Does This Child Preacher Understand the Words He's Yelling?

Aired on 06/14/1988 | CC tv-pg
In the late '80s, the Strode family of Marion, North Carolina, became infamous for striking fear in the heart of their town. Their son Duffey, who started preaching at age 5, could be found screaming Bible verses at the top of his lungs on school grounds. His parents eventually decided to homeschool their children after Duffey was suspended from school multiple times and a petition suggesting the family should leave town received nearly 500 signatures, according to The Washington Post.

When Duffey preached, he always quoted from the scripture. Passages like, "Marriage is holy in all and the bed undefiled. But the whoremonger and the fornicator, God will judge!" may not seem like typical reading material for a pre-teen. Some people wondered if Duffey could possibly comprehend the words he was screaming.

In this Oprah Show clip from 1988, Duffey passionately delivers a Bible verse, and the audience, seemingly frightened and bewildered by what they just heard, ask Duffey if he understands the deeper meaning. His response is stunning.

Original airdate: June 14, 1988