Evangelism is the preaching of the gospel. This involves publicly expressing one’s faith by words and also through media. We bring you a list of 20 Famous Evangelists who preach Christianity to the masses.
In the past, it was rare for celebrities to discuss about their religious beliefs. But many of modern celebrities have turned into Christian evangelists. It may not surprise you if we say that Christianity is the most practiced religion in the world. Billions of people practise Christianity across the globe.
They have appointed different people to lead the faith, and these leaders have been working hard to spread the Christian message. They were so effective they could convert millions of people to their faith. Besides this, they were also successful in spreading different religious beliefs across nations, making them more and more famous every day.
If you want to know more about evangelists, read the following paragraphs. Many famous evangelists have impacted the world through their sermons. Becoming an evangelist is challenging because it requires ample time and work.
Here is a record of the most famous evangelical preachers who have played an important role in touching the hearts of the masses.
20. Gardner Calvin Taylor (1918-2015)
Gardner Calvin Taylor, an influential senior pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, was born on June 18, 1918, the only child of a well-educated mother and a Baptist preacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In Ebony magazine in 1993, his contemporaries named him the finest African American preacher and one of America’s best preachers. President Bill Clinton agreed when Taylor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.
Taylor was an atheist despite his upbringing until he was involved in a fatal 1937 vehicle accident. Since the incident reawakened his spirituality, he enrolled in the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, where he eventually fell in love with and wed Laura Bell Scott. Martha, their only child, was born. From 1938 through 1941, he delivered sermons at Bethany Baptist Church in Oberlin, Ohio, while still a student.
As the pastor of four churches, Taylor vigorously promoted social justice, self-reliance, and civil rights. He joined forces with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Baptist Convention’s radical civil rights branch. In 1961, Taylor ran for president of the National Baptist Church Convention. He and his supporters established the Progressive National Baptist Convention after losing. Taylor was a revered professor at prestigious divinity schools, including Harvard and Yale. He traveled much over the globe while serving as Concord’s Senior Pastor Emeritus, drawing on his experiences to inform his sermons.
At 96, Reverend Gardner Taylor passed away on April 5, 2015.
19. Wallie Amos Criswell (1909-2002)
Wallie Amos Criswell was the American preacher, author, and two-term elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1968 to 1970. He developed a reputation for explanatory biblical preaching at a popular level while serving as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas for five decades. He also participated significantly in the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Conservative Resurgence” of the late 1970s.
Criswell was born in Eldorado, in southwest Oklahoma’s Jackson County, to parents Wallie Amos and Anna Currie Criswell. His father made his profession of faith in Christ at the age of 10 during a revival service held by the evangelist Reverend John Hicks. Criswell openly vowed to dedicate his life to the gospel ministry two years later.
After receiving his preaching license at seventeen, Criswell quickly accepted part-time pastorates in the Texas towns of Devil’s Bend and Pulltight. He served as a minister in Marlow, White Mound, and Pecan Grove, the last of which was in Fort Bend County, Texas, from 1928 to 1931 while a student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Criswell served as a pastor of Baptist churches during his undergraduate and graduate studies, which included a Ph.D. at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. After earning his degrees, Criswell agreed to become the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Chickasha in central Oklahoma’s Grady County in 1937. He relocated to the Muskogee First Baptist Church in eastern Oklahoma in 1941.
At 92, Criswell passed away peacefully on January 10, 2002, at the house of a long-time friend, Jack Pogue. His passing garnered widespread attention, and Dallas closed up the US-75 North Central Expressway as a mark of respect for the revered pastor’s burial procession.
18. Ralph Washington Sockman (1937-1945)
On October 1st, 1889, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Ralph W. Sockman was born. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University for his undergraduate work before earning his M.A. from Columbia University in 1913. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1916 and wed Zellah Endly the same year. Later, he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Sockman served as featured speakers for the National Radio Pulpit on the Sunday morning NBC radio network for 34 seasons. He served as the emeritus pastor of the Methodist Christ Church in New York City for 44 years. From 1928 to 1960, he served as the head of the Methodist Church’s Board of World Peace.
From 1948 onwards he served as a director of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans for the rest of his life. And from 1950 through 1957, Sockman taught Practical Theology as an Associate Professor at Union Theological Seminary. Additionally, he held the position of Visiting Homiletics Professor at Yale Divinity School.
Besides, he served as Union Theological Seminary’s Harry Emerson Fosdick Visiting Professor from 1963 to 1964. In addition to writing more than twenty books, including Now to Live! (reprinted in 2007), Live for Tomorrow, and Higher Happiness, Sockman also contributed to the nationally syndicated column Lift for Living.
17. Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960)
Donald Grey Barnhouse was an American Christian evangelist, pastor, theologian, radio pioneer, and author. From 1927 until his passing in 1960, he served as the pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His program, The Bible Study Hour, was a pioneer in radio broadcasting and is being transmitted today under the name Dr Barnhouse & the Bible.
From 1927 until his passing in 1960, Barnhouse served as the pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a forerunner in the field of radio preaching, and his programme was called The Bible Study Hour. His broadcasts were recorded, and the show is still transmitted today under the name Dr. Barnhouse & the Bible.
He started an in-depth weekly study of the Book of Romans on his programme in 1949, and it continued until his passing in 1960. He also published numerous books and essays. Up until his passing, Barnhouse taught a weekly Bible study at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan, close to Times Square.
16. Eli Stanley Jones (1884-1973)
American Methodist Christian missionary, theologian, and author Eli Stanley Jones lived from 1884 until 1973. He is remembered for his interreligious talks to India’s educated classes. After its 1925 release, his ground-breaking book The Christ of the Indian Road (ISBN 0-687-06377-9) sold more than a million copies all over the world. His works have sold three million copies as of 2018.He established the Christian Ashram movement . Jones was referred to as “the world’s greatest Christian missionary” by Time in 1938.
Even after suffering a serious stroke at the age of 88 that left him speechless, Jones was still able to narrate his final book, The Divine Yes, into a tape recorder. He passed away on January 25, 1973, in India. This humble missionary evangelist’s incredible legacy continue to inspire Christian leaders and laypeople all around the world. Dr. Jones held enlightening views. For example, he predicted a time when phrases like “new world order” and “global economy” would be widely used. He was aware of Jesus Christ’s encompassing and unifying influence. In addition, he was aware of the potential influence the Kingdom of God could have on our planet. More than ever, the world needs to hear his message.
15. Peter Marshall (1902-1949)
Peter Marshall, a Scottish-American minister served as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., from May 27, 1902 to January 26, 1949, and also served as the Senate’s chaplain.
His mother and stepfather raised him in the impoverished coal mining hamlet of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, where he was born.
He made the decision to serve as a missionary in China at a young age. He enrolled in evening classes while working in the mines by day to fulfil the educational requirements, but his progress was sluggish. In 1927, a cousin offered to cover Peter’s travel expenses so he could study for the ministry in the United States. In 1931, he received his degree from Columbia Theological Seminary.
He served as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Covington, Georgia, a little, outlying congregation. Marshall accepted a call to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta in 1933 following a brief pastorate.
Marshall also served as the pastor of Washington, D.C.’s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1937. He was chosen to serve as the US Senate Chaplain in 1946, and he did so until his tragic death from a heart attack at the age of 46, just over two years later, on January 4, 1947.
Marshall was laid to rest in Brentwood, Maryland’s Fort Lincoln Cemetery.
14. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)
The American Protestant pastor Norman Vincent Peale, who lived from May 31, 1898 to December 24, 1993, is most known for popularising the idea of positive thinking through his top-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking. (1952). From 1932 until his retirement in 1984, he was the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York, where he oversaw the Reformed Church in America congregation for more than 50 years.
Peale was born in Bowersville, Ohio on May 31, 1898, the eldest of three sons of Charles and Anna (née Delaney) Peale, Charles a physician-turned-Methodist minister in southern Ohio, and as such, he and his brothers were raised as Methodists.
Peale graduated from Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, Ohio. He attended and earned a degree at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he became a brother at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He also began to attend Boston University School of Theology.
Due to his “spirited sermons,” the congregation at Marble Collegiate Church, which dates back to 1628 and is “said to be the oldest continuous Protestant congregation in the country,” increased from 200 to thousands of attendees during his tenure there. Peale stayed at Marble until 1984, when he retired from pastoral practise.
On December 24, 1993, in Pawling, New York, Peale passed away at the age of 95 as a result of a stroke.
13. Robert Greene Lee (1886-1978)
Born to impoverished but fervently devout parents on a farm close to Post Mill, South Carolina, R. G. Lee started his career there. He sensed the call to preaching early in life, and in spite of many challenges, he followed that call.
At Furman Preparatory School and Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, he received numerous academic and oratory awards. In 1913, he earned an A. B. degree. At the Chicago Law School, where he pursued post-graduate work, he earned a Ph. D. in international law in 1919. In 1910, he was ordained in the Fort Mill, South Carolina, church where he had grown up.
In Edgefield, South Carolina, he served as a full-time pastor for the first time. It was followed by pastorates at the First Baptist Churches of Chester, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Charleston, South Carolina’s Citadel Square Baptist Church.
In Memphis, Tennessee, he served as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church from December 1927 to April 10, 1960. Over twenty-four thousand persons joined the church in Bellevue during his tenure as pastor, more than seven thousand of whom were baptised. Over 1200 times in the United States and other nations, Dr. Lee delivered his well-known sermon, “Pay Day – Someday.” He passed away on July 20, 1978, in his Memphis, Tennessee, home.
12. George Washington Truett (1867-1944)
George Washington Truett, often known as George W. Truett, was a clergyman from the United States who served as the pastor of Dallas, Texas’ First Baptist Church from 1897 to 1944 and as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1927 to 1929. He was among the “most well-known Southern Baptists” of his time as a preacher and author.
The seventh child of Charles L. Truett and Mary R. Kimsey, Truett was born on a farm in Hayesville, Clay County, in rural Western North Carolina. In September 1897, Truett agreed to become the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, a position he would retain up until his passing.
He became well-known throughout the country for his preaching while travelling the country leading revivals, taking part in religious organizations, and supporting local churches. Although he was a driving force behind the nationwide “Seventy-Five Million Campaign,” the financial outcomes were underwhelming.
He oversaw the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium’s fundraising efforts, which served as Baylor Hospital’s precursor. He passed away on July 7, 1944, in Dallas.
11. Leslie Weatherhead (1893-1976)
English Christian theologian Leslie Dixon Weatherhead CBE belonged to the liberal Protestant school. The Will of God, The Christian Agnostic, and Psychology, Religion, and Healing are just a few of the publications by Weatherhead that are well-known for both his preaching work at City Temple in London and his writings.
In 1893, Weatherhead was born in London. At Richmond Theological College in southwest London, he received training for the Wesleyan Methodist ministry. Above all, Weatherhead was a liberal Christian. He had a relationship with a deity he preferred to refer to as “Father.” On a scale of values, he believed that the Creator was greater, but he also believed that God had to be intimate enough to connect with people directly.
Weatherhead knew that although some people would find it difficult to believe that God cares for humankind, (since suffering exists in the world). He died in 1976.
10. Clarence Edward Macartney (1879-1957)
Author and well-known conservative Presbyterian clergyman Clarence Edward McCartney. He was a key figure in the conservative movement during the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, along with J. Gresham Machen. On September 18, 1879, in Northwood, Ohio, Macartney was born.
He chose to seek ordination in the wider Presbyterian Church in the United States of America rather than his upbringing’s Reformed Presbyterian Church after graduating in 1905. In October, Macartney was installed as the First Presbyterian Church of Paterson, New Jersey’s pastor by the Presbytery of Jersey City. This struggling downtown congregation was given a new lease on life by Macartney’s enthusiasm.
In this time, Macartney had a strong pro-prohibition stance. He accepted a summons in 1914 from Philadelphia’s Arch Street Presbyterian Church, a second church situated in a failing neighbourhood.
Macartney accepted a new position as pastor in 1927 at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.
In addition, Harold Ockenga, the father of the National Association of Evangelicals, was one of the more than a dozen assistant pastors he supervised. On February 19, 1957, he passed away at Geneva College.
9. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
Welsh Protestant clergyman and physician David Martyn Lloyd-Jones had a significant impact on the Calvinist wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. He served as the minister of Westminster Chapel in London for approximately 30 years.
Lloyd-Jones was born in Cardiff on December 20, 1899, and he grew up in Llangeitho, Cardiganshire. Between the years of 1914 and 1917, he attended a London grammar school. After completing his medical studies at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, he began working as Sir Thomas Horder’s assistant in 1921. After graduating from the University of London with a medical degree, Lloyd-Jones joined the Royal College of Physicians and became a Member. In 1927, Lloyd-Jones returned to Wales after grappling for two years with what he believed to be a calling to preach.
In the modern Christian Church, Martyn Lloyd-Jones has supporters from many different denominations. His involvement with the Charismatic Movement is one of his legacy’s most talked-about facets. He preached the Baptism with the Holy Spirit as a distinct experience rather than conversion and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, and he was respected by the leaders of many churches affiliated with this movement while not being directly associated with them.
Because of his solid presentation of biblical teaching and his fervour and passion in delivering it, Lloyd-Jones’ preaching was distinguished from other styles. He is renowned as a preacher who carried on the Puritan practise of experimental preaching as a result.
8. John R.W. Stott (1921-2011)
Theologian and English Anglican priest John Robert Walmsley Stott CBE was regarded as the father of the global evangelical movement. He contributed significantly to the Lausanne Covenant’s creation in 1974. Stott was listed among the top 100 influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2005.
Sir Arnold and Emily “Lily” Stott welcomed John Robert Walmsley Stott into the world on April 27, 1921 in London, England.
After receiving deacon ordination in 1945, Stott served as a curate at All Souls Church in Langham Place (1945–1950), and then as rector (1950–1975). With the exception of a few years spent at Cambridge, he spent practically all of his life in this church. It was where he had grown up. During his tenure in this position, he gained more and more national and international clout, most notably by playing a crucial role in the 1966–1967 controversy over whether or not evangelicals should continue to belong to the Church of England. To unite the many evangelical subgroups, he formed the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) in 1960.
At the age of 86, Stott made the announcement that he was leaving the public ministry in April 2007. He moved into the College of St. Barnabas, a retirement home for Anglican clergy in Lingfield, Surrey, but he continued to serve as rector emeritus of All Souls Church.
At 3:15 p.m. local time on July 27, 2011, Stott passed away at the College of St. Barnabas in Lingfield. When he passed away quietly, his loved ones and close friends surrounded him and read the Bible while listening to Handel’s Messiah.
7. William Edwin Sangster (1900-1960)
Son of Anglican parents, W. E. Sangster was born in 1900 into a modest Shoreditch, London, home.
He preached in Scarborough, Liverpool, Colwyn Bay, Bognor, and other locations, drawing sizable numbers in each. He received a call in 1936 to take Leslie Weatherhead’s place at Brunswick Church in Leeds. The fact that he succeeded the most well-liked preacher in the Methodist Church speaks something about his effectiveness as a preacher.
He succeeded the seasoned Dinsdale T. Young in the Central Hall in Westminster, where he served the longest and most enduringly. He stayed there up until 1955, when he had to lead the Methodist Church’s Home Mission Department
He passed away on May 24, 1960, after two years of courageously enduring severe muscle atrophy.
6. George Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)
Reverend Doctor George Campbell Morgan D.D., a British evangelist, preacher, revered Bible scholar, and prolific author, lived from 9 December 1863 to 16 May 1945.
Morgan, a Rodney “Gipsy” Smith era individual, delivered his first sermon at the age of 13. He served as the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London from 1904 to 1919, taking a 14-year break to teach at Biola University in Los Angeles. Morgan then returned to the Chapel from 1933 to 1943, serving as Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ mentor and sharing the pastorate with him since 1939. He served as the president of Cambridge’s Cheshunt College from 1911 to 1914.
Morgan, the son of Welshman George Morgan and Elizabeth Fawn Brittan, was born on a farm in Tetbury, England. Campbell Morgan preached the dispensational perspective of Israel and the Jews throughout the majority of his life, but towards the end of his life, he began to advocate Covenant Theology. At the age of 81, Morgan passed away on May 16, 1945.
5. Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969)
Harry Emerson Fosdick was born on May 24, 1878, in Buffalo.
He was a pastor of the interreligious Riverside Church in New York City, as well as a liberal Protestant preacher, educator, and writer. (1926–46). In addition, from 1926 to 1946, he was a preacher on the National Vespers national radio programme and a key participant in the liberal-fundamentalist Protestant disputes of the 1920s. Fosdick was a pioneer in the fields of pastoral counselling and the collaboration of the church and psychiatry.
He was a Baptist minister who was ordained in 1903, serving in Montclair, New Jersey (1904–15), and teaching at Union Theological Seminary. (1908–46). He was appointed assistant pastor at the New York City’s First Presbyterian Church in 1919. His speeches drew large crowds, but traditional Protestants branded him a heretic.
4. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist clergyman and activist, was one of the most well-known figures in the civil rights movement.
He spearheaded focused, peaceful opposition against numerous forms of injustice in the United States, motivated by his Christian convictions and Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent activism.
At Boston University, King started his doctoral studies in systematic theology in 1951. King served as an assistant minister at Boston’s famed Twelfth Baptist Church while obtaining his doctorate.
King was appointed pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, at the age of 25 in 1954. Three “solas” are frequently used to sum up Luther’s message and that of the reformation. By faith alone, by grace alone, and by the word of God alone—sola gratia, sola fide, and sola scriptura. James Earl Ray shot King to death at 6:01 PM on April 4, 1968.
3. George Buttrick (1892-1980)
Christian author, lecturer, and preacher George Arthur Buttrick was born in England and raised in the United States. Buttrick was a pastor at Quincy, Illinois, Rutland, Vermont, and Buffalo, New York. at 1927, he took over as minister of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, succeeding Henry Sloane Coffin. He served as Harvard University’s Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and University Preacher from 1955 until 1960. Buttrick passed away in 1980. His book Prayer is one of the most in-depth and complete studies on prayer ever written.
2. Billy Graham (1918-2018)
Our next personality on this list of evangelists is Billy Graham. He was an American Evangelist who was also a Christian Crusade leader, a television and radio personality, and the founder of Christianity Today magazine. Billy Graham was one of the greatest American Evangelists of the last century. He ministered through many technological shifts, including radio, television, and film. Graham began reaching millions through the media before they were even born by providing live broadcasts at the beginning of his ministry as a way to spread the Gospel. He was an Evangelist who played an important role in the 20th century worldwide evangelical movement. His ministry has reached out to everyone, including people all around the world. He built a reputation because of his ability to reach and touch many people despite different backgrounds and beliefs.
1. James S. Stewart (1896-1990)
James Stuart Stewart was a minister of the Church of Scotland. At the University of Edinburgh, he instructed students in New Testament language, literature, and theology. He served as the North Morningside Parish Church’s minister. In addition, he held the positions of moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1963 and afterwards extra chaplain to the Queen in Scotland from 1952 to 1966.
He wrote numerous books, such as A Man in Christ, The Strong Name, and Heralds of God. With the observation that his works on preaching “have inspired tens of thousands of preachers to strive for greater effectiveness in their proclamation of God’s Word,” Preaching Magazine named James S. Stewart the best preacher of the 20th century in 1999.
Some of the most popular evangelists in common Christianity believed that Christianity was the only true religion and the entire world would end soon. Thousands of people have shown us their journey to believe in God through videos on television, books, and even live speaking. These evangelists inspired people to follow Jesus, moved people to tears, and made the church what it is today. Through their passion for Christ, many were martyred for their faith.