Known for his baritone voice and his signature goatee, T. D. Jakes is a bishop at The Potter's House and a filmmaker, too. He has produced and appeared in films such as Jumping the Broom and Not Easily Broken, the latter being based one of his novels.
Occultist and herbalist Marie Laveau was known as the Vodoo Queen of New Orleans. Though a hairdresser, she was chiefly known for her spiritual practices which she used to heal the sick and the poor. She has inspired several books, such as Robert Tallant's The Voodoo Queen.
Designated Victim 0001 of the 2011 Twin Tower attack, Mychal Judge was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. Developing an early interest in monastic life, he served in various parishes before being appointed chaplain to New York City Fire Department. On hearing about the attack, he rushed to the spot and died while praying for the victims inside North Tower.
The progenitor of the Bush political family, James Smith Bush, was a jurist by training before he was drawn to divinity and ordained as a priest. He began his career as rector of the Grace Church in Orange, New Jersey. Later, he visited other parts of the country, writing several books on religion, most significant of them being Evidence of Religion.
Daniel Berrigan was an American anti-war activist, Jesuit priest, Christian pacifist, author, poet, and playwright. Berrigan gained national attention for his protest against the Vietnam War, which landed him on the FBI's most-wanted list. He remained a popular anti-war activist throughout his life, co-founding an anti-nuclear weapons movement called the Plowshares movement in 1980.
Born to slave parents, American clergyman Richard Allen became a Methodist convert at 22. He later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church and served as its first bishop. Apart from establishing the first church for Blacks in the U.S., he worked on various aspects to improve the lives of Blacks.
Puritan clergyman Increase Mather was educated at Harvard and Trinity and preached his first sermon the day he turned 18. The son of Puritan minister Richard Mather, he penned An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences, which is said to have influenced the Salem witch trials.
Leonidas Polk was an American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. He is credited with establishing an Anglican Christian denomination called the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America. A political general of the Civil War, Leonidas Polk is remembered for commanding troops in the Battle of Perryville and the Battle of Shiloh among many other battles.
Theodore McCarrick is a former cardinal and laicized bishop of the Catholic Church. He became the first cardinal to resign from the College of Cardinals because of sexual abuse claims in July 2018. Known as a champion of progressive Catholicism and social justice causes, McCarrick was found guilty of sexual crimes and abuse of power. He was dismissed from clergy in 2019.
Senior pastor of the megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Eddie Long made headlines when a few minor male congregants accused him of sexual abuse. He held a business administration degree and also worked as a sales representative. His long struggle with cancer eventually ended in his death at 63.
Al-Qaeda terrorist and Islamic preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, initially a university lecturer, had been involved in a number of terrorist attack plots, including one in which they had planned to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane. American-born Yemeni Awlaki died in a drone strike ordered by Barack Obama in 2011.
Ted Haggard is an evangelical pastor who founded New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also the founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches. He is against same-sex marriages. In 2006, it was revealed that he had paid a male sex worker for sexual favors and also purchased some illegal drugs from him.
Theodore Parker was an American transcendentalist minister whose words and quotations would later help inspire popular speeches of the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. A reformer and abolitionist, Parker played a key role in fighting against such laws as the Fugitive Slave Act.
Samuel Seabury was an Episcopal bishop who became the second Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. A leading Loyalist in New York City during the American Revolution, he was known for his rivalry with Alexander Hamilton. After the revolution, he played a key role in the evolution of Anglican liturgy.
Avery Dulles was a Jesuit priest, cardinal of the Catholic Church, and theologian. Renowned for his skills as an author and lecturer, Dulles was associated with Woodstock College and the Catholic University of America from 1960 to 1974 and from 1974 to 1988, respectively. Over the course of his illustrious career, Avery Dulles received several prestigious honors and awards.
Paul Marcinkus was an American religious leader best remembered for his service as the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. From 1971 to 1989, he also served as the president of the Vatican Bank. One of the most controversial archbishops of the 20th century, Marcinkus' life and career inspired many film characters, including Archbishop Gilday in The Godfather Part III.
A leading advocate for abolition of death penalty, Roman Catholic sister, Helen Prejea,n started her campaign after she became spiritual guide for a death row convict, penning down her experience in her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking. Also the founder of SURVIVE, a group aimed at helping the families of the victims, she has since been giving talks across USA.
Philip Berrigan was a peace activist and Catholic priest. He was active in the peace and nuclear disarmament movement and advocated for peaceful and nonviolent protests. He was affiliated with the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. He was married to a former nun and peace activist Elizabeth McAlister. The couple founded Jonah House, a faith-based community.
Though she appears like a regular blonde beauty, Diane Hegarty made headlines when she co-created the Church of Satan with her partner Anton LaVey. She has also co-written books such as The Satanic Bible and has appeared in many documentaries that featured her with her family and her pet lion.
Irish-American theologian John Dominic Crossan, who has previously been a Roman Catholic priest, was also associated with the Jesus Seminar. It is believed, he had quit Catholic priesthood to marry Margaret, his professor wife, and had then focused on teaching and writing. His written works include Who Killed Jesus?
Francis Eugene Cardinal George was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. From 1997 to 2014, he served as the Archbishop of Chicago. He also served as the Bishop of Yakima from 1990 to 1996. In 1998, he was created a cardinal and later served as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) between 2007 and 2010.
Francis Asbury was a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He played an important role during the Second Great Awakening, popularizing Methodism in British colonial America. He is credited with establishing many schools and his journal is deemed important by scholars due to its account of frontier society; his journal has descriptions of the functioning of towns in Colonial America.
Stephen Samuel Wise was an American Zionist leader and Reform rabbi during the Progressive Era. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to become a rabbi. Later on, he became a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He is also credited with establishing the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1922.
Hiram Bingham I was an American missionary who led the first group of American missionaries in an attempt to spread Christianity in the Hawaiian islands. An important figure in the history of Hawaii, Bingham continues to be revered in the US state. Punahou School, which is located in Honolulu, has a math building named in his honor.
Charles Emmanuel Grace, also known as Sweet Daddy Grace, was born in Portuguese-occupied Cape Verde and later moved to the U.S., where he formed the United House of Prayer for All People. The African-American bishop had a peculiar sense of style, replete with flowing hair and painted fingernails.
George A. Smith was one of the first leaders of the Latter Day Saint movement which was founded by Joseph Smith. He played an important role in Zion's Camp, which aimed at helping members of the church in Missouri. George A. Smith also played a key role in the events leading up to the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857.
The second archbishop of New York, John McCloskey was also the first American cardinal. An accident in which he was buried under logs and had almost gone blind led to a spiritual awakening in him, and he stepped into priesthood. He also notably renewed the construction of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.