John Roach Straton with Dr. J. Frank Norris on the left
His voice roared for God in the roaring twenties
October 29, 1929 – John Roach Straton, long time pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of New York City, died in Clifton Spring, N.Y. Ironically it occurred on the same day as the Stock Market on Wall Street crashed! Straton was born on April 6, 1875, in Evansville, Ind., where his father was pastor of the First Baptist Church. His parents had come to America from Scotland. The family moved to the South where his father served small churches in Alabama and Georgia. When Straton was 20 he entered Mercer University, but his father died during his college days, which allowed John to finish only 3 years. Straton was converted to Christ while attending evangelistic meetings in Atlanta, Ga., and following baptism he was encouraged by the noted evangelist, James Boardman Hawthorne, to attend the Southern Baptist Seminary. After his ordination and marriage Straton pastored churches in Louisville, Ky. and Hubbard, Tex. before becoming pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. It was there that he became engaged in the battle between fundamentalism v modernism. He was a gifted orator and debater and he was at home on college campuses. His special emphasis was the infallibility of the scriptures. He was also appalled at the moral decadence of society. He adopted sensational methods that kept him before the people. He conducted tent meetings and street meetings throughout the area. He had an automobile outfitted with a portable pulpit and had a cornet soloist. Through the church owned radio station WQAQ his voice was known far and wide. Straton was a man for the roaring twenties who roared out for God.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 448-50.