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Newton, Joseph Fort  

(July 21, 1876-Jan. 24, 1950). Outstanding preacher and broad church leader. He was born in Decatur, Texas. Newton was ordained to the Baptist ministry on Apr. 20, 1895. He then became the pastor of a small Baptist church in Rose Hill, Texas. In the fall of 1895 he entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He left it in 1897 to become the Pastor of First Baptist Church, Paris, Texas where he served until 1898. Newton left Texas and the Baptists, and went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was associate minister of the non-sectarian People's Church, 1900-1903. In 1903 he went to Dixon, Illinois, and founded the People's Church, where he served as Pastor until 1908. From 1908 until 1916, Newton was Pastor of the Liberal Christian Church (Universalist), Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Many of his sermons were published and their circulation in England brought him the invitation to be the Minister of the City Temple in London, the "Cathedral of British Nonconformity." He was there from 1916 until 1919. From 1919 until 1925, he was Minister of the Church of the Divine Paternity (Universalist), New York City. Newton was ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church on Jan. 16, 1926, and priest on Oct. 28, 1926. He served the Memorial Church of St. Paul, Overbrook, Pennsylvania, 1925-1930, and from 1930 until 1935, he was co-rector of St. James' Church, Philadelphia. Newton was Special Preacher to the Associated Churches of Philadelphia, 1935-1938, and rector of the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, Philadelphia, 1938-1950. In 1939 a poll of 25,000 clergy named him one of the five most prominent ordained ministers in the United States. Newton was a widely published author, an associate editor of The Christian Century, a popular preacher, and a leader of the Masonic Order. He died in Philadelphia. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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