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Famous Baptists


Related pages:
- Baptist Science Fiction Writers
- Famous Reformed Baptists
- Famous Baptist who were Freemasons
- Names of Baptist Politicians
- Baptists in Science Fiction
- Largest Baptist Communities

Related websites:
- Political Graveyard: Baptist Politicians
- Famous Seventh Day Baptists
- Wiki: List of Famous Baptists
- Wiki: Category: Baptists
- NNDB.com: Religion: Baptist

Some Baptist
Comic Book Characters

- Rogue
- Cannonball
- Black Lightning
- Falcon
- Husk
- Icarus
- Aero
- Major Victory
- Shock-Headed Peter
- Bibleman
- Perry White
- Hawkeye
- Ghost Rider
Although Baptists are sometimes stereotyped in certain ways, their numbers include diverse, and sometimes influential, individuals. Among denominational families, only Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists have been represented by more U.S. presidents than the Baptists. Below are listed some of history's most famous and influential Baptists, along with notes regarding some of their relationships to Baptist churches.

Politics:
- Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States (raised Baptist)
- Andrew Johnson - 17th U.S. President (raised Baptist)
- Warren G. Harding - 29th U.S. President
- Harry S. Truman - 33rd U.S. President
- Jimmy Carter - 39th U.S. President (former Southern Baptist)
- William Jefferson Clinton - 42nd U.S. President (Bill Clinton was officially rebuked by SBC)

- Alexander I - Russian Czar, 1777-1825. (claimed as a "closet" Baptist)
- Olusegun Obasanjo - president of Nigeria (since 1999); previously a career soldier and military ruler, before winning election
- Richard M. Johnson - Vice-President under Pres. Van Buren
- Nelson A. Rockefeller - Vice-President to Pres. Ford
- Al Gore - Vice-President to Pres. Clinton (former Southern Baptist)
- Strom Thurmond - Senator from South Carolina. Oldest senator in office
- Jesse Helms - Conservative senator from North Carolina (1973-2003)
- Newt Gingrich - former Speaker of the House (U.S. House of Rep.)
- Trent Lott - U.S. Senate Majority Leader until 2002, when he was ousted from leadership under the spectre of racism
- Shirley Chisholm - (1924-2005) first black woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives
- Tom DeLay - Republican congressman from Texas; former House Majority Leader
- Fred Harris - U.S. seantor; historian; Indian rights advocate
- Bill Moyers - former Baptist preacher and White House press secretary
- Sam Rayburn - Speaker of the House (1940-61)
- Dick Gephardt - Richard Andrew Gephardt was an influential U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977-2004)
- Gary Condit - U.S. Representative from California; suspected of murdering intern Chandra Levy
- Gary Bauer - conservative politician; past president of the Family Research Council; ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party nomination for U.S. President in 2000
- Mel Carnahan - (1934-2000) Governor of Missouri (1993-2000, Democrat); died in a plane crash during campaign for the U.S. Senate, and defeated John Ashcroft posthumously
- Asa Hutchinson - Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security with the Department of Homeland Security until January 2005
- Lester Maddox - politician, nightclub owner
- DeForest Soaries - minister, politician, author, and public advocate from New Jersey; chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission
- Alexander Mackenzie - Prime Minister of Canada (1873-1878)
- Tommy Douglas - Canadian politician; eighth Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961; led the first socialist government in North America and introduced universal public medicare to Canada
- Deborah Wheelehan - 1996 Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Missouri's 3rd District (former Southern Baptist)

Famous Baptist Religious Figures
- John Smith [John Smyth] - founder of organized Baptist churches (in England)
- John Bunyan - seventeenth century author, wrote The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)
- Roger Williams - disciple of Baptist founder John Smith; founded first U.S. Baptist church and colony - in Rhode Island
- Billy Graham - prominent American evangelist (congregational home is a Baptist church, but Graham was embraced by Protestants generally; he repudiated many Southern Baptist teachings & practices)
- Charles Spurgeon - Charles Haddon Spurgeon was an influential 19th Century British preacher
- Alexander Campbell - Left Baptists and became founder of the Churches of Christ (Stone-Campbell Restoration movement)
- Pat Robertson - popular religious broadcaster
- Rev. Jerry Falwell - popular American Evangelical leader
- Oswald Chambers - preacher whose scandal led to popular devotional book My Utmost for His Highest
- Charles Stanley - paster; served 2 terms as president of Southern Baptist Convention; founder of In Touch Ministries
- William Miller - a Baptist in New York whose predictions that Christ would come in 1843 or 1844 were the precursor to Adventism
- Kathryn Kuhlman - popular minister and faith healer
- Alexander Maclaren - (1826-1910) Baptist preacher, author of "Expositions of Holy Scriptures"
- Fred Phelps - preacher and anti-homosexual/anti-LDS activist from Topeka, Kansas
- Kent Hovind - prominent promotor of Creation Science and Young Earth Creationist known as "Dr. Dino"; founder of founder of Creation Science Evangelism; offered a never-collected $250,000 to anyone who could prove evolution "is the only possible way," that the Universe and life arose
- John Ankerberg - controversial of "The John Ankerberg Show", frequently accused of being a bigot and a hate-monger who attacks religious minorities in the name of Evangelical apologetics and questionable Biblical interpretations
- David Pawson - popular British preacher, religious author; pastor of Guildford Baptist Church (Milmead Centre), which he led to become the biggest Baptist congregation in Britain; left in 1979 to engage in itinerant worldwide ministry
- Chuck Swindoll - pastor, host of "Insight for Living" religious radio show; author of many books, incl. Are Fundamentalists Legalists and The Grace Awakening; known for telling followers to destroy any occult-like items they own
- Lottie Moon - Southern Baptist missionary to China
- Kirby Hensley - founder of the Universal Life Church (former Baptist)
- Elihu Palmer - former Baptist preacher who tried to organize Deism and wrote an influential Deist articles of faith: "Principles of Nature" (1801)

Law:
- Charles E. Hughes - was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Clarence Thomas - 2nd black Supreme Court justice. (former Baptist, now Catholic)
- Hugo Black - Hugo L. Black was a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1937 to 1971; noted for his "literal" interpretation of U.S. Constitution
- Howell E. Jackson - U.S. Supreme Court justice
- Roy Moore - former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who refused to follow an order to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from his court

Crime:
- Charles Colson - Watergate operative, Nixon administration insider; Chuck Colson became a popular "born-again" speaker and author after his release from prison
- Harry Longabaugh: "The Sundance Kid" - famous train and bank robber in the Old West
- Bernard Ebbers - Canadian-born businessman; Bernie Ebbers was co-founder and CEO of telecom company WorldCom; convicted in 2005 of fraud in the largest accounting scandal in U.S. history
- Susan McDougal - served 18 months in prison for refusing to cooporate with special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in Whitewater Scandal during Pres. Clinton administration
- Thomas Piper - serial killer, Baptist church leader

Business and Philanthropy:
- John D. Rockefeller - American industrialist
- John D. MacArthur - philanthropist who established the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which funds the MacArthur Fellowships
- Marian Wright Edelman - founder of Children's Defense Fund
- Bonnie G. Hill - black woman who serves on the boards of several Fortune 500 companies; member of California Governor Pete Wilson's cabinet; Director of U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs under 1st Pres. Bush

Science:
- Govard Bidloo - published the first large scale anatomical atlas since Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica
- Cornelius Drebbel - engineer, alchemist in 1500s (Anabaptist)
- Thomas Newcomen - Inventor of the early, pre-Watt, steam engine; erected the first successful one in 1712.

Art:
- Norris Church Mailer - painter best known as the wife of celebrated American novelist, author Norman Mailer

Activists:
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - civil rights leader
- Rev. Jesse Jackson - black activist; founder of the Rainbow Coalition; ran for U.S. President; widely regarded as an important leader of African-Americans, yet he is a controversial and widely disliked figure, seen by many as an adulterous, racist, divisive opportunist
- Pat Matrisciana - conservative activist; producer of video documentary The Clinton Chronicles (about scandals and conspiracies); leader of Creative Ministries; leader of Citizens for Honest Government; publisher of newsletter Citizen's Intelligence Digest
- Kweisi Mfume - CEO of the NAACP; former congressman
- Will Campbell - white colleague of Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights movement; opposed Southern Baptist support of the KKK
- Renee Olson - lecturer; certified by Southern Baptist Convention in anti-Mormon polemics, before converting to become a Latter-day Saint
- Oscar "Zeta" Acosta - author, attorney, politician, Chicano activist; best known as "Dr. Gonzo", Hunter S. Thompson's sidekick in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (former Baptist, former Baptist minister)
- Cornel West - prominent, controversial black studies scholar; professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Harvard, then Princeton, etc.; had small role in the two Matrix sequels

Sports and Athletics:
- Payne Stewart - golfer; died in a plane accident on Oct. 25, 1999
- Jonathan Edwards - British Olympic triple jumper
- Maury Wills - professional baseball player
- Johnny Oates - professional baseball player (cathcher) and later manager of Major League teams Orioles and Rangers
- Jim Brown - professional football player; in College Football Hall of Fame and the Lacrosse Hall of Fame; professional actor (lapsed)
- Reggie White - professional football player and ordained Baptist minister
- Mark Richt - professional player and coach
- Joe Frazier - boxer, blues singer
- Jay Yelas - championship fisherman

Music:
- Carrie Underwood - singer, winner of competition on Season 4 of popular FOX television series American Idol
- Ruben Studdard - singer (winner of American Idol 2nd season)
- Clay Aiken - singer, immensely popular 2nd place runner-up in Season 2 of FOX television series American Idol
- Glen Campbell - country music singer
- Roy Orbison - country music singer
- Marian Anderson - influential black singer
- Johnny Cash - singer
- Skeeter Davis - country music singer
- Kris Kristofferson - country music singer
- David Ruffin - singer with The Temptations
- Pebbles - R&B singer; founder of Savvy record label (real name: Perri Alette McKissack)
- Louis Armstrong - trumpeter, vocalist, conductor
- Donna Summer - singer, songwriter
- Ralph Stanley - bluegrass musician
- Mahalia Jackson - Gospel singer
- George Jones - country singer; nicknamed The Possum; "Why Baby Why" was his first top-five hit in 1955
- Blackie Lawless - singer, guitarist; formed "Killer Kane Band" with Arthur Kane (former New York Doll); later formed the band W.A.S.P., whose albums included The Crimson Idol
- Chuck Berry - rock and roll pioneer
- Sam Cooke - rock and roll legend
- Bill Haley - rock and roll star
- Buddy Holly - rock and roll legend
- Hank Williams Sr. - country music singer
- Gene Autry - TV's famous singing cowboy (lapsed Baptist, convert to Christian Science)
- Diana Ross - singer
- Rita Coolidge - singer
- Gladys Knight - famed singer who sang with the "Pips" (former Baptist, now a Latter-day Saint)
- Whitney Houston - singer
- Queen Latifah - singer, actress
- Jessica Simpson - pop singer
- Al Green - musician
- Britney Spears - pop singer
- Aaron Carter - pop singer; brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys
- Otis Redding - soul singer (famous for "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" and other classics)
- Rick Wakeman - member of 1970s rock group "Yes"
- Aretha Franklin - classic soul singer
- Ashlee Simpson - singer
- David Ball - country music singer (son of a Baptist preacher)
- Jeremy Castle - Oklahoma country music singer

Journalism:
- Aminah Assilmi - broadcast journalist; director of the International Union of Muslim Women
- Marshall Frady - journalist; author of Wallace, an esposé of Democratic Alabama governor George Wallace; chief correspondent for ABC News Close Up (1979-86)
- Terry Mattingly - nationally prominent syndicated religion journalist (former Southern Baptist; now Eastern Orthodox)
- Liz Smith - nationally syndicated gossip columnist (former Southern Baptist)

Literature:
- John Grisham - best-selling author of legal thrillers, including The Pelican Brief; The Firm and The Client
- Tim LaHaye - author of immensely popular "Left Behind" Evangelical science fiction/fantasy novels
- Ossie Davis - author, playwright
- Nikki Giovanni - poet
- Christopher J. Priest - influential comic book writer
- Hazel Brannon Smith - first woman to win Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing
- Robert Don Hughes - science fiction writer; author of The Fallen and Eternity Game
- Carolivia Herron - author of Nappy Hair (convert to Judaism)
- Octavia Butler - science fiction writer; winner of Hugo, Nebula awards for "Bloodchild" and "Speech Sounds" (former Baptist)
- Robert Heinlein - considered one of the greatest science fiction authors ever; author of Stranger in a Strange Land; Starship Troopers; many more (former Baptist)
- Ray Bradbury - science fiction writer; author of Something Wicked This Way Comes; Fahrenheit 451; The Illustrated Man; many more (former Baptist)
- Gene Roddenberry - TV writer, producer; creator of Star Trek (former Baptist)

Film and Television:
- Ava Gardner - actress, movie star
- Kevin Costner - actor, movie star
- Fred Berry - actor best known as "Rerun" on the TV comedy What's Happening!!
- Peter Duel - (1940-1971) actor; Alias Smith and Jones, etc.
- Ruth Warrick - (1915-2005) actress best known as "Phoebe Tyler" on soap opera All My Children
- Victor Wong - (1927-2001) Chinese-American character actor
- Anita Bryant - entertainer, politician
- Chuck Norris - actor ("Walker, Texas Ranger")
- DeForest Kelley - actor; played "Dr. McCoy" on Star Trek (raised Baptist; son of a Baptist minister)
- Bette Davis - movie star (mostly lapsed Baptist/Episcopalian family background)
- Warren Beatty - actor, movie star, Academy Award-winning director (lapsed)
- Eddie Murphy - actor, comedian
- Ron Shelton - director / screenwriter / filmmaker: Bull Durham; Tin Cup; etc. (former Baptist)
- Charles MacArthur - American playwright and screenwriter; best known for The Front Page
- Dwayne Walker - director / screenwriter / filmmaker (Bible Madness, etc.)
- Ron Ormond - director / screenwriter / filmmaker; If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971), The Burning Hell (1974), etc.

Martyrs:
- Vanya Moiseyev - Russian soldier, religious martyr
- Arthur "J.R." Warren Jr. - gay Baptist church usher beaten to death in Grant Town, West Virginia in July 2000
- John Birch - (1918-1945) American intelligence officer and Baptist missionary in World War II; killed by supporters of the Communist Party of China


Some additional U.S. Senators who were Baptists:
Chuck Grassley - from Iowa
Estes Kefauver - from Tennessee (1949-63)
Gordon Humphrey - from New Hampshire (1979-90)
J. Bennett Johnston - from Louisiana (1972-97)
Lindsey Graham - from South Carolina
Mitch McConnell - from Kentucky (1985-)
Robert Byrd - West Virginia (a leading Democrat; former Ku Klux Klan member)
Jean Carnahan - from Missouri (2001-2002)
Thad Cochran - from Mississippi
Tom Coburn - from Oklahoma (2005-)
Wendell H. Ford - from Kentucky (1974-99)

Some additional U.S. Representatives who were Baptists:
Mike Conaway - Texas
Mike Sodrel - Indiana 9th
Adam Clayton Powell - New York 22nd
Al Green - Texas 9th (2005-)
Alan Mollohan - West Virginia 1st
Albert Wynn - Maryland 4th
Bill Jenkins - Tennessee 1st
Bill Thomas - California 22nd
Brad Carson - Oklahoma 2nd
Carrie P. Meek - Florida 17th (1993-2003)
Chaka Fattah - Pennsylvania 2nd
Charles Taylor - North Carolina 11th (1991-)
Chet Edwards - Texas 11th
Chip Pickering - Mississippi 3rd
Claude Pepper - Florida (1963-89)
Corrine Brown - Florida 3rd
Dana Rohrabacher - California 46th (1989-)
Danny Davis - Illinois 7th
David Phelps - Illinois 19th (1999-2002)
David Price - North Carolina 4th
Donald Manzullo - Illinois 16th
Donald Payne - New Jersey 10th
Duncan Hunter - California 52nd
Earl Hilliard - Alabama 7th (1993-2003)
Eddie Bernice Johnson - Texas 30th
Edolphus Towns - New York 10th
Edward L. Schrock - Virginia 2nd
Elijah Cummings - Maryland 7th
Frank Ballance - North Carolina 1st (2003-04)
Frank Lucas - Oklahoma 3rd
Gresham Barrett - South Carolina 3rd
Gwen Moore - Wisconsin 4th (2005-)
Hal Rogers - Kentucky 5th
Henry Bonilla - Texas 23rd
Henry Brown - South Carolina 1st
J. C. Watts - Oklahoma 4th (1995-2001)
J. D. Hayworth - Arizona 5th
Jesse Martin Combs - Texas 2nd (1945-53)
John Barrow - Georgia 12th (2005-)
John Boozman - Arkansas 3rd
John Conyers - Michigan 14th
John Hostettler - Indiana 8th (1994-)
John Lewis - Georgia 5th
Juanita Millender-McDonald - California 37th
Lincoln Davis - Tennessee 4th
Louie Gohmert - Texas 1st (2005-)
Lynn Westmoreland - Georgia 8th (2005-)
Major Owens - New York 11th
Max Burns - Georgia 12th
Max Sandlin - Texas 1st (1997-2005)
Mel Reynolds - Illinois 2nd (1993-95)
Mike Conaway - Texas 11th (2005-)
Mike Rogers - Alabama 3rd
Nathan Deal - Georgia 10th
Randy Forbes - Virginia 4th
Rodney Alexander - Louisiana 5th
Roger Wicker - Mississippi 1st
Ron Lewis - Kentucky 2nd
Roy Blunt - Missouri 7th (1997-)
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. - Georgia 2nd
Spencer Bachus - Alabama 6th
Steny Hoyer - Maryland 5th
Stephanie Tubbs Jones - Ohio 11th
Steve Pearce - New Mexico 2nd
Terry Everett - Alabama 2nd
Trent Franks - Arizona 2nd
Virgil Goode - Virginia 5th (1997-)
William H. Gray - Pennsylvania 2nd (1979-91)
William J. B. Dorn - South Carolina 3rd (1947-74)
William Jefferson - Louisiana 2nd
Zach Wamp - Tennessee 3rd

Some additional U.S. Governors who were Baptists:
Ben Hooper - Tennessee (1911-1915)
Harold Stassen - Minnesota (1939-1943)
Brad Henry - Oklahoma
Ernie Fletcher - Kentucky
Gary Locke - Washington (1997-2005)
George Busbee - Georgia (1975-83)
Lester Maddox - Georgia (1967-71)
Matt Blunt - Missouri (2005-)
Mike Huckabee - Arkansas
Robert Riley - Alabama
Ronnie Musgrove - Mississippi (2000-04)
Sonny Perdue - Georgia


Additional Baptists:
The following additional Baptists religious leaders (preachers/pastors/theologians) are listed in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baptists): William Carey; Harvey Cox; Stanley Grenz; Jack Hyles; Adoniram Judson; Kenneth Scott Latourette; John Leland; F. B. Meyer [Frederick Brotherton Meyer]; John R. Rice; Lee Roberson; Rick Warren; Amos Cooper Dayton, James Robinson Graves; Albert Mohler; John Piper; Vic Pollard; Bailey E. Smith.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Baptists (12 August 2005) Adrian Rogers; Arlin Horton; Brian Connor; Charles H. Kraft; Charley Eugene Johns; Constance Cumbey; George Dawson; Gory Guerrero; Harry Emerson Fosdick; Howard Thurman; James Petigru Boyce; Jamie Lynn Spears; Joe Simpson; John Chilembwe; John Gill; John L. Dagg; Joshua Marshman; Martin Luther King, Sr.; Michael P. Farris; R. Albert Mohler, Jr.; Robert James; Scott Walker; Tony Campolo



People Who Were Not Baptists:
- David Lloyd George was a British prime minister who advocated disestablishment of the Church of England. His grandfather David Lloyd was a Baptist minister. For a time after his father's death, David Lloyd George after his mother lived with his uncle, Richard Lloyd, who was a Baptist minister. But British Prime Minister David Lloyd George was not a Baptist; he was a Disciple of Christ: a member of the "Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ)," the Stone-Campbell religious body.

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Our thanks to the "Baptist Surfer" web page (at http://www.angelfire.com/zine/baptistsurfer/) for the following names which we had not previously been aware of: Alexander Maclaren, Rick Wakeman, John Grisham

Copyright © 2005 by Adherents.com.
Web page created 10 October 1999. Last modified 21 May 2007.

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