American Religious Leaders traces the history of American religion through the lives of its leaders. More than 250 entries explore America's religious and spiritual leaders from colonial times to today. The book focuses on those who have occupied the spotlight of historical attention in one way or another: the founders, the pioneers, the heretics, and the saints, among others. All have summoned some measure of historical interest and left some record, either through journals and autobiographies of their own or through biographies written by others.
Notable figures and leaders from many of the major churches and religious groups in America are covered, including Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics, Black Muslims, Jews, and Mormons along with leaders from smaller and lesser-known but no less important religions. They have established schools, founded humanitarian and social welfare organizations, led movements concerned with social equality and civil rights, and proceeded to voice economic, political, and social ideas based on their commitment to their respective religions and the beliefs of their followers. Broadly inclusive, this volume profiles many women, Native Americans, African Americans, and leaders from other traditionally underrepresented groups within American society.
- James Lloyd Breck: Episcopal missionary
- Edgar Cayce: psychic
- Dorothy Day: cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement
- Louis Farrakhan: Nation of Islam leader
- Henry Highland Garnet: Presbyterian minister, abolitionist
- Anne Hutchinson: Puritan lay leader
- Pat Robertson: founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network
- Joseph Smith III: president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Smohalla: Native American prophet, founder of the Dreamer Religion
- Francis Joseph Spellman: Catholic cardinal.