Baptist leader James Britton Buchanan Boone "J. B." Cranfill (1858-1942) was born in Parker County, Texas, to Dr. Eaton A. Cranfill and the former Martha Jane Galloway. While teaching in Crawford, Cranfill married his student Olivia "Ollie" Allen in 1878. The next year he earned a doctor’s license and began practicing in Turnersville, where Cranfill also ran a cash store and the local newspaper, Effort. Over the next decade, Cranfill published the Gatesville Advance, Waco Advance, and State Mission Journal. After being ordained as a Baptist minister in 1890, he served as superintendent of Texas Baptist mission work until 1892. As Prohibition Party candidate for Vice President of the United States, Cranfill toured the southern states in 1892 to garner votes for himself and Presidential candidate John Bidwell, losing to the Democratic candidates, Grover Cleveland and Adlai E. Stevenson.
With Belton pastor M. V. Smith in 1892, Cranfill acquired and edited the Western Baptist, renamed the Texas Baptist Standard. While editor at the paper, Cranfill continually argued with Samuel A. Hayden of the Texas Baptist and Herald about the administration of Texas Baptist missionaries. Following a confrontation between the two men in 1904, Cranfill sold the Texas Baptist Standard and the next year began editing the Baptist Tribune, which he left in 1907.
Cranfill served as trustee of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1909-1942), trustee of the Relief and Annuity Board (1920-1942), and vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (1928). He wrote Courage and Comfort (1895), Cranfill's Chronicles (1916), and From Nature to Grace (1924), among others. Cranfill also edited and compiled numerous books by Benajah Harvey Carroll, James Milton Carroll, and George Washington Truett.
[From Travis L. Summerlin, "Handbook of Texas Online"; The University of Texas at Austin. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
An essay by Cranfill: The Church
Baptist History Homepage