J. Frank Norris Bibliography

Here I have attempted to compile a list of books by Norris or concerning his life and ministry. With new works still being produced and older works fading from memory I readily admit it is not exhaustive. It is also impossible to list every source that mentions Norris so I have endeavored to list ones primarily written about Norris, have large sections devoted to him, or contain significant information or perspective. Please also keep in mind that I have compiled this list from many sources and that I do not own nor have I even seen some of them. – MBG

Biographical Works

Barber, Raymond W. A Man Among Men: J. Frank Norris. Fort Worth, TX: n.p., 1986. 18 pages. This is a small booklet put out by the Independent Baptist Fellowship International. A small number (with some updates) were printed in 2015 for the 32nd anniversary of the Norris Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.

Chambers, Claude E. The Rise and Fall of J. Frank Norris. Shelbyville, TN: Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation, 1997. 199 pages. Written by an evangelist in Oklahoma, this rare paperback is part biography and part scrapbook.

Entzminger, Louis. The J. Frank Norris I Have Known For 34 years. Fort Worth, TX: n.p, 1950. 348 pages. This book is really more of a scrapbook than a biography. It borrows very heavily from Norris’ “Inside the Cup” sermons and the “Inside History…” book. Easily available due to numerous reprints. Classic Norris propaganda and according to rumor Norris was heavily involved in its production and writing.

Falls, Roy Emerson. A Fascinating Biography of J. Frank Norris. Euless, TX: First Baptist Church, 1975. 138 pages. This is a small paperback written by a pastor that had been under Norris as a student during the latter part of Norris’ ministry in Fort Worth. It is a very glowing account of the life and ministry of Norris. I think any admirer of Norris would greatly enjoy the book. Much of the information is referenced in footnotes.

Hankins, Barry. God’s Rascal: J. Frank Norris & The Beginnings Of Southern Fundamentalism. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1996. 220 pages. By far the most scholarly treatment of Norris and more of an analysis of Norris’ life than a biography. It is critical of Norris and many of his positions. A new second edition was printed in 2022 by University of Tennessee Press.

Hawkins, O.S. In the Name of God: The Colliding Lives, Legends, and Legacies of J. Frank Norris and George W. Truett. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2021. 212 pages. An interesting comparison of Norris and Truett and their legacies. Read my review here.

Kemp, Roy A. Norris Extravaganza! My Reminisce: A Biography of J. Frank Norris: “The Fighting Parson”. Fort Worth, TX: n.p., 1975. 128 pages. Not sure how to even describe this book. Many random anecdotes that are arranged in a peculiar manner. I was told by a former student of Kemp’s that you had to know him to appreciate the style of the book.

Oldham, Earl K. and Mrs. “O”. USS-WBF Sail On. n.p., 1992. 358 pages. This book is primarily the history of the school Norris founded, written by its second president. Pages 24-140 are largely a biography of Norris, and actually good one that could be printed on its own with a little editing.

Ritchie, Homer G. The Life and Legend of J. Frank Norris: “The Fighting Parson”. Fort Worth, TX: n.p., 1991. 323 pages. Solid and very friendly toward Norris. Written by his successor at First Baptist, Ft. Worth.

Russell, C. Allyn. Voices of American Fundamentalism. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976. 304 pages. Norris is featured as the first of seven different biographical sketches. Pages 20-46 (plus end notes) are devoted to him. Not a glowing account, as the author attempts to present Norris as a “violent fundamentalist”.

Schepis, Michael E. J. Frank Norris: The Fascinating, Controversial Life of a Forgotten Figure of the Twentieth Century. Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2012. 264 pages. A recent biography that is mostly positive about Norris. A good introduction to Norris.

Stokes, David. Apparent Danger: The Pastor of America’s First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920’s. Minneapolis, MN: Bascom Hill Books, 2010. 391 pages. Focuses almost entirely on the events leading up to and involving the death of D.E. Chipps. All in all, the book is wonderfully researched and written. However, the author is very biased against Norris and Fundamentalism in general. Makes for a great true crime story but fails in fairness and perspective.

Stokes, David. The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America. Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 2011. 350 pages. Re-release of the previously mentioned Apparent Danger with various updates and changes.

Stokes, David. Menace in the Megachurch: Politics, Arson, Perjury, the KKK, and Murder. Fairfax, VA: Critical Mass Books, 2018. 409 pages. Another edition of Apparent Danger / The Shooting Salvationist. The author notes he has “made significant revisions and added substantial new material (30,000 words)”.

Tatum, E. Ray. Conquest or Failure?: A Biography of J. Frank Norris. Dallas, TX: Baptist Historical Foundation, 1966. 295 pages. Promoted as “the first complete biographical study of the ministry, manner, and life” of Norris. Other than being the earliest biography there is little else to recommend it.

Sermon Books

Norris, J. Frank. Americanism: An Address to the Texas Legislature. Fort Worth, Texas: Seminary Bible and Book House, 1949. 34 pages. Read online here.

Norris, J. Frank. Anniversary Message. n.p., 1936.

Norris, J. Frank. ‘But God’ & Other Sermons. Fort Worth, Texas: N.T.M. Press, 1981. 210 pages. Compiled by E. Bryan Clemens, with forewords by J. Harold Smith and Raymond W. Barber. Contains the following sermons: “But God“, “The Second Coming of Christ”, “Present Grace and the Ages to Come”, “Of One Heart and One Soul”, “Rise, Let Us Be Going”, “Mules That I Have Known”, “And He Brought Him To Jesus”, “For I Have Much People In This City”, “All Things Work Together”, “Is Tithing A New Testament Command, Or Is It Commanded In The Old Testament Only?”, “Come and See a Man”, “And They Overcame Him”, “We Must All Appear Before the Judgment Seat of Christ”, “By Faith Abraham – Three-fold Gift”, “Twenty Ear-marks of the Beast”, “And the Books Were Opened”, “The Holy Spirit In The Life of Saul and David”, “Is A Christian Really Under Obligation to Tithe?”, and “That Night – When The Morning Was Come”.

Norris, J. Frank. Christ’s Second Coming: Pre-millennial or Amillennial. n.p., n.d. 260 pages. NOTE – Transcript of debate held from February 10 to March 3, 1946, between Norris and J.L. Hines from the Church of Christ.

Norris, J. Frank. Confession of Faith. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Did the Jews Write The Protocols?. n.p., n.d. 16 pages. Read online here.

Norris, J. Frank. Dr. Louis Newton – “A Modern Jehoshaphat”. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. The Gospel of Dynamite. n.p., n.d. 181 pages. Contains the following sermons: “Fifteen Signs of the Second Coming“, “The New Birth“, “The Prodigal Son“, “The Unpardonable Sin“, “Where Does the Soul Go at Death?“, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled – Heaven“, “To Die is Gain“, “Lord, Thou Knowest All Things“, “The Jew in History and Prophecy“, “World-Wide Sweep of Russian Bolshevism, and Its Relation to the Second Coming of Christ“, “The Battle of Armageddon“, and “The Fear of Death and How to Overcome It”.

Norris, J. Frank. Greatest Annual Church Report In Modern Times. n.p., 1937. 18 pages

Norris, J. Frank. Infidelity Among Southern Baptists, Endorsed By Highest Officials. n.p., n.d. Read online here.

Norris, J. Frank. Inside Facts and Figures of the Unparalleled and Unpublished History of the First Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Inside History of the First Baptist Church, Fort Worth and Temple Baptist Church, Detroit. n.p., 1939. 330 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. Inside the Cup. n.p., 1930. Read “Inside the Cup here.

Norris, J. Frank. Inside the Cup – Norris-Martin Debate. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Is America at the Crossroads?. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Largest Combined Membership in the World Under One Pastorate – 17,000 Members. n.p., 1939. 54 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. My Fifth Trip to Palestine. Fort Worth: The Fundamentalist Press, 1948. 126 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. Modernism and Why I Fight It. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Norris-Martin Debate. n.p., n.d. “Transcript” of debate held between Norris and T.T. Martin in St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 12-13, 1932. Not surprisingly Norris seems to have neglected publishing most of what Martin said, only recording things where Martin stumbled or conceded. Contains racially insensitive material.

Norris, J. Frank. New Dealism Exposed. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Six Reasons Why Al Smith Should Not Be President of the United States. Fort Worth, TX: Protestant Press of America, n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Sovietizing America Through Churches, Colleges, and Consumer’s Cooperatives. Rochester, New York: Interstate Evangelistic Association, 1936.

Norris, J. Frank. The Battle of Armageddon. n.p., n.d. 192 pages. Same sermons as The Gospel of Dynamite: “Fifteen Signs of the Second Coming“, “The New Birth“, “The Prodigal Son“, “The Unpardonable Sin“, “Where Does the Soul Go at Death?“, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled – Heaven“, “To Die is Gain“, “Lord, Thou Knowest All Things“, “The Jew in History and Prophecy“, “World-Wide Sweep of Russian Bolshevism, and Its Relation to the Second Coming of Christ“, “The Battle of Armageddon“, and “The Fear of Death and How to Overcome It”.

Norris, J. Frank. The Battle of Armageddon, Why The Believer, 24 Truths Set Forth By Baptism. n.p., n.d. 40 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. The Church that is Different and Why: What the First Baptist Church Believes. Fort Worth, Texas: First Baptist Church, 1934. Read this pamphlet here.

Norris, J. Frank. The Federal Council of Churches Unmasked. Detroit: Temple Baptist Church, 1939.

Norris, J. Frank. The Four Horsemen Are Riding Fast. n.p., n.d. Contains the following sermons: “The Four Horsemen Are Riding Fast”, “The Prodigal Son“, “The New Birth“, “The Doom and Destruction of Anti-Christ”, “The Great White Throne Judgment”.

Norris, J. Frank. The Holy Spirit and Soul Winning Power. n.p., n.d. Contains the following sermons:  “A Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power”, “The Breath of God”, “The Gift of the Holy Spirit”, “The Spirit of Adoption”, “While Peter Yet Spake These Words”, “The Holy Spirit in the Life of Saul and David”, “Partnership in Witnessing with the Holy Spirit”, and “Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost“.

Norris, J. Frank. The Norris-Wallace Debate. n.p., n.d. Transcript of debate held on November 4-6, 1934. Wallace printed his own version of the proceedings also.

Norris, J. Frank. The Prophesied Alliance: of America and England on One Side Versus All of Europe on the Other. n.p., 1940.

Norris, J. Frank. The Return of the Saloon and the Doom of America. n.p., 1933.

Norris, J. Frank. The Triple Major Operation in Detroit. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. The Wages of Sin and How to Be Saved. n.p., n.d. 52 pages. Contains the following sermons: “The Wages of Sin and How to Be Saved“, “Salvation by Grace“, “Present Grace and The Ages to Come“, “The King Who Abdicated His Throne“, and “But God

Norris, J. Frank. Three Sermons: . n.p., n.d.. 46 pages. Contains the following sermons: “The World-Wide Sweep of Russian Bolshevism and Its Relation to the Second Coming of Christ“, “Individual Immortality” (Sermon Delivered at the Funeral of Sister of Dr. J. Frank Norris), and “The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer.” 

What Do Fundamentalist Baptists Believe?. n.p., 1935. 23 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. What Does the Bible Teach Concerning Baptism?. n.p., n.d.

Commentaries and Lectures

NOTE – Though often presented as commentaries, these are transcripts of lectures given at Bible Baptist Seminary or Bible conferences. They are also printed with varying titles (“Commentary on…”, “Lectures on…”, “Practical Lectures on…”, etc.) but to my knowledge they are the same material regardless of the variation.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Colossians. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Galatians. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Genesis. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Gospel of John. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Isaiah. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on the Book of Revelation. n.p., n.d. 450 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. Commentary on Second Corinthians. n.p., n.d.

Norris, J. Frank. Lectures on Daniel. n.p., n.d. 219 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. Lectures on Romans. n.p., 1946. 195 pages.

Norris, J. Frank. Studies on Isaiah. n.p., n.d. 340 pages.

Other Works of Interest

Baker, Robert A. Tell the Generations Following: A History of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 1908-1983. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1983.

Barber, Raymond W. and Wayne Martin. The Man and the Movement: J. Frank Norris and the World Baptist Fellowship. Arlington, Texas: World Baptist Fellowship.

Bartlett, Billy Vick. A History of Baptist Separatism. Baptist Bible Fellowship Publications, 1972. 79 pages. Highlights the history of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International and its heritage through the Baptist Bible Union and the World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship. Much space is given to the issues with Norris that led to the formation of the BBFI.

Bauder, Kevin and Robert Delnay. One in Hope and Doctrine: Origins of Baptist Fundamentalism 1870-1950. Arlington Heights, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 2014. 400 pages. A very negative view of Norris and his relationship with the GARBC. Read my review here.

Beale, David O. In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1986.

Bonam, Claud J. Blazing the Trail: My Experiences Working with Dr. J. Frank Norris. San Antonio, TX: Huisache Avenue Baptist Church, 1993. 50 pages. Excerpts available here.

Cole, Stewart G. The History of Fundamentalism. New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1931.

Combs, James O. Roots and Origins of Baptist Fundamentalism. Springfield, MO: John the Baptist Press, 1984.

Dawson, J.M. A Thousand Months To Remember. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 1964. 280 pages. This autobiography gives perspective from one of Norris’ constant targets. Dawson was a popular and influential denominational leader in Texas Baptist circles that worked for Norris as editor of the Baptist Standard.

Dollar, George W. A History of Fundamentalism. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1973. 289 pages.

Dowell, W.E. The Birth Pangs of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, International. Springfield, Missouri: Temple Press, 1977. 57 pages. An eyewitness account of the events leading to and surrounding the split from Norris and the formation of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, written by the president (1975-1983) of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO.

Delnay, Robert George. A History of the Baptist Bible Union. Piedmont Bible College, 1974. 192 pages. The only work devoted to its subject that I am aware of. It was originally a dissertation presented to Dallas Theological Seminary in 1963.

Gatewood, Jim. J. Frank Norris, Top O’ Hill Casino, Lew Jenkins, and the Texas Oil Rich. Garland, Texas: Mullaney Corp., 2006. The intertwining tale of Norris and others people with ties to the infamous Top O’ Hill Casino in Arlington, Texas. After Norris’ death that property was purchased by and became the home of his Bible Baptist Seminary. For information on tours, visit https://www.topohillterrace.com/. Mrs. Vickie Bryant does a wonderful presentation on the history and ‘redemption’ of the site.

Groner, Frank Shelby. A Discussion Concerning Attacks Now Being Made On Our Organized Work. Dallas, n.d.

Haldeman-Julius, Marcet. A Report of the Rev. J. Frank Norris’ Trial. Haldeman-Julius Publications, 1927. 80 pages

Wood, Presnall H. and Floyd W. Thatcher. Prophets with Pens: A History of the Baptist Standard. Dallas, Texas: The Baptist Standard and Publishing Company, 1969. 158 pages. A surprisingly balanced view is presented on Norris’ time as the owner and editor of the Baptist Standard from 1907-1909. See pages 39-70.

Hyles, Jack. Fundamentalism in My Lifetime. Hammond, Indiana: Hyles Publications, 2002. 209 pages. Norris is not featured but his impact on the Fundamentalist movement and its leaders is highlighted many times.

Kutilek, Doug. J. Frank Norris and his Heirs: The Bible Translation Controversy. Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publication, 1999. 165 pages. Despite the title, the primary focus of this book is not Norris but the KJV debate within the Baptist Bible Fellowship International.

McBeth, H. Leon. A Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage. B&H Academic, 1990. 554 pages

Martin, T.T. Inside the Cup Turned Out. Tennessee, Jackson: McCowat-Mercer Co., 1932. 102 pages

Martin, T.T. Shall We Kill Our Mission Boards, Seminaries, and Leaders?. n.p., n.d.. 102 pages

Pratt, J. Kristian. From “Funnymentalist” to Friend: The Evolving Relationship of Ben M. Bogard and J. Frank Norris. Spring 2007 issue of Baptist History and Heritage.

Sisson, Michael and Will Hinson. A Century of Great Church Builders. Hammond, Indiana: Hyles Publications, 2005. 89 pages. Pages 32-35 are on Norris, but there is nothing redeemable in this poorly written and edited work.

Sumner, Robert L. Fundamentalist Foibles. Ingleside, Texas: Biblical Evangelism Press, 1987. 26 pages. Norris is one of 12 men featured as examples of the myriad of types of Fundamentalists.

World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship, Its Statement of Faith and Its Aims.. n.p., n.d. 20 pages.

Papers and Theses

Bates, David Keith. “Distinguishing Conservatism From Fundamentalism: The Approaches of J. Frank Norris and L.R. Scarborough to the Evolution Controversy”. Unknown, 1999.

Bevier, W.A. “A History of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America”. Ph.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1957.

Bouldin, Donald G. “The J.M. Dawson–J. Frank Norris Controversy: A Reflection of the Fundamentalist Controversy Among Texas Baptists.”. M.A., Baylor University, 1960.

Burleson, Benny. “The Ecclesiology and Strategy of J. Frank Norris from 1919 to 1959”. M.A., Baylor University, 1960.

Conolly, Kenneth. “The Preaching of J. Frank Norris”. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of Nebraska, 1961.

Curlew, Douglas James. “They Ceased Not To Preach: Fundamentalism Culture and the Revivalist Imperative at the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit”. Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2001.

Ferris, Charles J. “Southern Baptists and Evolution in the 1920’s: The Roles of Edgar Y. Mullins, J. Frank Norris, and William Louis Poteat”. Unknown, 1973.

Hankins, Barry Gene. “Saving America: Fundamentalism and Politics in the Life of J. Frank Norris”. Baylor University, 1990.

Hicks, Alfred Edward. “The Reverend J. Frank Norris of Texas and the Politics of Cataclysm”. Unknown, 1971.

Howe, Danny E. “An Analysis of Dispensationalism and its Implications for the Theologies of James Robinson Graves, John Franklyn Norris, and Wallie Amos Criswell”. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1988.

Lewis, Tom Tandy. “The Part of J. Frank Norris in the Fundamentalist Movement”. Unknown, 1965.

McGlone, Lee Roy. “The Preaching of J. Frank Norris: An Apologia for Fundamentalism”. Unknown, 1983.

Measures, Royce Lee. “The Relationship of J. Frank Norris to the Northern Fundamentalist Movement”. Th.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1970.

Measures, Royce Lee. “Men and Movements Influenced by J. Frank Norris”. Th.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1976.

Morris, Clovis Gwinn. “He Changed Things: The Life and Thought of J. Frank Norris”. Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 1973.

Pigott, Kelly David. “A Comparison of the Leadership of George W. Truett and J. Frank Norris in Church, Denominational, Interdenominational, and Politcal Affairs.”. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993.

Ritchie, Homer G. “The Life and Career of J. Frank Norris”. M.A., Texas Christian University, 1967.

Shamberger, William M. A History of Tarrant County Baptist Association, 1886-1922. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Tatum, E. Ray. “The J. Frank Norris Murder Trial of 1927”. M.A., Texas Tech University, 1968.

Terre-Blanche, Henry S. “The Life of J. Frank Norris”. Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1966.

Tullock, Samuel Kyle. “The Transformation of American Fundamentalism: The Life and Career of John Franklyn Norris”. Ph.D., University of Texas – Dallas, 1997.

Walker, Charles L. “The Ethical Vision of Fundamentalism: An Inquiry into the Ethic of John Franklyn Norris”. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1985.

Wall, Eston Wayne. “The Effects of Controversy on Perceptions of Preaching, Based on Methods of Dr. J. Frank Norris”. Unknown, 1989.