French theologian, pastor, and reformer John Calvin was a major figure during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He was influential in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church to embrace Protestantism. As an apologetic writer, he generated much controversy.
The son of evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham followed in his father's footsteps to become a missionary and an evangelist. He now heads both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse. He has also produced Christian-themed movies and docu-dramas such as Second Chance and Facing Darkness.
Charles Spurgeon was an English Particular Baptist preacher who was a powerful figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition. Hailed as the "Prince of Preachers", he was well respected by Christians of various denominations. He was pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel for almost four decades. He was the author of several books, sermons, and commentaries.
The founder of the Elevation Church of Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the country’s fastest-growing churches, pastor Steven Furtick also holds a communication degree. The father of two is also a New York Times best-selling writer and has penned books such as Sun Stand Still and Crash the Chatterbox.
Writer and civil rights activist, Shaun King, is the co-founder of Real Justice PAC. He is known for making extensive use of social media to promote causes like Black Lives Matter. He has worked as a teacher and pastor and is the founder of the Courageous Church. He launched the campaign Justice Together in 2015 to fight against police brutality.
Israeli televangelist Benny Hinn gained fame with his Miracle Crusades held in stadiums across major cities and broadcast worldwide on his show This Is Your Day. He incorrectly predicted twice that the world would end. He has also authored several books, such as Lord, I Need a Miracle.
Catholic bishop Fulton J. Sheen was also a prominent radio and TV personality. Known for his stint on the NBC radio show The Catholic Hour, he also hosted the popular TV programs Life Is Worth Living and The Bishop Fulton Sheen Show. He also wrote extensively on communism, love, and peace.
North Point Ministries founder Andy Stanley has been the senior pastor of many churches, such as the North Point and the Browns Bridge community churches. He has also penned several books, such as The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating, and has created the show Your Move with Andy Stanley.
John Piper is a theologian and pastor. He is the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previously, he taught biblical studies at Bethel University and preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church. He believes in the theological doctrine of sola fide. He is the founder of desiringGod.org, named for his 1986 book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.
The Cornerstone Church and Eternity Bible College founder Francis Chan is a popular Protestant preacher. Apart from authoring the New York Times bestseller Crazy Love, Francis has also penned children’s books such as Halfway Herbert and Ronnie Wilson's Gift. He has also co-launched the discipleship movement named Multiply.
John F. MacArthur is an American author and pastor best known for his television and radio program Grace to You which is broadcast all over the world. MacArthur has been playing an important role in the prosperity of a non-denominational, evangelical megachurch called Grace Community Church where he has been serving as a pastor-teacher since 1969.
The author of bestsellers such as The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell is a renowned American pastor. He has founded organizations such as EQUIP and INJOY, and his teams have trained leaders of various organizations. He has spoken in front government leaders, army men, and corporates.
Joel Osteen is an American pastor, author, and televangelist. He is one of the most popular televangelists in the world, with his televised sermons being watched by millions of people every week in over 100 countries, including 10 million viewers in the US alone. In 2006, he was named in the 10 Most Fascinating People list published by Barbara Walters.
Huldrych Zwingli was a Swiss pastor who played an important role in the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. Also a well-known scholar and humanist, Zwingli was popular with the masses. Although he is remembered as a stern reformer, he had a great sense of humor; he often used puns, satiric fables, and spoofing in his writings.
Better known as the wife of pastor Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen is a co-pastor at the Lakewood Church. She had met Joel at her mother’s jewelry store. Initially a student of psychology, she later deviated to spirituality. She is also a bestselling author of books such as Love Your Life.
Better known as the spiritual advisor to Donald Trump, Paula White became the first female clergy to deliver the inauguration invocation of a U.S. president. The televangelist and preacher also chaired Trump’s evangelical advisory board. She is also known for her Without Walls International Church and the show Paula White Today.
The founder of the John Hagee Ministries and the Christians United for Israel, John Hagee has also established the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. He has penned several bestsellers, such as Absolute Power, and is also known for his controversial concepts, such as the blood moon prophecy.
Adrian Rogers was an American conservative author and Southern Baptist pastor. He was a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Baptist denomination in the world. From 1972 to 2005, he served as the senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. During his pastorate, the membership of the church grew from 9,000 to 29,000.
The author of the New York Times bestsellers The Prodigal God and The Reason for God, Timothy J. Keller also chairs Redeemer City to City, which establishes new churches and trains pastors. He is also the founder of the Manhattan-based Redeemer Presbyterian Church. In 2020, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
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.
Mark Driscoll is an evangelical pastor and author. He is best known as the founder of Mars Hill Church. He also founded The Resurgence, a theological cooperative, and co-founded Acts 29 Network, a parachurch organization. He is currently serving as the senior pastor of The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the author of several books.
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.
Paul Washer is an American evangelist who served as a missionary for 10 years in Peru. He is credited with founding the HeartCry Missionary Society in order to support indigenous missionaries. Paul Washer has also written several books, including Truth About Man, The Gospel's Power and Message, and Discerning the Plight of Man.
Charles R. Swindoll is an evangelical Christian author, pastor, educator, and radio preacher. He is credited with founding Insight for Living which airs a radio program on over 2,000 stations in 15 languages. Over the years Swindoll has received several awards like RHA’s Clergyman of the Year award. He is currently serving as a senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church.
Former pastor and teacher Rob Bell has penned countless books, including the New York Times bestsellers Love Wins and What Is the Bible? He established the Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan in his late 20s. He has also made it to Time 100. He also hosts a podcast and is a sought-after speaker.
Businessman, felon and pastor, Barry Minkow opened his first business while in high school. But faced with fund crunch, he soon resorted to felony, ultimately executing a massive investment fraud, resulting in imprisonment. Later he became a pastor and fraud investigator, concurrently continuing with his illegal dealings, resulting in another confinement and a sentence to pay $612 million in restitution.
Best known as a senior pastor of the Dallas-based First Baptist Church, Robert Jeffress is also a major Fox News contributor. He boasts of multiple theological degrees and is married to his high-school sweetheart, Amy. He has reached millions through his religious program Pathway to Victory.
Born to televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jay Bakker later followed in his parents’ footsteps and established the Revolution Church. His version of Christianity is open to concepts such as homosexuality and gay marriage. He has also penned books such as Son of a Preacher Man.
Greg Laurie is an American pastor and author who is currently serving as a pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. He is also closely associated with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, serving on the association's board of directors. Greg Laurie has also authored over 70 books, including The Upside-Down Church which won a Gold Medallion Book Award in 2000.
Bill Gothard is a Christian minister, speaker, and writer. He founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). He is a conservative and teaches his followers to memorize the Bible, raise large families, and dress conservatively. In 2014, he was accused of numerous cases of sexual harassment and molestation and had to step down from IBLP.
Baptist pastor Louie Giglio, who founded the Passion Movement, is a bestselling author of books such as Goliath Must Fall and Not Forsaken. Though a great speaker, he has invited criticism for his controversial comments, such as when he suggested that “white privilege” was actually “white blessing”.
Alistair Begg is an American pastor and author. Since 1983, Begg has been serving as the senior pastor at Cleveland's Parkside Church. His program Truth For Life, which broadcasts his sermons on the radio to stations across North America, is quite popular among his followers. Begg has also penned several influential books like Preaching for God's Glory and Pray Big.
Dr. Jeremiah Wright had initially served the Marine Corps before joining the U.S. Navy as a cardiopulmonary technician. He has also been a professor, and his research interests include Black Sacred Music and African diaspora studies. He also led the Trinity United Church of Christ as a pastor.
Televangelist and religious leader Jerry Falwell Sr. was also a co-founder of the Moral Majority, a political platform for the promotion of conservative Christian ideals. He also established the Liberty University and later tried to revive the PTL after its leader Jim Bakker was accused of rape.
Pastor and televangelist John Osteen is best remembered for his 16-year stint on the show John Osteen. He also established the Lakewood Church in Houston and penned countless books, such as Becoming a Man of Unwavering Faith. His son Joel Osteen followed in his footsteps.
Craig Groeschel is the founder of Life.Church, an evangelical multi-site church with a presence in ten US states. He graduated from Oklahoma City University. Eventually, he began a career as a pastor and attended Phillips Theological Seminary. Along with a few others, he founded Life.Church. The church was named America's Most Innovative Church in 2007 and 2008.
James Lawson is an American professor and activist. A prominent tactician and theoretician of nonviolence, Lawson played a major role during the Civil Rights Movement. In the 1960s, Lawson doubled up as a mentor to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as well as the Nashville Student Movement. James Lawson also served as a pastor for 25 years.