The Shooting Salvationist by David R. Stokes
J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America

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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 more 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About David R. Stokes

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David R. Stokes is a minister, author, broadcaster, and columnist. He and his wife Karen have three married daughters and seven grandchildren. They divide their time between homes in Northern Virginia and Florida's Treasure Coast. Bob Schieffer grew up in Fort Worth and is the chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News. He believes Fort Worth is the best place in the whole world.
Published July 12, 2011 by Steerforth. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Shooting Salvationist

Kirkus Reviews

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Account of a highly publicized 1926 murder in Fort Worth, Texas, and the trial of accused killer J.

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Publishers Weekly

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The ensuing murder trial—Norris claimed self-defense (though unarmed, Chipps had threatened to kill Norris)—became a media circus, with Norris's eventual acquittal.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shooting Salvationist: J....

BC Books

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Norris, as the spiritual leader of the largest congregation in the city, indeed one of the largest in the nation, was one of the most prominent people in Fort Worth.

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shooting Salvationist: J....

BC Books

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Chipps was shot, shot three times, shot by J.

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Frank Norris and how he not only became the pastor of Fort Worth's First Baptist Church, but how he used newspaper and radio to become nationally known as "the pastor of America's first megachurch".

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shooting Salvationist: J....

Seattle PI

The story of the killing, the tensions that caused it and trial that followed - a trial as notorious in its day as the trial of Casey Anthony today -- is the subject of David R.

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shooting Salvationist: J....

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