For the second time ever, and for the first time since 1996, Baylor University has released its list of the 12 Most Effective Preachers In America. The list from the ’90s was a game-changer for a lot of honorees, often paving the way for speaking gigs and raising the general prestige of their platform.
Notable names on this year’s list include Andy Stanley, John Piper, Tim Keller and Barbara Brown Taylor.
— Baylor Media (@BaylorUMedia) May 1, 2018
Dr. Taylor is the only woman on the list, a note that has drawn some criticism.
— Kaitlin Curtice (@KaitlinCurtice) May 2, 2018
This entire conversation is incredibly disturbing.@kateshellnutt @CTmagazine Not just the list, but Im sure at the level of the 1000 nominees, those assessing, and those commenting. #patriarchy #churchhasmoved #notthefuture #workharder https://t.co/l9nZVnk62o
— Sandra Maria Van Opstal (@sandravanopstal) May 2, 2018
Fellow honoree Thomas Long, who also appeared alongside Taylor on the 1996 list, told CNN he’s heard plenty of female preachers who could have made the list: “They are powerfully innovative and affecting. By and rights, there ought to be more women on the list.”
Long also talked about how the demands of preachers have changed in the past 20 or so years. In the ’90s, he and his peers could operate on a foundational assumption that their congregants had a strong Christian identity already in place, but now, he says that’s not the case.
“When preachers like Barbara Brown Taylor and myself started out, we assumed there was a Christian faith already in place, and our job was to put some interesting stuff in the lattice work. I’m doing a lot more teaching now.”
The full list of honorees includes:
• The Rev. Alistair Begg, senior pastor at Parkside Church outside Cleveland
• The Rev. Tony Evans, founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas
• The Rev. Joel C. Gregory, holder of the George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas
• The Rev. Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York
• The Rev. Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching and director of the Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta
• The Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
• The Rev. John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis
• The late Rev. Haddon Robinson, former president and the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston
• The Rev. Andy Stanley, founding pastor of North Point Community Church and North Point Ministries near Atlanta
• The Rev. Charles Swindoll, senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas
• The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest, professor, author and theologian who has served on the faculties of Columbia Theological Seminary, Emory’s Candler School of Theology and Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology
• The Rev. Ralph Douglas West, founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston