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Figure JAMES WHITCOMB BROUGHER PREACHER - LECTURER - HUMORIST. JAMES WHITCOMB BROUGHER, D. D. BY JOHN BENTZIEN PUT THAT DOWN WHEN Robert J. Burdette, better known as Bob, resigned his pastorate of the Temple Baptist Church in Los Angeles, James Whitcomb Brougher, then of Portland, Oregon, was unanimously conceded to be the only man who could stand in the shoes of the gentle Hawkeye humorist. Born a Hoosier, educated a Californian, and in his ministry a cosmopolitan, the record of his pastorates is like the flight of a meteor. At Patterson, New Jersey, his first pastorate, he built up one of the largest churches in the state. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, he became known as one of the most popular and eloquent preachers in the South, and his church building never could accommodate the crowds who wanted to hear him. At Portland, as pastor of the White Temple for six years, the largest congregations ever known in that city came regularly to hear him. His influence in the industrial and political life of the city was so great that it was a courageous man who thought of running for any office without seeking the support of the homely man whose ministry had become a city institution. In Los Angeles, Dr. Brougher is the idolized pastor of the most individualistic Baptist church in the world. The church itself is a regular religious department store, under the direction of the pastor and a large number of volunteer assistants, ministering through a hundred organizations and committees to every conceivable need of mankind. Its congregation worships in a fire-proof building, with a beautiful bronze and green auditorium seating thirty-five hund red people. Here Dr. Brougher preaches to the largest regular congregation in the world. It is the usual thing to see the big lobby filled and overflowing at six-thirty Sunday evening, with two or more policemen to handle the crowd. The magnetic personality of the preacher, his bright optimism, his brimming mirth, his tender sympathy, his fiery eloquence, his passion for winning souls, his superb leadership, his genius for drawing and holding great audiences, have all combined to gather about him a large company of church members whose loyalty and enthusiasm are akin to hero worship. Dr. Brougher is one of the most remark able figures on the platform today. The spare, muscular frame, the dark, vivid face overhung with a fine crop of bushy black hair, the keen, humorous eyes, make him conspicuous under all circumstances. When he steps into his pulpit a spell of hushed expectancy comes over the waiting congregation. One moment he toys with his a udince as a kitten plays with a ball, the next he is transformed into a cyclone, sweeping everything before him. He chucks his audince under the chin, pats them on the back, then lashes them for their follies and foibles. A man with such unconventionality and independence, could not fail to draw the crowds and win them with his glad gospel. One of his brother ministers put it in a nutshell when he said, Brougher is a genius. The lecture and sermon subjects are always popular. Here are some of them: How to Be Happy Though Married,What's Under Your Hat?Lopsided PeopleA Tenderfoot Abroad.A Joy Ride on the Water Wagon.People Who Ought to Be Muzzled,When Reuben Comes to Town. BOQUETS FROM HIS FRIENDS BOB BURDETTE, famous Humorist and Lecturer—He is strictly Brougheresque. You cannot describe him to people who have never seen nor heard him. He defies analysis. He always says and does the unexpected. Go hear him. You will throw your hat up for him before you leave. EX-PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT—That was a splendid sermon, by George. Dr. Brougher is a great preacher. He is a great man. SAM JONES, famous Southern Evangelist—Dr. Brougher is one of the most captivating speakers on the American platform. He makes the people laugh and think, cry and pray. J. T. HENDERSON, President Carson and Newman College, Tennessee—Dr. James Whitcomb Brougher delivered his lecture, How to be Happy though Married, to a great audience at our college. They enjoyed it so much that they requested him to return some months later and repeat it. While it is humorous and convulses you with laughter throughout, yet it is replete with the wisest and most practical of lessons. J. J. PHILLIPS, D. D., in the Baptist and Reflector—Dr. Brougher ranks with Broadus, Henson and Hawthorne. Never was an audience more entertained and delighted. GEORGE E. BURLINGAME, D. D., San Francisco, Cal.—To have Brougher on a program means both excellence and popularity. He can force your mouth open for a laugh, and promptly insert a generous dose of solid truth. He can pack a whole system of common sense philosophy into a lecture inflated with nonsense. Hear him, and you will wonder how he can do it. D. E. LUTHER, Secretary Y. M. C. A., Los Angeles, Cal.—Dr. Brougher is without a peer on the American platform. It is not an exaggeration to say that Bill Nye, Sam Jones, James Whitcomb Riley, Bob Burdette and Mark Twain, rolled into one, would be equivalent to an evening spent with James Whitcomb Brougher. GEORGE T. WEBB, D. D., American Baptist Publication Society—I have heard Dr. Brougher lecture with tremendous delight and profit. My eight-year-old daughter sat by my side and enjoyed it as much as I did. After these six years she speaks of the lecture with the same enthusiastic interest. H. O. BREEDEN, D. D., Fresno, Cal.—Beyond all question, James Whitcomb Brougher, of Los Angeles, is the most popular platform and pulpit orator in the West today. Wit, humor and pathos, with sound sense and philosophy, blend in his lectures in perfect symmetry. His unique personality is a combination of Sam Jones, Billy Sunday and T. DeWitt Talmadge. His lectures and sermons are always delivered to capacity crowds with irresistible magnetism and matchless power. ARTHUR S. PHELPS, D. D., Los Angeles—The burning passion of a tremendous earnestness, which sets the hearts of his hearers on fire, the resistless contagion of a continuously overflowing mirth, the sound common sense of his practical advice on topics of the most vital interest—these are the magnetic forces that draw packed houses to the fascinating lectures of Dr. J. Whitcomb Brougher, one of America's greatest platform speakers. HARRY W. STONE, Secretary Y. M. C. A., Portland, Ore.—The thing about Dr. Brougher is that you like him. He is so transparently sincere, and says so many good things, that you cannot help liking him. He is a man of a million jokes, and he knows how to tell them so as to make everybody laugh, and those who can, think. HERBERT SPENCER JOHNSON, Boston Mass.—James Whitcomb Brougher is just as popular in Boston as in California. Since Boston is the center of everything good, this fact shows that Brougher is on top everywhere. W. B. RILEY, D. D., Minneapolis, Minn.—James Whitcomb Brougher is a whirlwind on the platform. He has the happy faculty of combining superb thought with snappy expression. HON. CORWIN S. SHANK, Seattle, Wash.—Brougher is like a steam engine for power, a whirlwind for speed, and a bright, sunshiny morning to bring joy into your life. JOHN ROACH STRATON, D. D., Baltimore—The wholesomeness of Brougher's optimism, the graciousness of his spirit, the breadth and sympathy of his warm and loving heart, the sparkle of his wit, the glow of his humor, and the sharp thought of his clear and agile mind, combine to make his lectures an inspiration and delight to all who hear. J. F. WATSON, Secretary Southern California Baptist Convention—In the West the name of James Whitcomb Brougher has a magic power. His personanlity is pleasing, his philosophy practical, and his humor overwhelming. Multitudes go to hear him, and they laugh and cheer as he plays on every string of life. W. H. GEISTWEIT, D. D., San Diego, Cal.—Brougher says things and says them in his own way. He does things and does them in his own way. He has a mighty good way of saying and doing. Back of all is the man Brougher. There is no one else quite like him—clean, straight, honest and indefatigable, overflowing with wit and humor, now a tornado, then a summer breeze. O yes, Brougher, I like him! He will do you good; nothing but good. ALBERT HATCHER SMITH, D.D., Pasadena, Cal.—Hear Dr. Brougher, and the first ten minutes you won't know whether you are comin' or gwyin'. At the end of half an hour, you are with him for a better world and a happier life. In an hour and a half you are feeling for your old pocket knife to identify yourself, and all the time you are being made over into the man you ought to be. OH SHUCKS BRICKS FROM THE PRESS COLLIER'S, New York City —Imagine the Hippodrome, the largest playhouse of New York City and of the New World! Imagine it filled with people from footlight to the last row in the topmost gallery. People the stage with a big chorus choir, and in front of the choir put a lean, upstanding, shock-headed man. Imagine all this, and what you have is not the Hippodrome on a Saturday night, but the Temple Baptist Church, Los Angeles, California, with James Whitcomb Brougher, D. D., in the pulpit. Dr. Brougher belongs to the eccentric type of preacher, but he is not uncouth or uneducated. He looks more the political orator or the villain in the melodrama, than he does the preacher. He has no fatal gift of beauty. He might be confounded with Apollos, but never with Apollo. But as he stood with those snappy eyes, lurking under heavy brows, roving over his audience, taking them in row by row, tier by tier, box by box, gallery upon gallery, mounting upward, upward to the very top, to the fifth and last balcony, one was sensible of a great and growing magnetism within the man. As he moved he gestured, leaning forward at times, one hand upon his knee, his eyes narrow, his pugnacious chin thrust up; and then he would straighten and stride to and fro again, a very plain, a very ordinary looking man. But presently a change comes over him; harmonies appear in his speech; metaphors flourish and sentences swing; periods are rounded; the thunder of oratory reverberates, and the spell of the preacher has possessed the man and the congregation. The audience was keyed by the man's histronic power to a state of nerve tension where the rustling of a program rang in one's ears like the sudden breaking of a wave upon the seashore. Sensational? Of course he is. So was Jeremiah. HERALD, Boston —Dr. Brougher has many of the characteristics of the famous and well beloved preacher, George C. Lorimer. He re minded the great Tremont Temple congregation of their former noted pastor in many ways. His dramatic manner, his fervid eloquence, his features and gestures, his flashing eye and raven black hair, all suggested Lorimer. His personal magnetism is remarkable. Tremont Temple seemed to be filled with a sort or spiritual electricity that held the audience spellbound, and at times the tension was so great that the very silence could be felt. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION —Dr. Brougher is a man of striking personality. Besides being an cloquent speaker, he is a man who thinks clearly and forcefully, and commands an almost unlimited storehouse of jokes with which to illustrate his thoughts. He is one of the most entertaining orators of the day.NEWS, Chattanooga, Tenn.—Dr. Brougher has a tremendous hold upon Chattanooga. He has the hearts of the people and great throngs attend his ministry. He has the power of enunciation peculiar to the most pleasing orators of the day, and he never fails to hold an audience enrapt with attention.NEWS, Chattanooga, Tenn. —Dr. Brougher has a tremendous hold upon Chattanooga. He has the hearts of the people and great throngs attend his ministry. He has the power of enunciation peculiar to the most pleasing orators of the day, and he never fails to hold an audience enrapt with attention.SENTINEL, Knoxville, Tenn. —If speaking as one having authority is the soul of oratory, then Dr. Brougher is an orator. He is positive and uses simple, short, forcible sentences. He is epigrammatic, witty, personal in his illustrations, strictly original and all the time in earnest. If there is nothing essentially new under the sun, there is at least a new way to present it and analyze it before an audience, as Dr. Brougher demonstrates. SAN FRANCISCO CALL —Dr. Brougher is a California boy. His success has been phenomenal. He is a forceful speaker, has the actor's instinct, and does not fail to use it to good advantage. He is eloquent, intensely dramatic, and always in earnest. He is bold and fearless, a born leader and organizer, and just such a man as the people hear gladly. LOS ANGELES EXAMINER —Dr. Brougher is a preacher of unique type. His ability to hold an audience is surpassed probably by no other pulpit speaker in the United States. Tall, angular and gifted with a power of facial expression possessed by few men, his is a personality that speedily awakens interest, and there are no dull moments in a service conducted by him. He believes in entertaining his audiences, not for the sake merely of entertaining, but to arrest the attention of the indifferent until he can drive home the great truths of the gospel. His rich humor is so interwoven with pathos and earnest religious thought that those who laugh at his rare wit go away to ponder long upon the serious messages which outlive in memory the lighter vein which has its place in every discourse. OREGONIAN, Portland, Ore. —Dr. Brougher is a brilliant pulpit orator. He is a much-sought-after attraction for the lecture platform. As a beauty tonic, Brougher's lectures are better than anything you can buy at a drug store. Pay him a dollar for a bottle of his heart medicine. It will remove all wrinkles, freckles and blotches, and give you a sweet disposition and relief from all trouble. Brougher's medicine, with laughter, improves the circulation and is a sure preventive of dyspepsia and cold feet. LISTEN TO ME!
|Title||James Whitcomb Brougher: preacher - lecturer - humorist|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Brougher, James Whitcomb|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|