David R. Stokes Bob Schieffer
The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America
May 03, 2019 Comments.. 289
The Shooting Salvationist J Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America The Shooting Salvationist chronicles what may be the most famous story you have never heard In the s the Reverend J Frank Norris railed against vice and conspiracies he saw everywhere to a congr
  • Title: The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America
  • Author: David R. Stokes Bob Schieffer
  • ISBN: 9781586421861
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Shooting Salvationist chronicles what may be the most famous story you have never heard In the 1920 s, the Reverend J Frank Norris railed against vice and conspiracies he saw everywhere to a congregation of than 10,000 at First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the largest congregation in America, the first megachurch Norris controlled a radio station, a tThe Shooting Salvationist chronicles what may be the most famous story you have never heard In the 1920 s, the Reverend J Frank Norris railed against vice and conspiracies he saw everywhere to a congregation of than 10,000 at First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the largest congregation in America, the first megachurch Norris controlled a radio station, a tabloid newspaper and a valuable tract of land in downtown Fort Worth Constantly at odds with the oil boomtown s civic leaders, he aggressively defended his activism, observing, John the Baptist was into politics Following the death of William Jennings Bryan, Norris was a national figure poised to become the leading fundamentalist in America This changed, however, in a moment of violence one sweltering Saturday in July when he shot and killed an unarmed man in his church office Norris was indicted for murder and, if convicted, would be executed in the state of Texas electric chair At a time when newspaper wire services and national retailers were unifying American popular culture as never before, Norris murder trial was front page news from coast to coast Set during the Jazz Age, when Prohibition was the law of the land, The Shooting Salvationist leads to a courtroom drama pitting some of the most powerful lawyers of the era against each other with the life of a wildly popular, and equally loathed, religious leader hanging in the balance theshootingsalvationist
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      David R. Stokes Bob Schieffer

    1 Blog on “The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America

    1. Kurt says:

      The story of J Frank Norris is a compelling one, and one that is certainly relevant in contemporary United States society A controversial fundamentalist preacher with ties to both Baylor University and the Ku Klux Klan as a disgruntled Baylor alum, I m offended by both associations gains widespread notoriety as a leader of a massive church who is known for his political involvement than for his Bible teaching He expands his influence through mass media and seems to invite controversy for matter [...]

    2. Bob Hayton says:

      J Frank Norris may be the most influential fundamentalist leader that almost no one has heard about In his day, he was a shoe in to lead the fundamentalist movement after the passing of the great William Jennings Bryan of Scopes Trial fame Norris was the fiery, fundamentalist pastor of Fort Worth s largest church He boasted the largest Sunday School in the world and had his own newspaper and radio station His flamboyant preaching style and knack for publicity stunts and marketing, were being emu [...]

    3. Greg Wilson says:

      Growing up as an independent fundamental Baptist IFB and graduating from an IFB college, I was taught that Dr J Frank Norris was a hero He was one of the founding fathers of Baptist fundamentalism He not only was the pastor of one mega church but two mega churches at the same time This was before 1930 s and 1940 s there were mega churches or virtual campuses In the late 1940 s the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth Texas and the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit Michigan had a combined membership [...]

    4. Raymond says:

      I have been fascinated with John Franklyn Norris since I learned of his victory against Bugsy Siegel and his topohillterrace Top O Hill Terrace in Arlington, Texas I hoped to learn something about Harry Sinclair whose Sinclair Oil Headquarters were in Fort Worth.I have been to Billy Sunday territory in Warsaw Winona Lake, Indiana but had not known of Norris until our move to North Texas.This was a really eye opening introduction to many well known characters of that era here in North Texas I rea [...]

    5. Micki says:

      loved the book i grew up in that church my mother grew up in that church as well during the time of J.Frank Norris My grandma worked in the church office so it was awesome to read of many of the stories and incidents that occurred while my mother and aunt were growing up and used to talk about the book was written by someone who didn t really care too much for the pastor, but it very well written very rich in fort worth history.

    6. David Stokes says:

      Well, I loved WRITING it

    7. Seth Alcorn says:

      Very informative Very helpful for those interested in fundamentalism in the early 20th century Overall good read.

    8. Jean Poulos says:

      The book opens with the ending of the Scopes trial and the sudden death of William Jennings Bryan Apparently the Fundamentalist Christian movement was at its peak in the 1920s J Frank Norris was a Baptist pastor and a social activist fighting to clean up Fort Worth had helped obtain the services of Bryan to prosecute Scopes The First Baptists Church of Fort Worth had a huge membership the church could hold 5000 people and was full for every service Norris also published a Church Fundamentalist n [...]

    9. Tim Chavel says:

      My wife bought me this book for Valentine s Day The cover of my book says, ADVANCE READING COPY NOT FOR SALE, so I might have an unedited copy.I never knew that J Frank Norris killed a man until I heard about this book about a year or so ago J Frank Norris was a famous pastor in the 1920 s 1950 s He had a church in Fort Worth, TX, that had a membership of several thousand people This was a fasinating read for me The author, David R Stokes, is a pastor and an author He wrote the book from the per [...]

    10. Rebekah Schrepfer says:

      The subtitle of the book is The Pastor of America s First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920s This is a research project by David Stokes about J Frank Norris and his acquittal for the killing of D.E Chipps on the grounds of self defense Although the book was an interesting read, I couldn t help but feel that I was getting a one sided view of the facts Most of the research was taken from newspapers and books about the city of Fort Worth and it s culture and current ev [...]

    11. Christy Lockstein says:

      Apparent Danger by David Stokes is a true crime look at the 1920s murder trial of America s first megachurch pastor J Frank Norris was a controversial figure in Fort Worth, Texas The head preacher of First Baptist Church was well known for his courting of trouble and links with the Ku Klux Klan After fighting with city leaders for than fifteen years, he shot and killed D.E Chipps, a lumberman, in his office saying that it was self defense His trial created national interest and was filled with [...]

    12. Shaune says:

      I listened to the audio book so I can t call it a page turner , but it had me riveted.The author was meticulous in his research but his re creation of the story using the techniques of a novelist worked really well You feel like you were there The main man, Norris, for me is not very likeable but the author explained the events of his child hood that shaped him The author gives lots of context explaining about Texas politics in the 20s including the ominous role of the Klu Klux Klan, so that a p [...]

    13. Frederick says:

      J Frank Norris was an enigma He is so revered in some fundamentalist circles that one of the nation s leading Libertarian speakers and writers, Laurence Vance, named his own son after him It isn t possible to understand any historical figure by only reading books by people who don t like him, which Stokes clearly does not It might be a reasonable thing to do to read a book by a supporter just to try to get a balanced picture in my mind This is an okay book but the bias is so obvious it made me f [...]

    14. Lori says:

      Really is fascinating book Would have rated higher but I felt like at one point I was slogging thru the actual trial due to so much of the court transcripts being included It would no doubt be a great read for anyone from that area interested in the History of Texas, Fort Worth, early Evangelists etc I listened to audible version.

    15. Jeri Massi says:

      Fundamentalists whitewash the legacy of J Frank Norris This historical narrative of one chapter in his tumultuous life will remind many of the temper and ego of Jack Hyles It is also a masterful work of setting the record straight about a man who was a religious huckster and a crafty pulpiteer.

    16. Sara says:

      This was great I couldn t put it down Not only is Norris a compelling character, but the story of the fundamentalist movement was also riveting I didn t know any of the story so I learned a lot It made for a pretty awesome book club discussion I kept finding parallels to current issues in every chapter Does anything new ever really happen

    17. Evelyn says:

      Sad, but true, sometimes the world sees and hears only what it wants to.

    18. SundayAtDusk says:

      This book surprised me I got it expecting the various stories in it, such as the shooting and murder trial, to be the most interesting parts of the book, and J Frank Norris to be the least interesting As it turned out, nothing in the book was interesting than J Frank Norris himself I had expected to dislike him, considering all that he was and all that he did and all that he was accused of doing Instead, I felt empathy for him, and even found myself at the end of the book hoping he was not conv [...]

    19. Authors Express says:

      Apparent Danger The Pastor Of America s First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920s , brings to light a very descriptive and well researched tale of the life of J Frank Norris, who built up the Baptist Church ministry in Texas to than 10,000 members.Not exactly an angelic beacon for the church, Norris has his faults, as any man, but for a man of the cloth to commit murder, was the story of the century Backed up with facts only an enormous amount of research could prod [...]

    20. Joan says:

      APPARENT DANGER By David StokesInsight into the Fundamentalist Movement in 1920This non fiction story about an extremely powerful, charismatic pastor, Frank J Norris during the early twenties was written by a minister who was so interested in Rev Norris life and the indictment against him for the murder of D E Chipps that he collected six thousand pieces of information, from which he wrote this book and prior to this, wrote another one in 2007 under a different title Frank J came from extreme po [...]

    21. Debbie says:

      Thus far I found the overwhelming amount of detail paid to trivial information to be rather monotonous Now that the murder has occurred, it has gotten interesting as I have read hundreds True Crime books and this began as quite a disappointment I am doing this book as a book reviewer for no charge as I am trying to gain experience for a paying book review job I have been an avid reader for 35 years or and read book reviews for example Publisher s Weekly and The New York Times book review Based [...]

    22. F.C. Etier says:

      He needed killing was, as the legend goes, a legal and effective defense in the Deep South for shooting a man.The hip pocket move and the doctrine of apparent danger , taken together, were the comparable defense in the Wild West Days of Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth, in the roaring twenties, was still considered in many ways, to be enjoying the wild west ways of days gone by It was certainly true of their legal system To that synergistic mix, add Fort Worth s eleventh commandment, Thou Shalt Not [...]

    23. H.b. Charles says:

      I hard someone mention J Frank Norris in passing I looked him up and discovered this book Very prococative read A preacher given to sentationalism A shrewd church growth strategists A proflic writer and paper editor A major player in early Fundamentalism When you add the possibility of Norris being a cold blooded murderer, it makes the story that much compelling Stokes has well written the story of this J Frank Norris, the First Baptist CHurch of Fort Worth, and the trial of the decade in the 1 [...]

    24. Kaylea says:

      I love history and am always intrigued by true crime stories When the chance to review this book came about, I jumped at it, because it combines history, crime and is set in the local church.The thought that a pastor shot someone in his own office totally blew me away My friends in Texas joke that they do things big in Texas, so why wouldn t the first mega church be set in Texas.At 365 pages, Stokes book is filled with a variety of details, facts and other things related to Norris career and tri [...]

    25. Hank Pharis says:

      What an intriguing story J Frank Norris was simultaneously the Pastor of First Baptist in Fort Worth, TX and Temple Baptist in Detroit FBCFW was America s first megachurch People loved or hated Norris and most biographies of him today either love him or hate him This is one of the few to aim for some kind of middle ground The author is a conservative Baptist pastor who nevertheless honestly identifies Norris faults Some certainly will be offended and complain that Stokes is too critical of Norri [...]

    26. Rachel says:

      This was a book that I had picked up some years ago for free at BEA I did not have high hopes going in to it as I am not a big non fiction fan nor do I find reading about trials entertaining.But I was pleasantly surprised by this account Not only had I never heard of this murder trial so it was a little like fiction because I didn t know the outcome but I never even heard the name J Frank Norris before I found his character to be fascinating as both a public speaker and master manipulator The ma [...]

    27. Wyndy says:

      I had never heard of this pastor so was very interested in how a man of God could confess to a murder and then be acquitted The fact that the man was also one of the first Baptist Fundamentalist ministers to have a mega church was also intriguing The author has presented the pastor with all his good and bad points along with the reactions of the town members of Fort Worth during the 1920 s Mr Stokes obvious grasp of the way the rough and tumble State approached law and justice in those days demo [...]

    28. Travis Gilbert says:

      I have long been intrigued by the legend of J Frank Norris, the first mega church pastor in American history David Stokes has thoroughly researched and, has compellingly written about the most sensational time in a life of sensational moments.The author is definitely biased against Norris, his convictions, and his methods He views Norris as a manipulative charlatan than a sincere preacher who was dedicated to righteousness regardless of the cost Of course, all of the controversy that Norris cre [...]

    29. Sarah says:

      This tells the true story of J Frank Norris, preacher at the country s first megachurch in Ft Worth, TX One night, in his church office, he shot and killed an unarmed man Stokes gives us the events that lead to the encounter, as well as the unfolding of Norris trial This is a really interesting topic, and I was especially interested to read about the history of Fort Worth and the surrounding area since I just moved here But for some reason, this was a really slow read for me I m not sure why Int [...]

    30. Phoenix Reads says:

      I put this on my shelf with legal thrillers, but it s not a novel Hard to believe there ever was such a character John Franklyn J Frank Noris He was a fiery, flamboyant fundamentalist paster in the Roaring Twenties, and had a penchant for controversy and sansationalistm that broght him fame and fortune, not to mention several criminal indictments His was the first of America s megachurches In spite of his ambitions, he would never be aqccepted in the mqainstream of religious leaders in America, [...]

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