I was assigned to teach the church’s Sunday school men department and they agreed to start the doctrinal sessions with the question “Why am I a Baptist?” I already prepared an outline that will start with an overview of Baptist history including Baptist history in the Philippines. One of my aims is to create denominational pride to the class by listing the names of Baptists that help made the world a better place. I searched the internet and the result is interesting. Here are some of them:
Politics: Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States (raised Baptist)
Andrew Johnson - 17th U.S. President (raised Baptist) Warren G. Harding - 29th U.S. President Harry S. Truman - 33rd U.S. President Jimmy Carter - 39th U.S. President (former Southern Baptist) William Jefferson Clinton - 42nd U.S. President (Bill Clinton was officially rebuked by SBC) Al Gore - Vice-President to Pres. Clinton (former Southern Baptist)
Ava Gardner - actress, movie star Kevin Costner - actor, movie star Fred Berry - actor best known as "Rerun" on the TV comedy What's Happening!! Chuck Norris - actor ("Walker, Texas Ranger") Eddie Murphy - actor, comedian
Sci-fi (I like these writers.)
Robert Heinlein - considered one of the greatest science fiction authors ever; author of Stranger in a Strange Land; Starship Troopers; many more (former Baptist) Ray Bradbury - science fiction writer; author of Something Wicked This Way Comes; Fahrenheit 451; The Illustrated Man; many more (former Baptist) Gene Roddenberry - TV writer, producer; creator of Star Trek (former Baptist)
Carrie Underwood - singer, winner of competition on Season 4 of popular FOX television series American Idol Ruben Studdard - singer (winner of American Idol 2nd season) Clay Aiken - singer, immensely popular 2nd place runner-up in Season 2 of FOX television series American Idol Glen Campbell - country music singer Roy Orbison - country music singer Marian Anderson - influential black singer Johnny Cash - singer Skeeter Davis - country music singer Kris Kristofferson - country music singer David Ruffin - singer with The Temptations Pebbles - R&B singer; founder of Savvy record label (real name: Perri Alette McKissack) Louis Armstrong - trumpeter, vocalist, conductor Donna Summer - singer, songwriter Chuck Berry - rock and roll pioneer Sam Cooke - rock and roll legend Bill Haley - rock and roll star Buddy Holly - rock and roll legend Hank Williams Sr. - country music singer Gene Autry - TV's famous singing cowboy (lapsed Baptist, convert to Christian Science) Diana Ross - singer Rita Coolidge - singer Gladys Knight - famed singer who sang with the "Pips" (former Baptist, now a Latter-day Saint) Whitney Houston - singer Queen Latifah - singer, actress Jessica Simpson - pop singer Al Green - musician Britney Spears - pop singer (Former Baptist now a Baldist he, he, he, he…I know I am being mean again.)Aaron Carter - pop singer; brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys Otis Redding - soul singer (famous for "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" and other classics) Rick Wakeman - member of 1970s rock group "Yes" Ashlee Simpson - singer
The most interesting is Arthur "J.R." Warren Jr. a martyred gay Baptist church usher beaten to death in Grant Town, West Virginia in July 2000.