Where Did Whooping Preaching Originate
Where do you find Whooping?
“I remember inviting my highschool friend to my churche’s revival (Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Englewood Chicago) and the pastor hooping. She had never been to a church where a pastor hooped and she was so entertained, but also it helped her engage with the sermon.”
“I also remember as I got older wondering why the pastor hooped, I could even predict the cadence and when it would begin.”
These were quotes from my wife who was the grand daughter of a pastor of a historical African American church on the south side of Chicago. There whooping or hooping was a an every week event. Her grandfather was your somewhat typical Southern preacher with limited education, but who loved the Lord and did the absolute best he could. But one thing he certainly knew was, hooping.
Whats the deal with Whooping?
It is usually spelled either as “hooping” or “whooping.” Go into many African American Missionairy Baptist (National Baptist) or COGIC (Church of God in Christ) churches and you will hear it. Apparently, there is even a white version called the “holy whine.” Some churches don’t think you have preached unless you have done it. My aforementioned grandfather often would brag about the whooping of his children and grand children. Some who didn’t actually whoop.
Others look down on it as uneducated and even…ignant. I once had a parishioner tell me that what she liked about me was that I wasn’t like most black preachers. I said, “how so?” “You don’t do that you know hooping thing.” (clutching my pearls…) Most in the tradition see it as closing with the Gospel.
More about whooping
However, the best definition of whooping will be caught in the preaching experiences where it is practiced. Just remember it is an art practiced through the personality of the preacher and you will know it when you hear it.
Whether you like or not, understand it or not,it is probably a function of religious cultural tradition. Growing up in the Black Church whooping was and still is in many places, the primary way the preacher and the congregation connect as one and worship the Lord in celebration of our victory in Him.
Whooping is a coronation of the Lord in it’s most eloquent form. It is a inspirational motivation ecstatic time when we worship The Lord.
The Possible Origin of Whooping
It is likely that the fine art of Whooping can be traced to the oral traditions of the African culture. It has been well documented that in the African culture the transmittal of information to be remembered was done orally.
Stories were told, folktales recited, religious beliefs were passed on from one generation to another through oral communication. There was no need to put pen to paper.