John Albert Broadus

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John Albert Broadus
Born 1827
Culpeper County, Virginia
Died 1895
Education University of Virginia
Occupation Preacher, 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]

John Albert Broadus was born in 1827 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He 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, 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. 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, 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.

Personal life[edit]

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


Broadus died in 1895.


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."[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]