List of Baptists

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The following list of Baptists is a catalogue of those who were members of Baptist churches or who were raised in Baptist churches. It is not intended to imply that all those who appear on the list were practicing Baptists or that they remained Baptists their entire lives. As an article of faith, Baptists do not baptize infants, believing instead in believer's baptism after conversion.


Preachers, theologians, and missionaries[edit]

Billy Graham
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers"

Politicians[edit]

President Warren G. Harding
President Andrew Johnson
President Harry S. Truman

Jurists[edit]

Industrialists and leaders of business[edit]

Military personnel[edit]

Entertainers, movie and television personalities[edit]

David "Sinbad" Adkins
Johnny Cash
Kevin Costner

Authors, Writers, and Journalists[edit]

Athletes[edit]

Miscellaneous Baptists[edit]

Criminals[edit]

Fictional Baptists[edit]

Baptists in literature[edit]

  • The Mitford series by Jan Karon
    • Sophia Burton, a single mother raising two daughters
    • Absalom Greer, elderly minister and close friend of the series'protagonist, Father Tim Kavanagh (an Episcopalian rector).
    • Madelaine Kavanagh, Father Tim's mother
    • Emma Newland, Father Tim's secretary who was raised Baptist, converted to the Episcopal church, then returned to the Baptist church when she married.
    • Harold Newland, Emma's husband and local postal worker
    • Rodney Underwood, the town's chief of police
    • Lew Boyd, owner-operator of local Exxon gas station
    • Mule Skinner, semi-retired Realtor
    • Fancy Skinner, Mule's wife and unisex hairdresser
    • Bill Sprouse, the jovial minister of Mitford's First Baptist Church

Baptists on television[edit]

  • Designing Women, Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter), presumably Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) and Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart). Specifically Charlene reveals that she is a "First Baptist" in the episode "Oh Suzanna". In the episode "How Great Thou Art" Charlene quits her church when she discovers her pastor is opposed to the ordination of women, which was her dream at one time. Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts) briefly dates Julia's minister.
  • Sanford And Son, Fred Sanford's (Redd Foxx) former sister-in-law, Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page) is a devout baptist who often annoys Fred with her constant bible-thumping.
  • The Jeffersons, George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) is revealed to be a Baptist during the third season in "The Christmas Wedding"[102] episode where his son Lionel (Damon Evans) weds Jenny Willis (Berlinda Thomas). The wedding is held up because George wants a Baptist minister to conduct the service while the Willis' want a minister of their denomination. Jenny and Lionel quickly marry when a minister (Robert Sampson) (who happens to be Baptist, though white to George's chagrin), is going door-to-door with a group of carolers.
  • Gimme a Break!, Nell Harper (Nell Carter) is the daughter of a Baptist minister.
  • Golden Girls, Blanche Deveraux (Rue McClanahan) is a Southern Baptist[103]
  • The Grady Nutt Show, Rev. Grady Williams (Grady Nutt) is a minister in a short-lived sitcom on NBC who balances family and ministry as he does in the pilot episode where he must preach the funeral of a universally disliked man while coming to terms with his teenage daughter's foray into dating.[104]
  • LA Law, Jane Halliday (Alexandra Powers), fundamentalist Baptist and an attorney, as well as an alumna of Bob Jones University. She was introduced to the series in the eighth season premiere of the show when she revealed she was a virgin and intended to remain one until her wedding night[105]
  • The Waltons, Almost all the principal characters were Baptists or attended the Baptist church. In the fourth season episode "The Sermon", Rev. Matthew Fordwick (John Ritter) asks John Boy (Richard Thomas) to deliver a sermon while he goes on his honeymoon. In the fifth season episode "The Baptism" John Walton, Sr. (Ralph Waite) refuses to attend a tent revival or be baptized.

Baptists in film[edit]

Baptists in Song[edit]

  • "Preachin Blues" (Son House) Contains the lines
Yes, I'm gonna get me religion, I'm gonna join the Baptist Church.
You know I wanna be a Baptist preacher, just so I won't have to work.
I was third alto on the second row of the First Baptist church choir
I was keeper of the minutes for the Tri Delts, in charge of the homecoming bonfire
I was a straight 'A', straight laced, level-headed as they come
And parked at the Sonic, isn't that ironic, when my whole world came undone
One slot over was a calf roper giving me his George Strait smile
And before I knew Miss Good-Two-Shoes was two-steppin', runnin' wild.
If she seems bitter of other ways,
Seems to have lost her Baptist ways,
If the truth comes harder than a lie,
If she's guilty, so am I
  • "Lonely Lubbock Lights"(Aaron Watson), A singer in a Broken Spoke (a honkeytonk) reveals that a love interest is the daughter of a Baptist minister who is keeping them apart (because he sings in bars.)
Somewhere in the middle of "Have Thy Own Way,"
She left an empty pew;
She said 'I think that's what I'll do.'"
  • "Uneasy Rider" (Charlie Daniels), a hippie is stranded in a bar in the deep South and the locals start making trouble when the fast-thinking hippie accuses one of the locals of being a spy sent to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. The local replies that He's a "faithful follower of Brother John Birch and a member of Antioch Baptist Church."

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]