James, Ewing Stanford (1900–1976)

By: C. Gwin Morris

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Ewing Stanford James, Southern Baptist pastor and editor of the Baptist Standard, the official organ of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, was born on March 1, 1900, in Butler, Oklahoma, the son of Albert D. and Sophronia (Turner) James. After high school he graduated from Southwestern College in Weatherford, Oklahoma. While he was in school he served as a student pastor at Baptist churches in Leedey and Custer City. In 1925 he married Opal Clark of Leedey. They had four children. After graduation James moved to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Liberal, Kansas, a position he held from 1928 to 1930. He moved to Texas in 1930 and accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Cisco. After seven years he went to the First Baptist Church of Vernon, where he stayed from 1937 to 1954. In 1954 he became editor of the Baptist Standard. James was best known for his journalistic campaign against the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. During his tenure as editor of the Standard, he was considered a strong champion of the separation of church and state. Two of his positions-opposition to federal aid for Texas Baptist colleges and to the election of a Catholic presidential candidate-made him nationally known. After Kennedy was elected, however, James supported him as president and later reversed many of his preelection opinions. James received numerous honors during his tenure in Texas. Two Baptist colleges-Howard Payne (1936) and Hardin-Simmons (1954)-conferred honorary degrees upon him. In 1961 he was elected second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was named Texas Baptist Elder Statesman in 1964. James retired from the Baptist Standard on November 1, 1966, and died on April 26, 1976, in Dallas.

C. Gwin Morris, "E. S. James and the Election of 1960," Texas Baptist History 2 (1982). Presnall H. Wood and Floyd W. Thatcher, Prophets with Pens (Dallas: Baptist Standard, 1969).


  • Journalism
  • Religion
  • Baptist


  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

C. Gwin Morris, “James, Ewing Stanford,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/james-ewing-stanford.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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