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The Religious Affiliation of Supreme Court Justice
Joseph R. Lamar


Joseph Lamar was a member of the Stone-Campbell denomination known as the "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" or frequently referred to simply as the Disciples of Christ."

In keeping with traditional Stone-Campbellite discomfort regarding "denominationalism" and denominational appellations, it is commonplace for individual congregations within the Disciples of Christ to be named "Christian Church" along with a place name or an ordinal. The church over which Joseph R. Lamar's father was a pastor - the First Christian Church - fits this pattern.

From: "Joe Lamar" page on "Georgia Historical Society and Historic Augusta" website (http://www.georgiahistory.com/Markers/Markers04/joelamar.htm; viewed 5 November 2005):

Joseph R. Lamar, Associate Justice Supreme Court of the United States Joseph Rucker Lamar (1857-1916) lived in this manse from 1860-1875 while his father, James Sanford Lamar, was pastor of First Christian Church. A prominent attorney, he served two terms in the Georgia legislature and codified the civil code of Georgia in 1893. He sat as an associate justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, 1903-1905. Although a Democrat, he was appointed by Republican President Taft as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1911. President Wilson, his boyhood friend, appointed Lamar to serve on the commission for the 1914 peace negotiation between the United States and Mexico. Lamar died in office at his Washington, D.C. home in 1916.

Joseph Rucker Lamar is listed as a member of the Disciples of Christ in the extensive and authoritative politician database, Political Graveyard (http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/laire-lamartine.html#REQ0W0SJD; viewed 5 November 2005):

Lamar, Joseph Rucker (1857-1916) - of Georgia. Born in Elbert County, Ga., October 14, 1857. Member of Georgia state house of representatives, 1886; justice of Georgia state supreme court, 1903-05; Justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1910-16. Disciples of Christ. Member, Freemasons. Died in Washington, D.C., January 2, 1916. Interment at Summerville Cemetery, Augusta, Ga.

A few sources list the religious affiliation of Supreme Court justice Joseph R. Lamar as "Ch. of Disciples" (an abbreviation for "Church of Disciples"). There exists no notable denomination with that name "Church of Disciples." Somehow this atypical abbreviation was used for the Disciples of Christ church. See: "Members of the Supreme Court of the United States" webpage on Infoplease.com website, © 2005 Pearson Education, Inc on (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0101281.html; viewed 5 November 2005).

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Webpage created 5 November 2005. Last modified 5 November 2005.
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