his whole life to become a man of God should he decide to pursue that.
  • indianna209 2011/08/19 16:11:08
    Joan or Joanne or Arch was 12 when she first heard the voice of God, I suspect that she heard voices much earlier but was suppressed by her caring mom and dad due to the consequences of such juvenile heresy.
  • Ben Brink 2011/08/19 16:01:12
    Ben Brink
    Just like a very young carnival barker.
  • He'a: ka'ka:' 2011/08/19 15:56:28
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    He doesn't even realize what he's talking about.
  • Tan Tan 2011/08/19 15:55:18
    Tan Tan
    ...It's a bit of both for me! But this is truly a first for me & for alot of people as well so it's hard to comprehend esp. on my part but Im going to follow & believe it in a positive way rather than an ugly or negative way...!
  • DutchHeretic-Social Equalist 2011/08/19 15:55:05
    DutchHeretic-Social Equalist
    And the parents who brainwashed this child should be locked up for child abuse
  • CAROLINE DutchHe... 2011/08/19 16:11:29

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