Tags: Religion | christian history | preachers | america | moral compass

Christian History: 8 Preachers That Had the Greatest Impact on America's Moral Compass

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 08:22 PM

Religion plays an important daily role for many Americans. It is no surprise that prominent preachers have had a voice in American moral and social issues — similar to the role other Christian leaders have played in other nations throughout Christian history. These eight past and present preachers have exerted a profound influence in directing America's moral compass.

1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is easy to forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. served as an American Baptist minister before leading the civil rights movement. King drew on Christian teachings to organize nonviolent resistance to segregation. He led marches, boycotts, and protests that changed laws and guaranteed civil rights to all minorities.

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King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts.

2. Billy Graham

No other evangelical preacher has had a greater impact or influence in modern times than Billy Graham. His crusades inspired thousands of people to embrace Christianity. Graham became so respected during his lifetime that United States presidents have sought his private counsel for five decades.

3. Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell, a Southern Baptist pastor, left his stamp on politics and education. He founded Liberty University in 1971 and then co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979. Falwell drew major criticism in his lifetime for conservative viewpoints — including his stance against homosexuality.

4. Tim LaHaye

Tim LaHaye, a co-founder of the Moral Majority, has made a greater impact than any other preacher through the entertainment industry. He is the author of the highly successful "Left Behind" book series – a fictional account of the last days before the second coming of Jesus Christ.

5. Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson, a former Southern Baptist minister, reaches millions of people daily through the Christian Broadcasting Network and the "700 Club" — a Christian news program.

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Robertson founded CBN in 1961 and has used the network as a vehicle to support conservative Christian values.

6. Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen is senior pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — the largest Protestant Church in the U.S. He televises weekly sermons in more than 100 countries. Osteen, also a New York Times best-selling author, is associated with "prosperity gospel" theology, which teaches that God rewards the faithful with material blessings as well as spiritual ones.

7. Fulton J. Sheen

Modern televangelists can trace their roots to Fulton J. Sheen. He was a Catholic archbishop who hosted the "Catholic Hour" on radio from 1930 to 1950 before moving to television to host "Life Is Worth Living" (1951-1957) and later "The Fulton Sheen Program" (1961-68).

Time magazine noted that he is considered the first televangelist.

8. Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts, who founded the university bearing his name, was a televangelist and a leader within the Christian Charismatic movement. His six-decade ministry reached millions of followers worldwide.

Roberts emphasized seed-faith and healing. He laid the foundation for prosperity gospel theology.

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It is no surprise that prominent preachers have had a voice in American moral and social issues — similar to the role other Christian leaders have played in other nations throughout Christian history. These eight preachers have exerted a profound influence in directing America's moral compass.
christian history, preachers, america, moral compass
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2015-22-08
Friday, 08 May 2015 08:22 PM
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