John A. Broadus

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John A. Broadus

John Albert Broadus (1827–1895) was pastor of Charlottesville Baptist Church and co-founder of Albemarle Female Institute. Professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, considered one of the most famous preachers of his day.

Early life and career

Born on January 24, 1827 in Culpeper County, Virginia. Educated at home and at a private school, he taught in a small school before completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. Broadus was ordained in 1850 and became pastor of the Charlottesville Baptist church (now First Baptist Church) in Charlottesville.

Pastor of Charlottesville Baptist Church

Leading up to the Civil War, Charlottesville Baptist Church was the only church in Charlottesville where all races worshipped together.
In 1857, Dr. Broadus, pastor of Charlottesville Baptist Church and founder of Albemarle Female Institute, held one of many revivals at the Institute. On this date, an eighteen year old student, Lottie Moon, underwent a spiritual awakening. Moon would eventually spent nearly forty years (1873-1912) in China as a Baptist missionary.
Dr. Broadus preached his farewell sermon to the Charlottesville Church on August 28, 1859. He gave the following summary of his work since September 1851:
In those eight years he had preached 761 sermons (122 being at the University), 218 at other places, and 421 at Charlottesville. There had been 241 baptized, 112 of those being colored.[1]
Listed as colored people among those Baptized by Elder Broadus on the "Lord’s day" of October 5, 1851, was Isabella belonging to Jane West. (Jane Isaacs West was one of the seven children of Nancy West, a free woman of color.)

Civil War

During the American Civil War, Broadus served as a Confederate chaplain to Robert E. Lee's army in Northern Virginia.

Postbellum activities

  • In 1873, he delivered a lecture at the University of Virginia in memorial to Professor Gessner Harrison.
  • In 1883, Dr. Broadus delivered an address on the Confederate cause at Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery, seen as an important part of reunion, as he argued that both sides were partly correct in their positions that led to war.

Personal life

Broadus married Maria Carter Harrison (1831–1857, age 25), daughter of Gessner Harrison (1807–1862), professor of ancient languages at the University of Virginia. on January 4, 1859, Broadus married Charlotte Eleanor Sinclair (1836–1913). John Albert Broadus died on March 16, 1895 (aged 68) and was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.


Author of several books. His commentary on the Gospel of Matthew is considered by many to be among the best.

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External Links

Life And Letters Of John Albert Broadus, by Archibald Thomas Robertson