John Franklyn Norris, 1877-1952, Baptist Pastor
Written by: Unknown Posted on: 03/13/2003
John Franklyn Norris
Fundamental Baptist pastor. J. Frank Norris was born in
Dadeville, Alabama. He was graduated from Baylor University
in Waco, Texas, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Louisville, Kentucky. He was ordained to the ministry in 1899
and soon after began his long, stormy career by serving as
editor of The Baptist Standard, the official voice of Texas
Baptists. He aided Dr. B.H. Carroll in the founding of South-
western Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1909 he accepted the pastorate of the First Bap-
tist Church of Fort Worth and remained there until his death.
In 1935 he also accepted the pastorate of Temple Baptist
Church, Detroit, Michigan, and held joint pastorates of these
two great churches separated geographically 1,300 miles for
15 years. During those years, the combined attendance of both
churches, under the leadership of one pastor, constituted the
world's largest Sunday School.
A master pulpiteer, Dr. Norris was a fierce opponent
of communism, liberalism, and evolution, and was acclaimed to
be one of the twentieth century's outstanding leaders of Bi-
In 1939, with the aid of Dr. Louis Entzminger, he or-
ganized the Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, an
institution which excelled in the training of young preachers
in the building of large Sunday Schools and churches. Many of
the graduates of this school have built some of the largest
churches in America. A friend of world leaders, compassionate
soul-winner, and Bible expositor, Dr. Norris died in
Keystone, Florida, on August 20, 1952, and was buried in Fort
Worth, Texas, on Saturday, August 24, 1952.
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