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Barry Lindsay wrote:

Hello Mike,

It's me again. I really appreciate your help in answering my previous questions.

Today, I would like to ask you or a priest another question that has been very hard to get a clear answer to, even with the hours I have spent on the computer.

  • Who is the leader of the following religions below?, and
  • What is the name of their position?

    e.g. Pope Benedict XVI is the leader of the Catholic faith.

I am seeking to find the answers to those questions for:

  • the Orthodox
  • the Jews
  • those who believe in Islam, Muslims
  • the Buddhist, and
  • the many different Protestants denominations I have listed.
  • Could you also tell me what Protestant religion Martin Luther King Jr. and Billy Graham were the leaders of?

I really appreciate your time and answers to my e-mail, as well as that of any of the priests who may be involved with answering my occasional questions. Please tell them I appreciate their help.

  • Adventists
  • Anabaptist
  • Anglican/Episcopalian
  • Baptist
  • Calvinist
  • Charismatic
  • Gospel Hill Brethren
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist/Wesleyan
  • Non-denominational
  • Pentecostal
  • Presbyterian
  • Quakerism
  • Reformed
  • Restoration Movement
  • Unitarian
  • Waldensians

If I have missed any well-known Protestant denominations, I would appreciate your telling me and teaching me about who they are and who their leader is as well.

Once again, thanks a lot!


  { Can you tell me who are the leaders of these religions? }

Mike replied:

Hi Barry,

When I initially created this web site, I found another web page off of which I created the following page in my favorites section of the web site:

Most, if not many, of the faiths you listed are covered on that page or are offshoots from one of those Protestant denominations.

You can also read about some of the early heresies in the Church on my Christian heresy page.

Charismatic Christianity can be found in both Protestant and Catholic faiths.
In Catholicism it is part of the whole Catholic faith.

Non-denominational Christians represent Protestants who belong to no major mainline Protestant denomination so the leadership of any non-denominational Christian group probably varies a lot over the years!

I don't know what faith Martin Luther King Jr. and Billy Graham belong to. Maybe one of my colleagues can address this.

Finally, this page will give you a good perspective of Catholic leadership, or better, service in the Church:

I hope this helps,


John replied:

Hi, Barry —

Let me make a couple of points.

  1. Reform Christians are simply Calvinists. They are some times called Dutch Reform.
  2. Unitarians are not Christians.

All those on this list except Unitarians are Christian and therefore are considered part of one Christian faith. See Ephesians 4. It is best to call them ecclesial communities, denominations, or sects, not different faiths.

Depending on the denomination, their church government varies. Some, if not most, have a congregational or independent authority structure. Others like the:

  • Methodists
  • Episcopalians
  • Lutherans, and
  • Anglicans

have a hierarchy but the local congregation would still have more control than in the Catholic Church. Some, like the Baptists or Congregational, belong to a denomination or conference, but it's still very bottoms up. Each congregation is run locally and the doctrine preached from the pulpit is based on the pastor the congregation hires. They will more than likely ascribe to certain general shared principles the denomination is known for. i.e. Baptists only baptize those who have reached an age where they can reason enough to profess Christ as Lord and Savior. Since the buildings are usually owned by the congregation, if they find they are at odds with the denomination or conference, they just leave it and join another or go totally independent. These congregations usually have by-laws voted on my the membership.

Independent Charismatics, are less congregational in that they don't vote on much but they have to file some kind of incorporation papers with some kind of by-laws. All these independent-type churches also can ordain clergy at the congregational level. They obviously aren't ordained priests as no Protestant denomination has validly ordained priests.

— Martin Luther King was Baptist part of the Progressive Baptist Conference.
— Billy Graham would best be described as an Evangelical.


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