John Albert Broadus

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John A. Broadus.

John Albert Broadus (1827–1895) was an American Baptist pastor and professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the most famous preachers of his day. Charles Spurgeon deemed Broadus the “greatest of living preachers.”[1] Church historian Albert Henry Newman later said “perhaps the greatest man the Baptists have produced.” [2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Culpeper County, Broadus was educated at home and at a private school. He taught in a small school before completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. Ordained in 1850, he married Maria Harrison, daughter of Gessner Harrison (1807–62), professor of ancient languages at the University of Virginia, and became pastor of the Baptist church in Charlottesville. Broadus delivered a lecture at the University of Virginia in memorial to Professor Harrison in 1873. And later, in 1883, Broadus delivered an address on the Confederate cause at Louisville's famous Cave Hill cemetery. The address was an important part of reunion, for it argued that both sides were partly correct in their positions that led to war.


In 1859 he became professor of New Testament interpretation and homiletics at the new Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (where he later became the school's second president). During the Civil War he served for a while as chaplain to Robert E. Lee's army in Northern Virginia.

In 1889 he delivered the Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School.


  • On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons (1870)
  • Lectures on the History of Preaching (1876, revised, 1896)
  • Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (1886)
  • Sermons and Addresses (1886)
  • Jesus of Nazareth (1890)
  • Memoir of James Petigru Boyce (1893)
  • Harmony of the Gospels (1893)

Broadus' collected works, Sermons and Addresses, were published in 1886 and are available for reading on


Further reading[edit]

  • David S. Dockery and Roger D. Duke eds., John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy Studies in Baptist Life and Thought, ed. Michael A.G. Haykin. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Academic, 2008. 260 pp.

External links[edit]