Top 10 Preachers in America!

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I will never forget the time Billy Graham was on T.V and I commented to my son (who was about 9 years of age at the time) that Billy Graham was the greatest preacher ever. And my son started to cry and said “Dad, I thought you were the greatest preacher of all time”. Even though I, too, would be partial in feeling that about my own father and even though I was thankful for my son’s innocent expression of appreciation towards me, I want to share with you MY LIST of the top ten preachers in America. You’ll notice several names like Billy Graham, Francis Chan and others NOT on my list. Because here is the criteria for making my list.

a) You have to be pastoring a local congregation. Writing sermons weekly.
b) You have to be more of a preacher than a teacher. For me… preachers have a tad bit more of emotion and passion with their delivery.
c) You have to have a heart that leans towards evangelism and reaching the lost.
d) These are men that I enjoy hearing. They move me to want to follow Christ and to reach the lost.

Here’s the list!

#10) Wayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekend attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most innovative churches in America with Outreach Magazine listing them as one of the “top five churches to learn from.” New Hope is known for redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3,000 attending services each week via the Internet. New Hope has seen over 73,000 first time decisions in Hawaii since its inception 27 years ago.

Wayne is a church planter at heart with over 108 churches planted in the Pacific Rim countries of the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Myanmar. Nationally, he has planted churches in Hawaii, California, Montana, Washington, and Nevada. I know he is doing more more with his college than his church, but I love to hear this man preach!

#9) Pastor Ken Whitten of the Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa Florida. Pastor Whitten delivers the word of God in a way that touches the heart. He will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. He will set God’s word as the ONLY standard to live by and will walk you through the scriptures verse by verse communicating in such a manner that draws the listener in. He has a true pastoral heart, caring for the many members of his church as a shepherd carefully guards his flock. A friend and mentor of mine and if I lived in the Tampa area I would gladly sit and hear him preach week after week.

#8) Dr David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego, California. Dr. Jeremiah’s commitment is to teaching the whole Word of God. His passion for people and his desire to reach the lost are evident in the way he communicates Bible truths and his ability to get right to the important issues. I count his church as one of the most blessed churches in the land in having him be their teaching pastor. He makes me want to be a better student of the word of God.

#7) No list of top preachers can be completed without the name of Dr. John MacArthur. Sr. Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. John’s church is only 20 minutes away but his voice is carried around the world through “Grace to you” ministries. Known as an expository preacher he still delivers God’s truth with unmatched passion and energy. Listening to John will leave you wishing for MORE! He is the standard for preaching with conviction.

#6) Greg Laurie of the Harvest Church in Riverside, California and the Harvest Crusades. He was once labeled the “next Billy Graham” and having heard Greg many times on the largest Christian Radio station in the world KKLA 99.5 FM Los Angeles it is easy to see why he makes my list. Greg has a rare gift in taking the word of God and making it relevant to today’s modern listener. His heart for the lost and compassion to reach the unsaved is his calling card.

#5) Andy Stanley from North Point Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Probably more preachers listening to Andy weekly than any other pastor. His messages are current, biblical, insightful and engaging. Chances are your pastor has preached a series or two from North Point Church. He and his father Charles might be the best father/son combo of all time. If you get a chance, go to his website and listen to one of his podcast and you’ll know why he is on my top 5 list.

#4) Adrian Rodgers! smile! I hope you don’t mind me putting Adrian on the list because I know he has graduated into heaven. Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. For over fifty years, he consistently presented the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong conviction, compassion, and integrity. Under his pastoral leadership, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, grew from 9,000 members in 1972 to more than 29,000 at his retirement in 2005. Go to to hear a voice and a sermon like no other!

#3) Jeff Walling! I have a host of men that I really could have put in this spot. My own father H. Dean Rutherford, Rick Atchley, David Stone, Don Wilson, Kyle Idleman, my brother David Rutherford, Kerry Shook, John Ortberg, Bill Hybels, Matt Proctor, Jud Wilhite, Jonathan Falwell, Jack Graham, Ronnie Floyd, Miles McPherson, Craig Groeschel, Robert Morris, Rick Warren, Gene Appel, Jentzen Franklin, Philip Wagner, James MacDonald, John Hagee, Chris Siedman, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, Mark Scott, Jack Hayford, Tim Spivey, Charles Swindoll, Jim Reeve, and John Piper. But my number 3 slot is the one and only Jeff Walling! Sr Pastor of the Providence Road Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Go to and you’ll see why he is number 3.

#2) Can only be brother T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House. Time cited Jakes’s delivery and his skillful handling of Scripture: “He purrs like Isaac Hayes and screams like Jay Hawkins … And however leisurely Jakes’s presentation may seem, each sermon eventually reveals itself as perfectly calibrated and balanced, cohering into an often exquisite extended metaphor.” When I hear him preach I wonder why I would ever attempt to even try.

Finally we come to #1 on my list of great preachers!

#1) Are the other 500,000 preachers whose names you’ll never know that show up week after week in the pulpits across America and who “rightly divide the word of God”. The one’s that I most love, that I most appreciate are the local pastors of local churches who are never on the radio. They are never on T.V. They have never written a book. But every week, they study and prepare and then stand in their pulpits and preach their hearts out trying to reach the lost and edify the saved. They are the true hero’s. The true soldiers of the cross. I salute every preacher who stands weekly in his pulpit preaching as a dieing man to a dieing crowd. May we forever lift up the Name and Word of Jesus! By his blood we are saved and redeemed! If you are a preacher…. simply write your name here _____________. YOU ARE NUMBER ONE ON MY LIST OF GREAT PREACHERS!



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