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George W. Truett E-mail
George W. Truett (1867-1944) became a household name among Christians who believed in and espoused personal religious liberty and the separation of church and state.

Shortly after graduating from Baylor University in 1897, Truett was called as minister of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and remained there for the rest of this life. Throughout his 50-year ministry, people clamored to hear him preach. He was rewarded with many accolades and named to numerous responsible positions throughout his lifetime, including the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance.

One highlight of Truett's ministry took place in Washington, D.C. In May 1920, he delivered a sermon from the steps of the U.S. Capitol titled "Baptists and Religious Liberty." He spoke to an estimated crowd of 10,000 mostly Southern Baptists. In his sermon, Dr. Truett rallied support for robust religious liberty, not tepid toleration, and defended its constitutional corollary, the separation of church and state.

"His words were as prophetic as they were passionate," wrote Baptist Joint Committee Executive Director J. Brent Walker. "They have inspired several generations of Baptists, laid the groundwork for the birth of the Baptist Joint Committee and educated politicians of both parties about the proper relationship between church and state."

Click here to download Truett's complete 1920 address as a Word document.

For more information on George Truett, his famous sermon, and his impact on others, visit the following sites:

Associated Baptist Press: Truett's famed religious liberty sermon recreated at D.C. event (2007)

Associated Baptist Press/Texas Baptist Standard: Ousted Rep. Chet Edwards recounts religious liberty fight (2010)

George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University

Learn more about other individuals who contributed to our Baptist heritage of religious liberty