BAPTIST MADNESS 2017: First Round, Part 2

WELLLLL, the results for the first two match ups are in!

In the contest between R. G. Lee and Jerry Vines–with 67% of the vote, Dr. R. G. Lee advances!

In the contest between Mark Dever and J. M. Carroll–with 80% of the vote, Dr. Mark Dever advances!

Now we turn to the next two match ups.

Match Up #3


[Adapted from article “E.V. Hill remembered as conservative African American pastor, civil rights leader” at Baptist Press website: ]

E V Hill

E.V. Hill, the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is Los Angeles who became a leader in the civil rights movement and was honored by Time magazine as one of the seven most outstanding preachers in the United States.

Raised in poverty in Texas, Hill grew to be an early confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. and a close friend of Billy Graham. He also served as a leader in the National Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest grouping of black churches, and in 1972 was elected as the youngest president of the California State Baptist Convention. Hill was co-chairman of the Baptist World Alliance and associate professor of evangelism for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In 1971, he was one of eight black clergymen whom Graham took to the White House to speak privately with President Richard Nixon.

The Times said on one occasion, Graham arrived unannounced so he could hear Hill preach, and President George H.W. Bush visited Mt. Zion in the days following the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

A Republican, Hill gave the inaugural prayer for President Nixon’s second term during Watergate and twice led clergy committees for Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Times said. Hill spoke often at Promise Keepers men’s rallies across the nation and aligned himself with Christian conservatives such as Jerry Falwell.

“Located in the heart of the Watts section of L.A., Dr. Hill served as an important mediator between factions there,” Falwell said in a release Feb. 25. “Even in the darkest times in that community, Dr. Hill always pointed people toward their only real hope — Jesus Christ.”

Hill went on to write two books late in his ministry, one called “A Savior Worth Having” in 2002 and another called “Victory in Jesus.” In “A Savior Worth Having,” he told about being one of five children raised by a single mother during the Great Depression in rural Texas. A woman he called “Momma,” who was of no relation to him, announced to her church when he was in the ninth grade that, “My boy is gonna finish high school.” Most young black men in rural Texas dropped out of school in the 10th grade and started working for $2 a day. But Hill finished high school just as “Momma” said he would. Then she said he would go to college, so she bought him a bus ticket, a suit, a couple of pairs of blue jeans and some shirts, took him to the bus station, gave him $5 and said, “I’ll be praying for you.”

He died February 8, 2003 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was admitted with what an aggressive form of pneumonia complicated by other medical conditions.


[Adapted from article “Rick Warren” at Wikipedia website:; and from article: “Rick Warren Biography” at About Religion website: ]

Rick Warren

Rick Warren, born January 28, 1954, is an American evangelical Christian pastor and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest, California, that is the eighth-largest church in the United States (including multi-site churches). He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent book The Purpose Driven Life which has sold more than 30 million copies, making Warren a New York Times bestselling author. He holds conservative theological views and traditional evangelical views on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, abstinence-only education over the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS, and embryonic stem-cell research.

Along with Billy Graham, he considers his late father to be one of the most important role models in his life. Also interesting to note, his great-grandfather and father-in-law were pastors as well.

Rick has been married to his wife Kay (Elizabeth K. Warren) for more than 30 years. They have three adult children and three grandchildren and currently make their home in Orange County, California.

Warren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University and earned a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

After completing seminary, Rick and Kay felt called to start a fellowship to reach people who didn’t attend church. Joined by one other family, they began a small Bible study in their home in Saddleback Valley. The group quickly grew, and by Easter of 1980, they welcomed 205 mostly unchurched people to their first public service. Saddleback Valley Community Church was born, launching the Warrens and their community of new believers on an unprecedented journey of growth and faith.

Today the church reports “one in nine people in the area call Saddleback their church home.” Keeping ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, Saddleback does not identify itself as a Baptist church. Getting people connected is one of the main missions of the church, boasting “something for everyone” in their ministries.

Demonstrating a model of integrity among Christian leaders, Rick Warren has managed to live out his convictions and stay committed to his family over the long haul of his life in ministry. Remaining humble and down-to-earth in the face of great success has earned him the respect of religious leaders and world leaders alike.

Match Up #4


[Adapted from article “Our Founder: John Piper” at Desiring God website:; and from article “ John Piper (theologian)” at Wikipedia website: ]

John Piper

John Piper was born January 11, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. The Pipers soon moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where John spent his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who also ministered through international radio and Bible courses.

At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions and rich, biblical truths. At Wheaton John also met Noël Henry whom he married in 1968.

Following college, he completed a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968–71). While at Fuller, John discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.

John did doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971–74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House (and is now available through Crossway). Upon completion of his doctorate, he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, for six years (1974–80).

In 1980, sensing an irresistible call to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered for 33 years, until 2013. Together with his people, John was dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ — a mission he continues now for the wider church through the ministry of

John and Noël have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

On January 11, 2006, Piper announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to a letter sent to his church,[19] he and his doctors believed that the cancer was fully treatable. Piper responded to his diagnosis with the following:

This news has, of course, been good for me. The most dangerous thing in the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness. The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually sweet.

Piper underwent successful surgery on February 14, 2006.

John regularly writes articles, helps us read and study the Bible, and answers your questions. He also serves as chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

John is the author of over 50 books, continues to write more, and frequently travels to preach.


[Adapted from article: “Jerry Fallwell” at website:; and from article: “Founder: Dr. Jerry Falwell” at Liberty University website: ]

Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell was born on August 11, 1933, in Lynchburg, Virginia. He attended public schools, excelled at sports, and earned a 98.6 percent average in high school before entering Lynchburg College in 1950. Midway through his sophomore year, on January 20, 1952, he underwent a religious conversion. Declining an offer to play baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, Falwell transferred to the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. On April 12, 1958, he married Macel Pate, a church pianist.

Ordained to the ministry in 1956, Falwell founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church in his home town of Lynchburg with an initial congregation of 35 adults and their families, using an abandoned building owned by the Donald Duck Bottling Company. Their first project was to scrub cola off the old brick walls. From this modest start the Thomas Road Church grew to a membership of 22,000, and eventually included a day school, a live-in rehabilitation center for alcoholics (Falwell’s father drank excessively, and died when his son was just 15), a summer camp for children, a transportation service, and missionary and relief work in Guatemala, Haiti, South Korea, and elsewhere. A half-hour daily radio broadcast, “The Old-Time Gospel Hour,” launched when the church was only a week old, grew into a television show which went national in 1971 and soon reached an audience estimated in the millions.

The religion preached from Falwell’s pulpit was what used to be called “fundamentalist.” “The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation,” Falwell said, “is the inerrant Word of God, and totally accurate in all respects.” At times he sounded an apocalyptic trumpet: “This is the terminal generation before Jesus comes.” Unlike the folkish “oldtime religion” formerly practiced in some rural areas, Falwell’s gospel employed modern urban methods of persuasion.

Falwell may be best known outside Lynchburg for his political activism. In June 1979, he organized the Moral Majority, a conservative political lobbying group that was pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel and favored a strong national defense. The group chose California Governor Ronald Reagan as “their candidate” for the 1980 presidential election, registered millions of new voters and mobilized a sleeping giant — 80 million Americans committed to faith, family and Judeo-Christian values.

Although he became a national figure, his passion was being a pastor and a Christian educator. He often stated that his heartbeat was to “train young Champions for Christ” in every walk of life.

Falwell passed away on the morning of May 15, 2007 at the age of 73. He was married for 49 years to Macel Pate Falwell, who died in 2015 at the age of 82. Their three children are: Jerry Jr., president of Liberty University; Jonathan, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church; and Jeannie, a surgeon; and eight grandchildren.

These are the 3 & 4 match ups for our tourney. Be back each day to help put your favorite into the next round. First Round Part 2 ends and Part 3 begins March 9.


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