Tags: Religion | christian history | african-american preachers

Christian History: Top 5 African-American Preachers

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:50 PM

Modern Christian history has been shaped by African-American preachers. These preachers have used their pulpits not only to inspire increased spirituality. They have also been forces in working for political and social change.

These five African-American preachers have had the greatest influence on the Christian history.

1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

No other African-American preacher has had as much of lasting cultural impact as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

From his early days as an American Baptist minister, King did more than simply teach Christian principles. He led the struggle in obtaining civil rights for all minorities.

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King organized several successful boycotts and protests that helped overturn segregation in the United States.

He ultimately gave his life for this battle when he was assassinated in 1968.

2. Richard Allen

Richard Allen helped slaves and free blacks worship on their own terms as a founding father in the Black Church movement that began in the early 19th century.

He started the American Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816 — the first major denomination free from white control. Allen wanted a place where African-Americans could worship in peace, according to PBS, and worked to promote better literacy among members of his denomination.

3. Mordecai Johnson

Mordecai Johnson, a Baptist pastor, served as the first African-American president of Howard University. He later became an important leader in the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Johnson traveled thousands of miles per year throughout the nation. He was a gifted orator, speaking against all forms of racism, segregation, and discrimination.

4. Vernon Johns

Vernon Johns is considered one of the fathers of the civil rights movement. He was a Baptist pastor in Alabama and, Oberlin College notes that he acted as a mentor to King and other prominent civil rights leaders in the 1950s and '60s, after beginning his struggle decades earlier.

In the late 1940s, Johns encouraged black women to bring charges in court against their white rapists.

He also scolded his Alabama congregation for not doing enough to stand up to racial discrimination.

5. Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman served as a spiritual adviser to King and other leaders in the civil rights movement.

He served as a Baptist minister and wrote 21 books during his lifetime. Thurman's most notable work was "Jesus and the Disinherited," published in 1949, deeply influenced the principles employed in pushing for civil rights. The book, PBS notes, taught oppressed people to make changes from within so they could be empowered to stand up to oppression.

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Modern Christian history has been shaped by African-American preachers. These preachers have not only inspired increased spirituality, but they have also worked for political and social change. These five African-American preachers have had the greatest influence on the Christian history.
christian history, african-american preachers
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2015-50-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:50 PM
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