Homer Ritchie graduated from Dr. Norris' seminary.  Dr. Norris picked him to be his successor. At the age of 25 he became the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, the historic mother church of American independent Baptists.  Dr. Ritchie pastored the First Baptist Church for 30 years.  He was a graduate of Texas Wesleyan College (B.S.), Texas Christian University (M.A.), the Bible Baptist Seminary (M.R.E.) and the Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.).  Dr. George Norris, the youngest son of Dr. J. Frank Norris, said that Dr. Ritchie "was able to see the work that Dr. Norris did as one could never see it from the outside."   




         Dr. Norris was constantly embroiled in religious and political battles and was known as "The Fighting Parson" and "The Texas Cyclone."  He met opposition head-on and did not fear any man.  He once said, "When I die, let it be carved on my tombstone 'Here lies a man who never turned his back in the day of battle or feared to face a foe.'"  Dr. Norris was a preacher, pastor, educator, world-traveler, revivalist, builder, fund-raiser, author, and the editor of his own newspaper.  His friends loved him and admired him, but his enemies hated and feared him.  A newspaper reporter once wrote, "There is an eleventh commandment in Fort Worth - Thou shalt not mess with J. Frank Norris." He fearlessly exposed the social evils of society.  He aggressively probed issues, investigated improprieties, and publicly exposed and castigated the offenders.  His life is filled with stories of adventure, courage, faith and danger - the stuff from which legends are made.  He helped to cause the resignation of the president of Baylor University, and fought liberalism throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.  He almost single-handedly stopped gambling at the Dallas Fair and horse race gambling in Texas for over eighty years.  He was shot at, his life was threatened, and three thousand men, led by the mayor of Fort Worth, drank to his being run out of town, or to his hanging.  He closed down the infamous "Hell's Half-Acre," that housed the notorious "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang."  Twice he was charged with burning down his home and his church.  Both times the juries declared him "Not Guilty."  Many people believe that the fires were started by his enemies.  He was tried for murder in a nationally reported trial in  Austin, Texas.  The jury deliberated only one hour and fifteen minutes, and declared him "Not Guilty" on the first ballot.  Thus, Dr. Norris was found "Not Guilty" of first degree murder, which the dictionary defines as "murder committed premeditatively and with malice."  The jury found Dr. Norris "Not Guilty" because they were convinced that the shooting of D. E. Chipps was not premeditated, and was done without malice.  The jury was convinced that Dr. Norris shot Chipps because he felt his life was threatened.  Dr. Norris was also involved in politics.  He helped to defeat a Democratic Presidential candidate in Texas and helped to elect two Republican candidates to the Presidency.  He was a friend of several world leaders such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  He burned the Nazi flag before a huge audience in Madison Square Garden.  On another occasion he burned the Communist flag before a gigantic audience in Detroit, Michigan.  He strongly and continuously opposed religious and political liberalism,  Roman Catholicism, the Ku Klux Klan, the National Council of Churches, and liberalism in the Northern and Southern Baptist Conventions.  He simultaneously pastored two of the largest churches in America, 1,300 miles apart, for thirteen years.  The following book was written by Dr. Louis Entzminger, Dr. Norris' associate, and the founder of the Baptist Bible Seminary.  The book is available on this website since it is now in the public domain.  Also included is a chapter by Dr. Ritchie on "The Famous Murder Trial." 

(1) "In Defense of J. Frank Norris" - an article by Dr. Robert L.  Sumner in "The Biblical Evangelist" refuting David Stokes' book.  Click here for Part 1.  Click here for Part 2

(2) Click here to listen to Dr. Norris' son speak about his father.  Be sure to listen to the whole audio.  It becomes quite moving towards the end. 

(3) Click here to read the June 25, 2010 "Sword of the Lord" article, "Stokes' 'Apparent Danger' Discredits J. Frank Norris and Fundamentalism" by Dr. Shelton Smith (you must wait a few seconds for the PDF file to come up).

(4) "Innocent Until Proven Guilty: An Answer to David Stokes" by Dr. Homer Ritchie.

(5)  The Musings of an Old Man concerning J. Frank Norris and David Stokes.  Click here to read this article.

(6) Click here to read "Some Misrepresentations and Falsehoods About Dr. J. Frank Norris in David Stokes' Book, 'Apparent Danger' - Which Prove That Stokes Doesn't Like Dr. Norris!" by Dr. Homer Ritchie.   

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(7) Click here to read the word-for-word transcript of Dr. Norris' murder trial.  You must blow this one up 100% in Adobe PDF to be able to read it. 

(8) Click here to read Dr. Louis Entzminger's book, "The J. Frank Norris I Have Known."   

(9) Click here to read about J. Frank Norris and "The Famous Murder Trial" by Dr. Homer Ritchie.   

(10)  Click here for a "Sword of the Lord" statement on Dr. Norris. 

(11)  Read "Secrets of Prophecy Revealed" is a 192-page book on Bible Prophecy by Homer Ritchie, Omer Ritchie and Lonnie Chapman.  It has been recommended by Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye and H. L. Willmington.  It was published by 21st Century Press.   

(12)   Click here to read a review (and/or order) a new book on Dr. Norris titled, "J. Frank Norris: The Fascinating, Controversial Life of a Forgotten Figure of the Twentieth Century."

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