It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a-Comin’!

It might be one of the most famous Easter sermons of our generation. I first heard it in the mid-80’s on a mission ship called the MV Logos. This spitting preacher named Tony Campolo was working himself into a frenzy in imitating a black Pentecostal preacher. We took it all onboard [literally] and we were quoting lines from his sermon for months. It went something like this:

“It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’. It was Friday, and my Jesus is dead on a tree. But that’s Friday, and Sunday’s a comin’. Friday, Mary’s crying her eyes out, the disciples are running in every direction like sheep without a shepherd. But that’s Friday, and Sunday’s a comin’. Friday, some are looking at the world and saying, “As things have been, so they shall be. You can’t change nothing in this world! You can’t change nothing in this world!” But they didn’t know that it was only Friday, and Sunday’s a comin’. Friday, them forces that oppress the poor and keep people down, them forces that destroy people, the forces in control now, them forces that are gonna rule, they don’t know it’s only Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’. Friday, people are saying, “Darkness is gonna rule the world, sadness is gonna be everywhere,” but they don’t know it’s only Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’. Even though this world is rotten, as it is right now, we know it’s only Friday. But Sunday’s a comin’. “

[I stole this text from my friend Bob Beltz who has published an article this week called “Whats So Good About Good Friday?”]

Does anyone have the original video? Why not publish some highlights on youtube and let us know. In the meantime, Tony’s sermon goes on today. Some people have turned the theme into a video. Its not Tony, and its polished to a shine that not everyone will appreciate, but here it is . .


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I have heard Tony Campolo preach this on a couple of occassions – last time at the BWA meeting in Birmingham 2005. An older version appears as an MP3 on his own website and can be downloaded from there. The friday but sunday’s coming it is towards the end. I used this as the basis of my Good Friday sermon today even playing the BWA version of it. Fantastic

  • I got to hear Tony share this at Urbana ’87. My wife & I attended and still make mention of this powerful message. (It might not have been the same session, but Tony also startled the delegates with his “N people died of starvation today, and most of you don’t give a s___” talk.)
    I think it’s probably also the inspiration for the Carman song “Sunday’s on the Way” which was in turn covered by Take 6.

  • Urbana ’87 – I was there too. I remember there were some people in the front few rows who opened up umbrellas when he began to speak. As I recall, Tony also said it was not okay to be a Christian and drive a BMW… after which George Verwer got up and confessed to driving a BMW, though it was a very old one.

  • I have heard this sermon times. Everytime, I am amazed at its craft — but in the end the craft is obscured by the wonder of God.
    OH — he is not really “imitating a black Pentecostal preacher”, he is of that tradition.

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