John R Rice publishes The Sword of the Lord
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Founder
John R Rice
Time Period
1934
Description
John R. Rice was born in Texas in 1895. Despite his impoverished family, Rice earned degrees from Decatur Baptist College and Baylor University. (He would also later receive an honorary doctorates from four institutions, including Bob Jones College.) After a brief period as a pastor, Rice went into full-time evangelism. He broke with the Southern Baptist Convention in 1927 at the behest of his mentor and fellow Texan J. Frank Norris. Along with Norris, Rice was one of the most prominent figures in the independent Baptist movement during the mid-twentieth century.

In 1934 Rice founded a weekly newspaper titled The Sword of the Lord, a fitting Biblical allusion for a militant fundamentalist. By the 1970s peak circulation had reached 300,000 and the paper had become the most widely-read periodical among American fundamentalists.

Starting in the 1940s, Rice also held annual Sword of the Lord Conferences where he taught evangelism techniques while also frequently attacking new evangelicals like Billy Graham for cooperating with theological liberals. Liberalism, Pentecostalism, and Catholicism were all objects of Rice's scorn, but his attack on feminism--the book Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Female Preachers (1941)--was particularly well-received by his fellow fundamentalists.
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Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Independent Fundamentalist Family
Independent Fundamentalist Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

The Sword of the Lord, 1934, first page- Courtesy Sword of the Lord Ministries

John R Rice portrait- photo from English Wikipedia

Sword of the Lord outdoor sign, Murfreesboro, Tennessee- Wikimedia Commons- photo by John Foxe.JPG
Book/Journal Source(s)
Larson, Timothy and David Bebbington and Mark Noll, 2003. Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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