Revisiting The Sermons That Inspired an Intermission

Walter M. Kimbrough
2 min readJul 9, 2023

Around this time two years ago I was wrestling with the idea of ending my tenure at Dillard after 10 years (ten is a perfect number). I reached out to mentors to get their input, but God spoke to me. ALL. SUMMER. LONG. I mean, from May 16 to August 1, six sermons from four different preachers said the same thing- it is time to do something new and different.

This is still a revolutionary idea for most even though the pandemic led to the Great Resignation as many people started to reevaluate their priorities and left jobs. Announcing I was leaving a job without having one was always something that would raise eyebrows, but by doing it a year in advance I could ensure the Board at Dillard had plenty of time to do a thorough search for a new leader. Too often transitions are made hastily and even recklessly, and we were in a position to avoid that.

This week I listened to all six again. I would encourage people thinking about taking a leap of faith and doing something new to listen. I didn’t have everything planned out completely, so I am learning how to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty. At times it is unnerving, maybe even a little scary. But I believe this faith journey will make a great story.

So here are the sermons.

May 16th: “Normalizing Next” by Olu Brown

May 16th: “May The Lord Watch, Part I” by Howard-John Wesley

May 30th: “May The Lord Watch, Part II: A Mizpah Moment” by Howard-John Wesley

June 6th: “May The Lord Watch, Part III: Lessons in Leaving” by Howard-John Wesley

July 25th: “I’m Putting In A Two Weeks Notice” by Jamal Harrison Bryant

August 1st: “Know Your Exit” by Joseph Walker



Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.