TODAY   |  August 07, 2013

8-year-old preacher: ‘God has my back’

Pint-size preacher Samuel Green from Jackson, Miss., encourages people with his uplifting sermons. He tells Kathie Lee and Hoda that he doesn’t get nervous when he’s in the pulpit because God has his back.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> there is a pint-sized preacher in jackson, mississippi, who has everybody fired up. at 5 years old, samuel green realized he had a special gift.

>> three years later he's already a veteran at the pulpit, inspiring everyone who wants to listen wherever he goes. take a look.

>> he had nothing. he lost his land, he lost his ammo, he lost his sons and daughters , but do you know what job did? job got to his knees and began worshipping god saying the lord has gave and the world has taken away. blessed be the name of the lord.

>> samuel 's here with his mother, joanne green, and his mentor, beverly coleman.

>> hello, hello, hello. you are just a bright light sitting over there. you can preach even without those teeth. it's unbelievable.

>> when you're up there preaching, are you just memorizing things? tell us what you're doing up there at the pulpit.

>> it's something i do, like everyday stuff. i really don't forget it. i really don't get nervous, because i know god has my back.

>> god has your back.

>> are all your sermons about bible stories ?

>> well, yes.

>> do you have a favorite one, like david and goliath ?

>> i have a favorite one and it's named "job."

>> job.

>> because job had double for his trouble.

>> joanne, were you surprised when you saw what was coming out of this little one's mouth?

>> i was very surprised. i was very surprised. i was amazed. my husband and i, we were amazed just to see samuel get up and preach without any notes or anything.

>> and you took him to church, obviously, but when did you realize he had the gift, how young was he?

>> i realized he had the gift when he was invited to speak in a church in birmingham, alabama, and he stepped up and preached out any notes. it was just so amazing.

>> you're the only one i know that likes job that much. job is a tough book to get through. good for you. beverly, how did you get involved?

>> actually, through preschool. he was brought to me at age 13 months, which is a little early. i actually start teaching academically at age 2 and i met him at 13 months. by 18 months i knew he was gifted academically.

>> how did you know that?

>> most teachers know you do this repetitious work and we were doing the repetitious work and just out of spite i said, samuel , you do it. it's your turn now. he did all of it just like the 3 and 4 year olds. he knew everything we had been doing just by observing.

>> what do your friends think about what you do?

>> they really don't -- they really don't mind. they are like, oh, samuel is a preacher. let's play soccer ball .

>> so you're well rounded, right? an average kid and when you're not preaching.

>> do you want to grow up and be a preacher?

>> yes, i want to grow up to be a teacher and doctor that takes care of children.

>> so like a pediatrician?

>> a pediatrician preacher. i like it.

>> i am totally captivated by you, samuel . i adore you. is that all right?

>> uh-huh.

>> samuel , thank you. congrats, mom.

>> congratulations. beautiful, beautiful young man.