John Albert Broadus

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John Albert Broadus
EducationUniversity of Virginia
OccupationPreacher, seminary president and professor

John Albert Broadus (1827–1895) was an American Baptist pastor and President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1827 in Culpeper County, Virginia, 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 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Broadus was ordained in 1850 and became pastor of the Baptist church in Charlottesville. He delivered a lecture at the University of Virginia in memorial to Professor Gessner Harrison in 1873. A decade later, in 1883, he delivered an address on the Confederate cause at Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery. That was an important part of reunion, as he argued that both sides were partly correct in their positions that led to war.

In 1859, Broadus became professor of New Testament interpretation and homiletics at the new Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During the American Civil War, he served as a Confederate chaplain to Robert E. Lee's army in Northern Virginia. In 1888, he became Southern Seminary's second president.

In 1889, Broadus delivered the Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School. Broadus died in 1895.

Personal life[edit]

Broadus married Charlotte Eleanor Sinclair (1836–1913) on January 4, 1859.


Charles Spurgeon called Broadus the "greatest of living preachers."[1] Church historian Albert Henry Newman called Broadus "perhaps the greatest preacher the Baptists have produced."[1]


  • 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]

  • Cope, Emily (2015). ""Inspiration of Delivery": John A. Broadus and the Evangelical Underpinnings of Extemporaneous Oratory". Rhetoric Society Quarterly. 45 (4): 279–299. doi:10.1080/02773945.2015.1059471.
  • 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]