Norris, John Frank
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Time Period
9/18/1877  - 8/20/1952
Description
J. Frank Norris pastored in Texas for his entire ministry after being forced out of the Southern Baptist Convention during the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the 1920s. From the pulpit of First Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Norris blasted clergymen and seminary professors who taught evolution or denied the inerrancy of the Bible.

Norris became the defendant in a headline-grabbing murder trial after shooting the ally of a local politician -- whom Norris accused of turning a blind eye toward Prohibition violations -- in his church office. The jury acquitted Norris, who claimed self-defense.

While remaining pastor of First Baptist in Ft. Worth, Norris also accepted the pastorate of a church in Detroit in 1935, increasing his total congregation to approximately 26,000 people, the largest such church in America at the time. An offshoot of Norris's separatist denomination is the Baptist Bible Fellowship, better known as the first denominational home of Jerry Falwell.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Baptist Family: Other ARDA Links

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Independent Fundamentalist Family
Independent Fundamentalist Family: Other ARDA Links

Events
Baptist Bible Union
The Cooperative Program Instituted in the Southern Baptist Convention
Bible Baptist Fellowship
Photographs

J Frank Norris portrait- Christian Hall of Fame, Canton Baptist Temple

J Frank Norris and J Roach Straton- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-34064
Book/Journal Source(s)
Hankins, Barry, 1996. God's Rascal: J. Frank Norris and the Beginnings of Southern Fundamentalism. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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