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August 25, 1999






Votes sought for
10 Texas Baptists of century

___In the last weeks of this year, the Baptist Standard will publish a series of historical reflections on Baptist progress in Texas in the 20th century. As part of this series, readers are invited to help name the 10 most influential Texas Baptists of the 20th century.
___toptenThe purpose of this poll is not to choose the most popular or likable characters, but the most influential.
___To vote, select no more than 10 names from the list below. To be counted, ballots must be received by Sept. 8.
___The list below was compiled by the Baptist Standard's editorial staff in consultation with Leon McBeth, professor of church history at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection.
___This list considers only those Texans who made a strong impact inside Texas Baptist life and does not consider those Texans who made their mark outside Texas Baptist life.


___ Jimmy Allen. Director of Texas Royal Ambassadors, director of Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, president of BGCT, president of SBC, pastor of First Baptist Church of San Antonio, president of SBC Radio & Television Commission.
___ John Baugh. Houston layman, president and founder of Sysco Corp., member of Tallowood Baptist Church, founding figure in Baptists Committed to the SBC, Texas Baptists Committed and other moderate enterprises.
___ John Bisagno. Pastor of First Baptist Church of Houston, well-known revival evangelist, prominent figure among centrists and conservatives within the SBC.
___ J.P. Boone. First full-time Baptist student worker among Texas Baptists and Southern Baptists, founding figure in what became the Baptist Student Ministry program nationwide.
___ Harold Branch. First African-American to be elected a BGCT vice president, his church was one of the first black congregations to affiliate with the BGCT.
___ R.C. Buckner. Founder of Buckner Orphans Home, which today has become Buckner Baptist Benevolences, the largest Baptist agency in the state concerned with human welfare. Also a founding figure in Baylor Healthcare System. As BGCT president from 1892 to 1913, he became a force for uniting the convention against the harsh attacks of J. Frank Norris and S.A. Hayden.
___ Howard Butt. Grocer/philanthropist from Kerrville, he was a key figure in the youth revival movement of the 1940s, a leader in lay ministry and founder of Laity Lodge.
___ B.H. Carroll. Popular Bible professor at Baylor University at the turn of the century, he became founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
___ Cricket Copass. President of Texas Woman's Missionary Union from 1931 to 1946, she was a key figure in the advance of Texas Baptist missions.
___ W.A. Criswell. Legendary pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, founder of Criswell College, SBC president 1969-70, father figure to SBC's conservative movement in the 1970s and '80s.
___ David Currie. A seminary-trained rancher from San Angelo, he became the chief political strategist for Texas moderates in their fight to keep SBC conservatism at bay in the 1980s and '90s. Currently executive director of Texas Baptists Committed.
___ Mary Hill Davis. A Dallas layperson, she was president of Texas Woman's Missionary Union 1906-1931, the longest term of any president. Because of her visionary influence, the annual offering for Texas Baptist missions now carries her name.
___ J.M. Dawson. First editor of the Baylor Lariat, he served various Texas Baptist churches as pastor, including 31 years at First Baptist Church of Waco. Always known as a prophetic voice on social and moral issues, he later served 18 years as executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee in Washington, D.C.
___ Russell Dilday. The son of a well-known director of Christian education work among Texas Baptists, he was elected president of Southwestern Seminary in 1978 and became a pivotal figure in the interdenominational conflict of the 1980s and '90s, culminating in his dismissal by conservative trustees in 1994. Today, he is concluding his second term as BGCT president.
___ Bob Dixon. As director of Texas Baptist Men for nearly 30 years, he led the laymen's organization into a national model for servant ministry.
___ Jimmy Draper. As pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, he was elected SBC president in 1982 and '83 and also served as chairman of Southwestern Seminary's board of trustees during a turblent period. He later became president of the SBC Sunday School Board, now called LifeWay Christian Resources.
___ J.B. Gambrell. Editor of the Baptist Standard, a professor at Southwestern Seminary and superintendent of missions for the BGCT. He was elected SBC president four times, in 1916-19.
___ T.C. Gardner. Director of Baptist Young People's Union in Texas 1916-1956, he developed the eight-point record system that was used in Baptist churches for many years and was a key figure in the church training movement nationwide. He also served as president and vice president of what is today East Texas Baptist University.
___ L.B. George. Longtime Forth Worth pastor, he was one of the first African-American students at Southwestern Seminary, has served on numerous boards and was a founding trustee of Truett Seminary at Baylor University.
___ Marvin Griffin. Longtime Austin pastor, he was the first African-American to teach theology at Southwestern Seminary. He was the first African-American first vice president of the BGCT, and his church was one of the first black congregations to affiliate with the BGCT.
___ Joshua Grijalva. A former missionary, he was dean and then president of Hispanic Baptist Seminary in San Antonio.
___ S.A. Hayden. A Dallas pastor and editor of a Baptist newspaper, he became a highly divisive figure among Texas Baptists around the turn of the century, using his extreme Landmark views to incite discontent against the BGCT.
___ Eula Mae Henderson. As executive secretary-treasurer of Texas Woman's Missionary Union 1947-1980, she was an influential figure in Texas missions and a popular speaker in churches.
___ Rudy Hernandez. A Texas-based evangelist, he has become one of the most prominent Hispanics in the SBC and has served on various boards.
___ W.F. Howard. As director of Baptist student ministry in Texas beginning in 1943, he presided over the growth of a statewide program that spawned the youth revival movement of the 1940s and laid the foundation for today's Baptist Student Ministry program.
___ Elmin Howell. In 1967, he became the first director of Texas Baptists' River Ministry, a comprehensive and acclaimed combination of ministry and evangelism along the Texas-Mexico border.
___ E.S. James. As editor of the Baptist Standard 1954-1966, he became the voice of Texas Baptists during an era of profound denominational loyalty and identity. A 1965 article in Newsweek noted, "No one--including the president of the Southern Baptist Convention--wields as much influence" in the SBC as James.
___ James Landes. After serving as pastor of First Baptist Church of Richardson, he was executive director of the BGCT 1974-1982. Previously, he had been president of Hardin-Simmons University and had served in a variety of denominational roles, including two terms as BGCT president.
___ Angel Martinez. As an evangelist known for citing long passages of Scripture from memory, he perhaps has preached more revivals in more Texas Baptist churches of all sizes than anyone else.
___ T.B. Maston. As professor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Seminary, he became a mentor to thousands of pastors and denominational leaders, as well as an instructive voice to laypeople through his writing. He was considered ahead of his time on issues such as race relations.
___ Abner McCall. A distinguished judge, he led Baylor University, Texas Baptists' largest university, through the nation's turbulent '60s.
___ Winfred Moore. As longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Amarillo and widely classified as a theological conservative, he swung many Texas centrists and conservatives to his unsuccessful campaign to be elected SBC president in 1985 and 1986 on the de facto moderate ticket.
___ Darold Morgan. He was pastor of First Baptist Church of Richardson before becoming president of the SBC Annuity Board, guiding the Texas-based agency in a period of phenomenal growth. In retirement, he served as chairman of the BGCT's Effectiveness/Efficiency Committee.
___ Robert Naylor. As president of Southwestern Seminary 1958-1978, he presided over the Fort Worth school's growth into the largest seminary in the world.
___ Pat Neff. Governor of Texas 1920-1924, he later became president of Baylor University.
___ J. Frank Norris. A colorful and flamboyant figure, Norris was pastor of First Baptist Church of Fort Worth. In the early years of this century, he gained notoriety for his outspoken fundamentalist and Landmark views and agitation against Baylor University, Southwestern Seminary and the BGCT.
___ Paige Patterson. The son of former BGCT Executive Secretary T.A. Patterson, he became the co-architect of the conservative movement that brought dramatic changes in the SBC in the 1980s and '90s. Now serving a second term as SBC president, he is president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina.
___ T.A. Patterson. As a pastor in Beaumont, he was instrumental in reorganizing the BGCT in 1959, later becoming BGCT executive secretary 1960-1973. Both the River Ministry and Partnership Missions were birthed during his tenure.
___ Bill Pinson. As BGCT executive director since 1982, he has presided over a period of unparalleled growth among Texas Baptists, despite riding the storms of denominational controversy.
___ Boone Powell Jr. and Boone Powell Sr. Both father and son have given visionary leadership as president of Baylor Healthcare System.
___ Dewey Presley. A prominent Dallas businessman, he has been highly involved in BGCT work. He was chairman of the study committee that negotiated erection of the current Baptist Building in a deal requiring no expenditure of Cooperative Program funds.
___ Paul Pressler. As a layman and Houston appeals court judge, he became the central force behind the so-called "conservative resurgence" that reshaped the SBC from 1979 forward, creating waves for the BGCT as well.
___ J.M. Price. Founding dean of Southwestern Seminary's school of Christian education.
___ Herbert Reynolds. As Baylor University president 1981-1995, he became a prominent target of SBC conservatives and a leader of Baptist moderate causes.
___ Fred Roach. A Dallas businessman, he was active in BGCT work, including a pivotal role in construction of the current Baptist Building and creation of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
___ A. Webb Roberts. A Dallas layman, he was a major donor to Baptist causes, with both the main library at Southwestern Seminary and a hospital at Baylor Medical Center named for him.
___ Rudy Sanchez. The Dallas pastor has been a prominent leader of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas.
___ L.R. Scarborough. He left the pastorate of First Baptist Church of Abilene to become the first evangelism professor to hold the "chair of fire" at Southwestern Seminary, where he eventually became president in 1915.
___ Miles Seaborn. A former foreign missionary and retired pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, he was an organizer of the new Southern Baptists of Texas state convention.
___ Cecil Sherman. As pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, he was a leading voice for Baptist moderates in the 1980s and '90s, eventually becoming the first coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He was a pivotal figure on the SBC Peace Committee.
___ George W. Truett. A leading figure in the BGCT and SBC, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas 1897-1944 was a founder of the SBC Annuity Board and Baylor Healthcare System. He was considered the foremost Baptist preacher of his day.
___ Daniel Vestal. After rising to notoriety as a young evangelist, he became a prominent Texas pastor, serving churches in Midland and Houston. While a pastor, he served on the SBC Peace Committee, then twice ran unsuccessfully for the SBC presidency. Today he is coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
___ K. Owen White. As pastor of First Baptist Church of Houston, he was a leading figure in Texas Baptist life and SBC life. He was chairman of the Japan New Life Crusade committee in 1963 that spawned today's Partnership Missions movement.
___ J. Howard Williams. After serving as executive secretary of the BGCT during the Depression, he served several prominent churches as pastor and later became president of Southwestern Seminary for five years, until his untimely death.
___Remember--only 10 choices!
___

___If you'd like, you can mail your ballot to Baptist Standard, The Texas 10, Box 660267, Dallas 75266-0267 by Sept. 8, fax to (214) 638-8535 or e-mail us with your comments at bapstand@flash.net.

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