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Famous "Born Again" Christians

Related pages:
- Famous Christians
- Famous Scientists who were Christians

Related websites:
- Wiki: List of born-again Christian laypeople
- NNDB.com: Religion: Born-Again Christian
Listed below are famous "born-again" Christians for which we have a dedicated spiritual biography page on this website, and for whom we have as yet been unable to properly classify on a regular denominational list:
  • Jane Fonda - actress
  • Willie Aames - actor, Eight is Enough, "Bibleman"
  • Karla Faye Tucker - convicted murderer who became "born-again Christian" while on death row and asked for pardon; was first woman executed in Texas since Civil War era
  • David Berkowitz - seria killer known as "Son of Sam" (raised Jewish; became "born-again Christian" after his conviction)
  • Norma McCorvey - the woman known as "Roe" in "Roe Versus Wade" case which legalized abortion; she later became staunch anti-abortion advocate
  • Johnny Hart - cartoonist, "B.C." comic strip
  • Gary Busey - Academy Award-nominated film actor
  • Vitor Belfort - Brazilian martial arts champion
  • George Foreman - heavyweight world boxing champion
  • Kurt Warner - football quarterback

The following individuals, who have been known as "born again Christians," although that may or may not be the best way to identify and classify them, ARE listed on proper denominational pages, but are also listed below for reference purposes:

  • Bono - lead singer for Irish rock band U2; humanitarian

The phrase "born again" is used by people of all religious denominations and all religions, as well as by people who profess no organized religious faith. In general terms, its most frequent meanings are to "begin a new life" and to "renew one's commitment to one's previously held values and beliefs." In many ways, these two definitions seem contradictory.

The phrase "born again" has been in use within Christianity since the earliest days of the religion. The phrase is found in the New Testament in a passage describing a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-5): "Jesus answered him, 'Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again... Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.'" (New Revised Standard Version)

Traditionally, Jesus's reference to being "born of water" has been interpreted as baptism and being born of Spirit has been interpreted as receiving the "Holy Spirit" ("Holy Ghost", to use the term from the King James Version of the Bible). However, the precise meanings of the phrases "born again" and "born of water and Spirit" as used in this passage are not agreed upon across (and sometimes even within) various Christian denominations. Even within the Evangelical movement there is much difference of opinion about this subject, and there is much disagreement about whether certain famous individuals should properly be identified as "Born Again."

When used as the sole identifier for a person's religious faith or religious affiliation, the phrase "born again" (or "born-again") is most frequently encountered in reference to "born again Christians," i.e., people who claim a certain types of religious experience. The phrase is usually used within the Evangelical Christian movement, a Protestant movement that began in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the meanings that contemporary Evangelicals attach to the phrase "born again Christian" have little or no precedent prior to the 1930s. Also, until about 1960, it was rare for any person to identify themself solely as a "born-again Christian." Prior to that time, Christians would typically identify themselves in some cases simply as a "Christian" or in other settings by identifying the denomination to which they belonged. If they had experienced some kind of conversion, rejuvinating, or powerful spiritual experience, they might describe this in a testimony or explnation of their faith, but they would not use this as a basis for a personal label or classification.

Because the phrase "born again Christian" has so many disparate definitions in common usage, and because it is not generally used in sociological contexts, but is primarily a theological term, we have avoided using it as a classification in the "Famous Adherents" section. Where individuals have identified themselves as "born again," we have included that information on the spiritual/religious biography pages dedicated to the individual.

Generally speaking, we have no argument whatsoever with anybody's attempt to create a list of "born-again Christians", a list that fits their definition of the term. However, when we look at substantial public efforts to create such a list (such as those found on Wikipedia.org and NNDB.com), we can't help but notice the multiplicity of names over which Evangelicals argue about. There seems to be no end to the disagreements about whether celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Bob Dylan, President George W. Bush, Eldridge Cleaver, Jeffrey Dahmer, Andrea Yates, Martin Luther, David Berkowitz, Jack Chick, Sting, Jose Padilla, Charlie Sheen, Shannon Daugherty, Brittany Spears, Darryl Strawberry, Bono, Terry Nichols, Samantha Fox, Glen Campbell and many more should even be classified as "Christian," much less as "Born Again Christian." Respectfully, these are debates which we simply do not have the time or resources to engage in.

For reference purposes, below are names from lists on two other websites: the "Religion: Born-Again Christian" category on NNDB.com and the "List of born-again Christian laypeople" page on Wikipedia.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_born-again_Christian_laypeople; viewed 25 October 2005). More details about these individuals can be found on those sites. Consult this list with caution, as there are likely many innacuracies. Many of the people listed below can be found listed on specific denominational pages in the "Famous Adherents" section.
A.J. Styles
Adam Clayton
Amy Grant
Andrea Yates
Anita Bryant
Barry McGuire
Ben Lummis
Benny Hinn
Bernard Ebbers
Bernhard Langer
Bettie Page
Betty Cuthbert
Bill "Bubba" Bussey
Billy Graham
Brian "Head" Welch
Brian Welch
Bryan MacLean
Candace Cameron
Carl Lewis
Charles Colson (Chuck Colson)
Chelsea Noble
Chris Tucker
Cliff Richard
Connie Sellecca
Cyndi Lauper
Dan O'Brien
Dan Peek
Dan Quayle
Daniel arap Moi
Darrell Porter
Darren Beadman
Darryl Strawberry
Dave Dobbyn
Dave Dravecky
Dave Mustaine
Dave Thomas
David Berkowitz
David Robinson
Dog Chapman
Dolly Parton
Donna Rice
Duane "Dog" Chapman
Efrain Rios Montt
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Eldridge Cleaver
Eric Liddell
Eugene Terre'Blanche
Evander Holyfield
Fred Barnes
Frederick Chiluba
Garnet Mimms
Gary Ablett
Gary Burghoff
Gary Busey
Gary North
Gavin MacLeod
George Foreman
George W. Bush
George Wallace
Glen Campbell
Guy Sebastian
Hansie Cronje
Heather Whitestone
Helen Shapiro
Herschel Walker
Hunter Tylo
Ivan Koloff
Jack Chick
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
James Ah Koy
James Irwin
James Watt
Jane Fonda
Jane Russell
Jason Robinson
Jay van Andel
Jayne Kennedy
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeff Gannon
Jeff Gordon
Jeffrey Dahmer
Jennifer O'Neill
Jeremy Enigk
Jeremy Vine
Jerry Boykin
Jessica Alba
Jim Bakker
Jim Reiher
Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Swaggart
Jodi Benson
Jody Miller
Joe Gibbs
Joh Bjelke-Petersen
John Ashcroft
John Corbett
John Davis
John DeLorean
John Tesh
Johnny Cash
Johnny Hart
Johnny Tapia
Jonty Rhodes
Josh McDowell
Jose Padilla
Judith Reisman
Julius Erving
Justine Bateman
Karla Faye Tucker
Kathie Lee Gifford
Keir Hardie
Kepler Wessels
Kim Alexis
Kim Fields
Kirk Cameron
Kurt Warner
Larry Flynt
Larry Lea
Larry Mullen Jr.
Laurence Tureaud
Lee Atwater
Leigh Hatcher
Linda Lovelace
Lisa Whelchel
Lynda Carter
MC Hammer
Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Margaret Court
Mark "Gator" Rogowski
Mark Farner
Marty Jannetty
Marvin Olasky
Mathieu Kerekou
Meadowlark Lemon
Michael Chang
Michael Hegstrand
Michael Irvin
Michael Jones
Mickey Rooney
Mordechai Vanunu
Mr. T
Niki Taylor
Nikita Koloff
Norma McCorvey
Oliver North
Olusegun Obasanjo
Oral Roberts
Orel Hershiser
Pat Boone
Paul Jones
Peter Popoff
Phillip Johnson
Pierre Nkurunziza
Rachel Scott
Randall Terry
Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Reggie White
Rich DeVos
Richard Kiel
Richie Furay
Rick Burgess
Robert Laidlaw
Roger McGuinn
Rollen Stewart
Ron Reyes
Roy Peacock
S. Truett Cathy
Samantha Fox
Shawn Michaels
Simon Mayo
Stephen Baldwin
Steve Burd
Steve Largent
Steve McQueen
Steve Mortimer
Susan Atkins
Syngman Rhee
T-Bone Burnett
Tammy Faye Bakker
Ted DiBiase
Terry Nichols
Tex Watson
The Edge
Thomas Kinkade
Tim Mander
Tom Hanks
Tom Landry
Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Maddox
Tony Hall
Tonya Flynt-Vega
Tully Blanchard
Vai'inga Tuigamala
Victoria Jackson
William J. Murray
Willie Aames
Yoweri Museveni

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Famous Born-Again Christians / Born again Christian webpage copyright © 2005 by Adherents.com.
Web page created 25 October 2005. Last modified 14 February 2006.

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