We Had to Ask: Jimmy Toney
InsideOut: What’s your favorite cereal?
Jimmy Toney: Honey Smacks with NO milk—I can only eat them dry! I will, however, drink a glass of milk while eating the cereal.
IO: Are you a PC or a MAC?
JT: Completely Apple-stolic. MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone.
IO: What did you always want to be as a kid?
JT: Since I was five years old, I have always wanted to be a preacher. I have never wanted to do anything else!
IO: If you could eat any food right now, what would you eat?
JT: A hamburger from Sonic!
IO: What was the title of your first sermon?
JT: “Building on the Right Foundation” from Matthew 7:24-27. It lasted a total of about 3-4 minutes. I read it word for word and did not look up at the audience one time. It was at a youth service in Leesville, LA.
IO: How old were you?
JT: Twelve 12 years old! I received the Holy Ghost and was baptized when I was 11eleven.
IO: “A Generation of Giants” will be a timeless message for years to come. When, where, and how was that message birthed?
JT: When I was contacted by the GYD to preach Youth Congress, I immediately became concerned as to what kind of message would need to be preached at that particular venue. In October 2010, I had some of the young people in our church speak at our midweek service. When they were finished speaking, I made some comments about how I was tired of the world producing all the giants, and I thought it was very capable for the local church to do the same thing. I knew that night I would want to preach “A Generation of Giants” to the Apostolic young people of the UPCI. So I literally began working on it at that time, but it took many, many months to start coming together. I did make up my mind then that I would not preach that sermon anywhere until Youth Congress.
I was preaching a youth camp in Georgia and studying for Youth Congress when the idea of Zacchaeus climbing the tree came to me and how that could be related to the cross. I remember calling the GYD and asking them if they thought we could somehow pull off the idea of a cross coming down from the ceiling.
The sermon did not officially get finished being put together until a few hours before I preached it in Columbus. As a matter of fact, the week of Youth Congress, I almost scrapped the sermon idea and thought of preaching something else, but God calmed my nerves and I decided to preach it anyhow!
IO: Do you think we’re growing into giants, or do you think we’ve always been giants? Please explain.
JT: I think that our forefathers—and by that I mean the early pioneers of this great organization—were giants. They were men and women who were bigger than the strongholds of their cities, and they built some of the greatest churches in our movement and created a world-wide organization. We have in our generation young men and women who are destined to continue in their footsteps.
I definitely believe we are growing into this. We must do what they have done if we want to accomplish what they have accomplished. Therefore, we must pray; we must fast; we must read the Word; we must walk in holiness and separation; and we must love people and be willing to follow the voice of the Lord. I am so encouraged by what God is going to do with this “generation of giants”.
IO: How do we attain that confidence?
JT: The Aapostle Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16a). I think the key to this is our decision to not be ashamed of who we are or what we believe. We have the truth. We have the best life anyone could ever hope to live. We need to live with a godly pride of who we are and what we have, and when we do this with a balance of biblical principles and disciplines, then I think we will walk in that confidence and we, like Paul, will experience the power of God. After all, WE ARE GIANTS.