Baptists We Should Know: George Lofton (1839-1914)

Dr. Mark Rasmussen

George Lofton was born in Missouri on Christmas day in 1839. He finished his education at Mercer University and intended to become a Methodist minister, but as he studied his New Testament, he was convinced of the scriptural correctness of Baptist views. Soon after he was immersed into the membership of the Second Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia.

During the Civil War, Lofton was an officer in the artillery, and after the war finished, he became a pastor in Americus, Georgia. During his time as pastor, Lofton pastored in Atlanta, Memphis, and St. Louis. William Cathcart, author of The Baptist Encyclopedia, says every church Lofton went to grew numerically, spiritually, financially, and socially. Lofton baptized hundreds of converts in those churches. One man described Lofton as being a sound practical preacher, an untiring worker, and a friend of the poor.

In addition to Lofton’s pulpit ministry, he was a tireless writer. His sermons were bound in volumes and were widely read beyond his own church. He became the president of the Southern Baptist Publications Society located in Memphis as he worked tirelessly to get good Christian material in the hands of believers. He was one of the leaders of those who studied Baptist origins. He wrote books such as Bible Thoughts and Themes and Character Sketches. He served faithfully until the Lord called him home in 1914.