Dr. James M. Dunn, 1932-2015
James M. Dunn, the firebrand Baptist who led the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty for nearly two decades, died on July 4, 2015, at the age of 83. Known for his stalwart defense of religious liberty, colorful turns of phrase and ubiquitous bow tie, Dunn will be remembered for his contributions throughout Baptist life, including his leadership of the Baptist Joint Committee through the 1980s and 90s. Watch his memorial service.
“The 20th century had no greater champion of religious freedom – of conscience – than James Dunn,” said Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, who served as BJC general counsel from 1985-1993. “Like Roger Williams, John Leland, George W. Truett and the other great Baptist leaders before him, James understood the dangers of civil religion.”
You can help preserve Dr. Dunn’s legacy by donating to the Baptist Joint Committee’s educational programs in his memory.
Served in Texas as pastor, campus minister, and director of the Christian Life Commission
Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee from 1981-1999
Among many Washington accomplishments, he advocated with the BJC for the Equal Access Act and Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Professor of Christianity and Public Policy at School of Divinity, Wake Forest University from 1999-2014
To countless Baptists, James Dunn was an instrumental influence (Aaron Weaver, author of James M. Dunn and Soul Freedom)
Dunn Deals (Bill Leonard, James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies)
Remembering James Dunn: Baptist Champion of Religious Freedom (Rob Boston, Americans United for Separation of Church and State)
James Dunn: Invested in the Next Generation
(Mark Batten, School of Divinity at Wake Forest University)
James M. Dunn Memorial Service
Held on July 18, 2015, at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., the service features tributes from friends and colleagues. Click here to download a PDF with the text of Bill Leonard’s homily.