Preaching Articles

When Preaching magazine was launched in 1985, a look at our list of contributing editors gave you a sense of who would be listed among the most influential preachers in America. That original group included Stuart Briscoe, Maxie Dunnam, Jim Henry, David Allan Hubbard, John Huffman, D.E. King, James Earl Massey, Calvin Miller, Lloyd John Ogilvie, Stephen F. Olford, Haddon Robinson, J. Alfred Smith, John Wesley White and William Willimon, along with several more.

Thankfully, many of those preachers are still on the scene, though others have gone to be with the Lord. A quarter-century has brought great changes to the preaching landscape, and today’s list of contributing editors includes names that would have been unknown to most pastors 25 years ago: Rick Warren, Bryan Chapell, James MacDonald, Robert Smith, Dave Stone, James Emery White and Ed Young, Jr. (though his pastor dad would have been a good candidate for the original list—and is now among our senior consulting editors).

Identifying the 25 most influential preachers of the past 25 years is a challenging assignment. There were some who were major influencers of preaching in 1985 who would be little known to today’s new generation of pastors; likewise, there are some major influencers today who weren’t on the scene 25 years ago. (Actually, some of them were in grade school.) As we were gathering data and compiling the nominations in this process, we tried to ensure balance so neither end of the era is neglected.

Because the primary focus and audience of Preaching magazine has been the American pulpit, this is the context in which these preachers are recognized. Many gifted and influential preachers have served faithfully around the world and, in terms of Kingdom impact, may have touched far more than many of those listed below. We may not know them, but God does.

Here, then, are the 25 most influential preachers of the past 25 years:

#1 Billy Graham

He just as easily could be at the top of any list of the most influential preachers of the past half-century; when Preaching cited the most influential preachers of the 20th century (in our first issue of the 21st), Billy Graham came in at number two. In a recent LifeWay survey of the most influential living preachers, Graham topped the list. When considering preachers who have influenced the rest of us, Billy Graham simply stands in a category unto himself.

John Huffman describes Graham’s “integrity of life and passion of expression that not only led millions to faith in Jesus Christ, but challenged so many of us to be faithful in our ministries. His founding of Christianity Today and his various conferences bringing together evangelicals from around the world make him tops on most of our lists.”

#2 Charles Swindoll

The dominant role of media in the contemporary church is reflected in the influence of Chuck Swindoll, whose “Insight for Living” radio program and countless books have helped a generation of preachers in its understanding of what biblical exposition should look like.

Long-time pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California, Swindoll became president of Dallas Theological Seminary and now serves as senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas (a suburb of Dallas). His radio program, books, and Internet resources continue to influence thousands.

#3 Rick Warren

Rick Warren is a model and guru for today’s new generation of preachers and church planters who are seeking to create churches that will reach the unchurched of their own generation. Founder of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California—now one of the largest churches in America—he is widely known as author of The Purpose Driven Church (which shaped the views of thousands of pastors about how the church can be changed) and the huge best-seller, The Purpose Driven Life.

Warren’s most significant influence on today’s pastors may be through his creative use of the Internet, including his weekly newsletter that has more impact than any other online publication or pastor Web resource I know of. His own sermons, made available via the Web, have become models for many young pastors in the United States and around the world.

#4 Gardner C. Taylor

A profound influence on the African-American pulpit, Gardner Taylor is a model of eloquence and passion in preaching. He served as senior pastor of Brooklyn’s Concord Baptist Church of Christ from 1948 to 1990 and is former president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Taylor is now retired and living in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Taylor reflects the influence of a leading pastor prior to today’s diverse communications era. He served twice as National Radio Preacher for NBC, delivered the 100th Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale and has lectured at many colleges and seminaries. In 1979, Time magazine recognized him as one of the seven best Protestant preachers in the nation and conferred on him the title “Dean of the Nation’s Black Preachers.” Few black preachers of the past 25 years would have offered a list of great preachers without including Taylor at or near the top of their list.

#5 John MacArthur

Radio has been one of the major media tools used by preachers in the past quarter-century, and few have been as influential via this medium as John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and teacher on the “Grace to You” program.

Never afraid of controversy, MacArthur has engaged in a variety of theological debates through the years via his speaking and writing. His approach to verse-by-verse exposition has attracted many, and through his media influence and The Master’s Seminary, which he established, MacArthur is preparing a new generation of young preachers for ministries focused on biblical exposition.

#6 Adrian Rogers

With a remarkable voice and a gift for expressing biblical insights in an engaging manner, Adrian Rogers became widely known through his radio and TV ministries. Bill Bouknight observes that, “His ‘Love Worth Finding’ program is still sending his sermons around the world five years after his death.”

Rogers spent 32 years as senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, growing the congregation from 8,000 to more than 29,000. In addition, he served three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and was a key leader in the conservative resurgence movement that shifted the SBC in a new direction in the 1980s and ’90s.

#7 Haddon Robinson

Haddon Robinson has used the classroom and printed page to exert a profound influence on the American pulpit during the past 25 years. His text Biblical Preaching (Baker) is the most widely-used preaching textbook of the last quarter-century, helping to prepare thousands of young preachers to develop “Big Idea” sermons. (In the March-April 2010 Preaching, the book was cited as the most influential preaching book of the past 25 years.)

As a professor of preaching at three prominent evangelical seminaries, Robinson further influenced many of those who now teach preaching in colleges and seminaries. Michael Milton writes, “Arguably the greatest preacher in North America, Dr. Robinson has influenced pulpits all over America and through his ministry at Gordon-Conwell and Denver Seminary before that.”

#8 Andy Stanley

Although he only founded Atlanta’s North Point Community Church in 1995, in the past 15 years Andy Stanley has become a major model for a new generation of young pastors and preachers. He has led the way in the development of satellite churches and video venues, trends which are becoming ubiquitous forces in church life in the early 21st century.

Starting as Minister to Students at his father’s First Baptist Church in Atlanta, the younger Stanley adapted many of his insights for communicating with youth in shaping a homiletical style for reaching unchurched young adults. His book Communicating for a Change (Multnomah) offers a guide to his preaching style. Through his leadership at the Catalyst conference, he continues to influence thousands of young pastors in shaping their own ministries. Dan Kimball writes, “I also find his preaching refreshing. I never would be embarrassed to have someone who isn’t a Christian listen to an Andy Stanley sermon.”

#9 John R.W. Stott

Although no longer active due to health issues, in 1985 John Stott was still a major influence on preaching, perhaps even more outside the United States than in this nation. By 1975, he had resigned as rector of All Souls Church in London and assumed a more international leadership role, with a special concern for churches in the developing world.

Stott’s book Between Two Worlds (Eerdmans) has been a major influence on our understanding of preaching in the past quarter-century, and Stott himself has been a model of faithful biblical exposition. Mel Lawrenz observes, “Stott’s teaching is a baseline for me. His ministry is marked by faithfulness and character over a lifetime and a vision to see the majority world with respect long before others did.”

#10 W.A. Criswell

As pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas for more than 40 years (he became Pastor Emeritus in 1995), W.A. Criswell helped create a model for a successful urban church rooted in strong biblical preaching. The church grew from 7,800 to 25,000 during his pastorate, at one point becoming the largest congregation in the world. For more than 50 years, Billy Graham had his membership at the Dallas church.

Criswell was an expositor who preached through books of the Bible throughout his pastoral ministry. He founded Criswell College as a place to train a new generation of Bible preachers. Rick Warren, who felt Criswell’s influence as a young man, has called the Dallas preacher “the greatest American pastor of the 20th century.”

#11 John Piper

As Pastor of Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, John Piper has been a powerful influence on young pastors through his writing and speaking. Mike Milton says, “His messages are examples of solid, biblical exposition. His passion for missions and preaching has influenced many for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”

#12 Charles Stanley

Pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, widely known through his “In Touch” radio and TV ministry, and author of several books, Charles Stanley was third in LifeWay’s recent survey of most influential living Protestant pastors.

#13 Stephen F. Olford

Born in Zambia to British missionary parents, Olford ultimately ended up in the United States as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, where he modeled an urban ministry centered on biblical exposition. He later established a training center for pastors which impacted thousands in equipping them to be faithful preachers of God’s Word. Cliff Barrows said, “Stephen Olford left his footprint upon my heart and life, as he has on people around the world. I thank God for this dear man who has impacted Billy’s life and my life all these years.”

#14 William A. Jones

Pastor for more than 40 years of Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, William Jones was a powerful (and deep) voice in the African-American church. He was cited by Ebony as one of the nation’s best black preachers and was in constant demand as a speaker and evangelist. He was a past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and founder of the National Black Pastors Conference.

#15 Bill Hybels

Founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and pioneer of the seeker-sensitive church movement, Bill Hybels’ writing and resourcing of other churches through Willow Creek Association has touched the lives of thousands of pastors. John Huffman says Hybels should be recognized for “modeling what it is to be a passionate communicator and vision-caster who has rallied a whole generation—with new preaching methods and organizational styles—to reach those who otherwise would not have been as open to the gospel.”

#16 Fred Craddock

Fred Craddock may be part of the mainline church, but his writing on inductive preaching has strongly influenced the preaching style of thousands of pastors over the past couple of decades. In addition, Craddock is an engaging and effective preacher and one of the best storytellers anyone ever will hear.

#17 Mark Driscoll

Not only did Driscoll pastor Mars Hill as it grew from zero to megachurch in America’s most unchurched city in less than a decade, but he also has launched a national network of church planters that is touching cities across the nation. Reformed, emerging, and controversial, Driscoll is a model for thousands of young pastors who read his books and listen faithfully to his podcast sermons. Driscoll may well be an example of how preachers will influence other preachers in the 21st century.

#18 Jack Hayford

For 30 years as pastor of The Church on the Way in Los Angeles, Jack Hayford provided an example of faithful biblical preaching for his fellow Charismatic pastors. Chancellor of The King’s College and Seminary, which he founded, Hayford also is author of more than 50 books and more than 600 hymns and choruses, including the popular song “Majesty.”

#19 William Willimon

Now the United Methodist Bishop for North Alabama, William Willimon became widely known among mainline and evangelical pastors as Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. His incisive biblical sermons have influenced many, as have his challenges to his fellow mainline pastors to make sure their preaching is rooted in scriptural truth.

#20 E.K. Bailey

Though most pastors won’t know his name, E.K. Bailey was a powerful influence in launching a new birth of expository preaching in the African-American church. Long-time pastor of Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas (until his death in 2003), he started an annual conference that continues to attract hundreds of black pastors each year and gives them the tools to become more effective biblical expositors.

#21 D. James Kennedy

Mike Milton says that “through Coral Ridge Ministries and other media and ministry outlets, Dr. Kennedy became the most listened-to Presbyterian minister in history.” His Evangelism Explosion movement became a powerful influence for many years on how churches did personal evangelism.

#22 Barbara Brown Taylor

Although she never pastored a megachurch, Barbara Taylor teaches at a small Georgia college and has been a favorite preacher in mainline circles for two decades. This Episcopal priest has written a dozen books with several popular works on preaching, including the publication of her 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching.

#23 Warren Wiersbe

Former pastor of Moody Church and then radio voice of “Back to the Bible,” Wiersbe’s teaching through countless books—particularly his “Be” series on biblical books—has shaped the biblical understanding and preaching of thousands of pastors. Billy Graham called him “one of the greatest biblical expositors of our generation.” Through his books, radio ministry, and conferences, he has been a pastor to pastors for a generation.

#24 Lloyd John Ogilvie

After 23 years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California, Ogilvie became chaplain of the U.S. Senate, a role from which he retired in 2003. Through the 1980s and ’90s, his more than 50 books were devoured (and adapted) by preachers in much the same way as books by Swindoll or Lucado are used today. John Huffman says that Ogilvie “has taken seriously the discipline of preaching, extending a solid combination of biblical and relational truth beyond the pulpit into the public arena of the business, entertainment, and political world.”

#25 Tim Keller

Founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, which has grown to a weekly attendance of more than 5,000, Keller has shown that biblical preaching still can make an impact in a secular urban environment. In addition to his best-selling books, his commitment to church planting has led to more than 100 church plants in cities around the world. Michael Milton wrote, “Tim's preaching was for years under the radar, but not hidden from the influencers in media, the arts, and the ‘higher’ culture of America from New York City. Now his ministry is flowering, and his preaching—insightful, culturally sensitive and yet strongly expository—has become some of the most listened-to sermons in America via iTunes podcasts.”

So that’s our list. Who did we miss? Feel free to add your suggestions in the Comment field below.

Dr. Michael Duduit is executive and founding editor of Preaching magazine and the founding dean of the Graduate School of Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. He holds an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

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John Schneck

commented on May 17, 2010

I enjoyed the article, but I wonder what planet Mr. Duduit lives on not to have included Jerry Falwell. America greatly misses his presence and influence.

David Henderson

commented on May 17, 2010

I think it is very hard to pick only 25. One of my favorites has always been Jerry Vines. He is amazing.

Jerry Shirley

commented on May 17, 2010

John and David are both right. Most omissions are going to be chalked up to something as simple as the fact that 25 simply isn't a big enough number to do justice to this topic. A secondary reason is that certain branches of some particular denominations are going to be taboo and off limits for that magazine to recognize. The tertiary reason I believe would be that it would be politically incorrect to name a few, such as the ones John and David did, though they are likely to very high on heaven's list.

John Ausmus

commented on May 17, 2010

This is quite a task but for me two people that were left out were Greg Laurie and Chuck Smith. They both had a huge impact on the California scene. Chuck is still going strong every Sunday.

Ed Boon

commented on May 17, 2010

I realize that it is difficult to list only 25 names. But I personally would have listed Erwin McManus the lead pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles and author of many pertinent books.

Kevin Brian

commented on May 17, 2010

I believe a very influencial and important preacher should have been included in the the top 25. Craig Groeschel has impacted not only my preaching style, but more importantly my life and my understanding about what a pastor should be - real, transparent, and with strong convictions. Not only is he a great preacher, but a great leader and visionary as well.

Tim Adams

commented on May 17, 2010

Where is Jimmy Swaggart as he has probably won more people to Christ than anybody on this list. He is still a dynamic preacher of the gospel and he does preach the full gospel message.

Darrell Stetler Ii

commented on May 17, 2010

@Kevin, I think the decision to include Driscoll, and omit Groeschel is a tough one, but fair. Craig has really come into his own just in the past few years, like Driscoll. But he's probably been known more as an innovator, than a preacher. When you think Groeschel, think, online campus, seamless integration of video into messages, and the Open network. Craig's impact is undeniable. But when you think Driscoll, you think preaching. At least I do. :-)

Richard Heppner

commented on May 17, 2010

I find your list very interesting. There are some very solid Biblical teachers, but there are also some who have strayed from the truth and led many other people astray. People like Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren who are a part of the Emerging Church Cult/Movement, Bill Hybels who started the unBiblical and unsuccessful Seeker Friendly Church Movement. To have them compared to spiritual giants like Billy Graham, Haddon Robinson, etc. really is an injustice. Also, what is a woman pastor doing on the list? This is also unbiblical! An interesting list which leads to interesting discussion. I pray that God will use all for His glory and that those who stray from the truth will fade away.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

i would like to know why they have stayed for the truth. what reasons to they give?

Paul Fritz

commented on May 17, 2010

Erwin Lutzer should not be overlooked as his insights are compelling, practical and Spirit led.

Dr. Paul Brown

commented on May 17, 2010

Well I do respect the list as it is. I think its dangerous to make accusations with respect to individuals on the list weather one might feel they are warrented or not. This is a list based on subjectivity to a degree, and while I may not agree with all on the list, I respect the choices.

Sandy B

commented on May 17, 2010

I would also suggest John Ortberg and Rob Bell. Both are masterful communicators of sound Biblical theology and I believe are the "Billy Grahams" of our time.

Keith Gibbons

commented on May 17, 2010

I sure it was just an oversight that I wasn't included and sure it will be corrected on the next list.... (Smile! You know you wanted to say the same... but were afraid to!) The Lord DOES have a sense of humor... why else would anyone like me be called to ministry!

Valerie Shepherd

commented on May 17, 2010

I think John Arnott should be added to the list as over 2,000,000 have come to the conferences he has hosted over the years and he is one of the best pastor's I've heard.

Ken Ross

commented on May 17, 2010

Having had E.K. Bailey in my conference while President of the Georgia Baptist Pastor's Conference several years ago, I would have listed him much higher. Bailey was perhaps of the best expository preacher of our time.

Gary Wilson

commented on May 17, 2010

If you consider the title of the article, we're looking for most influential, not necessarily the best, the most Biblical or the best homiletics. So we should be thinking the ones who are truly influential ... movement initiators ... trend-setters. Though I personally like few of these, I would call them influential ... Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith, John Wimber, John Arnott, Tommy Barnett, TD Jakes, Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Jerry Falwell, Max Lucado and Joel Osteen.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

These are pastors who became money oriented, but does not mean their thoughts of the Bible are different. But I do believe if they have done anything to hurt people like Dollar or Paule did, they need to step down & not be allowed to preach even if it's reruns. As for Osteen, his time is coming. God sees all. Best Preacher is one whom humbles himself & gives generosily like the Salvation Amry & Billy Graham many others out there too, like Chris Surber.

Dr Henry

commented on May 17, 2010

25 most Influential list? Yes. 25 most scriptuarily sound and diverse? no. Many who did not make the list like, Pastor Chuck Smith, are left out because he may not be "influential" but delivers biblically sound expository teaching. Another thing I noticed Is most of these preachers are baptist or mainline denomination. Finally, including a person like Rick Warren who preaches and teaches a "seeker sensitive" doctrine is dangerous and disastereous. The sign of a biblically sound preacher is not His or Her popularity or influence but his ability to rightlyfully divide the word of God. Perhaps in the future you list should be modified to the top 25 most biblically sound preachers of our time. Sincerely, Dr. Henry

Robin Brown

commented on Oct 22, 2014

Your statement is entirely correct and accurate, Dr. Henry. Thank you for your God-given discernment and for taking the time of posting it here.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

hum, I have not followed up on Warren, but have heard this. My brother claims he is a seeker, but his lifestyle is deadly to himself & others. It's sad to think that you can continue in sin when saved. You'rs suppose to turn from your evil ways and make fishers of men for heaven not for hell. Be Holy for I am Holy said the Lord. It's hard walking that path, that's why grace is there, not to exhort it.

Cioban Cornel

commented on May 18, 2010

It seems to me that everybody wants to add to the list the person he likes the most. We must not acuse or blame Michael because, after all, the article reflects the opinion of the author wich is really subjective. A personal opinion:We should not forget Ravi Zacharias. He's a great apologet and his insights had great impact in the last 10 years.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

yes he did

Maria Carlisle D Cortes

commented on May 18, 2010

Have you considered the Korean pastor Yong Gi who has a congregation is really mega? How about Castaneda of Colombo who has spearheaded the G 12 movement and whose congregation has increased to over a hundred thousand? Your list is generally composed of Western preachers.

James Schroff

commented on May 18, 2010

I guess if I was to list the top 25, I would have a much different list. Dr. Oral Roberts, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Creflo Dollar, Paul U. Cho, Jesse Duplantis, Charles Capps, Keith Moore, Joyce Meyer, Dr. Fred Price, Rod Parsley, Bennie Hinn, Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie, Phil Driscoll, T.D. Jakes and Jerry Farwell, Franklin Graham, James and Betty Robertson, Paul Crouch, Kenneth Hagin, Andrew Wommack, Charles Campbell and George Pearsons.

Matthew Webster

commented on Nov 30, 2022

Thank you for adding to the list. I am not going to speak against anyone mentioned. I have received so much from Kenneth E. Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Charles Capps teachings. Very pleased to see some appreciate them as well.

Kevin Wenker

commented on May 19, 2010

As far as women pastors (an oxymoron) and the Bible, just go look at 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians. That's pretty clear who is and is not eligible for the office of pastor - men only. And don't start with the higher critical nonsense that either Paul did not write it or he was just a product of his times. That would mean everything else he wrote about justification and the resurrection is likewise tainted.

Steve Brinkman

commented on May 19, 2010

Great list! Impacted by many, familiar with most, and a few I don't know. For many years I sat under and was greatly influenced by the preaching of Stuart Briscoe. He is high on my list! Anyone else impacted by God's activity through him?

Abiodun Adeniyi

commented on May 21, 2010

there are no African in your selection. pastor .W. F. Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian bible Church, Bro. Gbile Akanni ;Pastor E. A. Adeboye, T.D Jakes

Diane Phillips

commented on Mar 18, 2020

Don't forget E.V. Hill!

Diane Phillips

commented on Mar 18, 2020

Don't forget E.V. Hill!

Diane Phillips

commented on Mar 18, 2020

Don't forget E.V. Hill!

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

T>D> from WV, You can"t say Africian unless they are from there, Heritage don't count. My family is from Poland but I, I am American.

Clode G. Ercilla

commented on May 22, 2010

This is a true article in their own congregation. However, a bias in larger scale. Why not do a research for all the preachers over America and the rest of the world? To be fair and just, not choosing preachers from your own backyard.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

Agree! that's what's wrong w/ the world. But as believer in Christ, we are not to live a the world live, but Christ in us.

Clode G. Ercilla

commented on May 22, 2010

is your poll of preachers just came from a selected denominations?

Donald Pettit

commented on May 23, 2010

It is sad to hear comments on who should and who shouldn't be included: Men, women, black or white all are precious in His sight. I am and have been influenced by hundreds of awesome men and women of God for a lifetime. I am asured by those listed, when reading their books and sermons, that rank does not mean one thing to them. I read and enjoy all the comments on Sermon Central and appreciate the help I have recieved.

Juanita Kendall

commented on Dec 8, 2021

You know that proves my point about reading other books. Don't get me wrong here, but the Bible should be the only influence you need.

Darren Mccormick

commented on May 29, 2010

I appreciate the courage of the author to dare to put his opinions out there to be scrutinized by the people group that ought to be characterized by grace but all too often fails to season their words with grace. It seems to me that without fail the opinion opts that are given by sermon central always become something of a battlefield where sharp tongued people are always blasting someone else. I wish it weren't so. And no doubt it's this kind of thing which fuels the fires of separatism among Christ followers. And as for the comments on compiling a list of the most biblical preachers---whoa, good luck with that one! No doubt in the eyes of most ministers "the most biblical preachers" will be the ones whose preaching agrees with their personal opinions. Normally I don't read the comments because they just raise my dander---but since I'm preaching on reconciliation this week, I was kind of drawn to them...and alas, found what I expected. In any case I don't plan on slamming anyone's opinions or jumping on any bandwagons to raise someone's blood pressure. I'd simply agree with the individual who said that they've been influenced by A LOT of preachers. And as for influencial, I can think of others whose names might be up for consideration---and so you know they're guys who aren't part of "my denomination" there were just names that popped into my head ---John Maxwell, Bruce Wilkinson, Lee Strobel--I'm sure I could think of others too!

Perry Ford

commented on May 30, 2010

While I do not dimiss your list of the top 25 most influential Preachers in the past 25 years. I am glad you said it was yours, because while the list is impressive it is not by any means acurate, since it seems to be denominationally based. I feel any Preacher who has answered the call and is doing the well of God in the vision that he was called to do is an influential Preacher, because he is changing and influencing the lives of the people God has added to his/her minister. Thank you for your list, but I think your time would have been better suited thanking the Preachers who fight the good fight of faith and being the under Shepard to God.

Rick Mccall

commented on Jun 5, 2010

Like everyone who reads this, I don't agree with the theological leanings of every minister named to the list. It would be impossible. However, I do respect each and every one and am confident I would be challenged to stretch and grow by each one in different ways. However, the contempt used by some of the respondents in the comments section toward men they have never met nor had a conversation with should disqualify them from the ministry. How disappointing to see men who claim the name of Christ as Savior speak evil of and make assumptions regarding the motives of other men who claim the name of Christ! The love of Christ is not present in those remarks.

Dick Marcear

commented on Jun 8, 2010

How could you leave out S.M. Lockridge -- his great sermon "That's My King" is known all over the world. I play it each Easter and people never tire of hearing his great message.

Jack Campbell

commented on Jun 17, 2010

Where's Jerry Falwell? He's probably one of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century, who built the mega-church Thomas Road Baptist and Liberty University. Both have impacted the world in the most profound way.

Dorcas George

commented on Jun 19, 2010

Thank you for including Barbara Brown Taylor. As for the brother who says "woman pastor" is an oxymoron--how sad. It is entirely possible to be both evangelical, biblically focused, AND have women in the pulpit. I'm not taking up space in this sort of comment spot to argue. But oxymoron? Such a rude comment insults a lot of women who are faithfully PASTORING the flock (often in places a man doesn't want to go). I love the list. Everyone is going to have disagreements, and like someone said, my theology may not exactly match every entry--but there is more room in the Kingdom than some want to believe.

Keith Crouch

commented on Feb 18, 2018

I'm guessing you would disagree with Paul's instructions to the church and to Timothy where leadership and especially the role of women as related to serving as Pastor. Bottomline scripture does not give us that freedom.

Richard Flowers

commented on Jul 5, 2011

Dr. Falwell should have been on the list... He has profoundly impacted the world for Christ... And continues to do so through tens of thousands of pastors, missionaries, teachers, businessmen and women, along with Christian lawyers who are serving the Lord today.

Reverend Louise A. Battle

commented on Mar 9, 2012

Your Comments

Charles Martel

commented on Aug 18, 2014

Where's Jimmy Swaggart?? He could easily outpreach Billy Graham, who is overrated, a bit self righteous and stuffy stiff. And isn't Rick Warren is a charlatan, who adulterated the Gospel into a self help elixir. IDK??

Japheth R. Cabrera

commented on Oct 15, 2014

you have discernment brother :D

Fred Massie

commented on Feb 19, 2018

I find it beyond bizarre that someone who has most certainly never met Billy Graham somehow feels that they not only know him, but know him so well that they can ascribe certain character defects to a man who has preached to more people and brought more people to the saving knowledge of Jesus than any other person in the last 100 years. Even more frightening is that you would judge him as inferior to a man who has discredited himself and shamed the church. Swaggert even incorporated his church as his own business and felt free to be accountable to no one except his board of directors, who are just family members that were all rewarded with a new Mercedes Benz when his church and college went broke in light of his moral scandal. He enriched himself and family by selling off the properties and giving the money to himself. In spite of all of that, I have never heard Billy Graham defame or describe any such failed preacher or ministry as I have. But I have been on the receiving end of his love to preachers and his desire to help and lift them up that they might win souls too.

Rev. Larry West

commented on Feb 13, 2018

What a disgrace to do include Mark Driscoll. You insulted many of the other preachers on the list by including him. He will influence many, you are correct there, but in all the wrong ways.

Ken Wade

commented on Feb 13, 2018

It’s a shame that there are no African Americans on this list. This only confirms the fact that Sunday mornings are one of the most segregated times in America. Shame on you!

Alan Johnston

commented on Feb 16, 2018

Except for Gardner Taylor (#4) and William Jones (#14)?

Paul Meadows

commented on Feb 14, 2018

David Jeremiah must be on the list as would Tony Evans. J Vernon McGee died in 1988, He should be mentioned. I enjoyed the article though. Thank God there have been a number of influential preachers in the last 25 years.

Dennis Tucker

commented on May 7, 2019

Don't forget the great evangelist from the hills of North Carolina, Vance Havner. He could make you laugh at yourself and bring you to your knees in confession all in the same sermon!

Edward Mcghee

commented on Jan 14, 2020

Sorry, I did not notice the "last 25 year" time span.

Cn D

commented on Feb 24, 2020

It appears the influential pastors happen to be all white...maybe this God only uses white male pastors to influence the world?

Alan Chambers

commented on Mar 15, 2020

My pastor, Dr. Rod Parsley has been very influential in the time of his ministry. Fourteen ministries are located on the campus of World Harvest Church in Columbus Ohio. Bridge of Hope is a mission that has sent disaster relief to all the major disasters (hurricanes, etc.) for the past 20+ years. They have also released tens of thousands of slaves in South Sudan. Here in Columbus, he opened the Women's Clinic that saved around 5000 babies from being aborted since 2008. It is strategically positioned across the street from Planned Parenthood. Governor Mike DeWine gave to him the pen that signed into law Ohio's heartbeat bill recognizing his efforts to protect the unborn. He is the founder of Valor Christian College (my current school) which has raised up preachers across the world. He has done work in the past protecting the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. He has written over 70 books, some of which were in the New York Times bestsellers. He wrote the trilogy of The Cross, Gone, and The Finale. Through City Harvest Network, over 200 churches across the country were opened. Also through City Harvest Network, churches in Pakistan were opened where over 45,000 Muslims (now ex-Muslims) gave their lives to Christ. I am sure I forgot many things. But these are just a few things just at the top of my head.

Blair Harp

commented on Apr 8, 2020

Hill song’s Brian Houston and Joyce Meyer would have to be toward the top as most influential. No disrespect to any on the list....

Michael Marrocco

commented on Apr 21, 2021

I know it's impossible to include enough to make everyone happy but....Jack Hyles has done as much or more for the cause of Christ as any on the list. Served God from a very young man until he died as an old man. He wrote dozens of books, poetry and pastored the largest church, Sunday school, deaf ministry, blind ministry, and bus ministry in America for many years. The college put out thousands of sound preachers that are still serving today. First Baptist church Hammond Indiana WAS one of the finest and solidly scriptural churches in America while he was pastor. Criticize if you want to but look at the fruit.

Marianna Geoffrey

commented on Jun 6, 2023

If you like listening to motivational sermons check Pastor Henderson one of my favorite famous black preachers on tv. He is the founder of, CEO, and Senior Pastor of The Lighthouse Church & Ministries. He inspired many people of all genres and backgrounds to face life’s challenging stages with tools, courage, and purpose including me.

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