Preachers

The word ‘preacher’ is derived from the Hebrew word, ‘Qoheleth’. A preacher is someone who publicly delivers orations and discourses on religious or philosophical topics. This individual performs the tasks of a messenger, a minister and also of a herald, but is never in charge of or responsible for the group of people he/she is preaching to, which is an added responsibility for a ‘pastor’. The term ‘preacher’ is not as recognized as ‘pastor’ but is instead given to someone on a tangible basis on the reputation of their speaking skills. A preacher becomes known for conveying effective messages on a dais. There are some who preach exclusively on topics pertaining to religion, while there are others who preach on more spiritual or philosophical themes. Also, there are television preachers in order to be able to reach out to a larger audience in the likelihood of not being able to stand in front of a large public audience and deliver a message. From Imams to Da’ee’s or friars, preachers are prevalent in almost all countries and in almost all the cultures and religions. Here is a list of famous preachers. Go through their biographies, which include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.
4
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist, Minister
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 4, 1968

A leader in the civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience. A man of Christian faith who was inspired by Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent activism, he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting racial inequality.  

 2 Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon
4
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: June 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kelvedon, England
Died: January 31, 1892

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. 

 3 Anthony of Padua

Anthony of Padua
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: August 15, 1195
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: June 13, 1231

Thirteenth-century Portuguese Catholic priest Anthony of Padua was the friar of the Franciscan Order. He is remembered for his self-less devotion to the poor and the sick and is revered as the patron saint of lost items. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

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 4 Girolamo Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola
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Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: September 21, 1452
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: May 23, 1498
Distingusihed for his clash against corrupt clergy and with tyrranical rulers, Girolamo Savonarola became a moral dictator of the city of Florence. He earned a reputation for austerity and detested every form of pleasure that earned him powerful enemies.
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 5 General Butt Naked

General Butt Naked
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Famous As: Evangelical preacher, writer and former warlord best known for his role during the First Liberian Civil War
Birthdate: September 30, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Monrovia, Liberia

 6 St Paul

St Paul
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Famous As: Religious Preacher
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Tarsus, Turkey
Died: 0065 AD
Paul the Apostle, or Saint Paul, was a Christian apostle who disseminated Christ’s teachings and established Christian communities in Asia and Europe. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, about 14 are said to be authored by Paul, though only seven are said to be genuinely written by him.
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 7 Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather
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Famous As: Church Minister
Birthdate: February 12, 1663
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston
Died: February 13, 1728

Cotton Mather is remembered as one of the most significant New England Puritans. However, he exhibited a curious mixture of science and traditions, as he promoted vaccination against smallpox, while supporting the Salem witch trials. He had penned works such as Curiosa Americana and was a Royal Society member.

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 8 John Bunyan

John Bunyan
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Famous As: Writer, Preacher
Birthdate: November 1, 1628
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Elstow, Bedfordshire, England
Died: August 31, 1688

John Bunyan, the noted author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, was known for his belief in Puritanism. The son of a brazier, he initially quit school to join his father’s trade. He was later inspired by chapbooks, to write his iconic works and has also become a preacher.

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 9 Ted Haggard

Ted Haggard
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Famous As: Pastor, Priest, Preacher
Birthdate: June 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yorktown

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. 

 10 James Dobson

James Dobson
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

The founder of the Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson is a qualified psychologist and has also had long stints with a children’s hospital and as a professor of pediatrics. Known for his popular radio program Family Talk, he has penned countless books, such as the bestseller Bringing Up Girls.

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 11 Fulton J. Sheen

Fulton J. Sheen
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Famous As: Archbishop
Birthdate: May 8, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: El Paso, Illinois
Died: December 9, 1979

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.

 12 Kenneth Erwin Hagin

Kenneth Erwin Hagin
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Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: August 20, 1917
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: McKinney, Texas, United States
Died: September 19, 2003

Christian preacher Kenneth Erwin Hagin is widely remembered as the father of the modern faith movement. He had an almost-70-year stint with the Christian ministry. The founder of The Word of Faith movement, he popularized it through magazines, CDs, and books of the Faith Library Publications.

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 13 C. L. Franklin

C. L. Franklin
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Famous As: Baptist minister
Birthdate: January 22, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 27, 1984

C. L. Franklin was an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. Dubbed the man with the million-dollar voice, Franklin was renowned for preaching his sermons throughout the country. During the 1950s and 1960s, Franklin worked towards ending prejudicial practices against the black people in Detroit. He is also credited with encouraging his daughter Aretha Franklin to pursue music.

 14 David Berg

David Berg
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Famous As: Preachers
Birthdate: February 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: October 1, 1994

The founder of the hippie Christian cult named Children of God, or The Family International, religious leader David Berg, was also known as Father David. He was later accused of encouraging pedophilia and asking women to be “Hookers for Christ.” He also communicated with fellow cult members through codes.

 15 Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York, United States

Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist and an ordained nun. Born as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, she began studying with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chime Rinpoche as a young woman. She eventually became a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī. She is the author of several dozen books and audiobooks. She is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey. 

 16 Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen
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Famous As: Co-founder of the Gulen movement, popular particularly in Turkey
Birthdate: April 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pasinler, Erzurum, Turkey
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 17 Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen
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Famous As: American Preacher & Televangelist
Birthdate: March 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston

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.

 18 Junaid Jamshed

Junaid Jamshed
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Famous As: Recording artist
Birthdate: September 3, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Died: December 7, 2016
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 19 Father Divine

Father Divine
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Famous As: Former Preacher who founded International Peace Mission movement
Birthdate: 1876 AD
Birthplace: Rockville, Maryland, United States
Died: September 10, 1965

African-American religious leader George Baker, better known as Father Divine, founded Peace Mission, a movement that is now considered the basis of the civil rights movement. Father Divine claimed that divine intervention had caused the death of the judge who had sentenced him to prison for arranging meetings in Sayville.

 20 Charles Grandison Finney

Charles Grandison Finney
3
Famous As: Evangelist
Birthdate: August 29, 1792
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Warren, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 16, 1875

Charles Grandison Finney, dubbed as the Father of Modern Revivalism, began his career with the Presbyterian Church, where his style of preaching fermented spirited revivals. Later, his dissatisfaction with Presbyterian theology led to formation of Broadway Tabernacle and he started promoting abolitionism and equal education for women and blacks. He spent his last years as minister of Oberlin’s First Congregational Church.

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 21 Nouman Ali Khan

Nouman Ali Khan
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Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: May 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 22 Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward Beecher
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Famous As: Clergyman, Preacher & Abolitionist
Birthdate: June 24, 1813
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S
Died: March 8, 1887

Congregational minister Henry Ward Beecher, the eighth child of Reverend Lyman Beecher, was a skilled orator and a prominent Protestant speaker. He was known for anti-slavery stance and his belief in God's love, One of his best works is the pamphlet Seven Lectures to Young Men.

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 23 William Booth

William Booth
5
Famous As: Founder of the Salvation Army, Preacher
Birthdate: April 10, 1829
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sneinton, Nottingham, England
Died: August 20, 1912

Hailed as the Prophet of the Poor, William Booth was the co-founder and the first the General of the Salvation Army, a Christian church known for its world-wide charitable work. Initially a Methodist preacher, he was moved by the plight of the poor and formed the Salvation Army, aiming to deliver salvation by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.

 24 Zakir Naik

Zakir Naik
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Famous As: Physician, Writer, Intellectual, Preacher
Birthdate: October 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is also the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation and his own broadcast network, Peace TV. Though a qualified surgeon, he later gained fame as a public speaker. His channel is banned in multiple countries, such as India, Bangladesh, and the UK, for its extremist nature.

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 25 William Brewster

William Brewster
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: April 10, 1644

William Brewster was an English official. He was among the passengers that traveled in Mayflower from England to the New World. When the ship landed at Plymouth Colony, William Brewster was accepted as the senior elder and hence became the religious leader of the colony. Eventually, he ended up serving as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.

 26 Abu Hamza al-Masri

Abu Hamza al-Masri
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Famous As: Civil engineer, Engineer, Preacher
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alexandria

Abu Hamza al-Masri is an Egyptian cleric who served as the imam of London's Finsbury Park Mosque. He was accused by the British authorities for inciting racial hatred and violence and the court found him guilty in 2006. In 2012, Hamza was extradited to the USA to face terrorism charges. In 2014, he was found guilty of 11 terrorism charges.

 27 William J. Seymour

William J. Seymour
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: May 2, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Louisiana
Died: September 28, 1922

William J. Seymour was an African-American holiness preacher. He is credited to have initiated the Azusa Street Revival, an influential event in the rise of the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. He was a student of the early Pentecostal minister Charles Parham. He played a major role in the spread of Pentecostalism to various parts of America. 

 28 John Osteen

John Osteen
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Famous As: Pastor
Birthdate: August 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, Texas, United States
Died: January 23, 1999

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.

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 29 Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson
3
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: August 9, 1788
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Malden
Died: April 12, 1850

Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson is remembered for his long stint in Burma, where he established a church, founded schools, and baptised many people. He also translated the Bible into Burmese and worked on a Burmese-English dictionary. He was also one of the first from America to travel abroad for missionary activities.

 30 Johann Tetzel

Johann Tetzel
3
Famous As: Former Preacher known for selling indulgences
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Pirna, Germany
Died: August 11, 1519
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 31 Edir Macedo

Edir Macedo
3
Famous As: Television evangelist, founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
Birthdate: February 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rio das Flores, RJ, Brazil

Edir Macedo is a Brazilian evangelical bishop, writer, and billionaire businessman. He is the founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) and the co-owner of RecordTV, the third-largest TV network in Brazil. He began his career as a civil servant before moving to a religious career. He has been accused of racism and misogyny. 

 32 Dwight L. Moody

Dwight L. Moody
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Famous As: Editor, Philosopher, Writer, Evangelist, Hymnwriter
Birthdate: February 5, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northfield
Died: December 22, 1899

Dwight L. Moody was an American publisher and evangelist. He is credited with founding the Moody Church which went on to become the most well-known religious outreach of its kind. He gave up his lucrative shoe business to focus solely on revivalism. He played an important role in the Civil War, working with the United States Christian Commission of YMCA.

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 33 Shepherd Bushiri

Shepherd Bushiri
0
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: February 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mzuzu, Malawi

 34 Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson
3
Famous As: Puritan spiritual adviser, Preacher
Birthdate: June 30, 1591
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alford, Lincolnshire, England
Died: August 20, 1643

 35 Leonard Howell

Leonard Howell
3
Famous As: One of the first preachers of the Rastafari movement
Birthdate: June 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarendon, Jamaica
Died: February 25, 1981

 36 Facundo Cabral

Facundo Cabral
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: July 9, 2011

 37 Pope Pius I

Pope Pius I
3
Famous As: Was the Bishop of Rome from c. 140 to his death c. 154
Birthdate: September 7, 0081
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aquileia, Italy
Died: 0154 AD

 38 Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
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Birthdate: February 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moga district
Died: June 6, 1984

 39 Pope Sixtus I

Pope Sixtus I
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Famous As: Bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death
Birthdate: 0042 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0125 AD

 40 Muhammad Metwalli al-Sha'rawi

Muhammad Metwalli al-Sha'rawi
3
Famous As: Cleric
Birthdate: April 15, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Daqadus, Egypt
Died: June 17, 1998

 41 Lyman Beecher

Lyman Beecher
3
Famous As: Clergyman
Birthdate: October 12, 1775
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Haven
Died: January 10, 1863

Known for his stance against alcoholism, publishing six time-honored sermons on it, Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher also worked for women’s education. An active participant in theological controversies, adhering to the New School Presbyterian branch of schism, he was once tried for heresy. However, he is equally remembered for fathering thirteen children, seven of whom earned distinction in their chosen field.

 42 William Miller

William Miller
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: February 15, 1782
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 20, 1849

Baptist preacher William Miller launched the movement Millerism, which propagated the idea of the advent of Christ. Millerism paved the way for groups such as the Seventh-day Adventists. He and his followers believed the Second Coming was to happen on October 22, 1844, but it never did.

 43 Hal Lindsey

Hal Lindsey
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: November 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Houston

Hal Lindsey is an evangelist and Christian writer. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, following which he worked with Campus Crusade for Christ. He was also a Sunday school teacher. He has authored many books, including The Late, Great Planet Earth and Apocalypse Code. He serves on the executive board of Christian Voice and has hosted many Christian TV shows. 

 44 Thomas Müntzer

Thomas Müntzer
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: 1489 AD
Birthplace: Stolberg, Südharz, Germany
Died: May 27, 1525

Remembered as a radical reformer, Thomas Müntzer was a major force in the German Peasants' War of 1525. Initially a priest and a linguistic specialist, he gradually began representing the middle class and worked toward church reforms. He was eventually executed, and his head wad displayed as a warning.

 45 Abdul Qadir Gilani

Abdul Qadir Gilani
4
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: March 23, 1078
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gilan Province, Iran
Died: February 14, 1166

Abdul Qadir Gilani was a Sunni Muslim ascetic, mystic, preacher, theologian, and jurist. He is best remembered for founding the Qadiriyya tariqa of Sufism, which is named after him. Abdul Qadir Gilani was famous for his preaching and is credited with converting numerous Christians and Jews.

 46 Praise-God Barebone

Praise-God Barebone
5
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: 1598 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: 1679 AD

 47 Je Tsongkhapa

Je Tsongkhapa
3
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: November 21, 1357
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amdo, Tibet
Died: 1419 AD

 48 Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall
3
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: May 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coatbridge, Scotland
Died: January 26, 1949

Peter Marshall was a Scottish-American preacher who served as the pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. His life and career inspired a biography titled A Man Called Peter. Written by his widow, the book achieved popularity and was later made into a film of the same name. 

 49 Harold Kushner

Harold Kushner
3
Famous As: Rabbi, Writer
Birthdate: April 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

Harold Kushner is an American rabbi and author. He is best known for his 24-year tenure as the congregational rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick. Kushner is also renowned for writing several books including best-sellers, such as Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success and When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

 50 Johnny Lee Clary

Johnny Lee Clary
3
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Martinez
Died: October 21, 2014

A prominent 1980s’ wrestling champion, Johnny Lee Clary later came to be known as Johnny Angel. He had been part of the Ku Klux Klan and had also appeared on shows such as Oprah, where he defended racism. He later renounced the Klan and became a Christian evangelist.