Broadus, John Albert
- George H. Shriver
Broadus, John Albert (24 January 1827–16 March 1895), Baptist clergyman and professor, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, the son of Edmund Broadus, a state legislator, and Nancy Sims. Broadus stood in a long line of preachers, politicians, and revolutionary heroes, which included his father, who served for twenty years in the state legislature of Virginia. After a brief period of teaching, in 1846 he entered the University of Virginia, graduating in 1850 with an M.A. in the humanities and ancient languages (in later years he was offered two different chairs at the university, those in Greek and moral philosophy, which he declined). During college he was converted to Christianity and joined the Baptist denomination. With his vocation as yet undecided, he accepted the pastorate of the Charlottesville Baptist Church but also kept his hand in education by serving as chaplain to the university and teaching classical languages. Thus began his lifelong attempt to synthesize faith and reason, piety and learning. His efforts resulted in the university’s becoming an unofficial educational center for Baptists in Virginia at a time when the denomination sponsored few institutions of higher learning. He served both the church and the university between 1851 and 1859....